WE ARE DOOMED

Do not let the title alarm you, my friends. Sure, there are a lot of dangerous things going on in the world, but I’m an optimist. A depressive optimist, but an optimist. Everything will be okay.

WE ARE DOOMED is not another fatalist creed, but the name of a game! I was going through my stuff from itch.io’s A Good Bundle and decided to pick this up for review. Hey, remember when this bundle and a bunch of other game stuff helped raise the ACLU like millions of dollars and then they went on to help give white supremacists a big platform that resulted in injuries and a death? Anyway.

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A Growing Adventure

Ludum Dare 39 finished up a while ago and is currently in the phase where people can play and rate the games. The jam’s theme was “Running Out of Power,” which has resulted in a bunch of games revolving around, well, power. I would like to look at some stuff from this jam soon, preferably the stuff I got real excited about.

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But I won’t be looking at a Ludum Dare 39 game today! Once again, we’re looking at an entry from the 38th jam. I’ve previously looked at Bureaucratic Deity Simulator 2018 and Little Lands, games that revolved around the theme of “A Small World.” Today, we look at a simple RPG that itch.io recommended to me called A Growing Adventure.

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A Short History of Nuclear Throne

So first off, big thanks to my pal Alwyn, who decided to help out with this blog. I asked him if he wanted to see anything on this site and he suggested that I should write an article on how Nuclear Throne came to be. Seeing as most of the articles on this blog are sort of reviews, it’d be nice to have some variety, so I decided I should do that. Also I have almost 300 hours into this game, ahead of Binding of Isaac and before Clicker Heroes (the finest clicking game of our generation), so I’m kind of invested in doing this anyway.

nuke

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Slime Time

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In Incredible Ape’s Slime Time, you are the world’s richest CEO and one of your companies has created a horrible toxic mess that’s made mutants in the sewers. What happens to you? Do you just shrug off any accusations of wrongdoing, pay the fines that are incredible minuscule to your wealth and go back to what you were already doing? Do you pretend to make a stand for the environment and condemn the average person for ruining the planet when it’s actually your own fault?

No. Apparently, this is a world where CEO crimes have consequences and your character is actually taking responsibility. In fact, you don’t even rely on some middle-man to fix the problem. You take a suit capable of shooting lasers in all directions that your company was working on and head off to the sewers to fix the slime creature problem your own damn self. Truly this is a game rooted in fantasy.

Slime Time is an arcadey bullet hell type game where you try to destroy as much of the waste as possible before your inevitable death. The controls are real simple, requiring only the use of arrow keys. You move around by propelling yourself with bullets like a three-directional Downwell, pressing up or down pushing you up with a downward blast, pressing left causing you to shoot right and vice-versa.

There are four threats to deal with in the sewer. Pipes poke through the sides of the wall and they blast a wave of toxic energy, which is an instant kill like the toxic waste at the bottom, forcing you to always keep yourself hovering. Then there are the sewer monsters, who fire off a ring of bullets – they don’t kill you instantly, but they also interrupt your combos. Lastly, there are vials that hop out of the sludge, that burst into a bullet pattern when shattered. This last threat can easily be broken, even by accident, but it simultaneously makes it the most dangerous as you can inadvertently create a ring of bullets to dodge when you’re just trying to get around.

The game gets real frantic as the threats start stacking up with each other, unattended pipes choking off the space you can fly through as you inadvertently break vials, their bullets combining with the sewer monsters. Failure is inevitable, but the real challenge is getting the highest scores possible. To get higher scores, you have to build up a combo by consecutively breaking things without taking any damage – the true bullet hell experience. I feel that you have less control than you would have in an ordinary bullet hell game, with gravity constantly dragging you down and all, but it’s still pretty good.

There’s also that Extreme mode you can try out. Instead of just sort of easing you into things with a pipe like the normal game, it immediately starts throwing multiple threats at you, pretty much becoming a bullet hell from the start. I mean, it’s Extreme alright, but ultimately it isn’t too different from playing the normal mode for a minute.

I really like the palette of this game, I’m not sure why, but a combination of green and purple just makes things come off as alien. Is this a universal thing, is that why aliens are sometimes imagined as strange green men? There’s a lot of polish in the visual department, like with how gooey the waste under you and the background look when its animated and how your shots colliding into the wall blink into light while enemy projectiles splatters.

Slime Time‘s a fun time that looks good and feels good. It’s also pay-what-you-want, so I see no reason to not pick it up and give it a try.

Roguelight

One of the basic scenarios for a roguelike is of a hero plunging into the unknown dark depths of some sort of dungeon that’s filled with danger. However, the most threatening danger in this game aren’t the monsters, but the darkness itself.

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Roguelight is made by Daniel Linssen, which he considers to be his best game if the set-up on his itch.io page seems to say. As the name indicates, it’s a roguelike with light being a big focus. You spend the game going deeper into the dark underground, the environment getting darker with each floor, hiding any and all threats.

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Magic Wand

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Our brave hero Radiget wanders the wastes, a hokey western tune playing as he steps around in his robes. Is he a knight? A wizard? A cowboy, as the opening music could allude to? Personally, I liked seeing him as an early Final Fantasy Red Mage, except decked out with a blue plague doctor mask. This man of mystery is on a quest for… nothing in particular, but he sure does love collecting capsule toys.

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Last Word

 

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Whitty Gawship, a company photographer, finds herself at the estate owned by Professor Chatters, a linguist and military inventor, seemingly to enjoy a party. She gets herself acquainted with the other guests, well-to-do folks with more pun names based on talking, but soon finds herself in a conflict with one of mankind’s greatest weapons: the discourse.

Last Word is a game made in RPG Maker XP, where conflicts are verbal battles and having the final say is law. It’s by Twelve Tiles, development primarily led by Lannie “Merlandese” Neely III. A version of the game was originally made for Indie Game Maker Contest 2014 (available here for free; also Photobucket is bad), while this updated Steam version was released for $9.99 in 2015.

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