Cement Mixer Simulator 2003

Let’s briefly talk about simulator games. There was that trend of legitimate simulator games, play versions of legitimate real life stuff, like Train Simulator and Eurotruck Simulator. Then, there was the trend of jokes. The trend of simulator games that were extremely exaggerated jokes. What best represents that trend is definitely Goat Simulator, famed meme game.

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Cement Mixer Simulator 2003 meanwhile is a perfectly legitimate experience in cement mixing. This game is made by claufiersoft, who, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, may recognize as the person behind the Trade Effluent game from the Dream Diary Jam.

You start the game out in what seems to be an apartment complex, acting as a hub of sorts. Presumably, you have just woken up to go to your job – truly, it’s a game that embraces realism. The game’s realistic to the point that it embraces the mundane aspects of life, walking around to get to places you need to be and meeting up with locals. While the world doesn’t look realistic per se, it’s stylized enough to make things look interesting, especially for a certain building which I’m sure was made with the finest cement.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I should be saying any more on the game. Cement mixing is one of those things that you should try for yourself firsthand.

While I won’t say a lot, the game left me wishing for more. A game about cement mixing was unexpectedly more interesting than I thought there was. According to the dev’s tumblr, they don’t really have anything more planned for the game so far, but they’re working on other games similar to it. I, for one, welcome to more cement mixing games in the future.

Pixel Session Volume 1

Warning: The link in this article leads to a game page that could be a concern to those that are photosensitive; in fact, if you have epilepsy, the game won’t be accommodating of that. ­čśŽ┬á

Usually, my review-ish articles tend to be on one game. However, I’ve spent the last two weeks looking at a whole bunch of games each article for the sake of a game jam – so why stop now? Today, I’m taking a look at not one game, but a whole collection of them. So, let’s talk about Pixel Session Volume 1!

Pixel Session Vol. 1 is a collection of five small games developed in PICO-8 by Trasevol_Dog. Available for $2, the collection delivers small arcade-like games full of trippy colors and good times, all controllable with the mere arrow keys, Z, and X.

Upon downloading and extracting the collection’s folder, you’ll see that only one game, Descent, is available, while the others are locked into their own compressed files. No problem, just gotta extract those too, right? Well, it’s not that simple. These files are actually password protected, with the password to one game being given by achieving a B rank on the preceding game. I’ve played a bunch of score-based arcade games on this blog before, but this is the first one that I’ve run into with actual stakes, which is real neat. Of course, if you can’t meet the ranking requirements, the creator was kind enough to put “cheat codes” into the folder that’ll let you unlock those games.

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The Dream Diary Jam Look-Over – Finale

After two weeks, this site reaches the end of its Dream Diary Jam coverage. To people that don’t know what it is that’s suddenly decided to start reading these at this point, the Dream Diary Jam was a game jam dedicated to making fangames of Yume Nikki. Maybe play that, if you haven’t already.

If you haven’t already, check out the previous parts to check out other people’s work (123). If you’re all caught up, let’s head on.

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The Dream Diary Jam Look-Over – Part 3

Today, I’m looking at more things that came out of the Dream Diary Jam. To the uninformed that haven’t seen my past entries, the Dream Diary Jam was a game jam dedicated to making fangames for Yume Nikki, which is something that I’m invested in and thus why I’m spending two weeks looking at this stuff. Check out the earlier parts (12) if you haven’t already, or just hit that “read more” and keep on going.

Oh yes, and on a site note, shout out to my high school friends for deciding to help support this blog! As such, there’s a new credits page for this site that maybe you can also be on.

Okay but enough shilling, it’s dream time.

Continue reading “The Dream Diary Jam Look-Over – Part 3”

The Dream Diary Jam Look-Over – Part 1

So, that Dream Diary Jam has wrapped up, with 30 total entries. To the uninformed, the Dream Diary Jam is a game jam dedicated to making fangames based off of Yume Nikki, in honor of the game’s 13th anniversary (or more celebratory, the 10th anniversary of the 10th version of the game).

I’ll be looking at the games in batches of 7 or 8, giving my thoughts and the like. When looking at these, I’ll definitely be less discerning than I usually am. For a lot of people, the game jam was their first experience with game making. I’m not in it for the roast, my dudes.

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Little Lands

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I’ve previously wrote about something for Ludum Dare 38, which was Bureaucratic Deity Simulator 2018. The theme of this jam was “A Small World,” which a lot of people seem to have interpreted to mean basing a game around building up a small world. Today, I revisited this jam, this time with Little Lands.

Little Lands is by Robin Field, delivering a small city-building strategy game to the plate. The game centers around floating tiles of land, which slowly pulls in more tiles of land into its orbit as time passes, with the ultimate goal of getting out of there.

First things first, you have to place down a town hall and a shipyard. To sail off into the void, you have to invest 300 of each of the game’s three resources into the shipyard: food, wood and rock. Of course, you’re going to have to also use those resources to place down buildings to produce said resources. You’d also be stuck building homes to increase the number of workers available to produce these resources, which means that you’d have to produce more food. After a certain amount of time, your food resources get deducted based on your current population; if you don’t have enough food, the percentage of happiness will go down based on the poor people that didn’t get any. Reaching 0% happiness is a game over, but as long as you stay on top of the food game and appease your citizens with walls, you’re good.

Not all is peaceful in Little Lands, as sky pirate ships start flying in to terrorize you for no real reason. Ships will arrive at one of the four sides of the map and start blasting away at a nearby tile, eventually destroying it. If a ship starts blasting your shipyard, you’ll begin losing the resources you put into it, which obviously isn’t good. While the situations never happened to me, I imagine that them blowing up homes would bring down your population and that the destruction of the town hall would spell game over. To counter this, you can build towers your citizens can shoot from to ward them off.

However, the pirate ships weren’t too much of an issue for me. Placing towers at all sides ┬ámakes for a decent defense, even without the barracks upgrade. Sure, the pirates could destroy pieces of land before you take them out, but as long as you aren’t building things toward the edge, it’s a non-issue.

But hey, without the pirates to worry about, you could focus on some city building. Granted, there isn’t really variety in the homes that you could build, but the dev does encourage having as many citizens as possible for when you finish your ship (on the game’s itch.io discussion board), so you can consider that a challenge where the enemies are not. You can also customize the speed of resources, pirate attacks, etc as a form of difficulty modifier.

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Something that I’m definitely not conflicted on is Little Lands‘ presentation. The graphics for the game makes me think of a nice cute little board game, with all these different pieces fitting on the squares. The music, by Billy Hobson, is pretty good. The main theme is relaxing, while having this adventurous feel that feels appropriate for the occasional bouts of combat. After a whole session of listening to that and building up your ship, you’re treated to a chippy victory theme that makes flying off feel more accomplishing.

While I wanted to see more from the strategy side, Little Lands is still nice to play as a city-builder. For what’s there, the whole experience is wrapped in a nice package, especially for something made in such a short timespan. ┬áBy the look of things, the devs are planning on making a commercial version of the game with more complex things. If it’s along the lines of the planned possible features on the game’s page and then some, it’d be a release I’d look forward to.