Read more “SpaceVenture”
Developer: Two Guys From Andromeda | Released: 2022 | Genre: Adventure, Point & Click
I was a Kickstarter backer on this one and was sent the game by the developers. For some reason it’s not on Steam, but I think I can guess why. If it’s what I think it is, perhaps it never will be. Why?
Because it’s a buggy mess with a daft user interface.
This was a game I really had to force myself to complete. The characters, the story, most of the puzzles, the humor and the graphics were all excellent. If only the user interface and bugs had not been a problem, it could have been a gem worth recommending to all adventure game fans.
The game itself was a spiritual successor to the Space Quest series, and it was even developed by the same two guys. Instead of a buffoon like Roger Wilco, the hero in this one, Ace Hardway, was more of a seasoned plumber with a rumbling voice. He reminded me of a similar character in the platform game Rochard. Ace also had a mechanical dog called Rooster with an extendable tongue for grappling things from afar.
Read more “American McGee’s Grimm”
Developer: Spicy Horse | Released: 2014 | Genre: 3PS
Ever wondered what it would be like if a game had the classic fog of war mechanic as its primary gameplay element? Changing the state of the levels just by walking around in them?
This game was pretty much like that.
I only played the first episode, “A Boy Learns What Fear Is” – and it seems the game is no longer available at the Steam store. It took about 1.3 hours to get through the six scenes of this first episode.
The goal was to walk around in small arenas, changing the state of everything from clean-and-beautiful to dark-and-smelly. Sometimes I also had to buttstomp close to a e.g. building to change it or open access to the next arena. The character in control looked and sounded like a dirty little pirate. Whenever I stopped running, he immediately started peeing. No exceptions.
Impressive bladder indeed.
Read more “The Treasures of Montezuma 4”
Developer: Alawar Entertainment | Released: 2013 | Genre: Puzzle, Match-3
A few days ago I took a look at my backlog and decided I wanted to try out a short and mediocre game for my blog post series about short sessions. Let’s see. A match-3 puzzle game that looks like a mobile port? That ought to do, I thought, and installed the game. This will be over with real fast.
5 hours later I was still playing it.
And the next day I completed its story mode, taking up a total of 9½ hours.
After completing it, I bought it for my iPhone too.
This is probably the best match-3 puzzle game I have played, and I really loved Bejeweled Twist too back in the day. Nevertheless, this one overshadowed it. And the peculiar thing is, the full screen mode didn’t even work in Windows. I had to play it in a window with the desktop still visible around it, but I still loved it!
It was a combination of a casual mode that allowed me to continue the story mode without ever hitting game over, and a range of bonus and totem powers that felt fun and engaging. Bejeweled Twist had bombs and they easily ended the game, but not this one. It could go on forever. I really liked that.
Read more “King’s Quest: Chapter 1”
Developer: The Odd Gentlemen | Released: 2015 | Genre: Adventure, 3D
As of this post I will stop adding pros and cons. My web statistics tell me that pretty much no one is reading these reviews but me, and then I might as well not waste time pretending to be a reviewer.
This game really surprised me. I didn’t expect all that much apart from a modern take on the classic Sierra adventure games, but it was really top notch. Great animation, wonderful and funny dialog, lots of humor, and some ingenious puzzles too. Long and varied too. Definitely not bad for a free first chapter.
The game used much of the same template as Telltale Games who did e.g The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. Even down to the cel shaded style. I could steer young Graham around with direction keys on scenes that sometimes were static, sometimes scrolling, clicking on things to interact. To spice things up, the adventure was sometimes complemented with a blend of arcade action and QTE sequences.
The 3D adventure reminded me of Simon the Sorcerer 3D, and the QTE of Dragon’s Lair. Although QTE in games of today are technically already derived from Dragon’s Lair, it felt particularly strong here because of the first scene in a, well, dragon’s lair. Or perhaps I should say prison.
I completed this first chapter in one sitting taking 6 hours, and I’m happy I spent time with it. The adventure game parts quickly opened up with multiple locations and non-linear solutions, and the dialog was often splendid. I can’t say that I was a fan of all of the action stuff, though. Some sequences such as avoiding dragon fire, shooting goblins with a bow, and a race with a narcissistic knight was a bit too much.
Read more “Call of Juarez: Gunslinger”
Developer: Techland | Released: 2013 | Genre: FPS, Western
Finally I arrived at the third in this western series – the best of the trilogy.
This western FPS was significantly improved in most departments. The almost cel-shaded graphics and the sound effects were both outstanding, the dual and concentration modes refined even further, and it now sported an excellent level-up system. I lamented the loss of the anti-heroes of the first two games, but it was made up for by a charming tale of a new gunslinger meeting the legends of the Wild West.
Stealth and jumping was dialed down even further, mostly focusing on pure shootouts. The cover system no longer glued me to the crates and wall corners, but I still found it to be an improvement on the second game. Objects used for cover were now always easy to see and usually in abundance, and the few shots I received (shown as bullet damage to the screen) was easily shaken off while reloading in cover.
Together with easily spotted enemies, this made the game easier in the beginning.
Read more “Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood”
Developer: Techland | Released: 2009 | Genre: FPS, Western
I actually didn’t like this much at first. The game threw me into the trenches of the civil war and pushed me from point to point with little time to stop and smell the roses. The static HUD was also gone, replaced with temporary UI elements whenever a key was held down. It felt like the developers wanted it to be Call of Duty: Bound in Blood rather than a proper sequel to Call of Juarez.
Also, it was a prequel – telling the story of the three McCall brothers.
I did eventually get used to the different style and the game was indeed much more slick than the first one. Both loading and saving was now very fast, the Chrome Engine looked competitive, and the cutscenes were now much more cinematic. The troublesome stealth sequences of the first game were gone. Instead, shootouts now pretty much dominated the game.
But I must say, I never really liked the HUD-less UI with no health bar or action slots. Having the border of the screen glow red, perhaps with a squirt of blood sprayed, has always been way too ambiguous to me. Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always wanted to have the vital information displayed at all times.
That’s what I really liked about Wolfenstein: The New Order.
Read more “The Call of Juarez Series”
I’ve always wanted to try out the trilogy of the Call of Juarez western FPS games by Techland. It’s sort of another leftover from when I was deep into video games many years ago. I’ve had Gunslinger from 2013 in my Steam library for quite a while, and last week I bought the two oldest games from 2006 and 2009 cheap on sale. So with all three games in hand, I decided to try them out back to back.
I won’t be playing The Cartel since it’s not a western. Besides, it received a lot of negative reviews.
Call of Juarez
Developer: Techland | Released: 2006 | Genre: FPS, Western
Quite an old FPS by now, it’s the first in the series in Techland’s in-house Chrome Engine. Steam started the game in DirectX 9, but a tech site recommended I started an executable file for DirectX 10, since it would look a lot better in that. They were right – the lighting was much better, and the grass more dense.
When I published the first version of this blog post, I actually didn’t want to complete this game.
It’s not because the gameplay scared me away. Sure, it had its share of annoying features such as forced stealth, time limits, excessive reloading and bullet sponge enemies, but it didn’t seem too unfair and I still wanted to experience the game. However, there were issues of a more technical nature.
Read more “Verde Station”
Developer: Duelboot | Released: 2014 | Genre: Adventure, Facile
This one barely took an hour to get through – I almost put it in a Short Sessions blog post instead.
It felt crude and simple in the beginning, like a small fan mission for e.g. Half-Life. I woke up in a space station – all alone of course – and walked from a bedroom to a greenhouse, then to a lounge, the kitchen, and back into the greenhouse. I was about to quit at that point, but then I noticed that something was different. Turned out that time had passed when looping through the sections.
This immediately made the experience more interesting. I kept circling around in the sections to observe the changes. This led to a new location and a surprise. And as a free game, I’d say the surprise is worth giving it a shot – just don’t expect awesomeness.
Read more “TIMEframe”
Developer: Random Seed Games | Released: 2015 | Genre: Adventure, Facile
A very short
walking simulator facile adventure. It took me about 66 minutes to get through it.
I spawned in the middle of a big desert area and had to find more than a dozen points of interest. Usually temples, cities and huge statues with an object to click for a screen of white text. Time was slowed down significantly and that gave me a few minutes to seek out two or three of the points before an asteroid brought upon the apocalypse. It was not possible to visit all points in one session alone.
Oh, the irony. I just came from Outer Wilds, another game that gave me limited time to explore before a celestial event annihilated everything – forcing me to start over again.
Now, the day after, I happened to play another game with the exact same core idea.
Read more “Tacoma”
Developer: The Fullbright Company | Released: 2017 | Genre: Adventure, Facile
I’d say this is one of the best of its kind, if you’re into
walking simulators facile adventures.
As a female investigator I arrived at a big space station orbiting Earth. A crew of six had gone missing after a breach of oxygen and loss of communication, and it was my job to find out what happened. But due to the nature of this genre, it was pretty much devoid of actual puzzles or action.
I could enter three major sections of the space station in a specific order and play back AR recordings of the ghostly appearances of the crew members. It was even possible to rewind and fast forward while walking between their spacetime placeholders. Sometimes I could access their AR logs and mail system too. The only thing that required a little bit of attention was if a 4-digit code for a door was revealed.
I bet this game would be great with Virtual Reality goggles.