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Adventure Games Thread 2021 - The Future of Fine Leather Jackets

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
So, I recently played

And

Quick review 'cause I'm lazy, feel free to ask for details.
The first one is a typical Monkey Meets Lovecraft. The animations, the music (the map music feels a lot like Melée map music), the details all are Monkey. It's a short game, so the SCUMM-like interface is basically never used as it should. It's a good little adventure, quite amateurish, but WAY overpriced for what it's worth.
The second one is bigger and more developed. Sadly, it loses the SCUMM interface, but it won't have been used as it should neither in this sequel. Gorgeous backgrounds but the characters aren't on par, their style remind me of Zak. Not bad, just... not awesome pixel art. Dialogue can sometimes feel juvenile and forced, but overall it's well written and the story is interesting and compelling. Also some good puzzles, but it's really an easy game, you're warned. All in all, I really liked it, especially the alchemy between the 3 main characters and the part in the camp. Reminded me a lot of my old Call of Cthulhu P&P games.

Now I just started
Feel kind of weird. Not completely sold on the pixel art, but it's a pure matter of taste. Hate the interface, but it fits the game. One thing to note: the character is not animated, when you exit a scene he doesn't walk to the exit, it just switch panel. But again, I just started it, take my words with a grain of salt. I have a good feeling about it, actually.

Might check out Mountains of Madness, I've been seeing some good impressions despite common drawbacks that have been cited as well. Glad you enjoyed it. But on the subject of the SCUMM style 9verb interface, a new game using it was just announced and it looks pretty good.

Seems like they intend to use those verbs, too.
  • 9 verb interface: Using the classic nine verb interface is in line with our approach to puzzle design. We want the player to think their way through our game, and we find this type of interface really engages the player and allows for more creative puzzles.

The game basically looks like if Snatcher/Blade Runner/Total Recall was remade as a mid 90s SCUMM game. The main character is actually kind of a dead wringer for Snatcher's protagonist, Gillian Seed.


Probably because they're both trying to look like Harrison Ford from Blade Runner, though. In any case I like the look of the game and the sprites. Haven't combed over all the details in their campaign yet but I'd definitely say the game is on my radar now.

Also, that Inspector Waffles game just got a really fantastic score on Adventure Gamers. Not gonna lie, I'd seen it around but didn't look much into it due to the relatively primitive pixel art style. Curious to know if it's really that good.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Might check out Mountains of Madness, I've been seeing some good impressions despite common drawbacks that have been cited as well. Glad you enjoyed it. But on the subject of the SCUMM style 9verb interface, a new game using it was just announced and it looks pretty good.

Seems like they intend to use those verbs, too.


The game basically looks like if Snatcher/Blade Runner/Total Recall was remade as a mid 90s SCUMM game. The main character is actually kind of a dead wringer for Snatcher's protagonist, Gillian Seed.


Probably because they're both trying to look like Harrison Ford from Blade Runner, though. In any case I like the look of the game and the sprites. Haven't combed over all the details in their campaign yet but I'd definitely say the game is on my radar now.

Also, that Inspector Waffles game just got a really fantastic score on Adventure Gamers. Not gonna lie, I'd seen it around but didn't look much into it due to the relatively primitive pixel art style. Curious to know if it's really that good.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

New story trailer from Harold Halibut. It's been quite some time since I've seen anything new from this game, wasn't even sure it was still being made. The art style and general atmosphere of the game are quite appealing. We've seen hand-crafted/stop motion style visuals in games before but it's still pretty unique and Slow Bros are seemingly doing it on a very high level.

It sucks that they seem to be taking the puzzle/problem solving-less route. I hope there's at least some form of interactivity besides walking around. I got around to finally playing Firewatch, recently. It was the one Walking Sim I always figured I might enjoy and I did but that game works for very specific reasons. For one there actually is thinking involved in terms of navigation, especially if you play on the mode without map assistance like I did. There's also this hot & cold radar thing at the end. So there actually are some light puzzle mechanics in the game that keep it from feeling completely sterile. But more importantly the game is constantly engaging you in conversation via the Walkie Talkie and it's only like 4 hours long so it doesn't really get a chance to overstay its welcome. You're actually constantly engaged in a form of gameplay even if it is casual. Other Walking Sims I've tried have too much "dead air" by comparison and that's kind of my concern for Harold Halibut. Hopefully I'm wrong, though, they still haven't shown too much of the game yet.
 

Fuz

Gold Member

New story trailer from Harold Halibut. It's been quite some time since I've seen anything new from this game, wasn't even sure it was still being made. The art style and general atmosphere of the game are quite appealing. We've seen hand-crafted/stop motion style visuals in games before but it's still pretty unique and Slow Bros are seemingly doing it on a very high level.

It sucks that they seem to be taking the puzzle/problem solving-less route. I hope there's at least some form of interactivity besides walking around. I got around to finally playing Firewatch, recently. It was the one Walking Sim I always figured I might enjoy and I did but that game works for very specific reasons. For one there actually is thinking involved in terms of navigation, especially if you play on the mode without map assistance like I did. There's also this hot & cold radar thing at the end. So there actually are some light puzzle mechanics in the game that keep it from feeling completely sterile. But more importantly the game is constantly engaging you in conversation via the Walkie Talkie and it's only like 4 hours long so it doesn't really get a chance to overstay its welcome. You're actually constantly engaged in a form of gameplay even if it is casual. Other Walking Sims I've tried have too much "dead air" by comparison and that's kind of my concern for Harold Halibut. Hopefully I'm wrong, though, they still haven't shown too much of the game yet.
Looks fantastic but... thinking of Truberbrook
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Fuz Fuz Yeah, It's kinda hard not to draw parallels. But already within the few minutes of Harold's story trailer the writing seems much more competent than Truberbrook (which showed off worryingly little pre-release). So I'm fairly optimistic on that front. Gameplay is a concern, but at the very least I'd take a game that intends to be a challenge free experience over a game that apes the structure of traditional adventures, only to water it down so severely that nothing's left.
 
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Fuz

Gold Member
So... Inspector Waffles.

I quite enjoyed it. There's some good writing and good characters. It's different from other anthropomorphic animal games, in the sense that usually they are basically just people with animal features, while those characters are pets, and we see a pretty huge number of references to cardboard boxes, litter, wool balls and other quirks house pets have. The pixel art is cute, but it's really basic and it may not be for everyone. The puzzles are mostly resolved through dialogues, which threw me off a bit in the beginning. Good storytelling, though.
It's an easy game and I never got stuck, but there's a REALLY STUPID "puzzle" at the end that got me stumped until I solved it, then I checked some walkthroughs to see if that really was the (only) solution and well, it was. I know this sounds strange, so full explanation in spoiler: the only way to pass the big cat guard at the door near the end is to use the games' hint system, which is something I avoided to do through the whole game. This is worse than counterintuitive. Pissed me off quite a lot. I can't understand how the fuck they thought that would have been a good idea. Incidentally, that scene also showcases the stupidest writing (with a deus ex as a cherry on top) in the whole game.
Summing up: enjoyable game, nice quirky detective story, but probably not for everyone.

Fun fact: my brain can't stop seeing Waffles' tail as a duck (it's white with an orange/brown tip).
"Oh, there's a duck there in the murder scene - no wait... oh it's just his tail."
"There's a duck in that corner... ah, no, right, the tail."
"Why is there a duck behind that windo... GODDAMMIT!"
 

Fuz

Gold Member
I started Chicken Police yesterday night.



(Yeah. I'm in a "red zone", meaning that we're basically under hard lockdown)

First impressions. I'm really a sucker for old noir and hard boiled (pun intended) settings. And on this regard CP is FUCKING FANTASTIC. There's everything you could ask for with a zoofile twist, you just expect to find Humprey Dogart somewhere while playing. The B&W tones, the fantastic characters, the jazz music, the amazing dialogues... it's all there. The art is really, really great and well thought out.
Putting that aside, the animal twist works quite well - species keep their uniqueness and distinctive traits without those overwhelming the narrative. Maybe it's just a little glaze that I will scratch by playing more, but so far the impression is really good. I'll be honest, I didn't think it would have when I learned of the game, it felt just like a silly pointless thing.
Now for the downsides. The interrogations feel a bit random in the outcomes, meaning that you can't really reason and pick the good choices, feels like it's mostly luck. Anyway, you can repeat them until you get the sequence you want, and that is NOT a good thing in my opinion. First, making mistakes seems unconsequential to the game progression anyway, and second, it make the experience feel cheap and disconnected.
The game also dearly misses a log for dialogues, so if you click by mistake you can lose a sentence that you'll might only see by restarting the game or on Youtube.
Oh, and there's this new fucking annoying trend of having only an autosave. I had to repeat a small scene today that I already did yesterday night. I bloody hate not having save slots.
Worst downside though... I haven't found any puzzle yet, other than the interrogations. I haven't played much, but I still played enough to expect some gameplay. And there's basically none.
So... I fear it's a fucking visual novel. Not a game. What a letdown.
Still, I'm in love with its atmosphere.
 
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protonion

Member
Just finished the first case of Darkside Detective Fumble in The Dark.
Unlike the first game, it was quite lengthy with several special puzzles towards the end.

I praised the first game a couple of posts above, but I have to say the sequel seems to be a step down humor wise. It is more wordy and without any of the wit of the first game. At least so far.

Still, I highly recommend both games.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

Announcement made for a sequel to Oxenfree. Still have not gotten around to playing the first game but from what I can tell the new one looks a bit more grim.

Worst downside though... I haven't found any puzzle yet, other than the interrogations. I haven't played much, but I still played enough to expect some gameplay. And there's basically none.

Hopefully there's more to it as the game goes on. I was hoping for some cool detective stuff out of that one.
 
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Fuz

Gold Member
Hopefully there's more to it as the game goes on. I was hoping for some cool detective stuff out of that one.
There are a few minigames and a small puzzle. Nothing that I would file under "gameplay", though. It's a visual novel.

Still, everything else is amazing. The characters are fantastic (I especially love Marty) and the writing is great. So far.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Completed it.
If you guys don't hate visual novels with a few minigames, get it. It's really great for reasons already mentioned. Hell, I hate visual novels and I loved it.
If this game had proper detective gameplay, it would have been a masterpiece for the ages. I hope for a sequel.
My biggest pet peeve is sometimes getting locked out of locations and potentially actually very easily in a specific location missing out stuff. And since there is just the fucking autosave you can't go back if you don't replay all the game from the beginning.
Still. Fantastic characters and style.

I already miss those two big cocks...
 
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Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

Cyberpunk, or I guess "Jazz-Punk," adventure with a unique puzzle mechanic where you mine people's brains for information by inputting keywords to access different data entries. It was interesting to a certain extent in the demo I played but I'm not entirely sure how it'd pan out for a full game. I see a lot of influence from The Red Strings Club in this title but the game's presence isn't quite so distinct. Somewhat interested in this but I'm gonna wait a bit for reviews & impressions.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

Cool documentary looking behind the scenes on the making of Titanic: Adventure out of Time. I think presenter kind of overhypes how novel the technology behind the game was but it's a good watch regardless and actually has original interview content. I can still remember a time where in depth gaming content like this was super rare, so I really love that people are making loving retrospectives like this on YT. Especially for relatively obscure games.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Capcom announces Great Ace Attorney Chronicles coming out July 27th!


These are some of the best Ace Attorney games ever made. Must play for adventure fans imo, especially fans of Japanese adventures.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Capcom announces Great Ace Attorney Chronicles coming out July 27th!


These are some of the best Ace Attorney games ever made. Must play for adventure fans imo, especially fans of Japanese adventures.
Oh nice, I like Ace Attorney games. I just hope there's less hand holding and less situations where the game takes the control out of your hands.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Oh nice, I like Ace Attorney games. I just hope there's less hand holding and less situations where the game takes the control out of your hands.
Ace Attorney games have an odd difficulty curve where it ramps up gradually throughout a case, then eases back off at the start of the next one. But also while trending upward in difficulty overall.

In general, it's not a terribly challenging game. There are several parts of the various cases where the puzzles do get tricky and require genuine thought. The difficulty in case 3 of the second game, which I recently played the fan translation of, surprised me in certain ways (it's usually taken for granted that if you press on a piece of witness testimony and get new info, that new info is crucial to the deduction. but in this case there multiple deductions necessary to advance within one testimony so you couldn't be certain of that.)

But speaking of taking control out of your hands... Should someone be the kind of person who wants that, the option is available.


This will actually come in handy so I'm not forced to replay the first 3 cases of the second game lol.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Yeah, I played the first 2-3 games (can't even remember...) on my DS. I really liked them - great characters, good stories with nice twists, good "puzzles"... I rather had none of that paranormal shit, though. I hated how damn much time is wasted just advancing dialogues or doing the single thing the game force you to do. Or, typical for Jap games, when they keep stating something over and over and over again until you puke. Tried to replay one of them some months ago but I just couldn't... way too slow.

Ace Attorney games have an odd difficulty curve where it ramps up gradually throughout a case, then eases back off at the start of the next one. But also while trending upward in difficulty overall.

In general, it's not a terribly challenging game. There are several parts of the various cases where the puzzles do get tricky and require genuine thought. The difficulty in case 3 of the second game, which I recently played the fan translation of, surprised me in certain ways (it's usually taken for granted that if you press on a piece of witness testimony and get new info, that new info is crucial to the deduction. but in this case there multiple deductions necessary to advance within one testimony so you couldn't be certain of that.)

But speaking of taking control out of your hands... Should someone be the kind of person who wants that, the option is available.


This will actually come in handy so I'm not forced to replay the first 3 cases of the second game lol.
This sounds like it just advances everything for you, but you can't really skip.

The poblem, however, is not about "skipping" stuff (which I Loathe) - it's a design problem.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
This sounds like it just advances everything for you, but you can't really skip.

The poblem, however, is not about "skipping" stuff (which I Loathe) - it's a design problem.

Used in conjunction with holding down left ctrl (or turbo clicking if it comes to that) I'll hopefully be able to speed through the cases I've already played. Or maybe I'll just replay them anyway cause this game kicks ass.

Also my bad for the confusion, I wasn't really bringing it up in relation to your issue with hand holding. I was just reading through the features & details on the games site and threw that in because I think it's interesting that so many games are including features like this now.

To your actual point I think the most classic example of over hand holding in AA is the 2nd case of the first game. Where there's extra information on the back of a receipt but the game doesn't let you examine it yourself so that it can be dramatically revealed at the plot's convenience later in the case. Great Ace Attorney doesn't have shit like that. The biggest issue in that regard is I think GAA lets the hints fly a bit too freely, but they come at predictable moments (after you've tapped through every node of testimony and your legal assistant chimes in with their perspective) so I just elect not to read it. It's more enjoyable for me that way.
 
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Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Some new games that were recently announced, starting with The Season of the Warlock:

Aside from a degree of jerkiness, and possibly some odd timing, to the animation Season of the Warlock looks really nice. Has the look of the high resolution Euro-Adventures of the mid to late 00s. Something that Pendulo or KingArtsGames would make. The game promises two different routes depending on a key choice early on. Perhaps similar to what was done with Fate of Atlantis?


Skaramazuzu has a pretty nice minimalistic and creepy style. Aesthetically it kind of reminds me of The Longing. Not too much to go off of yet but it's coming out later this year.




Tears of Themis is an Ace Attorney-esque detective adventure + Otome game (romance game for women) by Mihoyo, the Chinese developer behind best known for Genshin Impact. It actually looks very well put together from the trailer and other media I skimmed through. I don't really play mobile games too much, so I'd prefer a PC release but if the mystery writing is actually high quality I'd check it out.


Details are sparse for this one, although there is a free prologue available to check out, apparently it's about a little robot going on a journey of self discovery. Perhaps somewhat similar to another upcoming tiny robot adventure "Life of Delta." This game looks a fair bit more bleak than that one. Some of the areas in this game remind me of Discworld Noir, which is definitely a great comparison to evoke.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Westwood Shadows explores the intense story of Peter Bennet who gets involved into a case about a missing couple. Soon he finds out that the husband was working at a mental asylum and he was conducting a research over a mysterious disappearance of patients. After the couple goes missing the detective assigned to their case locates the husband’s research files and among them something he would never thought he would find.

KEY FEATURES:
• First person thriller adventure - Explore the environment through the eyes of Peter. Listen to his thoughts and observe all the surrounding elements.
• Story-based puzzles - Sharpen your mind with each puzzle and learn about the story by solving them.
Westwood Shadows is a thriller/detective adventure game with a Kickstarter launching soon and a planned release date of sometime this year. There is a demo currently available for it as well. I've been somewhat busy lately but I plan on checking it out soon. I'd be down for a creepy detective game that's not full-blown horror.
 

TripleSun

Member

Westwood Shadows is a thriller/detective adventure game with a Kickstarter launching soon and a planned release date of sometime this year. There is a demo currently available for it as well. I've been somewhat busy lately but I plan on checking it out soon. I'd be down for a creepy detective game that's not full-blown horror.
Vibe seems cool but I always wonder if these type of adventures are “survival” based. I like creepy atmosphere but don’t like being hunted and such.
 

New Pushing Up Roses video about Jenny Le Clue. Haven't watched the video yet but I have been kinda wanting to replay Jenny Le Clue since they added VA with that update.

Interesting. Heard it ends on a huge cliffhanger and with these kind of games theres very little chance to see a sequel. Might bite if the second part is surely coming.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Oh...from the videos I imagined it would have some detective puzzle solving stuff-. Is that not the case?
It does have puzzles in the form of deductions (combining clues), environmental puzzles and a few independent logic puzzles but none of them are particularly challenging. Personally, I found them entertaining in their own right but considering how you've felt about other modern casual adventures idk if you'd like Jenny.

I suppose you could always play it for an hour or so and refund it, if it's not to your taste. You'd get a solid idea of what the game is like in that time.
 
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It sucks that they seem to be taking the puzzle/problem solving-less route. I hope there's at least some form of interactivity besides walking around. I got around to finally playing Firewatch, recently. It was the one Walking Sim I always figured I might enjoy and I did but that game works for very specific reasons. For one there actually is thinking involved in terms of navigation, especially if you play on the mode without map assistance like I did. There's also this hot & cold radar thing at the end. So there actually are some light puzzle mechanics in the game that keep it from feeling completely sterile. But more importantly the game is constantly engaging you in conversation via the Walkie Talkie and it's only like 4 hours long so it doesn't really get a chance to overstay its welcome. You're actually constantly engaged in a form of gameplay even if it is casual. Other Walking Sims I've tried have too much "dead air" by comparison and that's kind of my concern for Harold Halibut. Hopefully I'm wrong, though, they still haven't shown too much of the game yet.

Agree that Firewatch did it perfectly, and few walking sims are aware of how to pull it off.

I've enjoyed others in the genre, though. Things like Edith Finch, or Ethan Carter, or other pseudo games with only sparse interaction. When the details are handled well and you have enough freedom, it can feel like a holdeck experience, journeying into another world in a way that watching a film can't pull off. However, there are plenty of failures... one I'd mention is 11-11: Memories Retold, which had big names attached (Elijah wood voice acting, for instance) and plenty of production value, but just failed to make the interactivity pay off in any way, so it became a chore to complete.
 
It does have puzzles in the form of deductions (combining clues), environmental puzzles and a few independent logic puzzles but none of them are particularly challenging. Personally, I found them entertaining in their own right but considering how you've felt about other modern casual adventures idk if you'd like Jenny.

I suppose you could always play it for an hour or so and refund it, if it's not to your taste. You'd get a solid idea of what the game is like in that time.

Well I'd like my brain tickled once in a while so I suppose if they're just easy stuff it might not be for me but then again if the story is great and if theres a sequel coming, I'll bite. Fuck, I hope Strangeland has some bit of brain teasing in it.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

New papercraft adventure game Papetura is out today. Seems to be in the Machinarium, Neverhood, Luna: The Shadow Dust mold of adventure design. That is to say, non-verbal storytelling, moreso puzzle focused and a "room-to-room" style of progression. Is Gobliiins another one like this? In any case this style isn't necessarily my go to but I did enjoy last year's Luna, and I love the hand-crafted art style of Papetura so I'm definitely going to give it a shot.
 
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bought Myst for Oculus Quest, never played the original, though did play countless clones and a kind of follow-up in Cyan's own Obduction - itself in VR too.

it's very formidable but also very dated. In any case, a great game worthy of all the influence it has had on the genre.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

based on this it sounds like its going to be one hell of an adventure game. Hopefully it ends up delivering. Quite excited.
Excited for this one as well. Looks like a LucasArts inspired adventure that's getting it right beyond the superficial aspects. One of those games that's supposed to have been out every year for the past 3 but I hope this year's the one.

---
Chapters 1 & 2 of The Dream Machine are free to keep for a limited time on Steam. Played the first chapter and it was a cool game with a very unique atmosphere to it. Definitely worth giving a shot for free.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
For anyone here who also reads the PC 98 Appreciation thread, you may have seen me talk about playing untranslated Japanese adventures after discovering RetroArch's "AI Service" feature. To briefly summarize, you hit a button and it places translated text atop your game screen. It was, surprisingly, not total shit and I wasn't expecting that. Looking further into things, I got even better results using Google's translate app on my phone and later on even better results with an app called "DeepL."

The first game I tried out was an obscure PS1 adventure game named Aconcagua. I chose it because Aconcagua, according to what I've read, was Sony's attempt to capture the Argentinian market where the PS1 had become a surprise hit. For whatever reason because of this the game has full English VA for all its cut-scenes (you'd think Spanish, but I guess Argentina has a high English speaking population). I figured this game would make a good test case because even if the machine translations failed me I'd still have a decent idea of what was going on from the English cutscenes.

Well, as it turns out, the translations didn't fail me and were 80~90% easily comprehensible, with an unexpected number of them reading pretty naturally to boot. As it turns out, Aconcagua is actually a real hidden gem of a game. If Resident Evil is like a campy Japanese take on 80's American horror movies, Aconcagua is the same for action movies of the "Die Hard" or "Every Liam Neeson movie" variety. You just blow up a glorious amount of shit in this game. It also has some depth to it, featuring a Maniac Mansion-like character switching system, where you need to think about who does what or coordinate people at various hotspots to pull off team actions.


(some clips I took showing off Aconcagua's gameplay)
Well, after briefly clawing my way out from this rabbit hole with a Yakuza 0 playthrough (that game kicks ass btw), I'm back on my bullshit. Returning head-first into those depths, this time with no safety net, playing through the PC98 horror classic: Isaku.

Isaku is a game about 9 high school students who have been trapped in an old abandoned high school building that's located in the woods behind their actual school by a psycho janitor, aptly named Isaku. After being lured to the delipidated building with personalized anonymous letters, the students find the doors locked and occasionally notice a shadowy figure darting around, just out of view. You play as Kenta (a slacker everyman type, of course, slightly pervy), there's you best friend Jinpachi (a student reporter who has hidden microphones set up in faculty offices), Miyuki (who's sister was assaulted amidst rumors that Isaku is to blame), Akemi (friend of Kenta and Jinpachi who prefers older guys), Kotomi (the girl Kenta is desperately crushing on), Munemitsu (arrogant son of the administrator and Kotomi's childhood friend), Rika (a small, timid, girl who's desperately crushing on Kenta) and Mrs. Takashima (who was teaching their summer class).


(the whole gang, sans Kenta, who is off camera)
The game kind of reminds me of 999 without the over-the-top science fiction elements, to the point where I wonder if Kotaro Uchikoshi was directly inspired by this game. The common American point of comparison is Saw, but Isaku predates it by a good margin and it's probably more likely he played this. Just a thought. So far I'm having a lot of fun with the game. It's entertaining to see the characters slowly start to loose their cool, speculate how they could have wronged Isaku, and start to grow suspicious of one another. One scene in particular was really amusing. Mrs. Takashima recollects lending Isaku a handkerchief then quickly throwing it out because she wouldn't use it again after gross ass Isaku touched it. Akemi speculates Isaku would have noticed the handkerchief while cleaning the staff room and taken it as an insult, so that must be the reason why he trapped them all lol.

Munemitsu is a favorite character of mine. He's your archetypical arrogant and spoiled child of privilege, but how hard he freaks out over the smallest things is hilarious. At this point I've solved two floors worth of Isaku's riddles (3 to go) and have basically been the only one helping the helping the group escape. Despite that, Munemitsu gets so triggered when anyone says so much as "thank you" to Kenta that he'll go from taking credit for it, accusing Kenta of lying, lashing out Kotomi for no reason, to randomly growling about the futility of trying anything at all within seconds. I kinda wish there was more variation to the artwork during these parts but it's still hilarious.


(what if "the thinker" was really Isaku painted bronze?)
The puzzles have been decent so far and are ramping up with each new floor I unlock. The artwork is some of the best I've seen from the PC-98 era of Japanese computer games and was one of the biggest initial reasons I became curious about this game. It's developed by Elf who also made YU-NO and many other notable games of the era. Despite the dark subject matter, it's actually tame by comparison to YU-NO, there's been no 18+ content so far. There's the occasional gratuitous panty shot, of course, but nothing beyond that so far. There's, apparently, also multiple endings depending on the choices you make/if you can save everyone. I haven't had anyone die so far, so fingers crossed. One big let-down is the OST, for all of YU-NO's faults the godly OST was a major saving grace. So far in Isaku it's just one "eerie" ambient track that's not very memorable.

On the translation front things have been going way better than I would have thought. Especially after finding out about the DeepL app I mentioned before. It uses a different method of machine learning than G-Translate. Won't pretend to know the science behind it but in effect it's more interpretive, much better at parsing the context of a passage, and avoids common mistakes like messing up pronouns which G-Translate is prone to do. It also has a feature where you can click on any individual word and see likely homonyms. Which is crazy useful when somethings just a bit off. Some crucial features are missing compared to Google's app, like scanning an image for characters with your phone's camera. But between the two of them I've gone from the 80~90% understandable in Aconcagua to basically 99% perfectly understandable in Isaku. With the bulk of translations reading fairly natural.


(example of a particularly bad Google translation that was much better in DeepL)
I'm really impressed that the technology has come to the point where I can play stuff like this with relative ease. Just an extra button press or two (or four for the instances where I tab into DeepL) with my phone on its stand and I'm off to the races. Obviously it's not perfect, but it's actually pretty damn good and I imagine these apps will only get better over time. Honestly for how useful they are, it's a bit ridiculous they're both free. Not that I'm complaining.

In any case, Isaku is a fun game so far and it looks like things will start to get a lot crazier from where I'm at. Miyuki's been setting off some alarm bells.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Played two games recently.

For the column "Porn with Fuz": Aurelia.
Old style adventure game with tons of porn. But porn aside, the game is valid, quite varied and interesting. It's a beta, there's no ending yet but it's still enjoyable. The pixel art is fantastic. The gameplay is mostly "talk with the right person at the right time" with some fun minigames here and there, a sprinkle of RPG mechanics, and a dungeon crawler after a certain point. A bit like Quest for Glory.
It's free until release.


Papetura.
Oh boy, I really wanted to love this game. But I don't.
As you may be aware, it's a game all made with paper. It's... kinda beutiful, but it's all very abstract, so it's not that the author created many recognizable shapes, and in the end you see those lumps of paper and think "why?". It's pretty, though.
Gameplay-wise, it's a classic Amanita inspired game. It's also VERY short, I think it took me 2 hours or so to complete it. But it's definitely not an easy game. All the puzzles are kind of weird and sometimes hard to read. And there's one towards the end where I had to use a walkthrough because what you need to to is very obscure and needs perfect timing.
All in all, it's not what it could have been.
 

Vampire On Titus

Gold Member
Played two games recently.

For the column "Porn with Fuz": Aurelia.
Old style adventure game with tons of porn. But porn aside, the game is valid, quite varied and interesting. It's a beta, there's no ending yet but it's still enjoyable. The pixel art is fantastic. The gameplay is mostly "talk with the right person at the right time" with some fun minigames here and there, a sprinkle of RPG mechanics, and a dungeon crawler after a certain point. A bit like Quest for Glory.
It's free until release.
That is some really well done pixel art. Games with erotic content are so awash with minimal effort trash that it's good to see at least some devs do the opposite. The description kind of reminds me of another Elf game "Dokyusei" (Classmates). Western gamers tend to lump all romance games under the umbrella category "dating sim," but this is actually what's called a "love adventure game" (as opposed to an actual simulation game like Tokimeki Memorial). There's a time cost associated with entering or leaving areas and, similarly, a big part is learning the girls schedules and knowing where to find them at what time.



The ornately designed vertical borders from the beginning of Aurelia's trailer also made me think of the aesthetics from this era of Japanese PC games.

Papetura.
Oh boy, I really wanted to love this game. But I don't.
As you may be aware, it's a game all made with paper. It's... kinda beutiful, but it's all very abstract, so it's not that the author created many recognizable shapes, and in the end you see those lumps of paper and think "why?". It's pretty, though.
Gameplay-wise, it's a classic Amanita inspired game. It's also VERY short, I think it took me 2 hours or so to complete it. But it's definitely not an easy game. All the puzzles are kind of weird and sometimes hard to read. And there's one towards the end where I had to use a walkthrough because what you need to to is very obscure and needs perfect timing.
All in all, it's not what it could have been.

That's a shame. I wasn't expecting a terribly long game, but two hours is kinda... eh. Still gonna give it a shot to see for myself and for the beautiful papercraft. At least I know what to expect.
 
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Fuz

Gold Member
By the way, I also played the first chapter of Lion's Song (currently free on Epic Games Store: https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/p/the-lions-song ).

It's... cute. Great art, nice storytelling, and I really like the setting. Really good and appropriate soundtrack, too. Kind of boring toh, and zero puzzles. It's just an interactive story. You have to make some decisions here and there, similarly to Telltale games, and that's it.

That is some really well done pixel art.
Oh yeah, it's surprisingly good for what is basically a small porn game. The artist is quite talented: https://twitter.com/walnusstinte
 
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Vampire On Titus

Gold Member

New teaser trailer for ROM: Neurodiver. For anyone who hasn't played the demo this explains the gameplay a bit more. But it also announces that the game is being pushed back to 2022. Was looking forward to playing this one but of course I'd rather them take the time they need.
 
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