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....
Stories Untold

Stories Untold

What is Stories Untold? Stories Untold is a game that, at first, feels like a few un-related stories all wrapped in a 1980’s visual styling. Tape decks, cathode ray screens and a healthy dose of VHS warping. The chapters each offer a different story: playing a text adventure game, helping an experiemental science scenario, an outpost in greenland and so on. So what do I do? To put it at the most basic, you’re playing a game with a series of slow time events. Much like a quick time event, except you need to seek out the information on how you progress. Unlike a puzzle, which presents you with many possibilities the scenarios presented here each progress linearly. That is you only have one way to progress forward. In many ways, that makes this a walking simulator where you don’t walk. Sounds boring, why would I want to play? The journey is the destination, as they say. The game is mostly comprised of a compelling story that draws you forward wrapped up in the atmosphere they build up. It’s that narrative that keeps you locked to your screen, instead of being a game where you’re honing your twitch abilities or puzzle solving skills. And yet, the game is rated quite positively. Should I play it? That depends on you. If you’re interested in a solid story, then yes. If the idea of a game that’s more about being interactive art appeals to you, then it’ll do well. If you’re looking for a game where you can mute the story and still enjoy it? Skip Stories...
Subsurface Circular

Subsurface Circular

A noir story on a train Subsurface Circular puts you into the mind of a detective robot in a world you can only glean about by investigating robot passengers on a train. What sounds like an excellent concept for a game could turn out being very hard. For example, the game could be too linear, being more of a book because the developers didn’t have the skill/time to implement a world but are so proud of it then over inform you or force you to do the old “rub every noun against every source of information until the game is beat” type gameplay. SC ignores both options and forges ahead, writing a tale worthy of Asimov but giving you characters you care about and a narrative filled with choices. That’s a mouthful. If it’s a game, how’s it look and sound? While sound is minimal, it’s well implemented. From the train calling out your stations to the ambient noise, there’s plenty of sound going on. Graphically the game isn’t anything you’ll call home about. The simple meshes work well for the visuals provided, but the texture resolution and lighting won’t have you pulling the game out as a benchmark. Nor should it, given the relatively low price point for entertainment value. The game runs about 2 hours per playthrough and as far as I can tell has three endings to get you to that amount of playtime. So it’s good then? This game is excellent in terms of narrative and one that I highly recommend for anyone even slightly interested. The mood and tone are set early on and...
Blobcat

Blobcat

Great name, what’s it about? At first glance, you’re looking at a puzzle game where you’re a mouse trying to get around cats and end up in your mouse hole. At second glance that’s exactly what this game is and it does that very very well. You’re going to end up placing arrows, which both mice (yes, plural) and cats will follow. Watch the patterns they walk, figure out where to place the arrows and collect your points. Cute. Is it good? By my estimation, it’s VERY good. The quick gameplay is well suited to the puzzles presented. Each puzzle can be beat using all resources, but that will end up getting you a single star per stage. Since later stages are unlocked via stars, you’re going to want to try and use as few resources as possible to get two and three stars per puzzle. Something worth noting: I was never ever once frusterated while playing. There was no puzzle that needed me to look up help but the game was consistent in the challenges presented. Stars? That kinda sounds like a mobile game! Astute. It is a mobile game, and this is the steam version. I enjoyed playing on Steam but afterwards checked out the touchscreen version. They’re basically identical but much like mini-metro the game is retooled for PC controls. Do not let the mobile origin stop you from playing a great puzzle game. Anything else I should know? Yes, one. The game is quite short. I blazed through the first four stages in around 40 minutes. The whole game is only 100 stages and the...
Supercharged Robot VULKAISER

Supercharged Robot VULKAISER

Week 2 of my 52 week challenge and I’m finding it, well, a challenge. Mostly to find the time needed between all my other hobbies and being a dad! Still this week I was able to squeeze in a few hours with Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser. Done to ape the style of 80’s anime and specifically Voltron or Battle of the Planets, Vulkaiser is a shmup where you’re the forces of good (learning how to be a team) versus the forces of evil (and scary space monsters). You control one ship that can combine with your teammates, who have some really intentionally bad voice acting. Each combination changes how your weapon functions, giving you 5+ different weapons to use. As someone who enjoys a good challenge, Cave shmups and the genre in general, there is nothing to be found here beyond the visual/audio style that can be loved. If you’re not a fan of shmups, it’s not a great one and if you are a fan it’s not a great one. But it’s that bad acting, good music style that you should play it for. I grabbed the game for less than a buck and enjoyed it from start to finish. If you can grab it for a buck or two, you won’t be disappointed but if you’re looking for a good new shmup, I really can’t recommend Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser. Time spent: 6 hours, beat the game on easy and...