Bundle Reviews part 1: Overland through Celeste

This first couple items from  the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality 

Hokay then!

First up are…
Overland: A squad-based survival strategy game with procedurally generated levels.
Night in the Woods: At the end of everything, hold onto anything.
Kenney Game Assets 1: 20,000+ game assets for use in your games.
Sky Rogue: A fwooshy, intense, procedurally generated fly-em-up

And because I wasn’t bored yet I added Celeste.

Already this is over $75 worth of content I got for $10 and I have not scratched the surface even a little!

For friends and family that are less embedded in techno-videogame-newspeak, procedurally generated means that the software generates the levels of the game rather than a game designer. This means every single time you play the game it will be different.

Overland: From the description this is a game where you gather together a band of survivors, steal a car, and try to travel across a country ravaged by disaster, monsters, maybe zombies. You have to keep the car running, your friends healthy, and avoid being eaten.

This is a somewhat well tread concept for a game, but fortunately it’s one I like a lot.

So in a quick play I stole a car, met a friend, found some gas, traveled a bit, ran away from scary crystal worm-bug-things, and then made a terrible mistake when trading some tools for a backpack and was murdered, I think somewhere outside of Boston, by some very easily offended individuals. They shot us with a flare gun.

The graphics are charming and sharp, the sound is spot-on, and there feels like there is a story here. I suspect this is going to be a tough game to do well at, but I will be returning to this one. My short taste was sweet enough to make me want to explore this game more.

Night in the Woods: So I already own this game. It was bought for me by a friend when I was living in Indiana and I played a bit before getting distracted by various shiny explosions. Apparently it was also made by one or more people that one or more people I know… know.

This is a game about a woman (cat) returning home to a mining town somewhere in the midwest after her school career flops. It is a game about what happens after failure and about reconnecting with a past that has changed and moved on. It is also about something creepy out in the woods.

What I played of this game I absolutely loved. I really need to give it a long weekend to play through the rest of this story.

Kenney Game Assets 1: This is a huge stash of graphics, fonts, audio files, 3d models, and whatnot for making games. Everything in it is technically free, but the $10 asking price is probably worth not having to download 20,000 separate items. I don’t make video games (well not no far anyway) but I do make games. I’m betting something in here is going to be useful.

I am not super clear who Kenney is. But he is prolific! If you want, you can donate a dollar to Kenney here. I did just because it amused me to donate a dollar to someone named Kenney.

Sky Rogue: A 3d fly-and-shoot game where you fly and shoot.

This really isn’t my genre of game, but It’s early in this whole project, so I thought I would give it a try.

Oh… yeah… OK… This game is a blast from the past from when this WAS my kind of game. I am talking Atari 1040/Amiga 500 days… but slicker, shinier, and just… a little bit more… more.

This is a game I had to break out a controller for, it was not meant for keyboard. It made me wish I had a joystick, a roll of quarters, and an extra 75 cents for a hot dog and a soda.

I probably won’t be sinking a whole lot of time into this game. These days I want my video games to have a whole lot of story and if at all possible to scare the hell out of me. But I might keep this one around for when I just need to launch a lot of missiles at something.

Should I do another? Do I have time for one more?

Well OK…

Celeste: A narrative side-scroller with a bucket of plot and things to fall off of.

Some of my favorite games have been side-scrolling adventure games, but most of them have fallen short of the glory that was Wonder Boy in Monster World on the Sega Genesis. We shall see if this reminds me of those glorious days… Celeste does promise a lot of challenges, a soundtrack I might want to buy and listen to, and pie. Yes it promises pie.

A half an hour of downloading, this is clearly a beast… I’ll play a little more Sky Rogue while I wait. What a world we live in. Then a little more as the version I downloaded seems to not actually run so I had to get the opengl version.

Right off the bat… I am a bit thrown by what they have chosen to name the main character of a game called Celeste… It’s Madeline. Apparently the mountain is named Celeste.

Oof! This is a platform jumper with the difficulty of an old Psygnosis* game to match it’s retro feel! The graphics are very low-res mixed with really charming portraits and background. Controls are tricky as by the third or fourth screen (a screen upon which I died over twenty times) you are already having to perform feats of parkour requiring four buttons at once in a particular rapid sequence while in mid-air. This is a game that is not going to coddle you and is going to reward hard work and dedication… of which I am in short supply having 1736 more items to check out.

I may not be revisiting this game any time soon, but it’s definitely got some things going for it in the hands of someone with more time and patience.

*Psygnosis was a british game company in the Commodore/Amiga/Atari days famous for incredibly beautiful and mercilessly brutal games. At some point they were bought by Sony or someone and mellowed out a whole lot.

That’s it for now!

Stay safe, stay sane, and as Uncle Mikey says… goodbye, and be good!

One comment

  1. Koji says:

    Jebus. Psygnosis levels of difficulty is horrifying.

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