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Deliver us the Moon Developer: KeokeN Interactive (Published by Wired Productions) Genre: Action, Indie, Adventure, Space, Sci-Fi, Short, Current Price (as of 1st March): £14.99 (in the 25% off sale - otherwise £19.99) PC - Steam I am going to pre-warn you now that this review is going to be short as I don't want to give away any spoilers. However, I felt this game was amazing and felt it was worth writing about. The controls takes some time getting used to being in third person (especially if you are not used to third person gaming). This game has been classed as a sci-fi thriller. Now upon reading this, before I started playing, I was expecting something like Event Horizon or Alien. However, being the big 'woose' that I am, I was jumpy around every corner and not having any weapons to hide behind was a new concept for me. You are accompanied by a robot called an ASE and this little fella can fit into the ventilation to open doors that may seem a little broken from one side. The story in a nut shell is in 2032, Earth had run out of energy fuels (coal, gas etc) and decided to colonise the Moon in order to extract its resources and send the energy back to Earth via a Microwave Power Transmission (MPT). However, one day in 2054 the energy stopped being transmitted. Five years later, it is your job to travel to the moon and find out what happened and if possible, turn the MPT back on. The story is gripping right to the end, where... I will stop it there and not get carried away in telling you the ending! You come across many obstacles and challenges but it is your mission to understand what happened and see what you can do. The puzzles can be tricky and there are many puzzles that seem far too simple, but something is thrown in your way to make it that little bit more difficult. The graphics within the game are great and provide detail, right down to the reflections in windows. Throughout your time on the Moon, you are presented with recordings to listen to, which tell the story and provide you with your missions. These are great to watch and remind me a little of a similar thing to the people / re-enactments during the game "Tacoma". This game took me five hours to complete from start to finish and the only downside is, there isn't anything more to do in the game. I mean, I could go back through the game and see how quickly I could complete it knowing what I know or complete the outstanding Steam Achievements but I am happy with what I have achieved. I feel that the developers have created a fantastic story and have ended it well. Summary I enjoyed the game and would recommend it but not at the full price on Steam. Get the game whilst it is on a sale. Some of the puzzles are challenging and with the added time restrictions just adds to the determination of completing the mission. You get to bounce around on the Moon's surface whilst trying to save the whole of humanity. Looking for key codes and jumping from a platform that seems to be just out of reach, with an electric pool below you adds to the fun and I wasn't going to let the game beat me! It is a shame that with these types of games there is nothing else to do once you have completed the story but to be fair, I can't actually think what the developers could do to encourage their players to play it again knowing the story line and everything. I am sure that you will complete the game in less time than me. If you do, remember to record your time below. Not that I have a prize for the winner or anything but it would be nice to know if it is 'do-able' in less time. Trailer can be found here -
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!