Be honest, longer-time readers: did you think I’d try pulling something like this a second time? I mean, obviously the answer is yes, but did it surprise you? Please… please tell me it did. It’s the only thing that keeps me going anymore.
As before, so again: three games, each individually too short to merit an actual full deconstruction, so instead I’m offering general insight and impressions. Up for grabs this time around are a game about monsters, a game about star seeds and a game about games. There’s no theme or grand idea connecting these three games, because that’s simply not how I do things.
And by that I mean that this way of doing things is silly and inefficient, which is the way I like it best.
What in the devil’s a Pid? I mean, a game by Might and Delight, obviously, but what could the name ‘Pid’ even stand for? Well, quite a lot of things, actually, though none of them seem to match up to the sporadic screenshots I saw of this game when I pulled it off the Indie Royale Lunar Bundle — yes, now defunct, I’m sorry, should have warned you in advance — so I guess I get to choose what it means for myself? Hmmm… I like ‘Principal ideal domain’, “in abstract algebra, an integral domain in which every ideal is principal“, because it sounds nice and incomprehensible.
So long story short, that’s what I’ll be playing this week.
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, very low. Mechanical, medium-to-high.)
No, I won’t actually refer to Pid as ‘Principal ideal domain’ more than once. That’d be *way* too much commitment for a throwaway joke.
Like everyone who is anyone in this industry, I spent most of last week playing Monaco, the rather long-awaited game about stealing things by Pocketwatch Games. Perhaps due to Monaco’s somewhat storied development process, I wasn’t as excited at ‘it finally coming out’ as some other people I know, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t looking forward to it. And this week, I’ll be finding out just how justified all that pre-built excitement actually was.
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, low. Mechanical, high-ish.)
Fun fact: looking for Google leads on ‘Monaco development process’ mostly leads you to job openings in the oil industry. Good to know, I reckon?…
I think our reaction to the announcement of a new Walking Dead game was pretty much similar to that of everyone else. First ‘will it be another Telltale adventure game?’. When the reports of it being a first-person shooter came in, that turned to ‘will it be another character-driven, small-scale look at the reality of living through a zombie apocalypse?’.
Then, when the reports of it being quite mediocre came in, that turned to simply ‘Oh well’.
Of course, we *did* just play it for this site So there’s a thing.
My first exposure to Klei Entertainment‘s Don’t Starve was actually a few months back, when you-know-him-by-now JPH pointed out that
- Klei Entertainment are also the creators of Mark of the Ninja, a game both he and I enjoyed a great deal, and
- It looked pretty okay at first glance.
Subsequently, I purchased alpha access to Don’t Starve on Steam, played a bit of it, and realized that would probably want to write about it at full release. I didn’t feel very comfortable writing about the still-in-development product, and I didn’t want to sour my ‘official’ first impressions too much, so I dropped playing it almost immediately after that first realization, and have been waiting eagerly for the day Don’t Starve was to go gold.
That day is… well, it was a few days ago by the time this goes up, but you understand the sentiment.
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, next to none. Mechanical, medium.)
This *does* mean I’ve seen and played an earlier, unfinished version of the game, yes. But I’ll keep references to this to a minimum.
Hey everyone. Short informational update: after receiving some complaints about accessibility, we’ve had our ISP flush the firewall and solve a ‘Bad Glue Check’, whatever the devil that means. Preliminary results show that if you’ve been unable to visit or comment earlier, that should be solved now. If you know someone who was unable to visit, have them try it out! They’ll thank for you it, and so will we.
This week: Octodad, a game by the constantly-evolving DePaul Game Experience, associated with the university of the same name. Why this week Octodad, etc, etc, you ask? Because screw you, it’s Octodad, that’s why.
More seriously, though, Octodad has been in my list of ‘games I should probably play (for this column) at some point’ since as long as I can remember. I don’t actually know why I haven’t played it earlier; for some reason, my mind had been convinced that it would be hard to obtain, or hard to get running, or something along those lines. But on being reminded of the Steam-Greenlighted sequel currently in development, I decided to give it another shot. And what do you know? It’s available for free in convenient one-file download format.
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, somewhat high. Mechanical, full.)
After the break: what in the devil is an Octodad? And does anyone suspect a thing?
Evoland, by two-man outfit Shiro Games, was recommended to me by my good friend and part-time possibly-anthropomorphic werewolf Varewulf, whose blog about games and stuff I really ought to add to our woefully underused linkroll at some point in the future. An expanded version of the 2012 Ludum Dare #24 winner (the original version is still playable online, Evoland promises to be ‘a short story of adventure video games evolution’. A short look at the trailer convinced me that this game at least looked pretty interesting, and as such, here we are.
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, ‘high’. Mechanical, high.)
Also, it has pixels. I *love* pixels.
Alright, so we’re still getting the hang of this bi-weekly video thing. And alright, maybe you don’t necessarily care about our excuses. And alright, maybe we uploaded a video called ‘Dead Space 3′ and it was 100% Crysis 3 footage instead. Listen: these things happen. I think I speak for all of us when I say that the best we can do is learn from our mistakes, pack up, move on, and not dwell on who is and who isn’t a clear collection of well-intended amateurs.
Spoiler: it’s you. You’re the well-intended amateurs. Keep trying, though! You’ll get there.
If you’re into indie games to any degree — if, say, you’re not some godawful hack pretending to be knowledgeable about this stuff for the sake of flogging a weekly column — you may have heard of Thomas Was Alone, a game by Mike Bithell that apparently involves emotional tangents and coloured squares in about equal measure. I guess? All I know for sure is that Thomas Was Alone has been lauded in review segments and webcomics both, which means there was enough grounds for me to try it out sometime. And it was recently released on Steam, which means there was enough grounds for me to actually run into it.
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, medium. Mechanical, somewhat high.)
Yes, I get almost all of my games from Steam. I know *about* Desure and Indiecity and whatever else, but Steam is just my to-use platform.