Full Disclosure: I downloaded this “game” like everyone else. I’ve never felt so pleb.
Here at Burpy Fresh, we try to remain positive when reviewing games. We tend to pass over games we dislike rather than be negative. But sometimes, we just can’t stay silent. David Lynch is a habitual line-stepper, and enough is enough. There’s so much to go through, I’m just going to break it down step by step. (Take a few pointers there Lost Highway.)
Ol’ Davey is clearly just dialing it in on this one. It’s like he already knows that my life is a complete failure without even meeting me. Just look at the sadness in his face. He knows everything. HE ALREADY KNOWS. Every time he says “Good Job!” I know I’m just one step closer to death. I think it might be because I don’t have a right index finger, but with him, you never know what else is at play.
The bug is not USB3 compatible. I’ve gone through every cockroach in the house trying to find one that worked, but the best I could find was Android 5 pin, and I have an iPhone now, so I threw it in some boric acid. (Which there is NO button for by the way.)
Nothing is spoken backwards, rendering my reverse audio app useless. (That’s some free I’ll never see again. I spent 15 seconds searching for that, too.)
Every time I held down A, I felt a tingling down my left leg, not dissimilar to when I had a slipped disc, but it was more insistent. Other keys left me unaffected, except for J which remains untested.
The game did not help me up when I was writhing in agony on the floor due to bath salts/tide pods/mid-life crisis.
I feel nothing anymore.
As you can see above, clearly Lynchy, your typing tutor needs some more work. Here’s my recommendations.
Give more motivation to learn typing. Tell a story, or better yet, bring in that short weird looking dude and get him to stare into our soul for a few hours. People’ll be all ASDF JKL: all day long.
I love point-n-click adventure games. Even before mobile saved their asses I loved them. I have fond memories of going to my friend’s house and play Sierra games on his 286 until they physically kicked me out of the house, boot to rear.
I’m glad we didn’t have Facebook then.
I’ve always been a sucker for weird point and click adventures. The old Sierra classics, Sam & Max (pre-Tell Tale), The Day of the Tentacle were some of my favourites as a kid. Chuchel is less story driven and more episodic, more streamlined and minimalistic than these titles, but I think that’s what I like about it the most. It’s not a challenge by any means, but it houses a rich world that is wonderfully animated that brings something new and different with each stage. I’ve played through about half of the levels so far, and I plan on going back to it after I get this article written. In short: It’s my jam, yo.
The protagonist is a lovable asshole that just wants to relax and eat his cherry, but the *man* just keeps fucking him around. He’s runs with this rodent who’s sometimes his friend, but only when they need to team up to get the cherry, cause they got this Gold-Silver pact going on. Everyone else in the world just seems to be minding their own business, generally content with not understanding the inner turmoil that is Chuchel. I mean, I think the main dude’s name is Chuchel. It doesn’t explicitly say it, and it could through a curve. I think its name is Chuchel.
Most of the time you’re chasing that cherry, interacting with the environment in new and interesting ways, just to get rebuffed again and again. Sometimes you’re playing jaunty renditions of retro video games, like weird cherry eating pacman or space invaders. Sometimes you’re taking a break. If I had played another chapter, I’d probably have another sentence to put here. I’m trying to say that the content is varied. Varied, and yet really well put together. New events are unexpected but not unusual in the grand scheme of things. New mechanics seem to come naturally.
It’s a party. And for 10 bucks you’re invited.
I guess overall, the only complaint I would have would be that the game is not really challenging. After messing around for just a few minutes on a stage, the game drops a hint in the shape of a crude child’s drawing (at least on the level I used a hint). It would be nice if there was a bit more of a challenge. Mind you I’m only half way through so maybe there’s something harder coming.
Full Disclosure: I bought this game like a pleb. I’m just going to get a shirt that says “I’m with Pleb.” and wear it from now on.
It’s finally 2018. A fresh-ish new year. Why not start the year off with a review of something fresh? …from 2017… because I didn’t check the date on Steam when I bought the game…? Okay. Sounds good. Glad we’re cool with that.
Subsurface Circular is a visually-gripping text-based adventure about going about their business in a futuristic metro system. Okay, realistically, all dating-sims and a good number of JRPGs fall into this category, but something here pushes each end a bit further down the spectrum than normal, but it works well, at least through the first three chapters.*
You play a “Tek,” a member of the android subclass that’s de-facto owned by the government. You’re a security guard?-cum-detective assigned to the subway system that’s gone rogue, now looking into the recent disappearances of Teks in the city. The entire story (so far) takes place in one subway car as you ride around the ring line, letting off and taking on Teks along the way, but that’s enough to piece together what’s happening.
At times, the Teks that pass through you subway car are seemingly self-aware, having dialogue that seems influenced more by individual and diverse personality traits than rigid programming structures. With the exception of Listeners, who, up until where I am in the game, just ignore you while listening to techno, every Tek has a somewhat unique personality that makes conversation interesting. Pretty important for a text-based adventure, hey.
Not speaking of, I should point out that I really like the graphics. Though mostly static, the screen shimmies slightly but fluidly with the mouse giving a believable feeling of depth, and the Tek design is brightly coloured and full of detail, and they have fluid movement. It really sets the mood for me. I feel like I’m on the subway when playing.
But not in a bad way, because fuck that place in real life. Line 9, you know what you did.
The only real downfall is that the game itself is not much of a challenge. Of course, being text based, it’s more about the journey than the gameplay, but knowing that, at least as far as I’ve played, that all information can be gathered by simply going through all the available options, removes some of the motivation to go through all of said options. In fact, I’ve only seen one part in the game so far that I could actually get wrong. Though the Teks can link to each others for conversation, most can’t get a signal to reach the surface, which is designed to be limiting to the current environment for emersion, but it has the side effect of needing to have everything you need to continue to be right in front of you at all times.
Honestly, though it’s a small gripe compared to the positive points of the game, that the story is interesting and believable, and that the graphics are so well done. I estimate the whole game could probably be completed in 2-3 hours, but I feel that’s worth the $5.99 price, and if the game’s longer or you actually get off the train at some point, then bonus.
Despite the slight potential for mild inceptiony-like situations, I think the iPad version would make a pretty good commute time killer. It’s pretty pick uppable/put downable.
I’m gonna go play it.
*The author requests that people do not stream past the first three chapters, or at the very least put spoiler warnings if they stream past that. Super respectful and practical. I’d like to see more of this from game devs. I didn’t end up streaming it, but three chapters is good enough to get a good idea of what’s going on.
Welcome back to Game Dev with the Underdev’d #3. We’ve come along way people. Burpy Fresh’s first game ever has been met with incredible critical approval.
Admittedly, developing something that requires 4 PS2 controllers was likely not a good idea.
Onwards and upwards! Fast forward a year. Nothing has happened. Yay! Basically, I’ve started a number of different projects, and have left them in varying states of disarray. I was bemoaning this fact while watching YouTube and having several bowls of ramyeon when I saw a YouTube ad that wasn’t some k-pop garbage. Udemy was having a sale on their Blender course.
I was like, shit, I can get 20 bucks worth of knowledge out of this, and so I bought it. I was also thinking, “Hey, maybe if I make a 3D game and just make it look 2d-ish with a well placed orthographic camera, and I can get around all the problems I’ve been having trying to define a walkable space on a jpg when I should really just be using a nav mesh.
I don’t know if that makes sense. If it doesn’t, please tell me, because I don’t want to take a 60hr Blender course just to learn that all I needed to do was to not be shit at coding.
I have to admit, while they need to get their Q&A/Community interface in order, the course overall is pretty good. I’d used Blender for all of 20 minutes before, and ended up messing up the the interface so much I ended up deleting the program and reinstalling it from scratch. This is probably why they have a whole section of lectures based just on the interface, and how to clean things up when everything’s gone to hell.
I also made a Mayan temple, and a room that I managed to import into Unity (WITH colliders), and everything worked normally. It was a wondrous occasion.
I now have a box in which I can move and not clip through.
So, I’m going to stick with this Blender stuff, probably through to the end of the course, then start up again and see what mess I can get myself into. @curttheinvert has some amazing ideas… it would be nice to put some of them to use!
Not to be confused with Geometry Butt Fun, out next year on the Nintendrix Switch.
I saw Engare this weekend on the Indie Game Developers Facebook group, and decided to give it a go, since it just released on Steam and was on sale.
I’m a sucker for a discount.
It’s a game about geometry, specifically about visualizing how every area of a shape translates and rotates across space with the whole, and with other shapes. Visualize a wheel. The centre of a wheel travels in a straight line as a wheel rotates down a path, but the outer edge moves in half circles. Being able to visualize this difference is key to understanding the game’s main mechanic.
There have been very few times in my life where having a physics degree has comes in handy. This was one of them. Every level animates in a predicable pattern, which allows you to track down the exact path you need, relatively quickly. When you get the knack, the game becomes a little bit simple, but it’s still enjoyable enough to play through. The graphics and music are pretty nice and relaxing, perfect for the odd occasion you may get stuck for a bit. I’m looking forward to some of the later levels where you have to map the location of several pivots.
I’ll let you know if my statement of it being “a little bit simple” was premature.
When you finish a few levels, you unlock the pattern designer, which takes a pixelated square that you design and translates it onto cups and cylinders. I’ve only reached the third level, so I’m not sure if anything else opens up, but I did see a Spectrograph-esque line designer on Facebook.
Not too much to say about this one. I like it. It reminds me of my time in the Middle East, checking out mosques and other traditional architecture. If you got a bit of time and want something to play around with, I’d recommend this.
Full Disclosure: I bought this game like a pleb. Worth it.
This game was one of the highlights of BitSummit 2017. Getting pissed drunk on the river and listening to Scandinavian metal for a bit with one of the developers of this game was also a highlight. I don’t remember much else, but I looked at my watch and it was like 3am, and I couldn’t count that high, so must have been a good night.
Figment is about this Jingle looking dude called Dusty, and his Navi-like just-barely-not-annoying sidekick, Piper, who live in the mind of a boring father Ima call Stan who just got into a car wreck. No really.
I almost called him Doug, but I didn’t want to be that mean. The developers seem pretty nice.
The Mind, as they call it, seems to be a pretty peaceful place, perhaps too peaceful to Dusty who likes to look at his scrapbook, drink, and wish that Stan would do something cool for once in his life.
It’s like this guy is inside of me. I should go do something cool. Are pogs still a thing?
Well, he gets that chance, when Stan wrecks the car his ass and his family are driving in, and then probably ends up in a coma, or maybe caught in super slow motion and black-and-white on the side of the road. This trauma messes up The Mind, causing these pretty cool looking baddies to come and get all up in Dusty’s grill.
They’re pretty on point, too. I mean, you’re not supposed to look at the villain, and be like “Dayum, you right on target,” but here’s the most real piece of dialogue I’ve seen so far in the game.
Like this guy should be posting for Nihilist Arby’s. I mean look at this Twitter gold.
This Friday the 13th, remember: it’s not the calendar’s fault that life is a fucking horror show & death is the only way out.
It’s a match. A perfect match. Not that that matters or anything at all ever. And this boss is just killing time until the inevitable end. (Am I cool yet?)
Whatever. So yeah you’re chasing dudes, through this beautifully hand painted Toe Jam & Earlscape, picking up some things here and there and doing some minor modification to your surroundings to get where you need to go. Beautiful doesn’t really cover it. Everything is super vibrant and really pops out at you in a way that’s informative and not obnoxious. Just wandering around is pretty fun. You can’t really wander that far, but everything is nice to look at.
Then you hit a boss.
And the boss music is straight up metal. Which, I shouldn’t have to say this, is amazing. Like seriously, I’m using metal in all of my boss fights from now on. Straight up. Also, the nihilist boss with the extra arms you encounter first totally sounds like Skwisgaar Skwigelf. I mean I know these guys are Danish, but I don’t know, maybe metal has that sort of sound. The boss doesn’t actually sing or play instruments during the battle, but it’s still cool enough. At least I don’t think he sings, I mean there is a vocal track. I should listen to it again. The boss singing metal as you fight him would be frickin’ cool.
On that note, I’m going to get me a drink myself. Dusty loses his martini during the first few minutes and has to hunt down this ice machine. Me? I’m going 3 paces to the fridge. It’s still a worthy puzzle. No? Meh.
Your stuggle is pointless. Everything is.
(Nah, everything’s cool. I use the Internet and sometimes play video games for a living. How could that be bad?)
When you think of France*, you think of ennui, of world weariness, of mimes, of overly verbose stories that still leave you staring at the remnants of raw extruded humanity (some of it yours) on the floor as you wonder if you’ve wasted your entire life on flights of triviality.
It’s true. You’ve only made horrible choices thus far. But that’s okay. You can give that child back and play some unWorded. It’s fun. I mean as fun as this bleak existence will allow.
Bento Studio, based in Lyon, have recently released unWorded for Steam, having come out late last year for Android and iOS. It’s a sweeping narrative with themes mentioned above, that is connected through the drawing pictures with letters. Yes, it’s a bit gimmicky and McGuffiny, but it’s simple, elegant, and it works, really making for an enjoyably different game experience, as long as your mind’s eye is in line with the creators’, which is really is the only thing I’d call a downside. For example, there’s this one scene where you have to make a boat, but I thought certain pieces were waves instead of an upper deck, and the thing ground to a halt. Of course when I saw what the answer should have been it was obvious, but I just wasn’t thinking along those lines.
On the reverse, it’s a really beautiful game. Every cut scene could be a wallpaper. I mean look at this from near the beginning.
Gorgeous. It’s weird, and weird games need more attention. I only went through a few levels, but I’m going to go back into it now. I’ll update if I find anything cool.
*Maybe this is reminding me of Illumine, and hence the French connection? Maybe I’m just a bigot.
Full Disclosure: I don’t listen well to directions. I know one of the devs, but I paid for the game. Also, he knows I like messing with his shit. Also BIC Fest Breakdown coming in a few days.
Life is about making the right choices. The Shrouded Isle is about making the wrong choices for everyone else. The ultimate goal is to keep the island oppressed and manageable while you satisfy a the goals given to you upon your first summer by Chernobog, the god who speaks through you to the masses. Everything is a delicate balance, as the five families you control on the island can only be pushed so far, and adherence to the five pillars of your religion, ignorance, fervor, discipline, penitence, and obedience can only fall so low. The ouroboric nature of power from top to bottom again to top enforces a delicate cultural dance, where fear not only rains down from the heavens but also bubbles up from the vile.
Mechanically, the balance is maintained through the use of two types of stats, the approval of the vicar of each house, and the strength of each of the five pillars mentioned above. Each character has strengths and weaknesses that act as modifiers to one of these pillars, and are encoded as character traits, one good and one bad one per person. In the beginning you don’t know anything about anyone in each of the houses, you run inquiries to try to suss everything out. Each season you have to select a member of each house to be a representative, and then you have the option to use them to manage some church affairs. Using a representative raises the approval of their house, and also affects their influence on the town and their adherence to the five pillars.
Oh, and yeah, you gotta kill one of them by the end of the season, so you better have someone seriously fucked up to kill in line, or at least someone you can afford to kill.
The goal given to you in the first summer has two parts. You’ll be asked to force the town to adhere to one of the pillars to a much higher level than the rest. You’ll also be asked to sacrifice a sinner with a certain type of flaw. I’m guessing on this last part, because I’ve never finished the game by completing both goals. I’m still working on that one.
At first, you try to dictate with the best of intentions, you know punish everyone for their own good and whatnot, but by the second year or so, you’re just feeding whoever you can to the dragons to keep everyone else happy enough not to kill you.
I can draw two parallels here.
This game is about the life of Kim Jeong Un.
This game is like LARPing with emotional consequences.
Yeah, yeah I know I shouldn’t bring up LARPing in … well any company, but… yeah, no, fuck you. Yep. Fuck you. I see your judging eyes. Take your Judgy McJudgerson face and back it all the way back up the page. LARPing is fun. LARPing is social. LARPing is a wonderful way to spend an evening with socially responsible individuals that have a strong belief in personal hygiene.
I digress. Still working through some ‘shoes. (The fuck you stands though.)
I like this game. Graphics are on point, which is surprising since this is basically a monochrome game with only the odd splash of blood. Sound’s good too. I like how the gameplay is math that’s disguised as word games that really make you focus on every move you make. Making mistakes and learning from them encourage replayability. The more you get used to the game, the more you spend searching for the best traits and avoiding the worst while budgeting for the unknown. It’s surprisingly tense when you start getting more than a few seasons in. The only two downsides, I think anyway, are that there are not enough villager portraits (people’s images start to bleed over between games) and that I don’t know if every situation is winnable from the outset. There have been times where I’ve desperately needed an increase in one particular pillar but there was no one in any house who could do that, so I spent an entire season just waiting for my death. It could be that I just didn’t make the correct choices, but I’m not so sure. I know one of the devs, I’ll have to ask him about it.
This game is worth picking up if you like logic based games more than action based ones, or if you just like imagining people suffer.
Full Disclosure: It’s 1:37 am and I’m a little tipsy.
I recently quit my job. This job had 22 weeks of paid vacation. Now I work in a cubicle in an office for 3 weeks of paid vacation (but a healthy pay bump). Being under the harsh glow for a continuous nine hour stretch for the first time in more years than I can count tipsy has put me into a somewhat-more-unbalanced-than-usual state of mind. It’s a walking(sitting?)/waking-dream like state where nothing exists except for the computer screen and three fuzzy half walls that are never exactly pleased with what I need to do to get through the day for them and for me, and a semi-constant hum of air conditioning, the snack table, and telephones. Turning 40 recently has also exacerbated this somewhat metaphysical condition, to the point where, during the day, I lose all semblance of my former personality, and can really only communicate verbally though a series of business buzzwords from the 80s, that still seem to work today for some weird reason, power suit, synergy, rebranding.
I just made the company 73 million dollars.
So I started playing Prison Architect for a completely unrelated reason.
This game has been out for a few years now, I got fed up with Sips fucking things up all over the place and fixing things that didn’t need fixing, so I decided to try it for myself.
I learned these things really quickly.
Watching 50 hours of Sips’ gameplay of Prison Architect through various runs does not in any way translate into actual gaming experience.
I am far more shit that Sips at realizing what’s going wrong at any given moment, because my first prison after the intro turned into a riot where 75% of the prison population escaped in about 35 seconds.
It’s a pretty fun game.
I’m aware that by reviewing a 2 year old game, we’re not going to cover any new ground (cough cough retro game reviews are bullshit cough cough), but there’s something really satisfying about this game. It still seems to be getting updates and improvements even this much later, which must be hell on the devs. Could you imagine if they actually went to prison after making something like this? It’d be like serving two sentences at once, but only one is real, the other one is like fighting against Shadow Link in your mind.
Did I mention that it’s 2:04 am, and I’m a bit tipsy?
I guess what was surprising to me is that the game has an amazing amount of depth in it, and your prison is not something you just keep building onto, it’s something that you have to build and reshape and repurpose as you’re going. An hour or two in after the tutorial, and every little of the first iteration of my prison exists. I mean, like 75% percent of my prisoners are gone, and I think I’m fucked, but they haven’t shut me down yet. I might be able to linger on. I mean, this is modelled after the US right? They fuck up prisons, like, all the time.
About fucking up, which happens, often, one of the things that I really appreciate about this game is that they do disasters right. In Sim City, when you got hit with an earthquake or if a tornado got your power plants, you were basically screwed. In this game though, while the emergencies can really do a number on your prison, they feel much more balanced. Sure, I lost 75% of my prison population, but the other 25% were unconscious on the floor or dead, so it felt like I had something to work with. I’ll see how it goes after writing this article, I might change my mind if I get shut down.
Right now, I’m only a few hours into the game, and this is what I’ve built. Good old Bleakville National. This is 2 days before everything went to hell. It’s a nice little cozy prison. Maybe I shouldn’t have let 30 prisoners all stay in the same holding cell for like ever. Maybe I should have hooked up this shower. Meh?
Look at me, I’d be a perfect warden for a for-profit prison. And that’s what’s important. I think I need to play another round.
2:19am. More than tipsy.
The Burpy Fresh crew is heading to the wonderful BIC (Busan Indie Connect) Festival for the weekend! It’s Korea’s premiere (read: only) indie gaming event, so if you’re in the country you should definitely come. We’ll be the guys passed out naked on the beach!