A Little Bit Of: Snapshot

Snapping away.

Another puzzle platfomer, ah the indie staple. All kidding aside this seems like an interesting game. The element of taking photos of objects to store and move them about gives a lot of interesting possibilities. There are parts of the game that do require dexterity like the double jump with a single spring. Hopefully it doesn't get much more demanding than that because that particular thing isn't the easiest thing to pull off consistently.

Puzzle games are weird because you can easily see where these mechanics could go but sometimes it's doled out pretty steadily over time, so me being still early in the game it's hard for me to say if the puzzles get really interesting or not. But so far I've definitely been enjoying it. I've been failing miserably at getting all the collectables and doing the levels really quickly (which seems stupidly hard for some reason) but it's been good fun.

I guess I should probably also do my traditional thing of reminding you all that there's a Steam sale going on! Now go forth and spend money irresponsibly. Well you shouldn't do that but I totally do every time cause I'm an idiot.


A Little Bit Of: Puddle

Water and oils.

There are a couple things that I really don't like in this game almost all to do with the camera and how close it is. It has frequently led to levels where I've just been flowing along and then into a jump into a pit of doom forcing a restart of the level. Which always sucks when it happens, thankfully it doesn't happen all the time, but still often enough to be annoying as heck. There was also an instance where the camera focused on some water that was stuck in a part of the level which wouldn't get me to the exit but I did have a bunch of liquid on the elevator that was probably enough to finish the level. Again it's usually fine but it feels really unfair when it happens and that particular thing has only happened to me once.

That said I really like the game, it has some lovely art and the act of moving the liquid around to complete levels is pretty cool. I'm interested to see where the type of liquids goes, if there are more of them that I haven't seen yet and if they're going to bring back some of the earlier ones. Overall it's a good game that has a couple of really annoying things that plague it.


A Little Bit Of: Pid

Beams of light.

I'm not sure how I feel about this particular area I recorded, I haven't played much past whats in the video quite yet. But the first part of the game was definitely more platform heavy and getting around and avoiding traps like spikes. This part was significantly more enemy heavy, hopefully it's just because they were introducing the funnel and not a sign of things further on down the game. There's definitely a place for there to be enemies in the game but having this many just seems like overload.

That said I really enjoyed the more platform heavy puzzle nature of the game. If it goes in that direction and gives lots more of that with some enemies spread throughout that would be really awesome. That said the boss fight was kind of a slog, it didn't take me too long to complete it but again it felt more tedious than challenging. Throwing dozens of rockets at you when you aren't the most agile character in the world is kind of annoying. And there wasn't any sort of mid boss checkpoint just, hey you died now go back and do it over again. If you didn't have a body armour for it I expect that it would be a real pain to do. I'll probably play more of it, been a little bit busy doing other work stuff and otherwise not super up for playing something that requires actual thought or dexterity but hopefully I'll get round to it before too long.


A Little Bit Of: Hotline Miami

Bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Hotline Miami is a violent top down action game where death is everywhere. Sometimes the death of your enemies and also a lot of the death of you. Death comes quick and fast in this game, one shot, one hit from a bat and you are dead. And the same applies to the guys you're trying to kill as well for the most part. The levels in Hotline Miami are less about charging in head first and more about surveying the surroundings and figuring out how you can clear each room without getting mauled in the process. It's made much more forgiving by the fast reset time, you just hit 'r' at any point and you're right back at the beginning and back to it. This gives a small element of trial and error to the game, it's likely that you'll walk into a room get shot in the face and then figure out over time what's the best way to deal with that room.

There is a scoring system that the game uses to rate your performance on each level, I don't quite understand how to get higher scores I'm getting like C ranks over and over and I'm guessing that my trigger happy approach to solving some parts is probably the problem. The story in Hotline Miami is also super weird, there seems to be some internal logic that it abides by, but it really isn't making any sense to me right now. The only real thing that has really bugged me so far is the boss battles, they operate under very different rules than the rest of the game and ultimately they just become much less fun because it's not a matter of using your wits but more figuring out the pattern and just countering it.


A Little Bit Of: Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams

Yellow and Red.

I think this is the second video I've made that has completely inadvertently been recorded and put up on the same day a Giant Bomb Quick Look has been done on it. Anyway back on topic, I like this game despite being completely awful at it. The way the world changes when you swap between the two sisters is a wonderful effect. Background, enemies, music it all changes dependent on which sister you have active. Some of the changes are just cosmetic like from imps to birds, but somethings don't exist in the one version of the world but exist in the other. Things like spikes and platforms can disappear just by swapping sisters.

From things like trailers it clearly looks like the game can get much more difficult and complicated. Right now in the early parts of the game it's been okay even with my pretty awful platforming skills but even then I've started dying a lot more so I can only expect that this is a sign of things to come. The game has come a long way since it's Commodore 64 roots and also it's another Kickstarter game that's been released that's pretty damn good. So hopefully more of the future Kickstarter games that come out will be just as awesome as this and FTL.


A Little Bit Of: Mark of the Ninja

Sneak 'n Stab.

I'm not usually into playing a lot of games where stealth is forced upon you, which is slightly odd because if a game like Dishonored comes out I tend to use the stealth route instinctively. Anyway Mark of the Ninja is pretty great. It's really thought out it's stealth mechanics in a really clever way where things like enemy vision is very obvious and if you're in the light or dark is immediately apparent. The action of killing people stealthily where you have to drag the mouse in the right direction isn't great, it works sure, but it's kind of awkward to do on a mouse. I didn't check for gamepad support but given that it came out on 360 first I'm going to guess that it's all in there and works fine.

I haven't played that far but it seems like there are quite a few tools you can use to get back out of sight if you mess up. You take a pretty hefty score penalty if you do so and if you're looking to leaderboard chase it'll probably cause you to restart but the game has really good hooks between the high scores and the seal system to encourage you to do pretty specific things during levels. It also seems like there are challenge rooms which are a bit more puzzly than the normal game which make for a good pace but they're pretty hidden away so it's hard to say how many you would run through if you weren't exploring too much.


A Little Bit Of: Retro City Rampage

Monster kill.

Okay I don't actually think there's a UT reference in this game, for the most part it references stuff from much earlier than that. As far as I'm concerned this game is completely bonkers. From a gameplay point of view it plays a lot like a top down GTA style open world game, it even makes references to saying that it is an open world game. Outside of that though the game is so much more. It has references to so much old stuff, Punch Out, Back to the Future, Metal Gear, it straight up has a mission which is basically Paper Boy. The player character is also just called Player. If you don't have that nostalgia or appreciation for a lot of those older games a lot of the jokes are probably not going to make a whole lot of sense.

There is some stuff that is newer like the Dark Knight bank robbery at the start of the game but for the most part it's older references than that. So that's really where this game lives or dies. It plays pretty well and some of the writing is pretty funny and random regardless of if you get what it's a reference to, but there have definitely been moments where it's clear that I haven't understood half the joke that the writing it trying to tell. Luckily the game is random enough that you get some other insane weirdness happening like 5 minutes later so overall it's a good time all round.


A Little Bit Of: Colour Bind

Coloured Gravity.

A physics based puzzle platformer. Really interesting, different colours have different individual falling properties. So being red might cause you to fall in one direction and blue objects might fall in a completely different direction. Also the gravity can change mid level when you push one of the buttons and those are also colour specific. It's pretty clear from the get go that this can get pretty complicated as it goes on. One thing to mention is that the vehicle you control is a bit floatier than is necessarily helpful. It makes doing some actions quickly a bit of a pain, so far it hasn't had moments where it requires dead eye precision with the jumps but it still acts a bit of an annoyance. That said there are different strengths to the gravity so there are moments where pressing a button lowers the force of the gravity so you can do higher jumps and so on, so that might be completely intentional. Regardless it has been the cause of some annoyance but never any real frustration.

Anyway this seems like a pretty cool game, hopefully I didn't sound too horrible and sickly while doing this but with any luck I will feel better tomorrow. I was going to record this yesterday but then I actually felt horrible so I just sat around and did absolutely nothing for a day. So that was awesome I guess, apart from you know the being sick thing.


A Little Bit Of: Spirits

Leaves blowing in the wind.

The thing I love most about this game is the art and the music, it's just kind of mellow and relaxing and compared with some of the other stuff I've been playing recently. It reminds me a lot of lemmings gameplay wise, you're trying to get your spirits from their starting pile of leaves to the end portal and you do it by morphing some of them into clouds that blow spirits into the sky, plants that act as stairs and a few more as the game goes on. It's also nice that the levels seem to be very easy to complete and progress. The challenge comes from trying to get to the perfect solution, getting all of the plants and getting as many guys as you can to the end. It seems to fit in with the whole vibe the game is going for, you never really feel impeded progress wise but there is some depth into how to get through the levels.


A Little Bit Of: FTL

All power to forward shields.

This was one of the first Kickstarters I funded and I think it's sort of setting a weird precedent by being as rad as it is. You manage a starship. You manage it's crew, it's power, it's weapons even it's doors. And it all combines to being just a wonderful feeling game which also decides to amp it up by having the tension that is only made by perma death. A full run of the game doesn't take that long so you generally aren't losing that much. But it's still absolutely heart breaking when one of your crew dies and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it but watch as it happens. And losing a crewmate can be a terrible ordeal, you might not find another crewmate for several sectors. Othertimes one will be just in the next system.

Figuring out how to spend your scrap is also a big deal because you don't know when you're going to run into a store. Sometimes you try to wait till you get to a store and hope they have something good, but then while you sit around you could in fact be buying more shields or increasing your power capacity. It makes for something that is actually quite complex and is all about choosing what to do and when, a lot of the time you're going to be forced into a bunch of choices that could all turn out really bad. And that's a part of it, but getting a hard won victory against a tough enemy or when the dice rolls in your favour are moments to celebrate.

Also the end game boss is pretty darn rough.