enfrdeitptrues

Platformer

  • Ghost 1.0 (PC)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Ghost 1.0
    Developer: @unepic_fran
    Published by: @unepic_fran
    Release Date: June 7, 2016
    Available on: Windows
    Genre: Action, Platformer
    Players: 1
    ESRB Rating: unrated
    Price: $12.99
    (Humble Store Link)

    Thank you @unepic_fran for sending us this game to review!

    Ghost 1.0 is a game I'm almost sorry I didn't pick up sooner. Exploratory 2-D games also known as "Metroidvanias" to many are quite popular. Yet these games are very hard to get people to invest time in. Without proper direction and challenge, people will put a bad Metroidvania on their backlog. While it may not be the very best game in the genre, it certainly shows the love of Metroidvanias are here to stay. This is Ghost 1.0.

    Ghost 1.0 is set in a futuristic corporate world; the Nakamura corporation has finally developed an artificial intelligence that can make robots exactly like humans. These new robots with this new AI are built to be housekeepers. Two men have hired the assassin for hire, Ghost, to steal the blueprints. As the story unfolds however, Ghost learns just what the cost of immortality will come to. Artificial life is not without sacrifice.

    Ghost 1.0
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: The game design is near perfect, if you want a strong well made Metroidvania game this is for you.
    Weak Points: While it's a well made game, you'll say “I've played this before” very quickly. This only applies if your familiar with this kind of genre.
    Moral Warnings: Not much in the way of morality except the end of the story and what it implies.

    Ghost 1.0 is a Metroidvania platformer with lots of love built into it. You go from room to room exploring the Nakamura space station looking for power ups, new weapons and various upgrades all while searching high and low for the AI blueprints. You have a map to guide you as well as assistance and narration from the two men who hired you. When push comes to shove Ghost can leave her body to possess other mechanical beings. You have no time limit and you can use a button to go back to your original body swiftly if you so choose. Throughout the game you can find trip alarms that start an enemy wave event; If you defeat the event you get rewards from currency to new weapons. If you die you'll be brought back to the last save point you activated with only one weapon. If you return to the last spot you died then you might get some weapons and power-ups back.

    The game itself is well designed; you'll always know where to go and you have everything to aid you. The atmosphere and music help immerse you into the world of a kick butt robo-girl and nothing seems off about the game. The constant banter between the operations chief and Ghost can get a bit annoying but it's nothing that gets in the way of the game-play. Each narration moment has a purpose from tutorials on new abilities and mechanics to funny little moments and references. While the game's story and voice acting helps it stand out from the rest, the game-play itself is nothing new.

    While the game play is well designed it isn't exactly the most unique thing on the block. The weapons and mechanics are all truly familiar. You'll have your long range, AOE and short range weapons. You'll also sink back into the habit of exploring the area to look for safe rooms and out of the way upgrades. Thankfully it's at least done well. This game can bring new people into the Metroidvania type game. While I'll enjoy my time with Ghost 1.0, It will not always be my go-to game.

    Ghost 1.0
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 80%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 90%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7/10

    Sound effects and music are decent. The music is pretty immersive and fits the setting. The voice acting is decent and it helps move along the story. The sound effects fit the weapons and they have enough variation to keep things fresh, you wouldn't want to here a laser sound from a grenade would you? My only nit pick issue is I wish voiced scenes happened more often. Seems the earlier scenes were just to teach the game and then they slowed down as I progressed.

    Morality isn't a big issue with this game. It has cartoony violence with explosions and gears, no blood. The language is very clean as well. The story can go into some complex issues that cover slavery so the story itself is not for the younger set.

    While Ghost 1.0 is not the biggest thing on the block, it's definitely worth a purchase. Not every game has to wow you at every turn with something new. Returning to familiar territory from a new angle can be just what people need. I will also state that others that are new to the genre may just stick with Ghost 1.0. This game is filled with speed running potential as well.

  • Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer (Android)

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    Game Info:

    Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer
    Developed by: IRF Media
    Published by: IRF Media
    Release date: December 23, 2015
    Available on: Android, iOS
    Genre: Platformer
    Number of players: Single-player
    Price: $0.99

    Thank you IRF Media for sending us this game to re-review! 

    Last year we reviewed several builds of Ginger Roll and were unimpressed with the game’s performance and revenue model that charged for lives to play the game.  Several of our criticisms were addressed in the renamed game that now goes by Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer.

    The game’s story is actually explained in the game now and there’s a tutorial to teach you about the basic controls and the available power-ups.  Ginger Roll’s premise remains the same with Saif being trapped in a Zorb ball by the evil child genius, Iblis.  In order to stop Iblis from world domination, Saif must complete the various challenges set before him.

    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Cute concept and visuals
    Weak Points: Repetitive and annoying music; confusing level design and menu interface; it's easy to lose your game progress; not enough time to complete some levels; game will not launch if your mobile device is not online
    Moral Warnings: Cartoon deaths; one Hell themed world

    Ginger Roll/Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer is very similar to Monkey Ball where the main character rolls around in a blue ball which can be controlled with your tablet’s gyro sensor or via a software joystick.  While the concept of gyro controls is good, the implementation is lacking and I found the software joystick to be more precise.  

    There are four areas with fifteen levels apiece for Saif to traverse in order to stop Iblis. Since I don’t like linking my Facebook account to games, I played using the guest option.  Sadly, I found out the hard way that tapping the power icon logs you out instead of exiting the game.  Logging out of the guest account erases all of you progress without warning.  Some of the levels I lost progress in it took dozens of lives to complete too.  Thankfully this game replenishes lives without charging for them anymore.  When your default twenty-five lives/hearts are used up you’ll automatically be credited with three more.    

    Cookies are scattered throughout the levels and if you collect enough of them you can unlock different outfits and characters to play at the in-game store.  Besides cookies, there are also power-ups like jetpacks available.  There are also obstacles like fans, decelerators, and even deadly saw blades to avoid.  

    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 56%
    Gameplay - 13/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 4/10
    Stability - 4/5
    Controls - 0/5

    Morality Score - 100%
    Violence - 10/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    When Saif dies he makes a funny sounding cartoon-like scream.   Unfortunately, the background music is annoying, repetitive, and hard to disable.  Disabling it is possible, but the game didn’t seem to remember my preference of keeping it off.  

    Most of the levels are pretty straight forward and can easily be completed in the thirty seconds allotted to do so.  Before you begin each level, you’re shown a fly-by sequence to see what you’re getting into.  Even with the fly-by, some of the levels were still pretty tricky and finding the entrance to some chutes to go in was rather difficult.  Other levels are exceptionally long and the thirty seconds given is not enough time.

    Even though noticeable improvements have been made in Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer, there are still too many flaws for me to recommend spending $0.99 on this title.  More variety in music and increased time for longer levels would be appreciated.  The biggest issue by far is the confusing interface and how easy it is to accidentally erase your progress. That’s unforgivable, and I consider myself to be a pretty forgiving person.

  • Ginger: Beyond the Crystal (XboxOne)

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    Game Info:

    Ginger: Beyond the Crystal
    Developed by: Drakhar Studio
    Published by: Badland Games
    Release date: October 24, 2016
    Available on: PS4, macOS, Windows, Xbox One
    Number of players: Single-player
    Genre: Platformer
    ESRB Rating: E for Crude humor and mild fantasy violence
    Price: $14.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Badland Games for sending us this game to review!

    The world was once peaceful and a goddess protected the tiny blue villagers as they brought gifts to her stone idol. Not long ago, the goddess stopped talking to the villagers and bestowed upon them an infant named Ginger.  When Ginger came of age, his village and others nearby were devastated by an attack on the crystals that have been corrupted and scattered across the land.  It’s up to Ginger to cleanse the crystals and to restore the towns who are missing their inhabitants.

    In order to rescue villagers and rebuild towns, Ginger will have collect blue crystals and building materials throughout his adventure.  The blue crystals act as a currency to rescue villagers and to buy accessories to cheer them up after the trauma they’ve been through.  Another way to make them happy is to rebuild their houses that have been destroyed in the chaos.  In order to rebuild their houses and other buildings you’ll need to locate items such as wood and rocks.  Sometimes they can be found scattered throughout the land, but another way to earn these resources is by completing quests.

    Ginger: Beyond the Crystal
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Cute characters and a decent variety of levels and challenges; nice background music
    Weak Points: Forced camera views; clunky battle system; loading screens
    Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence; Druid religion references; Halloween and undead themes; magic use

    Besides cleansing crystals, Ginger can be kept busy by completing tasks for the villagers.  The quests usually consist of fetching various items, defeating nearby monsters, or winning a timed race.  The compass-like interface on the bottom of the screen makes it easier to find the items needed for the fetch quests, although it can only track the resources required for one quest at a time.  Because of this limitation, you may only want to accept one quest at a time.  

    Before moving onto the next town, the current one must be fully cleansed of its evil by purifying all of the red crystals into blue ones.  There are two red crystal level types; one method is when a red crystal appears in a town you can jump into it to enter a 3D platforming challenge.   Typically, you’ll have to cleanse several red crystals that are on floating platforms, which are surrounded by several spinning and rotating ones to navigate through.

    The other method of cleansing red crystals involve going through portals to enter various themed areas like a volcano, a crypt, and a mine to name a few.  These areas have one crystal to cleanse but getting to it requires appeasing or defeating a guardian/boss of some sort.  These areas typically have sections that are only available if Ginger has the appropriate outfit/ability.

    Ginger: Beyond the Crystal
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 78%
    Gameplay - 15/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 3/5

    Morality Score - 83%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 3.5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Throughout his journey, Ginger will rescue people who will grant him special powers.  For example, a minstrel will give him the ability to  play a lute to unlock gates by repeating a simple musical melody puzzle.  Another ability he’ll acquire is to change into a mouse to access areas that he would normally be too big to enter.  To extend the gameplay time you’ll have to go back to previously explored areas to access and open chests that were not available to you previously.  Another option to extend your gameplay time is to try the hard/old-school mode that transforms the checkpoints to mere healing stations. With some of the timed puzzles, I’m happy with my choice of playing this game on the default/normal difficulty.

    Fans of many classic 90’s style 3D platformers will find much to like in this colorful and cute game.  Overall Ginger: Beyond the Crystal is well polished, but there were some noticeable slowdowns on my Xbox One.  The soundtrack is exceptional and sets the mood nicely.   The voice acting consists of gibberish which some may find cute.

    Though this game is relatively safe for children to play, they may get flustered at the difficulty and skills required to complete the spinning platform challenges.  On the moral front, there are several references to druid beliefs and goddess worship.  Ginger can wear a magician outfit, which grants him the ability to cast magic spells.  Lastly, some of the levels have undead enemies and Halloween themes. 

    If you like challenging platformers and don’t mind the worshipping of goddesses and crystals, then Ginger: Beyond the Crystal is bound to entertain you for a bit.  The price is a reasonable $19.99, but I’d hold off for a sale just in case the jumping and timed puzzles aren’t your thing.   

  • Glo (PC)

     

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    Game Info:

    Glo
    Developed By: Chronik Spartan
    Published By: Chronik Spartan
    Released: October 23, 2017
    Available On: Windows
    Genre: Puzzle
    ESRB Rating: none
    Number of Players: Single player
    Price: $4.99 on Steam

    Thank you Chronik Spartan for sending us this game to review!

    Glo is a challenging puzzle game that claims on its Steam page to be one of the most challenging games you will ever play, and that certainly seems to be the case with me. I have found this game very difficult, and it gets exponentially more difficult as it goes on. Glo consists of 100 levels and 4 “boss battles” (although I haven’t been able to get to any of the boss battles because the game is so hard).

    Upon startup, the player is greeted with a screen with the game’s controls and items on it. Glo supports WASD, arrow keys, or controller. (I have found it easiest on controller, since the movements are a lot smoother.) The player has to press Esc or Select on the controller in order to exit this menu; the time that the controls menu is on the screen is decided by the player. Once at the main menu, the player is greeted by the game’s title, the menu buttons, and a death counter. There are five options on the main menu: “Start,” “Speed Run,” “Memories,” “Tutorial,” and “Exit.”

    The first and last options are fairly obvious. Pressing “Start” will launch the player into a menu with a one-dimensional scroll of levels (and they can’t skip any). The player is only able to scroll to the level that they are on, and no further. The “Speed Run” option allows the player to see how fast they can beat the entire game, and there is a stopwatch in the upper left hand corner. The “Memories” option allows the player to see the text from any “Memories” that they have collected throughout the course of the game. The “Tutorial” option simply re-displays the controls/items screen that appears upon startup.

    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Simple story draws the player in; graphics are aesthetically pleasing; levels are challenging
    Weak Points: Levels can get frustratingly difficult; music consists of one (fitting) loop track
    Moral Warnings: Enemies explode upon death into a particle fest, only the inscriptions on the wall are shown and not the source

    Once the player enters the first level, they are greeted with the sight of the cube that they control, and the exit. Everything except a small radius around these two things is pitch black. Some of the items in-game are there to help light up the rest of the world. If the player is using a keyboard and mouse, there is a teal crosshair to match the teal and black world theme. However, if you don’t have a 16:9 screen resolution, there are black bezels at the bottom which show the path of the cursor if it crosses through them. If the player clicks on any area in the level (which is usually very short, as the exit is almost always visible), then there will be a crosshair bullet shot that will light up the area around it. This bullet is not an item to be acquired, it is something that the player always has.

    As they move on through the level, they will find that there is text written on the walls. In the first few levels, the text helps the player move on to the next level, but as time goes on, the text starts to tell a story. What kind of story it tells will be up to the player to find out, as I’m not going to spoil it here.

    Each level is unique and difficult, and it requires not only puzzle-busting skills, but also lots of coordination. For example, there was a level early on that required the player to time their double jumps perfectly, which is quite hard to do because of the level of accuracy that is necessary. If, by chance, the player dies, they are respawned at the beginning of the level. They don’t need to worry about running out of lives, as they are infinite. (Thank goodness, or I would’ve ran out a long time ago!)

    Glo
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 71%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 6/10
    Sound - 6/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 4.5/5

    Morality Score - 96%
    Violence - 9/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural -9/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    The graphics of Glo are quite simple, as the overwhelming majority of the structures and characters are made up of colored squares. The one loop track that is played is simple, catchy, and fitting of Glo’s atmosphere. As it goes on, enemies start to appear in levels, and they are made up of simple shapes. The text is the only thing that disturbs the simple shapes of the world; it’s slightly fanciful, but, it’s a Windows standard font, which removes some of Glo’s clean finish.

    As for moral issues, Glo doesn’t seem to have many. The story seems quite innocent from what I’ve seen, and while it’s simple, it’s enjoyable and adds some depth to the game. When the shape enemies die, they explode into little tiny squares, and there’s no blood or gore involved.

    Glo is a game I would recommend for those who are patient and like a good challenge. If you’re the type of person to rage quit from dying at the last second, then Glo is absolutely not for you. If you like stories and puzzle platformers, then Glo is definitely worth checking out!

    - Kittycathead

  • Gravity Island (PC)

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    Game Info:

    Gravity Island
    Developed By: ILIKESCIFI Games, Clement Willay Games
    Published By: astragon Entertainment GmbH
    Released: September 21, 2016
    Available On: iOS, Windows
    Genre: Puzzle Platformer
    Number of Players: 1
    Price: $4.99 (Steam), free with ads (iOS)

    Thanks to astragon Entertainment GmbH for the review code!

    Did you ever capture fireflies in jars when you were younger? Were you ever sad to see them go when you finally released them? Did you ever get the urge to chase them down to the ends of the earth, stuff them into a lantern, and use them to light your house? If so, Gravity Island may be your ticket to fulfilling that long-lost wish.

    Gravity Island is a puzzle platformer centered on the simple premise of solving mazes while collecting Lumies. These little light-emitting creatures were the pets and lantern of the main character, a small white bear-like being named Shiro. When Shiro accidentally drops the lamp and all his Lumies fly away, he sets out to get them back.

    Gravity Island’s main mechanic is, predictably, gravity. Every level will have blocks with arrows on them pointing in one of the four cardinal directions; touching these will shift gravity as indicated, allowing you to walk on the ceiling and walls. Each of the game’s four worlds introduce a new gameplay element, such as springs or transporters, for you to contend with alongside the gravity. While the path to the level exit might be rather simple, making it there with all three Lumies in tow can prove to be more strenuous.

    Gravity Island
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Tight controls; engaging puzzles
    Weak Points: Short and easy; no way to see the full stage; some bugs
    Moral Warnings: Shiro becomes a ghostly angel when he dies

    The levels are generally well-designed, with your goals easy enough to plan out after some wandering. However, with no pause function and no way to see the entire level beyond what’s around Shiro, some later levels become less about planning and more about trial-and-error. Often, you will be presented with two or more paths, one leading to the exit and one to a Lumie, with no way to discern the two. If you happen to take the way to the exit, there’s a high possibility you will not be able to return to the junction, forcing a restart. In addition, while the game is usually decent in showing you obstacles like spikes on the road ahead, many of them are three or four gravity switches away. You’ll have to contend with the dangers immediately in front of you first, and then try to remember where the spikes were - while coming at them from a different angle. This leads to a lot of leaps of faith, cheap deaths, and otherwise needless restarts.

    Even though this is a rather large design flaw, it amounts to only a minor annoyance most of the time, as each level is short – most come in at under a minute, and a very rare few will take over two. The controls are near-perfect as well, both in responsiveness and layout: Shiro moves exactly as you command using the arrow keys and spacebar (or analog stick and A button on an Xbox controller), making the simple acts of running and jumping quite satisfying. With the level reset button on the enter key (or Y button) and easily accessible at all times, even repeated failures won't keep you out of the game for long.

    While these easy restarts do wonders for the game’s flow, they also highlight its longevity issues. Level difficulty is sporadic, with difficult levels occasionally followed by mindlessly easy ones, but completing the game with every lumie will only take around two hours. Though it tries to add some replayability by displaying the time it takes to beat a level, this doesn’t seem to be saved anywhere in-game – you’ll have to write your times down yourself if you’re aiming to beat them later. The responsive controls do make speedrunning a rather enjoyable affair, but the fun is entirely self-made in this case.

    Gravity Island
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 74%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 8/10
    Stability - 3/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 94%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 9/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Presentation-wise, Gravity Island is solid throughout. The levels themselves are rather samey, but the backgrounds are colorful and pleasant to look at – though spikes will occasionally blend in with the scenery. Shiro’s animations are a bit awkward, but competent enough. The tutorials are presented in cute sketches of Shiro performing the indicated action, adding to the game’s lighthearted atmosphere. The music is decent sounding but ultimately forgettable, being comprised of generic children’s cartoon-styled tracks, though the song for the final level stands out from the pack in a good way. The game is marred by some technical issues, however, most notably a rare instance of Shiro sliding through walls upon changing gravity – which can be manipulated to your benefit sometimes. Also, the Steam achievements will randomly fail to activate; according to them, I managed to complete the game without ever learning how to jump.

    Morality-wise, there’s only one real problem of note. Shiro can die if he lands on spikes or burns up in an explosion or fire arrow. The latter has him fall into a pile of ash with cartoonish googly eyes, but the spikes burst him and have his ghostly angel begin flying in whatever direction is currently up. This is especially jarring, as the tutorial sketch just shows Shiro sitting down and crying after hitting spikes; the startling popping noise and rather macabre aftermath in-game came as quite the surprise, especially with an otherwise innocuous experience. Even if Shiro does come right back upon restart, it’s enough to potentially give some parents a pause before proffering the game to younger children.

    Overall, Gravity Island is a game with undeniable charm and solid gameplay, but lacks content; some, maybe even most, gamers could easily beat the whole game in one quick sitting. For those with little time for anything but a quick play session, however, it might be worth taking a look at when a sale rolls around. There’s also a version for Apple devices that is apparently free with some ads, which might be the better choice for playing on the go. Whatever direction you decide to go with this game, it’s at least worth a look.

    -Cadogan

  • Guacamelee! (PC)

     

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    Game Info:

    Guacamelee!
    Developed by: DrinkBox Studios
    Published by: DrinkBox Studios
    Release date: April 9, 2013
    Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Wii U, Windows, Linux, macOS
    Genre: Action platformer
    Number of Players: Up to 4 players
    ESRB Rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Use of Alcohol and Suggestive Themes
    Price: $14.99
    (Humble Store Link)

    Guacamelee! is a really fun game based off of Mexican culture, and also lovingly makes fun of it.

    The story of Guacamelee! is when a skeleton named Calaca steals Juan’s (the main character) childhood friend to marry her. Juan tries to fight Calaca, but Calaca knocks Juan out in one hit. When Juan wakes up, he finds his town on fire. He walks through the town and sees the luchador statue. The luchador mask comes off and floats to Juan. It goes onto Juan’s face and he becomes the luchador!

    There are two towns you can visit and each one has at least one quest. The quests are just something simple, like sorting someone’s chickens because they escaped their pens, or gathering ingredients because someone wants to make perfect chili. There are also three temples you can visit. These are the Temple of Rain, the Temple of War, and the Great Temple, where Juan rematches with Calaca.

    The game is fun to play, and is very colorful. For example, each power-up has its own color. If you use a certain power-up it flashes a unique color.

    Guacamelee!
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Lots of fun; good story; can be very challenging; has a lot of funny jokes
    Weak Points: (PC only) GOG version supports only 2 players while Steam version supports 4
    Moral Warnings: Violence, alcohol references and magic use

    Guacamelee! has some references to Satan. For example, Calaca says that he beat the devil. Also, you get to go to El Infierno, which is Guacamelee!’s version of Hell. In El Infierno, you meet Satan and he is in the form of a chicken. He says that Calaca turned him into the chicken. Juan also gets turned into a chicken, and Satan tells you how to get back to your normal form.

    The enemies you fight are all skeletons, except for a couple of totem-like things. A lot of the skeletons look very similar, but you can tell them apart by their behavior, and by their clothing. There are some large ones and some small ones, and even the bosses are almost all skeletons.

    The ESRB rating said there was mild language, but I don’t recall seeing any. There was use of magic and mentions of Satan, as I have already said. Also, there was use of alcohol. One of the bosses was a man made entirely of fire. This boss used alcohol for fuel. Because of this, he was very crazy and uses guns to fight. He once even ran out of ammo because he kept shooting the sky instead of shooting you.

    Guacamelee!
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 94%
    Gameplay - 20/20
    Graphics - 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 4/5

    Morality Score - 68%
    Violence - 6/10
    Language - 7/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 6/10

    The controls are easy to learn and all the abilities are pretty simple with some funny names. Here are some of the abilities you can get: Olmec’s Headbutt, Rooster Uppercut, Dashing Derpderp, and Frog Slam.

    The art is weird, but not bad. The music is Mexican-styled, and it isn’t bad either. The graphics are great, and simple, because the game is entirely in 2D. The game runs very smooth, and does not lag at all.

    There isn’t any voice acting besides Juan grunting when he jumps or punches. The sound effects are also pretty good.

    I highly recommend this game because it is fun, and challenging. It also has a good sense of humor. For example, it makes fun of Wreck-It Ralph (it calls it Break-It Bill), and the Mario Brothers (it calls them Los Super Hermanos). The game even makes fun of Mexican culture. A lot of times the game makes you mash buttons, and that’s what makes it challenging. There is even a training place that teaches you some button-mashing combos! As much as I like this game, I still don't think little children should play it because of all of the alcohol use, mild language, and supernatural references.

  • Guacamelee! 2 (PC)

     

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    Game Info:

    Guacamelee! 2
    Developed by: Drinkbox Studios
    Published by: Drinkbox Studios
    Release date: August 21, 2018
    Available on: Switch, Windows, PS4, and Xbox One
    Genre: Metroidvania Platformer
    Number of players: Up to 4
    ESRB Rating: E10+ For Fantasy Violence, Alcohol Reference, and Mild Language
    Price:$19.99
    (Humble Store Link)

    Guacamelee! 2 starts right at the end of the first game, at the last boss. If you already completed Guacamelee!, you may be confused, wondering how you saved your girlfriend, Lupita, after the events of that ending. Rather than dealing with that storytelling challenge, the developers decided to retcon the story instead. That is why the game starts you off at the last boss of Guacamelee!; you get to beat him up again, though it's much easier this time. Like most games, it gets more difficult as you continue.

    Now Juan is married to her, and they have children. After several years, he goes out to get some avacado so Lupita can make her amazing guacamole. Unfortunately, he finds the antagonist Salvador trying to make his own guacamole, that turn out to be not your typical chip dip - this is the sacred guac that can grant him immense powers. In order to get it, he sends his minions to collect powerful relics so he can make the ultimate dip. If he succeeds, he can take over the world. Since Juan is a famous luchador, and he's already saved the world once, he gets to do it again.

    Guacamelee! 2 plays and feels a lot like the first. It is still a side-scrolling 2D beat 'em up where you can explore the world, gain new abilities, and unlock new areas as you get more powerful. You have most of the same moves, like punch or kick or throw or all those others. There are others that unlock as you play. For example, there is the Dash-Punch, The Rooster Uppercut, and several others. You continue to get more as you keep playing.

    Guacamelee! 2
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Very fun, and even more with friends; is challenging; easy controls
    Weak Points: No online play
    Moral Warnings: Mild language; Alcohol Reference

    You fight many of the same types of enemies, but they look different. While the starting town looks similar to Guacamelee!, where you go from there is all new and very different. Unfortunately, Infierno (the game universe's version of hell) is featured more prominently than it was before. You end up going there and meet up with Satan again, as much of the action takes place in his realm.

    Chickens have a large role; even larger than before. Here, you get the ability to transform into a chicken and can fight as one. There are plenty of abilities that the chicken can learn, including the Pollo Shot and the Pollo slide. There are characters in this game that are chickens, and they mentioned that they worship the “Chicken Messiah” and the “Chicken Illuminati.”

    Guacamelee! 2
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 96%
    Gameplay - 19/20
    Graphics - 9/10
    Sound - 10/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 77%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 7/10
    Sexual Content - 8/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8.5/10

    The people in this game can be fun to talk to because they sometimes say silly things. I also really love how every person you meet has a different personality and everyone has something different to say. The only thing I don't like about them is that they worship the “Old gods.” The people don't use profanity; the only one who does is the antagonist, Salvador. There is one section of the game where there are quite a few, but they are all bleeped out.

    The music is good, and the game runs really well, too. The visuals are quite excellent, and use high-resolution 2D art. The controls are very easy to get used to, so if you want to have a friend that isn't very experienced join in, they will catch on quickly. The game recommends using a controller, and I do too. I found it to be very stable, as I haven't experienced any bugs or crashes.

    I really enjoyed Guacamelee! 2 for its combat, characters, witty dialogue, and level variety. You can go to a town to help people and complete their quests, or look for secrets in a temple or a forest. You will sometimes find someone who can train you and give you new abilities, like improving the strength of your special moves or giving you more maximum health or stamina. There is lots to do and I always felt like I could keep playing if I wanted to with more to find ahead of me (until getting 100% of the map, which I have not done yet). If you like action platformers and the appropriateness issues are not a problem, I highly recommend Guacamelee! 2, especially for fans of the first.

  • Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (Switch)

     

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX 
    Developed By: Inti Creates
    Published By: Inti Creates (Digital), Limited Run Games (Physical)
    Released: September 26, 2019
    Available On: PS4, Steam, Switch, Xbox One
    Genre: Action Platformer
    ESRB Rating: T
    Number of Players: 1
    Price: $14.99

    Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX is an action-platformer made by Inti Creates, and part of the Gunvolt series. Though this is counted as a side game, it does not detract from it being quite fun!

    Luminous Avenger iX shows cut scenes through pictures, like a visual novel. It goes over the main screen as an overlay, and has portraits on the left and right of the screen, with text on the bottom. After that, the it's just a pixelated action platformer in which you try to get a high score, defeat as many or all enemies, and get to the goal, ultimately reaching a boss for each stage. Feels natural in gameplay and is great to play. You use Copen's various abilities such as "bullit" dash, EX weapons, or his standard gun. It seems a bit daunting at first but you'll get it eventually! In general it takes a lot from Megaman (specifically Megaman Zero or ZX, as Inti Creates helped with those games) so if you have played Megaman at all you'll probably get this down pat or know how it works in some way or another.

    There are quite a few things to work with here such as the aforementioned EX Weapons and an ability shop where you can buy extra Bullits, which are Copen's ammo. Determines how much of each action as said above he can do. The ability shop also has other stuff to either make the game easier or harder. The kudos meter from the previous two games is also back and if you get to 1000+ Lola, Copen's little combat pod robo gal will take the stage in human form and sing from a list of songs; one unlocks with each stage you complete, and it randomly plays one song from this list as you unlock 'em. There is also a leveling system which increases your HP as you level up, so if you're having a bit of difficulty you can just grind levels or money to buy stuff from the ability shop (which is named "CUSTOMIZE" in the games menu).

    Some issues I noticed during Luminous Avenger iX is that one of Copen's powers, prevasion, which pretty much makes attacks useless against you as long as you have bullits (takes 2 bullits each hit) is actually disrupted by electric attacks and they end up hitting you directly. Most if not all bosses also have moves or abilities that can cancel prevasion and hit you directly for some reason. It's a bit weird since in Gunvolt 2, Copen's prevasion doesn't do this. Makes it feel a bit cheap for someone such as myself who sucks at these types of games and need prevasion but I guess since it's still beatable it's not a huge issue, but it is definitely weird. There's also the fact that while full body portraits look nice they don't have any expressiveness in the face portraits like the previous games had. Just one image for each character and that's it, except for a rare exception here and there. And it makes some moments kind of awkward because it's like "Hey, serious situation but the character looks bouncy and happy as ever?"

    Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Pretty solid game play and story; the characters are likable in some way; for a pixelated game it looks beautiful.
    Weak Points: Continuity is ambiguous; Some of the gameplay tweaks make the game more difficult; in-stage dialogue was removed leaving random comments in their place.
    Moral Warnings: Mild language, fantasy violence, suggestive themes, blood, skimpy outfits, and Idolatry.

    The controls also act a bit wonky when bullit dashing as if it doesn't want to go the direction you input, it can cause some mistakes and whatnot which can lead to a host of different situations that are bad for the player. There's also the final boss which was quite over powered, especially if you're fighting him for the first time... the prevasion thing I mentioned where certain bosses attacks/electrical attacks can make it through also makes it even harder than it really should be. It just makes it feel like some crazy learning curve is needed to put everything you know to the test and try to beat him as fast as possible if you're no good at dodging or too low a level and thus don't have much HP.

    Despite any issues I may have with Luminous Avenger iX though, it is a solid entry if the story, music, and characters are considered. We see Copen (a Minos, which is to say, us normal humans) and Lola (His "Battle Pod", robot gal and partner) looking at a rather distressed city, and it seems that Adepts (humans with special mutant like powers) have taken the reigns and Minos (aka, us normal humans) are the minority being hunted down by Sumeragi. Now we start the first stage, and as we go through it we meet an adept named Blade who seems to have an electric "Septima", Septima being the powers that adepts have and use. After the fight it's pointed out that Blade is more powerful than Copen and as he goes to finish him off a figure appears and throws a smoke bomb, telling Copen to follow them.

    Now, going into the music, it's amazing! The tracks for the stages seem fitting, the boss music is pretty good, with some specific ones for bosses on later stages, and the base music is pretty nice. There's also a "TALK" feature in the menu where you can talk and see conversations between the characters which helps flesh them out and give a bit more story while also having a few conversations that are tutorials of sorts. The reason I'm mentioning this is because the music that plays during these "TALKs" is pretty nice and soothing. There's also the Kudos songs, Anthem song, and Darkness Trigger song. Overall the soundtrack is pretty darn good. Oh! I also forgot to mention... Copen and Lola's main objective is to effectively take down Sumeragi by finding and apparently destroying the "Butterfly Effect."

    Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 84%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 9/10
    Sound - 10/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 4/5

    Morality Score - 77%
    Violence - 5/10
    Language - 7.5/10
    Sexual Content - 8.5/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

    There's also one last thing I'd like to go over gameplay wise. Luminous Avenger iX has a lot of replayablity especially if you want to get everything, and all that but the controls and story are kind of the main issues with it. The story suffers from the fact that we don't have in-stage dialogue between characters as in the previous games and Lola just makes some random comments on how good you're doing. The only usefulness from it is that you can see whether a weapon is working on a boss very well or it isn't. Makes the story feel much shorter and there isn't much characterization as in previous games. The characters are very likable though and I really would like to see more of them in the future, however they decide to handle that! Especially Kohaku, she seems like a good heroine to be beside Copen and Lola.


    Luminous Avenger iX has quite a bit of violence as expected when you're in a fight for your life and the life of your entire race, as by the time the story starts it seems a lot of Minos had been killed. Basically we're speaking of a full blown genocide here as they have and are taking extreme measures to make sure the only people alive are Adepts. There's also a bit of scant clothing as Kohaku shows quite a bit of belly, and whatnot. There are also unlockable outfits for Kohaku, one of them being a swimsuit, but the oddity of this is that no one seems to know what the unlock condition for it is. Either RNG or something else, no one is sure yet so maybe you might not encounter it... or maybe it's summer exclusive? It's a funny but weird quirk that we have here, I guess. Just be warned that costume and a few others may appear rather randomly! There's also the Idolatry part as one of the bosses Isola is apparently an Idol for Sumeragi and sings at concerts and whatnot, and then the fact that Lola's power is "The Muse" and she is called the "Muse of Hope" by the people who see her sing in her human form on a video sharing site such as YouTube, which can be also taken as a bit of Idolatry.


    Overall, Luminous Avenger iX is a solid game and some great fun if you're a fan of either Megaman or the Gunvolt series itself. It has some small issues throughout but don't let that deter you as no matter what it is a fantastic experience for the price, and while we're not 100 percent on where this stands in continuity it is great for what it is. Hopefully any future games in the Gunvolt series help piece together where this stands story wise as a whole and that we see Kohaku and the other Minos characters in the future. Just be wary of the fact that there is some violence and dark subject matter in this and that there is a tiny bit of idolatry and suggestive things such as Kohaku's default outfit and some stuff later on in here can be very disturbing. Such as one of the bosses being a literal brain, or some of the conversation that occurs at the end. If any of this bothers you then this might not be the game for you but if you're fine with it then have fun enjoying the apeX of 2D action!

    -Daru the Super Hacker

  • Hollow Knight (PC)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Hollow Knight
    Developer:Team Cherry
    Published by: Team Cherry
    Release Date: Feb 24, 2017
    Available on: Windows
    Genre: Action, Platformer
    Players: 1
    ESRB Rating: Unrated
    Price: $14.99
    (Humble Store Link)

     

    Why is it that games in horrifying worlds always seem to be the most challenging and fun? We have plenty of great games with bright and colorful worlds or stories. Yet the game Hollow Knight has a mix of challenge and intrigue. I never realized the world of insect's was so terrifying. 

    Hollow Knight is a platformer adventure game brought to us by Team Cherry. You play as a mysterious insect knight with no memory. His driving force is to find the secret to why the kingdom of insects is in ruins. Those that live above ground live in poverty and darkness. Those that did not survive wander with no mind or soul of their own. The ruins of the insect kingdom drive you to find the dark magic that laid this world to waste. 

    Hollow Knight
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: The story, combat and music of Hollow Knight are all great. It is easy to sink time into this game.
    Weak Points: Platforming doesn't have any unique aspects to it. Backtracking can be a chore for people who get lost easily.
    Moral Warnings: This game deals with soul manipulation and dark occult themes. It is a dark game in more then just its art style and has a lot of Dark Spiritual symbolism. You'll need to take other souls to use your abilities.

     

    The gameplay is what you'll make of it. The platforming itself are things we have seen time and time again. Wall jumping, dashing and double jumping are nothing new. The thing that drove me forward is the combat. Your knight only has a rusty nail to fight with. Whether it's the enemy insect knight Hornet, mantis samurai or soul sucking dung beetle mages, you will have plenty of challenge surviving in this world. As you progress through the game you'll find plenty of skills, passives and upgrades to your nail.

    My biggest credit to the game is the story. Hollow Knight doesn't give you a lot to work with. Despite not knowing what happened, the air of mystery drew me to continue this strange quest. Every small bit of information was satisfying as I progressed through the game. Usually the dark and dim art styles don't do anything for me. Games like Inside or The Binding Of Isaac overdid the dark tones for me. Something about this strangely somber kingdom kept me going. The mystery was aided by the artstyle in the best way possible. The music also added to the driving tones behind this game. I felt relief whenever I heard the sound of the bug train station so I could save. The song heard in the drowning city echoed the pain of a civilization lost. 

    Hollow Knight
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 84%
    Gameplay - 15/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 9/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 76%
    Violence - 7/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 6/10

    The exploration in this game also has a negative side to it. The map system is not very helpful. You'll need to equip one of the game's charms to see exactly where you are on the map. This wastes a valuable slot for potentially more powerful passives. You also have to buy markers from the map shop to mark where important sites are in each area. If you do not find the map maker in each area before you defeat the main boss you'll have to buy the map from the shop once you beat the boss. While exploration is fun, backtracking can be annoying if you are going for 100 percent runs. The platforming is average, The jumping and navigation are things I've been through time and time again. It's done well but nothing unique jumped out at me.

    Despite being the kingdom of bugs, this game deals with soul stealing, occult magic, backstabbing and betrayal. In some people's view, Hornet might be a hero as well as a villain. This kingdom has fallen in ruins due to people trying to go beyond their station as mortals. This game does push going beyond the rules quite often in order for the Hollow Knight to get what he wants. Soul manipulation might be disturbing to some people as well. Souls are required to use some abilities.

    The Kingdom of Bugs has fallen. Save it, or destroy it in Hollow Knight.

     

  • Hubert's Island Adventure: Mouse o'War

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    Game Info:

    Hubert's Island Adventure: Mouse o'War
    Developed By: Cheese and Bacon Games
    Release Date: January 27, 2012
    Available on: PC 
    Modes: Singleplayer
    ESRB Rating: N/R
    MSRP: $9.99
    Version Reviewed: 1.1

    Thank you Cheese and Bacon games for sending us this game to review!

    Cheese and Bacon games is a husband and wife team that aim to make DRM free games that are both fun and family friendly.  Their first major release is Hubert’s Island adventure: Mouse o’ War.  This platformer game reminds me of Super Mario World and if you like that classic, chances are that you’ll enjoy this game. 

    Like many Mario games, there’s a map mode that you can walk around in and choose which area/level to enter in and play.  The main character is Hubert, but you can play as two other creatures (I honestly don’t know what they are!) as well.  Hubert’s girlfriend, Sally, has been kidnapped and it’s your job to rescue her.   

    Saving her is no simple task, since there are many enemies and bosses that stand in your way.  There’s a wide variety of foes including cows, penguins, sharks, zombie cows, scare crows, pumpkins, bees, and banana tossing monkeys.  Getting touched by thrown objects or the enemies is instant death for Hubert.  Fortunately there are flag checkpoints so you don’t have to start all over from the beginning of the level. However, when Hubert dies, the enemies that have been defeated respawn as well.     

    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Fun gameplay; lots of hidden areas and achievements.
    Weak Points: Graphics are rough around the edges; font is a little hard to read.
    Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence.

    Hubert isn’t defenseless, as he can shoot purple goop at enemies to knock them out.  The ammunition is limited so if you run out, you’ll have to master defensive maneuvers.  There are some temporary power-up like the ability to fly.  Just make sure you avoid the spikes that often surround them.  

    Every level has leaves and cheese wedges to collect.  Typically you'll find that most levels have keys needed to unlock new areas.  There’s also a built in achievement system with many achievements to unlock such as dying a certain number of times, killing X number of enemies, playing for a length of time and so forth.  There are some funny ones too, but I don’t want to spoil them.

    Cheese and Bacon games (I love that name!) has put a lot of effort into making this game fun and has launched a kickstarter to raise funds to make a multiplayer co-op version.  They’re also hoping to port it to Mac and Linux as well.  While the graphics are a bit on the lacking side, they do get the job done.  There are a ton of other extras like hidden areas, and the menu screen tells you what the phase of the moon is.

    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 76%
    Gameplay - 16/20
    Graphics - 6/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 4/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 96%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    The sound track is completely original and works well to set the mood of the various levels.  If you really enjoy the music, you can buy it for $2.99.  The sound effects add to the retro feel of the game.

    I started playing Hubert’s Island Adventure with the keyboard and mouse but I found the default keyboard scheme to be a little clunky.  You can customize the keyboard or use a controller with the game; I did the latter. I use a program called MotioninJoy which lets me plug in a PS3 controller to emulate an Xbox 360 controller.  While I have used this flawlessly for a couple other games, occasionally my game controller would stop working as I was playing.  Other than that, it ran great.

    There’s a demo available and they have since upgraded the game to version 1.2.  The price is normally $9.99 but I have seen it as low as $2.99 on their website.  As a Christian parent, I have no complaints with this game morally.  I like how it knocks the enemies out instead of killing them.  My kids enjoyed watching me play it, and I have loaded it onto their computer.  I also appreciate how the developers are totally cool with sharing the game within the same household.  I look forward to seeing what other games they come out with.

     

  • Hue (PS4)

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    Game Info:

    Hue
    Developed by: Fiddlesticks
    Published by: Curve Digital
    Release date: August 30, 2016
    Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4, Vita, Xbox One
    Number of players: Single-player
    Genre: Puzzle platformer
    ESRB Rating: Everyone
    Price: $14.99
    (Humble Store Link)

     

    Thank you Curve Digital for sending us this game to review!

    A scientist named Anne has developed a ring that can alter color and change the way that people perceive it.  The evil doctor Grey has taken the ring and rendered Anne invisible.  It’s up to her son, Hue, to wield the power of color and save her.  

    In the beginning, the 2D world is greyscale but that doesn’t last for long after Hue discovers his first color.   By switching to that color (blue), obstacles of that same color disappear and permit passage through them.  Switching colors makes platforms, crates, and doors invisible when they would have been seen otherwise.  As you add more colors to your palette the gameplay gets increasingly complex, but fun!

    Hue
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Fun puzzle platformer with great visuals, music, and voice acting
    Weak Points:  Short game with little replay value
    Moral Warnings: Hue can die, there are statues of gods throughout the game

    Like many platformers you’ll be expected to perform many successful jumps onto various objects.  Sometimes you’ll have to jump and switch colors mid-air to land on the previously hidden platform.  Besides jumping, you’ll have to avoid spikes and boulders coming your way.

    Most of the levels in this game are puzzle based.  You’ll need to put your thinking cap on in order to figure out how to move various crates and make your way through tricky mazes.  If you die or mess up, your progress is saved at the entrance of each level.  Vita owners can utilize cross save functionality to transfer their progress back and forth between the PS4 and handheld system.

    There’s roughly six hours of gameplay in this $14.99 title.  To add some replay value, there are twenty-eight hidden beakers to find throughout the world.  Other than re-solving puzzles there’s not much else to do.

    Hue
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 88%
    Gameplay - 16/20
    Graphics - 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 96%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Despite the short amount of gameplay, Hue is extremely well polished.  The background music is well done and the voice acting is top notch too.  As Hue collects letters from his mother, they are narrated in a lovely British accent. If you like the soundtrack, it is available for purchase on Steam for $6.99.  

    The shadow artwork is nicely done and I like how adding the colors makes you appreciate their beauty throughout the game.  As you traverse the land you’ll see statues of various gods or idols, but you won’t have to interact with them.  The world is a bit confusing and landmarks help you distinguish where you’ve been before.  

    Hue is a family friendly game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  Despite the ability to die and the presence of idol statues, there’s little to complain about.  Some of the puzzles may be too challenging for young minds though.  

    If you like puzzle platformer games then Hue is definitely worth looking into.  On Steam the game plus the soundtrack can be yours for less than $20.  It’s well worth the standard price, but is an even a better bargain if you can get it on sale.  I look forward to more games from Fiddlesticks.

     

  • Hyper Crazy Climber (PSN)

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    Game Info:

    Hyper Crazy Climber
    Developed by: Nichibutsu
    Published by: Nihon Bussan
    Release date: April 15, 2014
    Available on: PSX, PS3, Vita
    Genre: Platformer
    Number of Players: Single-player
    ESRB Rating: Not rated
    Price: $5.99

    Thank you MonkeyPaw Games for sending us this game to review!

    Crazy Climber was the original vertical climbing game released in 1980 for the arcade and Atari 2600 system.  Nintendo took notice and launched its climbing competition Donkey Kong in 1981.   The sequel Crazy Climber 2 launched in Japan eight years later.  Hyper Crazy Climber is another Japanese only game that was released for the PlayStation in 1996.

    MonkeyPaw Games specializes in importing Japanese classics to the rest of us.  The only downside is that there is more Japanese text than English.  The menu text is in English but everything else is unclear.   The game itself is still very playable as long as you can master the complex controls.  

    Hyper Crazy Climber
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Unique game style
    Weak Points: Only partial English translations
    Moral Warnings:Cartoon violence

    There’s not much of a back story and your goal is to scale tall buildings while dodging objects and enemies coming your way.  There are three characters with differences in speed and endurance (how good they hold on when getting hit).  The girl is the fastest but has the least endurance and the robot is her polar opposite.  The male climber has an even balance between the two.  

    There are three sets of controls, Easy, Normal and Hard.  You have to set the control type in the configuration menu!! The easy configuration uses the control pad left and right to move in the respective directions while the X button moves the left hand and circle button moves the right hand.  The Normal controls are more complex and involve using the control pad left + square to move left while the control pad right + the circle button moves the climber to the right.  Climbing involves alternating between using the control pad up + x and control pad down + triangle.  Control pad up + triangle is used for clinging to the ledge to withstand an object collision.  If that’s not confusing enough there’s an option to use two controllers to control each side of the climber.

    Getting your character to move is half the battle.  The next step is mastering the controls enough to evade incoming objects.   If you are hit while moving you will be knocked off and lose a life. If you are not moving, there is a chance you may maintain your grip.  This is where the endurance stat comes into play.  While most objects are best to be avoided, there are some power ups worth collecting like apples, extra lives and dynamite. 

    Hyper Crazy Climber
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 72%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 3/5

    Morality Score - 96%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Golden apples can unlock bonus stages and dynamite will remove some enemies.  Timers temporarily freeze the enemies in their tracks for a short while.  Levels with windows and shutters will leave them in their current position when frozen in time.  If a lucky cat is collected at a dead end a helicopter will appear and carry the climber further up the level.  

    Power ups appear in the same spot so be sure to remember where you found them.  Unfortunately you cannot save your progress mid-level, only at the world screen.    

    Morally speaking, the only concern is cartoon violence as objects are thrown at your climber for no apparent reason.  Since this game was released in the mid-nineties the graphics and sound effects are dated by today’s standards.  If you can look past that, Hyper Crazy Climber lives up to its name in offering a fun and challenging experience.

  • INK (Switch)

     

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    Game Info:

    INK
    Developed By: kittehface / Spaceboy
    Published By: Digerati
    Released: Jun 19, 2018
    Available On: Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux
    Genre: Platformer, Arcade, Action
    ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
    Number of Players: 2 in co-op
    Price: $8.99 for Switch, $4.99 for PC
    (Humble Store Link)

    Thank you Digerati for sending us this game!

    INK is a creative and interesting platformer with an unusual setup. You start out as a simple white square in a pitch-black world. This doesn't mean, however, that there is nothing in it. There are walls, floors, ceilings and dangerous traps that are all invisible. As you go through the levels, you leave behind a trail of paint. The color of this paint goes through a rainbow color scheme as you go along, allowing you to start with, let's say, red on one side of a room and end up with green by the other side. You can also use double jumping to get you places, which splats paint as well. You can jump off of walls or ride down walls to color them. Pretty much everything you do in this game splats paint on stuff. Even dying does!

    The main point of the game is to go through the levels, spreading paint everywhere, so you can see the platforms to get to the rainbow hole in the space-time continuum that you use to beat the level. But sometimes it isn't just as easy as going from point A to B. INK is a platformer with fast-paced and tight gameplay, similar to games like Super Meat Boy and Celeste. As such, each level is a little harder, and every 10 or so levels a new challenge is added. Sometimes it's monsters you have to stomp before you can exit. Sometimes you have to avoid dangerous spikes, or even heat-seeking paint bullets. Maybe you need to grab a guarded key to make your way out. Each time it adds a new mechanic, it slowly teaches you how it works, and dials up the difficulty from there.

    INK
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Fun gameplay; good difficulty; good co-op mode; high replayability
    Weak Points: Dull soundtrack; sometimes finicky controls; very short
    Moral Warnings:None!

    The game definitely is hard, but it's not a frustrating difficulty. By the time I had beaten the final, 75th level, I had felt like I earned it. There are a couple other fun additions, being bosses, collectables and co-op. Every certain amount of levels, you get a boss level. Each boss has their own special mechanics, weapons and level hazard. They're not very difficult but they're very satisfying to beat (here's a little clip I have of one). Another addition is that of coins you can collect that are hidden in the levels. Like the world around you, they start off invisible. You have to (by sheer luck I might add) accidentally paint them in order to realize they're in the level. And to talk about one last thing, the game also has a 2 player co-op mode, which surprised me by being quite good and quite fun. You can play it using double or split Joy-Cons to share with your friends, as you both have to make your way through the stage, completing objectives or just making a beeline for the exit.

    Now moving on to the graphics, I'd say they're good. This game's focus is entirely on its gameplay, and everything else is just an afterthought. As such you won't find a beautiful work of art like some games, but it's still good. It's very minimalistic, but also incredibly colorful, to add to the feel of how empty the world is and how much the paint changes it.

    And with the audio, I will say it is again not bad. There are 4 tracks of music that loop over and over as you play, getting a new track every 20-30 levels. The bosses do have some unique music, but it doesn't last long as it's only for 4 stages. These songs aren't really memorable, but they aren't meant to be, as again the gameplay is what really draws you in and keeps you entertained. There are also some sounds for jumping, dying, getting smashed, shot, etc. and while they are interesting, they sometimes feel underwhelming.

    INK
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 74%
    Gameplay - 14/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 4/5

    Morality Score - 100%
    Violence - 10/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Now as for how this game controls, it feels above average. The movement is smooth, and does feel like it matches the game, but yet I can't help but observe some sort of input lag. Now I've tried it in both handheld and docked modes, and while it works fine in both, they still have the same simulated input lag. I say simulated because it doesn't feel like actual lag from the controllers, and more like the physics in the game itself prevent you from moving at a near lag-less speed.

    For my last critiques, I will say the game is a bit short. There are only 75 stages in the game, and depending how good you are at these twitch platformers, you could probably breeze through them in 2 hours. I personally am not the greatest, so it took me about 3 hours. And finally, I have to again criticize the lack of any kind of rumble. Even if you spent most of your time on only the rumble, it would add so much to the game. A shake when you jump, a massive juddering when you die, a slight feel as you ride down walls... just something would have been nice. But yet again, as with most indie games I've played on the Switch, no one uses the HD Rumble.

    But to sum up INK, I would have to say that it's a very interesting concept that has been executed to the extent of the creator's abilities. Could it be improved? Yes. Is it still a ton of fun in its current state? Absolutely.

    - Remington

  • Kid Tripp (3DS)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Kid Tripp
    Developed by: Four Horses
    Published by: Four Horses
    Release date: July 27, 2017
    Available on: 3DS, iOS
    Genre: Platformer
    Number of players: Single-player
    ESRB Rating: Everyone for mild fantasy violence
    Price: $3.99

    Thank you Four Horses for sending us this game to review!

    Kid Tripp was minding his own business and flying peacefully in his plane until he crashed into a giraffe with an exceptionally long neck. Now the whole animal kingdom is mad at him and he must keep running to avoid being trampled by the angry mob. The story is pretty simple, and the controls are pretty easy (A button), but the rest of this game is brutally hard. It took me about 100 deaths before completing world 1-1.

    My fragile ego was restored once I beat the first level and the rest of them seemed to be easier after doing so. Or perhaps I just got better at this challenging 2D platformer running game. Like all runner games, your character keeps moving and dies upon touching any enemies or obstacles in their way. Upon your death you have to start from the beginning as there are no checkpoints in the levels.

    Kid Tripp
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Simple controls and concept but difficult to master; cute pixel art and chip-tune soundtrack
    Weak Points: May be too hard for some
    Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence

    I'm grateful for the 10 lives, but they never seem to be enough. More lives can be earned by collecting one hundred gold coins. Gold medals are also given for collecting all of the coins available in a level. I did earn that medal once or twice, but I didn’t have the desire to go back and re-do a level after finishing it. I was happy enough, if not ecstatic for managing to complete it in the first place. In the event that you need to leave the game, your progress will be stored so you won’t have to start over from the first world again.

    Each level is riddled with various animals, platforms, spikes, and other obstacles that require the utmost precision to get past them. Most of the animals can be stomped on, but there are some that you’ll need to avoid doing so in order to avoid the next threat. Sometimes a wave of frogs or bats will be coming your way and you may have to stomp on all of them or only some of them to get through unscathed. With so many opportunities to die, I couldn’t help but feel that many of the obstacles/enemy placements were sadistic and cruel.

    Kid Tripp
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 80%
    Gameplay - 16/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 96%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    The first level had a blue bird that I was never able to dodge. I took to the water to bypass it, which is surprisingly effective as long as you keep jumping and don’t have any platforms covering your head and causing you to drown. Knowing your environment is half of the battle. The other half is timing. There are some catapults and balloons that have to be activated at the precise millisecond in order to successfully use them. There is a precision timer on the top of the screen which some may find helpful while others could consider it intimidating as it reveals how quickly they can die in a level. If I could survive longer than twenty seconds, I was doing pretty good.

    Kid Tripp is best enjoyed in small doses as dying quickly and repeatedly is only fun for so long. I often found that I did better after taking a break. This game is not good for those with little patience. While it feels good beating a level, I prefer my games to be more relaxing.

    Though Kid Tripp is family friendly, it’s probably not good for kids who get easily discouraged. It is a cute game that is ideal for anyone looking for a challenge though. The $3.99 price tag is reasonable as this title provides twenty levels that are not for the faint of heart.

  • Kid Tripp (Switch)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Kid Tripp
    Developed by: Four Horses
    Published by: Four Horses
    Release date: November 23, 2017
    Available on: Nintendo Switch, 3DS, iOS
    Genre: Platformer
    Number of players: Single-player
    ESRB Rating: Everyone for mild fantasy violence
    Price: $3.99

    Thank you to Four Horses for giving me a review copy!

    There aren’t that many games that I would describe as being tough as nails. Super Meat Boy comes to mind or even Geometry Dash on mobile and PC, but this easily describes a new release on the Nintendo Switch eShop called Kid Tripp. This game is a little on the short side, but given its $3.99 price point I cannot complain. If you enjoy being punished and pushing yourself to get the best time on that one level, then this game is for you.

    There is something addicting about these action platformers. The lure of failing repeatedly may not sound like fun to you, but the satisfaction of pulling off a perfect run and getting to the end of the level is satisfying. They have a saying that practice makes perfect and that applies here. Some levels only took a few minutes of trying before completing. Others took over thirty minutes of trying repeatedly.

    Kid Tripp
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Fast platforming action, lots of reliability, excellent graphics and sound
    Weak Points: May be too challenging for some
    Moral Warnings: Cartoon Violence

    Sometimes I had to take a break for a bit and then come back to the level. There are twenty levels here and about a couple hours of content. Getting through the levels is one thing and a short experience. The longevity comes from replaying the levels to get every coin. This adds another challenge to go after at which you will receive a gold medal if you are successful. Another challenge in every level is trying to beat your best time. Each level times how fast you are and gives you that loop of trying to get your best time in every level. I wish that it had leader boards, so you can try to beat others best times, but really that is a minor gripe. There are additional challenges to complete like having over fifteen lives at once and beating a level without hitting an animal, surviving if you fall into water, etc. These add to the replay value and I appreciate that.

    As far as gameplay is concerned your character auto runs from left to right. There are buttons to jump and buttons to throw a rock to hit animals in your way. Timing your jumps is a big part of the game but also having patience and knowing when to jump, run, or throw a rock is key. The levels are short, but packed with crazy jumping feats and enemies. You will die a lot, but that is part of the fun. Kid Tripp never felt unfair. When I died it was because my timing was off or didn’t throw a rock fast enough.

    The graphics are adorable and very clean. It has a retro feel to it in the graphics and music. The different worlds all have different backgrounds, enemies, and one even has snow falling! It pays tribute to games of old very nicely. The stages are all colorful and none of them seemed bland. The music is fantastic as well with a great 8bit soundtrack. Each world has its own song that keeps playing until you run out of lives and get a game over.

    Kid Tripp
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 80%
    Gameplay - 15/20
    Graphics - 8/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 96%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    There really is no story except a brief cutscene when you first boot the game of your plane crashing and animals chasing you. The game controls well with physical buttons, which is much better than the touch controls on the mobile version.

    Morality is on the light side. The only thing I found is very mild violence against animals. You do have rocks that “kill” the enemies but they just disappear into stars. You may fall into a spike but again you just disappear, and stars shoot out. There is no blood, no language, no graphic violence.

    There are not too many Nintendo Switch games that can scratch the itch for a challenging platformer. It is inspired by Super Meat Boy type games and succeeds in giving that platformer challenge. It feels short, but several challenges add to the reliability of the title. If challenging platformers are your type of game do not hesitate to buy.

  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Wii U)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
    Developed By: HAL Laboratory
    Published By: Nintendo
    Release Date: February 20th, 2015
    Available On: Wii U
    Genre: Platformer
    Number of Players: 1-4
    ESRB Rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
    Price: $40.00 on LeapTrade

    Thank you Nintendo for sending us this game for review!

    Kirby and Waddle Dee are hanging out, playing, and having a good time.  They see a strange portal open up in Dream Land, and all of the color is drained from their world, putting them and everything else in stasis.  A paintbrush named Elline appears, and resuscitates Kirby and his friend so that they can together stop Claycia from her evil plan, and restore color to Dream Land.  Thus is the serviceable (but mostly forgettable) story in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.  

    I have been a long time fan of Kirby, but my first serious playthrough of a Kirby game was Kirby: Canvas Curse on Nintendo DS, which was a unique and very successful attempt to take Kirby in a different direction.  Instead of having direct action platformer controls like most games, you used the stylus to draw rainbows, which Kirby then followed along as he rolled on the paths you created.  (We have a review that I wrote, though be warned that it does not conform to our modern review standards.)  It was a fun game, if a bit short, with unique controls, art, and play style.

    Kirby and the Rainbow Curse takes direct inspiration from that groundbreaking 2005 title.  It is also a touch screen based game, where you touch the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen, and draw rainbows, where Kirby is then expected to follow.  The basic mechanics are almost identical, though this game does seem to be a bit more forgiving on getting Kirby to actually go where you intend him to.  As a 2D side scrolling platformer, you try to get to the end of a level while getting as many treasures as possible on your way there.

    Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Adorable art style; good difficulty; level design has moments of brilliance; multiplayer actually helps rather than hinders the main player (unlike some other recent Nintendo co-op games)
    Weak Points: Not as consistently creative as some other recent Kirby entries
    Moral Warnings: Some of Kirby's transformations shoot missiles; enemies poof when defeated

    One significant difference is that instead of tapping enemies and gaining their abilities, Kirby never gains any new powers except where the level calls for it, which is much more like Kirby's Epic Yarn (my personal favorite Kirby game ever - review).  In some ways it's good; several of the transformations are good fun for sure, but it does take some of the strategy and variety of the game play away.  If you are getting stuck, trying to find that perfect ability isn't possible; however, if you have amiibos, they can help you.

    Kirby, King Dedede, or Meta Knight amiibos can help you once per day, each.  Their powers last only one level and one life, but having the ability to perform unlimited charge attacks (Kirby), having extra hit points (King Dedede), or doing more damage (Meta Knight) can definitely come in handy, especially for bosses.  

    The level design is in some cases amazing, and in others, average.  I felt like the levels were generally enjoyable, but not always enthralling.  But the ones that were, really surprised me.  The first time I was on the rope hanging basket, or had to blast baddies by drawing lines in front of my Kirby transformed submarine, it was great.  There was one level in particular, late in the game, that I would love to spoil, but suffice it to say, it's brilliant.  Unfortunately, none of them did a very good job of taking advantage of the amazing art style.

    Here, in Kirby's Rainbow Curse, the world is rendered in gorgeous HD in a fully claymation style.  It looks fantastic, with intentionally low frame rate animations, and walls that squish as you impact them.  It's really well done, and is definitely one of the highlights of the game.  My only disappointment is that the gameplay itself does not take advantage of this.  In Kirby's Epic Yarn, the world and everything in it was stylized after fabrics.  Not only did it look great, but the game world itself took advantage of this, as you pulled tabs, unzipped zippers, and more.  Unfortunately that is not the case here.

    Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 90%
    Gameplay - 16/20
    Graphics - 10/10
    Sound - 9/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 94%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 9/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    Please don't take this negativity as a slight against the game – not every game can be the best game in every series, like Epic Yarn was to me.  Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is a very enjoyable, and fun game, with great graphics, nice music (again, not Epic Yarn good) and fun multiplayer.

    Speaking of multiplayer, this game is one where the additional characters actually help you rather than hinder you if their skill level isn't up to the person with the GamePad.  In many recent Nintendo couch co-op games, if you are skilled, the other players often can mess you up or cause increased frustration.  New Super Mario Bros. Wii/U is a perfect example of this.  In this game, other than occasionally picking up and throwing Kirby, the other players can really help you get the secrets much more easily.  They are controlled using sideways Wii Remotes, so using classic controls, they can turn on a dime.  Kirby cannot, since he rolls. They can also join and drop with the press of a button.

    Another benefit for the extra players is that they can enjoy the art much more.  My children, who helped me, could watch all of the action on my large front projection system, while I had to stare at the six inch GamePad screen most of the time. While I'm not knocking the GamePad screen, it's definitely much smaller than pretty much any TV you can buy, and likely lower resolution also.

    There is nothing for parents, or anyone else, to be concerned about; some of Kirby's transformations shoot missiles, and enemies poof when they die.  There is some fairy-tale style magic, with the bad guys and the magic paintbrush.  Kirby has always been as family friendly as it gets, and this is no exception.

    Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is a charming, fun, lighthearted platformer, with a unique control scheme and art style that is sure to please.  It would only be possible on a touchscreen system, and it's always great to see Nintendo make something unique in this way.  The adventure is a little short, at less than ten hours, though there is plenty to unlock for completionists.  Despite that, there is a fair amount of challenge.  If you are a Kirby fan, or enjoyed Canvas Curse, there is plenty here to enjoy.  If you are looking for a game that breaks the mold (pun intended!) from more typical platformers, I'd recommend you take a good look at Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.

  • Kirby: Canvas Curse (DS)


    Kirby: Canvas Curse is the first of the Kirby adventures on the Nintendo DS, and also one of the more creative. One day, Kirby is taking a stroll through Dream Land, when suddenly the colors everywhere warp, and a strange witch arises, and turns the world into a painting. She sees Kirby, and escapes into a magical vortex. Kirby follows her into a world of paintings, where he confronts her, and she turns him into a nearly helpless ball. He finds her magical paintbrush, which is transferred to you, the player. So now, you can help Kirby defeat the evil witch Drawcia and return the world to normal!

    What kind of game is this, and how does it work?

    Well, this is technically a 2D platform game, though the controls are like very few other games out there. This is one game that is definitely only possible on a system with a touchscreen, like the Nintendo DS. Kirby is a helpless, rolling ball. In order to move, you have to touch him to make him dash, and draw lines with your stylus to guide him through the air and water. These lines are called rainbow lines, since they look like rainbows. You can also affect the environment around him. If you touch a monster, it is temporarily stunned, waiting for Kirby to run into it. Certain enemies, when stunned, can replace your dash ability with a different one, which usually has some advantage over the standard dash.

    You can also touch various environmental elements, like breakable boxes, and many other things to help guide him around. Some breakable blocks can only be broken by using the power of a special ability. These abilities are lost when hit once, so be careful! There are eleven abilities you can get from running into stunned enemies. These are:

    Balloon - Makes Kirby float. This one is not lost when hit.

    Beam - Shoots a beam in a circle around Kirby.

    Burning - Kirby blasts forward quickly burning enemies in his path.

    Crash - Touch Kirby to have him perform a one-time blast knocking out everything on the screen.

    Freeze - Turns Kirby into ice, and can freeze some enemies.

    Missile - Kirby flies through the air as a missile. Guide his direction with rainbow lines.

    Needle - Kirby grows needles and clings to walls and rainbow lines.

    Spark - Sends a huge electrical blast straight above you.

    Tornado - Kirby spins like a tornado, and flies upwards when tapped.

    Stone - Turns Kirby to stone. He\'s invincible and very heavy in this form.

    Wheel - Turns Kirby into a giant wheel, where he zooms along the ground (or rainbow lines) very, very quickly.

    The top screen is used to show health as well as a map. It also shows you how many extra lives you have, as well as the rainbow meter, which is used whenever you draw a line. The bottom screen is where all of the action takes place. Only the touch screen is used, and occasionally the Start button if you wish to pause. At the beginning of each stage, you are dropped into the first area, and your job is to get to the exit of that area. Generally, each stage has three or more areas, and each level (or world) has three stages. At the end of the third stage of each level, there is a boss battle. You get to choose to play one of three different mini-games, and the more you have played one the harder it gets.

    There are eight levels total, with the eighth level having a different boss. Each area isn\'t too long; generally not much more than a few minutes. If a player were to simply complete each level and beat the game, skipping all of the extras, it would only take about two to three hours, and probably less for a skilled player. Fortunately, there is an extensive unlockable system to extend the gameplay significantly.

    What is the unlockables system, and what kinds of things can you expect?

    In each stage, there are three medals to collect. Each level has three stages, to levels one through seven each have nine medals to collect. In addition to this, once you beat a level, it unlocks all three of those stages in the Rainbow Run. Each stage in the Rainbow Run has six collectible medals: three for a time trial, and three for a line trial. Time trials are where you must get through a specific course faster than a set time; there are benchmarks for one, two, or three medals to be awarded. Line trials are similar, except that you must use as little ink as possible, by drawing as few lines as possible to get Kirby to the goal. Medals are awarded similarly, based on how much ink you have left. ** Note: Some may consider some of this information to be spoiler in nature. You have been warned! ** Medals can be spent on various things. Some of these things include songs, different colored inks, and more importantly, increased health, additional special stages for Rainbow Run, and more characters to play as other than Kirby. There are eight of those special stages, and each one of those allows you to get six additional medals. When you beat the game with the other characters, medals are awarded then as well. The boss subgames are eventually unlocked to be playable at any time. A medal can be earned for each. These are extremely difficult, and probably the hardest medals to get in my opinion. ** End potential spoilers ** As you can see, there are quite a few medals in this game. There is a grand total of two hundred and fifty available. This can keep you busy for quite some time unlocking everything. I have unlocked nearly everything (I have over two hundred and forty medals) and I would say that to get everything it should take the skilled player around fifteen to thirty hours to complete, if the amount of time it\'s taken me is any indication. :) To some players, perhaps that amount of time seems short. I don\'t know. It\'s pretty good to me, and appropriately challenging to be satisfying. A few of the medals are extremely difficult to get. I hope to get a perfect score soon, though a small number of them will most definitely take some practice.

    How are the graphics?

    Kirby: Canvas Curse uses nice, detailed, 2D graphics. Not exceptional, but very good. It has a clean, cartoony art style. There are no 3D effects present at all, nor are there rotating backgrounds or any other such fancy things. Only the final area has anything somewhat like that. Nevertheless, everything runs at a nice, smooth framerate, with no detectable slowdowns. Some areas have a neat style, especially the seemingly drawn art style of a few of the levels. Also, some of the backgrounds, which you might not even notice while focused on the character and sprite art, are just gorgeous. I wouldn\'t say that the graphics are as good as, say, the Castlevania DS games, but it\'s certainly good for what it is. Another thing to point out is that a lot of the enemies are recycled; there probably aren\'t much more than twenty different types of enemies in the whole game, so you will often find yourself battling many of the same enemies most of the time. This isn\'t really all that big of a deal as most enemies are dispatched in a similar manner, but it can look repetitive at times. Summary: Good, functional, and at times it has its moments. Though in general, I tend to be lenient on 2D games in this category. ;)

    What about the sound and music?

    The sound effects are appropriate for what they are representing, and with headphones on, have a surprising punch. That\'s one thing that I discovered about this game - if you have headphones with decent bass, the sound is completely different. It does sound good with the built-in speakers, but you basically can\'t hear the bass track at all, at least on a DS Lite. I was surprised to find the music, while always somewhat kiddie and lighthearted, is actually fairly complex with multiple levels going on at once with lots of stereo effects going between both ears. Trust me - find some headphones when playing if you can. I made the mistake of playing most of this game without, and once I plugged them in I found a much deeper soundtrack. Also, attack effects have a punch and \'oomph\' that you just can\'t hear otherwise. Though not every track is like this, I was surprised at how many were. I give this a thumbs up. Without headphones, it\'s just average.

    How appropriate is this game for Christians?

    As a whole, this game is fairly clean. There is some cartoony violence, as you bump into enemies and they disappear. You also might find yourself blowing them up in other ways. Nothing is graphic. The main enemy of the game is Drawcia, a witch. She casts some spells at you, and summons some typical Kirby enemies in your battle against her. No regular enemy does any kind of magic. I would say that there is less magic than a typical modern Super Mario game has, if that helps any. Unless you count that magic paintbrush that the player uses to draw on the screen with (the stylus), but that\'s more a plot device then anything occult-ish in my opinion. I would say that the level of violence is also similar to a Mario game, which is to say simple bopping, bombs, and similar things.

    Overall & Conclusion

    I really like Kirby: Canvas Curse. It doesn\'t start out like much, but it sucks you into its unique play style before you know it. It\'s not perfect, though I\'m not sure what I would change to make it better. It\'s certainly a hidden gem that I thoroughly enjoyed playing. If you are the type of person who plays a game to see the ending and that\'s all, then this game may not give you your money\'s worth. On the other hand, if you enjoy seeing all a game has to offer, it offers a fair value. If you don\'t mind the fantastical setting, I think you will likely enjoy one of the more unique takes on the platform genre, in a way that is only possible on the Nintendo DS.

    Appropriateness Score: Violence 8/10 Language 10/10 Sexual Content/Nudity 10/10 Occult/Supernatural 8/10 Cultural/Moral/Ethical 10/10 Appropriateness Total: 46/50 Game Score: Game Play 17/20 Graphics 9/10 Sound/Music 10/10 Stability/Polish 5/5 Controls/Interface 5/5 Game Score Total: 46/50

    Overall: 92/100

  • Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Kirby's Epic Yarn
    Developed By: Good-Feel & HAL Laboratory
    Published By: Nintendo
    Release Date: October 17, 2010
    Available On: Nintendo Wii
    Genre: Platformer
    Number of Players: 1-2
    ESRB Rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
    Price: $12.50 on LeapTrade

    One day, Kirby is enjoying a peaceful walk through Dream Land, and spots a strange looking tomato, which turns out to be a magical one called a Metamato.  As he sucks it in a strange new villain, Yin-Yarn, tries to interrupt him and fails.  He then uses his magic sock to open a portal to Patch Land, and brings Kirby and his friends there.  Once in Patch Land, he finds that his form has changed – he's now made of yarn, and the world around him is also made of various kinds of fabric.  He attempts to suck in enemies, but it doesn't work – the air goes right through him!  He quickly meets a new friend named Prince Fluff, and they find that instead of sucking in his enemies, he can transform into new shapes.  Yin-Yarn has also nearly destroyed Patch Land, so Kirby promises to help Prince Fluff save his world.

    While Nintendo is best known for its Mario and Zelda franchises, Kirby is often where some of its most creative work goes.  Kirby's Epic Yarn is definitely one of the best examples of that.  This game just oozes creativity and style, where the idea of a world of fabric is so well realized that it's incredibly endearing.  Being made of a reformable new material, he can quickly turn into a car, a parachute, or even a heavy weight to drop onto his enemies.  And not only can he change shape, but so does his environment. 

    Kirby's main action is to lasso a piece of string in any direction and pull it back.  This is used to wonderful effect not only to pull apart his enemies, which fall to pieces and disappear into a pile of string, but also to affect the flat two-dimensional world around him.  Often there is a button with a string attached, that if lassoed, will distort the landscape like a pulled drape and reveal a new platform or path.  Kirby can also hang from a bronze button, where he can swing to reach new places.  There are various blocks he can pull apart, or zippers he can unzip to reveal something underneath.  You can even sometimes find a seam or pocket that you can go into.  Once inside, you can move in that space, creating a bump in the outer fabric as you grab your treasures or find the next exit.  There is much to discover, a new world with new rules to learn and realize, all loaded with charm.  I felt like a kid again playing it, and from me that is very high praise.

    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Excellent 2D artistic style; fabulous music; very high quality storybook voice acting; heartwarming story, and game, all around
    Weak Points: If you die, there is very little punishment, as you just lose some beads (like coins); not overly challenging, especially in the early part of the game; short if you do not collect everything
    Moral Warnings: Very minor cartoon violence; 'darned' is used once

    Certain parts of many levels have Kirby transforming into a new form.  During these sections, you can become almost anything, from a tank to a spaceship to a dolphin.  These sections are occasionally frustrating, but mostly a ton of fun.  I really liked the spaceship sections as they reminded me of classic arcade games.

    Outside of the platforming elements, neat transformations, and very creative bosses, there is a collection system.  You can collect items to decorate your apartment and help others do the same, as well as a few minigames that come from this.  You can also spend your beads on new fabrics and other pieces for decoration purposes.  This is not an area of the game that I focused on, but if you like there are many, many hours of gameplay here.  In order to get a '100%' save, you will need to do many of these things.

    The multiplayer in this game is a lot of fun, though occasionally frustrating.  Now it probably does make the game quite a bit easier, but I played this game with my young children, who enjoyed this game a whole lot with me.  When you begin playing, you choose one or two players, each who uses a Wii Remote on its side, NES style. This game uses mostly NES controls, with the occasional use of the 'A' button or tilting.  The decorating section does use the pointer, but rarely is it used otherwise.  The second player comes in handy as an additionally throwable character, and also to help you get hard to reach treasures.  It also adds a layer of challenge as I would have to keep telling my younger ones to 'press A' to engage an angel which can carry them to safety while I navigate trickier segments.  The angel can also be automatically engaged if one character progresses vertically high enough to put the other one too far off screen.  As a result of the angel mechanic, it's a fairly easy game overall, as this also happens when you die or take damage.

    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 98%
    Gameplay - 19/20
    Graphics - 10/10
    Sound - 10/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 92%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 9/10
    Sexual Content - 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    The graphics are quite lovely.  Everything looks like some kind of fabric, and it's very convincing.  And the excellent, buttery-smooth animations really bring it to life.  This game is one that doesn't really look any worse not being in high definition, as the artistic style does not bring forth aliasing of any kind.

    While the graphics excel, the sound excels at least as much.  The music is fabulous, with smooth and soaring piano pieces, lilting flutes, and other feel-good music that is simply exquisite.  Being a Kirby game it obviously will be obnoxiously happy-go-lucky style, but that really didn't bother me at all.  There were a few songs that I heard while playing where I kept thinking 'where can I buy this CD?' For a fan of jazz, it was very enjoyable in places.  The sound effects are typical Kirby, with booms and splats as you expect them, and with cheerfully sweet ditties throughout.

    Speaking of cheerful, this game is morally squeaky-clean.  There is fairy-tale magic.  There is one use of the word 'darned', and animated violence as yarn pulls, bops, or explodes everywhere. This is about as family friendly as possible outside of Tetris or a Bible game.

    Kirby's Epic Yarn was one of those games that I always wanted to grab, but procrastinated.  Once I saw it for a great price used, I picked it up immediately, and I am very glad I did.  This is a game that my kids and I have thoroughly enjoyed playing together, and even since we beat it, they are continuing to play it.  That's what they are doing as I write this.  And you should too.  It's simply Epic.

  • Lapis x Labyrinth (PS4)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Lapis x Labyrinth
    Developed by: Nippon Ichi Software, Inc.
    Published by: NIS America, Inc.
    Release date: May 28, 2019
    Available on: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
    Genre: RPG Platformer
    Number of players: Single player
    ESRB Rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
    Price: $29.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you, NIS America, for sending us a review key!

    Lapis x Labyrinth surprised me several times. An anglerfish dragon was shockingly deadly, as were poisonous trap plants. A fire boss required careful maneuvering, and the last boss forced me to rework my weapon loadout for elemental damage. I don’t take the distinct memories of these moments as a great commendation of the game. From moment to moment, the game demands doing the same actions all the way through, with upgrades to break up the monotony. And yet, Lapis x Labyrinth didn’t feel tedious. Whether that’s because it is fun or numbing, I’m not sure. Probably a bit of each.

    On the one hand, it must have been fun. I completed the game’s ten worlds, each a collection of stages in the Labyrinth below a small town. I beat the final boss and looked into the extra, post-game stages. Once or twice I whooped at the screen upon beating a particularly difficult foe. The gameplay which I have and will continue to describe as monotonous was engaging while I was taking part in it. It’s satisfying to watch the small party of adventurers tear through enemies, hopping from spring to falling platform while swinging any number of weapons and tossing allies at enemies to do coordinated alternative attacks. The joy of watching the combat take place is probably Lapis x Labyrinth’s greatest strength. The party of up to four adventurers are stacked on top of each other’s shoulders. This odd tower of oversized heads tears through most enemies with ease as the player hits the two main attack buttons. Swiping monsters away continues to feel satisfying for the entire game.

    Someone watching could easily (and did, while I was playing) describe the combat as button mashing. It’s an unfair description, because attacks and movement depend on directional input, and as the pile of adventurers darted and spun across the screen I felt completely in control. My chosen leader was a mobile dagger-wielder who could slash up for an extra jump and spin down through a cloud of enemies with ease. When I switched to a heavily-armored knight, I knew his heavy swings would wipe out monsters and blocks with an efficiency appropriate to his weightier movements. Enemy attacks can quickly kill the party, necessitating constant vigilance to dodge incoming attacks. Lapis x Labyrinth is, when it comes to character control, very good at conveying the information needed. For example, the stack of adventurers is also the double-jump count. The adventurers leap off of each others’ shoulders with their extra jumps, sometimes leaving the leader stranded without friends for a moment when reaching a new ledge. As characters are knocked off the tower, stunned, or killed, movement becomes more limited.

    Lapis x Labyrinth
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: Charming and varied art style; variety of upgrade paths and character types; maze platforming can be rewarding and tense
    Weak Points: Monotonous gameplay; gaudy particle effects and music; constant voice exclamations
    Moral Warnings: Revealing clothes on some character models; ghost and demon enemies

    “Labyrinth” isn’t just a name. Each of the 80 main stages is composed of roughly one to four levels plus a miniboss. The last stage in each world has a stronger boss tied to the thin lore of the area. The bosses are usually far too straightforward, but the stages themselves can provide a decent challenge. The party must collect a number of crystals in each level to warp to the next. There are more crystals available than are required to succeed, and collecting extra is rewarded with better equipment and stat growth. Each stage has a five-minute timer, after which a dark specter appears who causes instant death if he touches the party. Pushing your luck against the threat of death for crystals and treasure chests is a rush when the level layouts are always uncertain. Most stages take less than ten minutes, and the timer ensures that almost none take more than twenty. Level mazes and enemy types recycle, but there are enough that I could not memorize them.

    There are more character classes than I needed. The game encourages the player to experiment early on to find a team composition that suits a preferred play style, and I quickly fell into a mobile melee composition. A defensive shield character did more for my group than a gunslinger or ranged caster. I found a use for the maid (who, of course, is magical) and her abilities to boost party attack and charm enemies into temporarily not fighting. The party must be outfitted with weapons, armor, and other stat-boosting gear. If you have the space left over, members can be given reusable candy that heals, revives, and otherwise helps the party between levels in a stage. The game’s gear costs limit the party’s power level harshly, and spending gold to equip more and stronger gear did not feel satisfying.

    There is more customization available within the town above the labyrinth. Enhancements for countless special effects including extra attacks, shielding, reflection, life steal, and more can be crafted and improved at the forge. A restaurant sells single-use lunches next to the store which sells equipment, crafting materials, and base stat upgrades. Individual character’s stats can be trained as well. I focused on training to keep up with monster strength, and I can imagine someone else focusing on a variety of weapon enhancements that provide bonuses against the enemy types particular to each world.

    Lapis x Labyrinth
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 86%
    Gameplay -13/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 6/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 5/5

    Morality Score - 86%
    Violence - 8/10
    Language - 10/10
    Sexual Content - 8/10
    Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

    So Lapis x Labyrinth has engaging customization, controls, and platforming. It’s just that I was performing the same actions with almost no variation for the entire game. As stated at the beginning, a few moments demanded that I mix up my strategy. Those were few and far between. Mostly I roared through levels on autopilot. The vast majority of the minibosses fell in under ten seconds to a combination attack plus a little manual slicing. Even the final stage of the last boss, after killing me until I brought a type-effective weapon, died in seconds, almost without me noticing, once I did. I thought I’d seen everything Lapis x Labyrinth had to offer after the second world, and aside from unlocking upgrade options and some devious traps, I was not wrong.

    That I could go so long without mentioning the grating aesthetic choices is evidence of how numb they made me. The game’s only voice acting is short snippets of Japanese exclamations of the “Thanks” and “Here we go” variety. These lines play when talking to shopkeepers in town and constantly while in the Labyrinth. I was not bothered. Others might not overlook the constant cries so easily. The game’s powerup graphics have the subtlety of Pavlov running a penny-ante slot machine. When Fever mode is activated (and I honestly don’t know how it’s activated), the music kicks into generic swelling tones as boxes flash and killed enemies explode into gems. And I mean, a lot of gems. Gems that hide the action on-screen. Gems that don’t fit the art style. Gems that would look comfortable in the original Bejeweled. During Fever mode, a spinner in the corner flashes through icons, occasionally announcing that I have been granted a Map or a Potion. Each icon corresponds to a buff, but since I had no control of the spinner and little care in that moment for the numerical peculiarities of how enemy health bars disappeared, I never remembered what the buffs were. I got used to the jarring particles, just as I got used to the voice acting.

    In general, the art style is pleasant and cute. Some characters have revealing outfits on their menu models. Fortunately, most of the game is spent in big-headed chibi style where it’s hard to notice the clothes. There are a wide variety of well-designed monsters. The demon and ghost enemies are, like the others, stylized past the point of great concern. Violence is omnipresent in the dungeons in the cute art style of everything else. Music is forgettable but appropriate when not in fever mode.

    As I've gathered my thoughts, I’ve been struck by how positive I am about this game considering how pleased I was to be finished with it. It was so repetitive. The best parts of the game enabled me to get through the monotony faster and with more style. Cynically, one might say that is true of action games at their best. At least this action game has consistent and generous content, all digestible in short or long play sessions. For as much as I finished playing the game the same way that I began it, Lapis x Labyrinth has enough moving parts to make the long journey from world one to ten more exciting than it might feel in worlds two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, or, come to think of it, one and ten. If a screenshot of the four adventurers teetering on their companions’ shoulders looks amusing, I would not talk you out of trying the game out. If you have a Switch to play on the go, I might try to talk you into it.

  • Leowald (PC)

    boxart
    Game Info:

    Leowald
    Developed By: Myroid-Type Comics
    Published By: Myroid-Type Comics
    Released: August 9, 2019
    Available On: Windows
    Genre: Action-Adventure, 2D Platformer
    ESRB Rating: No Rating
    Number of Players: 1
    Price: $14.99

    Thank you Myroid-Type Comics for the review code.

    Even though Zeran’s Folly could have easily been a standalone product, the developer, Myroid-Type Comics came out with a sequel. Leowald takes place eighteen years later with the son or daughter of Lone and Abby, two out of the four protagonists from the preceding entry. Like their parents, Felix or Felicia has an itch for adventure and traveled to the land of Leowald in search of the Fairy Pearl, and joins the Big Chest Guild as a result. For the few of us that played the previous entry, the setting and narrative may have seemed to come out of nowhere with the blunt ending that it left us on, but the developer added an epilogue to Zeran’s Folly that leads smoothly into Leowald.

    Leowald is a 2D action-adventure platformer with lots of spikes, pits, and platforms! Before you take on dungeons, you start off in an overworld where you can chat it up with the various non-playable characters scattered throughout the hub world. The majority of NPCs will simply give you speeches about the world and what they do, while the rest are merchants who will sell you items, abilities, and even play minigames with you. Inside the dungeons is a maze-like structure. You must make it through the areas with dozens of enemies trying to kill you by either running headfirst or lobbing projectiles. Some dungeons require a bit of exploration as you'll need keys to reach the boss room. Bosses can range from extremely hostile attack patters with loads of projectiles or interesting gimmick bosses. One boss that stood out for me was a boss heavily inspired by the Breakout game. Leowald is mostly a linear progression through levels with the exception of the halfway point where you have a chance to take on a handful of dungeons in any order of your choosing.

    In the beginning, you'll start of with the well-rounded Duelist Sabers, a set of swords that focus on mobility. The unique abilites of the sabers have moves such as a dive kick and a semi-invincible dash attack. Halfway through, you'll start to unlock more weapons such as the Golem Meteor (similar to a yo-yo) or Fairy Wand (a magic wand that shoots orbs). Whether you choose the boy or girl, weapons have no notable variance. Nevertheless, dialogue is different depending on the character chosen; Felix's personality tends to be more headstrong and has a bit of cockiness to him and his choice of words reflects that. Felicia, on the other hand, is much more curious and holds an air of innocence. Besides the achievement for completing the story with both, the different dialogue between the two characters is worth checking out.

    Leowald
    Highlights:

    Strong Points: A better camera than its predecessor; role-playing elements and an improved equipment system can lead to unique playthroughs; platforming and combat are simple, yet engaging
    Weak Points: The last stretch of the game isn’t as crazy as the prequel; not a whole lot to do after completion; doesn't stand out much on its own and relies a lot on playing the previous entry to get the most out of the experience
    Moral Warnings: Not as explicit as Zeran’s Folly, but still contains graphic violence of which enemies explode into blood and bones; every swear word in the book as well as blasphemy; the female player character has many outfits that show off her cleavage; sexual dialogue through innuendos and double entendre; blackjack is one minigame that can be played; lots of supernatural elements, magic, and occult imagery; Satan is encountered in the game and plays a role in the story; God does exist in the world as some characters do worship Him, but there are also other gods that are mentioned and seen

    A level-up system is tied to the weapons, giving Leowald more of a role-playing feel. Each weapon obtained have ranks ranging from F as its lowest, to S as its highest. Enemies in certain areas and depending on your progression also rank up and you can deal as low as half the standard damage or double the damage depending on the rank of the enemies in the area and the rank of your weapon. Alongside weapon rankings are also armor rankings which determine how much or little damage you take. Unlike the weapons, armor rank is much more simple, being upgraded by talking to an NPC after points in the story are met. Some weapons can feel similar to each other but every weapon is viable to beat the game with.

    Major beneficial changes were made compared to Zeran’s Folly and show that the developer is listening to feedback. One of the issues with the prequel was the camera, where the lack of options for it could lead to some cheap methods of lost health. This time, the camera work is much better which leads to way fewer instances of unfair losses of health. Another welcomed change is the switching of the talent system with runestones. In Zeran’s Folly, to have your character's abilities have extra effects, you had to talk to specific characters during certain times or points throughout the game. This time, all you need to do is find the runestone and you’ll earn a talent for every weapon you currently own.

    A lot of assets are reused from Zeran’s Folly, from character models to enemy types. Something like this is acceptable for a direct sequel, and the reusing of assets means that you’ll be able to meet many characters and see how they are doing nearly two decades later. You’ll come across many familiar faces that are expected, and even a few others that are an (un)pleasant surprise.

    I played the game all the way through with a controller and the default bindings are awkward as the attack and interact button is different where in other games they are one and the same. To pause, you have to click the left thumbstick which is one of the oddest methods of pausing I’ve ever witnessed. Good thing that every key or button can be remapped to your choosing. The music is of the same style as Zeran's Folly. However, there is more attention to where each soundtrack is placed. In particular, after one hectic moment in the story with a metal-based soundtrack blaring in the background, the next part is more calming, with the music and scenery to match.

    One issue I did come across is the ending sequence. It wasn’t as insane as Zeran’s Folly and did leave a bit to be desired from a gameplay perspective. It is a rather strange choice as Leowald overall focuses more on its gameplay so ending things on a more narrative note is peculiar. With the way things ended, it seems like a sequel, DLC, or extra content added in a later update will be the case. You can play Leowald without knowing a single thing about Zeran's Folly, but the developer expects you to be aware of it with the constant callbacks, references, and returning characters making it not stand out on its own all that much. There also seems to be missing some significant postgame context as to where Zeran’s Folly had the Necro Pits (random procedurally generated levels that use their own set of currency and equipment), Leowald has nothing of the sort—at least from what I’ve seen.

    Leowald
    Score Breakdown:
    Higher is better
    (10/10 is perfect)

    Game Score - 76%
    Gameplay - 15/20
    Graphics - 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
    Stability - 5/5
    Controls - 4/5

    Morality Score - 34%
    Violence - 2.5/10
    Language - 2.5/10
    Sexual Content - 2.5/10
    Occult/Supernatural -2.5/10
    Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7/10

    Zeran’s Folly had no qualms about going from zero to one hundred. It was like that stand-up comedy special that you would not take your mother to at all, as it went below the belt in terms of its appropriateness. In a surprising twist, Leowald manages to tone down all that debauchery. Don’t get me wrong, this still isn't a kid-friendly picnic. Violence is still abundant with enemies exploding into a confetti of blood and bones. Swearing is still prevalent with the typical f**k, sh*t, b**ch uttered, with blasphemy too. Interestingly, there isn’t any nudity present this time around. All sexual content is either through dialogue with double entendres or innuendos or though Felicia’s rather revealing optional costumes.

    One of the minigames that can be played is Blackjack/Twenty-One. It is a luck-based way to earn money without working for it, but it is still simulated gambling. Supernatural, magic, and occult are still commonly seen throughout the journey. For a change of pace, the Templars do make a return being the good guys and support the protagonist this time around, although some of the knights reference homosexuality when spoken to. There are also other gods mentioned throughout the story, and you even meet one halfway through the adventure. Just like how there are worshipers of God in the world, it’s only fitting that The Man Downstairs, Satan, also exists. He does play a role in the story with his involvement being a pretty big spoiler, so I’ll just leave it at that.

    A sequel doesn’t always have to improve on its prequel. Sometimes it might simply be a way to add content and features that were unable to be inserted previously. In the end, Leowald is more of the same with some additions that benefit the experience. On the standard difficulty, it is a bit easier than Zeran’s Folly. The new Destroyer (Hard) Mode can make the experience much more challenging with a lot of restrictive elements. It’ll take just as long to complete Leowald as it did Zeran’s Folly, which is about seven to ten hours. Even though this is still an entry for adults, a simpler narrative makes for more wholesome content in general. For those who were completely turned off by Zeran’s Folly's corruptness, some of you might be pleased to hear that Leowald isn’t all in your face about it. There will be a lot of references and callbacks that will be missed if you are completely unfamiliar with the previous entry. I can recommend this to people who are looking for another platformer to put time in and don’t mind too much adult content.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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