61 reviews liked by tendog

This game came as a complete system shock. About an hour from here is a town with a name that's a barely disguised synonym for "Possum Springs", and I may or may not have lived in the real life analogs for both "Hunwick" and "Bright Harbor". So, you can imagine my surprise when starting this up and seeing so many deeply familiar things appear on screen. Here we go, Smelters, am I right?

Night in the Woods completely nails the sense of ennui I feel only more strongly with every subsequent visit to my hometown since moving out: things are recognizable on the surface, but underneath have been weathered by the passage of time. Favorite hangout spots and local businesses replaced by big corporate brands, institutions once newly built now fallen into disrepair, the childhood homes of friends under new ownership as everyone has gradually moved away to start their own families - and a feeling of "stuckness" in everyone who still remains. You can really sense that this game was written by someone who lived this, by someone who feels this ennui in the very stardust that makes up their atoms.

Based on that alone, I was destined to connect with this game. The fact that it's also heavily inspired by Twin Peaks and features a boldly unique art direction paired with a bangin' soundtrack slots Night in the Woods comfortably into the realm of "totally my shit". Beyond that though, everything about this game lives up to its hype as an indie darling and I simply cannot recommend it enough - especially if you've ever felt the crushing weight of living in a former labor union town well past its prime.

gregg rulz ok

Without Nostalgia, it's hard to fully sing the praises of Super Metroid in 2021. Is this a monolith game that set the stage for some of the best (and my favorite) modern games? Absolutely. Is it dated in ways that other marquee SNES games are not? Absolutely.

While I think Super Mario World, Link to the Past, Chrono Trigger, and some other SNES AAA games hold up; Super Metroid is the game that has probably seen the most evolution and iteration on it's own format. Things that may have felt clever and fresh way back when, feel annoying and not user friendly now. There is a lot of pixel and exit hunting going on in the game that is simply not user friendly.

I’m amazed at how successfully this retains and even expands on the handcrafted charm and daring imagination of the first game, while expanding the scope considerably and making everything look shiny and modern. The writing similarly retains the thoughtfulness and humor and empathy of the original game, but feels more impactful and emotionally mature overall.

After an early reintroduction to the original cast and a handful of new interns, I assumed the story would largely follow them, but this ends up really being a story about the founding members of the Psychonauts and resolving old mistakes they made. It’s impressive how much of this game is essentially gamified cognitive behavioral therapy; that sounds annoying and didactic, but one of the many impressive things about the writing is how breezy and playful it all is instead. I also love how interwoven seemingly random plot details end up being, and how packed it is with clever flourishes that could easily be overlooked but really reward paying attention and poking around.

As dessert, I’m really looking forward to the majority of Psychodyssey episodes I have yet to watch, and seeing the messy, fascinating stories that went into creating this wonderful game.

Scratching beneath the inky surface of Void Stranger reveals a very tight mechanical puzzler with a minimalist game boy art style, mashed up with an anime story, a surreal world, and obtuse meta elements. I can see how people might find this combination charming but it just didn't work for me.

It's difficult to really talk about the game without spoiling it as it goes out of its way to be secretive about its mechanics and premise. It takes the stance that difficulty is synonymous with just not telling you how anything works so the design comes off as being more arbitrary than punishing. There is a lot more depth to the game but all hidden behind vast quantities of tedious puzzle grind so I hope you enjoy that core game loop.

Under the veneer of mystery is a reasonable and challenging sokoban-style puzzler. You can remove and place blocks but only from/to a space directly in front of you. The rigid movement makes facing the right way a challenge of navigating the tight spaces and doing things in the right order. This is complicated by gaps, blocks with different mechanics, obstacles, and enemies that wander the stage. Despite being mechanically sterile the puzzles are serviceable but repetitive and lack a 'fun' element preventing me from really engaging with the game beyond the surface level.

The other half of the game involves its setting and story which are drip fed throughout. While I'll avoid getting into details, both the story and main character feel uninspired at first glance. While I understand the game ends up going into a lot of depth I just wasn't hooked by the story breadcrumbs or the core game loop so I had no motivation to even finish the first playthrough.

Whether this game captures the nuances it's trying to emulate will come down to player preference. I was taken in by the trailer but I felt like it's attempts to be dark and mysterious just feel obvious and predictable. The hints at larger layers of puzzle and the mechanics you'll obviously need to get there struck me as tedious and boring - spoiling the game for myself revealed this hunch to be completely right. If you aren't hooked by the core loop and story in the first few hours, the next 40 aren't worth the effort.

its endearing sincerity - unpolished, unabashed wonder - read as bizarre to some. and i get it. cynicism’s ideal platform is a world presented with such childlike simplicity, asking of the player what it asks its characters: chin up, put on a smile, and enjoy the show. it’s fun!!

One of my favorite pieces of childhood nostalgia sits between the cozy aesthetic and vibey music within this game. I used to go to my grandpa's house and play this with him and we could never get the trophies on some of the levels. We never got to the last set of levels nor did we beat any of the bosses, but we had fun nonetheless. 11 years have passed since I played it with him last and his health is steadily waning. I've beat this game a handful of times in my adult life and every time I see him, he asks about it as if he didn't ask the last time. I laugh it off inside and tell him about the last time I beat it and you can see a little spark of joy go through him.

On its own, Toy Commander is a simple, but fun game that relies on the player's urge to beat its missions as fast as possible. With a variety of different vehicles and challenges to play through, the gameplay rarely gets stale. The music is also amazing, as the jungle/EDM beats perfectly suit the energy of the game. I highly recommend listening to the OST, it's easily the best thing about the entire game. The gameplay is simple and the vehicles don't control as well as racing games from the era, but the missions rarely require a level of precision you'd need from those.

This is one of those games I wish would get a re-release, even though the audience for it is really niche. It's probably the nostalgia talking but this small, arcadey game is really fun when you're in the mood for a short session where you play through one room at a time. The time-based trophies make your knowledge of the levels rewarding and it's fun to see how fast you can sprint through a level.

One of these days I should see about finishing it with him before he's gone.



Uma narrativa íntima que questiona a moralidade do próprio jogador num mundo industrial bem niilista, OFF é uma experiência tão única quanto entendiante.

Muito raro eu comentar sobre mecânicas em meus comentários, mas o combate de OFF é simplesmente péssimo. Pode se fazer o argumento que se o combate fosse interressante iria gerar dissonância ludonarrativa, mas mesmo assim não deixa de ser um ponto baixo num jogo em que muito do que tu faz é combate.

OFF é como espiar brevemente um mundo alien, mas estranhamente familiar com a realidade em que vivemos, de certa forma nós também nadamos em oceanos de plástico e respiramos fumaça, cabe a nós não nos rendermos ao niilismo de uma vida cinza.

The human race must be punished for the birthing the unholy existence of of merge games

Beautiful and methodical pseudo-fanfiction about the works of Kenji Miyazawa and really more about his legacy in culture. There's a big element of this game absolutely not having the same takeaway about Miyazawa's works, especially in the way this game thinks of the Galactic Railroad, but it is making delicate and future-looking moves with the adventure game formula that grip the RPG Maker community to this day that make it real easy to not get so hung up on that. Ihatovo Monogatari imposes a quest to chase down a fleeting mythical figure against the daily mundanity of the downtrodden workers, farmers, peasants, and youth. While you float through fantastical moments, life moves on: the young family moves south for the winter, the scorned worker is chased out of town suddenly, the boy you helped out last week died of a fever off screen. The things you chase in life can only amount to the character of your actions that get you there. Live wisely, fiercely, and kindly to struggle along side those who surround you.