Jan. 9th, 2017

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Taimumari - This feels like a standard NES platformer with some modern concessions--you can choose the order that you do the levels in and you get a new power at the end of each one (a la Mega Man). You can also spend the stars you collect between stages to improve your attacks, magic or life meter. Even on Easy mode, there were several parts I found "cheap"--the smashing walls in the Fallenstar stage really require that you just memorize where they're going to be. Also, the awkward Engrish is thematically appropriate, but didn't actually contribute to my enjoyment of the game.

Two Digits - You're given nine numbers and two buckets; you need to pick a combination of numbers that will make the buckets even. There are several hundred stages, but that's everything there is to this game. Not a terrible concept, but it gets old really quickly.

PIXELMAN - A runner game featuring a particularly inept superhero, who flies in upward bursts and can barely touch a building or the ground without dying. While the graphic scheme brought back fond memories of the Atari 2600 Superman game, I didn't find the gameplay particularly fun.

Zeus vs Monsters - Math Game for kids - Exactly what it says on the tin: A math game in which, playing as Zeus or Athena, you must solve math problems in order to throw spears at monsters. It's Math Rabbit for a new generation. I'll show it to ARR in a year or so.

Butsbal - Little colored boxes shoot bouncing balls at each other in a small arena. Now, this is clever in that the balls bounce and only disappear once they hit a player or another ball, so you can score kills even when you're dead/busy respawning; and the major defensive move is to shoot down incoming projectiles. That said, that's pretty much all there is to this.

NeXus: One Core - This looks like it's going to be a shoot-em-up, but it's actually a runner game in which you must dodge and change your shield color to pass through obstacles. It's very pretty (if hella repetitive), but the graphics were clearly their big area of focus, because the entire game is just weaving back and forth at higher speeds.

Keebles - A more vehicle-oriented World of Goo, this really needs more tutorial than it has. If you like trying out designs (semi-randomly), observing how they fail, making slight changes and try, trying again, then you can science the heck out of this game. I apparently don't have the patience.

Dark Years - An exploration horror/mystery game with some of the impressively worst voice acting I've ever heard--it sounds like they got overtired Russian grad students to voice everything. I'll admit, the shaky-cam/quick-time event opening scene made me vaguely nauseous, and that influenced my decision to abandon the game five minutes into the first real chapter. But I don't think I'm missing much.

Energy Balance - This was neat--it's basically a series of pseudo-Kakuro puzzles, in which you need to rearrange numbers to fit them into a summation grid. The framing story is pretentious nonsense about a philosophical alien and their robo-cat repairing their spaceship. But the puzzles are appropriately mind-bending if you like this sort of thing.

Moonlight - A little cat-like creature wants to go to the moon, and needs to trade hats with all the other Lumpos to achieve that. A combination of puzzle adventure game and platformer, which is an interesting idea. This is clearly one person's labor of love, made in GameMaker Studio, and as such is a bit uneven and in places obtuse (also very short). Cute, though.

Overall: I think my biggest complaint with most of the games in this bundle was, “there isn’t much to it.” Several games that seemed interesting are just…repetitive. Most of them were fun for long enough to justify the bundle, though.

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