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9

Sidekick High

Game review

This is a very well done 1h adventure. It has nice puzzles (of the right difficulty) and the humor is IMO spot on as described (throwback to superhero comic series' and Lucasart Adventures). The 'useless' superpowers favorably remind of the old "Superhero League of Hoboken".

All contributers (artists, designers, programmers) together created a rounded gem of just 2 rooms that I would like to see expanded, if possible.

9

Static City

Game review - 1 agree

This is a very well done game that has you program (up to) 3 robots to navigate room systems that are littered with obstacles to circumvent and doors to activate. Static City has you graphically create programs for the robots. It starts easy but in the later levels coordinating 3 robots takes a bit of forthought.

I especially like the very good tutorial feature that shows you in-game how to accomplish the task of creating the progams from building blocks, which would be hard to describe in a purely text-based way.

The game has around 15 levels and will be over in an hour or two if you have some experience with programming. But the presentation is very good and watching the robots execute your well-thought plans is fun the whole time.

8

Monokrome

Game review - 1 agree

If you played Portal, you will be immediately at home in this game. Pressure plates that need to be pressed to activate some door or switch on/off some force field, individual puzzles that need to be solved with the given materials, some voice of unknown origin giving you tips and information and more similiarities are obvious.

The main difference is that instead of shooting portals, you manipulate a new material "Monokrome" with "NRG" of three varieties (violet, blue and yellow). Monokrome seems to exist mostly in the form of transportable cubes and the NRG can be found in some containers lying around.

All of this is explained and trained in the tutorial, though some exact interactions you have to find out during the game. The game takes place at some technical facility and you have to follow a linear path through it. Puzzles are sperated most often not by closing doors, but by barriers that forbid Monokrome or NRG to travel through. That way you don't need to wander if you should have brought some other NRG with you from the last puzzle or an additional Monokrome cube.

These barriers also play a role during the puzzles, where you may need to find creative ways to bring NRG to Monokrome when the obvious paths are blocked.

The puzzles are interesting and as in any good puzzle game, afterwards they often seem obvious. My one and only critizism is the lack of a save feature. Any game with limited resources (inside a puzzle) has the potential problem of the player wasting, destroying or otherwise making some resources no longer available to him. In a 3D physics game where you throw things around, this is especially true. The game tries very well to make this impossible, but twice I threw a cube out of my reach and once I "lost" NRG in a place where I could no longer get it from. If there was a save (or better auto save between puzzles) that would not be a problem. Now I'd have to restart the whole level again.

9

The Connection

Game review

This is a very nice first person puzzler. In an abstract black, white and grey cuboid world (see pictures), you'll solve many 3D puzzles. There are all of the same kind: You have to rotate small pieces arranged in a 3-dimensional grid so they connect to each other. They start "simple" with a 2x2x2 grid (a cube), but will become bigger over time.

Each puzzle will open a force field blocking your way, so you can continue exploring the world after you solved that puzzle. After the first puzzle, the world will split up into different paths (but not so many that you loose track).

There are also a few additional puzzles (of the same kind, with white pieces) that don't open a force field. I'm not sure if they are optional or provide another effect that I couldn't determine.

At the end of the game, once you've reached the game's destination, you are given a nice little experience for your effort.

Summary: If you are into abstract puzzles and not afraid of 3D, give this game a try.

8

Hyde

Game review - 2 agree

I really liked the experience of Hyde. It's creepy but more due to your own imagination than any explicite scares.

The game is not so much interactive but you can discover quite a bit about your in-game alter ego if you explore the levels. A little problem is that you can miss parts of a level if you stumble upon the end of that level (and then the level ends) before you can explore other parts (happened to me in the graveyard level).

But overall it's a good experience and the whole package (graphics, music, sound) creates an exceptional atmosphere.

8

Fibrillation

Game review - 2 agree - 2 disagree

From a game play standpoint, this is an exploration game in a 3D environment. This environment is mostly maze-like and often surreal. The horror element is really well done Amnesia style, with heart beats and vision changes doing most of the work.

Despite the lack of real interactivity with the environment (you can only move around, not do anything like open doors etc.), the game made me want to continue, made me want to see the next "crazy" level. The game is short, but not nearly as short as the 40 minutes remark of the author may make you believe.

This makes the lack of a save feature all the more problematic, as the real life tends to interrupt longer game play sessions. I also found one or two small secrets and I guess there may be some more, but the necessity of replaying the whole game until that point makes me unwilling to look for them in later levels.

The demo will show you if you like the game, the full game will bring more strange levels and the conclusion of the story.

8

The Kite

Game review - 4 agree - 2 disagree

Nice game with a few good puzzle ideas. It took me a little bit above 2 hours to go through, with being stuck for longer only once near the end.

The story about domestic abuse might be a little bit too clichéd, but for the short amount of play time more background information on the history of the characters probaly wouldn't have fit in.

One problem I'd like to mention is that near the game's beginning there is a puzzle involving a sheet of numbers. I think that the game gives you too little information on what you are supposed to do in this puzzle, which may stop players cold in their tracks and they might leave the game.

Being a math guy I took my time and eventually figured it out, but others may not persevere that much. It's not that the problem is hard to solve, it's hard to find out what the problem *is*. Considering that the remainder of the game uses good conventional inventory puzzles, having this under-specified one-of-a-kind puzzle near the game's beginning seems to me a bad thing.

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