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Found 5 results

  1. CROGGS

    Afterfall - An RPG Maker Gem

    Game: Afterfall Developer: AllyJamy Release Date: October 15th 2019 Play the full game for free on itch.io! Genre: Action-Adventure RPG I've always loved story driven RPGs with unique game mechanics like Undertale, Oneshot and the to the moon series. When done well, games in this genre can concoct an immersive and exciting world, with fun challenges and puzzles along the way. RPG Maker games do have many games like this, but I usually find myself having to sift through piles of games that can be filled with boring grinding and generic surface level stories and characters. Because so many other people have the same experience, RPG Maker games usually get a bad wrap for being lazy and boring. As an RPG Maker game, it's hard to overcome this stereotype and get the attention of gamers, especially with the increasing amount of games competing for your attention online. It's because of this stereotype that I like to give RPG Maker games a fair shot, and i'm glad I gave this game a play, because it blew me away right from the start with how it sets itself apart from the average RPG Maker game. Although it's not perfect, it still does a pretty damn good job at immersing the player into the tumultuous and intriguing world of Afterfall. The 4 years of work that went into this game definitely show. The game begins with a little bit of exposition explaining how you ended up on this alien world and pictures showing off the game's unique artstyle. You, like myself, might think that the art style is a little off at first, looking amateurish and incomplete, but the artsyle grew on me, and I came to really like it as the game went on. It's very simplistic, but gets the point across. Faces which appear in dialogue boxes aren't proportional though and distract from the expression they were likely intended to have, even being comically off at times. The lack of depth and shading can also make some objects and structures in the game look unnatural, and take away from the atmosphere being attempted. Some of the bosses and sprites which suffer from this problem can also totally take away the intensity or seriousness of a situation. But these problems are relatively small, and become less and less prominent as the game goes on, with majority of the environments and moments in the game still retaining a good amount of the emotional and atmospheric weight they need to provide a fun experience. But even where the art falters sometimes, the music consistently pulled me back into the game, with ominous, intense, fun and atmospheric music in every part of the game. I have absolutely no complaints about the music; it does its job very well and never got old. The game has two main mechanics that it uses throughout the game: exploring, and fighting. Both mechanics work virtually identically to your average Legend of Zelda game. You gain abilities and items which allow you to access certain areas, and you can swing or shoot a weapon at enemies that appear in the overworld - no turn based battles here! One thing Afterfall does differently with its exploration from Zelda though, is with scavenging. Your character in the game is a scavenger, and this fact plays quite well into the gameplay, with most items being things I've scavenged from the diverse environments I explored throughout the game, with a few quests needing you to go scavenging for certain items. This is usually a pretty straight forward and rewarding mechanic, but when searching vehicles, you have to check every single tile to make sure you scavenged everything from it, and you have to wait a few seconds at each tile to check if there's anything there. On screens with several vehicles, this can become very tedious and lead me to skipping several potentially useful items out of boredom. Apart from that, the scavenging mechanics encourage exploration, which is rewarded with several secrets that reward you with currency or rare items, or interesting new character interactions, which have some of the most interesting and compelling dialogue and characters in the whole game. I also found the fighting mechanic really fun! It's easy to understand, with the game teaching you how to use it seamlessly. With an easily understandable hotbar and weapon specs, it's easy to start engaging in fights, but it's very hard yet rewarding to master, which becomes especially true during boss fights which test you with mechanics you've already fought against before. My only complaint is how small the hitboxes are for bosses with large sprites. As someone who used to use RPG Maker in the past, the problem is understandable, but still caused some frustration when I had to experiment with each boss to figure out exactly where to hit them. In general though, both game mechanics are well done and satisfying, with a clear sense of progression making it all the more rewarding. When I first began playing Afterfall, I was pretty overwhelmed by how big the world was, how many characters there were to keep track of, all the little quests to keep track of, and all the lore and information about the world I was given at the start. I couldn't keep track of everything in my head without writing a lot of stuff down, even though that much information was not needed to understand the basic gist of what was happening plot wise in the beginning. The beginning of the game lacks focus in this way, and it made the game quite confusing up until I completed the first dungeon and was the part I enjoyed the least, which is a shame because the rest of the game afterwards is a lot better, and does not have this problem, meaning that some players might quit without even experiencing the good parts. All the extra lore and intricacies of the world should be left towards the end or hidden in secret areas for people who already have a solid foundation of understanding of the world, since after revisiting the beginning of the game after completion, everything made a lot more sense. Simply put, at the beginning, there are too many names, places, groups and characters to remember right out of the gate. After the first dungeon though, the game has a focus on certain characters and groups, making it much easier to understand what is going on. The quirky, compelling and relatable characters in Afterfall is one of its biggest strengths, especially towards the latter half of the game. Every character has something to say or do, from the key players to characters you only ever interact with twice. Their dialogue can range from funny, to mysterious, to heart warming, and left me having to question the character's true intentions, only adding to how entertaining it is to talk to the characters. However, there is the rare typo, although, they aren't major typos, and can easily be skimmed over or ignored. The only thing lacking about the characters is in their designs. Some of the characters look almost the same, and are not very distinctive or representative of their personality, with only a few exceptions. But despite these draw backs, the game had me regularly looking forward to engaging in dialogue. With some of the game's narrative moments having me at the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next. Now, I had a blast playing this game, and although it has several small problems already, the most notable problem I experienced in almost every screen of the game were bugs. By far the most common bug in the game is collision problems with the tiles. I can't even count how many times I walked through a wall or window tile. This is still a pretty small issue, just like everything else I've mentioned since nothing I've found breaks the game, with the most major issues regarding this being boss battles where the main character and the boss go right through what were probably supposed to be obstacles like there's nothing there. But, despite Afterfall's drawbacks, for a free game made mostly by one person, it still shines through its unique world and characters which will only grow more and more enjoyable as the game goes on. I would definitely say that it's worth a play. Tell me what you think about this unique and interesting RPG in the comments below! Thanks for reading!
  2. Hey Nintendo Switch players, are you enjoying the new Chasm update with its all new Arcade mode? Well, developer Bit Kid recently posted a little competition for players to get involved with. Here's the details: "Help us celebrate the new Arcade mode recently released on Nintendo Switch! We will be holding a high score contest for the October 23rd Daily Challenge on Nintendo Switch, giving you a chance to win the Grand Prize: a unique hand-crafted clay sculpture of the hero! The top 10 runner-ups will receive a Prize Pack with an exclusive t-shirt, printed instruction manual, stickers, magnet and more. See http://chasmgame.com/ArcadeContest for details on how to enter!" If you haven't picked up the game yet or just haven't played it in a while, Nintendo Switch, PS4/Vita, and Xbox One owners can enjoy update 1.070 which includes the brand new Arcade mode (Daily & Weekly Challenges are exclusive to Nintendo Switch players), optional Chiptune soundtrack, customizable controls, 6 new localization's (Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese (BR), and Hungarian), over 80 new rooms, new background art, improved backtracking, new items and plenty more! The full list of changes can be found here. (Chasm Arcade Mode Update - https://bitkidgames.com/?p=3752) Chasm is an action-adventure game that takes place in the Guildean Kingdom. You play as a new recruit eager to become a knight—rumors have spread that a mine packed with precious resources to the kingdom has been shut down due to townsfolk gone missing. What supernatural creatures lurk in the depths of the mine? Do what you must to track down these people and become the knight you've always wanted to be in this thrilling Metroidvania. Chasm is available for download on all gaming platforms. So, if you fancy yourself a little challenge and you own a Nintendo Switch jump into the Daily Arcade Contest on October 23rd! Good luck, and have fun!
  3. Developer: Dantat Studios Genre: Sports, Simulation, Casual Price: $14.99 Steam, $12.99 itch.io, $4.99 Google Play Grab your gear and let's go fishing! River Legends is a casual experience that has you wishing you were really out on the water—eager to reel in a lunker! Right from the get-go, you are introduced to a beautiful animation of clouds rolling left and right out of view to open up the games title screen. It's highly recommended you hit up the tutorial, this way you know what you're getting yourself into. Even though it's not a difficult game by any means, there are a few things you'll want to know before putting your waders on. I received a code for the Android version, so I'm not 100% sure how it differs on a controller, but casting and catching fish is a breeze! For casting, you select where you desire your bait to be thrown, swipe back and forth to allow distance build up, and then finish with a swipe outward toward the water. It took me a try or two to get used to the mechanic, but once you get the hang of it you'll be saying "This is the reel deal!" Catching fish had me thinking about the mechanics that Stardew Valley implement for fishing. Basically, you'll wait for a fish to swim over to your bait, and once you see little ripples you know the fish is biting, which at that point you'll swipe to hook the fish! During the "Fish On" period, you'll reel in the fish whilst keeping an eye on the tension the fish is causing to your line. Changing the pitch and releasing your finger for a split second will relieve some of the tension in case the fish pulls too hard, which they will as I've had my line snap a few times without even realizing what had happened. Adjust the pitch of the rod by positioning your finger(still holding your finger on the screen) either to the top, middle, or bottom sections of the screen. Once you've hooked a fish, finger placement does not interfere with any of the other buttons, which is great if you are a lefty like me! River Legends starts you in a little spot called Forest Pond. Here you'll get your feet wet and start catching fish to gain experience or gold, and you'll have the option to choose either per fish caught. The bigger the fish, the more experience and gold you'll have a chance to receive. Experience is mainly aimed at unlocking different fishing locales, and these different areas mean more species of fish to catch. On the flip side, earning gold will allow you to purchase specific lures and gear to aid you in your fishing adventure. Personally, I thought some of the gear you unlocked didn't make any significant difference to gameplay. For one, the polarized glasses didn't seem to make any difference in seeing what type of species or how big a fish was. Secondly, the winter coat didn't have any affect on where I would travel to either. Maybe it's just that I bought the coat early on, and never had any issues going to frigid locations because I had the gear necessary to go there. This isn't to say that all the gear was useless. Lures are a huge benefit in order to catch more and bigger fish. The boots give you the ability to travel across the water, but only in certain areas of the locale. Flashlight opens up a level of exploration as there are some caves in which hold secrets and lore. Those are just a few of the things you can buy and use, but I think it's always nice to have something to work toward regardless of how short the game may be. Traveling from spot to spot, wildlife would spring out of nowhere and was a nice little touch to the games aesthetic. Despite being a pixel art game, the developer did a great job at making the game feel as alive as if you were really outside fishing. Not to mention, there were weather patterns from rain to snow in certain areas, which again added to the appeal of the game. Meticulous detail in any game is always a plus in my book! Overall, I thought River Legends was a unique and charming experience. It's one of those games I can come back to time and time again if I'm wanting something casual to play after a longs days work. However, I can't justify if the game is worth the $15 price tag on Steam, as the game was very short and only had a few things to really work toward. To be fair, I'm unsure if there is any actual difference between the mobile version and the Steam version, so I don't want to prevent you from trying it out on PC if there happens to be additional content in which to enjoy! So, if you love the outdoors in the form of pixel art, definitely give this one a go. River Legends was given to us as a press code for reviewing purposes and we want to thank Dantat Studios for allowing us the opportunity to play and review it.
  4. Game: Swords and Souls: Neverseen Publisher: Armor Games Studio Price: $14.99/£11.39 Release Date: 22nd July 2019 Genre: Adventure, Turn-Based RPG Multiple warnings were provided to me about the addictive nature of this game, but it wasn't until I found myself at 4 in the morning, birds chirping, and my alarm to get up for work just a few hours away... that I realised maybe I have a problem here. The story is a simple one that brings familiar tones and notes that are common with every fantasy story. You play a voiceless hero who has stumbled onto the island of Neverseen, only to be immediately approached with trouble and tales of a powerful witch in a tower. There is a mighty quest for magical items and weapons to defeat this witch and meat fodder sidekicks along for the adventure. What makes the narrative stand out particularly in this game is the characters and tongue in cheek humour. The sarcastic Sir Pupset who reluctantly trains you and Hop the Innkeeper with his monstrous pet Pupsy. It all may seem rather a cliche and that is part of the charm as it works more akin to a parody then a sweeping epic... plus the twist at the end will surely make you double-take and think back to clues that were placed along the journey. There is a 'kookiness' that I love and even when I was nearing the end of the game and was met with a few surprises, it kept that light-heartedness while still delivering a worthy antagonist and plot. At first glance, the gameplay may seem rather simple, but with every victorious battle I emerged from, a new mechanic was introduced, a new fun toy to play with. Whether it was mercenaries, taming wild beasts to raise as your own or simply investing into the town -maybe building yourself a new little house- there was always a sense of achievement. Furthermore, every time I played around with the new mechanics, I discovered that it isn't just aesthetic, it has a purpose. My investment has made me filthy rich, my house gives me XP bonuses, and fixing up the training camp helps you level up the ranks quicker to reach that coveted Soulmaster tier. This is a meaty game, for even after completing the story there are still more hidden secrets to uncover, fish and monsters to catch and pets to train up to be powerful allies. All this and I haven't yet mentioned the Endless Mode that you unlock once the main story is over and done with. Truly you will be occupied for a while, making this a good hearty purchase. There is always something to do in this game. I am never bored and every time I load up the game it sucks me deeper into a black hole filled with fun, and the thirst to train till I am the strongest hero of the land. This game really should come with warning labels.
  5. BlueBird

    Shadow Bound

    Shadow Bound An original story still in writing So, for several years now I've had a story idea circling around in my head. I've not often come back to actually work on it, but I feel that my writing technique has improved greatly since I first conceived the idea. It may take me several more years to finish this project, however I'd like to at least make these first steps in doing so. Here's the synopsis I wrote for myself, along with a short world-state concept. Please bear in mind I'm still figuring out a lot of the main plot, but any thoughts and points of discussion are appreciated. There is a reason that so many of us crave the daylight, living in the ‘day’ rather than the ‘night.’ There is a reason why we fear the dark as children. Some grow out of that fear. Most don’t, not really. Not deep down in the psyche where things such as a trivial fear of the dark can be denied and hidden away. As for those that do, well, that’s because they’re not like the rest of us. They’re not human. They’re nothing but shadows in disguise. Daemons sent to sow discord and strife throughout the world. Or so I used to believe. Before I was bound to protect one. The story of Shadow Bound is set in the modern world, England, in a thriving city hub where our MC, [WIP NAME] lives and works. Due to moving around a lot in recent years I have yet to decide on a city to base him but it will most likely be Birmingham, Manchester or Liverpool. The main concept of the story is that there are several realms to the world; the mundane, which is perceived by all, and which is the only realm most humans can see and interact with. Then there are two other realms which the MC will interact with during the narrative, though only one will become a commonality for him; the Shadow realm and the realm of the Sidhe (Or the Fairy's realm). The sticking point for those of other realms is that they exist in one space - what happens in one realm (deforestation, the building of towns and cities, earthquakes and other natural disasters) happens in all of them, and the mundane realm (including those in it) overlaps the others where they do not overlap each other. I.e. those of the Shadow and Sidhe realms can see and influence mundane humans from their own realms, but cannot see and/or influence each other. Humans once made a pact with those we know as "Supernatural" beings (those who reside on/come from any but the mundane realm), and several bloodlines became known as "Realm Guardians" in order to protect the peace between the races and police the realms against those that would destroy or twist the nature of the barriers between realms. And more recently, to protect the other realms from the increasingly aware humans that would do them harm simply because they are different. Our MC is the last of a bloodline sworn to a more specific duty - protecting the true royal line of the shadow realm. Only the eldest born, and therefore the current monarch, of the royal family is bound to one of the MC's bloodline. At the death of the shadow monarch, the next in line activates the now-latent magic to bind them to the most suitable guardian available. Unfortunately for our MC, that's him. Unfortunately for the shadow monarch, our MC was a mundane human unaware of anything beyond the human realm and the only one with the latent pact magic still alive. Unfortunately for both, there are rogue shadow-dwellers trying to wipe out the shadow monarchs.
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