Posts Tagged ‘highlights’

A Best Of (Ctd.)

Posted by (twitter: @yr_property)
Sunday, September 7th, 2014 7:12 am

This is my fifth (I think) ‘best of’ post. You can view the past few on my LD page.

Warp Paint — An extremely well-designed puzzle-platformer. The objective is simply to throw an orb to the correct destination. But the level designs can be deviously clever in their uses of colour and various other elements.

 

 

The Lion’s Song — A romantic game set in the epicentre of Romantic and Classical music, Austria, with a player character who composes (presumably) Romantic music. Despite this seeming bombardment of romance, that aspect never feels overwhelming. Each layer is romance is placed subtly, to such an extent that its romantic elements won’t be at all evident at the start of the game. It arrives spontaneously, a genuine romantic spark. And that is why I love the game. (It’s beautiful graphics and atmospheric audio only make it even better.)

 

World of Beatrice, the Girl Next Door — Engagingly written and attractively presented feminist game highlighting our anachronistic view of women. I rather like the fact it portrays the prejudices against all the choices women make, be they progressive or traditional.

 

 

Mor — I need only to reprint the description: “In this videogame you play a fetus. You try to escape your mothers body through her anus.  Your dead twin’s ghost chases you on the way, throwing drugs and cigarettes at you.” Funny, addictive, oozing with style. 

 

 

 

Superdimensional — A moody, sort of ethereal game with a very innovative mechanic. I hate writing about games like this, because the gameplay is really bloody difficult to describe. I guess you rotate shards of transdimensional matter that expose you to a secondary world, without knowing which one is in fact real. It’s easier if you just go play it.

 

Galactic Bonding — An adorable little game in which you try to match your dad’s silly faces as a kind of bonding exercise. It’s cute in its simplicity, with endearingly childish sketches and easily accessible gameplay.

 

 

Dear Sister — Based on a real life incident, this is a sentimental game about a sister passing on, the connection between our life and the next. Admittedly, as an irate anti-theist this premise instinctively causes a grinding of the teeth, but taken as an emotional venture with real-life connections, I thought it was an admirable game with some powerful music. (It is also, doubtless to many people’s disgust, a “walking simulator”.)

 

Which is my cheeky way of bringing the subject onto one of my games. I just released a second game for the RuinJam 2014, a jam to celebrate the imagined demise of the games industry as a result of social justice games, “non-games”, queer & feminist games etc. The game is a “text-only stream-of-consciousness (and heavily queered) walking simulator”. You can play it here.

It also serves as a companion piece to my LD entry, Sleep.

Okay, the obligatory plug is over…

If you think I’d enjoy your game or for some unfathomable reason want to talk to me, please leave a comment either here or on my game page. I will endeavour to play your game, though I’m at a point now where my comments are getting increasingly abbreviated. So I’m sorry if my feedback is too terse.

I will, however, be making a final ‘best of’ — which I not-at-all narcissistically title “The SNOOTHAs” — late in the coming week. A kind of best of the best, I’ll put together winners for each category and honourable mentions, all in a snazzilly formatted blog post. If you want a chance to win an unquestionably-prestigious SNOOTHA award, then please bring my attention to your game. You can view last year’s SNOOTHAs here.

–Snoother

A Best Of

Posted by (twitter: @yr_property)
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 2:34 pm

This is my fourth ‘best of’ post. Hereafter I’m abandoning the categorised approach, or else I’ll risk leaving shit out. Please do check out my past posts: the best romantic/erotic games, the best sci-fi games, and a mini-feature on a fascinating little game titled Any Moment.

Where Are Your Friends Tonight — This is one of those games that many people can doubtless relate to. Who hasn’t been moving on in life, finding out that you’re no longer tethered to certain friends as once was the case. Reunions become loquacious bouts of nostalgia but nothing more, until gradually the people you once new most intimately just fade from your life. And it’s all done with nice-looking graphics and a simple, accessible social network-esque interface.

 

Circling Circles and Oval Opposites — These are two of a perfect pair. Apparently both developers know eachother and decided to pair up to create two “connected”, thematically similar games set in the same world. Probably one of the most inventive takes on the theme I’ve seen. And the games work really well too. They’re minimalist, casual games with distinctive designs and moods.

Familiaris — A gorgeous Twine game — both visually and narratively — centred round  a dog and his owner. It’s all written from the dog’s perspective, which makes for an interesting, and ultimately engaging experience that I can heartily recommend.

 

 

Intranet — Another Twine game, but this one’s much more creepy than it is cute. And it uses the theme wonderfully. I don’t really want to say much more. You’re better off playing this one without any foreknowledge.

 

A Ludic Proof of the Difficulties Inherent in Finding a Proper Skull — Few! That’s one hell of a title. And it’s one hell of a game too. Like with the last one, I’m going to reserve to right to say no more. Narrative-based games like this are best played with a wholly unaffected mindset, I think. Just go play it. (You might not get it immediately though. It has a fascinating, but at first kind of subtle, take on the theme.)

 

Connecting — An involving conversation game written with utter believability, and set against pleasant graphics and atmospheric audio. You are texting your partner after a trip visiting a past love (or old fling; it’s not overly clear, nor does it need to be). The text messages can take multiple directions, and all the one’s I’ve found are engaging and affecting.

 

Alice Anxiety — Beautiful artwork, stunningly moodful music and notably interactive for a visual novel. Sadly, the game is very much still in embryonic form — just as things start to get really interesting, it ends. The developer obviously ran out of time. But what is here will keep you engaged, just be prepared for a lacklustre ending. I truly hope a post-Jam version is in the making.

 

And if you want to play my game, you can visit its page here. If you leave a comment I can promise I’ll check out your game and repay the favour. It just might take me a couple of days, considering my to-play list is expanding at a stupid rate.

And also because (self-serving plug coming up) I’m a bit distracted with the RuinJam 2014, for which I entered A Tale of the Cave, a hyperlink-based hardcore-but-short cave-crawl nearly entirely written using William McGonagall’s tremendously inept poetry. And I intend to make another game for jam in the next few days. I encourage anyone else interested to join me in ruing the game industry.

–Snoother

Without Comparison: “Any Moment” by Jakub Koziol

Posted by (twitter: @yr_property)
Sunday, August 31st, 2014 12:30 pm

[Warning: the following is mildly spoilerific, but personally I think it’s about as spoiler-filled as your average game review. So if you want to enter this game completely unaffected, go play it first.]

Any Moment is an entry that is completely different. As far as I can tell, it bears no resemblance to any other game this LD. I think the best way to describe it would be the ‘weirdest’ or the most ‘experimental’ game, rather than the most ‘innovative’ . A game that I struggle to find a comparison for.

How many of us just have to keep connected to social media? The restless checking for new emails and messages, and the serious impediment this can be on your creativity. Any Moment centres on this, and then branches out into the author’s submergence into depression. This is interesting and evocative by itself; however, what makes it so special as to be considered ‘without comparison’ is the way it approaches this subject. There is only ever one screen. There is only ever one method of interaction. There is only ever one path. Profound minimalism. How else do I describe it?

Well, okay, I can maybe do a bit better… It is an autobiographical conversation game where you listen to the author detail the aforementioned problems, spoken with the genuineness and austerity of unscripted, stream-of-consciousness speech (even though I suspect it was partially written). The only occasions at which the player interacts is when a question is posed, at which point the player can press the spacebar when they are ready to continue listening. For instance, at one point you are asked, “have you ever lost interest in something you really loved?” The audio pauses; a prompt arises waitingSpace for your to press enter. The player pauses, contemplating and reflecting until they are ready to move on. For me, this was a profound method of interaction, unlike any other this LD. It doesn’t require choices and consequences, but it still engages the player to an extent much greater than many other entries combined. As patronising as this may sound, it forces you to ‘think’, to involve yourself.

There is also an interesting overriding theme in the game: the desire to be listened to. In games we expect the player to be the ones listened to. The player is the one who inputs, and the game acts accordingly. In this case the opposite is true. So then, I hear some of you cry, why on earth is it a game? Well, the player sets the pacing. They choose when to progress, and they are being directly interacted with by the author — there isn’t even a fourth wall to break. And the player listens. For once we holster our expectations of power and listen. I feel that this is an important message, ever more potent as more and more gamers are demanding games tailored to the  player, rather than games directed and authored by, well, the author(s).

So, an autobiographical minimalist game with no agency that demands passiveness on the part of the player. Yet it works. Go figure.

On a sidenote: this is the kind of game that some people may consider to be “ruining the game industry” and causing its impending “demise”. So in the spirit of hyperbolic dystopianism, I recommend everyone enter the Ruin Jam 2014, a jam to celebrate games that “contribute to the downfall of video games”. Hopefully I’ll get the time to do my little bit in aid of the forthcoming apocalypse. (And thank you to Sunflower for bringing my attention to it.)

Also, this is the third ‘best of’ list I’ve written (well, in this case it’s more of a mini-feature). Please do check out my past two lists on the best romantic/erotic entries and the best sci-fi entries.

–Snoother

Sci-Fi: A Best Of

Posted by (twitter: @yr_property)
Saturday, August 30th, 2014 5:36 am

The second in my ‘best of’ lists for this Ludum Dare. You can view the last one, which was on romantic and erotic entries, here.

Cesarino’s Friendly Interplanetary Delivery Services — Even without acknowledging that the game’s title is nonpareil, this is a truly fun piece. You perform the various deliveries, bumping humorously into various planets and asteroids, while also eliminating all the competition ships with your laser guns and upgrading your own ship along the way.

 

Capsule — A really amusing one-man-in-space story that will keep you captivated from start to finish. Made in Twine, it’s also one of the best looking text games I’ve ever seen, packed with dazzling css effects, cool animated gifs, and a decidedly professional font and colour scheme.

 

 

 

Parallel Rift — A high-octane platformer where you repeatedly traverse the level, each time creating a clone of yourself who performs your last navigation of the level. But you can’t come into contact with any of your past selves, quickly ramping up the challenge and making for some addictive gameplay. An interesting take on the theme, I thought.

 

 

A New and Beautiful World — An admirably large visual novel with only one occasion for interactivity. To many that sentence would be an indictment of the game — but trust me, it shouldn’t be. That one moment of interactivity is more profound than the combined gameplay of many other entries. And the story, set decades in the future,  is an engaging, sentimental one of the relationship between two brothers and a father.

 

Crece-above-Clouds — A kind of space-island tower-defence game, but with various peculiar characters who’s dialogue is always engaging and quite often amusing. And the music — oh my, the music. Definitely worth checking out.

 

 

Crisis Culture — An interplanetary visual novel ridiculous in tone and lush with style, both through its odd, distinctive characters and its highly stylised graphics.

 

 

And if you feel so kind, you could also check out my game. It isn’t sci-fi, however — there’s not much science to it, and only half of it’s fiction… But it is kind of surreal, pretty intimate, and I’m proud of it at least.

–Snoother

Love and Lust: A Best Of

Posted by (twitter: @yr_property)
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 4:14 pm

So like last year, I’m going to make lists of my favourite entries every few days. But unlike last year, I’m going to try and categorise a few of the lists, especially as this theme seems to have inspired people to work within specific genres (sci-fi and romance come to mind).

It goes without saying that just because I played your game and it isn’t on any list, that doesn’t ipso facto mean I don’t think it’s any good. Sometimes it’s just down to preference, other times it was just hard to pick which ones to include, and very occasionally I may even forget to bookmark your entry.

This list is one for the best romantic/erotic games I’ve played so far, somewhat selfishly chosen considering it’s the genre I wrote my game in. (And yes, that was a not-very-subtle plug, but I had to put it somewhere 😉 )

13 Minutes of Light Okay, normally I’ll refrain from ranking anything on these lists, but I can’t help myself announce how much I like this game. It is my favourite so far. Beautifully told, 13 Minutes of Light is a romantic visual novel played through a clever letter-writing mechanic and set against a tumultuous political backdrop. I will be replaying this game to find all five ending. And then I’ll probably replay it some more.

 

 

Zanlings Match by Franklins Ghost — I’m not quite sure how to advertise this one. A weird dating show simulator where you may end up marrying a towering pink blob monster. Wait, that’s not quite it. A carefully stylised romance that will amuse, touch and perplex. Slightly better. But not perfect. Just go play it — trust me.

 

 

Our Worlds by Davi Santos — A dual-screen boy-girl romance where you control each character separately in an effort to get them to “connect”. Loads of games LD have gone for this, but so far I think this one comes out top. It looks great, with a distinct palette for both characters, and the mood is then refined thanks to the great music.

 

Thinkings by Lythom. This game also follows the two-avatars-connecting-with-one-another-via-puzzles template, but does it in a uniquely abstract way. You have some nice quotes to inspire solution to each puzzle, and each puzzle is an attempt to deepen the connection between these two pentagonal creatures. It doesn’t even have to be viewed as a romance — but that’s the way I interpreted it.

 

Secret Place by M James Short — A piece of Twine erotica about existential lust, with some very evocative lines: “early wetness as you melt inside me”, “a silent hiss of chemical infatuation”.

 

If I encounter more enticing romantic and/or erotic entries I’ll put up a part 2 to this list. And if you’ve made a game within the genre that you’d like me to check out, please do leave a comment!

–Snoother

[ETA: I got in a slight kerfuffle  (it’s getting late here) and had to repost this. I hope I haven’t annoyed anyone by doing so.]

Five Amazing LD#28 Games You Totally Need to Check Out

Posted by (twitter: @npaavo)
Saturday, December 21st, 2013 12:18 am

Looking for some awesome games to play and rate? Here’s a collection of a few hidden gems I’ve run into that are absolutely brilliant!

1:   You can become only one!!1 – by multikorv

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=8028

In addition to being an absolutely brilliant concept, this is a shining example of how edutainment/learning games can be fun. If expanded upon, this has the potential to be a fantastic way to teach problem solving and math skills. I would totally drop money on a full version with a level editor/sharable custom levels. The game has a brilliantly paced tutorial and punchy, crisp controls. The way the player accelerates through gates feels so well polished, and the background beat keeps you in the action!

2. Wraith – by AgentParsec

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=12468

The atmosphere this game creates is simply unreal, and chilling. I was on the edge of my seat while playing the entire time. The textures are a bit on the simplistic side, but do not detract from the distilled, raw feelings the maze elicits. It grips you, and doesn’t let go. It also supports the Oculus Rift, if you have nerves of fricking steel, which is another fantastic touch.

3. Solid Heart – by Dustedge

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=15151

The game is built upon a very solid mechanic and presents an interesting twist on the action-puzzler genre. There’s a lot of subtle visual polish as well as some challenging level design, which explores the variety of dimensions the “bouncing core” mechanic has to offer. My only complaint would be the slightly slippery physics. There is a lot of potential here for an awesome title with a bit more visual and audio polish. Overall, a solid prototype!

4. John Power – by Anoarith

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=24843

A well-executed, refreshing take on the “you can only have one power”-style entries. Where John Power succeeds is, in a word, diversity. There are a large variety of powers in the game, but you must choose from a pool of three at the beginning of a level. I finished the game, and immediately wanted more. The finale is beyond words, and plays with the mechanics established in the previous levels in a clever way. Expertly designed.

5. Collector’s Quest – by Crigs

Link: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=30740

Collector’s Quest has a neat, unique mechanic that is explained wonderfully through level design. There’s also a lot of nice touches that give the player character some charm and personality. Another example of a game that I wouldn’t mind seeing more levels from!

Got some more cool games that are totally rad? Link them below, or post your own list! Let’s highlight the awesome work put out by the thousands of devs that made this jam magical!

dxFavs – few highlights

Posted by
Thursday, April 26th, 2012 4:42 am

Rated bunch and here are few highlights in random order.

Tiny Wizard – kebabskal

Jump in/jump out fast shooter. What’s not to love?

 

gravity – Rémi

It’s very hard but I love graphics and mood.

 

The Last Rainbow – Vandash

Calm, cute and contains rainbow.

 

Tinysasters – Volute

I’m sucker for board games so it was instant fav. I thought it was polished, well planned project but according to creator it was rush of coding and making graphics to the very end. Imagine what it will be given more time!

 

Oh Boy, Oh Boy – Tom

Clouds in space. And it really felt like terraforming 😉

 

Aloft – Chinchilla

Again gameboardey. Nice graphics and I liked fountains of money 😉 Cool thing with throwing back bombs.

 

ONLY US – Datamosh

If you like movie Moon and pixel graphics it’s a go. And death scenes are great.


Astro Break – hulahulahest

Small shooter with nice graphics. I’m sold.

 

Soul Searchin’ – MaximSchoemaker

Last but totally not least. IMHO this is a winner. It’s innovative, funny, 100% into theme.

 

More to rate – more to come.

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