I’m pretty wiped out from a long and stressful week so today I’m gonna recommend some games I’ve played that maybe you’ve not heard about. I’ll post the next step on the text adventure tutorial next week.
The Blackwell Series
By Wadjet Eye Games
Really I recommend any game by Wadjet Eye Games, I’ve played almost all of them and plan to remedy that soon. The Blackwell series, beginning with The Blackwell Legacy is a good entry point for Wadjet Eye’s particular brand of point and click adventure. It follows medium Rosa Blackwell and her spirit guide Joey Malone as they try to help other ghosts find peace and move on to the next plane of existence.
They have a very noirish style and are very well written. The graphics while not particularly high res are nonetheless very fitting and the art direction while fairly traditional is still engaging enough to be a good compliment for the excellent writing and voice acting.
While not exactly advertised, one of my favourite things about these games is while they absolutely draw you in with the atmosphere and story, they don’t waste your time. You’ll find little if any filler here and average play time to beat the games would be 2 to 3 hours apiece. None of the puzzles are frustrating deal breakers, and that’s great, I love the way Wadjey Eye games really respects your time.
This is a super cute puzzler about hats and Spluffs that started life as a Ludlum Dare, and happily was further polished and released as a full game, as far as I know the Ludlum Dare version is still available somewhere? But doesn’t contain so many levels. Graphics are on point for this type of game and the sound effects couldn’t suit the game better. The premise is simple, wearing a hat that matches the hat a Spluff is wearing and you can push it spaces, if you’re not wearing a matching hat the Spluff will punch you.
There are a ton of levels, 66 in total as far as I know, and they range from the easy to utter brain teasers that’ll make you feel like a genius when you beat them (even if you needed a little help). The story that goes alongside the puzzles is a nice interlude between puzzles and I’m looking forward to getting to the resolution, I’ve only 3 more puzzles to solve and I’ll find out exactly what happened!
Do you like neon? I hope you like neon, I like neon. So does Rob Fearon, and he, along with some help designed the game for you. DRM is a twin stick shooter that reminds you of everything 80’s. It controls like you expect any twin stick shooter too, and the magic starts as soon as the first enemy moves towards you like a bright neon fish (that’s what it is in fairness) and you pull the trigger, sending a rainbow wave of death its way. Unfortunate for the fish, but this is a shooter yes, and being that it’s made of neon (of course) when you kill it, it explodes in neon joy. Also, that fish brought friends, better pull the trigger again.
I think the genius of this game is the sheer joy in everything, the synth soundtrack is super up eat and encouraging and the sheer volume and diversity of colours on screen at any one time is something to behold. The gameplay is tight and the levels are frought, as they should be. To top it all off is an excellent scoring mechanism, there are only 2 points available on ever level. One for completing the stage and one for picking up a gem that disappears shortly after the stage starts. That’s it. I think my high score is 32 and I’m proud of that! Not sure that anyone has reached the highest score yet, 64. Please play this, you’ll be the happier for it, and if you do, let me know your high score.
Following on neatly from the old school stylings of DRM we have a game that could have been written for a C64 if it could only run java. You play Ruby, a marine biologist who needs to get enough credits together to buy a new research vessel (The Unsinkable 2) by diving into the trenches for precious minerals and pearls.
You have to manage your oxygen as you need enough not only to go down, but also come back up with your precious loot! Each dive into the trenches is fraught with peril and your submarine is very fragile. Once you’ve got enough credits you can start to upgrade your craft a little bit and as time goes on there is a strong tendency to get reckless, and lets be honest, greedy and that’s when things start to go wrong, and it won’t take long before you’re reading the high score screen wishing you hadn’t taken that one last dive, or thought not brought down one more oxygen tank. Or blinked at the wrong time.
But that’s ok, you just boot up another session and get going, and with a daily challenge thrown in that you can easily publish the score too on twitter you can get competitive with your friends.
Graphics are simple but that’s what you want when everything in the game is set to kill you, but included are a number of tile sets to chose from which can give some nice variation to playing the game, sounds are few and there’s no soundtrack to be found here but that is just fine, music would just be another distraction and you need to concentrate!
If you don’t like high tension games this one might not be for you, and I find that while I love it, I can only play for maybe an hour at a time, unless I get in the zone in a really sweet session…
So There you have it, 4 games and one series you may not have heard of and should definitely play soon! I’d love to hear about what hidden gems you’ve been playing…