Hey there folks, now while I’ve still got E3 moments to cover [ and Comic Con on the way ], I’m still devoted to smaller indie titles that grab my fun buttons. Today is no different, because I’ve found a game which I find quite intriguing. It’s an interactive narrative with Suessical meaning. It’s called Relive Your Life by Matt Ackerman, a game that keeps me coming back again and again. As you’ll see it’s affected my rhythm and verse, which unfortunately for readers, may come as a curse. Don’t believe me my friends? – Well you should try it out first!
What kind of person will you be?
Ackerman’s artistic endeavors and Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson’s narrative prose make for one of the most interesting games I’ve played in a while. Now the game has very simple mechanics, and all of them are keyboard based: “Press X a specific amount of times.”, “Type out this sentence to save your life.”, “Pet a pet in this sequence of arrow keys”, etc. and while it may seem easy I have to say, it’s one of the most frantic games I’ve played in a while. The game gives you a 5 – 6second window to complete these small keyboard-based tasks. This isn’t a ton of time, and so gamers with motion impairments or slower reflexes will have a tough time completing sections and changing your fate.
I’ll snuggle you for a better life teddy! You’ll be my friend!
Never fear my dear, for there’s something to help!
Their looks are so incredulous, because you’re just that dang AWESOME!
If you ever feel lost or give cause to yelp, well then after a play there’s a “Previous Chapter”A button you’ll press, when the pressure comes after. Heh. Rhyming isn’t helping is it? Well all I’ll say is that if you screw up you have an opportunity to replay the events over again and try for a different ending. There are 29 different stories in all and I’m intrigued enough to play through them all! If you’re totally into narrative storytelling like I am you’ll want to sit down with this little flash title and relive your life over and over again! You can play it for free today on Kongregate or even Newgrounds– both have the game, and I promise you’ll get addicted to a game that even Dr. Suess would be proud of!
Easy gameplay, with about 6 chapters per playthrough. 29 possible endings will keep you quite busy.
Colors are simple and clean. Easy for viewing and playing.
Game runs on keyboard based functions, and while not accessible for all gamers, it makes for simple gameplay.
Stories are fun, interesting, and keep gamers wanting to reach the end of their fate on each playthrough.
The interactions and stories are truly funny. Egoraptor’s dialog definitely amps up the enjoyment of this game!
A previous chapter function allows gamers to replay sections they may have messed up on to hopefully get new endings.
No subtitles for audio, which makes the game much harder for deaf gamers. However: Deaf gamers can read the script: HERE.
No audio cues. The game has audio that blind players can listen to, but no audio cues for when items are highlighted, etc.
Quick reflexes are needed for this game to be able to access ALL of the endings. A small window of time doesn’t give you much room.
Well, as I work hard on trying to get my Zombi-U impressions together, I figure I should actually give you folks a game to play today huh? It’s been a while. Well I’m kind of in love with the idea of text adventures right now. I know. They may not seem like much but, truth be told, they’re the building blocks of many of your favorite games you play today. Text adventures employ one fundamental game design technique that’s necessary to all games:
Look at how the pretty choice bubbles float around my head!
Choices. Choices. Choices. Ok – umm THIS ONE!
Providing the user choice over their actions gives a sense of meaning and interactivity to any action that players take within the game. It allows game characters to become more life like and real, stories to become more emotionally tense, and gamers wanting to continue with each passing moment. So without further adieu, considering I’m in a zombie mood, I present to you: Choice of Zombies
Note: I haven’t played through the whole thing. They’re rather extensive [which is nice.] but folks should be aware that it does contain some language and of course violence in this piece, so just use caution when playing.
It’s a text adventure game that drops you into, well an infected zombie world. You wake up one morning and discover a human leg in your kitchen, and then it’s up to you how to react to the scenario. The game is entirely multiple choice and incredibly easy to play, but what I love is that it’s kind of addictive. You start with one question, but find yourself thrown head long into trying to figure out when everyone started becoming zombies, trying to survive, etc.
One little, two little, three little zombies… four little… fiv-grraah!
There are plenty more games designed by a company called Choice of Games. They have a plethora of multiple choice text adventure titles to choose from. They even have an open source text adventure script that can be used to design your own text adventure games in the future. You can write your own story and Choice of Games will even help you host it on their site.
So, if you’re interested in text adventure games, if you long for the days of Zerg, and you just happen to have an affinity for zombies I’d give this game a look. Between Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Zombi-U, and Resident Evil 6on the horizon there’s plenty of zombies to look forward to – I just figured you all could use a little bite to tie you over. Enjoy my minions!
Hey there world, now I know I’ve been touting E3 Impressions all over the place this week, BUT you guys know [ if you’re regular viewers ] my real mission for this blog isn’t just to talk about or develop games, but rather give back to my community via games. It’s been a while since I’ve found a reason to celebrate games as a charity – today I may have found the golden egg of ALLHumble Bundles! Yep – that’s right! This Humble Bundle supports the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child’s Play. These charities help fund education and support providing video games to hospitals to provide kids with entertainment and fun.
Indie Games UNITE!
Now why am I so stoked about THISHumble Bundle V? WELL, as a designer, there comes a time where I have found games which I personally feel that no designer should go without playing. The games which should be your guide to artsy, pop-culture, wonder hits. The games that, whether it be mechanics, storyline, or artwork, blew fellow designers and myself away with how amazing these games were for some reason or another. So without further adieu let’s pull back the curtain on what I believe to be the BIGGEST, and BESTHumble Bundle package yet! Oh, and by the way, Tim Schafer is in the trailer!
1. Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP
Now I saw this game when it first came out as a tablet PC and iPhone game – and I was stunned by how cool it looked. It’s retro artistic vibe, with it’s text based dialogue, and it’s almost Zelda like adventure blew me away, and made me want to get a iPhone so bad! I’m stoked that it’s finally coming to a platform where I can have access to it and play it first hand all the way through! The story, art, and gameplay mechanics are something to admire and watch!
Here’s looking at you Tri-Force!
This game haunts my nightmares with how hauntingly beautiful and morbid this game is. You play as a young boy who is traversing this monochromatic black and white dreamscape. The puzzles are morbid and often end in the death of your character, but he comes back to life for you to try and try again. The gameplay mechanics are super simple [ one button for jump, the movement keys, and then another button to grab items ]
While it may seem odd and sort of macabre to take part in this death-defying dream puzzler, Limbo is hands down one of my favorite indie games. Each puzzle is super challenging and it keeps you invested with the emotion you feel for your little digital friend as he makes this journey. Produced by a company called Play Dead Studios [ fitting name ] it’s definitely one of the must see games on this list.
One small step for man… one giant leap for a boy.
3. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
I actually have never had first hand experience with this game, but that’s also because I tend to shy away from the horror genre of games. I’m trying my best to branch out though, and from what I’ve heard of this game – it’s a must see and experience. I’ll keep you all posted on the accessibility and the gameplay once I buy it and run a play through. Here is a trailer though, to give you an idea of the game:
Well, if this wasn’t the icing on the delicious cake that is this Humble Bundle V. Everyone should know by now that I’m sort of in love with a company called Double Fine Productions. I’m kind of infatuated with them and have been a long time fan of their work. Tim Schafer is like an icon in this industry to me, and one of the main reasons he’s had such an impact on my gaming life is because of THIS game!
Psychonauts is a quirky, off-the-wall, fun and whimsical adventure game. You – well, I would explain it, but honestly, the trailer speaks for itself:
Thanks Mr. Schafer. Thank you and your team for building such a memorable game.
5. Bastion [ If you pay over the average donation, which is $ 8.26 ]
A high-octane platforming narrative that really grasps you from the seat of your pants and carries you all the way to the end… umm… well, I guess there’s a better way to explain it. Perhaps the narrator of the game can:
6. Lone Survivor [ If you pay over the average donation. ]
This is one of the newest editions to the indie house of lovely games. You play as well, a lone survivor, in a pixelated platforming world. Evade pixel zombies, collect loot and resources, and do your best to survive this horrible fate – or you know? Die trying.
One man. Many zombies. All Pixels.
7. Braid [ If you pay over the average donation. ]
Well, how to describe this one? Oh yeah! Take a sprinkle of Prince of Persia [ the time altering ] and then add in some crazy puzzle mechanics that take my breathe away, and THEN compile it on one of the most beautifully retro, hand painted styles of art and graphics I’ve seen on an indie game and you’d have Braid. Enough said – for now.
Let’s do the Time Warp again!
8. Super Meat Boy [ If you pay over the average donation. ]
What do you get when you give a meat wad a lover? – separate them by force, and then ask the meat wad to come rescue his meaty bride? Well you get Super Meat Boy, and it’s one of the most odd, interesting, and funny experiences I’ve had in a game before. The game is definitely challenging, but it’s well worth the challenge – because the designers put so much time, effort, and love into this game. There is no way you’ll walk away from this game without a big, meaty smile on your face!
I’ll save you my ham-flavored princess! I just have to grind my way up the food chain!
I would try to give folks a full run down of all of these games [ and I may later ], but I would be so excited that it would take me a page for each one. Think about this for one moment. You not only get the GAMES, but you also acquire their SOUNDTRACKS – and ALL of these amazingly historic games can be gathered up for less than $10 dollars!! Are you kidding me right now?! That’s like someone knocking on your door mid-June and saying “Merry Christmas stranger!” leaving you some of the most lavish gifts they can give and then just driving away!
If you know nothing of these games, know this: Each of these games, in my personal opinion, contain an aspect of game design that I think EVERY designer should experience. Whether you’re a painter, a fashion designer, a game designer, or even a teacher – YOU SHOULD try these games. They’re emotional, challenging, and engaging stories that have captivated millions in the industry for one reason or another! What once were indie games nobody knew of, and few dared to explore, are some of the most cherished gems in gaming now. So, please, do yourself a favor and support a wonderful charity and grab these fantastic games while you still can.
YOU HAVE 5 Days left! 5! Games are supported for PC, Mac, and Linux! Go now and get your HUMBLE BUNDLE V! Make the most of it! Let your indie gamer live!