Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Free Itch.io Games #12

We've made it to lucky number 12! So we have 4 more free games from Itch.io to take a look at today. I hope you'll find a game that you can enjoy for yourself! Without further ado~

1. Astro Flora

Source: Itch.io Page

Astro Flora is a cute exploration game created by Maibbit, and Benjamming. You place as an adorable little space girl, and you get to explore the color changing world around you.  While I enjoyed the look and style of this game, I never got anywhere in it. Both times I tried to play it, I must have wandered too far and ended up in areas where I could no longer find my way back to any discernable landmarks—making me exit the game. 

Both of my plays were short, about 5-7 minutes. Where the landmarks in the game are, the game is adorable. The effects of the flowers blooming as you walk through them was my favorite. The art style of your character, the roaming little birds and the landscape are all wonderful. The music, too, is relaxing and nice to listen to. Unfortunately, with nothing else to be found in this game, I can’t say much more about it. 

I wish that there was more to this game, perhaps a map, or clearer borders to keep natural explorers, like me, from wandering into the nothingness. This game does still have its high points, so it can still be enjoyable. You can download and try the game for free yourself, *here*.

2. Floragram

Source: Itch.io Page

Floragram is a creative experiment created by Armel Gibson, Théo Le Du, Maxime Conquy & Delphine Fourneau. In Floragram, you are able to type secret messages, and those messages are translated into lush and colorful foliage on an island. The premise is simple, but it’s executed in an interesting way. 

I found the game charming, and creative. The only thing I would have liked to see was some music added in to compliment scene of admiring the flowers and trees that your words have created. The graphics are simple, but cartoony and charming. 

I think this game would be beautiful if implemented as a like a “send a message” type of website or application. You could send a message to your friend/lover, and as he/she/they read it, it could transform into the flowery landscape. I think that would be beautiful. But that’s just me.
You can see it for yourself for free, just download from Itch.io *here*

3. Planetarium

Source: Itch.io Page
Planetarium is a planet generator created by Daniel Linssen. Click the question mark, or type a name into the bottom right area to find a planet. You can adjust the planets temperature with a slide bar, and if you find the right temperature, life may even sprout on your planet. 

While not technically a “game” I did find this planet generator interesting. I had fun typing in my name, and the names of my friends to see their “planets.” I didn’t figure much else in the way of getting life to sprout (I tried though). 

Regardless, I still found it interesting. The animations are vibrant, and aesthetically pleasing, and the subject matter is interesting to me, so I give it a pass. You can give it a try for yourself, free to download from Itch.io *here*.

4. Sweet Wave

Source: Itch.io Page

Sweet Wave is a fast paced action game created by Allen-Michael Brower, Josh Grilli and Carson Mauthe. The sun is hurtling towards earth, and the world is due to end soon. As an ice cream salesperson, what can you do? Sell as much ice cream as you can and ride out the final heat wave! 

I don’t know what I expected going into this game, because when I opened it, I didn’t even remember ever looking at the Itch.io page. I didn’t remember what it was about. I never would have expected to find myself machine gun shooting ice cream out of the back of an ice cream truck, though. 

This game is surprisingly fun. The graphics are attractive, and the sound is decent. It’s fast paced, and the controls are well implemented. I had some issues, but more due to the fast pace than the actual control mechanics.  The game is short. I mean, the sun does engulf the earth after some time, and I find the replayability (personally) low. It is a fun little distraction. You can try it for yourself free from Itch.io by downloading from *here*. My high score was $10,049 worth of ice cream. What was yours? 

Thanks for sharing some time with me, and happy gaming!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Short and Quick Games from Itch.io #1

Hello everyone! Here in the Short and Quick games bits we're going to talk about the short games which take less than 5 minutes to complete, or don't fit into other categories of entries that I have. Anyway, let's take a look!
1. Politicats

Source: Screen Capture in Game
Politicats is a point and click game created by Myriad Game Studios, where your job is to click on the cats in order to keep them awake enough to vote on bills passing through their cat house. The game is short, and has little real challenge or story in it, but seeing those cats in those little suits are just so dark cute. 

This game wasn’t really what I expected, and I don’t know if that is good or bad. I liked the idea of political cats, but I felt like the game was lacking in a lot of aspects. I did enjoy the graphics, although the game is short—but perhaps that is for the better? A more challenging mechanic might have made this game much better. The itch.io page for this game seems to have been removed, but you can still download it to try from the game jam page *here*

2. I Ruff You

Source: In Game Screen Capture

I Ruff You is an adorable dog to dog romance game created by So Good Games, where you are simply a dog looking for love. You start in a dog park with a few other dogs to talk to(and a squirrel). Over the course of a few days, see if you can woo your way into their heart!

The game is short, but the graphics are cute and uniquely styled, and the music is pleasant. I also thought it was cute that the dogs don’t speak English, but they bark and bow wow. However, the local squirrel speaks English! The game over all is cute, and only takes about 10 minutes to complete. You can try it free for yourself on Itch.io *here*

3. Response
 Source: Itch.io Page
Response is a simple game about helping others, and how you make decisions in your life. The game is created by Doombrowski, where you play as a blue guy, who looks like a cousin to purple guy from Five Nights at Freddy’s. You walk around and can help others—like getting a cat out of a tree, or fixing a car. 

The game is short, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. At the “ending” I ended up with one of 2 outcomes. Either I died for bring in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the store clerk died. I don’t know if there is a way to prevent this from happening, or if this is meant to be a statement about our world. I suppose it could be. Anyhow, the game is free so you are welcome to try it on Itch.io for yourself *here*.

4. The Midnight Park
 Source: In Game Screen Capture

The Midnight Park is a relaxing escape from reality walking simulator created by Olivia Haines. This little game involves you exploring a strange park in the dark. There are eyes peering through the dark, and strange animals roaming/floating. This game feels much more like a dream sequence to be honest. 

I really loved the appearance of this game. The trees look like they’re drawn with chalk pastel crayons, and the environments are vibrant and well created. The music is nice, and the game is relaxing. I was expecting a surprise jump scare, but it didn’t happen. The creator said he original intention involved isolation and anxiety in children, where the playground is a safe space for kids. And I could feel the isolation and anxiety through the work. Well done!

The game is quite short, but was an enjoyable little experience anyway. You can try the game for yourself by downloading free from Itch.io *here*.

Thanks for sharing some of your time with me, and happy gaming!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Outside of Our Own (PC)

Outside of Our Own in an atmospheric walking simulator created by Kimberly Pena, where you get to walk about and enjoy the scenery in 3 different settings. You start in a forest, and by entering a dark foreboding foggy area you find yourself in a city at night, with some rather ominous music playing. When I got to the nighttime city, I thought the game became a horror game. If you find the fog once again, you’ll be transported to that same city during the daytime where everything is sunshine and lilacs.

The game was alright, for a walking simulator. The music was nice, and the graphics were decent. In the first area, there are buildings that appear to float on water. I don’t know it that was a deliberate aesthetic choice, or an error, but it bothered me a little. Also, the majority of the game ran fine but in the beginning forest area my frame rate dropped sometimes to as low as 5 fps, which made the game very jerky and hard to control.

I have played other walking simulators and enjoyed them, and I feel like this one would be better with some refinement, and even a little bit of story. Reliving some old memories, or something even. Wandering into strange foggy areas and ending up in another area is bizarre without context. That is not to say it is bad, it's not! ( EDIT: It seems there was an update to this game on 3/15/17, so some things may have changed. I haven't been able to play the updated version so that's up to you! :) ) If you’d like to try it for yourself, please download this game from Itch.io for free *here*.

Also, I’m not talking or anything because I wasn’t doing a let’s play, but you can see the you can watch the majority of the game play here on my Youtube Channel: 


Thanks for sharing some time with me, and happy gaming!