Planet of the Eyes Review

Sometimes a certain component can make or break a game. In the past, we’ve talked about how sound can construct or destroy an experience; how storytelling can succeed or fail to captivate us; how conventions can be spurred for better or for worse; and how shoehorning creepy themes of sex and abuse can really ruin a fledgling game developer’s aesthetic. Although there were often a variety of things going on in each of the games previously discussed that led to me liking or disliking them, there are certain game elements that can be so flawed that other aspects that, on their own, would be passable or even good were it not for such a weak link. These flaws can be so glaring that they exaggerate other issues we would otherwise forgive. Today’s game is one with a decent setting, acceptable graphics, and an okay, albeit unoriginal, story that all suffers for the controls and the physics. So let’s push forward and take a look at what makes Cococucumber’s Planet of the Eyes unable to move in the right direction.

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Last Word Review

There are a lot of games out there. The advent of development tools like Unity or RPG Maker have allowed designers of all skill levels to put a game together, and Steam, Android and iOS stores have opened the market to a lot of these budding developers and have expanded the number of titles out there exponentially. Now, big companies effectively have to compete with small groups and individuals ready to leap into the fray, whether newly-educated, self-taught, seasoned veterans, or even just someone playing around at a casual level. In theory, this is an amazing advent in game production. In reality, however, we wind up flooded with a swath of mediocre games that, while important practice for a game designer, leave players disillusioned, less and less willing to waste their time on another sparse exploration game or cliche-riddled RPG. As such, the words “Unity” or “RPG Maker” showing up in a description or set of tags will turn off consumers, having them check out and continue scrolling through the game list, before inevitably running into an endless string of identical shooters and “mature” anime dating sims and just giving up and going back to their MMO of choice.

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RPG… Anime game… Anime game… Oh hey, The Witcher! Shooter… Anime game… Anime game…

I bring this up because there have been many times in my Steam queue that I have been tempted to put the tag “RPG Maker” into my filter, avoiding them altogether. I resist this urge however, as I don’t want to limit myself so greatly, as something could easily be hiding in there that really bucks the trend and creates something unique. As a gamer and a reviewer, I would be doing myself a disservice to ignore these games. And the game I’m looking at in this article proves that sentiment right. It’s a game that took RPG Maker and utilized more than just the basic tools therein to create a unique style all its own. Today, I’m going to talk about developer Twelve Tiles’ casual RPG, Last Word.

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Fingerbones Review and Analysis

I finally found some time and willpower today to sit down and finish a task I had inadvertently started. It began with a game that drew me in with its striking aesthetic, and continued with a meandering trip from one that preceded said game to one that followed it. By chance, the fourth and final David Szymanski game (as of this writing) for me to review is actually his Steam debut. Like The Moon Sliver, The Music Machine, and A Wolf in Autumn, Fingerbones is a short, first-person perspective, psychological horror game. As it is the first, it understandably has less complexity in its design, storytelling, and puzzles. I’m not going to pay too much attention to those faults, as they are clearly addressed in Szymanski’s later games. Furthermore, the game is free on Steam, so there’s likely little reason in addressing the mechanics and enjoyability of the game as anyone can easily play it for themselves and see what it’s like. So instead, I’m only going to briefly touch on the gameplay and then dive straight into what has become a mainstay for my reviews of these games: examining the story. Needless to say, the plot will be spoiled here, so if you have any interest in playing, don’t read on. Also, the game features blood, references to sexual abuse, murder, and dismembered body parts, so if that isn’t your thing, don’t play the game. With all that aside, let’s get started!

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Choice of the Dragon Review

Awhile back I alluded to the desire for more dragons in my reviews. Well, I, for one, am not about to let random, barely-known, non-readers down! It just so happens that I stumbled upon a little game that is both about dragons and related to something I’ve written about in the past. Also I actually like dragons, so perhaps I have an ulterior motive. Well, no matter! The reasoning doesn’t mean much in the long run. So perhaps I’ll quit kidnapping your time and just move onto the meat of the matter. Today’s pick from my hoard is a game I picked up on my cell phone. It’s another choose-your-own adventure style game called Choice of the Dragon.

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Promotional Image for Choice of the Dragon

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