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.

gnv.png

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.

Screenshot (326).png

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

Screenshot (321).png

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.

Screenshot (325).png

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/

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.

11.png

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.

20171210170829_1

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.

03

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.

20171210105301_1

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.  

07

Enomview Score: 8 out of 10

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

Kill the Hero, Become the Hero – Crawl Review

01-Combat1.png

The dark and the gruesome games of our past have been long since revered and loved throughout the ages of gaming. Games like Castlevania, Ghosts and Goblins, D, Silent Hill and Splatterhouse. All of these have left some kind of mark in gaming history. Now we have another game that attempts to claim such a title as a horror titan. And it is hard to disprove it as such. The originality of the gameplay and the overall feel of the game seriously make it a real contestant for one of the darkest retro style horror game in recent memory.

The gameplay is both simple and rather complicated at the same time. There are four players, one of them plays the hero, while the other three play the monster and try to kill the hero using their deity’s style of creatures. Whoever kills the hero, becomes the hero. The less you level as a hero, the more your creatures gain in wrath, which makes them bigger, stronger creatures! The run and slash style of gaming is fast paced and the demonic presence of the deities makes the game a gruelling, festering brew of bloody muck. The levels rise and the carnage becomes especially brutal!

05-Combat2.png

It doesn’t matter if you’re the human hero or the ghost, the game is fun either way! As a ghost, you possess items to throw at the hero, or you possess pentagrams to unleash the monsters of your deity. Little by little, your monsters grow enormous, and your ability to destroy the hero becomes even greater!

With weapon upgrades and potions, your hero grows, so whatever side you wish to play, it can grow along with the game’s progression. The atmosphere is there and the gothic traits are palpable! While the hit detection could use a little bit of tweaking, that only really adds to the difficulty of the overall game. Even if you are never human, you can still be the most powerful ghost with the mega monsters of your evil deity! Use your magic to blast the human hero. Once he gets to level 10 and enters through the portal, there is a whole other part of the game to play, and I will tell you now, it is well worth the wait!

13-Intro.png

Crawl is definitely one to check out if you have some spare time, some friends, and a love for the darker side of gaming. It is retro style, it is dark, and it is a little addictive. Not only is it addictive, but thanks to the dungeon’s dangers expanding every single time a game is completed, the replayability is through the roof! This is definitely a game for your indie collection.

A Vibrant, Fairy-Tale Universe – Stories: The Path of Destinies Review

Stories: Path of Destinies is set in a vibrant, fairy-tale universe, where you follow the ex-pirate and unintentional hero, Reynardo the Fox, on his journey to save the Kingdom from the Mad King. The game features charming, hand-drawn illustrations, a colourful storybook aesthetic, and a unique choice-based narrative in which players explore different storylines to find the path to victory.

This game is what I’d consider a hidden gem. It seems to have been forgotten in the annals of time, a damn shame considering how much fun I’ve had with it. It isn’t perfect, with an equal amount of cons to balance the pros, but it puts a unique spin adventure RPGs.

I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I’m pleasantly surprised by the story, and the large variety of choices offered to the player. After the opening prologue, you can choose between a series of choices, to advance to the next chapter. There are four to five chapters to get through, to get an ending.

Some decisions are obvious in their morality but others, less so. I wasn’t expecting a gut-wrenching tale, but there are moments where your bad choices culminate in a truly twisted ending. The anthropomorphic characters eradicate any sense of realism, but it plays in the game’s favor because unexpected twists feel more impactful as a result.

Your decisions have consequences, and you can choose to follow up your actions in the previous chapter, or deviate entirely. This flexibility allows for varied endings, keeping me on my toes even after my first playthrough.

The game has a total of twenty-four endings. This might sound like a nightmare, but only four are required to unlock the True End. I won’t spoil them for you, but they are easy to figure out after finishing the game once. These endings are centred on important characters, and objects, in the game.

I have mixed feelings about the gameplay. Fighting enemies is little more than button mashing, and though you have an upgradable skill tree, the skills aren’t very useful. Enemies die quicker as you level up, but the button mashing remains a constant. An interesting mechanic is the ability to impale your enemies with your sword and throw them off the platform, which eases the repetitive combat.

The combat isn’t terrible, but considering you need more than one playthrough to finish the story, it can get tiring. Level design is mostly linear, with alternate paths that can be unlocked by different swords. You craft these swords by collecting ores you find in treasure chests. Thankfully, the game isn’t stingy on that front. Gathering materials is easy enough and gave me an incentive to explore every nook and cranny of each level.

The narration is a thing of art. The funny, sarcastic, wall-breaking comments livens up an otherwise mediocre game. The disembodied voice never feels overbearing. He’s an integral part of the story, narrating the dialogue of every character with flair and enthusiasm. If the story takes a turn for the dark, the narrator changes tack and matches how he speaks to the urgency of the situation.

He even has quips ready while Reynardo is engaged in combat! I often felt like I was being cheered on by a friend who was watching me play, making for a fun experience. If you know any dissenters who think voice acting isn’t important, just whip out Stories: Path of Destinies.

For anyone who wants a good RPG, with multiple endings and a well-written story, you can’t go wrong with this game. It might rough around the edges, but it’s definitely worth a buy.

Alpha Computing – Computer Tycoon

I was introduced to this lovely screen… then the game crashed. I thought, maybe this was a one time hiccup, so I launched the game again. The game launched successfully on my second attempt, and I was introduced with some nice hip music. I started getting in my retro grove, I immediately felt like I was on roller skates in some archaic restaurant with a jukebox playing. Not to mention, the game was nice enough to show me all of the people whom had contributed to the game by writing reviews, and the like. Since I also approve of this kind of help from the community, and that every game developer should always show appreciation to those whom help them, I’ll repost this achievement wall.

After clearing through the thoughtfulness of the developers by clicking the big red X in the top right of the window, like it was an annoying pop-up. Somehow even though the previous screen was extremely thoughtful, the art of this game still had me convinced that it was some annoying Windows pop-up that had to be deleted. I was introduced with a portrait of the young Steve Jobs next to his brand new Macs. All I could think of was Steve yelling at some employee, and telling him to get the hell out of his building. I was excited, I got amped. I was a little disappointed that on the right there was a C:\ drive reference, when that doesn’t match their overall theme of Apple references. I feel like this screen needs a bit of design work. I continued on to the ‘New Game’ option. It was time to ride the rainbow of this multicolored display.

After clicking new game, I was prompted with the new game screen. Where I could select all my options for the new game. I clearly had to become Steve Jobs because I couldn’t find a good avatar for Billy Gates, which I hoped for. There are a few avatars that are well created that represent avatars from the past, however they’re not all there. I will say they’re very good graphics, but there was nothing to actually design my character which was a disappointment.  On this screen, I could also tell that the game is still in early build phases because they also have a button for ‘Random Events’, which is disabled. It’s a work in progress, but I pushed forward. A lot of the screens here need polished.

Pressing forward like the train that I am, choo-choo. I was introduced by a dialog that emphasized how this was a new game in alpha, and that a single developer created all of this. I was impressed by how much work was done for a single developer already. I can tell that the game needs a lot of work, but it looks like it may still be fun to play, so I hunkered down and began to play. The game was simple, don’t go bankrupt, and survive until retirement. Retirement was defined as the year 2034, Elon Musk made it to Mars yet? I then read about two other ways to win, by running my enemies into the ground by bankrupting them, or to invent all technologies before my opponent. Seemed easy enough, I prepped for my crash course into the game. Helmets on!

The tutorial to the game is looonggg and teeextttt based. I wish there would have been a walkthrough of the game showing visuals right away, as I’m one of those people who can’t focus on text that long and I get distracted easy so I skipped through hoping the game would explain itself. I clicked my starting country of Madagascar, and had no idea what I was doing other than the fact that the preference was largely blue. Once I established an industry site in Madagascar, I got excited by the 3D design layout. I was ready to build my empire and rock this island. Anyone have some buckets in case this plan starts going down with the ships?

I immediately built one of everything, not sure what I was doing. I also found out it takes time to build all of these things, I had accidentally paused the game. With 4 million bucks to spend though, I was worried. Then I was hit with a voice that sounded like Mom, my buildings were upgraded and built! She disciplined me, just like she use to with my homework, that my research queue was empty. After a few minutes of tinkering, I got distracted by gameplay.

In-depth, steep learning curve. I spent at least a half an hour trying to figure out how all the things fit together, and immediately was glad that I’m a computer developer by trade because there is a lot of technical depth to this game. If I didn’t have the background I do, I feel like I might drown. However, that is also a good thing, showing how much time and effort went into all the details of this game. After several hours of gameplay…

I’ll wait until the game is more polished.

Check out the game for yourself, here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/686680/Computer_Tycoon/

Blood Boiling Beauty – Cuphead Review

I remember waking up every day as a young child. I’d grab a bowl of crisp and cool cereal at six in the morning then plop myself down for some much awaited cartoons. I was wired to do it each and every Saturday. I’d scramble for my television remote and flick until I saw the old-timey goodness of Tom and Jerry. Althought embarrassing to admit, I feel like that each and every time I play Cuphead.

There probably isn’t a single gamer on the planet that doesn’t know that two-syllable title. Cuphead is an above average run-and-gun game which focusses on boss battles. Forget going through painstaking hours of effort to reach the boss, just hop right into it! After that small summary, Cuphead may not seem like anything special. Sure, you fight boss after boss until you face the main boss, The Devil King. But that’s not the special part…

Cuphead

Every time I take a bite of spicy food, my tongue hates me. But, for some odd reason, I can’t help but keep eating. I don’t care how much pain my mouth suffers, the experience is diabolically enjoyable. It’s the same for Cuphead. While my blood boils and my fingers ache from a rage-induced grip on my controller, it’s like eating spicy food.  It’s diabolically enjoyable.

When it comes to graphics, Cuphead is by far my number one choice. Computer-generated worlds with every pixel perfectly detailed are great and all, but I couldn’t feel for it what I feel for the Cuphead’s beautiful, hand-drawn, cel-animated, 2D world.

Another aspect that helped nail the nostalgic feeling was the custom, melodic music that enhanced each and every battle. Although it’s more behind the scenes, if you haven’t seen Cuphead‘s music being produced, you can check out the recording of the Floral Fury soundtrack, here. The great jazz beneath each moment of the game held me concentrated every time I picked up my controller.

maxresdefault.jpg

When it comes to the story of Cuphead, I was really able to connect with my childhood. A wacky adventure perpetrated by a fun-loving, bendy, cartoon cup and his equally appealing brother, a mug, was straight out of the Disney textbook. Sent out to defeat an onslaught of creative characters right out of the 1930’s, Cuphead wanders around dishing out finger blasts and collecting the souls of the indebted. Then, Cuphead travels towards the Devil King’s casino to use his newfound strength on the Devil himself.

Devil Kings Casino

When it comes down to it, Cuphead deserves every ounce of fame it gets. I can’t think of any other indie game off the top of my head that was produced with this much effort. From every boss phase transition to the music heard as you stroll around Inkwell Isle One. Each detail of the game provides an experience unlike any other.

Become the savior of Inkwell Isle, slay the Devil King, and finger-blast some carrots! Pick up the game here: Cuphead on Steam

Another Addicting Jailbreak – The Escapists 2

Immediately, not sooner or later, I was drawn in. The Team17 logo that shot across my screen assembled itself into from panes of material and shattered only to reveal the start of your captivating experience. The title of the game,‘Escapists 2’, makes its appearance. I’m excited, I haven’t even pressed a button yet, and already my imagination is lit up with different imagery. Prisoners squeeze through the cracks of the game title, emphasizing the name of the game. Quick, they’re escaping! Sirens and flashing neon flood the screen. On queue, the men in blue arrive in full force ready to detain all the convicts they think will get away. The chase has begun.  As for spot on intros…. nailed it.

The Escapists 2

The Escapists 2

The splash screen, and introduction to the theme of the game got me amped. I was ready to go, and when I got to the initial game play screen where I could select options like play versus, play game, my characters, criminal record, and leaderboards, I didn’t hesitate. I clicked ‘PLAY GAME’, and was ready to go. Unexpectedly, I got a lovely note from my warden. He even offered me a place to learn how to escape. I mean, I got this in the bag if the wardens on my side. So I figured I’d make like Andy Dufresne and escape this tin box. I mean, how often do you look at a man’s shoes?

Welcome Prisoner

Welcome Prisoner

Interestingly enough, I wrote the last paragraph before continuing with the tutorial. I mean why not write your initial thoughts down while through the progression of trying something? I’d rather have that genuine feel too each and every word then well thought out after-the-fact. I made a Shawshank Redemption prior, and how spot on I was. Sipping on the beach, enjoy the sand and sunshine. You won’t understand how great this tutorial is until you try it yourself, it even makes you feel rushed like you would in a real prison escape. Guards chasing you while you’re trying to read what to do. I’m sure you can’t actually get caught in the tutorial, but it definitely gives you the vibe that it’s over for you. I won’t ruin the end for you, but the tutorial is worth it just for the story line. This initial prison gives you just enough information to stomp out the learning curve, and get you onto the track of escaping. Tutorial… nailed it.

After figuring out the basics of the game, I headed back to the character screen. I wanted the prisoner to be a representation of me in pixel form. I got to work. I killed Clive, and that’s why I’m a prisoner to begin with, but I also needed a spot for me. After renaming my character too ‘Johnny’, I was disappointed with the face selection options. Apparently I could only have a round ball head or an oval egg head, and skin tones seemed lacking as well. I felt like there could have been a larger range here. There were only three options, however those options were satisfactory. The hair options were great, tons of them. However, I also felt like they could have had a better selection of hairstyles if you were able to select a hairstyle and then choose the color of that hairstyle. Instead they give you some basic options that you can choose from, and their hair color variations. This is true for the beard, hat, and eye wear options as well. For character creation, I was a little disappointed however it wasn’t terrible. In the end, I still made a pretty bad-ass mockup of me. They call me Mr. Johnny.

Mr. Johnny

Mr. Johnny

It was time to get the ball rolling for real! So I moved on to my first real prison, and I was loaded up with all kinds of information beforehand. Apparently the warden had a lot of escape attempts and successes before so they built a new more ‘secure’ prison. This warden is probably a walk in the park, so breaking out is probably going to be easy. Plus, with these epic glasses I got on, I’ll have everyone begging to be my friend. Center Perks 2.0, I’m going to show you who the boss is.

First Prison

First Prison

I was excited to play after reading about the prison and what not, but I was slowed down by the prison customization screen. I thought it was awesome that I was able to update every single guard, and every single prisoner to have a look that I deemed necessary or a name of my choosing. Well, and that is how my entire family got locked up with me. Don’t worry family, I’m going to break us all out! However, I’m still disappointed with the character creation screens here because they’re exactly the same when I created my character. I’m liking them a little bit more because I still get mostly the desired effect, however I feel as if more work could of went into this. Into gameplay!

Boom, I’m in the first prison straight off the bus. I don’t spawn somewhere random like my cell, and the warden walks me through the prison like its a fancy hotel. Shows me where to get my hot meals, how I can gain strength, speed, and intellect, and he hands me the keys to the gate. Alright, alright, he didn’t hand me the keys to the gate of the prison, but he might as well have. I didn’t feel the character strength I should have from the warden, as he lead me to my cell that was nicer than a Hilton Suite. The best part of all of this? The film crew recording everything. I’m going to be on television, ma!

On my first day to breakfast, I immediately made the mistake of left clicking and getting into a fight. I got the rocks kicked out of me. I saw all the pretty coins above people’s heads, and I thought I could chat to them with my left mouse click, and then I realized… Nope, I’m going to wake up in the hospital. I will say, the way the infirmary staff carries you from the place you get knocked out at to a bed is pretty awesome. I later learned that all I had to do is hold my action key to shop from someone. Lessons are learned quickly. Time to hit the gym!

Gaining stamina, strength, and intellect are repetitive, but they go up really fast. So they’re easy to get high quick. So I didn’t have to worry too much about all my skills, I quickly skipped any part of the routine that I could without getting into to much trouble. I made sure to get my energy up by napping, taking showers, and attending all meal times. Every chance I could I went to go raise my skills ‘cause I knew I’d need them high to build things that would help me escape, and rob people who had things I needed. I also learned during this period that as long as you show up during the last minute of the task you get credit for it. So I would skip some of the tasks that I didn’t need. Like dinner time was after shower time, and both raise your energy. I didn’t need dinner so I showed up at the last minute, and didn’t get in trouble by the guards and still got extra study time in. Day one was over before I knew it.

Day two- I knew it, I had to prep for my escape. These walls had too been closing in, I started to feel like I’d be trapped here forever, and I knew that I had to get out. Lucky me, when I woke up I had found some screwdrivers in a fellow prisoners bunk, and I took them for my own. I weakened the vent in my cell to 10% and found the target cell I’ll need to be hide in when I make my great escape. I’ve located a weak path to the North of the facility, I’ll just need to hide in the cover of night.  Somehow the guards found damage that I had made earlier in the game, while attacking a wall and they beat the snot out of me in my own cell. Was a good time, but I’m still on the war path to escape. Well, I was then several days passed.

Needless to say I eventually escaped, however its not as easy as it looks. This game is totally worthwhile, however may take up some time in your life. I would recommend this to a friend or family member who wants to burn some time. Once you have played this game a few times it gets really easy, however it is pretty hard at the start. The online play is almost not worth it because you have to escape with all the other prisoners. Sometimes other players can be hard to work with. I mean, we’re all supposed to be convicts after all sometimes someone gets left behind. However, when you get out, Red, I’ll be waiting for you on the other side.

A Man on a Mission – Little Buno Review

What would you do if your entire village was attacked and kidnapped by gorillas? Probably run away and never look back, right? Well, Little Buno does the exact opposite. In the game, you play as a hunter who’s village was ransacked by gorillas looking for food. All the food in the area was taken by the villagers, so the enraged apes sought revenge. When Buno returned from his hunting trip to find a destroyed village, he set out to find and save the villagers.

6.jpg

The game itself is fairly simple to understand, you can do two things with Buno: walk slowly backwards, and throw bananas. The goal is to throw bananas into the gorilla’s open mouths multiple times to fill up their hunger bar. But, you also need to be constantly backing up to avoid the gorillas getting ahold of you before their hunger bar drops, or it’s game over for Buno. You can only throw the bananas at the gorilla when it opens its mouth. Other than that, you just have to keep backing up. If you consecutively land another banana after the first in a gorilla’s mouth, you gain bonus point to help speed up the level. Some levels also ramp it up a notch by either giving you a limited amount of time to complete the level, or by limiting the number of bananas you can throw, which is normally just slightly over the amount you will need.

15.jpg

The game is played in a level based format with 60 levels spread out among three different worlds. As you progress through the levels you will unlock upgrades for Buno that increase his stats to help finish levels off even faster. The levels progressively get more difficult as you continue through the game. Some levels can keep you trying forever, where at other points you’ll breeze through multiple levels in minutes. In my opinion, the game is a fun way to kill some time, but they could do more with it. The game only has 60 levels, so I feel like they could add more levels to elongate the gameplay. Also, they could add a sort of “challenge mode” where each level is repeated, but on an entirely different scale of difficulty.

A Fresh Roguelike – Slay The Spire Early Access Review

Roguelikes have been a dime and a dozen over the last decade. While it is an interesting video game genre with a high difficulty level and clever progression mechanics, many of the games that belong to it have flown past the radar for many because they failed to differentiate themselves from kingpins like Rogue Legacy and Spelunky. Not only that, but all too many games seem to be implementing Roguelike elements into their gameplay seemingly at random. But despite the over-saturated market Slay The Spire, which just released on Steam early access, manages to feel fresh and engaging.

I know, I know, it’s heresy to review a game while it’s in early access, but this is one of those games that deserved to be checked out now. You’re not missing out on any story (of which there is none, in typical roguelike fashion) and all mechanics are in place. All to be added is some additional game modes, characters and cards. ‘Cards?’, I hear you ask. Yes, cards. In this game, you defeat your enemy using a deck of cards, each with unique offensive, defensive or skill based powers. You use these cards in turn based fashion to deplete your enemies health pool while saving your own hide. If you are thinking Hearthstone, then you are on the right track.

The gameplay mechanics of Slay The Spire actually aren’t all that unique. You progress through a series of rooms containing combat encounters, shops, rest points and a smattering of other things. While all these rooms are presented on a map and you are allowed to pick your own route, this is still standard fare in the land of Roguelikes. The combat mechanics, while finely tuned, are also fairly reminiscent of games like Hearthstone, and standard trading card games. What makes this game feels fresh is that this combination of game elements hasn’t been done all that many times before. The only other game I can think of that does this is Hand of Fate, and that game has a wholly different approach. It’s a breath of fresh air to play a roguelike that isn’t a top-down hack and slash or a 2D platformer for once. The art style has a hand-drawn feeling to them (probably because the sprites were hand drawn). This style may not appeal to every gamer but it’s good when a game strays away from pixel art for once.

The game plays really smooth in its current state, so there’s good hope for the rest of the journey through early access. You start the game with one of three characters, one of which isn’t out yet. The difference between them is their starting health pool, aesthetics and relic. Relics are items that give you a permanent buff for your playthrough, which could be over in minutes. The Ironclad starts out with a relic that heals him at the end of every combat encounter, for example.

Your starting deck consists of a bunch of duplicate attack and defend cards that you can use to damage your enemy or block incoming damage. At the end of every combat encounter, you are able to choose one of three random cards to add to your deck. There is a surprising amount of depth and strategy in deck building. Will you choose cards with high damage output and boosts your deck with cards that increase your strength? Or perhaps you will focus on debuffs or even a deck where you discard cards and gain special effects. The fun lies in experimenting with these strategies, and overcoming the many powerful enemies with them. Add potions, shops and relics to this and you’ve got yourself a game where roguelike enthusiasts can really sink their teeth in. Highly recommended in its current state, but we will definitely update this post when it comes out of early access.