This week I went way back with nostalgia, maybe a little too far back that I almost couldn’t come back out! Well, it’s been the usual sort of collage of different genres (VERY different) and experiences so, hang on tight and remember to avoid feeding the monster.
I’m almost hesitant to call this one a “game”, since it works as a sort of interactive course on assembly programming. Well, the perfect idea of videogaming fun with friends, right? Involving story, breakneck action and wonderful graphics! Yeah, no. You’ll be playing TIS-100 on an actual terminal, where you write the inputs you want to give to your computer and that’s basically it. This, naturally, after printing and reading the manual which shall be your only guide.
On the other hand, there’s actual levels with goals to accomplish; that’s the extent TIS-100 ever comes close to having gameplay. That said, it fills a VERY niche market, it might be the definition of niche market, but that’s not a bad thing. Many people played it and if the game’s for you, it is brilliantly designed and you will learn and have fun. YES YOU WILL OR ELSE!
Also there’s an actual story hiding somewhere, the manual was obviously written by someone who studied a lot of similar documentation of the past. Overall, a pretty good experience. I didn’t really spend that much time on it but I’m glad it exists. Now excuse me, but I have to go back to my manual and see how to reach the sum of 24 on my terminal.
TIS-100 is 7$ full price but I’m pretty sure it can easily be found on sale, still it delivers.
THE HAUNTED ISLAND, A FROG DETECTIVE GAME
Nominated as one of the most prominent indie games of 2018, even though the exact motives were never quite clear to me, Frog Detective was the talk of many gaming websites. I got curious and bought it on Steam but only recently came around to try it. You know what?
It delivers in spades on that very simple promise: it is a frog detective game.
As in, you’re a frog and you’re a detective and you solve the case of the haunted island. Textbook definition of delivering on its promises. As the aformentioned amphibian you will walk around, talk with numerous peculiar animals, collect items and solve simple puzzles.
The graphics are pretty cute, the script is very well written and the whole thing is perfect to play both alone and with a significant other. Better still if it’s a small child.
Unfortunately, it is just an hour long, but hey it’s advertised right on the Steam page. I would have been more than happy to play another hour in the wonderful little world of Frog Detective. But hey, there’s a sequel already out!
4$ is a pretty welcoming price for an hour of serene gaming.
REPLAY – VHS IS NOT DEAD
I was somehow expecting this game to feature a cameo from the Red Letter Media guys, but I guess they weren’t very well known back in 2015. They do have a cameo in a game on Steam, we’ll talk about that on in detail someday.
Anyway, Replay is a 2D puzzle platformer designed around the trick of recording your character movements then replaying them back in order to solve the levels. Which is a good idea, but implemented a bit too literally since if you do something wrong you’ll have to record everything all over again. Which is fine for the simple levels but a pain on longer ones.
Even though they tried to base the levels around actual movie locations (or sets) and the movie based puns are fine, the scenarios do tend to blend in with one another since they’re pretty generic and the replay trick, as mentioned, gets old pretty soon.
The usual retro 16bit-ish graphics do not help since we’ve by now seen them all over the place. The game design is not tight enough for me to come back to it and finish all the levels, frankly, maybe more humour or personality could have helped. Anyway, if puzzle platformers are your thing then I advise you to give Replay a try. Weirdly enough, it barely has 40 reviews on Steam and it’s a pity since it’s really not that bad.
10$ is also pretty okay as a price since the game does look to be pretty long too. Too bad it was abandoned by its developers.