Six Horror Games from Different Countries

JUNE ISSUE: POST #2

My previous post that featured horror games is actually one of my more popular posts, so I figured, hey, why not do another post on horror games even though you never play horror games? Great idea if you ask me. But, this post will also be tailored towards people who like non-English titles (as in, created by people where English isn’t their first language. Since everything is translated nowadays anyway), or towards people who are studying languages (like me) or just like to experiment and be open-minded (I like those people.)

So, let’s begin and take a look at what I found.

Unforgiving – A Northern Hymn (Sweden)

The first game I stumbled upon is a Swedish horror game inspired heavily by Swedish folklore. First of all, this what I love about Scandinavian games, I swear they just try and fit in some folklore at some point, and I don’t blame them. It’s interesting, fascinating and downright awesome. (Also the studio that made this game is called Angry Demon Studio. I’d like to know why they have a demon, and why it’s so angry.)

Back to the game though. This game, in particular, is a first-person adventure that uses the folklore and mythology to scare your nuts off. There are a bunch of famous creatures from Swedish folklore, that have haunted real-life children for decades. The game is noted to have a great atmosphere, great music, and a great story. So, overall, it seems great. I also read that it’s not full of jumpscares and puzzles, which is something I like. It sounds unique and it seems like there’s a lot you can learn and take from this game. I hope I can play it someday, but to be honest, I think it would give me the willies.

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I just hope that’s a big fluffy teddy bear. 

White Day: A Labyrinth Named School (Korea)

Even though I love Asian games, I don’t know that much about the Asian horror market. What I do know if that there are quite a few that seem to be set in High Schools, but I mean, schools are creepy, I’ll give them that.

This game is a Korean title from SONNORI Corp, which follows the story of student Hee-Min Lee as she braves the horrors inside of the school. He slips into school one day to hide a box of sweets for a girl that he likes, but then he suddenly gets trapped (that’s what kindness does to you) and is locked in the school with goodness knows what (well, a ghostly dead janitor apparently).

Apparently, there are lots of puzzles, multiple endings, and difficulty levels which change how scary the game is. The reviews of the game are quite varied, but overall it seems like a decent title, and definitely something you should check out if you like this style of game.

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He looks like he needs some sleep.

The Town Of Light (Italy)

I had actually heard of this game before I was doing research, so I’m not sure if it’s one of the more popular titles or not, but it does seem to be getting a fair amount of good reception. Developed and published by Italian developers LKA, this game is set in a hospital in Tuscany, Italy. You play a 16 years old girl called Renee, who was a patient at the hospital in the 1940s. You explore the world around you and relive the history of the main character and her confusion of the world.

What’s interesting is that the story can develop in different ways and that the story is actually based on real facts and events, and horror games are always scarier when they’re supposedly based on true stories.

Also, this game supports VR. So, if you really want to be transported to the first half of the 20th Century to a place that actually existed, then this is your chance.

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Stifled (Signapore) 

Now, this next game’s design (from Singapore developers Gattai Games) looks so amazing.  You see and hear your enemies through your microphone input. Yep. You heard me correctly. This is a game where you use ‘echolocation’. You create sound waves to reveal things. How rad is that?!

The sounds made by your in-game character and yourself reveal objects, however, by doing this it also makes enemies and creature aware of you, which is downright terrifying in my opinion. You have to make the choice of being quiet and staying hidden or making noises to progress (of course, you don’t have to make noises. You can bind it to a key if you want instead. But where’s the fun in that? I want my neighbours to think I’m crazy.)

This game follows the story of David Ridley, whose memories of trauma are turning his world into darkness. The developers of this game previously also made a game called Lurking, so if this style of game appeals to you or you want to try something new, then I suggest you check them out.

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Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale (South Africa)

Then we have the walking simulators of horror, although I believe that this is more of an adventure thriller game. Plus, there’s also point & click aspects, so it’s not entirely a walking simulator. I read that this is basically a ‘spooky adventure game’ with puzzles rather than a thrilling game with jumpscares, so that makes a nice change. The aesthetic of the game is inspired by horror though, as is takes place on an abandoned farm in the eastern Free State in South Africa. And nobody likes abandoned places.

The game follows struggling writer Peter York who becomes trapped in this place and has to confront a dark history in order to have his freedom. Your character is dealing with pain and loss, and you’ll be engaged in a story which spans multiple decades.

This game is the first of five planned instalments to the series, so I think it’s worth keeping an eye on (or two).

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Doorways (Argentina)

Doorways is an episodic first-person horror game, filled to the brim with horror and atmosphere. Again, this is a game that doesn’t seem to focus on jump scares but just makes you feel more and more uneasy as you progress. So that’s lovely.

You play as Thomas Foster, a special agent who has to find and track down four psychopaths. I always wondered what it would be like to have that kind of job, and now I can experience it virtually. The best chapter with the highest reception seems to be Chapter 4: Holy Mountains of Flesh (which is a great name for a chapter, by the way). All of the chapters are available in English and Spanish, so if you’re learning Spanish and like horror games (and tracking down mean people), then perhaps you should give this game a go.

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So there are some horror games that I stumbled upon this morning! I really enjoy looking around and searching for games like this, it really makes a change and some of them are really really awesome. Especially ones that incorporate history and mythology into them, I would certainly do that if I knew lots more about that sort of thing. I really need to crack out some folklore books.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

–LDG

The Beaten Diaries #14a: Evolution of SpongeBob Video Games

MAY ISSUE: POST #37

I’m sure that you, the same as me, love SpongeBob. Whether that be the old SpongeBob, the new SpongeBob, or any SpongeBob. Well, to be honest, I can also understand if you don’t like SpongeBob, but I think a lot of people my age and older, and even people like my Dad, can watch episodes and have a laugh.

Of cousre though, this is primarily a gaming blog, and luckily for us, there is a range of video games we can play that put us into the SpongeBob SquarePants world. Some are, of course, better than others. I for one, back in early 2017, managed to get SpongeBob HeroPants on the PS VITA for really cheap in America when I was over there for a while. The game is lighthearted and fun, but graphics and gameplay are a lot to be desired. Also, there are a handful of glitches. However, it is a short game, so you’re not really pulling your hair out for 20 hours (unlike some other games).

I 100% the game, since it was fairly easy to do so. I got all 15 Memorabilia, which are little neat trophies that you can view in the game. Overall it’s not too bad, but of course, since SpongeBob SquarePants began airing in 1999, there have been quite a few video games since then. Even though I did a post on video games based on cartoons last week, I think I want to do one on SpongeBob in particular anyway, and dive into the games more and showcase them. I would love to do the same for The Simpsons and other widely known shows, but that’s all in due time.

SpongeBob actually first appeared in Nicktoons Racing on Arcades, the PS1, Windows, Game Boy Colour and Game Boy Advance in the good ol’ year of 1999. So let’s have a quick look at his first video game appearance.

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Aw, there he is. Looking as dapper as ever.

But anyway, let’s take a look at the first SpongeBob game ever released.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula

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The name of the game pretty much says it all.

In the game, you help SpongeBob find the Flying Dutchman’s golden spatula, which I guess is lost in some way. SpongeBob believes that if he finds this spatula, then he’ll become the greatest fry-cook. Whether that’s the best in the world or just in Bikini bottom, we’ll never know, but I’m sure he doesn’t mind where, he just wants to be a great fry cook.

This game was on the Game Boy Colour, and was  developed by Vicarious Visions and published by THQ in 2001. The game was pretty mediocre apparently, which is understandable. It is said that the gameplay is too simple, but the game still appeals to fans and younger audiences. The graphics look decent though, and I think personally, I would get quite a bit of fun out of this.

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SpongeBob SquarePants: Operation Krabby Patty

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Surprisingly, the next game to come out was a Windows only release from 2001, and to be honest, I would love to own it. I have an old Windows XP machine beside me, and I would love to throw some more games onto it. And you can’t go wrong with some SpongeBob fun.

This game, in particular, focuses on two different stories. One story is sbout Plankton, and how he is creating a robot to, naturally, try and steal the Krabby Patty recipe, and SpongeBob has to try and stop him. The other story you can play, is one where SpongeBob’s pet snail, Gary, has been taken by Plankton and you have to rescue him.

SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge!

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The next game makes me happy because saying SuperSponge! is pretty fun. It was released in 2001 and sold on the PS1, Windows and Game Boy Colour. The game is all about Patrick’s birthday, and SpongeBob wanting to get him the best present ever, which is apparently a signed picture from superheroes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Of course, you have to complete numerous tasks in order to get the signed photographs, and that’s basically what the game is about.

This title also received pretty mixed reviews, but hey-ho, it’s another SpongeBob game so I wouldn’t complain.

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SpongeBob SquarePants: Employee of the Month

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I don’t want to make this post too long, but I don’t really want to skip over SpongeBob SquarePants: Employee of the Month, which was a point and click PC only title back in 2002.

Mr. Krabs gives SpongeBob two tickets to Neptune’s Paradise, an amusement park, as a reward for being employee of the month for the billionth time. You basically have to figure out how to get there with Patrick. I like how it also notes on this one website that SpongeBob cannot die, so that’s nice to know.

But yeah, I love point and clicks and to be honest, this game looks awesome to me. Especially for nostalgia reasons. I hope I can find it cheap (then I can report back to you all on how it truly is).

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SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman

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Finally, onto one of my favourite consoles, the PlayStation 2! The first SpongeBob video game to make an appearance on the console (and GameCube)  was Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, which had pretty good reviews if you ask me. The story of the game follows SpongeBob (who else?) whom accidentally releases the Flying Dutchman. He threatens to take Gary away,so SpongeBob travels across the world to search for treasure in order to defeat evil spirits (such as THe Flying Dutchman).

It sounds pretty fun to me, although I believe that the Game Boy Advance version is slightly different.

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SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom

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Here’s to more and more PS2 releases (and GameCube of course, and Xbox, and Game Boy Advance, and PC).

This particular one is from 2003, and you control each of the characters in order to save Bikini Bottom from the robot that Plankton created, and that’s kind of it. There isn’t too much to say about this one in particular. But I mean, who doesn’t want to battle for Bikini Bottom? I know I do.

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Oh look,a hidden Atari 2600 controller made out of sand!

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: The Video Game

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Of course you need a game based on the movie, and this is it! I mean, you can already see that from the title, I’m sure, but anyway, this is the game based on the first SpongeBob movie. It plays very similarly to Battle for Bikini Bottom, and you have to save everything and everyone from another one of Planktons doings.

There are again plenty of different ways to play this game, such as on the PS2, Game Boy Advance and you can even buy it on the PlayStation store! So how about that kids.

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And so, this concludes the first part of the history of SpongeBob and his video games.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I showcase the games from 2005 to present day!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Minimalistic Games on Steam

MAY ISSUE: POST #34

Much to my excitement, there’s actually a ‘Minimalist‘ tag on Steam, which means you can browse games with a minimalistic style, and that’s pretty awesome. Some days you just wanna throw away all that chaos and be a minimalist (at least I do anyway).

For this post, I’m going to be choosing ten of the interesting-looking titles, and showcasing them to you. Keep in mind that these are games I haven’t played yet, but I will probably play them pretty soon since I’m choosing them to share with you guys.

Flower Design

If you like Viridi, then you’ll probably like the game Flower Design. It looks like a simple flower arrangement game, where you, well, arrange flowers and change colours of flower pots and stuff like that. Frankly, it looks very relaxing. Even the style of the game puts me at ease. All in all, if you want a game which provides you with a cheaper alternative to real flower arranging, then this is for you.

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Mini Metro

Mini Metro is a strategy simulation game which involves designing a subway map for a growing city. The goal is to keep the trains, routes, and lines efficient, without running out of resources. I’ve only ever gone on a subway about two or three times in my life, but this game seems like it would make you never see maps the same way again. Even though it seems like a puzzling game, it’s also apparently relaxing, and definitely minimalistic, so you should give it a try.

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Maciej Targoni’s Games

Do you want really cheap puzzle games with lovely aesthetics? Then klocki is one the games you should be looking into. The maker of this game is called Maciej Targoni, and his other games Hook and PUSH are minimalistic puzzle games, as well. So do yourself a favour and look into all three. They’re all simplistic of course, but klocki i, in particular, has a very bright and heartwarming style, and I think the guy who designed these titles is a genius.

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Absolute Drift

I actually really like minimalistic driving games (not that I’ve tried that many), and now I really want to try this one. Oh, and I also really like drifting, so why wouldn’t I add this to my wishlist instantly? (And that’s exactly what I did). There are plenty of events and tracks to try out, and I think you could especially have fun with this game whilst listening to music or listening to a podcast or something zen like that. Because, after all, the game is also the ‘zen edition’ too. It would be a shame not to take advantage of that.

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Warcube

This game made me audibly say ‘aww’ when I saw it because I love games that feature cube characters (reminds me of Unbox, which is another great game). This game states that you can ‘crush your enemies, siege castles, and bring glory to your six-sided self!’ which sounds extremely exciting to me. And did I mention that you play as cubes? In medieval times. Yes, cubes. Adorable little cubes. Cubes cubes cubes. They should just take my money now.

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Seek Etyliv

I think it’s time we brought even more RPGs to the list. Seek Etyliv is a very recent minimalistic experimental puzzle game where every move counts. It combines poem storytelling and dungeon crawling, and the style and interactions that you face are all very unique to the game. I bet it’s a great experience. The whole game also takes place on a 3×3 grid, so you have to be careful. I for one would love to try this out.

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NO THING

Now, you can’t have a list of minimalistic games without something weird and surreal, because honestly, if you want to make a minimalistic game, then that’s a perfect opportunity to make it weird too. This game is set in 1994, but strangely, it’s the future. It tells the story of an office clerk who is sent to the Queen of Ice with an important message, whatever that may be. There’s simple controls, full-voiceovers, bright, colourful graphics and wave music. So, if you enjoy a simple yet really intriguing, difficult, out-of-this-world game, then this is for you.

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Ballz: Farm

You have to admit that the graphics look cute in this game, and I’m a sucker for cute graphics. Plus, I like the title. Apparently, you control a paddle, and you attempt to make it bounce against a number of objects, causing them to disappear. So, you have to keep hitting objects until every single one of them is gone. Simple! And definitely minimalistic (and apparently it has fun farm music too, which means I’m instantly sold).

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Burly Men at Sea

Finally, it’s time for a visual novel/point-and-click game, and this one looks like it has absolutely great visuals which represents minimalism really well. The game follows a folktale about a trio of bearded fisherman, who seek adventure. I for one love games which involve folklore, especially Scandinavian folklore. It’s so fascinating to me, and I’m really happy that I stumbled upon this. Also, I like the fact that it’s the second game made by a husband and wife duo (called Brain&Brain). It seems absolutely great.

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So there we have it! I thoroughly enjoyed writing this post, and all these games have those particular atmospheres to them that just draws me in. I can’t want to try them all one day. Games games games. I love games.

So yeah! Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Old Cartoons and Their Video Games: Part #1

MAY ISSUE: POST #31

After video games, cartoons are my next passion. Or animated media in general. I think animation is so imaginative and creative, and there are so many different styles and unique artists out there to look out for. I remember growing up with all the old Cartoon Network shows, and I still love them to death today. I personally am starting to collect VHS tapes, and I would love to own some cartoons on VHS one day as well. Then, oh boy, I could have a proper nostalgic evening.

Therefore, today’s post will be about cartoons that aired around the 90s and the video games that were produced along with them. Whether they were good or not, well that’s another question, but it’s still so much fun to be able to step into the shoes of your favourite characters.

I could probably make a series of posts called ‘A Blast from the Past!’ I mean, I’d enjoy it for sure, and I’d hope that you would enjoy reading too. But anyway, enough of my ideas, let’s get onto this post in particular.

SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob definitely has a lot of video games that you can collect if you so wish. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Spongebob’s first appearance in a video game was in Nicktoons Racingand after that he started to appear in his own games such as SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula, SBSP: SuperSponge, SBSP: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, SBSP: Battle for Bikini Bottom, SBSP: Lights, Camera, Pants! and much more.

The most recent release, which I own and have earned 100% trophies for is called SpongeBob HeroPants, and it’s safe to say, that the video games have slightly decreased in quality. While the gameplay was fun for a while and it is a nice light-hearted title, I really thought the graphics could’ve been a tad more up to scratch. Plus there were a few bugs. Whether there’ll be more video game releases in the future, I don’t know. But I’d love to see a modern SpongeBob game with a lot of love put into it.

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SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie 

The Simpsons 

The Simpsons has many great (and not so great) video games and old retro arcade titles, and I for one would collect them all. It’s not surprising that the longest-running American sitcom and animated program has had many video games over the years. To be honest, I really love the look of one of the earliest games, imaginatively called The Simpsons, which was a beat ’em up Arcade game ported to the Commodore 64 and MS-DOS. I’m just going to leave a couple pictures here for you to drool over.

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The other first few games mainly featured Bart, with Bart vs. the Space Mutants, Bart’s House of Weirdness, Bart Simpson’s Escape from Camp Deadly, Bart vs. the World, Bart vs. the Juggernauts and quite a lot more leading up to the late 90s. After that, we were blessed with releases such as Krusty’s Fun House, The Itchy & Scratchy Game, The Simpsons Road Rage, The Simpsons: Hit & Run and The Simpsons Game.  Unfortunately, the most recent game we have is only on IOS, although Tapped Out isn’t bad at all. I would love to see an HD release or remake of some of the PS2 titles, or a new game altogether. I’m sure they could conjure up something really amazing if they went the right way about it. I’ll pray every night onto my pillow until the day comes.

 

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The Simpsons: Skateboarding

 

Rugrats

The next set of games is actually from a series which I don’t remember much of, which is crazy. I know I watched it a little growing up, but I don’t have many memories of it, which is a shame. I really want to watch it properly at some point though, because it would still have that nostalgic feeling attached to it.

There were surprisingly a lot of video games based on the series, on a number of different consoles. The first game was called Rugrats: Search for Reptar which was released on the PS1. Games that followed included Rugrats: Scavenger Hunt, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, Rugrats Totally Angelica, Rugrats Go Wild, Rugrats: Royal Ransom and Rugrats: Time Travelers. 

Of course, the Rugrats have been in other games too such as Nicktoons Racing and Nickelodeon Party Blast. I do own the disc of one Rugrats game on PS1, but apart from that, I don’t have much knowledge of the series. But, that’s all about to change in due time. Soon, I’m going to be a master of old cartoons and the Rugrats. I will have power.

 

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Rugrats: Studio Tour (I know, this picture is terrifying.)

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

I love this show so much. I actually only started watching it a few years ago, but better late than never right? You have to love a show that has a kid who’s a genius, with some stupid friends to contrast with him perfectly.

A personal goal of mine is to own more Jimmy Neutron games, and frankly, there aren’t actually too many, so it shouldn’t take too long. The video games released include The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius: Attack of the Twonkies, TAOJNBG: Jet Fusion, Jimmy Neutron vs. Jimmy Negatron and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Jimmy Neutron has of course also starred in a lot of Nickelodeon games too, such as Nickelodeon Party Blast, Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots and Nicktoons: Freeze Frame Frenzy. Of course, those three titles feature a lot of great Nickelodeon shows and characters, including the aforementioned SpongeBobThere’s also the game Nicktoons Unite! which I personally own on PS2 and can’t wait to beat, since it seems really fun. You can’t go wrong with starting up games like this every now and then, it really makes a difference from other modern games released recently, and I think that’s a good thing. Plus, who doesn’t love some good ol’ nostalgia?

 

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Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

 

 

The Powerpuff Girls

Last but not least on this list, is the great show that is The Powerpuff Girls. I don’t own any games based on The Powerpuff Girls series, and it makes me pretty darn sad. But, hopefully, soon I can pick some up.

The first game to come out was The Powerpuff Girls: Bad Mojo Jojo, and the next game was TPG: Paint the Townsville, which were both of the Game Boy Colour. Games after that included TPG: Battle HIM, TPG: Mojo Jojo A-Go-Go, and TPG: HIM and Seek. On console, there were the titles TPG: Chemical X-traction and TPG: Relish Rampage. Again, I don’t own any of these games and I’m not really sure how they were received, but coming from someone who loved Cartoon Network and who wants to own every game on this list, I don’t think you could go wrong.

 

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The Powerpuff Girls: Mojo Jojo A-Go-Go

 

So there we have it! I really do enjoy experiencing a blast from the past, and I think now, I’m going to go ahead and play some retro video games to end my day.

What was your favourite video game based on a cartoon? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

5 Indie Developers You Need to Check Out!

MAY ISSUE: POST #25

I always want to give independent game companies all the respect that I have. Indie projects are usually made by a small team or group of people, without much financial support from an outside source (like robbing a bank). This means that a game can take many, many years and can be extremely challenging to complete. Of course, during recent years, there has been the ‘indie movement’, which means that a lot more indie titles are being released on systems such as PlayStation and Xbox and, of course, Steam.

This post is an insight to some indie developers that I know of. Some of their games are pretty popular already, while others, maybe not so much. It really must be a ‘trial and error’ and ‘hit and miss’ sort of thing with these sorts of teams and games. They could put so much work into a game and then not really get much recognition for it. Which is really sad, in my opinion. These teams probably need all the feedback they can get, so they can grow larger and flourish and release more of their creativity into the harsh world.

So, without any further ado, I’m going to share with you some indie developers. I hope you’ve got socks on because I’m about to attempt to blow them off.

Amanita Design

Website | Twitter

You may have heard of the little point and click adventure game called Machinarium or the game series Samorost, or even Botanicula. All of these games were released by the company Amanita Designwhich is a small studio based in the Czech Republic. The company was founded in 2003 by Jakub Dvorsky and has won many awards for its releases (which is highly deserved, to be honest).

Machinarium was the first full-length game released by the company, and I think that the beautiful and dark style of the game is unique and total a must-see. You can’t miss out on following the story of a little robot who wants to save his girlfriend who has, unfortunately (I mean, very, unfortunately) been kidnapped.

Recently they have released a title called Chuchel which is a comedy adventure game and needs lots of love. I can’t wait to try this game out sometime soon. Plus, the special edition on Steam is called the ‘Cherry Edition’ and I don’t think I would want to skip the opportunity to own an edition with that sort of adorable title.

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Fishing Cactus Games

Website | Twitter

The company Fishing Cactus Games (which is by far the most awesome company name) is a Belgian independent video game company created back in 2009. They have more than 15 years experience developing games, as the team was first working inside a big AAA studio at first, but after working there for a while and experiencing a series of unfortunate events, they decided to build up their own studio, and I’m very thankful that they did.

This is definitely one of my favourite indie developers, mainly because I played the crap out of their current only released title, a typing action adventure game called Epistory: Typing ChroniclesIt’s absolutely beautiful, and I find it such a joy to play. Fortunately, there is another game due to be released this year called Shift Quantum, which appears to be a cyber-noir puzzle platformer where you do a lot of, you guessed it, shifting. I really can’t wait, and I really can’t wait for what else is in store for the future.

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Ink Stains Games

Website | Instagram

This particular company, founded in 2015, is a Russian indie development team that successfully kickstarted and launched their first project, a top-down shooter called 12 is Better Than 6 back in 2015. They also have a turn-based RPG coming up called Stoneshard, which looks promising, in my opinion.

12 is Better Than 6 revolves around the story of an escaped slave making his way from Mexico to Texas in the year 1873, and you have to kill lots and lots of people (because killing is fun. In video games that is). The gameplay is challenging and the style is extremely distinctive and cool. The gameplay is what made the game addicting to me personally, as it’s one of those titles that makes you say ‘just one more try!’ after you die, and trust me, you die a lot (or I did anyway, you’ll probably be more skilled than myself).

I’m really looking forward to what else this game company has for us in the future, and I think keeping up with them and supporting them on Kickstarter is the right thing to do.

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Texel Raptor

I’m not just mentioning this team because of my love for theme park simulators. I promise. Although, that is the only kind of game they’re working on at the moment, but ssshh, I’d support them no matter what they’d do.

Texel Raptor is a development team based in Canada and Germany (how they communicate across seas is beyond me) founded back in 2014. Their current only release is none other than ParkitectOh man, I want it so badly, it’s insane. I feel like my childhood obsession with theme park simulation games would come back with a vengeance, but a good vengeance.

I actually find it surprising that a game of this quality is not only the first game of an indie development team but also, a game of an independent development team. Granted, it seems like it’s been in early access for a long time, but that’s what’s great about it, I think. Because they’re actually listening to our feedback and criticisms, and that’s what’s going to make the game brilliant when it’s out of early access. To be honest, if they keep working hard like this, they can take all my money for all I care.

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SMAC Games

Website | Twitter

I like indie teams that are made of only a couple of people, and this is one of them. SMAC Games is an indie team which consists of two brothers originally from Cape Town and now based in North London. I do wonder if there is any sibling rivalry, but even so, their first game Tokyo 42 looks incredible. The style especially. It’s been on my wishlist for a long time, and the fact that it’s also come to PS4 and Xbox One is awesome.

Tokyo 42 is a hyper-stylish isometric open-world shooter, and you really don’t see those every day. You dive into the world of assassins in the beautiful world of micro Tokyo, and as someone who loves Japan to pieces, this went on my wishlist straightaway.

With a game with a style such as this, I can’t wait to see what else they’re thinking of creating in the future. I recommend you keep an eye out too! Also, is it possible to live in this sort of world? Please tell me it’s possible.

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Please comment down below some indie games that you enjoy! I’d love to try out lots more. 

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

The Famicom and Five Obscure Games

MAY ISSUE: POST #22

I know every now and then some blog posts seem to turn into my current wishlist, but recently I have been really wanting a Famicom. Since I understand Japanese to an intermediate level and have been playing games on and off in Japanese for a while, I suddenly want to invest in one and get some older Japanese titles.

I’m also aiming to be more retro. I want to be retro-y.

So, what is the Famicom? Well, it’s a Family Computer basically. Released in 1983, this cute little box was manufactured by Nintendo and released only in Japan. Funnily enough, it was actually Nintendo’s first console. The Famicom is slightly different from the NES though, which is a similar console released over in America and here in Europe.

There was also an add-on called the Famicom Disk System, released in 1986, with release titles such as Super Mario Bros.The Legend of Zelda and also Baseball, Tennis, and Soccer, for all your sporting needs.

But I’m sure you’re all eager to learn about some games for this system. In particular, some intriguing weird and wonderful ones that you may never have heard of. So let’s take a look.

Doki! Doki! Yuenchi: Crazy Land Daisakusen

I love games that have amusement parks in them, whether that be an action game or a building/park management game. I had never heard of this game though, until today! This game follows a kid with a helmet (all the armour you’ll ever need) who wants to save his girlfriend from some mysterious force inside an amusement park. He kicks balls at his enemies to attack, which seems legit enough. The game was developed by KID and published by VAP in Japan in 1981, and come on, look how adorable these two are. To be honest, I really do want to try this game- looking at the gameplay, it looks fairly entertaining. Although I have no idea what’s flying on the left side there. Is that a butterfly? A bird? And where’s the rest of the boys arm? Maybe the answer is within the game. Sneaky.

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Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa

This is an interesting title that I stumbled upon. Released on the Famicom Disk System originally in 1988 and then on the Famicom in 1993, this game from Konami features a baby called Upa, who uses a rattle to attack enemies. Because, you know, that is genuinely what babies would do if attacked. I think. This baby isn’t just any ordinary baby though, Upa is the prince of a magical kingdom (naturally), and when that magical kingdom’s citizens get taken over by an evil demon, Upa is, rather generously, given a rattle in order to save them all. Whether this game is good or not I have no idea, but it looks colourful and I like the little pig in the picture.

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Chaos World

So, imagine that the king of your kingdom has a daughter and that that daughter is sick. But, alongside that, there are also monsters terrorising the world. The king asks you, and only you, to investigate and conquer the world, which seems simple enough, right? Well, if you play Chaos World, you’ll find out. I just told you the plot of the game, and it doesn’t seem too bad to me, it merely has a good vs. evil plot. This game is also one of the few Famicom games that has a day/night cycle. Again, I’m not sure how good this game is, but developed by Natsume (think Harvest Moon and Rune Factory) and released in 1991, I’m sure it’s something to try out.

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Joy Mech Fight

You can’t have a list of old games like this without a fighting game. Joy Mech Fight or Joy Mecha Fight is, what I’m guessing, a joyful game released in 1993. The plot is about these spectacular robots created by two scientists, however, one of the scientists turns bad and steals seven of the robots and appears on TV broadcasting that he wants to take over the world. One particular robot is called to the laboratory by the other doctor, to help defeat the sudden evil. The graphics of this game is definitely the most interesting part, since the robots arms, head, legs- you name it- aren’t attached. Yep, they’re all floating around separately. You might think that’s horrific, but actually, it’s kind of adorable.

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Tashiro Masashi no Princess ga Ippai

This is a little game I found which reminds me of the ‘princess in distress’ storyline of the oh-so-famous Mario series. This game, however, doesn’t involve a plumber, but a cool dude with sunglasses. The game was released in 1989 and focuses on the story of Masashi Tashiro who has to rescue, not one, not two, but four princesses in distress. I don’t know how Mario would feel if he had to save four Peaches, but anyway. It is actually one of the first games to have multiple endings, and there is only one chance to succeed here, as there are four bad endings and only one good ending, which seems delightful. I wonder what the bad endings entail, to be honest, I hope it’s nothing too dramatic.

The interesting thing about this game is that Tashiro Masashi is a real person, and was a member of the band Rats & Star. However, he was put in jail for a number of reasons, so, I think the game made a reappearance for the occassion.

To be honest, I like this box art though.

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I don’t know if that means we’re finishing this post on a happy note, but ah well, Famicom games are neat and there were some rather crazy and imaginative ideas back then.

Let me know what Famicom games you think are weird and wonderful!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

5 Family-Friendly Racing Games

MAY ISSUE: POST #16

I remember spending so much time with racing games growing up. I liked all that whizzing around and trying to win and bragging when I did. I didn’t play too many of them though, and I’ve definitely gotten into a lot more over the last couple of years. This list of racing games is a list of those that have more of a fun and friendly style, whether that be cartoony or just plain colourful. These are games that you can be competitive with, but also whilst babysitting ten children.

Mario Kart
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Starting off with an obvious title, Mario Kart is the game that a lot of people from my generation grew up with. Especially Mario Kart Wii and DS, in my opinion. Those titles were great and I remember back in those days, I would actually play games with other people. Mario Kart was one of the games we would all play. I also used to play online, which is crazy, because I hardly ever play online anymore. But I’m thankful that I still hold some skill when it comes to this game. I’m pretty sure I could beat my Dad at it.

Table Top Racing

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I played this game so much and it’s a lot of fun too. You race in little cars on table tops and it’s so adorable and cute and reminds me of when I used to play with small car toys when I was younger. I have this on Steam but I would love the digital copy for the Vita because I think the graphics and concept would fit perfectly. You can get so many different cars and tracks and you just want to collect them all.

ModNation Racers

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I’ve played this game a lot too, and it definitely wins the most points in terms of customization. You can customise your character, cart and tracks so much it’s insane, so I really think this game is underrated. It’s actually a fairly humorous game too, with decent cutscenes and voice acting. Honestly, it’s a blast. There’s also a version on PSP too, so if you fancy trying out a handheld version, there’s an option.

F1 RaceStars

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I haven’t played too much of this game yet, but it definitely has that appealing cartoony family-friendly look to it. It looks like a lot of fun. My Dad was a huge F1 fan, so it’s kind of an interesting game for me to play (constantly waiting and expecting crashes). I’m not sure why F1 drivers can’t look like this in real life- I think it would make it much more entertaining. But anyway, this is the game I’ve played the least of in this list, but when it was included in a Humble Bundle at one point, I got it because of this game. It looks so awesome and fun, and has the exact style that makes me say ‘aw yeah, this is going to be a guilty pleasure’.

Cars

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Cars 2 is one of my favourite animated films that I watched last year. It made me happy to learn that the video games for the series aren’t too bad either, and I’ve proceeded to buy three of them since. I’ve still only played Cars 2 though, and I enjoyed the racing and being able to drive around as the characters from the movies. Of course, when I heard that you can drive around freely in the land of Cars in Cars, I just had to pick that one up. Because cars. I haven’t tried it yet, even with my husband bugging me, but it seems like a fun and lighthearted game to play, and I’m a sucker for fun and lightheartedness.

So that was 5 games I’ve recently played that are pretty family-friendly, because, you never know, my audience could be completely 6-year-olds by this point. We should all appreciate family-friendly titles because let’s face it, nobody wants 24/7 gore and action, right? Every now and then you want to let go and play something that people may judge you for. But, frankly, it doesn’t matter when you’re having fun.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

6 Chill Paragraphs for 6 Chill Games

MAY ISSUE: POST #15

When I started this blog about a month ago, I didn’t really want to post reviews. I feel like I don’t have it in me to criticise games, and I merely try to enjoy what I can from most of them. But, my husband had the idea of writing some short paragraph reviews and summaries for games instead, and I thought that this was a pretty nice idea. Now I can be short and sweet with my opinion, and I don’t have to be too mean in the process. Sweet.

The games that I will be mentioning all fit with the theme of ‘laid-back’ and ‘chill’. Games you can pick up and play when you feel like it, and you don’t necessarily have to worry about the story or anything too challenging (like following a story, ahem, Final Fantasy 13). These aren’t going to be review reviews, but I will be giving a chill star rating out of 5, so you get an idea of how much relaxation you could get out of it.

So, let’s begin.

Animal Crossing

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I know, it’s not surprising, but I had to put it on the list and I thought I’d get it out of the way. The repetitiveness of the game is somewhat addicting and becomes a chore, but don’t fear, it’s an enjoyable, friendly chore. For the most part. Sometimes gathering all that fruit can be a tad tedious. But, you can capture bugs and fish, arrange your home, style your character, and mingle with villagers and even real people (if you know how to mingle with real people virtually, that is). The graphics are adorable, especially in New Leaf and it plays like a charm.  It’s the perfect way to calm down and meditate in the morning.

Chill Rating: ☆☆☆☆

The Sims

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The Sims is another obvious, popular title. What could be more relaxing than a life simulation? Actually, at first thought, you would think that it would be not so laidback, and who would want to play a game about life in the first place? But it is addicting, trust me, and relaxing if you want it to be (I’m talking about the main PC versions here. The story in The Sims on PS2 was kind of frustrating. The woman kept getting too depressed). You can create your family, build your home, get your sims jobs and make a happy family. The best thing about this game is that you can jump right in, and it will be completely different each time you play. You may want to look and see if you’d prefer the earlier Sims games or the recent ones, but if you want some time to unwind and focus on controlling someone else’s life rather than your own, then this series as a whole is certainly for you.

Chill Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Style Boutique

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Do you have a passion for fashion? Do you have a passion for trying to make people look chic or goth or lively or bold? Then look no further! Style Boutique is the perfect series where, once you get used to how the game works, is perfect for chill nights before sleeping. I got addicted to it last night actually. You run your own boutique, and as your popularity grows you can explore the city, enter contests, rearrange your room and buy lots of stock so you can dress up other people and yourself! It’s really nice to feel fashionable for once. I do wish there were more ways to interact with people, and maybe a more intriguing story, but then again, I’ve only played the first two games, and I think it’s a promising series with lots of potential. Of course, this game isn’t for everyone, but the 3DS versions are nicely made with lovely updated graphics.

Chill Rating: ☆☆☆

Castaway Paradise

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If you’re looking for a game that’s similar to Animal Crossing but not quite up there, then have a look at Castaway Paradise. I actually really enjoyed this game and put 40 hours into it before getting 100% achievements. The thing is, I haven’t played it since getting 100% achievements. The game was really fun and the graphics are bright and interesting, but the gameplay is 10x more repetitive than Animal Crossing. I had to repeatedly do the same thing for those 40 hours, pretty much. But, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s still pretty relaxing and you can fish, buy items, do simple quests and grow trees and plants. So, in my opinion, you can at least have a good time with this game for a while. It’s worth having a look.

Chill Rating: ☆☆

Viridi

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If you like plants, or growing plants, or even just clicker games where you don’t have to do too much, then Viridi is a chill game that you most definitely have to check out. You get a plant pot full of soil, all prepared for growing plants (with your pet snail along the side), and, well, you get the seeds and plant them and water them every few days until they grow! It’s basically a plant growing simulator, but it’s not as boring as you might think. The graphics are perfect, and the music is very peaceful, and it’s worth putting five or ten minutes into every few days just to see your plants grow. It’s great for nature lovers and people who don’t have much time.

Chill Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Rollercoaster Tycoon Series

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Do you want to spend some time making your own theme park? If you do, then I will throw these games through your window. Games that have a sandbox mode, in general, are great for this sort of list. I grew up playing building simulation games, but Rollercoaster Tycoon was my go-to game. Recently, I’ve been playing the first title a  lot, and honestly, I multitask while playing this game. I set up my park, leave it for a while, earn some dough, come back to it, adjust some things etc. etc. The style of the first three games is great and I love the old isometric graphics. I really wish the latest releases were better though.

Chill Rating: ☆☆☆☆

What are some chill games that you’ve played recently? 

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

10 Horror Games I’m Too Wimpy to Play

MAY ISSUE: POST #7

With the exception of Alan Wake, Catherine and BioShock (if they even count), I’ve never played anything remotely horror-like, and I hate it. I love thinking about horror games, and what they look like, and the stories and the atmosphere, but I just can’t bring myself to play them. It’s the same with horror films, it’s not that I’ll get nightmares, it’s just that I can’t handle tension. I can’t handle it when something might make me jump out of nowhere. I’m fine with dolls, clowns, creepy rooms and dark basements (which maybe, I shouldn’t be okay with)- but thinking about it makes me feel like I’m going to have a heart attack constantly. Even if there are no jump scares, this fear makes horror games mostly unplayable to me.

But, with that being said, here is a list of 10 horror games that I want to play, and will play at some point in my life. Even if I die trying.

Silent Hill

I’ve actually already made my first step with this one. I bought the first game on sale last week and I know I’m going to have to start it up very soon. I don’t know how scary I’ll find it, but it is pretty widely known for being a horror, so you know.

The first game was released back in January 1999, and published by Konami. The story follows a man named Harry Masson and his search for his missing daughter in the eerie town of, none other than, Silent Hill. To be honest, I wouldn’t want to visit a town with that name, but this sort of thing always happens in horrors so, there’s nothing we can do. There have been quite a few games since, around 8 or so I believe, not including any spin-offs. Of course, there was also the canceled title P.T. that everyone knows about. I don’t know if any fetuses in sinks will be in horror games again anytime soon, but that element was rather creepy.

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The Cat Lady

I miraculously managed to watch through a whole playthrough of this game, and I loved it. But some parts, no no no no no. I don’t know if my heart is ready to go through the game alone. But, the game follows the story of Susan Ashworth, a depressed, middle-aged woman with no friends, and is, unsurprisingly, a cat lady. She nearly commits suicide, but she wakes up in an alternate world and is given the task of killing five evil humans called The Parasites.

The game has such an incredible atmosphere, great music, and wonderful voice actors, and maybe there will be a day when I can experience it all alone. By myself. In a dark room. *nervous laughter* Okay, no promises.

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Layers of Fear

I actually did play about an hour of this game, and then I cried that same night, clinging to my partner thinking that someone was going to come and murder us. So, maybe I’ll pass this one for now, but the whole game does spark my interest. I didn’t even experience much in the game, I just think it made my paranoia go through the roof. Plus, it’s in first-person, so that doesn’t help.

The game is about a painter whose purpose is to finish his masterpiece. The mansion you explore is constantly changing, and you’re surrounded by paintings and decor from the 19th century. So overall, the setting of the game is beautiful, it’s only, does everything really have to change when I’m not looking? That’s kind of mean, don’t you think?

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Fatal Frame

This is a game I nearly tried but then chickened out (I always chicken out. I’m more chicken than human). Each game in the series focuses on a different supernatural threat, which usually means that you have to navigate haunted locations. I for one, am not really a fan of haunted locations, even though I don’t really believe in ghosts and all that.

So far there are five main games, not counting any spinoffs. The game is set in 1980s Japan, and in each scenario, the characters use Camera Obscura, which is a device that captures spirits and calms them down and whatnot. This series is widely known and is often seen alongside Resident Evil and Silent Hill, so I think it would be a shame for me to not try it at least once. (Oh, what am I getting myself into?) 

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Rule of Rose

If you haven’t heard of this game, then, first of all, you should know that a lot of people say that it’s pretty twisted (and also rare to find). Set in England in 1930, the game follows a girl called Jennifer, who becomes trapped in a world ruled by young girls. Since the game is a horror and follows children, there were rumours (and fake rumours) that the game was brutal, cruel and violent, which brought up lots of controversial discussions about morality.

The major theme in the game showcases the difference between an adults and child’s way of thinking, and how children might treat adults if given power. This game is fairly collectible, (ha, fairly. It goes for £200 in a UK preowned game shop), so, I don’t know if I’ll ever own it, but I’m willing to watch someone play it, to see what all that fuss was about when the game was primarily released.

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The Path

I have a little bit of a passion for creepy games that are based on fairy tales, and this one has intrigued me ever since it came out. The Path is based on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, where six sisters have to visit their grandmother, who is sick and bedridden. Your goal? To stay on the path! And who actually stays on the path? Not many players, I doubt.

Developed by Tale of Tales, this game is about making choices, playing and failing and having to accept the inevitable. But, overall, it’s about exploration and using your imagination. I can’t wait to try it out one day (I’ll probably be too scared to stray from the path anyway).

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The Evil Within

Survival horror is my biggest weak point. I don’t want to be chased by anything, thank you very much. I nearly couldn’t handle the pressure of an enemy running after me in Mirror’s Edge, let alone some weird dude with a chainsaw.

But anyway, since the second game came out not so long ago, it has been on my radar and it does intrigue me. The game is pretty popular and I see it come up on social media quite a bit. The first game revolves around a gruesome mass murder, and you play as Sebastian, a detective who is knocked unconscious suddenly and then wakes up among the dead in a deranged world. So, naturally, fighting for survival is the next step. It says on Steam that the game ’embodies the meaning of horrifying anxiety’, so whenever I want to give my anxiety anxiety, I’ll give this game a go.

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Fran Bow

I love point and clicks, so it pains me when a horror point and click is released. I find point and clicks a tad creepy anyway because you never know what’s going to show up next, and then it’s there, so suddenly. Fran Bow seems like it would do exactly that- you’re this sweet little girl and then suddenly- boom- somebodies heads explodes.

Developed by Killmonday Games, Fran Bow seems like an unsettling game, to say the least. It’s about a girl who is struggling with a mental disorder at an asylum, after the gruesome loss of her parents. She manages to escape the asylum, and go back home to her Aunt. I don’t know how the game was received, but it looks very enticing (and I do like stories based on mental health issues and whatnot).

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Neverending Nightmares

Talking about mental illness, Neverending Nightmares is another game that revolves around that sort of stuff. You play as Thomas, who awakens from a nightmare only to find that he is still dreaming (which must be a tad disorientating, poor Thomas). He ends up having to run away from his inner demons, hoping to eventually wake up. The game is said to be inspired by the developer’s struggle with mental illness (depression and OCD) so I would love to grow some balls and try it for myself. As someone who struggles with mental illness too, I would like to see how it is represented in the game. Also, the games moody style and black and white artwork looks remarkable.

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Detention

This game looks really well-made, hence why I’ll probably poop my pants if I try to get through it. Detention is a horror game set in Taiwan in the 1960s, so the game incorporates East Asian elements, such as cultural references and mythology. That’s one of the sole reasons why this game appeals to me- it looks and sounds so unique, and I love Asia and the culture, too, so I think it would be an interesting experience.

The game follows two students trapped in their High School (why are schools a common setting for horror?) and haunted by evil creatures (there always has to be something evil in the schools too, doesn’t there? Well, I mean it explains a lot). So yeah, this game was developed by Red Candle Games, and I highly recommend you check it out. It’s definitely different from quite a few other games I’ve seen.

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So there are some of the games that I’m too chicken to play (even though I really want to), and I’m not afraid to admit it. I am afraid to play the games though. To be honest, I just want a peaceful life, is that too much to ask?

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Choices Matter Games and Real Life Decisions

MAY ISSUE: POST #5

Choices. I hate having to make choices. I’m indecisive and I feel like I’m being put under too much pressure. So why I love choices matter games, I have absolutely no idea. Maybe I just love torturing myself? I find the whole concept of these games pretty creepy too. Having that much control? Psch, it makes me uncomfortable (but they’re just so good). But anyway, in this post, I’ll be showcasing some of these games and then talking about some psychological crap.

The Dreamfall Chapters

I mention this first because this is what I’m currently playing (and I’m loving it). The choices have quite a big effect on how the story progresses, and this makes me think extra carefully about my actions and how I’m probably gonna mess up and cause someone to die or something. The game’s plot is linear, and the ending won’t change no matter what you do, but you do have to make a lot of choices which affect the stories events as you play.

This adventure game is from Norwegian developer Red Thread Games and was published episodically (there are five books that make up the game, with a few chapters in each). The game is the third in a series, and I highly recommend that you play the first two before this one. The series itself is set in these two parallel universes; a cyberpunk Earth called Stark and a magical world called Arcadia, which is pretty awesome if you ask me.

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Life is Strange

If you haven’t heard of this, then maybe you need to get your ears cleaned. Life is Strange is another episodic adventure game, where you play as character Max Caulfield who has the ability to rewind time. You can use this rewind feature in the game to go back to the beginning of conversations, and using what you’ve previously learned to help you make a decision. Choices you make in the game does affect the ending, and there are a lot of short-term and long-term consequences. Something good short-term could come back to bite you in the butt later.

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Heavy Rain

I never really beat games much around 3 years ago, but along with BioShock Infinite, I also managed to play through the whole of Heavy Rain too, and I did quite well, so I’m proud of that at least. I really need to play it again though, as the choices matter aspect is quite intriguing and it’s a bit more dramatic in ways.

You control four different characters throughout the game, and depending on the actions of each one, it creates a branching storyline, and also, you’re pretty much in control of who dies and who lives, which is a lot of pressure, to be honest. The protagonist, Ethan Mars, loses his son after he gets hit by a car. He developers severe mental trauma, and to add to that, two years later, his second son is kidnapped by the Origami Killer. Which is pretty unfortunate, if you ask me. So off Ethan goes to try and save his son, Shaun. There are also quick time events to keep you on your toes.

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Until Dawn

I personally have not played this but I watched my partner play it and well, apart from screaming at a few points because I’m apparently the jumpiest person in the world, it was a really great experience. Creepy too.

The game is set at an isolated mountain lodge where eight friends have to try and survive because there is a killer prancing around. I mean, why did they go to this eerie mountain lodge in the first place? Sometimes I question the common sense of these characters. But anyway, this is a game you could really play over and over again and experience a multitude of different outcomes, and if you prefer horror, then this is definitely for you.

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Dragon Age Origins & II

I’m not including Inquisition because I haven’t played it just yet and I don’t want to spoil anything by looking it up, but Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II are games where your choices change the personality of your character and what happens in the game. Basically, the outcome of the games depends on who you side with, and, oh, also who you sleep with.

The Dragon Age series is a dark fantasy roleplaying game developed by BioWare, and even if the choices you make don’t really change much story-wise, it does give you a chance to decide exactly how you interact with people, and to me, that makes it really fun. For Dragon Age: II, I constantly chose the sarcastic responses. It was very satisfying.

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Fallout

I haven’t played too much of Fallout yet. I own the first three games on Steam and also Fallout 3 on the PS3. I’ve seen a whole playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas though, if that counts for something. If you know anything about the Fallout series, you know that you can dumb yourself down by putting no points in intelligence and that you can just well, shoot people I guess.

Fallout is a post-apocalyptic role-playing series, and from what I’ve read, the choices you make in Fallout are an illusion of choice, and nothing really matters. You can be a really greedy asshole and steal lots of money and then destroy a town and kill lots of people and hack all their computers, but I mean, if that’s fun then what does it matter? Right? Oh boy. I think I’ll just add an amusing picture to justify adding this to the list.

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Fable

It’s hard to mention this game because it’s a game series I’ve been meaning to play for the longest time but I just haven’t got round to it (although I say that about a lot of games). I mean, I’ve played the beginning of the first games enough times to be able to recite it. But anyway, Fable is an action role-playing series where you can make your orphaned character a hero or an evil git, or someone in between.

I mean on Steam it even says ‘FOR EVERY CHOICE, A CONSEQUENCE’ so, you know, that gets the brain thinking I suppose.

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Games I haven’t played that are choices matter games include:

Beyond: Two Souls
Mass Effect (I really need to play this)
The Walking Dead (I really need to play this too)
Tales from the Borderlands (I didn’t actually know this was a choices matter game. It’s another game I refuse to look up because I want it all to be a surprise. Again, another game I really need to play.)
The Witcher 

I know I’ve missed out a lot because I haven’t had much time to look at indie titles or, well, just other games in general. I’m getting on it though, so I’ll probably do another post like this soon. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

Emotional Effects of Choices Matter Games

Personally, choices matter games make me feel kind of, paranoid, and strange. I remember being heavily affected by Life is Strange and sitting there for days afterward, wallowing and remembering all that I had done and the consequences. I was actually pretty spaced out. So this makes me bring forth this question, what are the effects of choices matter games on the mind?

Firstly, there’s the huge feeling of guilt. How many times have you made a choice in a video game, and then immediately felt so guilty that you had to resist the urge to reload and start again? I’m putting my hand up. This has happened to me a lot. When I get so absorbed in a game, I get attached to the characters, I pretend that I’m in that world. So when my choices affect something, and when it’s a difficult choice, (and when you’re as indecisive as I am) then it’s almost impossible to make that decision, but you have to do it anyway. At least you have time to think though (most of the time) and also, you can reload if you really wanted to, and also you just have to remember that you’re playing a game and it’s all fictional. Unlike real life, which is the scary thing.

There’s also morality here then, I suppose. Some choices I’ve made in games personally think are the right choice, but then only later do I realise that it was completely immoral, and I’m like oh, oops! I did that? My bad. But, yet again, it makes me think about real life. How many times have I done that? How many times have my actions caused other people worry or harm? It makes me shudder just to think about it. But the fact that I am starting to think more about my actions, surely that’s a good thing? Are choices in games helping players make better decisions in the real world? I would hope so to be honest.

Overall, adding choice to video games really makes games more immersive, whether it’s a good or a bad thing you have to choose to do. It makes you think, and it can provoke discussions about moral issues and moral systems, which is important (to me anyway). In real life, there are both really simple decisions to be made, where you really don’t think about them at all, and then there are huge decisions, which we would probably prefer to ignore.

With that being said, my head is kind of fuzzy right now since I didn’t sleep too well, so I can’t write as much as I would like to. I don’t even know what I’ve written here really, but it does spark my interest and I would love to write more psychology based posts in the future. But anyway, I digress, I hope you enjoyed and have some thoughts on the matter too!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

The PC-98: Part #1

APRIL ISSUE: POST #32

Hello and welcome to my final post for April, but don’t be sad, because May is just around the corner and I’m already frantic about what posts I need to start writing. But anyway, today I’m going to be writing about the PC98, or the PC-9800 series. Wow, that’s unexpected, right? These personal computers were released only in Japan back in the 80s from a company called NEC. NEC had a lot of control over the PC market and had sold 18 million units by 1999, so all in all, that’s a lot of people with computers.

There have been a quite a lot of models of the PC-98 and it ran software with data discs. It’s noted that there are thousands of games for it, mainly consisting of dating sims and RPGs. I do remember stumbling upon information about the PC-98 a while ago, but I have been really intrigued by it again recently (well, yesterday), hence why I want to share some games on the system for you now.

Policenauts

While I was browsing, I actually found some amazingly cool looking GIFs on Tumblr here (and I’m very excited that they actually move in the post too). Policenauts is a graphic adventure sci-fi game which was released in 1994, and then remakes were released for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in later years. The director of the game is none other than Hideo Kojima, and the game received immaculate reviews from all over Japan.

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To me, it’s no wonder, this has the coolest style ever, and for a game made way back then?! I’m very impressed. The colours are great and the girl looks absolutely badass. I mean, look at her wielding that knife. I doubt she’s going to be opening letters with it.

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The game itself is about a character called Jonathan Ingram, one of the Policenauts, who are astronauts with police training. Jonathan tests a new space suit but drifts away into the dark abyss that is space and is assumed dead by everyone, which is pretty unfortunate, but don’t worry, he is found 24 years later and is alive and kicking and brought back home. Even after all of that though, his ex-wife comes up to him and asks for help in solving a case, which ironically is the disappearance of her husband. But then she gets murdered straight after telling him that, so yeah. There’s a lot to experience when playing this game, and to be honest, I really want to play itIt was said that the game has one of the best storylines ever, and I don’t doubt it for a second.

Possessioner

Okay, this is an erotic adventure game, with naked women and all that jazz, but the style is awesome, and I’ve come to the realisation that it’s hard to avoid erotica when searching these games. But never fear, it’s not meant to scare you away! Embrace nakedness I say. This game was released back in 1994 by Queen Soft, and it’s primarily a sci-fi adventure game set in 2035 (which is scarily sooner than you think).

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The story starts off with a lot of mysterious incidents happening in Tokyo, and, much like Policenauts, someone goes missing. In this case, that ‘someone’ is a lot of women. This time though, they weren’t just kidnapped and lost forever- this time, they return brainwashed, and command armies of bionic monsters (not unexpected at all). These women are then part of a squad and are called Possessioners. You go through the game selecting commands from the menu and triggering events. I’m not really sure how the game was received, but it does seem super interesting (and if you enjoy lesbian sex scenes mixed with all this adventure sci-fi stuff, then go right ahead and try it out).

Words Worth

The main reason I wanted to mention this particular game is because of this next screenshot.

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Please tell me you don’t have to attack his adorable face!

On the other hand…

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Aaah! Get it away! It’s hideous!

But you really can’t go wrong with these graphics. It’s terrifying at times, yes, but it’s really incredibly drawn, and even though I was trying to avoid it for at least one game, yes, apparently there is erotica in this one too. I’m not sure how erotic it is, but I know for sure that there’s a five-part direct to video erotic series, based on the game’s story. So, you can just jump straight into that instead if you wish.

But the game itself is set around two sword-fighting tribes, who live in peace and harmony, and are separated by “Words Worth”, a slab. Yes, a slab. A huge monolith slab put there by someone. A slab.

Even though I would love to protect this slab with all my might, it does get destroyed early in the game. Mysteriously destroyed. Who would want to destroy an innocent slab, I don’t know. But naturally, the two tribes start blaming each other and start a war that lasts over 100 years. One of the tribes sends out Astral, to find out what really happened to the slab (or the tablet. I should probably stop calling it a slab.) and restore the peace! You go through the game dungeon crawling and defeating enemies, and that sounds pretty fun to me. Although I don’t really want to face, um, whatever that is above *shudder*

Rusty

If you like Castlevania, then this game could be for you. People say it’s a clone, but, what does it matter when it’s awesome anyway? It’s actually been called a ‘hidden gem’ so why not give it a go? If you can.

Developed by C-Lab and released in 1993, this game is a side-scrolling action game, and you play as a vampire hunter who investigates why various women have disappeared all over the country (maybe they’re getting brainwashed and will return as leaders of a bionic army). Naturally, you fight skeletons and monsters and boss characters, and you use a whip! Hah! A whip! How satisfying.

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This game has been unofficially translated into English, so I’m sure if you wanted to give it a go, it wouldn’t be too difficult.

Doukyuusei

I also found this game while I was browsing around. The first game in the series was considered the first dating simulation, originally released for the PC-9801 microcomputer and published by ELF.

I could put so many pictures of the game here but I really don’t want to overload my post with too much stuff and burn your mind away. But you get a general idea that’s it’s really well designed.

You play as a high-school student, whose parents have just moved into a large mansion (I want to be this guy already) and naturally, you have to start at a new school. Of course, it being a dating sim and all, all you can think of is girls girls girls (to be honest, I don’t blame him. Girls are great.) There is a lot of exploration in this game, and you can go into shops, cafes and even take the train! Which is pretty neat in my opinion. There are, of course, nude scenes and sex scenes and all that, but to be honest, I’d still play it. I enjoy dating sims sometimes and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

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So, what do you think of the PC-98? Do the games look interesting to you?

oh, and I should just mention the soundtracks. I mean, they’re so good!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming! Roll on the next issue!

-LDG

Browser/Flash Games that I Grew up With

APRIL ISSUE: POST #14

loved browser games growing up. So much. I still do love them. They were so simple yet addicting, with basic gameplay, and there were so many to choose from. I remember being in Middle School, High School, and College and playing them whilst in class, whether that be when the teacher left the room or when we were having a fun ‘do whatever you want’ day, (which was rare, I’m not going to lie). I remember browsing websites for ages with my friends and trying to master some of the games together. I miss those times, and every now and then I still do go back to these websites if possible, to teleport myself back to my childhood, so naturally, I thought I would write a blog post about them as well. Because I’m all about nostalgia.

For starters, let’s look at these games in particular:

♦Club Penguin

Club Penguin was my love for a while. I even think I managed to convince my parents to let me invest real money into this to purchase a pet or something along those lines.

Club Penguin was an online MMO, involving a virtual world consisting of, you guessed it, penguins. The launch date was October 2005, so I’m guessing I was around 10 or 11 years old when I first started playing. Apparently, as of July 2013, the game had over 200 million registered user accounts- which is astonishing. It certainly did feel that popular back in the day. Everyone wanted to be a virtual penguin.

As you may know, Club Penguin itself was discontinued in March 2017 (wow, has it been that long already?) but apparently, it was replaced by its successor, Club Penguin Island, which I had no idea about. So, if you’re wondering, yes, I did instantly download it, and yes, I was disappointed when I found out you can’t play the free trial without filling in your billing info.

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Habbo Hotel

I played this even more than Club Penguin, I think because it made me feel mature somehow. This website is still open too, and every now and then I go back and check it out and see how it’s changed. I used to be completely content playing it alone, and wandering around all the different areas (I loved the swimming pool) and seeing all the characters. Now, it’s actually a little confusing to me, and I’m too shy to say anything to anyone. I think if I went into the game with some people then it would be fun for a while, but I’m not sure if the website is as popular as it used to be.

Habbo Hotel started back in 2000, which surprises me quite a lot. I probably played this during the mid-2000s, and I had no idea that it had already been out that long.
The whole idea of Habbo is that you’re in a hotel, and you can meet other people, design hotel rooms and more. I personally am quite fond of the pixel-art style, and I was never able to forget it.

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Side note, surprisingly, I didn’t play anything like Runescape or IMVU or whatever else was popular back in the day. Habbo Hotel and Club Penguin were my go-to websites for sure.

miniclip.com

Yes, I still have an account on here. Yes, I enjoyed creating my own avatar.

This website is still very similar to how it was years ago when I played a multitude of games on it, such as Monkey Kick Off, Ping Pong, Candy and Clyde, Bloxorz, Bubble Trouble and this weird diving game called Stunt Dive that I was addicted to (I say as it’s one of the tabs open in my browser right now. I can confirm that I still love it).

A lot of these games are still available on the website, so if you’re looking to pass some time, then why not check them out? Flash games still need some love, too.

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Wow, I didn’t even realise this website was still running. This was what my Middle School friends and I would immediately type into the browser if we got to ICT class early. It also still has games such as Bloxorz on it, joint with Up Beat, and the classic World’s Hardest Game and the Idiot Test

CBBC

If you’re British, then you probably know CBBC. The games on the CBBC website have definitely changed since I was a kid, and even though I didn’t watch CBBC an awful lot, I did have lots of fun playing the games. I specifically remember playing a zoo game, based on the series Roar (see picture below). Ah, those were simpler and better days.

I am super sad that 1) I don’t remember most of the games I played.
I am getting super excited as I write this since I’ve been carrying out some research, and some games are finally coming back to me, such as Colour Factory, which was as creative as I got back then. And then, Magic Mansion, Microlife and Operation Youth Club, which are amazingly playable elsewhere.

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agame.com

I’m freaking out as I type this (don’t worry, my intention isn’t to frighten you), but I completely forgot about this website until writing this post. This is the website I just found the aforementioned game Magic Mansion on (the music is a lot funkier than I remember). I admit though, it looks a lot more generic than it used to.

This website is similar to miniclip.com but I don’t think I went on it as much. It was like a backup if I needed a change for a while. My mindset was more like ‘the more websites to choose from the better!’ and ‘the more games the better!’ (this hasn’t changed).

Moshi Monsters

Everybody needs a virtual pet.

This website is for kids aimed 6-12 but I don’t tend to follow these rules. I want a virtual pet dammit!

This website released in 2008 so I was entering my teens when I saw Moshi Monsters around every now and then. The website enables you to own a pet, navigate the city and play games. I remember that you could see the ages of the people above their pets as you walked around, but that’s hardly trustworthy.

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Barbie, Polly Pocket etc.

Barbie is still one of my loves, along with Bratz, Polly Pocket etc. because I’m still my 11-year-old self at heart. But does anyone remember those weird browser games? Ones such as Let’s Babysit Baby Krissy. Barbie sure knew how to how to be unique.
Then there was MyScene to go along with it.

I remember really enjoying the Pollet Pocket website too, however, I can’t really remember what you could actually do on it. I’m pretty sure there was a rollercoaster you could click on on the map, or a beach, or a big building. Ah, who knows. I know there’s a screenshot somewhere on Google.

♦Facebook

I actually quit Facebook a year ago, but I definitely have my fair share of memories of playing games on there.

Pet Society (This was my number one Facebook game to go to. I leveled up a lot and I loved my pet to pieces. I want this game back in my life).
Yoville (My memories are pretty hazy when it comes to this game, but when I see a screenshot of it, I know that I played it.)
Farmville (well, I had to include this on the list didn’t I? It’s that game. The one that you would get a million notifications from because your Aunt had an addiction to virtual farming).

I also have vague memories of playing Hotel City and Restaurant City. The designs really weren’t bad, and I mean, they were addicting for a reason.

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So there we have it. Another nostalgic post complete. I really do enjoy reminiscing- it’s one of my main pastimes.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG