Sometime before the Holidays, I took a week off work. I know I said it more than anything else on this blog, but night work takes a lot out of you. So a week of vacation was most welcome. Throughout that week, I tried to play as many short Steam games as possible. And so, now, I’ve got some fuel for a few Steam Packs. I did want to start the year with a movie review, a Wii game review, and a 3DS game review, and some others here and there as well.
(P.S. With Google+ shutting down in less than two weeks, be sure to join my Discord server, I wish to make it into a fun gaming community!)
So, let’s begin this right away with today’s selection of four games! I think today’s accidental theme is fun and peace; the games feel peaceful in some way. And to start…
A while ago, I reviewed Quiplash in one such Steam Pack. Well, I had a second Jackbox game in my collection, and I figured I could talk about it now. Also, I have a lot of artistic friends, so this game is pretty popular in my circle.
|Let's get two more folks to join, there's room!|
When everyone’s ready, each player gets a prompt… and must then draw that prompt the best they can, using the two colors available for them and little more than their own fingers as drawing tool. In other words: It’s not going to look good, but it’s certainly going to be funny.
|Woo! Got it.|
There’s a second round if there are fewer players. At the end, whoever has the most points wins.
|Looks like nobody got that one right.|
Don’t expect the prompts to be easy, either; some of them are items or actions, some are vague, others are idioms that require you to know the English language really well. One game I played with Quebec French-speakers had the phrase “cropdusting a party”. For the record, you don’t have time to Google it and then draw it. Not that idioms translate all too well, mind you… Also, I genuinely have no idea how I'd draw that.
Similar issue when it comes to thinking up answers. I am well aware that it’s the point of view of a French speaker looking at games that would be difficult to translate, so it may apply to very few people. Anyway, in games like Quiplash, you could reply in other languages as long as you understood the original question, if everybody spoke that other language. In Drawful, the real answer appears alongside the players’, so everyone has to respond in English. Also, spelling mistakes happen, so it can be easy to spot the real answer if it’s the only one spelled correctly. Or the one that isn't something stupid like "no idea lol".
But even with these two points, it’s a really fun game. I love it, and always do my best to gather a group to play it. …But it’s better to play on a more famous streamer’s game.
I’m one for more peaceful games once in a while, I’ve never made a secret of that.
The Howler is a creation of Antanas Marcelionis, and it was released in… 2013? 2014? The store page says 2016, but I could have sworn I’ve read somewhere that this game’s publishers changed the release date so it would appear among the New Releases tab on Steam… which is, without a doubt, a blatant use of false advertising.
|Good luck going through.|
|Admittedly, it looks impressive. What's not shown|
is the dozen tries that blew up the balloon.
This game is probably most famous for its level featuring a giant wolf statue. It’s even in the title image. For playing that level, I can attest – it's kind of epic. You first go above it to pick up parcels, then must maneuver carefully into the opening maw.
The last levels do get pretty tricky, as they involve picking up and laying bombs in precise places, in order to foil a large conspiracy. The very last level changes controls some more, featuring a plane’s test flight… around a sky filled with mines.
This is a unique experience; the painted backgrounds, the pencil-drawn animated sprites and world features. The unique control scheme (if you do decide to try the microphone input instead of using the left-click button). The peaceful atmosphere, which remains even as the story progresses. Sometimes, plot-important items may be a bit difficult to see in the environment. The biggest issue I have is that it’s very short, only 16 levels in total. Then again, for a dollar, I wasn’t expecting a huge game. Something simple and quick works sometimes too.
Princess Remedy 2: In a Heap of Trouble
Welcome back, Princess! I reviewed the first game, Princess Remedy in a World of Hurt, as part of one of the earliest Steam Packs. I liked it enough to get the sequel, also made by Ludosity, and released on September 8th, 2016.
|The band-aids tossed by Remedy seem to have little|
smiley faces on them, and it makes me laugh.
If you were expecting something very different from the original game, you might be disappointed; it’s the same base concept. You heal people by fighting their ills. Clear all of the monsters in every battlefield. That’s about it, really. Thankfully, this game does add a few new elements. First off, your basic special attack is still a bomb that can clear multiple enemies at once. However, that can be changed; Talk again to a person you’ve healed and you can elect them to follow you around, providing a new special move. It ranges from a dash/teleportation to healing your HP and new types of powered moves to deal extra damage.
|That toothy monster, plus the razor monsters... Aaaah!|
The boss at the end is very similar to the one at the end of the first game, found in a castle at the end of the game, afflicting the Prince of the land, and split in multiple phases. It culminates in a final form that reduces the area in which Remedy can move, though it’s not that difficult.
This game is just as good as the first! Well, okay, it’s got additional features that make it an improvement over the original. However, the first one was free and I’m wondering whether the additional content here makes it worth paying 5$ for this one. But still, I’m not calling this game bad, on the contrary it’s quite fun. It gets pretty challenging later on, and there are harder difficulty modes for those who seek something tougher. All in all, I like it.
What if the end of the world is coming, and there’s almost nothing you can do to prevent it?
|I can feel myself dehydrating just looking at this.|
|Hope you like reading.|
|I will admit though, there's a lot of pretty stuff here.|
I understand that walking simulators aren’t everyone’s thing; the minimal gameplay turns some people off. Similarly, walking simulators give the impression that they’re easy to make, just scatter the story and make people walk around a lot to get the plot going. Well, yeah; but the game has to make up for the lack of complex gameplay by featuring an interesting story that makes the player want to walk around and get the various tidbits.
|This feels like walking through a desert.|
But the heat's nothing compared to when the meteor hits.
Well, I did enjoy it. I feel it’s a bit on the expensive side, at 6$, but it’s decent.
And thus closes another Steam Pack. See you next week! For another Pack, or maybe something different.