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So, it occurred to me that I've played a lot of KEMCO's Android jrpg fare in the last few years, and I should probably try to actually look at the details and try to summarize it.

I have played 31 KEMCO-published games (25 to completion), virtually all of which cost me $1 or were free. That's on the order of 270+ hours of gameplay for around $25. Completed games average around 11 hours each, and Adventure Bar Story was the only one to crack the 20-hour mark.

KEMCO publishes games from four major developers, and though they're all retro-jrpgs, they each have their own style and evolution, which I've conflated in some places and becomes clearer as I've played more of their games.

EXE-Create made the Asdivine and Alphadia series, as well as the contents of the second KEMCO Humble Bundle (Fanatic Earth, Illusion of 'Phalcia, Journey to Kreisia, Revenant Saga). Their games tend to be longer, have multiple difficulty levels, rely less on IAP, and have the best translations. That said, their characters tend to be identical and the plot sequences, sidequests and worldbuilding don't change much from game to game. They have been steadily improving; I should probably try a few of their most recent offerings.

Hit-Point tends more towards games with monster companions and a variety of ways to grind. Several of their offerings (Crystareino, Justice Chronicles) were on Amazon Underground and I bought several others in their holiday sale (Soul of Deva, Chronus Arc). If you need to grind for materials to craft weapons, it's a Hit-Point game. On the other hand, they're most likely to to put actual puzzles into the dungeons. Their IAP is usually there to reduce grinding time. A bunch of their games were in the Humble KEMCO x HyperDevBox bundle, so it'll be interesting to see how those function without IAP.

Magitec tries the hardest to get creative with their plots, often to the point of cramming in too many twists. They also had a bunch of Amazon Underground games (Grace of Letoile, Soul Historica, Dead Dragons) and a bunch I got in the holiday sale (Covenant of Solitude, Chrome Wolf, Shelterra the Skyworld). They tend to go in for class systems, mission-based plot sequences, and very standard space-filling dungeons that have the same half-dozen styles (take the long way around to hit a switch; one-way doors/traps; sliding ice/walkways; damage floors you need items to avoid, etc). They'll often have cool stuff in their IAP, though sometimes it breaks the game more than others.

WorldWideSoftware provided the first KEMCO Humble Bundle (Eclipse of Illusion, Aeon Avenger, Fortuna Magus, Silver Nornir, Symphony of the Origin, Eve of the Genesis). They're most likely to hide story content behind IAP (if you aren't playing a Humble version), and their translations are sometimes rocky. They've gotten better at designing dungeons in later games, but it's not hard to improve from three open screens with two arrangements of enemies, which was the standard in their earliest offerings.

I suspect I'll continue to play games from a variety of the developers, but I'll likely seek out the WorldWideSoftware or later EXE-Create ones when I next go looking, unless I'm really in the mood for a decent plot and willing to handle the Magitec style to get it.
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A Bird Story - A virtually wordless tale told in RPGMaker, by the same developer as To the Moon. It's not a game so much as an interactive story, and it's clearly trying to be “art”. Though it's a short and cute little tale of a lonely, imaginative boy making friends with a bird, I think I preferred To the Moon for its much greater depth.

Gone Home - Katie arrives home after a year in Europe to find that the door is locked and her family is gone. First-person exploration of the giant, creepy house tells the story, and it doesn't turn out how you might expect. I quite enjoyed this; I found that the story played out reasonably well and the game didn't outstay its welcome or throw up any ridiculous barriers.

Eternal Senia - An action-rpg made with RPGMaker, that was an “impulse play” because it was free on Steam. The battle system is similar to the early Ys games, where you're mostly trying to ram enemies before their projectiles hit you. The engrish is pretty terrible. But there are some decent puzzles and a nice progression—this was clearly someone's labor of love.

Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs – Mithrigil recommended this to me because I like puzzle games and horror exploration games. I'll admit, I was hoping for a bit more "point and click adventure" and a bit less "first-person stumble around and get killed." You seem to be playing an amnesiac man--a butcher-turned-investor, perhaps?--who is searching the mansion house for his children. This house makes the hotel from The Shining seem tiny, mind you. The paintings are one-way viewing portals from the secret passages. The desk drawers and cabinets (and there are many) are all full of bottles. There might be a deep mystery here, but it’s too big for my patience and there’s too much actual danger for my skills.

Goat Simulator - It is everything that I heard it was, and more. You play an immortal, incredibly strong goat and can roam the world smashing and jumping on whatever you want. The physics take "ragdoll" to new heights (people flop around in the most absurd ways). The design philosophy was clearly "if it doesn't crash the game, leave it in." It also qualifies as "a game for the whole family", in that ARR was delighted to watch me jump around smashing stuff,* and Jethrien provided color commentary. There are actually a surprising number of things to find and things you can unlock--I had kind of expected it to be stupidly simple, but for a glitch-filled bunch of craziness it's shockingly deep. Oh, and despite all the things that didn't back up on the Steam servers when my computer crashed? My saves for this bug-ridden monstrosity were just fine. It got old after a while, but I had lots of fun with this.

Besiege - A construction-set puzzle game of absurd destruction. Each stage has a goal, and you need to assemble a siege weapon from an assortment of generic parts to accomplish it. Of course, that's never as easy as you might hope, because you can't take for granted things like “steering” or “aiming.” I suspect I was “really” suppose to destroy a house on the other side of a wall by using a catapult, but I opted to build a crappy makeshift airplane and crash that into the house instead. This is still in Early Access, so I'll likely want to revisit it once the later stages and features are implemented.

Quote: “It's okay; I'm a goat.”
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You live on a floating continent that's about to fall to the demon-infested world below. A princess and her stuck-up bodyguard hire you, a low-class treasure hunter, to find the magic stones that can save the world. Hmm...this actually sounds really familiar.

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Overall: Short and by-the-numbers KEMCO/Megitek jrpg; the challenge level was reasonable and it didn't outstay its welcome. Not bad, but nothing amazing.
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Kruz is an Imperial soldier that has uncovered a lie behind a mission to suppress the Rebel Army. Continuing the legacy of a fallen comrade, he defects from the Imperial Army and joins the Freedom Fighters. Kruz is devoted to fighting battles where the ideals and pride of a nation and its people are on the line...

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Overall: The thing is, this developer's (Magitec) dungeons tend to be uncreative and tedious; mostly excuses to fight very repetitive random battles with virtually no puzzles or interesting hazards. (Or even interesting scenery.) Combined with the tank battles being disincentivised and the plot being another fantasy racism retread, I just lost interest in playing it. Ah, well, I got my dollar's worth.
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This is the Sky Island “Forselia”
In an effort to maintain peace throughout the Sky Islands, the Lord must use his “Double Weapon Throwing” technique to do away with invading monsters.
Today he has taken on a request to exterminate a Wyvern, and is on his way to get it done.
This is just the beginning of a much larger battle, that will ultimately determine the fate of all Sky Islands.

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Overall: This is a casual game with a surprising amount of tactical depth; I was very excited to see a sequel and I think it is better than the original. I’ll update this post if I find more hidden items or if they add a postgame segment.
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I got this because I was intrigued by Always Sometimes Monsters, which I turned out to not really have the patience to play at length. (At least at this stage of my life.) I was underwhelmed with the rest of the collection, with one exception:

Shooting Stars! - Fire your nyancat at absurd parodies of internet celebrities in a touch-controlled shoot-em-up. I actually found it easier than most shmups, and I’m not sure how much of that is the game itself (at least some—the levels are short) and how much is the control scheme, which I quite like. It’s heavily a momentum game: If you can survive long enough to get power-ups, they provide you with the extra life or firepower to survive much longer. I played quite a bit of this and enjoyed my time with it.

NO THING - So…it’s a runner game, where you need to swipe to turn so you don’t fall off a ledge. But it’s a psychedelic, surreal one where commentary is being provided while you run. Which works terribly, because trying to pay attention to the commentary gets you killed; and trying to ignore it makes the game feel pointless. There’s a theory that the designers only had boring and repetitive gameplay ideas, so they decided to disguise it as ART.

Last Horizon – A space exploration/survival game with a decent concept (explore the galaxy, try to maintain enough fuel and oxygen by stopping at planets, and collect biological samples to eventually terraform your new home when you arrive) and a painful execution (the ship has no reverse thrusters and obeys physics, so you need to pivot and thrust to reduce speed, meaning that the meat of the game is trying to perfect landing on planets without crashing). I’m not interested in pixel-perfect landing simulator, thanks.

Circa Infinity – A circular platformer that feels more like a tech demo than an actual finished game. You need to dive through layers of circles, avoiding 8-bit demons all the way, until you reach the swirly one that ends the level. Dying knocks you back two layers and hurts your time. I give them credit for making a circular control scheme that I found tolerable, but after that there’s really nothing to keep you interested.

Space Grunts - A roguelike with a space marines theme. Again, as a top-down shooter with decent controls I’ll give them credit, but I think it’s more complicated than I’m willing to give a game where death is often instant and permanent. (I often find roguelikes frustrating, which should make it fun when I’m playing the Humble Roguelike Bundle.)

Cloud Chasers – An adventure / survival game in which a father-daughter team tries to make it through a desert, stopping for role-playing opportunities and harvesting clouds for water. I don’t think this was a bad game by any means; it had a lot of clever bits to it. But it didn’t grab me, probably because the survival genre isn’t so much my thing and the cloud-gathering gameplay wasn’t addictive enough.

Always Sometimes Monsters – This is a cross between a slice-of-life game and a visual novel made with RPG Maker. I’m interested in it; I’m curious about where the plot goes. But it’s rather slow-moving and I wasn’t falling into the story. I’ll likely revisit it later.

Cosmonautica – A deeply complex space trading/simulation game that makes my tablet cranky and doesn’t particularly interest me.

The bundle also included the Android versions of Tomb Raider 1 & 2, which aren’t so much my thing.
Overall: I was underwhelmed with everything but Shooting Stars, which made my $6 for the bundle totally worth it.
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Long ago, Ganondorf was defeated and his soul splintered into four fragments. Three of them were sealed in different moments in time, while the fourth was trapped by the Master Sword. But Ganondorf plots his resurrection through Cia, a sorceress who protects the balance of the Triforce while maintaining neutrality. Cia becomes fascinated with the spirit of the hero of legend, with her amorous feelings for the hero providing Ganondorf an opportunity to purge her inner light. As a result, Cia becomes consumed in her desires, opening the Gate of Souls, a portal to different time-space realities of Hyrule, to amass an army of monsters. Seeking to unite the Triforce and conquer Hyrule, she uses her subordinates Wizzro and Volga to wage war against Princess Zelda and the Hyrulian army.

Read more... )

Overall: This was a lot of fun time spent pressing the attack button over and over again. Exactly what I signed on for.
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A puzzle platformer with a simple framing story about a father searching a mysterious swamp for his son. He finds a little light spirit whose glow can reveal hidden dimensions, and uses that magic light to reveal platforms, traps, wheels and other trickery.

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Overall: I can see why this won awards; the puzzles are very good, the concept is interesting and the graphics are very pretty. That said, the platforming difficulty level is awfully high and the controls could stand to be more responsive. I'd specifically recommend this to platformer enthusiasts with high-end computers.
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Lita and Adrian go seeking a mysterious magic ring in the elven ruins in the floating continent of Ara Fell, which floats above the Abyss, the Land of the Dead. Lita finds the ring and foolishly puts it on. Oops.

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Overall: An attempt at doing creative things with RPGMaker that was interesting, but ultimately missed the mark. The Amber Throne, which I got off the same recommendation list, is a much stronger game in my opinion. That said, if there was a sequel, I'd check it out to see what the author learned.
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Your workaday cubicle-dwelling city life leaves you hollow, so you accept your grandfather's offer to go live in his old farm in Stardew Valley. It...needs some work.

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Overall: The game has amazing “flow” and the “just one more day” impulse is strong. The potential for addiction is very high. I quite enjoyed it, and recommend it with caution.
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Millie - This is cute: It's a melding of Pac-Man with the classic "snakes" game. As you guide a centipede (Millie) through a maze and eat power pellets, she grows longer--and you have to avoid running into yourself. Collect enough power pellets and the exit opens; your score is determined both by time and how many other collectables you pick up. Later stages add one-way streets, tunnels and other complications. Virtually wordless but with some cute animations (particularly the help images).

16bit Trader - An underwhelming game of luck--guessing what prices will be in each city before you haul goods there, hoping to hit on something that actually makes you money. Did you like the "trading post" sidequest in Suikoden games? This is that as the entire game.

Merchants of Kaidan - Not quite sure what to make of this--it's a pseudo-rpg trading game, where you travel about doing fetch quests and looking for treasure, but mostly trying to arbitrage goods between cities. It’s better than 16bit Trader in that there’s more to it and there’s a bit less luck involved, but I’m still not wild about it.

Sparkle 2 Evo - Play as a hard-to-control micro-organism and eat various things you find to evolve into stronger, faster forms. You can shift up and down “levels” and the game is competitive, as each stage has opponent(s) that are trying to eat the various nutrients and possibly you as well. The graphics and music are going for “pretty and soothing”, but I didn’t feel that about the gameplay. I found the controls clunky and wasn’t enthused overall. This bundle also included Sparkle 3 Genesis, but I opted not to bother with it.

Violett Remastered - When her parents take her to a boring house in the country, Violett is sure it will be a terrible time. Of course, then she finds a magical amulet in the wall that shrinks her into a land of bug-people and fairies where she gains magic psychic powers. A King's Quest-style puzzle adventure game with the obtuse puzzles typical to the genre with an Alice in Wonderland sort of aesthetic. I suppose it’s worth trying if you’re really into the genre.

Frederic: Evil Strikes Back and Frederic: Resurrection of Music are apparently rhythm games (that play better via touch than mouse, according to reviews) but both of them hung at the initial loading screen on my computer.

Teddy Floppy Ear - The Race - As one of the “racing games” that ARR favors, this saw a decent amount of play. Honestly, though, I didn’t think it deserved it. It’s a mascot kart game without a significant difference between the different cars or racers; the power-ups are generally indistinguishable and three-quarters of the tracks are locked. The bundle also included two other games in the series, Teddy Floppy Ear – Kayaking and Teddy Floppy Ear - Mountain Adventure.

Iesabel - This is a Diablo-style top-down action RPG; decent system but not really my thing for the long haul. It’s obviously full of subquests; it’s got a full skill tree and a crafting system; and there’s a massive map for each of three acts. But the plot and game style don’t grab me (especially for a game likely to take dozens of hours to beat) and mouse-and-keyboard controls have never been my preferred style.

Overall: I was underwhelmed by this bundle, as many of the games seemed like they had potential and then just didn’t do it for me, for one reason or another. I mean, I definitely got my money’s worth, but I think I had hoped for better.
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Grey Cubes - This is a Breakout/Arkanoid-style "break the blocks by bouncing a ball" game, but a very clever one. There are 60 set stages, an assortment of power-ups, and while you have limited lives, you can sacrifice some accumulated points to regain them. While there was an occasional issue with a 3D setpiece blocking my view of the board, in general I thought this was well-designed and fun.

Close Order - A relatively slow-moving space shooter in which you control a small fleet that always flies in formation; searching for the remnants of a lost humanity but mostly just trying not to get blown up by waves of enemies. Meh.

AXYOS - An early access FPS online-arena game. The character customization is nonexistent (apparently the game isn't even really in beta yet) so it's mostly just "run around and shoot some dudes". It's playable, but that's all I can really say about it.

Stigmat - A "masocore" platformer, where not only are you likely to die a lot, that's pretty much the gimmick of the game, and it's clear in the very first level that they'll resort to nasty tricks to kill you early and often. The thing is, the graphics are dark and not very clear, and the controls are a bit janky, which means that many of my deaths just felt unfair due to the poor system, not because I was incompetent or because I was tricked.

Slipstream 5000 - A DOS-based flight sim/racing game where you apparently can shoot down foes--I say "apparently" because I could barely tell where I was going, much less find anything to shoot.

Broken Dreams - More like "Broken Fourth Walls," am I right? A puzzle platformer featuring a couple who try to get together with help from temporal shadows and similar trickery. It’s super-short, with only 25 levels and 5 bonus levels, most of which can be taken down in a minute or so. Not bad, but nothing I haven’t seen done better elsewhere.

PING 1.5+ - Get the bouncing ball (cube) to the exit in each level with a limited number of shots/bounces. There are vastly superior approaches to the concept; Luna’s Wandering Stars is the most prominent in my mind.

Vapour - A horror exploration / FPS game that has lovely graphics that are too dark to see, wonky controls, and apparently no HUD—which meant I couldn’t figure out how much health I had or, even with the “hints” activated, what the hell I was doing. It’s also full of jumpscares and inexplicable combat, did I mention? (Apparently, you’re playing a demon/human hybrid created by a cult but who escaped to terrorize them. Who likes to curse a lot.)

Doodle God - Combine the four base elements to make everything else in the world in a puzzle/casual game. Most of the combinations aren't terribly intuitive (at least to me), but randomly trying combinations is moderately fun. I think the biggest problem is that it's a guessing game more than anything else, and there are a LOT of combinations that do nothing but you'd think would do something. Why on earth does Sand + Egg make Turtles, for instance? Shouldn't that be Lizard + Stone or Lizard + House?

A Wolf in Autumn - A horror exploration game in the vein of The Moon Sliver. Warns you in advance that it has no save system and takes about an hour to complete, which is helpful to know. The strange story of a girl in a shed with an abusive mother who speaks via transmitter boxes, as the girl solves various puzzles to break out. I think I’ve found other games in this genre most intriguing, but it’s moderately interesting and technically decently designed.

Overall: Grey Cubes won me and Doodle God was entertaining. The rest of the lot I’d generally recommend other examples of their genres over them.
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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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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.

Read more... )

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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Many years before the events of Alphadia, but after the events of the Energi War that rocked that world, clones are attempting to integrate into society, and a guildman named Fray is tasked with figuring out why some of them are going rogue.

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Overall: This is the most “more of the same” I think I've ever seen. The system is basically identical to half a dozen other Exe-Create KEMCO games, and the plot is generally a retread of every other pseudo-medieval magitek fantasy jrpg. There's nothing bad about it, it's not a bad game by any means, but there's absolutely nothing special or standout about it.
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So, most of these games actually came onto my list in 2015. I played some of a bunch of these games when I bought them, then got distracted. Some of them I managed to get back to; most of them I decided I wasn’t that interested in revisiting given everything else I have to play.

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom - A puzzle platformer with a cute aesthetic. (Winterbottom is a Victorian pie thief with a Snidely Whiplash bent, who lucks into time-travel powers while chasing a floating pie.) You can “record” actions and then clones of Winterbottom will do them until cancelled, and you can use those clones to hit switches, act as platforms, knock you around, and more. The actual puzzles (after the intro chapter) are NOT easy.

Fearless Fantasy - A short and sweet, goofy, anachronistic story about a Princess and a pair of bounty hunters killing the evil king and his pet giant snake-thing. The gimmick is that the battle system, while it has levels and advancement, is 99% dependent on taping and swiping "timed hits" to deal and avoid damage. If you enjoy that system in, say, the Paper Mario series, then you'll likely enjoy this. I'd recommend the Android version of the game over the Steam one, because swiping to fight is much easier on a touchscreen than with a mouse.

Saturday Morning RPG - Morty dreams of a video game world where The Wizard gives him a magic trapper keeper that allows him to turn mundane items into video game attack powers. The graphics are fancier than you’d think at first glance—sprites are 2D, but the screen is a pseudo-3D that gives everything a “cardboard standup” kind of feel. The RPG aspect is mixed—it’s not clear how effective any of the attack items are until you use them, and the battles rely more on clever use of charging up and making effective timed hits for attack and defense than they do on grinding. (It also seems like enemies—and therefore XP and money—are finite in each area.) It is positively swimming in Saturday morning cartoon references, as one might expect: Early available weapons include the Sword of Omens and Rainbow Bright’s belt; the very first sidequest is a Smurfs send-up.

Beat Hazard Ultra - This is a mouse-and-keyboard bullet hell shooter with a twist: The levels are defined by the song in the background, and it can pull in any mp3 from your collection. The genre isn’t really my thing, but I was willing to go a couple of bucks for the gimmick. (Note: It doesn’t run well under Windows 10.)

Paper Sorcerer - A curious eastern-western rpg blend, where exploration is first-person mouse-and-keyboard, but battles are turn-based and very reliant on summoned helpers. (It includes a “1980s” difficulty level!) It has an interest black-and-white art style that is explained by your character being a villain trapped in a magical book by heroes. I’m very reminded of Wizardry 4 in terms of the setup.

A New Beginning - Final Cut - A puzzle adventure game in the grand King’s Quest tradition, where you must pick up everything and attempt to use things on other things in vaguely logical ways. In the future, the world is dying and humanity is all but gone, and a small team of time-travelers are sent back to try to head off the disaster before it starts. I’m nominally interested in the plot, but the mechanics of this style of game tend to irk me.

Grimind - Puzzle platformer with a horror theme and strange physics that make it very hard to throw things where you want them. I really didn’t like it.

The Stanley Parable - This I played recently, and it’s a delightful FPS/puzzle exploration game that plays out like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. It is insanely meta. I quite enjoyed it.
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Mr Nibbles Forever - A cute little side-scrolling runner in which you play a tiny hamster zipping around, collecting corn and trying to avoid spiders. It actually reminds me a bit of a less-offensively-oriented Sonic the Hedgehog. You can either go for distance, or take on challenges to try to unlock extra skins. There's a random wheel of prizes, but they seem to mostly be one-use (Magnet and Double Jump both vanish after one run, and you can only use an extra life once per run). Not a lot to it, as the stages don't vary much and there are only a couple of areas (that all link together), but amusing.

So Much Blood - A dungeon-crawl shoot-em-up which only allows you to fire left or right; you try to collect enough "blood points" to buy better weapons and more life hearts so you can reach and beat the boss at the end of each area. Every 30 seconds, more enemies spawn. I applaud them for building a "respawning enemies" shooter into something that actually has a goal, but that doesn't mean I found it fun for more than a few minutes. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the graphics scheme: It’s right there in the title.

Virtual Rogue - I think there should be a rule that if you use the word "rogue" in your title, you need to have made a roguelike to some degree. This is a survival shooter (with an “inside the computer” theme), in which you travel through randomly generated maps, fight enemies, pick up power-ups and periodically face a boss. The only roguelike part is that there's permadeath.

Curvatron - Do you remember the "snakes" game that typically came with QBASIC installs on old computers, where you needed to eat numbers but your tail kept growing and you needed to not hit yourself? This is that, only the snake automatically curves and you constantly need to be moving with a "wave" motion to avoid hitting yourself or other obstacles. It's a gimmick puzzler that didn't win me.

Cosmic Leap - Help the former rebels / current game show contestants circle and jump from planetoid to planetoid in individual puzzle-ish levels that usually end with them getting blown up. Cute concept and framing story, that actual action gets old fast.

Spunk and Moxie - A hybrid runner / puzzle-platformer where you try to guide a bouncing blob of goo through various obstacle courses and collect gems while doing it. The graphics and bright and cheery and the controls are one-button simple. It didn’t grab me for long, but I think it’s a decent little game if your reflexes are up to snuff.

Raining Blobs - Variation on the "Mean Bean Machine" concept, for when you're in the mood for that. (The main variation is that some blobs have stars, and you need two stars to make a set disappear. This makes the strategies for setting up chain reactions slightly different.) They get credit for having arcade, versus and puzzle modes, but the “crazy speed up” every few levels gets out of hand quickly.

Super Ubie Island REMIX - A level-based platformer where you play as a little green alien trying to collect various coins, gems and bugs and eventually the pieces of his crashed spaceship. The controls are good and the graphics are cute (and non-pixelated), but this doesn’t have anything that makes it stand apart from the platformer crowd.

This Book Is A Dungeon - This is effectively a text adventure (just one with a few pictures and a map) with a horror exploration theme. You find a mysterious book and are drawn into a horrible dungeon world, where you have opportunities to solve puzzles and/or die horribly.

Mazement - The evil Pyramid has enlisted the foolish Squares to lock up all the Balls...except you! You need to roll around, avoiding enemies and rescuing everything round. If you remember the old marble-based labyrinth game (or have ever played Super Monkey Ball) you'll be well-suited for the control scheme here. There are a dozen levels in the prison, then half a dozen more in the witch's dungeon where she turns you into an egg for spilling her brew. Decent fun.

This bundle also included Overture, a shoot-em-up which I already had.

Overall: I definitely enjoyed Mr. Nibbles. Most of the others were thoroughly middling; not so bad that I have anything against them, but not so good that I was really hooked by them.
chuckro: (Default)
The destined hero is pulled from his homeland to defeat the Dark Lord, but it’s too early and neither he nor his spirit companion are terribly enthused by this. But was he truly pulled from another world? Did they travel in time from the lost city of Crystareino?

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Overall: Middle-of-the-road for KEMCO games, runs about a dozen hours with decent pacing but nothing strongly standout.
chuckro: (Default)
Siela and her sister own and operate Kamerina's Bar, but the nefarious Gustav, owner of the most popular restaurant in town, wants to buy them out and shut it down. Siela vows to make her restaurant so popular that Gustav can’t touch them. But that requires the freshest ingredients from all the local monster-infested dungeons. Can she really do it?

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Overall: This is more of a casual/simulation game than a true rpg, but it blends both game styles pretty well. Might be worth a go if you like that sort of thing.
chuckro: (Default)
The people of the surface kingdom of Illumica fear a disaster coming from the underground world of Laft, and dispatch a group of Rivell soldiers to investigate. These soldiers can partner with the Guardian Beasts of the High Beast Lord. But will their power be enough to stop the flood of Darkness?

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Overall: I mostly played this as a casual game, grinding for sidequest completion and periodically advancing the plot, because as a plot-based rpg it falls flat. This particular developer of KEMCO games hasn’t been winning my love.


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