Suicide Guy

Suicide Guy

Suicide Guy? So…   Ok let’s set this aside. The game could have been called a number of other, less uncomfortable names. Yes, you’re spending time killing yourself but the reason is you’re trying to wake up from a dream. This game is not enforcing, endorsing or encouraging suicide.     Oh… so I’m dreaming?   Yeah. Your character is a slob who fell asleep drinking a beer. As you began dreaming, your brain noticed the bottle dropping but you can’t get out of the ‘hub’ until you complete a number of other dreams. Each one has you figuring out how you’ll kill yourself to escape the dream, with 25 total dreams in all.     Ok that doesn’t sound so bad. Is it good?   It’s… imaginative. I’d argue it’s good, but as a game it’s not very replayable. The platforming has a weird jiggle when you climb (which you’ll do often), so I doubt people will target it for speed runs. But will you have fun over the 5-6 hours you’ll play? Absolutely.     So what does the game do well?   The game has lots of really great references. Jurassic Park, Mario, Portal, Moby Dick and plenty others. The graphics are well designed (although at first I though the game was an asset flip, due to wide variances in quality), and the sound/music is passable, never being annoying and never being something I could listen to outside this game.     And the bad?   The game has roughly 50% puzzles that have you figuring stuff out, and 50% platforming to a very obvious goal....
This Strange Realm Of Mine

This Strange Realm Of Mine

Best described as a first person afterlife game, [i]This Strange Realm Of Mine[/i] feels discomforting. The sound and art, blending video game and poetry. It’s all wonderfully invasive upon the senses, and I suppose that was the artistic intent of the game. Wait, afterlife simulator? What the heck? That’s right. The game begins with you making a character, and then being told you died. How did you die? Not important. What is important is that you find yourself in Limbo. Not the biblical one, or at least not as far as I could tell, but one where your spirit comes as a crossroads. Inside Limbo, you’ll find a guide who leads you through several adventures. Completing each one leads you back to Limbo. Ok, that’s weird. But let’s say I’m interested, now what? Well good question. This is a linear game, that has you performing acts in first person. And while you’ll utilize a gun in a lot of the game there is quite a bit of variety apart from shooting things. And all of it is wrapped in poetry and metaphors. It’s quirky but it lacks any of the ‘high art’ that sometime plagues these games. Often, philosophical indie games tend to focus on the art and less on the game. TSROM feels like a good balance point between the two. Well if it’s a game, tell me about the gamey parts.  The game is made on Unity3d and that’s neither to it’s benefit or detriment. I felt the physics were very “default” but there were enough restrictions on movement I couldn’t initiate common Unity glitches. The graphics...
3D Pool: Billiards & Snooker

3D Pool: Billiards & Snooker

It’s pool, what should I know? The game is pool, in the most basic sense of the word. Sound is there, although I wouldn’t say the balls have any real difference in sound which is a shame because different velocities should sound different. The four game modes are 8 ball, 9 ball, 10 ball and snooker and they’re fine, but I would have liked the ability to customize my game with things like calling my shots or using last pocket. The graphics are as basic as the rest of the game. Shadows are nice but everything else is just sort of there. The music and voice acting are reptetive and minimal. The controls are easy enough to master but are not re-bindable. In terms of variety, there are a few tables (reskins), a few different ball sets (also reskins) and 10 opponents of varying capabilities. Oh and you can play local multiplayer. Sounds like you don’t like it very much It’s not that I don’t like the game. It’s enjoyable, and for the cost you get what you pay for: a basic iteration of pool. The problem is with games like Pool Nation or even Sport Bar VR, I can’t think of a good reason to pick this game up unless it’s just to spend an hour or so playing pool and never touching it again. So what should they have done instead? In my humble opinion, trading cards and achievements at a minimum. That would have made the price tag a little easier to handle. Unlockable balls, tables, cues and foes would have been a great addition. A better audio system would...
Cibele

Cibele

Not the usual sort of game I would play, Cibele is (at least as closely as it can get) a fmv point and click adventure game. Except instead of collecting clues, items or whatnot for puzzles, you’re collecting hints for narration. The game itself is largely patterned like this:   Watch FMV footage. Log into Nina’s computer (she’s the protagonist) Read all her notes, look at images and just get a sense for who she is. Go into her MMO (it’s pretty much FFXI) and meet up with Ichi (Blake, the other character). Fight mobs while listening to the two of them awkwardly flirt. Once enough mobs have been killed, fight a boss until it runs away. This usually happens at important bits in their chat. All the while, look at and (barely) respond to emails and instagram. Do this three times. This will end with the boss defeated and both actors having made an important decision. Do this three times. The whole game is about 2 hours. So it seems like there’s a game here but largely, it’s mostly timed events that will occur. No illusion of choice is offered nor required. This game is less about being a game, and more about being art like a book or painting. The game doesn’t run at a stable frame rate but it’s not about that, it’s about the story.   So if you’re the sort of gamer looking for art, you probably already know and have played the game. If you’re not, then you’re going to want to stay away.   Myself? I was intrigued by the story that Nina had...
Little Inferno

Little Inferno

Little Inferno, from the guys who made “World of Goo”, is another game set in a world dominated by industry. But instead of going up against this indomitable machine, you face a deadlier foe: lethargy. You see in this game, you burn things. In fact, you burn everything. Burning things gives you money, which you use to order new things to burn. Combining different things gives you greater rewards, and that’s the trick: finding the best combination of things to burn. All while this is happening, you’re getting letters from a friend who as a way of finding out more about the world that is beyond the fireplace. That’s where the simple game mechanics give way to excellent storytelling.   The world is on the verge of apocalypse. Ever present snow threatens to freeze everything solid, leaving no survivors. It’s a poignant issue, especially comparing now to when the game was released. The notes you get hint that a long period of time is passing, a theme the game plays heavily upon. The game isn’t long (a casual estimate would be 3ish hours) but after reading all the notes left for me and seeing the end of the game, it feels longer. A difficult separation to describe, but one used to great effect.   Something I don’t see online, and I’ve searched quite a bit after beating the game, is what the game means. The narrative is simple enough to follow, but after beating the game I felt like there was more implied than what was given. Theories that passed through my mind were “am I in purgatory or...