Karmaflow

Karmaflow

Art, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Incredible works of art have been attained in almost every medium but video games are more often seen as entertainment rather than art. This is ok, because a lot of games ARE just entertainment and while arguments can be made for games as art, it’s not accurate to say all games could be considered art. Karmaflow, on the other hand, is very difficult to argue that it’s a game at all. Yes, there are puzzle elements and platforming sections but the game itself feels more like a living music video than a game. And this, brilliantly, is also ok.   In Karmaflow, you’ll be subject to moving around a surreal purple and orange coloured world. You’re able to shift karma from orange objects to purple ones by extracting and injecting karma. Around the game world are shards that give you information about the world around you. As you adventure around, you’ll find a mysterious feathered woman who seems to have split manic and depressive sides as she shifts from purple to orange. It turns out she is the lost muse of the builder of the world, the conductor. Impressively their tragic history and present unfold via song, with powerful rock ballads from well known singers from bands such as DragonForce, Cradle of Filth, Epica, Sonata Arctica and Arch Enemy.   I’ve not yet finished my journey through their world and discovering all I can but the only way to describe the game so far is as an experience. They bill the game as an Interactive Rock Opera and the description is apt. Should you...
52 Week Challenge – Week 15 – Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers

52 Week Challenge – Week 15 – Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers

Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers is an indie game I grabbed in some long-forgotten Humble Bundle pack of games. I do that a lot, buy a humble bundle for a single game and end up with a slew. It’s a common problem with gamers, especially ones who love deals. The best part of that sweet deal is this game.   So far, for the 52 Week Challenge, my mindset has been focused on beating games. To that end, I usually hit up “How Long To Beat” to see the length of time before starting a game. 3-10 hours is a go, 20+ is not so much. Tiny and Big came in at 2 1/2 hours (although I took longer) but the description was what got me:   “Tiny & Big, a comic styled jump and slice platformer, gives you the unique ability to shape a whole world at your will! You are Tiny, a nerdy inventor who tries to reclaim his most beloved possession: Grandpa’s white, fine rib underpants! On his journey through a forsaken desert he will meet mysterious creatures, no clowns, a taxi robot and his arch enemy: Big!”   A puzzle platformer where you can slice the world up? Neat! I was unprepared for how neat it really is, because the game blew me away. I beat it in two lunchtime sittings at work, and it just left me wanting more. You get a laser cutter, a rocket launcher and a grapple hook to platform your way around the world. The laser cutter cuts nearly ANYTHING in the level (which *can* leave you in a situation where...
Preview: Rollers of the Realm

Preview: Rollers of the Realm

I’m very excited to bring you my first thoughts on ‘Rollers of the Realm’ as a pre-beta copy hit my email today! A big thank you to Phantom Compass for allowing the community to try the game at this early stage.   First thoughts: I love pinball, I’m a big fan of puzzle games and fantasy worlds are a big yes for me. In theory, this game should be very very enjoyable. Starting up the game, the art style is beautiful. Sounds, voice acting, clarity of the playing field… everything is just so polished. For a Pre-Beta, this looks fantastic. Looks however, are not everything.   The game is setup like a puzzle game, with various objectives you need to complete to pass the puzzle. However, the way you accomplish this is with a variety of characters, each represented as a ball. The starting character is a young thief, and her ball can fit into smaller areas and is lighter than other balls. The second is a drunken knight, who has a big armored ball and deals more damage. This mechanic works wonderfully and the characters have lots of personality in that as the ball strikes various objects in the game, the character replies appropriately. If you’re stealing gold as the thief, when her ball bumps characters in the playing field she has an appropriate “Sorry” or “Excuse me” while the knight beats up foes with a “HAVE AT THEE KNAVE!”.   The puzzles themselves range from performing an action (distracting guards, beating up ruffians) to trying to get to a specific location by using bumpers and paddles. Enemies...