Ok, it's the inevitable cross between Bike Racing games and QWOP, I think?

I love the concept, and I love that it's a mobile game with no ads or popups! It's pure game! Why is that rare nowadays?

However, the QWOPification of its bike physics makes it unfortunately, just as horribly frustrating as QWOP when you are trying to actually get somewhere. Getting through the levels is one thing, trying to beat the "Super Nice!" time limit is insane for some levels, and requires you to master these weird controls that never seem to cooperate just right. I wanted to tilt my phone so bad. Why didn't this game take advantage of the accelerometer?

This game made me want to download Bike Race again.

(So I downloaded Bike Race again, and no surprise, it feels so much better, makes me want to play more because I can actually see what's coming ahead and can land jumps. But it's filled with microtransactions and ads. Ugh.)

This review contains spoilers

When you play this game, try to image the room as a cube. Or, if you see it as a cube, picture it as a room.

This is the first gotmail.jp game with sound!

There are some really cool layers of puzzle in this game, along with some stupidly pixel-hunt esque type moments... But in terms of content, this blows the previous gotmail entries out of the water, so I still respect it a lot for what it sought out to do.

After starting my first game, I spent about 15 minutes trying to get anywhere or pick up any powerup, and found that it was just too hard for me to have any fun. So I started over, enabling everything that would make me invincible to explore the world and see what was going on. But then the world felt extremely flat, not like "oh, I've been here before. I remember this place because I did x and y here". Maybe that's my fault, but with an invincibility cheat code baked right into the menu, it's kinda hard to resist. And there's no putting the genie back in the bottle once you've taken away every surprise-pit and sudden bossfight. Oh well.

Unfortunately even with total invincibility and most of the items, I couldn't find anything that made traversal feel much improved from how it felt at the start. Or if there was a good combined application of my items, the fact that I had to hunt-and-peck the items on the keyboard made it too hard to find it (the game devotes 20% of the screen to boxes labeled A-R for your item slots, which are activated with those keys). Every key after R (alphabetically) changes Sylvie into a lime which effectively turns off gravity, sending her flying.

It's a very experimental approach... but I can absolutely guarantee you I would have had more fun if this game had 1 action button than 19. It's just too many, and too randomly dispersed too fast. Ironically, I found this game because it was advertised as a sort of Animal-Well-like, a game that had you scroll through 6+ items using L1 and R1... but I digress.

There seemed to be some meta-dialog about the creation and creators of the game you are playing sprinkled throughout the world, but I just didn't care to read into it myself. It was a bit too long-winded, like picking up a book in Skyrim. I'm not a fan of the idea of platforming games with VN elements, I prefer story that is baked into the gameplay and the world. You can't spell Skyrim without Skim...

I like to try new things and I like when devs try new things, so I'm happy this game exists, but I think it needs some restructuring if the devs want this to be able to reach a larger audience.

This narrator is talking about proper game design as I'm glitching through the plane of the world and getting soft locked. Is this a joke? This really feels like someone trying too hard to make something meaningful and also trying to get you to buy some cool PS5 games it keeps mentioning??

This is SUCH a unique fusion of genres, so I have massive respect for the devs for going all out... but I think the gameplay wasn't too fun for the first half. Although, I'm also nearly certain more horror fans will enjoy this than golf fans will, and I fall in the latter category.

That being said, the golf mechanics were surprisingly decent! The horror elements just became frustrating to me as the motivation of the player felt a bit too vague. When you come across [spoiler thing], why would you keep playing a round of golf? I think there are hints that the player-character is a bit psychotic, but it's not totally clear what the meaning of it all is, which is probably okay! It just makes it hard for the golf fan in me to enjoy.

I will say the second half this game kinda kicks ass, and frankly I wish more golf games would attempt something as bold as what this game does. Easily puts Super Rush to shame in terms of breaking the golfing mold, but I think the possibilities of the horror-golf genre, as well as the golf genre in general, are still out there.

(btw, I totally found out this game because of Jacob Geller, but I didn't actually watch the video yet)

The golden wrench drops were the most insane online gaming experience I've ever been a part of

2021

I knew this was meant to be a mobile game the entire time I played it, but it was sort of entrancing so I beat the whole thing in one go. It feels like something chronologically out of time, like it would have been a hit WiiWare title, or DSi shop download, or iOS game in the early 2010s, but 2021 is surprising. Really stark hyper-minimalism and crisp sound design, but unfortunately a bit too easy at most points and kinda slow at times.

A step forwards in technology, a step backwards in game design... Especially hilarious considering the original Portopia already fixed its text entry problem in 1985 with the Famicom release. The 1985 version might actually be easier to play than this game!

Adding on top of that the badly AI smoothed character animations... It's a showcase of some of the worst uses of AI, and a showcase that is years too late to impress anyone.

Behind all these flaws is Portopia, a (still, surprisingly) decent visual novel/detective game that made waves in the Japanese games industry of the 80s (and beyond). But it's a crappy excuse for a remake that never should have happened. I played it to observe its use of AI, but I discourage playing it otherwise.

Perhaps the most joyous experience of 2024 so far

Handcrafted, refined, technical platforming. Wow. Must have been an absolute time suck in some high school's computer lab back in the day

It's that part of the game where you enter a maze-like desert where directions become confusing, except that's this whole game. And it nails it.

Minimalistic masterpiece! The game design here is absolutely stunning. Rarely do I want to replay games after beating them but the naturalness of feeling like you are getting a grip on this desert is powerful.

I'm not typically a fan of RPG maker games by their gameplay, but definitely the vibes can win me over, and Felvidek has some unique vibes. I was happy to be running around the little late-medieval kingdom fighting off heretical demons with my priest buddy for a few hours...

I kind of got lost in all of the names and factions, but the game was the right length that it wasn't really a big issue.

Such a cool setting, good puzzles, fantastic art design + history, and music too! I forgot how much I loved this one.