Figment – A Playful Approach to the Mind’s Trauma

Bedtime Digital Games is back with a new game called Figment. The action-adventure game released in late September of this year has the player controlling Dusty, a guardian of the mind who is needed once again. Chasing down the traumas inflicting the mind, Dusty and his trusty bird friend Piper, travel great distances to seek out and destroy the suffering. Their journey takes them around the brain to areas such as the appropriately named Cerebrum city and Freedom Isles. Join Dusty and Piper in a grand and beautiful world solving complex puzzles and defeating the anguish inflicting the mind once and for all.

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Starting up the game, I immediately plugged in my controller to see what Figment would best be played with. I was in for a pleasant surprise as the controller felt just as good in my hands as the mouse and keyboard, if not better. The vibrations, easy controls, and nostalgia of playing my Xbox sealed the deal for me as I continued the game with the controller. Figment includes more than just a story to follow and enemies to tackle. It includes many sections that aren’t mandatory to continue the story. These usually include memories or as the game calls them, “Remembranes”. One of these Remembranes includes a young boy named Todd who says “Go away, you jerk. I never want to play with you again!”. Remembrances are an insight into why the mind is experiencing all the trauma we see and fight.  You can also knock on the doors of local residents of the mind, and listen as they express their concerns or say a witty comment. Details like this make or break a game and Figment is definitely a stellar example of how including features like these really add to a game’s enjoyment.

The first 10 minutes of the game was basically an introduction to the mechanics and one of the main villains, Nightmare. Dusty obviously isn’t new to the whole saving the mind thing, as Piper drops many hints that they have known each other for a long time. Piper asks Dusty for help once again but he’s reluctant saying that the mind has moved on. Only when Dusty is personally affected by the Nightmare, a skinny purple entity with four arms who steals Dusty’s martini and scrapbook, that he decides to go after it. We retrieve his sword, solve an abundance of simple puzzles, and meet the mayor, who oddly talks only in rhymes, and sends us on a mission to destroy the three sources of trauma.

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From there Dusty and Piper travel into the right hemisphere of the brain, which is a huge change of scenery. We go from a dull, dark and rainy region of the brain, to a bright, vibrant and lively area which is no doubt in reference to a more creative part of the mind. Musical instruments are abundant as guitars, trombones and flutes are placed all over the land, some of which serve as plant life. Within the first five minutes of arriving, we are introduced to the second villain, Plague man. Plague man seems to take advantage of our fear of sickness as he spews toxic gas and summons rodents that sneeze and do damage. As a side note, I’m a fan of how Dusty dies in this game. If you take too much damage from the gas or the rodents, Dusty poofs away in a cloud of smoke only to quickly reappear at the last checkpoint. The death animation isn’t overly done and you are quickly returned to play the game once more.

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As you progress through the game, the puzzles become more and more complex. Figment isn’t a type of game that you can breeze through. It requires thinking, patience and the occasional YouTube walk through and for some people, this is their cup of tea.

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I’m sure we can all think of a period in our life where our heads were filled with darkness and despair. We all go through it, everything in our life isn’t going to go as perfectly as we’d like to. Sometimes we are troubled with anxiety, depression, and fear and this is what the game bases its story off of. The antagonists in the game are our real-life fears visualized as quirky and humorous villains that perform the occasional musical performances. They run like cowards as you bravely continue your journey to rid the minds of the difficulties. Figment takes a playful approach to the very grim realities many people face on a day to day basis. It’s a game for all age groups and each group will enjoy and analyze the game differently. In the end, Figment is about facing your fears and how life is just one big game that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

I enjoyed many aspects of the game and had little to complain about. The dazzling and elegant world the game had to offer was one of its finest qualities. It was filled with detail with more than just a story to follow. Knocking on the doors of the inhabitants, I found myself curious about what everyone had to say. Perhaps if the residents walked out of their house, and showed their faces instead of just lighting up a window, it would’ve added to the game’s great design. Although the combat was light, it was solid enough. Figment isn’t entirely about combat but when you slay your enemies you get the feeling of satisfaction that makes you want to do it all over again.The combat can feel a bit frustrating at times as the enemies routinely disappear and reappear as they cycle through their abilities. This is mostly solved as some of the enemies share a health pool, so once one of them dies, so do the rest. The puzzles can sometimes seem overwhelming as the setting zooms out and you can see all the different parts that you have to deal with. However, completing one, especially a long complex puzzle gives you a sense of gratification that keeps the game moving. Finally, the musical performances add a great touch to the game. The catchy tunes are placed perfectly with the situations and I found myself humming to them sometimes. Overall the game has good combat, thought-provoking puzzles, fetching music and a diverse and stylish environment that connects to the ever-growing anxiety, depression, and sickness around the world.  

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Enomview Score: 8 out of 10

Check out the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/493540/Figment/

Dragon Sin – Tiny Human V. Massive Dragons

Looking for a game with a medieval style? How about one where you can kill dragons as a handsome mercenary. Well, I got the game just for you! Fate Dragon Studio has released Dragon Sin, a badass adventure game with surprisingly awesome combat.

The developers of the title have stated that Dragon Sin was produced in their college years, which they have since graduated. For a game that was made in one of busiest years of person’s life lives, it looks surprisingly well done.

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The team has also stated that they have a lot to add to the game, but don’t have the resources to add them yet. If they can make a game as good as this on limited resources, we could only imagine what they can do with more. The game isn’t long, only lasting about 35 minutes.

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Dragon Sin is centred around killing dragons with a little bit of story added in. You play as Greer, the offspring of the Dragon Lord. Sure the graphics aren’t GTA 5 level, but what are you really asking for from a group of college kids with limited time and money.

There’s one thing that I forgot to mention: Dragon Sin is 100% free to play. Use creative, well-thought combat mechanics and a massive sword to slice and dice your draconian enemies right now at no cost. Pick it up on Steam in the link below.

Dragon Sin on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/534220/Dragons_Sin/

Team8 Studios Releases: Genetic Disaster On Steam

Team8 Studios has released Genetic Disaster on Steam for $19.99. Shown as a co-op action game, Genetic Disaster offers co-op, supporting up to four people, an abundance of weapons, hand-painted scenery and generated levels so the fun never ends. The levels change based on the number of people playing, ensuring variety and originality. The vibrant, multicolored game is played from an overhead perspective of four characters: Bunker, Sneaky, Devil, and Panic. The players traverse the ever-changing mansion and destroy the swarm of enemies awaiting them. You can even upgrade your character to fit your own playstyle or fill for your team composition.

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Genetic Disaster is filled with flashy graphics that are guaranteed to draw you in. The modern retro-esc environment gives the feeling of an arcade game, bringing you back to the times of simple yet hilariously fun games. The background and characters are all hand painted emphasizing the detail the team put into the game.

Another aspect of Genetic Disaster that sounds exciting is the friendly fire. If you’ve seen the trailer you can tell that the situation will get hectic very quickly, prompting you to shoot at whatever you see. However be careful as your enemies might not be the only one receiving the bad end of the stick. Based on these circumstances, the playstyle of the game would focus on more strategy than just shoot and run.

GeneticDisaster-Screen-7.pngTeam8 Studios is a video game studio that specializes in co-op games. They’ve always imagined creating a game where the co-op actually matters, when the goal is only achieved using both of the player’s strengths. This ensures Genetic Disaster has a genuine co-op feeling with everyone being able to contribute to the victory at the end. Download Genetic Disaster to play with your friends and you’ll have a game you can rely on for a long time.

Check out the game:  http://store.steampowered.com/app/672460/Genetic_Disaster/
Team8 Studio’s Website: http://team8studio.com/index.php/en/

Help a Dwarf in His Time of Need! – Ruggnar

Ruggnar feels like an old game. One that you’d find on your emulator and say “Oh, wow! I remember this game,” then sit there for an hour trying to beat it again. Composed of mysterious yet inspiring music, Ruggnar, which I assume is the name of the main character, features a bearded dwarf harboring a candle on his head. His sole objective is to collect golden coins and keys to escape the dungeon. The game has three chapters for story mode and two miscellaneous modes: random dungeons and daily dungeons, both of which require the player to complete Chapter 1 of the story mode to unlock. Join Ruggnar and help light up his path to victory!

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Immediately after launching the game you are presented with a screen letting you know that a controller is recommended for playing this game. Getting my controller ready, I first made sure that I wouldn’t rather be using my mouse and keyboard. The menu screen is navigated using the arrow keys and with enter to select. The menu screen is simple and includes the title of the game, navigational buttons, and Ruggnar, who says “I need some help. Do you want to try?” After selecting play and the first chapter on story mode, I noticed something interesting. The game included its own online leaderboard with users and their times for completing the level. Even the tutorial had a number-one time at 14.112 seconds. I thought to myself “I could probably beat this”, but after 10 frustrating minutes I gave up with a personal best of sixteen seconds. I decided it was time to delve into the actual game.

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The game revolves around your candles, whether that be the one on top of your head or the multiple that you have at the start of each level. Parts of the dungeon that aren’t already lit up by chandeliers, lava or any other light source are darkened, restricting your vision and leaving you in the dark (literally). To light the area up and see what you’re doing you have two options: move to dark spaces and risk getting killed by something you can’t see, or throw your candles and watch as it lights up the area on which it falls. Although you only have a limited amount of candles to start with, you can pick up more around the dungeon. Beware as waterfalls can extinguish the flame on top of your head, requiring you to relight the candle using one of your own. Each dungeon contains traps to kill you. These include swinging axes, spikes, lava and much more. Checkpoints, which are shown as candelabras, are littered throughout the dungeon so you don’t pull your hair out trying to finish a level. I say that because unless you’re extremely patient, you will die many times.

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The main reason will be because of a lack of knowledge on where to go and how to complete the dungeon. When you die, you leave behind a tombstone with a candle on top, creating a handy light source. Another aspect of the game are the items that you can find and pick up around a dungeon. These include a feather, enabling you to jump much higher and run faster and a light which removes all the darkness in a level for a short period of time. The dungeons get more and more complex as you continue, often requiring some time to figure out a level before beating it. The biggest potential for this game is speedruns. I can already see that the developer has this in mind because of the leaderboards. I found myself wanting to speed through each level but failing as I didn’t know the layout of the map. More experienced players can definitely make this game known for its speed run capabilities by showing off their skills as they complete each level at record time.

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The use of candles throughout the game was an interesting mechanic, but one that I didn’t find much use out of. In my experience, running through the level and using trial and error was the quickest way to complete a dungeon. Perhaps it was my lack of patience that made me choose the speedrun method, however I can’t imagine many people using the candles for their actual purpose. They have a small area of effect and take a little too long to throw. Your tombstone provides a better source of light and even acts as a little reminder so know if you need to watch out for anything. Although the music consists of one looped soundtrack, I found it fitting the game perfectly. It was mysterious, yet encouraged you to continue the level to see what you could find. The old-fashioned artwork helped give the game a nostalgic feeling, enticing players who desire games that bring back memories.

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One thing to keep in mind throughout this review is that Ruggnar is still in Alpha. It’s in its early stages but I hope to see some new elements and improvements in the near future. The potential for speed-runs in this game is huge and could be its main attraction drawing players in. Overall the game offers challenging and solid puzzles to complete, a peaceful and mysterious soundtrack all accompanied by the compelling artwork.

Enomview Score: 7 out of 10

Ruggnar Early Access: https://sirill.itch.io/ruggnar

Countdown to Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 Finale

Three days remain until Minecraft: Story Mode’s season two finale gets released. The extremely popular series by Telltale has become well known in the Minecraft community, attracting YouTubers and streamers alike. The point and click/choose your own path game focuses on a plot which is based on the ever so popular sandbox game, Minecraft. The player completes puzzles, decides where to go, and most importantly, chooses the dialogue between characters. Subsequently, the end-game depends on the path the player chooses to follow, not what the game forces you to. Many other popular games have taken this approach, a more popular one being The Walking Dead.

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Season one of Minecraft story mode comprises of eight episodes, each a little more than an hour long. If playing more than eight hours of story mode doesn’t sound appealing, countless videos of people playing and completing the game are all on YouTube. I recommend getting your popcorn ready and clearing up three hours of your day as you’ll quickly get drawn in. You can buy the game for $25.99 on steam and play the first season for free for a limited time only. You better go quick, as the season finale is supposed to be mind boggling!

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Check out the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/639170/Minecraft_Story_Mode__Season_Two/
Season 1 free demo: http://store.steampowered.com/app/376870/Minecraft_Story_Mode__A_Telltale_Games_Series/