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My first gamejam: Summer Edition finds #1

My first gamejam: Summer Edition is a game jam inviting especially people new to game making. It ran from 9th of July ’16 to 24th of July ’16. 

 

Vee is Calling

vee

Vee is Calling is a very short visual novel, with a theme that seems very basic yet, the story has it’s own magic, I feel. You have a video-call date, and well… as usually, dates don’t always go the way you want them to go. This game is very, very short – just couple of minutes of play time – however, with how astonishing art here is, I can understand this. It’s a very short period of time, so it is not easy to make something that is both beautiful and long. I think this project could surely be developed in a lovely, little visual novel with deeper story, more choices and more endings. Surely worth checking it out.

Amoris Flore

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Date Plants as a gameplay mechanic surely sounds rather weird and confusing, but Amoris Flore looked like another interesting visual novel, and I thought, let’s give it a shot. This one is longer, not full-game lenght, but you will get lost in it for a bit longer than with Vee… However, this one uses basic GUI, so that’s the price for the longer gameplay and longer story.

I would say… try it out. Date some plants. Have a weird evening, and appreciate the creators. Good stuff.

Out of the Box

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Have you ever thought, how may a solitary box that gained conscience feel, amongst all the other boxes that just… are there? Never think of what they could become or maybe they could leave the corporated magazine of some company? Yes? Well now you have a chance!

Out of the Box is a tale of just such a box, and their quest is a quest for freedom, out of the magazine and towards… well, you should see that for yourself. An amazing humour from the creators will surely make you enjoy the adventure even more.

 

And that is my first pick from My First Gamejam: Summer Edition! I have not gonve through all of the games so further parts might show up later on. This is one of those shorter articles for you to enjoy! All of the games are surely worth your attention though!

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update

Update 16.03.2018

Hello all!

My latest post took me a long while to finish – and writing was the shortest part of the process – so I came up with something to make sure there is enough content. I noticed couple of people enjoying my posts and I am really glad! So I want to post more often.

I will try to post twice a week – at the beginning of the week, and then at the end of it. I am not setting any schedule myself, cause… well, me and schedules just do not work well together. Some of those posts will be short… because in that short span of time, together with all the other responsibilities, I cannot make posts like Movie Game Jam one all the time. But I am working on some bigger posts, so look out for them! They shall happen soon.

This weekend though, I am going to post something short and quick, but hopefully still enjoyable. Cheers!

Game Reviews, gamejam, games, Reviews

Movie Game Jam 2018 – My Choice of Entries

Movie Game Jam is a game jam that run through the month of February. It is basically choosing your favorite movie scene or movie in general as  a base for your game idea. Intriguing? Of course, but it is much harder than it may seem. Moving the story from the screen into the game, within time limit and make it enjoyable for all and not just people who have watched said movie is a real challenge!

I have not been able to check out every single entry in this jam, so I may have missed some amazing ones, and I apologize. But, there is only so much one person can do; I am certain I checked out a big bunch of them, and I am going to show you the ones I liked the best.

Super Lobby Shootout

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A really nice little game, using a very popular movie so I think it is easier for most players to grasp what you’re supposed to do. Simple, but well made. It is using mechanic that I feel has been used many times before, but I enjoyed the simplicity of the game itself.

 

 

Love or Math

loveormath

A bit challenging platformer, short, but enjoyable. I feel connection to the movie reference was more subtle, but platformer was very endearing. It is rather short, as most jam games, but it is surely worth the time. It challenged me enough to make me try my best to succeed, but not too much to make me give up.

Party’s Over

party over

After watching a scene it was based off (very gory) I was put off, as while being a horror movies fan, I really dislike gore. However game itself wasn’t as gory and I actually enjoyed it much more than expected. It feels too short, and too hardcore in my personal opinion, but I think for a game jam entry it is a well-made little adventure, even if ever so quick and simple.

 

Zombie Mall

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Back to the zombie-land. Challenging, well-made, well-designed. I actually managed to play it for a longer while, despite enemies not exactly being put perfectly in the area (sometimes not enough of them, sometimes too many). Again, I clicked on the link not expecting myself to enjoy it, and yet I was kindly surprised. It seemed shallow in a way, but I think the mechanics and how basic idea was, made this so enjoyable.

Simulation

simulation

Another simple, little game. Graphics in this game are completely plain but you stop thinking about that as soon as gameplay kicks in. It is another very simple, basic game, and another example of a well-done game design. Simplicity in it is very entertaining. It did kept me in the game for longer than expected.

It is also one of those games were the movie reference is a nice addition, but not needed thanks to the basic gameplay design.

Think and Click

thinkandclick

I am usually not so good with puzzle games, because I am the worst when it comes to ANY kind of puzzles, to be fair. I still enjoy those puzzle games, it’s just that often without walkthroughs I never finish them. However, Think and Click simplified the puzzle idea, and even though it was still challenging, I think it’s a very lovely puzzle adventure for everyone to enjoy.

Martha’s Temp

martha

This was a really short, but endearing little adventure. Easy to catch on what to do, well connected with the movie chosen, simple gameplay that can amuse you for a little while. The only problem I had with it, that it was so strongly connected to the movie at hand, that to understand gameplay you had to know the movie. On the other hand, gameplay is simple enough that you will catch up on it quickly anyway.

Temptation’s Table

tempt

This is a really, really short game. But a good depiction of the movie, and very intuitive gameplay, with a really nice graphics. I would say scene chosen has been rather difficult to portray in a game setting, but creators did well. It was first game I played in the jam, and it surely showed me that Movie Game Jam 2018 had some talented participants.

The Assasination

assasination

This one was a bit confusing, I do not think it is perfectly designed, but also I don’t think it’s badly designed either. It is simple, with a nice art and one goal: assasination. Game surely strongly takes from the movie reference, but at the same time, it explains itself very easily, so I don’t mind. It’s challenging, as well, and surely worth your time!

Between the Worlds

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This is a wonderful, little adventure made of many inspirations and many movies’ references. Sassy and full of emotions voice acting, challenging environment full of puzzles and secrets and really lovely gameplay mechanics. This is what ‘Between the Worlds’ will give you. Ready to find all the worlds hidden in this game?

You Played Yourself

played

Oh boy. This one really took me on the ride. Spend actually a pretty big chunk of time playing it, which I think is also because of how the game is designed, and of how much gameplay and story dev prepared for you. This one is based on a very popular movie, so again, most people know where the inspiration was and what could it mean for the gameplay. And it is nicely explained in the game itself as well.

Graphics are as basic as they can be, but game will get you focused on the story and gameplay more than that aspect of the game. Obviously most work was put into how game is played rather how it looks, and I think it was the right choice. ‘You Played Yourself’ will take you on an exciting adventure, and will surely keep you entertained for a long while.  It is a challenge surely worth taking.

 

Oh! Is This Baseball

baseball

This is a creation from the devs that I have been watching  for a while, and they surely showed a very interesting take on Movie Game Jam. It is heavily based on the movie reference, and it is a bit confusing at start, but after a while you do grasp what you need to do, and it is a short, fun experience. I enjoyed the design of art A LOT, silhouettes are something that I love as an aesthetic for games.

Mimi’s Delivery Dash

mimi

This is my very number one. This list wasn’t in any particular order but MDD was surely the best I have played through. Gameplay very interesting despite simplicity, game reference well done but you do not get confused if you haven’t seen the movie. Challenging, with beautiful pixel-art graphics. What more you can ask for?

 

And that is what I have for you for Movie Game Jam 2018. A very succesful game jam I would say! There were plenty of wonderful entries, as this post shows, I had a lot to show you and I recommend you trying them all out, and finding all those amazing creators. I do hope they are ready to show us even more beautiful creations.

 

Game Reviews, games, Reviews

Bear with Me review

Game is availble here!

Bear with Me was made by Exordium Games – an indie developer studio located at Croatia. Beside Bear with Me they have many other games of different genres than you surely can enjoy. This also proves skills of the developers and their wish to reach wider public, as amongst their few games you surely can find something you’ll like.

I was gifted access to the first episode of Bear With Me quite a while ago, and I felt this issue needed a game like this. I haven’t been able to check the other two episodes yet, but the first one is more than promising – and I expect both second and third be even more exciting than what I played through.

You follow Amber, a ten year old heroine that – apparently – has solved many more cases in the past. Bad guys come back to town, and Amber has to protect the world of her toys, a world so very dear to her. On her new adventure, an old friend joins her, and seems like they both have many mysteries a player would love to learn….

Although the main theme here is quite obvious from the beginning, the game takes the noir, mystery, detective part truly seriously. Yes, we play as a ten year old accompanied by her trusted Ted E. Bear, however you still feel like you’re in the middle of a proper mystery game.

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That is exactly what excited me in this game, the grayscale (and yet, Amber describing paintings using a full palette of colors – so surreal when you can’t see it!), the deep voice of Ted E. Bear. Cutscenes in which you really feel that the duo is out of a retro detective movie of some sort.

What the developers came up with, and how they made their story work, for me was very unique. Thinking if I played similarly created games before, I have to admit that I don’t think I have. However, believing there’s no such game as Bear with Me at all would be naive. I imagine there are, but this one gave me some motivation to look for similar “genre” of a game – mixing cute and “scary” or mysterious.

But Bear with Me is more than just an interesting concept – it is a point-and-click game with every aspect of that. With pointless objects that you click to get sassy or intriguing descriptions from Amber, many puzzles and conversations with other characters. I would say conversations – at least in the first episode – are the lowest point. Felt too straightforward too often, and when you got to have choices, they were the choices that change nothing to be fair.

I also have to admit that game did have some flaws that made me squint a little, however it’s been mostly graphic-related and we can forgive an indie team that. Every time you play an indie game you need to remember that there are not hundreds of people working on making those game perfect – it’s a much smaller team, and I remind myself how much easier it is to miss some things.

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Achievements. This game actually has quite a nice collection of them! Some of them are a bit ridiculous, but at least they do show a little bit of a challenge. Or at least they don’t focus only on progress in game but also on how you play the game. Besides the story, they are there to let you enjoy Bear with Me for a couple more minutes than you expected. And also, the game does have a bit of replay value – but if I told you what I know, I would spoil such a great surprise that awaits you in the very first episode! So rather than listen to me, go see what the game developers have  got for you there.

Is Bear with Me perfect? Well, of course not, I doubt any game is, and I would say Bear with Me could be polished a little bit more. But for me, my love for indie games came from the love for unique, original, and surprising stories, and that is something Bear with Me surely delivers. I’m truly happy I got to experience the first episode – and will try to experience the other two in near future! If you’re looking for a nice point-and-click game with a story that will keep you wanting to know more and more, Bear with Me is a perfect choice for some cold, winter evenings, with a nice hot of your favorite hot beverage.

Written for Indie Arcade january 2018