May. 10th, 2017

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Orion lives in a remote village where he is the youngest person, as few children have been born and people keep dying off. His wedding to the youngest woman in the village is meant to bring hope for the future. But a chance encounter with a strange blue woman indicates that much more needs to be done if the world is to actually be saved.

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Overall: Very short, relatively easy, a little clunky but some interesting ideas, and it stands out from the usual Exe-Create/KEMCO games in a bunch of ways. And I couldn't argue with the price.
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These were all games with some potential—I do rather like rpgs—but also likely to be not worth the time to play through.

Hero of the Kingdom - This is a strange melding of point-and-click adventure / hidden object game, and a storybook rpg like Sorcery! You can’t actually lose; the game is mostly about finding all of the hidden objects and managing your resources to complete all of the quests. Which means it’s very simple, but in turn strangely entrancing.

The real key to the game is that there's an infinite money loop that you can access fairly early on. If you buy sacks of grain from the farmer on the north map (30 gold) and have the miller turn them into flour (5 gold), the farmer's wife on the north map will bake them into six loaves of bread each. Those loaves can be sold on the game's second screen for 9 gold each (54 gold, for a profit of 19 gold for each bag). This radically cuts the amount of hunting and fishing you need to do to afford hiring and outfitting soldiers, which in turn makes the game more pleasant.

Bardbarian - Arena fighting / defense game in which you play a barbarian warrior who traded in his axe for a lute, and now commands a group of warriors against the endless goblin hoards. Each time you fail, you can spend the gold you'd acquired on various upgrades. Moderately entertaining as a casual game.

Stick RPG 2: Director's Cut - So, the "stick" part is that all of the characters walked out of an XKCD comic. The game world, on the other hand, is a general-life rpg, in which you wander around trying to earn money and increase your stats. My starting stats were barely enough for a job at Starbucks, which decreases your stats randomly as you do it. There are much better approaches to this style of game.

Demonicon - Action RPG, third person view, gigantic files and an attempt at pretty "real is brown" graphics. (Though the character models hit the uncanny valley hard.) We open in a world when the summoned demon was overthrown but most of the land is still held by dark wizards, and our protagonist is entering an evil mountain to find his sister, who is fleeing her arranged marriage. The combat is rather clunky, and I was barely twenty minutes into the game when I apparently went into the wrong path and triggered a battle but not a trap, which meant there was no way to get out of the trap once I took the right path. And it auto-saved there. I'm not playing ten hours with more risk of that bullshit.

Sudeki - Action RPG, with a style that reminds me a bit of the land-based Drakengard combat. I found the timing for the combo hits obtuse and if you can't get combos down, then the combat is just boring and repetitive (run into an area, kill everything that spawns there, repeat). There was something about the world being split in two and legendary heroes returning from a battle against the dark god, but that didn't really matter to a soldier on the ground.

Drakensang - This and Demonicon are apparently both based on a German tabletop rpg system called "The Dark Eye", originally created because the developers were too cheap to license D&D. I was potentially interested, but this won't run properly on my PC, and given my lousy impression of Demonicon, I'm not going to go out of my way to make it work.

This bundle also included Deep Dungeons of Doom, which I played in a previous bundle. Key is available if anyone wants.

Overall: The games that were trying to be something other than traditional rpgs actually were much more fun; though to be fair, I’m going to be a lot more picky about games that require dozens of hours of investment to get through.

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