Lost in a sea of adequate, but repetitive casual games from Big Fish, I decided to branch out a bit and look for some interesting games father afield. I’d been an avid player at Kongregate years ago and returned to see what was currently trending. Tales of Nebezem: The Golden Scepter was recommended to me early and it was spot on. This small RPG game was not only entertaining, but dang, it had a nice groove.
In fact, “Good Music” is one of the ways players have tagged Nebezem and trust me, it’s worthy of it. You play as Danu, a young girl in town who is quickly punished for having a big heart and a menace of a dog. To her credit, she only finds the dog at the start of the game, but the terrorizing terrier wreaks so much havoc so quickly she is immediately sent upon a quest(s) to make restitution to all of the injured neighbors. The collection trope is strong in Nebezem, but don’t let that dissuade you from playing. While every successive character may have a desire that Danu must fill to progress, the hopping music and easy game play make it difficult to stop playing this little gem. The game play is typical of an RPG game, though some of the puzzles are quite unique. I’ve yet to find the magical item that will make the chicken lay an egg, yet, if video games have taught me anything, getting a chicken to do something is damn near impossible.
Creator Beranek has also released a larger RPG game called Tales of Nezebem: Elemental Link. Set in the same world as the Kongregate game, this promises to be a much larger adventure, full of the same charm as the shorter game. After playing Golden Scepter I went ahead and purchased Elemental Link and look forward to playing and reviewing it soon.
I really want to love “The Night Henry Allen Died.” Everything about this browser game at Armor Games appeals to me. I love the isometric graphics. I love the music and sound design. I love the story. I love the whole idea of this game.
I just didn’t love playing it.
This is probably more about my own inadequacies than any of the game, but I found myself completely stymied by two things:
The controls: I’m not new to isometric gaming, nor keyboard gaming, but intuitively I found myself thinking that the upper-left direction was “up” and not “left” as coded for the game. There are only a few areas to explore but because my hand would not adapt to the game’s cardinal north, I found navigating terribly frustrating. This could also be due to the starting area, where the exit is found in the upper left.
The dialog: I’m all for a game that’s based solely on dialog, but I would have liked to see conversation choices that I had already run through eliminated, especially as you gain more information or meet more characters there are more items to scroll through. As with the movement controls, this is only done through the arrow keys and by the time I tap down to the newest topic of discussion, I’ve forgotten why I’m even asking.
I played one time last night after seeing it mentioned on Twitter. I went in with the best intentions and felt frustrated by the controls. I decided to leave it for the day and come back to it fresh in the morning. Unfortunately, I had the same issues, my right hand unwilling to reorient itself to the controls and the incessant down-arrowing to get past old dialog became stale quickly. I proceeded further than yesterday, but I can’t say that I found the second play-through better than the first.
“The Night Henry Allen Died” is a potentially interesting game, particularly in its story…goal(?), however some basic control issues keep it from being a more immersive narrative.
Continuing the Renaissance of Girl Adventurer’s Casual Reviews, I combed the last few weeks of Weekday Escapes over at JayIsGames.com. Apparently ole “Jay” is looking for writers, and yours truly was dang near ready to log into my Prodigy email account and send over an how-do-ya-do. Buuuut, perhaps let’s wait until I’ve had more than a few reviews spread over a four year period, ya?
This little gem caught my eye, and while the quick write-up in the original post didn’t make much sense of the SBK escape game, those commenting picked up on its charm. The cliché description would be “escape room inception,” yet, that is also the best description. The gameplay is what you would expect from escape games, but the twist in SBK was delightful. With each, let’s call it an iteration, I found myself smiling at the creator’s cheekiness. Well done.
SBKMan’s other games include: Cat Escape (猫の脱出）- which is adorable and features a cat that shoots invisible lasers (apparently); Charlotte’s Room and Charlotte’s Room 2 (I admit I got stuck on this one) which work as companions to Cat Escape (if not early proof of concept). Desk (机) is frustratingly adorable, yet the only thing you have to escape is your own messy surface. It was nice to discover SBKMan’s games and not suffer through the 400th version of Monkey Go Happy.