Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Delores - A Thimbleweed Park game and source released

Another tidbit that I missed while I was away was an awesome small Thimbleweed Park game titled Delores.

The game is available for free at GOG.com, Steam, and Epic.

The source code of the game (but not the engine) is also free to tinker with at Github.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Beyond a Steel Sky released

Beyond a Steel Sky, the sequel to Revolution's cult hit 1990s adventure game Beneath a Steel Sky, is now available for Windows.

 It is currently available to purchase for 20% off at Steam.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright - The First Turnabout Review

The first Ace Attorney game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, was released way back in 2001 in Japan for the Game Boy Advance. Its later Nintendo DS remake was released outside of Japan and gave the visual novel genre a moderate fanbase outside of Japan for the first time. It has since been re-released on many more devices over the intervening years, but it still remains one of the best games in the genre.

The game was split up into episodes and was released episodically for Windows, and Wii. It works well for this style of game, as each episode contains a new case that Phoenix Wright, a young defense attorney, takes on. The game is set within a semi-fictional Japanese law system, where each case has to be dealt with quickly and can only last three days. As this game was released in the early 2000s, the translation tries to remove the Japanese references as much as possible and sets it in the United States instead. This leads to some disconnect with Japan-exclusive concepts such as attorney badges being used in the United States, but thankfully, it's not too distracting, even if you do know about Japanese culture, as these can be chalked up as being part of the game's then-futuristic setting of 2016.

The first case was created specifically to give the player an introduction to the game's mechanics. Phoenix Wright handles a case where his childhood friend, Larry Butz, is accused of murder. Luckily, Wright's mentor, Mia Fey, is with him every step of the way as he works to clear his friend of any wrongdoing. In this game's judicial system, it is up to the attorneys to discover all the evidence they can, so Phoenix will need to look around crime scenes and talk to the defendant and witnesses to discover everything they can about the case.

The main crux of the gameplay comes in the courtroom, however, where the goal is to listen to witness testimony and pick apart any contradictions through previous testimony and collected evidence.  The witnesses will attempt to give new testimony that explains these contradictions, but after picking apart their testimony several times, they will eventually crack and admit to the truth.

The first episode of Ace Attorney is a great way to start the game. Phoenix Wright's mentor Mia Fey is invaluable, as she will help Phoenix through each step of the process. Larry Butz is also a fun character to start off with, as he is completely over-the-top and especially silly.  The later episodes will pack a more emotional punch, but this lighthearted first case is a fantastic place to start.

Final Verdict:
4 out of 5

Sunday, May 17, 2020

A Host Master Carol

The first game out the gate for the Coding for COVID Coronavirus fundraiser is a sequel to Host Master and Host Master Deux titled A Host Master Carol.

It is a mix of my favorite Charles Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol, and one of my favorite Tim Schafer games, Day of the Tentacle.

To donate to the fundraiser, click here: https://donorbox.org/coding-for-covid.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Coding for COVID Fundraiser for Coronavirus Relief

I'm doing a fundraiser titled "Coding for COVID", wherein I code games while raising money for Coronavirus relief.

I'll be creating games based on my comics, Jenni and Doug the Ogre. I also received generous permission from Double Fine to create games based on some of their properties.

90% of all donations will be split up evenly among Doctors without Borders, Direct Relief, and Actions Against Hunger. The remaining 10% will go to the West Elmira Computer Museum. The latter is my non-profit charitable organization through which this charity drive is being handled.

You can donate to the cause here: https://donorbox.org/coding-for-covid

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Reversion: The Meeting Review

Reversion The Meeting is a much meatier game than its predecessor. It also is a much more fun experience.

Reversion: The Meeting picks up right where Reversion: The Escape left off. The amnesiac man meets with the woman from the hospital, briefly, and then he is left trying to find his next contact.
It is much more interesting than it sounds. His contact is shrouded in mystery and protected by gadgetry, so he must use his ingenuity to get to him. Once he does get to him, he finds himself in a conspiracy, and as he uncovers more of it, he finds that he strangely has vague memories of the mystery that he is uncovering.

On his way, he meets several interesting characters, and new locales to explore. He is given a GPS which he can use to travel around the wasteland that used to be Buenos Aires. There is much more to do this time around, as there are several new locations. The hospital, the sole location from chapter one, must also be re-visited. Doing so even solves one minor mystery left open from the last chapter.

With all of the highlights, there are still a few missteps, mainly in the translation. The Portuguese to English translation is still a bit rough, and there are portions where the English dialog sounds a bit off, or where a question isn't worded exactly right, leading to an unexpected answer. It's nothing too major, as it doesn't detract from the main story. However, it is noticeable.

Reversion: The Meeting vastly improves upon the first chapter with multiple locales, interesting puzzles, and an intriguing story. However, some of the wording gets lost in translation, leading to some awkward phrasing here and there. Ultimately, though, the plusses way outweigh the negatives, and the second chapter of Reversion is miles above the first in every respect. It is definitely worth a play.

Final Verdict:
4 out of 5

Monday, March 2, 2020