Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Small Gesture, Big Impact || Tiny Echo (PC)

"Meraki (v.)  to do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself in your work.



Tiny Echo is an adorable exploration adventure style game created by Might and Delight. You play as Emi, an adorable character tasked with delivering messages to the spirits in the other realm. Emi has 13 messages, and a lot of ground to cover, so she better get a move on!

I was looking forward to getting this game, and it did not disappoint. The art style is what originally drew my interest, you know I love a game with hand drawn quality. Emi and the spirits all have their own unique appearances, and even the side characters and creatures of the world are quite cute. The music is wonderfully composed and fits well with the overall feeling of the game.

I just love the artistic style of this game.

The puzzles are a nice challenge, but not too difficult that it took me too long to figure anything out. I do wish Emi moved a little faster at times, but that may have just been me being impatient. I wish there was a little more use for the side characters, other than there just being an achievement for talking to them all. Maybe some integration into the puzzles, or something. That’s really the only criticism I have for the game though.

The story is simple, and a bit short (about an hour and a half of game play for me), but it was heartwarming, with a happy ending. I really enjoyed it, and I think you will too. You can buy the game on steam at full price for 7.99 *here*. Or add it to your wish list and wait for a sale (like I did!) and get it for 5.99. Either way, I hope you’ll enjoy it as I did!

Stay safe, until I see you next time, Jammers! Happy Gaming.


Bell

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Blessing and a Curse || What Remains of Edith Finch (PC)

"Show me a hero, and I will write you a tragedy." F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is not in any way ominous...

What Remains of Edith Finch is heartwarming game about exploration and discovering the stories of the past, created by Giant Sparrow and published by Annapurna Interactive. You play as Edith, returning to the Finch home after years away. Edith is the last remaining Finch, after the loss of her mother. Her mother left her a key, so Edith takes it and returns to the Finch home to unravel the secrets of her family and the “curse” that afflicts them. And, oh, what an adventure awaits.

This game has to be one of my favorite games that I have played in the last year. The story is well crafted with mystery, intrigue, and tragedy. As you explore the house through secret passages and hidden doors, you learn about each member of Edith’s family tree, and how they met their untimely ends. I loved playing the short vignettes of each family member, and despite some minor issues with the controls not working as smooth as I liked, many of the stories stuck with me and often had an element in them I could personally relate myself to.

Such a beautiful house with a view.

Edith’s brother Lewis, I think, was my favorite of them all to play. Simply because I can understand the desire to escape your reality and imagine something more—something grand and all your own. There were a few times I felt tears welling inside me (reminder: I cry so easily) and approaching the end of Lewis’ story, since I could see what was coming, was one of those times. Well done.

The graphics and music are both beautiful and fitting for the game, I took far too many screenshots to share in this blog entry, but I hope they showcase the game accurately. The music is well composed, and I even have the OST saved on my computer to listen to myself. Milton’s tower theme is just beautiful.

I wish my brother and I had this room growing up.

The story easily blew me away, the tragedy of Edith’s family members’ deaths, and her wondering if it was really a curse, of it the family’s belief in the curse made it a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Strange coincidences happen, after all.

I love the strange, the mysterious and the unexplained, so the “unsolved mystery” feeling of the game and the stories that Edith read from her family really spoke to me. I would recommend this game highly to anyone. What Remains of Edith Finch runs 19.99 at normal price, though I received my copy free, as I won it as a part of a random prize drawing. On sale, I believe it was priced at 12.99 during the winter Steam sale, so I, myself, always wait for a sale. This game is more than worth the experience, in my opinion. You can view the Steam Page *here* to purchase, add to your wish list, or get more information.

Thank you all once again for stopping in. I always take recommendations for games, so leave a comment if there’s something I should play, or if there is an error or anything. Take care, until next time. Happy gaming, Jammers!


Bell

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Gaming in Cat Pajamas? || Kirigami (PC)

Kirigami!

Kirigami is an adorable, paper style adventure and puzzle solving game project by Sophie Cook for Studio 694, WCG's in-house game studio. You play as an adorable creature in cat pajamas, and you traverse an intriguing doll style house to solve puzzles and interact with the characters.

The art style of the game is where I think it really shines. I love hand drawn games, and the pieces almost looks like stickers placed in a story book at times. I am not sure what all there is to do, since all 3 times I played I ended up getting stuck on the roof after I got the black feather for the potion. I’m clearly missing something, but I’m not sure what. I wish I knew, because for what it is, I did enjoy what I played.

What a witch!

The walking animation is odd, as it would play often while I was standing still, but rarely when I was actually moving. I also had an issue with items not appearing in my bag at times, like the rubix cube (which I thought to give to the fellow on the roof, but never seemed to have it).

Despite the errors and bugs, I think that the creator was on to something that would be fun and interesting. I hope that they are able to take this idea and make something amazing in the future. If you’re interested, you can certainly download the demo to play, free from Itch.io *here*. I bet you can do better than I did. 

Be sure to leave feedback and encouragement for the developers! Until next time, Jammers. Happy gaming!


Bell

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Enter the Twilight Zone || Midnight Scenes: Highway (PC)

"Imagination... its limits are only those of the mind itself." --Rod Sterling

Title

Midnight Scenes: Highway is a short point and click suspense created by Octavi Navarro. You play as Claire Barnes, a woman on a journey whom is forced to take a small detour when her path becomes blocked. What Claire encounters, however, may change her life forever.

I loved this short adventure. It has heavy Twilight Zone feelings, a show that I love dearly. I was sad that the game was so short, but I feel that it doesn’t need to be longer. It leaves off like an episode of Twilight Zone as well, I could even hear the voice in my head.

Oh boy, a dark looking house... Let's go in!

Octavi does a spectacular job of creating an atmosphere of suspense and unease. The music, sound effects, and the graphic style all work very well together. I was never explicitly afraid, but it did make me feel uneasy and a little anxious. This is the sort of eerie game I enjoy. Not the in your face jump scares, but the subtle unease that makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck.

Kudos to the developer for creating such a well-crafted game. Given that this game is called Midnight Scenes: Highway, I do wonder if there will be more of these in a sort of series. If so, sign me up! I would even happily pay for one.

All a dream?

If you enjoyed Twilight Zone as a kid (or an adult) I think you’ll find immense enjoyment in this little game. Either way, please be sure to check it out for yourselves. You can download it free from Itch.io *here*.

As always, be sure to leave your feedback and encouragement to the developers, and until next time… stay safe, and happy gaming, Jammers!


Bell

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hold onto your Cats! Er, Hats! || Boneko [Prototype] (PC)

Title

Boneko is a platformer game in the works from Patchoid. The prototype available to play was made in 2015 and has a different story than where they are taking the game now, but the prototype is still fun, and the project is worth watching, so I’m going to talk about it anyway!

The story follows a girl names Bony, who enters an old mansion to recuse her cat Boneko, only to find he has been transformed into a hat! Now Bony must traverse the mansion, looking for her friends, and a way to restore Boneko to his original self.

No boot big enough to squash that spider...

The graphics are downright adorable, and the animations are smooth. I like the variety of enemies, and the level design. I had a few issues with controls, and the game does crash when I die. The developers know this, and it’s an issue with the game maker save system. The final game is being made with Unity, so hopefully there won’t be similar issues. I love the music, and the sound effects are fitting.

The fighting system involves Boneko shooting furballs at the enemies. You also get upgrades, the one I got involved a ground smash. You collect keys, and yarn balls that the enemies drop when you kill them. The keys are needed to advance, of course, but the purpose of the yarn balls was not discovered by me on my play through before I died. Does Bony knit upgrades for Boneko too?

These are big enough for those spiders!

Overall, this prototype is so charming and worth playing. I’m excited to see where this game goes in the future, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for the full release. You can download the prototype free from Itch.io *here*. Be sure to leave your feedback and encouragement for the developers. And, as always, happy gaming, Jammers!


Bell 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Free Itch.io Games #23

1. Chasing Birds

See Doggo Run

Chasing Birds is a relaxing little game created by davidczar, where you play as a carefree dog in a park. As a dog, you do what you do best, you bark and run, chasing the local birds. The birds fly away, and will land somewhere else in the park, for endless fun.

The graphics are nice, and the atmosphere is nicely created with the sound of the birds and people in the distance. It’s not a game that you can sit and play for hours, obviously, but it’s still nice for what it is. It was a relaxing few minutes of chasing birds. You can download it free from Itch.io *here* If you need a few moments to relax.

2. Celeste Witch

Like a Storybook!

Celeste Witch is a cute little shoot-em-up being developed by Monnotonne. You play as Celeste, and your girlfriend has been kidnapped by evil forces. So you grab your broom and give chase, off to rescue her!

This game is cute, and I had a lot of fun playing. The only issue I faced was that without any impact sounds when I fire at enemies, I never knew if I was doing damage, and this was particularly frustrating when trying to fight the boss. The same goes for when Celeste is hit. I mean, visually you lose a heart, but there is no impact or audio indicator.

You have a peashooter attack, a spread shot, a heavy mine, and then an orbiting bubble attack (like a shield, sort of). The animations are nice, and smooth, and the music is very nice, the coral level was my favorite I think. The music was relaxing. The art is cute, even the enemies look super adorable.
Overall, I think this game has potential, and I look forward to future updates. Feel free to download it free from Itch.io *here* and give it a try!

3. Trianglution

Evolve and grow

Trianglution is an evolution and survival game created by Reptoid Games. In Trianglution, you play as a triangle shaped lifeform, and your only goal is to collect nutrients, multiply, and evolve into stronger life forms.

I like this game, in theory. I enjoy survival games, and those that involve evolving lifeforms. However, this game has a few points that I couldn’t overwork. The controls really need some work, as it’s extremely hard to try to catch nutrients, and at times, the controls even seemed unresponsive. There is no “You died” or end screen, so I would be dead and in order to restart I would have to completely close the game and reopen.

There are also extinction events in the game, i.e. underwater volcanoes erupt. On the itch.io page it says that these events happen “periodically” but periodically is about every 30 seconds, which doesn’t give you any time to build any type of substantial colony of lifeforms.  This game does need improvements, but it could be worth playing if the game was refined and adjusted. In any case, if you’re so inclined, you can try the game for yourself, free from Itch.io *here*

4. Swords and Shadows

Take that, dastardly skeletons!

Swords and Shadows is a procedurally generated dungeon crawler in the works from 8-bit Ape. The game is currently in pre-alpha but shows a lot of potential as a fun dungeon exploring adventure. The game take inspiration from Zelda and Torchlight. Both are games that I personally enjoy, so I am looking forward to the finished product.

I like the design of the game; the characters are cute and I love the cute skeletons you fight. The controls were smooth and I didn’t have any issues with anything not working properly. I also enjoy when dungeons are procedurally generated, so you can get a unique experience each time. It helps give the game replayability, as well as some extra challenge when needed.

As of my writing this, the developer did just release an update that more content will soon be added to this little prototype, including a new enemy (bats) and villages are in the works also. I’m looking forward to seeing the game develop further. You can download the game to try for yourself free from Itch.io *here*.



Thank you all, once again, for spending some time with me today! Be sure to check out all of the games mentioned, and leave your feedback and encouragement for the developers! See you next time, Jammers!

Bell

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Looking for the Light || Actual Sunlight (PC)

Title

Actual Sunlight is an “adventure” game created by WZOGI. I put adventure in quotes because the game doesn’t quite fit what I expect my adventure games to be, in terms of gameplay. You play as a character who feels stuck in his daily life, and is having trouble finding the willpower to move on. This game tried to deal with some heavier and more complex issues, like depression, and suicide, but it fell short in a few areas for me.

I want to make a note that I could not finish this game. I have a pretty good idea of how it ended, though. I’ll check to see if I’m right before I finish writing this to see. Anyway, you follow your character through his daily life, and almost every object you inspect or person you interact with will give you a little blurb about something—like a memory, or an information tid-bit. I think this can be a useful tactic in the game, but when it’s almost the only way to get anything from the game, it because tedious. I’m talking about walls of text. If you wanted to make a point, this same thing could have been achieved by writing a short story, or an online comic or something. What’s the point of making this a game, if there’s not actual gameplay(other than walking around).

Wall o Text

The graphics are not spectacular. Keep in mind that I’m not a stickler on hyper realistic next gen graphics. But because I felt this game was, frankly, boring, it would have been nice to have something to keep me interested.

The theme of this game is meant to be depression and thoughts of suicide, but other than a few explicit mentions of it, I didn’t get that impression from the game. I felt that the character was unsatisfied in his life and harbored a lot of resentment and self-loathing, which can be a part of depression, but are not exclusive to it. Even so, this game could have been better if it used character development, interaction, or anything to help build a story, rather than the wall of text style that was used.

The office


Overall, I feel that this game could have been much better, but simply fell short. I got this game on a steam sale for, I think, 50 cents or so. So, it’s not a huge loss. Normally the game is 4.99, and I wouldn’t recommend it for that price. In case you want to read on it some more, or even try it yourself, you can check out the Steam page *here*

As always, thank you for sharing some of your time with me today. Hope everyone is ready for the holidays! Until next time, happy gaming, Jammers!

Bell