Afterfall Insanity Extended Edition

 

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Game: Afterfall Insanity
Genre: Action,Adventure,Indie
Developer: Intoxicate Studios
Publisher: Nicolas Games
Release Date: ???
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating:  8/10
Graphics: 8/10
Controls: 8/10
Level/Puzzle Design:8/10
Sound: 8/10
Story: 8/10
Replay Value: 6/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

Mysteriously disappearing from the store a couple months ago (ok, not mysteriously, the developers went to court and then filed bankrupcy); your only chance to grab this game now if you’re interested and didn’t get it for free when it was so, will be from any leftover bundles or stores may have. (Such a shame, I really wanted Reconquest… )

There was the Third World War and all of humanity was forced to go into shelters. In Afterfall you take the role of Albert, a sort of psychologist to the men and women who are in the same shelter as him, who starts suffering from confinement syndrome – as is everyone else. When things turn bad, he’s forced to escape the shelter – and into the wild land that was left above…

Afterfall Insanity is, then, an Action/Adventure horror game that I recommend for casual players, as it’s fairly easy to pick up and leave at any time.

The graphics are good, maybe not perfect, but they run on low specs computers even on a decent medium setting, and the music and sounds were pretty good as well, matching the atmosphere of the game. I particularly liked the loading screens, as they felt like part of the game (even if all you did was stand around in a decontamination area, haha).

The game is fun, the easy difficulty really is easy, and most the puzzles I encountered were way too easy too (if a bit annoying and might cause death on the first run through them), which some might view as a con, but for a casual player who doesn’t want to spend one hour just solving the one puzzle… yep.

The fight style is a bit wonky, but not horrible and definitely playable; it’s sure as hell not going to win any prizes, though. But at least it doesn’t require particularly mad skills to get used to it either.
Hint: Fireaxe = Best weapon to use yet.

The concept of the Fear Meter is interesting, the application… is not too bad, though I wouldn’t call it ground breaking either.

The dialogs can be rather funny most the time, and not in a good way. The story, although it starts off really interesting, turns kind of lame halfway through (it’s like this: you want to know more, but when you learn more it makes no sense or it’s something completely dumb).

The most annoying thing about the game was that, for some odd reason, I’m not sure if it’s a bug or meant to be that way, but you just can’t keep your damn melee weapon. Why can’t you keep your damn melee weapon? You can keep a short and long range fire arm, so why not the melee too? Every time you switch sections, plop! It’s like Albert Butterfingers just accidentally drops it somewhere. So. Annoying. Particularly because there isn’t a whole lot of ammo to be found throughout. Certain cutscenes also make you lose your weapons: sometimes just the melee, sometimes ALL of them. I guess you better just use them up while you can.

The horror aspect in the game is played… weirdly. By which I mean, the game is a mish-mash of horror tropes. Some are good ideas, not all are good executions.

The Dirty Arena DLC is kind of boring, just like boss fights one after the other after the other.

Despite the downsides, I still found myself quite enjoying my play through Afterfall Insanity. I would recommended to try it out if it’s free or on super sale somewhere (which I doubt it will be, now, but maybe it’s sitting untouched in your library since it was free several times, so give it a chance!).

Stacking

 

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Game: Stacking
Genre: Adventure, Indie
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Double Fine Productions
Release Date: Mar 6, 2012
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating:  10/10
Graphics: 9/10
Controls: 7/10
Level/Puzzle Design:10/10
Sound: 10/10
Story: 10/10
Replay Value: 9/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

Stacking is one of the most original games I’ve played to date, and one of my favorites. I just cannot tell you how much I love this game.

In Stacking you take the role of Charlie, the youngest in a family of Chimney Sweepers. His relatives are all taken away to work for the Baron, an Industry leader. Your task? To find and rescue your family, and while you’re at it, free the children that are being used in child labour by the Baron.

The game is just super charming: the visuals are pretty stunning, the nesting dolls are adorable, and they all have their own powers and personalities. You, being the youngest of your family (and thus smallest) will need to solve puzzles (how to get into and out of places, unlock stuff, etc) by getting into different dolls and using their powers to achieve your goal. You have to respect the sizes, so sometimes to solve a puzzle you have to get inside various different sizes of dolls.

What’s best about it, besides the originality of it, is that:

  • All the puzzles are very logical, thus making them both challenging but at the same time not impossible.
  • All puzzles have more than one way to solve it. Meaning you can go back and find all the other ways in which you could have solved the problem. in fact, you will definitely want to do this.

I found the humor utilized through it to be quite adorable and funny too.

The cutscenes are all made like little theater plays, and the music is just beautiful and very in tune with the game’s setting and style.

The only downside I could find to this game, though, is that the cutscenes are almost unskippable (you can actually double tap esc to skip them, but apparently that works only at certain points because most the time I just couldn’t skip them).

I would definitely recommend this game to everyone, regardless of age and gender.

Whispering Willows

 

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Game: Whispering Willows
Genre: Adventure, Indie
Developer: Night Light Interactive
Publisher: Night Light Interactive
Release Date: jul 9, 2014
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating:  9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Controls: 8/10
Level/Puzzle Design:7/10
Sound: 8/10
Story: 8/10
Replay Value: 5/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

Whispering Willows is a Horror(ish)/Adventure puzzle game by Night Light Interactive. In it you play as Elena, who is looking for her father. Elena has powers that allow her to spirit-walk (or astral-project, as you may want to call it), which will help her solve puzzles, talk to ghosts, and help them move on. The game has some basis of Native American folklore, which might make it of particular interest to some.

Although the game is fairly simple and short, it has a lot going for it.
The story is interesting enough, though to get the full impact of it you really need to read all the notes you find, and not just skip them. The 2D graphics quite beautiful in their simplicity, yet still detailed enough in the backgrounds that you find yourself noticing all those little special things. The soundtrack and sounds are quite fitting the mood of the game throughout.

In Whispering Willows you’re searching for your missing father at the Willows Mansion, which is full of secrets and ghosts and passageways. You will spend most of your time moving around the maps trying to find items, secrets and such, sometimes on your body, sometime by spirit walking.
The puzzles aren’t too easy, but they’re also not incredibly hard, making them just about the right spot where you won’t necessarily feel compelled to quit or look up the answer, but will also not find it immediately for most of them. Some do require quite a bit of backtracking though, and when I played the game you could only walk and not run. I hear this has been fixed now, as the developer is very present on the forums.

It can be a bit easy to get lost as it has several locations, and at the time of playing it the game had no map system (I don’t think it’s been added, but I’m not sure) which had me backtracking and getting lost in a few parts.
The game might also seem a bit slow to some, though if you’re used to Adventure games, the pacing shouldn’t be a problem.

The replay value of this game is decent – you will probably want to play it again at some point, but likely not soon after finishing it.

All in all, I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for a short, more paranormal than horror story with a good story.

Lakeview Cabin

 

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Game: Lakeview Cabin
Genre: Indie
Developer: Roope Tamminen
Publisher: Roope Tamminen
Release Date: Mar 25, 2015
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating:  8/10
Graphics: 8/10
Controls: 10/10
Level/Puzzle Design:8/10
Sound: 9/10
Story: 8/10
Replay Value: 8/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

10/10 would zip down a line into a working wood chipper again.

Ahhh, Lakeview Cabin. I was the lucky winner of this game on one of the steam groups I belong to, and I was pleasantly surprised with the creepy pixelated experience.

Really, the game page says it all:

Quote

”Relive the horror movies of the 70’s and 80’s by answering the question: What would you do if you found yourself in a slasher film?”

And that’s exactly what the game is: A perfect, pixelated representation of your typical horror movie of the 80’s. There you have the girls with their lovely hair, and the boys with their handsome beards, and the creepy lake, and the cabins, and the creepy nude stalker…

Wait, what? o.O

The game is a horror/comedy/parody/adventure type of game. Your goal? To prepare yourself to survive the creepy, murdering monster as long as possible. Or, you know, you could just hide forever.

There are several characters for you to deal with, and switching between them is super easy.
You get to explore the cabins, find items to aid you with surviving, places to hide, and weapons to use against the horrors of the night. Whenever you get hurt, you actually… get hurt. As in, you miss a leg and you’ll be hopping down that pixelated grass on one leg while bleeding off. the game spares no expenses in the pixelated gore.

You can also kill yourself, kill others, and promptly die when you’re the only one left to face the evil from the lake. There’s more than one way to kill or be killed, and exploring them all is as fun as playing the game as you should be. :)
And you know what’s more satisfactory than surviving? Not giving the monster the chance to kill you all off, by doing it yourself first. :P

The game is mostly funny to play, but it also, despite being just pixels, manages to be sufficiently creepy as to unnerve you.  The replayability is fairly decent, as you can just replay it to see how many different ways you find to survive, whether you can kill the monster at all, and how long you can last.

If you’re into a bit of pixelated parody horror, give this one a try! Be warned, though: If you want to play this as it’s intended (as opposed to killing everyone yourself, actually laying traps out for the evil thing), be prepared to be a bit frustrated at the time constraints until you get the hang of what to do.

Looking forward to future episodes!

4PM

 

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Game: 4PM
Genre: Indie
Developer: Bojan Brbora
Publisher: 4PM GAME
Release Date: Jul 9, 2014
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating:  1/10
Graphics: 3/10
Controls: 6/10
Level/Puzzle Design:N/A
Sound: 5/10
Story: N/A
Replay Value: 0/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

Let me get this out of the way first:
DO NOT BUY IF YOU SUFFER FROM MOTION SICKNESS.

4PM is supposed to be an interactive story, and in that, I suppose it manages, sort of, to at least convey some kind of story, assuming you can put up with it. I won’t be discussing the story itself because I’ll address mostly the big reasons to not even attempt this game/movie/story/thing.

The choice subject (alcoholism and suicide), can make for a dark, interesting story. Instead, what it was trying to say was lost in awful game mechanics and graphics. While the surroundings might be passable, and the little sign with sun coming through might make for a pretty postcard, the whole thing is quite the wreck otherwise. The only thing the poor character has going for her is that she has a body (unlike half the FPS games), but other than that, she’s quite awful to look at, making you thankful that it’s FPS… until you start moving.

I don’t think even drunk people walk like this character does. You could argue that she was drunk, it is a story about alcoholism after all, but I’m fairly sure the story start was a ‘morning after’, and she had no reason to be swaying like drunkard just yet. And even assuming it wasn’t (and that she maybe was drunk), the game should still be bearable to play, not purposefully make you sick for edginess’ sake.
The blurring effect found through the start of the game gave me a headache, just to go along with how sick her swaying walk made me feel. Looking sideways tilts your world diagonally too. I don’t know about you, but when I look over my shoulder that just doesn’t happen unless I’m already dizzy.

Right about then, some 10 minutes in, is where you start to wonder if the developer wanted to tell a story about alcoholism or wanted you to feel like you were drunk.

I cannot speak for the story itself as it made me feel way too sick to play more than 10 minutes (but I’m told it doesn’t last over half an hour anyhow). The game is advertised as cinematic and experimental, but even movies have to be watchable if you want people to be able to get through them (cam-shake movies included).

As for the rest of the game’s settings…. there are not a lot of options for customizing anything – not the bobbing and swaying of the character nor the audio or video settings nor much of anything at all.

Good luck if you try this one.