The 111th Soul makes me admit to the Internet that I’m a big, ole scaredy-cat

There’s a lot to like about “The 111th Soul.” Created by a solo developer, Ricardo Pratas, and available on Steam, the sound-design and immersive feel to the game give this a deep atmospheric tone. Playing with mouse and keyboard was a little weird for me, as the fluid movement paired with my mouse settings made me a little woozy until I got used to it. I acclimated quickly, though, and was immediately absorbed into looking through the creepy house, checking out items, walking through doors, all the while waiting for the bad thing to happen.

That’s the atmosphere of “The 111th Soul,” knowing that the bad thing is right around the corner, behind a door, in another room. And, Internet, I’m here to tell you, I’m a wimp. I was a little stymied looking for a box of

matches, but once I set one thing in motion, I started to quaver. When the first bad thing happened, I took a few steps back and decided to try the front door again. Nope. I went room-by-room, willing the developer to give me some in-game release from the dread that was slowly taking over. I went back to the bad thing and discovered the way forward and for a moment, I thought, “it’s just a game, Girl Adventurer. You’ve got Adventure in your name for cripes sake!”

The creepy photos and grandfather clock really tie the room together….tick tock tick tock.

I tried the front door again.

“Nooooooooo,” my internal monitor screamed as I approached one of two closed doors. I knew there were more bag things afoot and as I approached the end of the hallway, one of those bad things made a noise.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. I hit the ESC key and quit. I’m a scaredy-cat.

This should be more than enough recommendation to try out Pratas’ “The 111th Soul.” If you enjoy this kind of immersive, shuddering experience, I think you will not be disappointed. In fact, go play it for me and come back and tell me how much fun it was. I’ll be sitting here, cowering by the front door, ready to run.

Remember kids, arrows that go up, eventually come down

Ah, this game is too much fun. If I ever need a reminder of how bad my aim is in games, particularly side-scrolling games, this little bow-and-arrow shooter will put me in my place in no time. Feeling the need to play something new, I headed over to the Unity game room and found this little gem by Garakuta called (maybe) “Demon Attack [魔物討伐].” Here’s my advice, don’t let the large, red skull surrounded by small skeletons skulkily skulking in the sky distract you. For if you do you miss out on two things: one, the small skeletons hop down to the ground and git ya; and two, arrows you shoot up, can come back down on your head.  Head over and give it a try, if not to impress me with your mad bow skills, then to just sit there while the epic music plays in the background.

After lasting nearly six seconds, I let the music play in the background. There are a bazillion skeletons eating my face right now.

I love killing chickens in Rogue Sphere

Another Japanese game over at Unity Room caught my eye. This one is Rogue Sphere from NinaLabo. I played the WebGL version, but there is also a version available at Google Play. This little rogue-like game took nearly an hour away from me this morning, even though I can understand a fraction of the instructions and game text.

RogueSphere05
I believe I’m supposed to make onigiri for him, but I apparently ate it myself.

The navigation is app-based, so there are no WASD or arrow controls, but that process became pretty bearable especially as you move from area to area – your character sprints through those passages. Each level has roughly four areas and after clearing the level of monsters – chickens, bats, snakes, blobs – you head to the stairs to take on the next level. Eventually when you clear you end up in a small town. The town boasts a modest shop where you can accidentally sell your shied because your Japanese is so terrible. You can buy food there too.

RogueSphere04
These are glowing plants of unknown (to me) purpose. They may be a save mechanic or they may just smell nice.

Rogue Sphere has small side quests as well, but I have no idea what they are about, save the onigiri one which, I believe, I totally failed. Language barrier aside, the game is quite fun, the tiny death squawks of the chickens making me laugh each and every time.

Farm Living is the Life for Me

I thought I was going to spend about five minutes playing this little farm simulator from kamihi over at the Unity Room, but 農園生活 (Farm Living) grabbed me for over a half an hour, at least. The entire game is in Japanese, so if you don’t have some basic understanding the hurdle to play will be higher, but if you trust yourself, you can probably muddle through. You play フィルミエ (Firumie(?)) – I’m adding her name in katakana so you can suss it out from the dialog — and you’ve decided to start living the farm life. You take out a loan for 35000 and you have a certain period of time (I didn’t catch how long) to pay it off with your labors.

FarmLiving02
You can see some of the items and crops available in this screen shot. Clicking on the character on the right allows you to harvest crops. Upgrading tools means using fewer hearts per activity.

I nearly made it, the game stopping when I was around 5,000, but the music and game mechanics – plus my desperate need to improve my Japanese – kept me hooked. Here are a few tips when playing:

  • You won’t be able to remove the boulders on your property, but in time you’ll be able to buy a tool that will help.
  • Try to sell your crops at the highest value you can. See the list on the left hand side.
  • When you click on a plot, the right-hand menu will show your available actions. New abilities and crops will show up there without ceremony, so keep your eyes peeled.
  • Keep an eye on your hearts (bottom left). Those are the number of actions you can do in a month. The blue button on the bottom (休み) means Rest and hitting that will move you to the next month.
  • Crops don’t appear to spoil – though there were a few messages that popped up that were too fast for me to try to read. Hold them until the price is higher.

Most of all, enjoy it. And no, I have no idea how to turn off the music. I didn’t spend that much time on the menu. But I enjoyed it, just as I thoroughly enjoyed Farm Living.

Rating: Try