Review: Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love

Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love

Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love

When I first saw this game, I have to admit, I instantly wanted it. it appealed to me in a way I doubt it would appeal to many people. It called out to the same part of myself that cleared away every last destructable block in Dig n Rig. This game, may very well be my downfall.

That said, what is Cube & Star? Well, thing is, I don’t rightly know. I figured I would play the game and put out a nice informative review out there for people explaining just what it is. However, that simply isn’t going to happen.

Plenty of collectible items!

I did find myself caring less and less exactly what was going on the longer I played. I sort of just flowed with it, and despite having what appears to be no real goal in mind, it was relaxing.

I say there are no goals, there are things to collect however. Things being about as descriptive as I can get, because as with everything else, I have no idea what the things I’m collecting are. Or in the end, what they’ll do.

The most useful items I collected seem to be a set of different ‘super powers’ if you will. But even those, I can’t say a thing about. I don’t really know what they do or how they do it.

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Filling in the entire map could take a lifetime.

Cube & Star is simply a complete mystery. But it appeals to me as I said, just the simple act of filling in the enormous map with color fills me with a sense of accomplishment. But will such an endless task appeal to everyone? Most definitely not. I imagine quite a few people would be entirely put off by this game.

I am not one of those people. I will continue to play it in the future, and endeavor to fill every last pixel with color, collect every last… thing, and perhaps even, in the end, discover just what exactly is going on.

I give Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love a 5 out of 5. Honestly, I think you’ll either love it or hate it.

5stars

(And thank you Cagdas for gifting me with this game!)

Review: 10,000,000

10,000,000

10,000,000

I’m not sure what makes 10,000,000 so good, but for some reason, when I start playing it, I just can’t stop. It certainly isn’t because I’m good at the game, because I’m actually really, really bad at it. But despite my repeated failures, I just can’t stop.

For a prison cell, it’s very spacious.

So what about 10,000,000 makes you keep coming back? The answer to that is, I have no idea. Really, it shouldn’t be fun, but it is. It’s frustrating, makes you feel slow and stupid, but you just have to play one more time. But one more time turns into 2, which turns into 10, and then 2 hours later, you wonder what it is you’re doing with your life.

For added addiction, objectives!

The premise couldn’t be simpler, it’s just a match 3 game. A meta-game surrounds that simple premise. You are in prison, to escape you need to score 10,000,000. To do this, you run a dungeon, over and over and over again. To run the dungeon, you play the match 3 game. To attack monsters you match either a magic ability or melee attack. To open a door or chest, you have to match keys. To defend yourself, you match shields. And to further the meta-game, you match wood or stone resources in order to open up upgrades back in your cell.

It looks deceptively easy…

All the while, the screen inches ever closer to your character, putting on the pressure to match 3 as quickly as possible. That mechanic is so much more stressful than a simple counter counting down.

As I said, it really shouldn’t be as entertaining as it is. But it’s addicting. You should play it, and say goodbye to the next few hours of your life.

I give 10,000,000 a 4 out of 5. I look forward to what EightyEightGames comes out with next!

4stars

Upcoming: Coming Out On Top

Coming Out On Top

Coming Out On Top is an upcoming dating sim by Obscurasoft. Dating sims hold a special place in a corner of my heart. I know it seems silly, but I find them to be quite entertaining. There is one catagory of dating sim that seems to be lacking in the market; boys dating boys.

I realize there are some people who are horrified at this point, and I suggest you probably just go now. But I think it’s wonderful and I truly hope more such games are on the horizon.

While you can’t yet purchase the game, there is a demo available. If this game sounds like something you would be interested in (and you’re 18+), I highly suggest you check it out.

The demo, while not terribly long, gives you an idea of what’s in store in the final game. Some art assests are temperary, but character drawings are a clear sign of the very well done art to look forward to.

You play Mark, a young man coming to terms with his sexuality. In the beginning, you take the big step of coming out to your closest friends, and your adventure begins there.

I’ve played the demo a few times and found it quite fun to also chose the ‘wrong’ path. Having your character sit down for a chat with you about your bad decisions was incredibly amusing. Even playing properly had me in stitches a time or two.

The demo is just enough to leave you wanting more. And more is definitely what I want. I’ve found myself checking the website daily for updates now. So give it a chance and check it out!  In case you didn’t catch the links to the site above, here it is one more time!

And Obscurasoft, if I don’t get to play your game soon, I may just die of anticipation!

Review: Kami

KAMI

KAMI

KAMI is a beautiful and simplistic puzzler that makes you think, while still managing to relax you. However, despite that, unfortunately every part of it screams ‘mobile port’. While I have nothing against ports, I still believe at least a minimal effot needs to be made in porting it. KAMI does not feature even the basic of settings, not even a volume slider. It still has it’ s in-app purchase mechanics, minus the ability to purchase anything.

No settings?

KAMI’s price does reflect the non-effort put into porting the game. However if the minimal effort had put into the PC version, I believe they could have charged a slightly higher price.

Despite all of that, as I said, KAMI is beautiful. The puzzles feature folded paper, which your goal is to turn it all into a single color with a minimal number of clicks. I found even the sound of the paper turning wonderful. The puzzles can be challenging, but for each new set, they teach you exactly how to go about solving them.

It is very beautiful.

Besides the lack of PC settings, the most glaring thing missing is the ability to make user created levels. It saddens me this wasn’t something they strived to include, because that alone would have greatly lengthened the life of their wonderful puzzler. And this game is rather short, even with the inclusion of the ‘premium’ levels. With what appears to be only one solution to each puzzle, there is really no replay value to the game.

I give KAMI a 2 out of 5. It pains me to do so, but there was no effort put into porting. Also the exclusion of an editor is a painful absence.

2stars

Review: Gone Home

Gone Home

Gone Home

Gone Home may not be what many typically call a game, but it is an experience. It’s an experience I recommend everyone to have because it’s quite simply perfect.

Perfect is a strong word to use, I know. But every element comes together so well, it’s hard to not call it perfect. It’s a truly touching story and difficult to talk about without ruining the experience for someone yet to play it.

Is someone watching me?

So I won’t say much about Gone Home, except that it will touch you. It will remind you of your own childhood. So much I saw and heard while playing made me smile with my own memories. Some also made me look back on my memories with different eyes.

Gone Home isn’t a horror game, yet the atmosphere will leave you shaken and wondering what is down the hall or around the next corner.

Go into the game unspoiled, experience it completely for yourself. It’s elegantly put together in such a way that it never leaves you wandering about looking for the next bit of story, but leads you seamlessly from one place to the next. But even in it’s leading, you never feel as if you’re doing anything but exploring for yourself, every discovery leaving you curious for ore.

I give Gone Home 5 out of 5. It may be a short game, but you’ll never forget it.

5stars

Review: Loki

Loki

I know what you’re thinking. And no, this isn’t some bad movie-game tie-in of Thor or The Avengers. So go ahead and get that out of your head right now. It is however deeply rooted in all sorts of Mythology, and not just Norse. So if that isn’t even remotely your cup of tea, you’ll probably want to steer clear of this game.  I just so happen to be a fan of Mythology, so having a game delve deeply into that aspect thrilled me.

Character carousel!

You start off by choosing one of four different Heroes. As the game was called Loki, I went ahead and chose the Norse character (your basic weapon swinging brute). However there are also Aztec, Greek, and Egyptian heroes. The Norse and Greek appear to be warriors, Norse being your male option and Greek being the female one. The Aztec and Egyptian heroes appear to be the magical ones, with once again a male and female option, Aztec being female and Egyptian the male.

Well, he’s no Chris Hemsworth.

As I said, I dove into the Norse character, however I also quickly dabbled in the Aztec one as well. All characters have their own unique story-line and locations. However it would seem at some point down the line, the story-lines converge. I’m making this assumption from the fact that you, in your starting areas, loot items that only the other heroes can use. I’m not sure why else they would be available in your area if the other heroes could never access them.

Not that I don’t appreciate the view dude, but aren’t you cold?

Now while reading reviews, I heard a lot about how difficult the game was. So when creating my character, I went ahead and put it on the easiest difficulty. Either the devs accidentally switched the easiest and hardest difficulties, or someone really needs to be taught the meaning of the word. Or maybe I’m just a complete wuss. But easy was hard. Not just difficult hard, but insane, this is impossible hard. Nearly right away you’re sent on quests that put you head on against a group of 20+ enemies, all with a significantly higher HP then you have. You are going to die. You are going to die a lot.

Fountains of blood aren’t nearly as fun when they’re your own.

The worst part is there really isn’t any area to grind in. There’s one small area with a few wolves in it, but once you kill them, they’re gone. So yes, be prepared for rampant frustrations.  As much as I’m not a fan of grinding, the inability to do so adds an extra, unneeded difficulty factor.

Can you say overkill with a capital BEAR?

Also, In line with my short attention span, I really glazed over the tutorial stuff, which bit me in the ass. I suggest paying it a bit more attention then I did, which will save you some confusion later.

Let’s go ahead and touch individually on some major aspects of the game.

The Inventory System. Okay so… I’m a loot whore. I’ll own up to it right now. And Loki’s inventory system really lets me love my loot. First of all, it isn’t based on weight, but by slots, and each category has it’s own number of slots. There are weapons, armor, and other (potions and such). You can also sort your loot on the fly, just by clicking you can send it to a section just for selling later, getting it out of your main inventory. There is also quite a lot of variety, you will pick up 20 of the same item, but you will also see a lot of awesome items mixed in. Picking up loot could be faster. There is probably a hot-key for this, however I wasn’t really paying attention to that tutorial…

This next part, some people might find cheating a bit. However, once I discovered I could do this, I was most happy. You at any time can teleport back to the village, sell your shit, and teleport right back to where you just were. That’s right, you don’t have to drop loot to make room for better loot. Just sell the whole lot! Gold appears to be pretty worthless in this game, you get a lot of it, and very, very fast.

Skills. I can’t really say much about skills I”m afraid. I’m not sure if this is a general bug or if it’s just me, but the first skill I got for my character, upon using it, turned my entire screen a light blue and it wouldn’t go away. And naturally, during my blindness, I died. So for now, I’ve just been focused on the passive abilities you can choose. However, you choose how quickly you wish to gain skills and what tree you wish to gain skills in, at a statue. As for the how quickly you gain skills, you determine how much of your XP goes towards them. Therefore the more XP you dedicate towards gaining more skills, the slower you will level up. Choose wisely, as I mentioned before, there is no grinding. If for some reason you cannot progress further, you are stuck for good.

The World. I have to say, I think Loki is quite beautiful. The locations vary quite a lot, so you never have to look at any one place for too long. The map however, is balls and practically useless for anything besides pointing yourself in the right direction.

So this game does has it’s flaws. But I find them to be few enough that I still thoroughly enjoyed the game.  It’s certainly not the best Diablo-like RPG out there, I’d say it’s middle of the road. If you enjoy mythology, it makes the story-line much more appealing, and thus perhaps raising it above some of the other fair to middling Diablo clones.

The game managed to hold my attention fairly well. I spent several hours at a time playing. and while dying a lot was frustrating, I didn’t rage quit (much).

I give Loki a 3 out of 5 in it’s respective genre. I enjoyed the game and would recommend it to lovers of the genre who are also mythology fans.

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Welcome!

Let’s go ahead and get the awkward introductions out of the way!

I am Jess, AKA The Sweetheart Gamer!  And I, quite obviously, am a gamer!

Anyway, I have the attention span of a gnat, which may be somewhat of a generous estimation. It takes a lot for a game to keep me hooked for hours on end. And more often then not, I spend most of that time goofing off in one form or another. And if there is no way to in fact goof off in a game, I’ll just move onto something else. But for a game to keep my attention and actually playing the game properly, now that is an achievement. In some cases a really good game can’t hold my attention for long, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad game, which is why I don’t simply judge games based on how long I can play them without falling into madness.  And I will, inevitably, Fus-Ro-Dah Lydia off the highest cliff I can find, over and over again.

Along with reviews, I’ll spotlight in-development indie games that have caught my eye and I’m looking forward to playing.  There will be videos from time to time, giveaways, and livestreams.  There may also be other random gaming related things to be seen.

I am in no way claiming to be a great gamer (obviously).  At most I’d say I’m okay, leaning more towards ‘not horrible’.  So don’t expect to see me playing Dark Souls on super-insane-perma-death mode. Actually, don’t expect me to play Dark Souls at all, I’m not a masochist. Also, I am a PC only gamer. You won’t be seeing any console gaming going on here, sorry to disappoint. I do play some games on my iPhone, so I may or may not put up any reviews on those.

Thanks for stopping by!