As of November 2012, I run music webzine A Lonely Ghost Burning.

It's all about short, positive reviews with no genre restrictions. Might be worth a try if you you like your music to feature any or all of the following characteristics;

- Distinctive Vocals

- Palpable Atmosphere

- Believable Emotion

I also write occasionally for the excellent Alternative Magazine Online and keep a far less excellent blog, Cherry Faced Fool.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Love and War: Act 1

Year - 2005 ish I think
Length - Long
Engine - RPG Maker 2000
Suitability Factors - Don't think so

Right, well this review was actually ready a week or so ago but have only just got around to adding the screenshots.

Love and War, made by Admiral Styles, is my first review of an RPG on the blog. It is of course still a freebie, and at it's core it is way more like an adventure game than any other RPG I've played.

Story

The reason why? Well, it is often said that great fiction is character based - this should be extended to the medium of games and it is adventure games that are viewed (at least by their fans) as the strongest and most suited genre for storytelling. Many games tell their story through bland one-dimensional characters and are arguably ineffective in immersing the player as a result. Of course their are many adventure games that fall into this trap too, however it seems that great characters are far more common in this sphere of gaming. Thus it was with surprise that I became so attached to and interested in the characters of Love and War.

The game's main protagonist is Ryan Eramond of Davenport, Terra. Fresh out of high school, he's looking forward to a study free summer spending time with his buddies. However, plain sailing it will not be. His Dad hires him to work as a delivery boy (there goes all that free time), plus he has girl problems, serious girl problems.

Although Ryan is the main man of the story, the player will also become acquainted with his two best mates, Henrik and Armin, as well as an early childhood friend, Lavie. All of these characters have their own distinct personalities and their interaction and development are without a doubt the cornerstone of this game. The stories of the main characters are thoroughly interesting and entertaining.

There is also an overriding story arc involving government unrest and the potential for war. Whilst this is fairly intriguing, it did not for the most part maintain my interest the way the more personal aspects of the story did. It is of course linked to the game's main characters but seeing how Ryan et al were going to affect the world from their viewpoint seemed far more interesting that seeing how the world was going to affect them.

It is with the world story that the game starts, briefly casting you as a couple of characters from 300years or so past. Perhaps it's just me, but I'm not a fan of this game mechanic, it doesn't hold my interest too well. It is only short however and the sole reason I mention it is to assure people that the game does become markedly more interesting thereafter.



Atmosphere

The great atmosphere of the game is also largely created by the characters. Whether they're sharing a joke or feeling sorry for themselves, they always manage to keep the player interested in the game-world. Likewise whether the atmosphere is lighthearted or serious, to me it always felt genuine. It's likely that this is also due to the quality of the game's dialogue, which is very well written and also witty when necessary. Indeed, it is often worthwhile just journeying around each town talking to residents - their conversation threads being far more interesting than is the norm in these types of game.

As Love and War was made in RPG Maker, it is no surprise the graphics are tiled. This may put some people off although it didn't bother me at all. The graphics do their job just fine - plus the close-ups that are used at certain points throughout the game are well drawn and fit in with the look of each character portrayed.

The audio side of the game is solid also with an unintrusive soundtrack that becomes familiar without being annoying.



Gameplay

As with any RPG, there is combat, and the suitable equipping and levelling up of your characters is important if you are to progress. I don't recall ever being frustratingly stuck on any particular battle however.

Despite the regular RPG elements of stats and battles, much progression in the game comes from talking to other characters, either to spark off a new event, or to give the player some information that may help with their current quest. The game also mixes things ups with the odd riddle and mini-game which are well implemented and detract nothing from the game's pacing, perhaps because they only occur at suitable times.

Another area worth mentioning is the game length. This game is long, however as it's title suggests, Love and War: Act 1 does not tell the complete tale. It does however tell far more of it than you might expect. On a few occasions I thought the game was about to cut off only for it to continue, and when Act 1 does eventually reach it's cliffhanger climax, it feels like an entirely fair one. Another more well known indie RPG I played finished unexpectedly and all too sudden. In my opinion, this is certainly not the case with Love and War.

Finally, the game provides the player with a fair number of save-points throughout and I remember only one section (The Mine) which seemed unfair. This section aside, I don't recall having to repeat the same part over and over again in order to progress.



Summary

Love and War is by far the most interesting RPG I've ever played with regards to characters and story. Some people will use the graphics as an excuse not to play it, however if RPG Maker style visuals don't bother you then I can think of no reason for me to hesitate in recommending this game. I hope others for whom adventure is their primary genre are able to look past the basic RPG setup of Love and War to see the true beauty of strong characterisation and great storytelling that lie beyond it's genre confines.

I may be wrong, but a Google search suggests that this game has passed many people by. Quite simply, it shouldn't have, and in my opinion is fully deserving of your time. Bring on Act 2!

Pros

- Excellent story
- Great characterisation
- Well written dialogue which is witty and emotive as appropriate
- Provides plenty of play-time
- Act 2 does still seem to be in development

Cons

- Some may be put off by the simple RPG Maker graphics
- Act 2 isn't yet complete

If you like this watch;

- C'est Lavie

Download for free;

Love and War: Act 1

Friday, 6 November 2009

Writing Contest

Below is the entry I submitted for the AGS Forums fortnightly writing contest in August. It didn't win but I was happy with the finished piece just the same.

The topic entrants were given was the following, 'Write a short story - or rather, the "expository chapter" to a longer story - that engages in worldbuilding - by which I mean a text that shows what kind of world the story takes place in, what it would be like to live there'.

Any thoughts, positive or critical are welcome.

Meanwhile, you can expect a new review to be posted over the next week.

Cheers,

JD

----------------------

A stranger arrives on a planet after drifting through space for more years than he cares to remember. Little has happened during his journey however he possesses a strong feeling that this is about to change. Every so often a world comes along which is interesting, a world which appears serene yet has an underlying threat of…unrest. A planet which is home to a people that appear universally happy. A planet where any moment the peaceful lives of those inhabiting it are going to explode. Yes, this is a place he could settle down for a while. Watch as the very fabric of the world is ripped apart. Maybe he could even help push things along a little?

He sits on a rock-face observing the beings go about their daily lives. He recognises them, not personally of course, but as a race. They are human, settlers on a planet which wasn’t made for them. They’d adapted to the planetary conditions over the years. Originally they’d walked around in those big suits but now, generations down the line and the suits long gone, it was as if they were meant to be here. Everyone looks comfortable and relaxed, at ease with the surroundings. He recognises the differences between this planet and the other they occupy, a place he’d visited a long time ago. Gone are the sprawling metropolises and extravagant structures, the seedy alleyways and rubbish ridden streets. Instead, everything here looks like it’s been kept purposefully small scale and simple, clean but unimaginative. Every building in sight is made of the same grey stone that dominates much of the landscape. Most are dome shaped and there appears to be only a few varying sizes. The place isn’t dull however. It has a vibrancy which seemingly emanates from its residents, descendants of those whom took radical steps to change their lives.

The temperature rises to a slightly uncomfortable level, seemingly coinciding with the reduced number of passers by. Although the heat is of no consequence to the stranger, he gets up from his position on the rocks. The faint daylight provides enough illumination to the outside world for artificial lighting not to be needed. It allows him to make out a sheltered gathering in the distance. He walks towards it, slowly and with curiosity. As he approaches, he sees the crowd staring up at a screen. It looks out of place in the more primitive looking surroundings and is broadcasting someone making a speech. The individual talks of kindness and humility, about the pioneers to this planet who wanted to create a better world, something that was unachievable on the motherland. He talks of poverty and indulgence, has to explain the concepts of these things to the people who have little or no grasp of what they are. Most of all however, he talks of happiness. He smiles, the crowd smile back. His eyes though, they are cold. He is one of them, not a human, one of the others.

The stranger smiles too, not at the screen, but to himself. He knows something the humans don’t. Something they are completely oblivious to, made more intriguing because it is in front of their very own eyes. Aside from the one making the address, the stranger had already seen ten of them. Walking around unnoticed, exchanging pleasantries and going about their apparently normal lives. He can see through them though, see what they really are, likes what he sees. The people on this planet, kind-hearted and idealistic as they are, will soon realise that not everyone or everything is like them. And it’s going to be soon…very soon.

----------------------

With this being a prologue, the first chapter would then introduce the main human protagonist.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Awakener

Year - 2009
Length - Short
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - N/A

I must start this review with an apology for reviewing two games in a row by developers who I've already reviewed games by. These people are clearly way too greedy...

Awakener is the latest experiment from the talented Ben Chandler (Ben304).

Story

The story revolves around Fadi, a nine year old boy with a thirst for adventure. Given permission to spend the day with his Aunt Sylvia, he is handed the simple challenge of retrieving a potion from a store on the street. Of course, his task turns out to be not quite so simple.

Although the story has a nice twist at the end, until that point it's abit of a non-event. The game appears more of an excuse to allow the player to interact with some weird and wonderful characters. This would perhaps be a problem if the characters weren't particularly interesting however each has a fairly distinctive personality, even those that aren't actually characters (yes I'm looking at you Barrel).



Atmosphere

The first thing you will notice when entering the game is the beautifully drawn and colorful background (nope that shouldn't be plural - there is only one). It's style is unmistakably that of this developer and it fits perfectly to this genre of adventure. Furthermore, the character animations are excellent and often unexpected. The music also fits very well with the style of the game.

Aside from the visual and audio elements...

The game does a great job of creating a comedic atmosphere and thankfully doesn't try and force it's humour onto the player. Whilst many of the game's conversations and responses will contain an element of humour, they are done so with a degree of subtlety. This enhances the game's already chilled out atmosphere. Nothing in the game feels forced, and never did I feel rushed to do anything.

However, there are a couple of areas where the player loses immersion in the game. Firstly, the fourth wall is broken several times as Fadi humorously comments on his being in a game. Although this isn't a huge problem, I feel it could have been handled in a better way, perhaps by referring to the traits of adventure game characters as if they were real actions undertaken in his world.

For example, and I appreciate I'm getting sidetracked here but please bear with me...As Fadi is established as a keen adventurer, he could make a comment such as, "Adventuring 101 says, 'Do not under any circumstances leave your stuff lying around - you never know who might take it.' Perhaps I should suggest to the guard their that he buys himself a copy...not right now though of course." I'm not sure if this sort of thing has been done before (probably has) but is just an alternative to fourth wall breaches of this nature.

The second loss of immersion again relates to the game's dialogue. Considering he is a nine year old boy, Fadi's vocabulary seems too well developed. There are times in the game when I was left thinking he must be an English language graduate from Oxford University rather than a young kid. Of course I'm exaggerating but still, it did spoil the believability of the character a little.



Gameplay

The game's puzzles are all inventory based although some require the player to talk to a character first. The solutions are simple and getting stuck for any longer than a few seconds is very unlikely.

The game handles as most (possibly all) of Ben's games do - very simply. Again, for adventure game veterans this will probably be seen as a negative. Anyone who likes to be challenged in their games will most likely be disappointed with Awakener. Having said that, the simple gameplay may suit those with little time and/or patience, as will the short length of the game.

My personal opinion is that whilst I would have preferred the game to have provided more of a challenge, I can't really see how it would have been able to do so without ruining the atmosphere of the game. More complex puzzles would likely have seemed out of place, whilst more illogical puzzles that are generally acceptable in humorous games would have made the game frustrating thus losing it's calm and laid back nature.

Therefore, I think the problems with gameplay are largely caused by the confines of creating a short comedic game, rather than by poor or lazy puzzle design.



Summary

Whilst only a short diversion, Awakener is most definitely worth checking out. The subtle comedic tone and laid back nature of the game combine to really good effect and make the player happy to be spending time in it's world, even though that world only consists of one small street. The short length of the game does rather suppress the story and prevent it from being a classic, however it does once again showcase the exciting talent of the developer.

Overall, anyone in the mood for a comedic game that's not too taxing could do a lot worse than loading Awakener up.

Pros

- Well written
- Funny dialogue
- Great visuals
- Contains the most interesting barrel you'll ever meet

Cons

- Short
- A couple of immersion issues

If you like this, try;

- Shifter's Box
- Apprentice 1 Deluxe

Download for free;

Awakener

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Reality-On-The-Norm: The Postman Only Dies Once

Year - 2001
Length - Medium
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - One use of strong language

Earlier in the year...ok fair enough, ALOT earlier in the year, I reviewed a Reality-On-The-Norm game. I also revealed that I would be reviewing another game in the series - well, for those people who haven't yet lost faith (and those who have)...here it is...finally!

The Postman Only Dies Once (from hereon referred to as 'The Postman') is the seventh canon game in the series. If you're new to the RON series and would like an explanation as to what this means, please go here, to read my review of RON: The Repossessor.

Like The Repossessor, The Postman was made by Dave Gilbert.

Story

In this episode of RON, the player takes control of the town's out of luck private investigator, Max Griff. Upon hearing a commotion in the streets, he rushes out of his office only to find the local postman lying dead on the floor. Stood next to the corpse is Michael Gower, the undead mayoral candidate. Mr Gower strangely has nothing to say for himself, and with the sheriff quickly on the scene to arrest him, it appears that the case has been swiftly sewn up. That is until Max receives a visit from local journalist Mika Huy. She offers to hire him to investigate the case - but intent on getting a big news story, this is under the condition that she is allowed to help out.

The story is a little thin on the ground however the offbeat humour of the RON universe carries it through. The writing is very good and does a good job of creating a private investigator type atmosphere.



Atmosphere

Despite this, some may be disappointed that The Postman doesn't really make the player feel like a private investigator. Perhaps not everyone will agree but I don't think this is as important as it would be in other games. As I mentioned in my previous RON review, the games in this series are all about the characters, and The Postman doesn't let its players down in this respect. The residents of RON are as strange as ever and it is they more than anything else that are responsible for the immersion the game provides.

Whether you agree with the above statements or not, chances are if you're a fan of the atmosphere created in other RON games then you'll most probably like the atmosphere of this game too.

An area that may detract from the atmosphere however is the sometimes mundane backgrounds, although having not been privy to the deluxe treatment that The Repossessor benefited from, this is to be expected. They're certainly not bad, just a little simple and sparse.

The choices of music are pretty good although the change in track for every location might be a little off-putting.




Gameplay

The player's first goal is to interview witnesses (or potential suspects). These enquiries can be conducted in any order and this non-linearity is a nice touch.

As already touched upon, some people may feel letdown by the small amount of detective work the game actually entails. Although not vital for the atmosphere of the game, I think a few puzzles involving some deductive reasoning would have added to the quality of the gameplay.

As it is, most puzzles are of the standard inventory variety. All are solvable but may provide the player with a degree of challenge in terms of slightly lateral thinking.

The game is of medium length and although my recent replay seemed over quite quickly, I seem to recall the overall playtime to be quite abit longer first time round, perhaps because of the aforementioned lateral thinking that was needed.



Summary

Of the RON games I've played thus far, there is no doubt that this is one of those which fans of the series should definitely make time to play. It's story is perhaps slightly more serious than others in the series however it is the crazy RON characters and humour that really shine through. Although it will help for players to have played the earlier games, anyone who enjoys a good old fashioned point and click game should enjoy this. It's interesting characters and offbeat humour easily make up for the lack of any real sleuthing.

Pros

- Further great use of RON characters
- Great cameo by the 'The Crazy Homeless Weirdo'
- Well written dialogue

Cons

- Perhaps could have given the player more private investigative tasks to perform
- Backgrounds a little bland

If you like this, try;

- Other RON games

Download for free;

Reality-On-The-Norm: The Postman Only Dies Once

Monday, 7 September 2009

Paul Moose In Space World

Year - 2009
Length - Short
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - N/A

Has been a while but...

Paul Moose In Space World is a creation of AGS forum member 'thecatamites'. It is the second AGS game released by this developer and continues with the rather unorthodox graphical style used in his first effort.

Story

The best way to describe this game in my opinion would be as an interactive animated short, hence the game is suited by the obscure premise it serves up. The player takes control of Paul Moose, a humanised moose in space searching for aliens. The main protagonist is accompanied by his robot friends who are actually household objects, i.e. an ironing board, washing machine, television, and lamp.

The story is not an important aspect of this particular game - rather it's there to showcase the character, as is the case in many short animated television features.



Atmosphere

The atmosphere is important however, and the game delivers one which befits it's quirky nature. This is via a combination of simple graphics and (sometimes humorous) dialog with some great music thrown in to boot.

The backgrounds are mainly drawn in crayon on cardboard cut-outs and their simple amateurish look may divide opinion. My thoughts are that they work perfectly in a game of this type. However, whilst the main character sprite doesn't necessarily detract from the game's atmosphere, it would have been nice to see abit more life brought into Paul Moose. Perhaps using safety pins to attach his limbs to his body would enable a suitable walk cycle to be created as well as various other actions. Not sure how viable that would be but is just a thought off the top of my head.



Gameplay

The game's contains a mix of inventory and conversation based puzzles whilst some also require the player to make use of the simple abilities of Paul's household friends. The puzzles are all simple enough and logical within the gameworld.

Lengthwise, the game is short and will no doubt be completed in one short sitting. Although the story doesn't present itself as being one which needs much telling, it would have perhaps benefited from including a couple of extra episodes like this one with Paul being thrust into other peculiar situations.



Summary

Overall, Paul Moose In Space World is a fun little game with a graphical style that very much suits it's whimsical nature. Despite being a little rough around the edges, it still has plenty of appeal as a freeware game, particularly for those whom are fans of laid-back animated shorts and cartoons.

Pros
- Interesting visual style
- Good choice of music
- Relaxed theme and gameplay

Cons
- Could have done with containing a few extra 'Paul Moose In...' episodes
- Main character would have benefited from a walk-cycle

If you like this, try;

- Limey Lizard Waste Wizard

Download for free;

Paul Moose In Space World

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Heed

Year - 2009
Length - Short
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - N/A

Heed is the latest in what seems to be a never ending stream of releases this year from Ben304. He seems to be getting better with each one as well, although this latest effort does tread a fine line between being a game and a short interactive novel.

Story

The story is a philosophical one, one of an unnamed traveller whom wishes to make more of his life. The player controls this traveller as he seeks to find his true purpose, a journey which starts with the observation of a strange fly, and learning of something called the source.

The game flows well although the story feels a little empty in my opinion. Nevertheless, each of the events that takes place during the game is intriguing enough to make you want to continue through to the game's conclusion.



Atmosphere

The aspect of the game I was most impressed with was it's atmosphere. Upon entering Heed it is the visuals which straight away grab your attention. The backgrounds are stylish and the character sprites well drawn and animated. Darker colours are often used for the scenery whilst much brighter colours are used for the characters. This contrast works extremely well and the characters visual prominence over the background objects adds to the idea that the game is about the character's journey within, rather than about his physical location.

The atmosphere is further set by the fantastic choice of music. I can't really explain why it fits in so well, just that it does.



Gameplay

If there is an element of the game that opens it self to criticism however then the gameplay is it. The player performs an action by a simple click of the left mouse button. Whilst this is very intuitive, it doesn't allow for much in the way of problem solving. Plus, with only a limited number of hotspots in each location, it is almost always immediately obvious what needs to be done to progress.

That said, there are puzzles which seem well thought out and an attempt at something a little different from the norm. The game plays as though the developer made a big effort to make the puzzles fit seamlessly into the story which is certainly a positive.



Summary

I think my main memories of Heed will be of the stylish visuals and excellent almost dreamlike atmosphere the game possesses. I think some will be put off by the lack of actual 'game' elements on offer whilst others will be delighted by the brisk pace the game keeps up throughout. The game certainly has a more experimental feel to it than many others but it's enjoyable all the same and well deserving of your attention.

Pros
- Stylish visuals
- Great music
- Puzzles it does have fit nicely into the story

Cons
- Little interaction

If you like this, try;

- Anna
- Judith
- Shifter's Box (Another Ben304 game and proof that I'm not just randomly listing girls names!)

Download for free;

Heed

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Proposal

Year - 2009
Length - Short
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - N/A

Haven't been gaming too much lately however July's first review is finally here. It's of the latest MAGS winning effort, Proposal by Tijne.

Story

In Proposal, the player controls John Gwar, a 'man' under a rather unfortunate curse. He has until midnight to become engaged knowing that failure to do so will result in him crumbling to dust. Everything is set for a night of fine dining and ultimately the proposal. Alas things do not go exactly to plan resulting in a much more tricky night than he'd planned.

The introduction to the story and main character is excellent. Going into too much detail would spoil it (as might looking too intently at the screenshots) however suffice to say it does a very good job of drawing the player into the game. The remainder of the story is also very solid for a short one location game.



Atmosphere

The game's atmosphere is set up very nicely by the aforementioned intro and is fairly lighthearted throughout despite the unfortunate position the main character finds himself in.

The music also very much suits this lighthearted nature of the game.

If there's anything that hampers the atmosphere at all then it's the visuals which are quite blurry at times. This is especially true of the character sprites. Whilst by no means awful, the graphics could have done with some sharpening up.



Gameplay

Most puzzles are of the inventory variety and these are logical enough given the nature of the game. Some require abit of lateral thinking although I never felt cheated. In fact it was these puzzles I enjoyed the most.

The GUI is indistinct and abit of an eyesore on the side of the screen however it doesn't interfere with gameplay too much.



Summary

Proposal is a fun game which does a good job from the start of enticing the player to keep playing, it's paced very well and didn't once make me frustrated. The game could be improved visually and is understandably short, however it's certainly worthy of your time if you like a pleasant enjoyable story with some decent humour thrown in.

Pros
- Good humour
- Some good puzzles
- Likeable main character and story
- Well chosen music

Cons
- Visuals blurry
- Character sprites could do with some work
- GUI looks messy

Download for free;

Proposal

June Reviews

Hey,

Here's a list of the games reviewed in June.


AGS Games

Atapi
Mr Danger's Contest
Reality-On-The-Norm: The Repossessor

Other Games

Frasse and The Peas of Kejick

May Reviews
April Reviews


JD

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Atapi

Year - 2009
Length - Medium
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - N/A

The latest review is of the first time effort from Kristin Moody.

Story

In Atapi, the player is cast as Oko Bokog, a Sakwa fisherman with a horrendous past. His life has been given hope and meaning by his adopted human daughter, Kiri, however when other humans in his village start to contract a mysterious illness, Oko must seek out a Hromu healer to help provide a cure. Oko must also look out for Kiri, and try and make sure she doesn't develop the same condition.

An area I would have liked to have seen developed further is the description and explanation of the character races, how they're connected, whether they're considered equals etc etc. This would have provided more depth and back-story to the game-world allowing for a better understanding of the story and it's protagonists.

Despite this, the story and dialogue is well written, and the personalities of the characters are believable thus making it is easy for the player to feel sympathy for Oko and his plight.



Atmosphere

Indeed, Atapi is a good example of how sometimes a game can be enhanced by not including humour. The game takes itself seriously and the player is more immersed in the story and game-world as a result. The story and characters involved would have appeared disingenuous had the game been littered with wisecracks and references to adventure games past. The developer instead does a very good job of maintaining sincerity, a must if this type of story is to be pulled off.

The use of sound also helps to provides extra atmosphere. The music is good and although the sound effects are apparently not original, they perfectly fit the game's setting.

A possible repellent for players however may be the game's visuals. Despite the excellent choice of locations, the grainy photographic backgrounds will not be to everyone's liking. It's hard to criticise too much though because they do provide the necessary ambiance of the game just fine.



Gameplay

Where it's easier to criticise the visuals however is with regards to their effect on the gameplay. Finding items needed to progress can prove to be somewhat more tricky that it should be, thus making the backgrounds an unintentional obstacle for the player to overcome

As for the nature of the puzzles, the game starts off with a simple shopping list quest, i.e. you're given several items to find and retrieve for another character. Initially the next quest seems like it might be more of the same, however things don't turn out to be so simple. In order to communicate with the various 'Atapi' the player must get to grips with their language which consists of various symbols. Initially this can seem quite daunting, however discovering the words and phrases that each Atapi will respond to is really quite rewarding.



Summary

I liked this game, it's genuine atmosphere and sincere characters provide for an enjoyable and immersive experience. However, some more in-depth information about the world and it's inhabitants would have added considerably to Atapi's appeal. As it stands, I feel the game is only scratching the surface of what could be a very interesting fantasy story - hopefully the sequel will provide more meat to it's bones.

Pros
- Very well developed and believable atmosphere
- Sincere story and characters
- Interesting symbol/language puzzles

Cons
- Scope for wider story not really capitalised on
- Backgrounds may put some people off
- Some items difficult to find

Download for free;

Atapi

Friday, 19 June 2009

Frasse and The Peas of Kejick

Year - 2006
Length - Medium/Long
Engine - Sludge
Suitability Factors - N/A

Finally I've been able to concentrate for a period of longer than two minutes and provide you, my adoring public (haha) with another review. Frasse and The Peas of Kejick is a freeware game made by Rikard Peterson.

Story

From the start, the player takes control of Frasse, a fuzzy blue monster. I'm sure if I was so inclined the adjective I would use to describe him would be 'adorable'. After a short while you'll also be controlling his friend Gurra, a less fuzzy and apparently smarter monster with no arms and what must be magic eyebrows. The story itself is that of Frasse and Gurra's attempt to obtain the Peas of Kejick and return them to the King. Whilst the story is by no means extraordinary, it is more than suitable for this type of game and even has some twists and turns along the way

My first impression upon entering the game wasn't great however. There is no introductory sequence which means the player is thrust into the story without any pointers as to what to do. Although it's not long before you discover your main task, a short introduction would have made for a more coherent start to the game.



Atmosphere

Although the player must verbally interact with other characters throughout the game, dialog is kept to a minimum. Conversations are never drawn out and short answers are the order of the day, thus meaning the developer had to solely rely on other methods to set the atmosphere of the game.

And he did so brilliantly. Where this game comes across as vibrant and fun, it would have been easy for another game attempting the same thing to end up dull and uninteresting. The brightly coloured visuals help a lot in this respect. The backgrounds are nice to look at whilst the character sprites, Frasse in particular, are also very well done. Although some scenes look like a little less time was spent on them than others, the game really does excel visually.

The game's atmosphere is added to by the great musical score. The tunes are varied and always suitable for the scene they accompany.

I would describe the game as fun rather than funny, although it does have a moment or two which might force more than a smile.



Gameplay

This is the area of the game that really took me by surprise. I was expecting the puzzles to be standard inventory fair. I was also expecting them to be pretty easy. Turns out I was wrong on both counts.

Although there are some simple inventory puzzles, many require the player to use the individual talents of the two lead characters in order to progress. Frasse is able to carry items although isn't so skilled in the conversation department. Gurra on the other hand is able to garner more information through conversation however can't hold any items because of his lack of arms. He also has a rather useful kicking ability.

It is clear that a lot of time and effort has been put into the development of puzzles which are both different and fun to solve. I had to consult the walkthrough on one occasion when a logic puzzle had me well and truly stumped. I was impressed to find out however that there is actually an alternative solution for those who either can't or don't wish to work out the answer for themselves.

There are also optional actions which the player can perform, some which serve no purpose to the story, others which may affect the story in a very slight way. This added interaction is a nice touch, particularly for children who may on occasion get bored of trying to solve the game's puzzles.


Summary

Frasse and the Peas of Kejick took me by surprise, eclipsing pretty much all my expectations. Yes the game has nice cutesy graphics, but it also has clever (and sometimes hard) puzzles.

The game also has that rare quality that makes it enjoyable for a wide age range. I'm a 21 year old guy and I really enjoyed playing, however I think it would also be a great game for parents to play through with younger children.

So, if you're looking for a deeply involving story then this isn't it, if however you're after a bright fun game then you'll be charmed and surprised by this one I'm sure.

Pros
- Some excellent puzzles
- Vibrant and colourful visuals
- Good fun

Cons
- Close up shots aren't quite so good to look at
- Arguably would have benefited from some more laugh-out-loud humour

Download for free;

Frasse and The Peas of Kejick

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Mr Danger's Contest

Year - 2009
Length - Short (MAGS)
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - Infrequent Mild Language and Violence

And the first person to get two reviews on the blog is (drum roll please)...gah whats the point, you've read the title already anyway.

Mr Danger's Contest was second in the MAGS competition for May and was made by Bill Garrett.

I must confess, the original House on Haunted Hill starring Vincent Price (Legend!) is one of my favourite movies of all time. The reason I mention this is because it is that film I was reminded of when originally reading the synopsis of Mr Danger's Contest.

Story

You play as James McManus whom has been invited to take part in a competition to inherit the fortune of the mysterious Mr Danger. The competition takes place at the mansion of said millionaire and upon arrival it quickly becomes clear that things are a little stranger than perhaps anticipated. As is usually the case with this type of story, the ratio of living to dead in the house soon changes for the worse, and you must find out what's going on before you too end up no longer on the side of the living.

The game does a good job of making you want to play on to see what and why things are happening, which is of course of paramount importance in any mystery story. Mr Danger's Contest manages to introduce some new ideas into the equation as well, with those who are invited to the castle all being blessed with 'Heroes' style abilities.

Overall, the story is well told and the unravelling of the mystery is compelling. My only real problem with this aspect of the game would be the character development (sorry Bill). Getting to know the characters is an important part of this kind of story and could have taken the game up an extra notch in my opinion. I guess this is difficult to do in a short game though.



Atmosphere

The atmosphere created is a mixture of mystery with more lighthearted elements thrown in. Not unlike another movie favourite of mine, The Old Dark House (1960's version), the game tries to maintain a humorous element even despite dreadful occurrences taking place.

Graphically, the game is a big improvement on the developer's previous games. The backgrounds are well drawn in spite of the short time-frame available and do a good job of maintaining the atmosphere.

The sound is...strange I think it's fair to say. It doesn't really fit in with the mysterious nature of the game although it does add to the the more lighthearted feel.



Gameplay

The special ability of James McManus allows for a different dynamic in terms of solving puzzles. Whilst I didn't feel this was utilised to its full potential, it did provide something away from the norm. Aside from the ability, there are also other attempts at slightly unique puzzles which for the most part are pulled off pretty well.

There was one issue though that let the gameplay down a little. In fact, I initially gave up early on in the game after becoming frustrated at my failure to progress from a small one room scene. You know the scenario, having failed to find a logical solution you go ahead and try everything on everything about 6 times in the vain hope that it might eventually work. It doesn't though, and you're left thinking 'What the hell! I'm never playing this again!'

Clearly I changed my mind and upon returning to the game I realised the reason I was stuck was that a hotspot was hidden in a dark area of the room, pretty much impossible to see even when turning the brightness up on the monitor. I have no problem with something being hidden in a dark place, but perhaps the player could be provided with a flashlight or makeshift torch to help. Getting or making this type of item could even be made as a purely optional puzzle to just help out those who don't want to pixel hunt in the dark.

In terms of length, I think Mr Danger is quite long for a MAGS game and you 'may' get more than one sitting out of it. Unlikely though as the game is pretty hard to stop playing once you get into it.



Summary

Overall I was left with a positive impression of Mr Danger's Contest which seemed highly unlikely when I was stuck during the first puzzle. I'm sure however that if the game hadn't had a strict one month deadline the few kinks it has would have been ironed out. The game's main strength is its story and if you enjoy a mystery then this game is well worth a try.

Pros
- Interesting story
- Good mix of puzzles
- Looks good

Cons
- One particular pixel hunt could leave players frustrated
- Character development could have been improved
- More could have been made of the special abilities

Download for free;

Mr Danger's Contest

Friday, 5 June 2009

Reality-On-The-Norm: The Repossessor

Year - 2001
Length - Short
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - Infrequent Mild Language

Right, so I decided to give the Reality-On-the-Norm (RON) games a try. For those who don't know, RON is an AGS community project. Anyone can make their own game in the series however only those that fit into and affect the overall story timeline and abide by the community rules are added into the list of canon (crucial) games. Games that are set in the RON universe without affecting the overall story are put into the stand-alone list whilst those that have discrepancies in character/location details are put into the non-canon list. Got that? To be honest I'm not even sure it's 100% accurate but hopefully someone will correct me if not!

Anyway, at the point of writing this I have reached the end of number 5 in the list of canon games and it is this one that is currently my favourite. Made by Dave Gilbert, The Repossessor is getting on abit although I would have guessed it was newer had I not known it's age. (Edit: Have been informed that this is because the game was recompiled last year to work on modern machines and take advantage of improved graphics.)

Story

In The Repossessor, you control the Grim Reaper himself. The resurrection of Michael Gower (as a zombie) will not be tolerated by 'The Powers That Be', thus you must find him and reclaim his soul.

Now, people who haven't played any RON games will probably want to know whether this game is playable without having played the four earlier titles. Well, I would say yes, although you'll miss out on some in-game references. That said, you'll most likely still find the characters funny, particularly the zombie and chicken.

Nevertheless, as the game does refer to events from previous games, if possible I would recommend playing or watching a playthrough of the earlier games.

Download of game 1, Download of game 2 (Both of these are difficult to get to work on newer machines. N.B. Game 2 contains violence.) Download of game 3
Playthrough of game 1, Playthrough of game 2

The fourth game in the series wouldn't work for me either but not having played (or watched) it didn't affect my enjoyment of The Repossessor.

Gameplay length is short and will be unlikely to require more than one sitting. The story doesn't feel rushed however perhaps because of it's simplicity. The Repossessor is all about the characters really although the ending is great!



Atmosphere

I thought the humorous and oddball nature of the RON town was represented very well, largely due to the aforementioned characters and their interesting personalities.

The backgrounds are a mixed bag, whilst some are great, others are merely average None of the backgrounds are poor though and overall they are the best I've seen from the RON games in my short time playing them. The character models and animation are also for the most part very nicely done. In particular I liked how Death's fingers move whilst he/it walks and talks. For me, little touches like that are well worth the extra time and effort required. Then again, perhaps I'm a freak...

The music isn't original however it fits nicely into the game and for me the tunes never get boring or repetitive.



Gameplay

Puzzles are of the inventory and dialogue variety. They're not tough, and shouldn't pose any problems, especially as there isn't a large number of locations to visit. Perhaps locating relevant hotspots may prove the toughest challenge - one location for example appears pointless without careful examination of a mundane part of the scenery. Certainly not a major problem though.

One area that did bug me slightly is that some objects that really stand out on the background provoke no response when looking at them etc. Again, not a major problem but something that reduces the quality of the gameplay just a little.

Finally, a special mention must go to the fast walking speed of the main character. This made moving between locations far less of a chore than it can be in many games. Plus, the animation doesn't suffer as a result as is sometimes the case when this is attempted.



Summary

When delving into the RON universe I was sceptical as to whether the games would be worth playing. So far they have been and The Repossessor is the best of those I've experienced thus far. It's funny, has some great characters, and provides excellent continuity with those that went before it. Whilst getting the full enjoyment out of this game will most likely require knowledge of the previous RoN titles, playing it as a stand-alone game should definitely still provide its fair share of fun throughout it's short duration.

Pros
- Great continuation of earlier RON games whilst still playable on its own
- Good humour
- Great characters
- Quick movement between locations

Cons
- Some stand-out background objects not clickable
- Shame it's short

Download for free;

Reality-on-The-Norm: The Repossessor (Be careful as walkthru is on the same page!)

Monday, 1 June 2009

Friday, 29 May 2009

La Croix Pan

Year - 2007
Length - Short
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - Strong Violence

Ok, so it's back to AGS today with something refreshingly different from The JBurger.

Story

The story told in La Croix Pan is a simple one. As a lone American sniper in World War II, you enter a small deserted town which you must defend until reinforcements arrive.



Atmosphere

The game does a really good job here. The overall impression the game gives is one of dreariness and loneliness. To say this is something I really liked about the game may seem a little strange and probably needs an explanation. I guess my point is that it's refreshing to see the game doesn't try to glorify war in any way, nor does it try to glorify the actions of the main character. By not depicting the main character as a hero, the developer is able to show the horror of war, not through the eyes of civilian suffering, but instead through the apparent emotionless and almost routine way the protagonist conducts his horrific task of killing enemy soldiers.

I know I know, it's only a game - no need for me to get so analytical.

Moving on, I must admit that as I stared out at the town I was defending, the game actually made me await the possible arrival of enemy soldiers with quite a degree of trepidation. I was impressed with the way the game managed to do this especially given the short amount of game-time.

The backgrounds are impressive despite the intentional dreary nature of them. There's no bright colours on offer and rightly so - the game does just fine without them.

Lastly, the soundtrack is excellent. Some of the music is borrowed whilst some is the work of Nick Dangerous and Steel Drummer. Am not sure who is responsible for what but it all worked very well. In particular I liked the end game music and felt this fitted in perfectly with the tone of the game.



Gameplay

There are very few puzzles included, however the few that you will be required to solve have logical real-world solutions. You do have an inventory although only one object is ever added to the Springfield Sniper Rifle you carry throughout the game. This was quite a nice change from the 'pick-up everything' type approach.

The main part of the gameplay however may be a turn-off for some adventure gamers. The player is required to shoot approaching enemy soldiers in an arcade type sequence. This isn't too hard though and despite being completely rubbish at it I did manage to proceed without any real hassle.

The game is short but the fact that you can die does prolong things. A well implemented aspect of the game is the autosave feature which comes into effect before the more dangerous parts of the game.



Summary

La Croix Pan provides a different experience to most adventure games. The choice of subject matter alone makes it unique in the adventure genre, the way it deals with the issue increases this uniqueness. For anyone that wants a change from the more common comedy, sci-fi, or horror adventure game stylings, I would definitely recommend La Croix Pan.

Pros
- Different
- Great atmosphere
- Nice graphical style
- Great soundtrack

Cons
- Few puzzles
- Arcade sequence might put off some players
- Short

Download for free;

La Croix Pan

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Casebook Episode 0: The Missing Urn

Year - 2009
Length - Short/Medium
Suitability Factors - N/A

For the first time in my short blogging career I'm reviewing a non AGS game. "Traitor" I hear the returning visitors cry. Well not to worry (as if you did) the next review will be of another AGS title. As for this review...

The Missing Urn is a free mini episode in the Casebook series (by Areo Cinematic Games) aiming to showcase what the series has to offer in an attempt to entice people to splash their cash on the full-length commercial episodes. I think the developers deserve plaudits for making this in the form of a whole self-contained episode with its own story rather than just releasing a short demo of one of the proper episodes.

Story

So, the game contains a complete story, but is it any good? Well in truth it's pretty lightweight stuff really, although to be fair it doesn't really claim to be anything other than this. The player must help a colleague investigate the disappearance of an urn containing his uncle's ashes after his aunt shows understandable concern when it goes missing. Various other objects belonging to the other residents of the house (another aunt and an uncle), have gone missing too and with no-one owning up to moving the items it's up to you to find out what's going on.



Atmosphere

Although the game is cinematic, the overall atmosphere is very melodramatic - it feels like a made for T.V afternoon movie. The acting whilst certainly not horrendous is very much in this mould and the music seems quite depressing given the nature of the story.

Graphically, the FMV sequences are very clear and the locations are just about right for the type of game. A nice touch is that the camera can sometimes be manipulated in cut-scenes which gives the player more of a sense of actually being present in the scene rather than just a mere spectator.

I think the general melodrama feel however prevents the game from providing any real genuine sense of atmosphere or immersion.



Gameplay

And matters aren't helped by the casual gameplay either. The player collects evidence by taking photos of items that may be of importance. There is a limited albeit fairly high number of items that can be photographed however many of them serve no relevance to the case.

Pictures are taking by clicking the right mouse button which brings up a camera-eye view. When in this view a left click is required to actually take the photo. Despite the mouse-wheel enabling zooming in and out the backgrounds do become blurry and it's sometimes hard to tell exactly what the item is you're photographing.

This method of evidence collection is quite fun although far from realistic and it is from here that things go wrong in an adventure sense as it becomes clear that the game is more aimed at a casual audience. This is something I had no idea of before playing - it being an FMV title I was expecting something more along the lines of Black Dahlia/X-Files. In order to get trace evidence from any items of note, the player must return to the crime van and process the photos into the computer. From here items that contain trace evidence can be manipulated; dusted for fingerprints, swabbed, etc. All trace evidence is collected either by simply clicking on the object or via rather pointless and incredibly easy mini-games that require the player for example to move the mouse in a circular motion. In addition, the evidence found rarely requires any input from the player and the links to suspects are almost always made automatically.

A further clue as to the casual nature of the title is in the objectives. These can be accessed by pressing the space-bar and one optional task asks ' How many food items can you find?' Quite what relevance this has to anything I don't know but it does suggest an attempt to provide some out and out hidden object gameplay.



Summary

I hope this review doesn't sound too negative as the The Missing Urn is well presented and fairly good fun depending on what you're after from it. I can certainly see how this game would appeal to those who are fans of more casual games. As for adventure gamers however, well there is more adventure type gameplay on offer than in the hidden-object games I've sampled and the overall impression I got from the game was that it was trying to bridge the gap between the two genres. Despite this it was still far too casual for my liking.

Nevertheless whilst it's not up to the standards of other very good detective games such as those in the CSI and Law and Order series, anyone who fancies an hour or so of easier gameplay or prefers their entertainment to be very laid back could do worse than give The Missing Urn a whirl...not literally of course, that would just be disrespectful.

Pros
- Good presentation
- Laid back
- Easy
- FMV cut-scenes are very clear

Cons
- Laid Back
- Easy
- Mini Games are pointless
- Overall gameplay too casual
- Close-up camera shots are blurry

Download for free;

Casebook Episode 0: The Missing Urn

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Ben There, Dan That!

Year - 2008
Length - Medium/Full
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - Crude Humour, Very Strong Language, Cartoon Violence

Ben There, Dan That is a good length comedy adventure by Dan Marshall and Ben Ward. I'd been avoiding this game for quite a while (more on that later) but decided it was time to give it a try.

Story

The player is thrust into the role of Ben who is joined (followed) by his best mate Dan. It is Ben that is controlled by the player whilst Dan is there to provide commentary and generally help (term used loosely) his friend out when needed.

The main part of the story involves alien abduction and wacky alternate dimensions, with the main goal being to return home. Whilst the basic premise of the story isn't wildly original, enough varied locations and characters are encountered to keep it ticking along nicely. A word must go out to the ending however which is surprising and very funny.



Atmosphere

Being a comedy game, Ben There, Dan That clearly needs to be bang on with it's humour, and I can happily say that it is. The game is genuinely funny throughout, mainly due to the banter between the two protagonists. The relationship between the two characters is very much reminiscent of that seen in the original Sam & Max, although I personally found Ben There, Dan That funnier.

The writing is clever and one particular thing I liked is that many actions that take place throughout the game will be mentioned by the characters again later on. The fact that the characters are aware of the environment and their actions within that environment just seems to make them seem more real, as well as creating a better feeling of a game-world.

However, in my opinion there is one key area in which the game lets itself down. The reason I was originally reluctant to play the game was that I'm not generally a fan of needless crude humour or cheap comedy tricks such as pointless profanity. Having read parts of other reviews it seemed that there was quite a bit of this included in the game, so I thought it best to stay away. Having now experienced the game for myself, I can say there isn't as much of this as I feared there might be, although it is unavoidably present. I personally feel that the game is very funny without resorting to such things and my enjoyment of the game would have been greater if this was at least toned down a little. I'm aware that opinion may be split on this issue but for me the game could have done without it. It's not that it necessarily offends me, it's just that I think there are far cleverer ways to get laughs - and the developers are clearly more than capable of this.

Moving on, the colourful and crazy backgrounds and characters nicely fit the tone of the story although in places the graphics may have benefited from being touched up a little. For the most part though they're very good. Also, the spindly legs of Ben and Dan and their subsequent strange walking animations add further humour to the game. There isn't much music included although this didn't really bother me.



Gameplay

Puzzles are of the inventory variety and can get quite tough later in the game when there are several different locations and objects available. The solutions are mostly logical within the game however and it's always fairly obvious what the next challenge is even if how to get past it proves a little more tricky.

And even when stuck the game is never dull. A great amount of time and effort has clearly been put into the different responses given when items are examined, used, combined etc and these do a great job of keeping the player occupied, stuck or otherwise.



Summary

Ben There, Dan That is one of the best AGS games I've played. The only thing that would stop me from whole-heartily recommending it is the aforementioned strong language and crude humour. If you're not unduly bothered by this or can just ignore it then Ben There, Dan That! is a must play for anyone who is a fan of humorous games, it's clever, funny, and one of the longest AGS titles I've played in a while.

Pros
- Very funny
- Great dialogue
- Well written
- Very few generic responses given

Cons
- Crude humour
- Needless profanity
- Graphics perhaps could have been refined a little

Particularly For Fans of;

- Sam & Max Hit the Road

Download for free;

Ben There Dan That

Friday, 15 May 2009

Armageddon Margaret

Year - 2004
Length - Short
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - Blood, Mild Horror

Whilst playing through a longer AGS game I decided to take a break and play something shorter. The game I chose was the bizarrely named Armageddon Margaret by ElaineMc, the winner of the February 2004 Monthly Adventure Game Studio (MAGS) competition. A good choice it was too!

Story

In Armageddon Margaret, the player takes control of Miss Felicia Delgado, a 'proper' young lady who resides in a peaceful English village. Upon her return from a neighbouring village, Miss Delgado is attacked by a strange armoured creature from which she manages to escape and run for help. It soon becomes apparent however that her friends and neighbours have gone, and there is more to this than the one mechanical creature that attacked her.

The story is well written, interesting, and kept me entertained for the duration. Being a killer zombie-robot game it would be easy for it to go by the books and be a more manly affair with guns and far more brazen action. Now whilst it's not humorous or whimsical either, the game does have an airy lighter feel to it (the final puzzle is one case in point) which I personally thought was great. It doesn't aim to be macho or gung-ho and is all the better for this.



Atmosphere

With this in mind, it's not going to come as a surprise that I really loved the atmosphere of this game. Whilst the backgrounds are not amazing they do a good job of creating a dark and moody setting. The head portraits which appear when a character is talking are also very good and help to convey the characters' emotions.

The game has some good music accompanying certain scenes and these are interspersed with other scenes which are silent. I'm not sure whether this was intentional but it worked really well.

Felicia herself also adds greatly to the immersion of the game - her old-fashioned lady-like personality covered with a forced independence makes her very likeable and really makes you care about her survival. A brash overconfident lead character just wouldn't have given off the same effect. Making the player actually care about the character and his/her situation can really add to the immersion of a game and the developer did a great job in this respect.



Gameplay

The game consists of inventory based puzzles which are fairly easy and logical. Having said that there is at least one puzzle which seemed completely pointless and actually counter-productive to Felicia's plight.

Furthermore you may find that at times you miss objects or locations and end up backtracking in order to find what you need. This does occasionally result in certain aspects of the story not following a logical progression. For example Felicia may make a comment in one scene enquiring as to what could have happened when in actuality she already knows.

These slight inconsistencies were the biggest downside of the game, although they're not such a problem that they spoil the fun.

It is also worth pointing out that you can die in this game so make sure you save your game.

As for the length, well one sitting will most likely do it although I can see it being played over two perhaps. It is short but nevertheless it still manages to hold together an engrossing story which is fairly self-contained.



Summary

Despite some flaws, this game was a delight to play. Felicia Delgado is a very likeable lead character whom is different from the norm and makes the player care about her and her predicament. I hadn't come across this game until very recently - perhaps it's overlooked due to it being a MAGS game (and an old one at that) however I thoroughly enjoyed playing it the whole way through. Here's hoping a few more people will give Armageddon Margaret a chance.

Pros
- Atmosphere/Immersion
- Likeable lead character
- Well written

Cons
- Some minor possible inconsistencies in story timeline
- Quite short
- Puzzles not great

Download for free;

Armageddon Margaret


Thursday, 7 May 2009

Breakdown

Mini Review Time...

For the uninitiated, MAGS is the Monthly Adventure Game Studio competition in which would-be game developers have one month to make a game from scratch (using AGS) based on a pre-defined subject or theme. April's topic of choice was 'Space Derelict', and the winner was OneDollar, who managed to produce a short but funny effort for our gaming pleasure.

Story

In Breakdown, the player controls a lowly ensign aboard a spaceship. Following a mishap caused by the ship's captain, you are directed to deal with the aftermath, i.e. fix the engine and reactivate the Autopilot.



Atmosphere

The game aims to be humorous and it manages to achieve this well. The opening cutscene in particular is very amusing and there are various other in-game moments that will make you smile.

The backgrounds are good, as are the character sprites and animation. Disappointingly the game doesn't have any music however there are some quite cool sound effects.

It is difficult to judge such a short game on it's atmosphere, however Breakdown immerses the player as much as such a short humorous game needs to. The game is good harmless fun throughout.

Gameplay

The puzzles are all inventory based and are easy but fun to solve.

An added element to the gameplay is the digital Employee Handbook you carry around. Although not necessary to do so, this can be used on any object or character to give a more in-depth description to the player of what they're looking at. It's worth doing this as it provides some quite funny extra details about things.

As mentioned, the game is very short however this is the norm for MAGS games due to the time restraints place on the creator by the rules of the competition.



Summary

Overall, this is a solid game which should you fancy a quick laugh and have some free time available is worth the fifteen minutes or so of playtime.

Particularly for fans of;

- Hitchhiker's Guide

Download for free;

Breakdown