Game Mini Review Roundup

by pinstripeowl

Hi All, Taking a break from the #sheltercenturion before Webster and I revisit them properly. But thank you all so much for donating – as of this post, we have raised over £500. I’ll do a proper write up of that shortly, until then you get a random roundup of various games I’ve been messing with recently, from Humble Bundles and elsewhere, on Phones and PC.

Phone games

Tilt to Live 2:Redonkulous is engaging casual game that feels like proper old flash classics. Using Motion Sense, you move your craft avoiding dots that hone in on you and kill you, using pick ups like lasers, bombs and my favourite, the eat-everything-goo to survive. Brought back memories of teenage years on the internet, so definitely a firm favourite.

Highrise is basically a cross between Scrabble and Bejewelled, with a narrative framework around the ‘escape the tower’ levels. Again, a casual phone game, but one that is engaging and could probably be a time sink. I like the flexibility of the words you can make: i.e.: you can make a word from strange criss-crossing as long as they touch somehow, rather than being restricted to straight lines. Levels also often have arbitrary rules to stop it becoming monotonous.

A friend recently recommended 0hn0 (which you can play online). It’s great and a massive timesink, because it’s essentially a reboot of Minesweeper, which is a love of mine.

Space Team is madness. Joyful madness. A group game best played in pubs around a table where the shouts of “set renticulater to 5!!!” “wash plates!!” “OCTOPHASE ON” “WORMHOOOOOOOOLE” can have their proper airing [in space]. Essentially set up like the bridge of a spaceship, each person has a set of dials/switches, and then an instruction of what is needed to get past the level. The instructions [in space] don’t often relate to your own set of controls, but others, so you have to communicate that to them, while they are doing the same [in space]. And every other person playing. At 2 people, it’s fun, though properly earnest. At 5, it’s all out warfare [in space]. Particularly on symbol/mirror rounds.

I also recently bought a Humble Bundle of phone games before remembering I hated hidden-object games. Sigh. Anyone fancy a download code for a shedload of them?

PC Games

See above, Humble Bundles caught me for games, and I now have a healthier Steam account. I have a great love of platformers and physics games: the first time I was introduced to World of Goo I spent the night finishing it. And still love it. Growing up on Platformers is probably the reason I have so many problems with FPS – how can you do ANYTHING if you can’t see your feet?! But anyway. Luckily, there are a lot of indie games that also understand my love of the genre.

6180 the moon: nice physics platformer in space. Just got through the first few levels and enjoying it. The use of the levels as inherently open on top and bottom makes it fun to try and figure out trajectory when ricocheting to avoid spikes. The music is nicely ambient. The story isn’t particularly grabbing me, but maybe in time it might. Also the minimalist graphics are gorgeous.

The Floor is Jelly is also a platformer I found recently, but less engaging than the above. But not everything needs overarching stories – it’s clear in what it’s covering: the world is jelly and this makes platforming really quite difficult – and needs more considerations. I think I remember other games that have used this mechanic, some of which being quite lovely. And it’s going to frustrate me trying to remember which I’m referring to. Ideas anyone?

Incredipede is rather fun, with a story that’s like a Colonial Sushi Cat. I’m assuming I’ll get to mod the character soon, (only done the first world). You play a slightly grisly creature of legs and muscles, which vary from level to level, as do what to collect and best way to navigate.

Spirits is a lemmings/fleas type game where you use actions like grow/dig/blow to get the majority of spirits to level end. The art is lovely, and more than makes up for the fact that it tells you how far away from a perfect finish you are, which I suppose is completionist bait.

Thomas Was Alone, I’ve finished and love dearly. What looks like a simple platformer with blocks is made by the narration, the stories, the character of these geometric shapes with odd powers and ideosyncrasies. Definitely worth a try if you like the genre.

Jazzpunk, I’ve already mentioned on Twitter/in person as being great fun. A short game only a few hours in length, it relies on the curiosity of the player to find what makes it great. Not for those who want to get through a plot, but those who grew up on RPGs like Zelda where you TALK TO EVERYTHING, whether it looks animate or not. You TOUCH EVERYTHING. And more often than not, it’ll reward you for that. It’s funny – made me crack up a few times playing. Also the art’s an interesting style. The voice acting is fun, the plot, when following it, is a ridiculous spy caper, and its surreality is where it shines.

Dear Esther. Bought on a whim having heard such great things. It’s not really grabbing me though. Will give it more time to see if it wakes up a bit, but either I’m going off-course, or it’s not got the pacing I prefer. Also having slight issues with controls, because as mentioned previously, I’m terrible with First Person Angles.

Papers, Please is fantastic. Not fun, but fantastic. Playing as a vaguely Soviet bloc border guard, you essentially stamp approve or denied, checking people’s papers, listening to their pleas/threats, getting caught up in the arbitrary rules of the politics of the day. The one thing that I keep failing is that you can get pulled up on not matching people to their papers’ stated genders. Which is obviously true to life but rubbish.

The Stanley Parable was mentioned on House of Cards and I squeaked. It’s fitting. A few-hour game again made by the narrative, I think I’ve hit most of the endings. A nice take on fate, narrative authority and a test as to how much you wish to adhere to either.

Quick mention, as it is a games post, for Grim Fandango [Remastered], which I have been enjoying muchly. I hadn’t played it at the time, but I did have the soundtrack, so it’s fantastic enjoying it now. I fear we’ve lost the knowledge of how objects can be used in these sort of settings, but I’m not ashamed to say I do go to guides upon occasion.

Right. Think I may load up the Xbox again, as I’ve yet to finish Fallout New Vegas. Currently playing as a talky as much non-combat as possible but also lasers to the face chara with a robot dog and high science/lockpick speech and medical. I have no idea where I got that concept.