GameLogBlogging the experience of gameplay (PC) - 09 Mar 2023 - by dkirschner is stylish and creative. I've never played anything quite like it, part roguelike, part FPS, part Dishonored. You play as a guy named Colt. Colt is stuck in a loop, a la Russian Doll. When he dies, he wakes up on a beach on an island the next morning. There are four areas of the island, and Colt can visit one each part of the day (morning, noon, evening, and night), for a grand total of 16 permutations of time and place. What happens in one place at one time can affect other places at other times. Colt isn't stuck alone, though. He's part of some experimental utopia with other "Visionaries" who collectively founded this strange place and keep it running. Colt's goal? Kill all the other Visionaries in one day to break the loop and escape. The problem? Figuring out how to manipulate the Visionaries to go to various parts of the island at various times such that Colt can actually perform this feat. Even more complicated is that Colt is constantly harassed and hunted by a woman named Julianne. There's fun story to uncover, and I won't say any more about it! Moment-to-moment gameplay feels like a more gun-focused Dishonored, but there's larger strategy to it involving the loop. See, when you die or the day resets, you lose your guns, slabs (powers, like in Dishonored), and weapon and personal modifications. You also lose your "Residuum," which is like the substance that makes the loop tick. You use Residuum to "infuse" items and make them permanently available. Found a badass gun? Infuse it so you have it for all loops going forward. If you don't, it's gone on the next loop. There are some fun weapons to find, especially the quest-related ones, like the laser gun that melts enemies or the sniper rifle that blows them up. My favorite gun was a pretty plain silenced SMG. Silence is your friend. I put accuracy modifications on it and could quietly headshot someone as far away as with a regular sniper rifle. By the end, I was also carrying a special sniper rifle with strong zoom and a humongous machine gun that got more accurate the longer I held down the trigger for those up-close-and-personal moments. I used two slabs for most of the game, one that makes you temporarily invisible and another that lets you teleport. Each slab has various modifications as well, but I didn’t bother much with modifications for anything. My third favorite slab was the one that “links” enemies, so what happens to one happens to all nearby. I preferred the stealthy, silent approach in Deathloop. This is what Deathloop boils down to. Choose where to go at different points of time on the island, infuse items to become more powerful, follow story leads to learn how to kill all the Visionaries in one loop, and eventually break the loop. I was mesmerized by this until I started running out of leads to follow. At some point, there becomes little to do besides follow one or two leads, which means you’ll be skipping through parts of the day, trying and retrying to accomplish one task. For example, the part I died on the most was one part of the island at night when one Visionary throws a party and another attends. The objective is to find a way to identify the host. The party attendees are wearing wolf masks and are indistinguishable from one another, so you have to lure him out. I had already killed him two or three times, but I wasn’t killing him the exact way that the game wanted me to. This resulted in a few hours of me looping just to get to this part of the island at night, playing detective in his mansion trying to figure out what I needed to do, then actually executing the plan. And it turns out this is the ultimate murder in the day. Once you set everything up, there will actually be four Visionaries present on that part of the island at night. Goons everywhere, lots of ways to die. Oh yeah, speaking of death, you can die twice each part of the day and resurrect before the loop resets. This is because Colt has a special slab with this ability. I appreciated this forgiveness. So, overall, I enjoyed Deathloop, especially its creative take on roguelikes. But, it still didn’t avoid some pitfalls of the genre, which are repetitive runs with no real change in between. Luckily though, the repetitive runs come at the end when you are down to just a couple leads, and they’ll be over quickly enough. I’ll miss hearing Colt and Julianna bicker over walkie talkies; the voice acting and writing were top notch! dkirschnerThu, 09 Mar 2023 07:43:38 UTC Youngblood (PS4) - 07 Mar 2023 - by jp was looking for a "mindless" shooter to pass the time - and I thought, ooh, this should fit the bill! And it does, but it also did not. I hadn't realized that this is a two-player game! (the 2nd player is an AI if you're not playing online or with other people) It's got all the crazy that the Wolfenstein games now have - the WWII was lost to the nazis and so on...and here you play as "Duke Nukem" (BJ Blaskowicz?)'s daughters - or something like that. And they're both all gung-ho and trigger happy like their dad. There's some sort of resistance, they get involved, it was all a bit confusing but they end up in Paris and there's shooting, and - for the level I played - a giant zeppelin. I was having fun - but the game's difficulty curve was surprisingly uneven - it was all easy peasy fun and then - I died 10 times - and then it was easy peasy fun again, and then died a bunch of times. I'm not quite sure what it is - either my tactical approach is bad (but works with weak enemies when it shouldn't) or certain enemies are just an order of magnitude harder to deal with - or, there's some thing I should be doing but I'm not (e.g. use a weapon a certain way, etc.). The game also has a whole perk economy and weapon upgrade econonomy that triggers more perks and stuff...and it all felt a bit TOO much data for what I was looking for - just shoot stuff and have fun. Maybe I'm just a bit annoyed because I was required to sign up for an online account I don't want or need? The longer I think about it the more this feels like a "dark pattern". The back of the box does say that a Bethesda account is necessary to access certain features - but my recollection is that you can't play the game at all without access. So, perhaps all you can see/do is look at stuff in the menus?jpTue, 07 Mar 2023 11:13:06 UTC Blasterz: Heroines of Infinite Duel (PS4) - 06 Mar 2023 - by jp rarely play fighting games for fun, but I've always been curious to see what's going on in the genre. And, I think I hit "gold" with this game - bought completely blind. It's a fighting game featuring only female-presenting characters. A bunch of them, I didn't count nor did I bother to unlock a bunch of ones presumably also available for play. As far as I can tell, and I did play around with a four or five of them, they're all strange/weird in what seem to me unconventional ways. For example, one of the characters is a "cat lady" - by this I mean that the character has lots of cats as pets and that the attacks are mostly done vie the cats rather than the character herself. All of the buttons work just as they do for other characters - it's the animations that are different (as far as I can tell), and funny. I played a few campaign runs with the characters- just to see what was going on and how the game worked. As expected the difficulty ramps up but I was able to make progress despite my meagre skills. I then realized that there's an option to alter the difficulty (10 different options if I recall) so I played on the easiest just to see how the campaigns ended and what happened. Also, perhaps more importantly for me - the game has a crazy story that I was not able to make any sense of other than it being heavily HP Lovecraft inspired, but modern sci-fi with magic and...well, lots of nonsense to be honest. I was surprised by how much story there is - visual novel style presentation, lots of screens and so on. Like, LOTS of reading. Once you finish the campaign, you unlock a NEW campaign - and this is where the reading/visual novel stuff goes all-in! Like I said, it really made very little sense to me - there's the necronomicon, there's demons, and so on. But all in the context of cute sexy female characters. But, the game's rated T (teen), so it's not really creepy in that sense.But still, I keep going back to the fighting game thing and here's an example with all female characters. But, who are they for? (I'm thinking representation - is this a game for boys/men as the intended audience?) I don't really know - but the game's lore heavily suggests that the characters are all from different places (other games I presume) and that they've sort of come together here in a special game - with the story even playing with the cross-over idea (and how they're all trapped in the game just for you to play/mess around). Anyways, I don't have much to say about the gameplay because - well, I didn't explore it all that deeply - there's counters and stuff. Super bars AND two teammates that can tag in for an attack. The games tutorial features are good enough for me - but, like I said, I don't play fighting games for fun personally, so I wasn't particularly interested or motivated in learning all the characters (though I did try to do some cool stuff with one at least).jpMon, 06 Mar 2023 19:26:21 UTC's Iron Man VR (PS4) - 02 Mar 2023 - by jp, they really nailed the (imagined) experience of being Iron Man as seen in the movies. You basically do a similar thing with your hands to what Iron Man does to hover, fly around, attack and more. You have to use the PS Move controllers (the "lollipop" ones) - and I have a hard time remembering to charge - and keep them charge (I charge everything off the PS4, so I can only charge one things at a time). The game is definitely more tiring for me to play than other PSVR games I've been playing recently - I think it's mostly because there's more hand movements and more turning around and stuff. I almost want to say I also lean forward and back as Iron Man but that is probably just the natural response (that has a name, but I'm forgetting it - e.g. same as when you lean over when playing a driving game) I appreciated the narrative parts of the game - but there's a lot more of them than what I expected and they're also a lot longer than what I expected. To the point I was starting to feel tired just from standing there listening to the characters chit chat and stuff. There's also more depth to the game's systems and mechanics than I expected - more than I was willing to engage/indulge in - mostly for time rather than interest. Is the game any fun? Well, it nails the Iron Man experience and can feel quite exhilarating at times - for all the good reasons. So, yes - definitely an good example of using VR in smart ways - I guess the more I think about it, the more I realize that I really wanted to just play missions and not have (most) of the story stuff - which I get is important, but also felt it was less interesting and tiring? I think I played 3 campaign missions? (before deciding to shelve the game). I didn't get to experience the full depth of the upgrade and options system - but that's ok.jpThu, 02 Mar 2023 12:52:20 UTC (PC) - 01 Mar 2023 - by dkirschner is an old PS4 launch game, a side-scrolling bullet hell kind of thing. It has the unique twist of being played on...a cylinder. Like, you can move left and right, but it's not across flat space; it's around a cylinder, so the level spins as you move. It's neat. Anyway, it's real simple, so this will be real short. There are 5 levels, each with three phases ending in a boss fight. Enemies spawn all around the cylinder and try to kill you. You kill them instead and avoid the dozens of bullets they shoot at you. In the story, they're aliens trying to kill humans or something, so you can rescue some humans along the way. Drop them off at special places to get points or shields or some other perk. You can also pick up a few weapon upgrades per level. You can boost (go really fast and slam through obstacles), set off a bomb (kills everything on screen), or use one other special move (blasts a giant gun). These have limited uses. You also have a set number of lives, and if you lose them, you start the level over. I found Resogun to be fast and fun, with a pumping soundtrack. It also gets really hard by level 5 on normal (I finished the last level on easy), and I can't imagine getting that far on a harder difficulty. It's super short and certainly meant for replayability. But there are more interesting games of this type out there!dkirschnerWed, 01 Mar 2023 16:34:41 UTC Last of Us Remastered (PS4) - 01 Mar 2023 - by dkirschner embarked on a grand experiment that I stupidly didn't document. I played The Last of Us for the first time as I watched the show, playing the game through the upcoming TV episode, then watching the episode that covered what I just played, then playing the game through the next TV episode, etc. It was a really neat way to experience the story that privileged playing the game over watching the show. I didn't read about either, and was fascinated by how the writers adapted the game for TV, the choices they made to include, remove, and change content. Some episodes were very similar to the game, others had some pretty big differences, and others (episode 3) were almost entirely new. One thing I've noticed is the effort to add more diversity to the show. It spends an entire episode telling a same-sex love story that is barely mentioned in the game. Sam is deaf and ASL is featured. Both homosexuality and deafness are represented very positively, and add unique perspectives to the world. I especially liked the episode with Sam because Ellie jumps right in to learning some ASL as she and Sam befriend one another. Joel's daughter is mixed instead of White and Joel and his brother may be Hispanic (the actors are), but race and ethnicity aren't played up like sexuality and deafness are, I think because there is no "performance" of race or ethnicity here. People just look different. It was still noticeable inclusion. The show removed what would have been more purely gameplay, nearly all the scenes involving combat or stealth. This makes sense, as watching Joel and Ellie slowly make their way through an infested building for 30 minutes wouldn't make for good TV. But when narrative was embedded in gameplay, removing the more purely gameplay elements also tended to remove or simplify narrative. I'm thinking specifically of the episode that condensed Wyoming and Utah. This was a whole lot of game time in a 60-minute episode! Since they didn't show Ellie stealing the horse from the town in Wyoming, then they couldn't establish the bandit organization there. Joel and Tommy never followed her, never killed a horde of men. No known bandits were therefore looking for them at the university, and when they killed the bandits in the university, there was no bandit organization that was pissed off about it (there were four bandits in the show, but dozens in the game). Therefore, later on, no one came after them because they killed men at the university. Joel and Ellie don't discover the reason why the Fireflies left the university. Another thing that is always neat is when the show uses game dialogue verbatim, and even more neat when it's used verbatim but in a different scene (e.g., "your answer better be the same as your wife's" in the show, but spoken to a bandit in the game, "your answer better be the same as his"). This scene is also an example of Joel being more complex in the show. He's much more violent in the game, and struggles more in the show with age and all the (metaphorical) weight he carries. This makes him more likeable to me. Perhaps my favorite thing that the show changed is actually showing Mortal Kombat II though. That was one of my favorite scenes. So yeah, I've thought a lot about comparing game and show. How was it to play the game, though? I loved it. 10 years later, the remastered version looks and feels great. It's harder than I thought, a little more emphasis on survival (scavenging and crafting resources), and a main character who is a badass but who is fighting infected that are very much a threat. I died a whole lot. You have basic guns for most of the game, knives that you craft and that have limited durability, and melee weapons like bats, axes, and pipes. You can also craft molotovs and nail bombs, which are very useful, and you can throw bottles and bricks to distract infected. The combat and stealth are straightforward, and I mostly enjoyed them for the tension, because like I said, the infected WILL kill you if you make a wrong move. Human enemies are not nearly as threatening and can be like shooting ducks in a gallery. Joel has some sort of special hearing power that lets him see where enemies are through walls. Using this, you can often stealth through areas without killing many infected. There were also light puzzling areas that generally involve finding boards or ladders to traverse gaps or reach heights. These segments were also, obviously, removed from the show. It is amusing to watch the TV show and imagine, as in the most recent episode, Ellie and Riley searching for boards to place across gaps between roofs instead of just jumping across them. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing to watch the show, as well as playing The Last of Us 2!dkirschnerWed, 01 Mar 2023 16:22:36 UTC (PS4) - 26 Feb 2023 - by jp like going into a game blind and then being surprised. Especially when my expectations are low (here, a game that I picked up in the "discount" bin). I must have played 2-3 hours last night? I stopped playing when I got to what is probably (should be?) the "real" beginning of the game. (it was also getting late). So, what's the game - I have really strong assassin's creed vibes, though the game features none of the acrobatic stuff, also strong Dishonored vibes - but I think also without the wild combat and movement? It's 3rd person, so that's also different. The setting is dark fantasy age of discovery? So, conquistadores - but there's magic. You start the game in a city on the eve of your departure to an exotic island that everyone is excited about, they complain about the savages, and there is treasure to be found and hopefully a cure for a disease that is killing everyone (slowly). I think it's called malichor (the disease). The game really has lots of RPG stuff happening - so, maybe I should be more reminded of the Dragon Age game I played? The setting is strong - which I think goes to the Dishonored vibes - and the movement feels more Assassin's Creedy? (less elegant in animation, and less populated). BUT, the world/vibe is really strong and I'm enjoying that. I've been promised crafting and potion making (my character is a "mage") and there's loot/equipment upgrading as well. It seems like a AAA game that flew under the radar for many? Oh, there's also supposed to be giant crazy beasts and stuff (Monster Hunter vibes?). For now I've been limited to a small city where I wandered around, talked to diplomats from the other two major players in the game, did favors, screwed one diplomat over (told them why I did not to them a favor), and noticed there's a faction allegiance/support system as well. I'm playing on easy - so I'm not too worried about the action-based combat - I do like that there's a pause system so you can do stuff, like trigger potion drinking to heal, swap weapons, and so on. I'm also intrigued about the game's name - Greedfall! There's obviously all the colonial/imperial stuff happening - I'm guessing things will go south because of our greed in plundering everything? Demons on the island?jpSun, 26 Feb 2023 15:40:53 UTC (PS4) - 26 Feb 2023 - by jp played this some 5-6 hours last weekend. Most of that was across two sessions - so, a fair amount of time with the PSVR helmet if you ask me. The game was that much fun that I really didn't notice the time fly. I was tired by the end though. The first big session I played without updating the game (it was a huge download and it was pretty slow) - so I was not able to play online. I would for the second session, but more on that later. As expected you play a tank - and you shoot stuff, and there's different types of tanks with different weapons and armor/weight/speed, etc. Everything is low-poly stylized such a way as to be purposefully retro-looking. There's different types of missions and enemies, and an overarching progression system wherein you unlock the kinds of weapons and things you could get from enemies and at "resupply" points. It's pretty fun. I enjoyed it! I was surprised to learn (perhaps I once knew and forgot) that the game's a rogue-like, you choose how long and hard you want your campaign to be! A campaign is basically a large map made up of hexes. You're supposed to get to a volcano on the last one - along the way you can scan (to see what's in the hexes) and then plot your path through the map. There are a variety of location - e.g. shields that are harder fights but will result in the final boss (volcano map) being a little easier, places to resupply (chance to buy new weapons/upgrades), and so on. There are even narrative/story type events! These often ask that you make a decision (e.g. there's a busted tank, do you investigate? It might be a trap...). Some of these are even multi-stage - I did one where I first rescued some scientists, then I could escort them to safety as a separate mission. As you move across the map an "enemy tracker" (it's not called that, I just don' remember what it's actually called) keeps on going up - making the enemy stronger. It sometimes spawns a nemesis - that is a super tough tank (it often one-shot killed me) you can presumably defeat (I never did) so you should mostly avoid if possible. It moves around on the hex-map - so you can see where it might go, but depending on the hex map you just might have to face it. In addition to the possibility of hex-map special location upgrades (these were mostly underwhelming, but maybe that's because I hadn't unlocked enough of them)? You can upgrade your tank directly - improving shields, reloading (I think this was mostly an ever-improving active reload system where you can reload faster and get boosts to damage), healing for allies, and better range for picking up credits/loot). On a short run I don't think it's possible to max out your tank, but this might be doable on a long campaign? I failed miserably on all the short campaigns I played solo - mostly 'cause I died to the nemesis! But also because I was figuring out a bunch of things and how they worked. Then I installed the update (game changed to Battlezone Gold Edition) - this version no longer required a PSVR! (but I still played in VR). Now I could play online...and it looks like there was something like 3 other people playing online? I joined a game - it fell apart, then I created a game - or joined another one. Eventually we got a group of 3 strangers and we played two campaigns! Died on the first, but beat the second one! It's definitely more fun with other tanks - you can revive fallen opponents (within a time window), you can heal each other (maxxing out on the healing ability is a good idea), and you can see other tank weapons in play. It was fun - and it was nice to learn from other more experienced players (one already had the platinum trophy for the game). I've been trying to play my PSVR games (in anticipation of PSVR2)....and I'm hesitant to call it done on this one (to move on to another) just because it was...well, fun!jpSun, 26 Feb 2023 15:21:01 UTC Train (PC) - 23 Feb 2023 - by dkirschner Monster Train. It's so much fun, with obvious comparisons to Slay the Spire, and I need to delete it from my computer because I keep booting it up to play "just a little bit." I think it's just as good as Slay the Spire. They share similarities, but have important differences that make each a unique experience. In Monster Train, you ride a train through the 9 circles of hell, building your deck of monsters and spells as you go. You begin the game by choosing a primary and secondary clan. There are six clans to choose from (two at first; unlock more as you level up clans). Each clan has two champions and two starter cards. You choose a champion from your primary clan and a starter card from both your primary and secondary clans (of which you get five copies), which form the foundation of your deck, along with five Train Stewards, a basic unit with low stats. You immediately choose an artifact (like Slay the Spire's relics that provide persistent effects like "All friendly units enter the train with +5 health" or something) and upgrade your champion, then fight your first battle. After each battle, you get some gold, a unit draft, and after boss battles you get either +1 card draw, +1 energy (used to play cards), or +1 space on each floor (each unit takes up space on the train, so this lets you place more or bigger units). Then you really begin your journey through the nine circles of hell. Each circle has two paths with two or three stops before converging at a battle. Paths may have gold to pick up, random events (sort of like Slay the Spire's question marks), artifacts, merchants where you can upgrade units, spells, or buy artifacts, hellvents (my favorite, which let you duplicate any card except your champion), and a couple other things. You do this 9 times: choose one of the two paths, fight a battle, choose one of the two paths, fight a battle, until you get to the final boss. Whereas in Slay the Spire, you control one character and build a deck around their unique mechanics, in Monster Train you control a primary and secondary clan with a variety of units and spells with unique clan mechanics. Example: The first clan is the Hellhorned. They focus on stacking rage (adds damage) and armor (mitigates damage). Their unique thing is using imps, which are cheap units that do something upon summoning (deal 5 damage, add 20 armor to the front unit, etc.). Some other clan cards play off of the imps, like increase damage based on how many imps are in your deck, sacrifice imps for benefits, etc. The other clan you immediately have access to are the Awoken, who have a nature vibe. They have a lot of cards with thorns and healing. So, paired together, you get the Hellhorned with high attack and armor plus the Awoken with thorns and health regen. Nice synergy. Another clan, the Umbra, focus on "eating" "morsels." Morsels are little one-cost, one-space units that are automatically eaten by other units and increase the eater's stats. Some Umbra units have "Gorge," which grants extra bonuses for eating a unit. For example "Gorge 2 attack 4 health" means that when that unit eats a morsel, it gains whatever bonuses the morsel applies, plus the Gorge bonus. Using the Umbra with Hellhorned gives you some incredibly strong units, while using the Umbra with the Awoken lets you play a bit more defensively. Since you always have a primary and a secondary clan per run, and each clan itself can be played in myriad ways, there is a massive variety in the kinds of decks you can build. Each battle takes place on your train. Your train has four floors. You can play units on the first three floors. Enemies enter on the first floor. If they are still alive after clashing with your units on the first floor, they move up to the second floor and another group enters the first floor. Enemies enter your train and move up floor by floor until reaching the fourth floor, which is the "Pyre room." The Pyre is like the heart of your train, and you are ultimately protecting the Pyre. It attacks enemies who come to the fourth floor, but if they kill it, it's game over. So, place units on the three floors of the train and wisely use spells to efficiently kill enemies before they reach the Pyre room. Each battle has x waves of enemies culminating in a boss battle. Three of the circles of hell have actual boss battles; the other circles are minibosses. The regular game is very easy to win. I won on my first try and only started losing once I started gambling on purposefully making runs harder (but increasing rewards!). On the non-boss fights, you can increase the difficulty and get extra rewards by enabling enemy buffs (+4 thorns, +6 attack, +10 armor on all enemies, etc.). I can usually still win with all of these enabled. You can also change the "Covenant" level. I did this through Covenant level 5 (out of 25). This is like Ascension in Slay the Spire, modifying the game in some way for each Covenant level (e.g., more enemies on floors, bosses have more health and attack, you get Deadweight cards, etc.). Then, you can also increase the "threat" level. This lets you acquire some curse or something for gold or combining units into a powerful unit and stuff like that. The higher threat you accumulate, the harder the battles. Making the game harder is all in the service of getting more points, more rewards, more upgrades like card borders and leveling up clans, climbing leaderboards, and so on. If you tried to 100% this game, it would take so long because each clan has 10 levels, there are 25 Covenant levels, there are achievements for winning at Covenant level 25 for each clan, there are daily challenges with modifiers, and on and on. That was actually one of the coolest things that I didn't expect to enjoy, the daily challenges. These are like...multiplayer in a way. Since all players are taking the train through hell, doing the daily challenge represents multiple players' trains on the map, so you can see where other players are and can see a leaderboard as you move up. The game is transparent about builds. After completing the daily challenge, you can see the decks of each player on the leaderboard. The game also keeps data on each of your regular runs. It's impressive. Anyway. I wrote a lot here just explaining the game. It is fun with a lot of variety. It's easy for the base game, but becomes challenging as you enable modifiers. I like how much control the player has over the difficulty. There are some key comparisons to Slay the Spire. First, runs are shorter than Slay the Spire, which can have dozens of battles and I think has more agonizing choices for you to make. Second, while Monster Train has more variety in decks between runs (thanks to the six different clans from which you choose two each time vs. four different characters), the deckbuilding is less about adapting to circumstances. Your deck style will emerge quickly, and you stick with it. In Slay the Spire, you'll shift the deck's focus as you go, depending on your health, the bosses you are going to face, the cards you happen to draw. I think that Monster Train is more forgiving. Third, Monster Train has less enemy and boss variety. Enemies in Slay the Spire are both individually more challenging and require you to apply different strategies. I'm sure this becomes more important in Monster Train as you work up the Covenant levels, but by Covenant level five, I was still steamrolling my way through hell using the same basic strategy in a given run regardless of which circle I was on. Sometimes bosses require adaptation, like the one that gains buffs when you play cards on the floor he's on (if you ignore this mechanic, you will die!), but generally, you don't have to think as much. I chased achievements for a while after I'd unlocked all the clans, and that was fun, but it's clear that it'll become really grindy to level all the clans up, acquire every card, and eventually see the credits (which don't roll till after Covenant level 25!). Uninstalled, and maybe I'll pick it up again in the future when I have more time. dkirschnerThu, 23 Feb 2023 14:55:55 UTC Leaves (XBX X/S) - 21 Feb 2023 - by dkirschner and I were looking for something that looked like horror or exploration for free on Xbox and came across this. Booted it, couldn't figure out if it was actually multiplayer or us and 3 NPCs in cages. The 3 players/NPCs took off running at the beginning of the game and we only saw them a couple times. The game is a race to solve puzzles, so I just figured we were losing! (It's NPCs.) The puzzles basically consist of you looking down and following red cables through a few levels in environments that begin to look more mutated, with body parts and squishy organic matter. The music in one of the levels is ridiculously, hilariously, over-the-top pounding chase music. When you finish, you find out it was a game funded by some FDA project and it's about not smoking? We played an anti-smoking PSA? Okaaaaay. One of the four characters won't be addicted to cigarettes and the other three will ("one leaves"). "No wonder the player's cough was so sick and realistic!" I thought. The cough was the best part of the game, and I'm not being an ass. It was the most phlemy game cough I've ever heard. dkirschnerTue, 21 Feb 2023 20:45:21 UTC