Link Dump Friday №341


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Link Dump Fridays

DoraZombies, ransom notes, procrastination, and, just maybe, peace. This week's Link Dump Friday features everything from fast-paced shooting action to a concentrated attempt at failure.

  • Zombocalypse 2Zombocalypse 2 - More of the same isn't necessarily a bad thing when you're talking about mowing down zombies with an endless supply of weapons that fall from the sky. This shooter might not represent a significant change from the original, but it's got just enough to keep it feeling fresh without losing what made it so addictive in the first place. Plus, as I write this, it's October, and you can't have Halloween without zombies. That's like... Easter without Snoopy. Or... Christmas without Snoopy. Or Thanksgiving without Snoopy.
  • Gentle GravityGentle Gravity - I played NinjaFox's odd, twee puzzle platformer and smiled at the silent film style presentation and concept... that of a gravity-hopping fellow collecting coins to appease newcomers. And then I got to the graphic death and went "GEH!" It's not that I'm opposed to violence, it's that the gore is incredibly out of place in this otherwise cute and inoffensive little game in an almost Jekyll and Hyde sort of way. Some repetitive levels mar an otherwise clever concept, but it's still worth checking out if you love big moustaches and you cannot lie.
  • The ExamThe Exam - StormAlligator puts a unique spin on a strategy game where your job, as a "Procrastination Agent", is to make sure Pete gets an F- on his exam in twenty days by making him waste time with everything but studying. It's actually harder, and more baffling, than you might think, at least as far as making him get that holy grail of terrible grades, but there's still something oddly compelling about it. Maybe it's the way it's keeping me from actually getting any work of my own done... ? Meta.
  • Player 2Player 2 - I wouldn't call this a game so much as an... interactive cathartic experience? Lydia Neon and Leon Arnott deliver what could, for some people, be an intensely emotional experience in a game that asks you to deal with interpersonal conflict (what that amounts to is determined by you) by confronting it in an unusual way. Some people may find the concept of the game's attempts at healing condescending, but it is, unarguably, made with the sort of love towards ones fellow people we could do with a lot more of in general, and if it helps at least one person, well, it's a success in my book. Besides, whoever your Player 2 is, remember... whoever you are, whatever happened, however big or small you think it may be, I less than three you too, and I care.

9 Comments

Unrelated question... what happened to the review of Return and is there somewhere else I can find it? I saw it and bookmarked it to play when I had time but it's vanished.

Reply

Sorry Dandy. The rating was so low and the response so poor I opted to remove it.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/content/indie-speed-run/?game=677

Reply

Is there any way we could see the original review? I just played the game, and though I honestly have no idea what it was about, your review may give me some insight.

I really think that you shouldn't remove reviews from this site, however "bad" the game might end up being.

Reply

Hi Rangeet,

Unfortunately, we disagree. While we as reviewers never feature anything we don't personally enjoy, when reader opinion differs as drastically as it did here, with the rating struggling to make even a 2, we feel it conflicts with our message to bring you "only the best" and as such we would rather remove it rather than have it here.

The original review has unfortunately been deleted, but my basic opinion was

it's a game about growing up. Where a lot of games would approach the loss of innocence with blood, Return is simply about coming to realise and accept that there's no magical solution to everything in life. The little girl's mother is depressed and in pain, and sometimes the best option is just to hurt for a while and deal with it as best you can, where the little girl thought there had to be something out there that would magically make everything all better because a child has trouble comprehending that isn't the way things work when that's all they know from stories.

The problem with this is that the game treated this revelation as abrupt as flicking the switch. The heroine goes from denying everything she hears from the adults, who are all looking on her mission with varying degrees of wistfulness and regret because of how simple it is compared to their grown-up problems, to suddenly realizing she was wrong with no real buildup of a believable sort. It's a super fast change of heart in a very unrealistic fashion, and combined with the simplistic gameplay and overall lack of polish in the writing, made for a concept that probably needed more development time than the 48 hours it received. It was a good idea, and a beautifully designed piece that was more interactive art than anything else, but the character arc it was going for needed a bit more than what it was given to make it really shine.

Reply

Thanks for the link Dora. I just finished playing Return and I sadly agree with the poor response. I completely agree with your assessment above though. After I finished I thought, "This would be great... if it was a game." But concessions must always be made when a game is made in 48 hours. I rarely make my bed in 48 hours. I appreciate the effort and intent.

As for keeping or deleting reviews, well it's a double edged sword. Games aren't on the homepage of JIG for long (like I mentioned before I bookmark games to play when I get a chance) and some may take time to build momentum and gain a following. Some of the best cult classics were poorly received when released.

The flip side of that is vainly keeping a lemon in the hope people like it and getting flack for having bad games on JIG. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

PS. In actual relevance to Link Dump (which I'm glad is back to it's former glory... and I notice there have been 'indie funding/up and coming reviews' as a separate entity, which in my head I'm taking total credit for)
Gentle Gravity is awesome! It was harder than I expected and surprisingly unique for FastGames.

That concludes today's lecture... sorry for the long post. As Fridaynosaur says, "It's Friday!"

Reply

Whoever thought procrastination would be difficult? Pete keeps studying and passing his exams! Does anyone have any strategies or hints?

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I have to say, Player 2 was quite therapeutic. Interesting, considering its simplicity.

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Player 2 made me cry.

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For the exam,
Getting drunk it expensive (2 bottles and the whole day), but it resets his urge to get ride of things. Really helps.

Reply

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