SORE – The Meaning Behind a Meaningless Game

I wonder if I got the job?     Did the interviewer like my resume?

I wonder if he enjoyed my personality?    Did he think I was boring?

I’m boring    What’s wrong with me?

Why am I so boring?    I need to change

 I hate myself

Without haste, people drift towards escalating problems easily to suit societies standards, similar to the example provided above. People always tend to search for the “bigger picture”, but when you look too much into the future, the smaller, simpler things can be overlooked. These insecurities can snowball until questions turn to issues, issues turn to actions, and actions can be fatal. Simple things can sometimes make the human mind very anxious and doubtful. Each case of anxiety is different, as the human mind is our most fascinating, yet fragile feature. Unless you suffer from the illness, you can never fully understand the heartache, but SORE gives you a taste in the life of uncertainty by providing just one task… simply leave a room.

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Before I continue, I must say that this review is based on my interpretation of SORE, the mystery behind the game is still unknown.

You begin this dark tale as a ghost stuck in a small room. The sounds of rain splashing against the roof fill your ears, accompanied by an occasional crack of thunder. Shadows engulf this chamber, with only a gleam of moonlight peaking its way through the one window in the room. Within the shadows sways a man, hung from the ceiling. It seemed as if suicide was his only option. The ideal scene set for SORE left me both apprehensive and curious in the best ways possible. Feeling uneasy but ready for more.

It will not take long to find out what your first objective is. Locate and use three keys to unlock the solid door restricting you from the neighboring room. SORE provides little to no information on why reaching the other room is of importance, making me feel no ambition in reaching my goal. SORE begins to get interesting once you peek your head through the window on the door. Interacting with the window allows you to see what the other room looks like. Is it gold? Is it a path to freedom? Is it an even more complex room? No… its a room just as simple, and just as eerie as the one you navigate through the whole game. The only difference is this room has a living man inside. He has the option of saying a variety of different phrases. Some are just random corny jokes, while others are clues to help you find the three keys. What lies in the middle of those two categories is rather disturbing nonsense. If you talk to this man long enough, he will begin to mention that we never talk back to him. It was then I realized something that made this game seem much more eerie… the man does not know we are dead. He cannot see us as a ghost, but instead a hanging corpse. Only his view of the rope is blocked by the walls of the room, so he can only see a motionless and silent man. To his awareness, we are very much alive and well.

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SPOILERS

The first two keys were uncovered rather quickly, but that third key kept me stumped. I spent about 45 minutes searching for the final key until I got hungry and retreated to my kitchen to make a sandwich. Upon my return, I saw the gleam of heavenly light shine out of the wall… the door was open. I entered to room with caution, expecting another set of challenges. The screen grew dark, and then an old-school computer crash screen appeared

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As anyone would be, I was left in confusion. I ran to my trusty friend, the internet, and read how to actually beat the game. The only answers I found left me in anger. There are two ways to beat SORE. You either stand still for six minutes or go up to the door and press “X”. Really? That’s it? Yup! From what the community has found so far, there is, in fact, no working key to unlock the door

I felt cheated…bitter…enraged! I just spent 45 minutes trying to find a key that didn’t exist. On top of that, the door leads to your game “crashing”, leaving you with numerous unanswered questions. I was ready to uninstall the game and abandon the review as a whole, but then I got to thinking. Yes, the game could just be bull**** to waste everyone’s time, or it could be much more profound. Upon looking deeper behind SORE’s unfulfilling story, I have come up with my interpretation of the ending.

Remember when I mentioned how “People always tend to search for the “bigger picture”, but when you look too much into the future, the smaller, more simpler things can be overlooked.”. That is exactly what this game intends for you to do, search for the bigger picture. Once I entered the world of SORE, I immediately started creating a checklist of what to do.

I have to search here, under that, and above there

No one would ever think that all you had to do was press one button, or stand still for six minutes. That would just be way too simple.

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SORE made me irritable. Not only at the game, but at myself as well. As each minute ticked by I was starting to blame myself for not being capable of finding this missing key. I finally gave up, thinking that this game got the best of me.

The pain and anguish could have all been avoided if I took my time and stuck simply. Overthinking can lead to much more pain than a problem has to be. While SORE may have been unfulfilling and quick, this dark mystery teaches a valuable lesson. The lesson is deep and is only understood if you take the time to attempt the impossible… finding that last key.

Enomview Score: 5 out of 10

Check out the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/690060/SORE/

Marie’s Room – A Tale of Two Friends

Have you ever walked into a room and been immediately hit with a memory of a past event taking place in that very spot? Was it a good memory? A happy one? Or maybe a dark, and horrific one? The game Marie’s Room takes your character, Kelsey, through a memory trip twenty years into the past. A time when her only fear was her friend’s feelings. This title is a first-person game that takes place entirely in one house, or more specifically, one room. The room belonged to your best friend, Marie. Your goal was to locate an old journal but the nostalgia brings you back in time with eloquent visions. You begin to see her room as it was 20 years ago on the night of a disturbing occurrence.

As you walk around the stunningly created room interactable items start to make themselves known. Each item contains its own part to the grand-story and will help you better understand the troubles that Marie and Kelsey went through. The game creates a very deep depth to the story, giving even the most indistinct of objects meaning, something that we, as a society, don’t really do. As the plot progresses you can tell that something isn’t quite right. Masterfully created, the story starts to build with small hints that keep you on the edge of your seat while fitting pieces together in your head.

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Overall, the game only takes about a half-hour to complete. It’s a very short, but very compelling game that grasps you in right from the start and keeps hold of you until the very end. Aside from the story, there are many smaller details that were put into the game to further deepen and enrichen the story. Some examples being the empty bottle on the windowsill or even the random book on the table. Marie’s Room urges you to seek out those small, inconspicuous items.

Marie’s Room was created by a team of seven people, which is a spectacular feat. The story feels genuine and the characters are relatable. The graphics in the game are proportionate to the story-type. The items that can be interacted with blend in, which was a design choice that I found perfect for building the world. You can even hear faint noises between dialogue. Small things you would hear from a person shuffling through a room. This game is perfect for anyone who loves indie games and is ready for an amazing, heart-tugging story.

You can get this game free here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/648390/Maries_Room/

You can also check out the development process here:
https://www.kennyguillaume.com/blog/

 

Fortnite – Marvel Infinity War Crossover LTM

As a lot of you have probably heard by now, Fortnite has released a limited time mode which is a mash-up between the normal Fortnite Battle Royale, and Marvel’s main villain from Infinity War, Thanos.
The game mode is an amazing amount of fun for the amount of time I’ve put into it and it is by far my favorite limited time event they have released so far. The idea of the game is that you drop in an already closing circle and once the battle bus disappears the Infinity Gauntlet will drop from the sky as a meteor and strike a random spot in the circle.
After that, it’s free game to whoever can pick up the gauntlet to wield the mighty power of Thanos. Now you won’t see Thanos just running around with a gold scar, he has his own ability set which sets him apart from the other players:

Power Stone – Thanos uses the Power Stone as his main weapon for range by unleashing a line of power towards his enemies. This attack is a beam that you can follow the enemy with for a short amount of time dealing 15 damage for every hit.

Time Stone – The Time Stone is used in an odd way for this event, as it is Thanos’ Melee weapon. He uses the time stone to “Send them to a different time zone” as the kill feed will say. The melee attack is a straight lunge and destroys breakable objects around it.

Mind Stone – The Mind Stone is used by Thanos to jump exceptionally high. Thanos does not have a normal jump, but instead a jump that will charge up and allow for him to jump almost as high as the top of a mountain. This ability is useful for trying to get out of combat or to combo with the melee attack which I will describe below.

Mind/Time Stone Combo – If Thanos jumps into the air and then uses a melee attack, he will dive into the ground and create a small crater where he lands. This attack deals a lot of damage and can in most instances one-hit if the enemy is under you. But, it can also be used to destroy buildings quickly, because that the ability will go straight through any breakable objects.

Now, all of these abilities make it seem like Thanos is an all-powerful god who is unkillable (as he should be), but there is a couple of other things you should note.
– Although Thanos has 700 health and 300 shield, he cannot regain any health, and only regains shield through killing other players
– Thanos is visible to all other players on the map, minimap, and radar throughout the entire game.
– Thanos cannot build.
Once we take all of that into account, it really isn’t that difficult to kill Thanos, you just need to have a little bit of skill. And, once Thanos dies, the Gauntlet drops as an item for anyone else to pick up and wield.
I’m not sure how long this limited time mode is here for, but I hope that this opens the door to more amazing crossovers like this one.

Sneak Preview – Hitchhiker

Tl;dr You’ll never forget your first ride.

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Hitchhiker is one of those games that draws you in right away, and takes you for a ride, literally. Every playthrough is a little different, with you remembering different information, or noticing something you may have missed the drive before. Although the game is in its very early forms, you can only play the first ride right now, it is 100% worth it. Not to mention, you should be able to get it free through Humble Bundle. No matter how you get this game, you’ll never forget your first ride.

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The atmosphere of Hitchhiker takes you to a place of Morgan Freeman-like voice actors, with such character and strength. I feel as if all games had the same voice acting, as the farmer who is narrating the ride, it’d be a whole level of depth added. As he narrates through the endless farmlands in front of you, he controls the whole atmosphere of the game. From the nonsense small chat after picking up a hiker – to the almost crapping your pants when he tells you he has lied to you about something. Oh, and the scary part? Crows.

Crows are an interactive part of the story, and they add that “Children of the Corn” factor to the game. Well, that and obviously all the corn you’re driving through. If the creators of this game wanted too, they could very quickly turn this game into a survival horror game, or similar. The atmosphere is there, and I can’t wait to see what they do as they build the game further. One thing I really hope the developers add in future releases is a little more freedom. I feel like you’re a little restricted right now in the game due to the fact that if you run through it multiple times, its very easy to get the exact same dialog. The game is still in its infancy, so I’m sure this will be added onto in the future.

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Speaking of the future… “Memory’s a slippery thing.” Some of the quotes that come from the dialogue of this game are worth writing down, or putting on your website. “Just another raisin out of the box”. The overall theme of the game, about the many paths that we take, and the journey we are all can be very personal to a personal at any given point in the trip. Personally, spoiler alert, the end of the trip was the most meaningful of all the moments to me. I mean, there were quite a few times where I thought I was in the truck with an axe murderer, especially when I thought there was someone in the back seat and no one was there. However, when the bird described the path as many branches, and the road ahead was blocked because of our own doing, I could apply it to life. We build so many roadblocks and the only thing that is stopping us is us. I would ride again.

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Absolutely would ride again. Oh, and I did ride again. Since I know how I felt during the ride, I had to have someone else try. I had my younger sister hop on and try the game out. Mid-way through the ride she started asking if something was going to jump out at her, and if this game was going to be scary. I will say she laughed at all the jokes, and her adrenaline was up by the end of the show. Worthwhile, and worth the share. Check it out! (here)

P.S. Look for future articles about this game. I’ll be checking up on it periodically to see how it progresses.

Finding your other half – Jack N’ Jill Review

A simple yet challenging platformer made by Rohan Narang. With music and graphics that can be considered a nod to the retro games. With various mechanisms to reach the end of each level, this game can provide hours of entertainment.

Jack N’ Jill is a one-button retro platformer. Take control of Jack or Jill, jumping (or wall jumping) to get past obstacles and enemies. Your goal is to find your other half while wandering all 7 worlds. There are 20 levels in each world, making it a total of 140 levels.

As you start the game, you can choose between Jack or Jill by selecting one in the lower left corner. By default, it lets you play as Jack. When entering the first level, you get a small tutorial about how to play this game. Tap to start a level and delve into a fun, yet simple game. Like the popular game “Geometry Dash”, repeatedly press your screen to keep the moving Jack alive. As you progress, the difficulty rises, introducing complex combo-jumps you learn by repetition. For example, as soon as you start the second world, you gain the ability to wall jump. Each time something new appears, the character comments on it before the start of the level. Sadly, the unlocked abilities can’t be used at earlier levels.

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While the gameplay seems simple, it is not always forgiving. It starts off easy, but soon you notice that the timing has to be a lot more precise than you expect. Sometimes you need to press the jump button way before you reach the pit. Another time you need to press it at the last moment. You can’t really determine what you have to do by looking at the level. This makes many parts of the adventure very unforgiving, as when you die due to this, you have to start the stage all over again. Thankfully, the developers were more forgiving when hopping off of enemies. You have a larger window to press the screen again to jump the full distance again instead of half the distance. If you managed to wait for the last moment, you even can jump further than possible. There are no uses for that, but it makes it a bit more manageable.

The graphics remind us of the Gameboy days. The black and white style with the simple character design is a tribute to that beautiful handheld device. The backgrounds are also very simple and not in the least distracting. In fact, if you focus on the game itself, you hardly notice it. The main characters could have been a lot more unique, but the simple design of them really works well with the retro theme.

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While the game is fun, and the gameplay good, the music itself is repetitive. Each world has their own music, but all of them seem to consist of the same parts in it, with some other instruments giving variation to the world music. For short sessions, it seems fine, but if you play it for more than 30 minutes, it gets annoying. When you keep dying, you keep hearing the music go on and on, always cheerful. It does not really capture the retro feeling we suspect they were going for. The 8-bit era had games with better music, which is a shame since this is where they could have shown their love for the game.

The games of Rohan Narang are mostly inspired by old Gameboy and NES titles, and this game really shows his love for those titles. We find the characters cute and charming, and this game is no different. However, in contrast to the old Gameboy games, the music of this game is below average quality. The best way to enjoy this game is by turning the music off and listening to old Gameboy platformer OST’s while enjoying your simple adventure.

EnomView Score: 7 out of 10.

Manipulate Gravity to Make a Planet – Lonely Sun

Imagine being a small asteroid. Your small, but dense and strong. You know the path ahead of you and you know it won’t be easy. You orbit something small, slowly growing in strength and size until you break off. You continue to go from place to place, slowly growing, assembling mass. You knew it wouldn’t be easy, but before you know it, you’re orbiting a Lonely Sun… Or rather, one that’s not so lonely anymore.

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Before I continue with the review, I just want to thank you for checking in on our third game in the “12 Games of Christmas” series. We explored two awesome indie games before this, they can be found here. All of the games we have done so far have been free to play, so there’s no reason not to pick them up and try them out in time for the Holiday!

Lonely Sun is an addicting app-game in which you manipulate and control gravity. The goal of the game is simple, turn your small rocks into planets. You grow your small asteroid larger and larger by collecting other pieces of rock. Swipe across the screen to move your rock in any direction. Collect all pieces of a single planet spread out between three stages to complete it. There are obstacles that obstruct your way, however. These obstacles differ in both color and sometimes form. They range from moving mountains to sharp spikes. Avoid these obstacles at all cost because there aren’t checkpoints within stages.

Although a much more appropriate approach was slowly traversing between the obstacles and shifting terrain, I found myself attempting to speed run through every nook and cranny. Stages are unforgiving, yet the fun of testing your reaction time and memory was more than worth it. Continuously swiping without more than a second to think was invigorating.

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Lonely Sun features cool and simplistic designs. Terrains were very minimalistic, consisting of a limited palette. Levels felt wholesome because of this unification. As a fan of minimalistic games myself, this had perfect art design. Attention to detail was not amiss as even fine articulate efforts could be seen in the background of each stage. Each stage differs in a theme. Neryssa, the first level, is based off water. The next, Nuriona, is based off fire and so on. Levels were profusely thought out, offering a balance of difficulty and attainability. It punishes rash and quick behavior (which is why I died countless times) and promotes smooth movements.

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Lonely Sun was initially imagined as a metaphor for life, a simplified version of life’s complicated nature, tribulations and hurdles. Overcoming dangers, navigating through strange worlds, remembering what you’ve gone through, learning as you go… all these are meant to make you resilient. The inevitable nature of failure gives you two choices: pick yourself up and try again or let the memory of your existence fade away. Accomplishing goals takes time. The cosmic powers of planetary genesis that create the vastness and mystery of space follow the same rules: patience. Patience is the key to creating something beautiful, something worth living for.

One thing we keep hearing from players: “No checkpoints?”

Our response: “Does life have checkpoints?”

Overall, Lonely Sun was well worth playing through to review. The satisfaction of completing not only a stage but a planet was refreshing. The cool design with astounding details made great art and a great game. One of the main reasons that I took interest in Lonely Sun was the breathtaking quality of the design. We have Nik Mihaylov, the Art Director of Rinikulous Games, to thank for the outstanding artwork. We highly recommend picking up this free game, as well as checking out our other free game reviews here on the site.

EnomView Score: 9 out of 10

Check out the game (iOS): http://www.rinikulousgames.com/lonely-sun/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EnomView

 

 

 

Company of Heroes 2 Free for a Limited Time

Today, SEGA announced that Company of Heroes 2 will be free until tomorrow, December 16th. What’s unconventional about there announcement is that players who download the game can keep it. You heard that right, SEGA is giving away Company of Heroes 2 until tomorrow at no price to the consumer.

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Company of Heroes 2 is a real-time strategy game made by Relic Entertainment and published by SEGA. The announcement to practically hand out copies of the game comes as a surprise as the game was only released in 2013, some four years ago. This Halo Wars like game allows you to command your army, waging a war in real time. If you’re a master of strategy, there’s no question that you’ll dominate in this game.

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The game comes with high praise from reviewers, averaging scores above 80%. Company of Heroes 2 has been called everything from great fun to overpowered and broken. Despite, what people may claim, it’s best to pick up the game for yourself and form your own opinions. If you’re into strategy based games, this is perfect for you. If not, no worries. There’s no reason not to pick up a copy tonight and fight your heart out.

Pick up your free copy of the game: http://sega.vg/kJp430hf9NF

 

Free H1Z1 For a Week – King of the Kill Comeback?

H1Z1, the game that practically launched the battle royale genre, is remaking an appearance on the steam store. With its original price at $19.99, you can find the game at a bargain at $4.99 up until January 4th, or for free during the remaining week.

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is currently the most familiar game in the battle royale genre, but H1Z1 is where it all started and has its fair share of differences. Compared to the current large battle arena norms, H1Z1 may either seem refreshing or backwards. For one, its fast-paced as everyone rushes to A: find weapons and materials to survive (a standard plan for battle royale games) and B: locate a car to use for the entirety of the game.

Vehicles are unimaginably important. Unlike PUBG, you don’t take damage while exiting a moving vehicle, regardless of speed. That means ambushes aren’t as stealth-based and groups are able to instantly get to where they want for team fights. They’re also very important for traversing the map quickly as toxic gas approaches slightly faster from the corners of the map and guns are harder to find. Think of H1Z1 as an arcade version of PUBG, faster and with more sporadic gameplay.

Before PUBG and Fornite took over the market, I was a hardcore H1Z1 player. I was a very early purchaser, back when you could get both King of the Kill and Just Survive under the same game. Now, Just Survive dropped the “H1Z1” and is in early access by Daybreak on steam. My favorite part of the game has always been the battle royale, and I’m sure everyone could enjoy the gameplay.

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H1Z1 could be considered the roots of the battle royale genre. Although the graphics aren’t as appealing as some other games out there (ie. Fortnite, PUBG, etc…), it might suit your playstyle better. Since it is free for the remainder of this week (6 more days) on steam, you might as well try it out for a few matches. Who knows, you might be the new rank #1 player!

Pick up your copy on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/433850/H1Z1/

Check out the Leader Boards: https://www.h1z1.com/leaderboards/pre-season-2?region=1&page=1&pageLength=25&sortField=tlk&sortDir=desc 

Slide Down a Powdery Snow Mountain – Chilly Snow

There are two apps that I love more than anything. Minimalist games and games with snow. I enjoy the simple textures that create an emphasis on the actual games, as well as the overall smooth design. I just love snow in games, because I love snow in general. Snow, winter, the cold, and Christmas are what I look forward to year round. On the topic of the winter holidays, I would just like to thank everyone for checking out the second of our 12 Games of Christmas review. In this festive mini-series, we explore the best games to play during Christmas time. You can check out our first holiday review here.

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Chilly Snow is a creative app that features you, a little blob, making its way down a mountain densely packed with trees. Tap the screen to switch your direction or swipe to make sharper turns. Chilly Snow offers points in two ways: points are given based on time (I believe one point per second survived), as well as coming in close proximity to trees without hitting them in your dissent.

The most satisfying thing for me was clearing a patch of three of four trees by the skin of my teeth and changing to yellow or a satisfying hot red. The colors don’t accord you any additional points, but it makes hitting tree-combos so much more satisfying. For every tree that you do come in close proximity to, and not hit, you gain an extra two points. That means clearing your first pine will give you two points, but the next will give you four and so on.

If you’re looking for a game to pick up for when you’re on the go, Chilly Snow is the way to go. It’s minimalistic looks and smooth gameplay offer the best an indie app can.

EnomView Score: 8.5 out of 10

Check out the game: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chilly-snow/id1297701531?mt=8

The Hilarious Tale of a Savage Corporate Executive – Fork Parker’s Holiday Profit Hike

Before we get right into the game, I’d just like to let you know that this review is the first of our 12 Games of Christmas reviews, in which we attempt to post a Christmas based game review every day leading up to, well, Christmas. We’d love if you’d check back every day to see what our top picks for festive games are!

Three years ago, Devolver Digital’s badass CFO Fork Parker was brought to the gaming world in Fork Parker’s Holiday Profit Hike. The game depicts Fork Parker trying to ramp up revenue for Quarter 4 of his business. You would think that meant launching advertising campaigns to push sales, but that’s not how Fork Parker roles. Take a private helicopter to an icy mountain and traverse its barren insides in search for treasures. Duck, dodge, and climb your way upwards using Fork’s special throwing pitons. These metal spikes attach to everything but snow, allowing you to create ropes from wall to wall. Ride your cane up and down the ropes, dodging ugly Christmas sweaters and collecting your riches.

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After playing the game for awhile, I picked up a few awesome pointers. Instead of jumping to toss pitons in high-to-reach places, press your “UP” key and launch away. Going for speed run times? Try jumping repeatedly while traversing ropes to speed yourself up. Don’t rely on long, convoluted amounts of rope to save you, Fork can only manage about 3 ropes at a time before sequentially deleting the earliest made ropes.

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The game itself was great fun. The festive tunes brought me a sense of holiday cheer that stopped me from throwing my keyboard on every death. The game can get repetitive, but the increasingly difficult challenges require a solid amount of strategy. Or, you could play it like me and keep rope-riding until something worked.

The animations of the game were smooth, yet defined. Fork’s pixelated adaptation expressed emotions such as fear and seriousness throughout the game. When Fork was on the edge of a cliff, his eyes would open wide in panic, almost asking “Please, don’t let me fall.” The layout of dollars and moving ugly Christmas sweaters (that instantly sent you back to your last checkpoint) created micro-puzzles within the game. There were a few head-scratching challenges in the game that required trial and error, but otherwise, the gameplay was smooth, slowly growing harder.

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Arcade style games are definitely awesome to play, especially festive based ones. If you’re looking for some more 8-bit style games with awesome toons, make sure to check out our Dungeon Rustlers review here!

Overall, I have to say that Fork Parker’s Holiday Profit Hike provided me with a great time. The hilarious basis of the storyline and intriguing methods to conquer the mountain were great fun.

EnomView Score: 8 out of 10

Check out the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/339120/Fork_Parkers_Holiday_Profit_Hike/