The Indie Zone Episode 14
Reviews for Trailer Park King, Grid Legion – Deviant Remix and Cthulhu Saves the World make up this episode of the Indie Zone.
Trailer Park King – 80 :MSPoints: – Marketplace – Review by David Cole
Trailer Park King is a point and click adventure game set unsurprisingly in a trailer park. You play the King, surrounded by a population mainly made up of women. Shortly after the start of the game, one of the few remaining men is murdered in your trailer, you have been framed and must find the real killer. The game takes on a whodunit theme where you must eliminate suspects by completing tasks for them to prove their innocence.
At first glance the game looks great with well drawn scenery and characters, all of which are fully voice acted. Scratch a little under the surface and some cracks begin to appear. At times the game feels like you are playing on the rails, with very simple ‘complete X task, get Y reward’ style gameplay. There are very few items to find and collect, and when you do find them they are automatically used in the right locations when talking to the residents. In some instances I accidentally completed a task simply by visiting a random location. The story also takes a few out of place twists, with alien probes and teleporters, it lets the story down and feels like it was added in to quickly fill the gaps. Playing at a normal pace whilst reading/listening to all the story you can complete the game in as little as 30 to 45 minutes. The game ends abruptly making little sense.
The graphics all look very good, characters are static displayed and have no emotion to the current situation which was a small letdown. Voice acting is used throughout the game and is performed well, top marks there! There are a dozen or so characters and they all have their characteristics such as the French/Canadian shop owner Celine with her cute french accent.
Trailer Park King costs 80 :MSPoints:, is it worth the money? I have to admit I would have felt short changed if I had purchased the game. There are plenty of good lengthy 80 :MSPoints: game on the Marketplace which offer better value. That is not to say Trailer Park King is a bad game, but it is very short game. While the game lasts, it is quite fun in places and plays on the stereotypical trailer park residents. The ending points to a sequel so hopefully the developers take on board some of the negatives and improve on those.
Grid Legion – Deviant Remix – 240 :MSPoints: – Marketplace – Review by Kyle. S
So, you’re a fan of card games such as Magic the Gathering or something of the sort? Well you are in luck with this title providing all of the strategy of a card game, with the effects and real-time aspect only a video game can provide. While at first the game may seem daunting, or intimidating to newer users the very helpful tutorial levels make learning the strategy and aspects of the game painless. The simple concept of the game is to stack up an army to clear the opponents blockades, gather resources and bring your enemy’s board health down to zero through the various tactics, spells, and arsenal you’re allotted with at the time. While the game-play has a rather steep learning curve, you’ll find later levels to provide a solid and compelling challenge on the card battlefield that is sure to entertain those new and old to the trading card arena in either single player, online or in your own custom-made card battlefield.
Set in a far-off land of myths and magic comes the eerie, adventurous and varied music to aid in your assault on your enemies on the grid. While I admit there’s nothing too spectacular about the soundtrack this turn-based game provides it fits the theme well with a medieval feel. The developer made sure to not make the music an overpowering addition to the game, where it’s loud enough to hear but still be able to focus on your card strategy and what you hear is good and well fitting, it’s nothing that sets it apart from the crowd.
For a title that replies on text and graphics to not only explain, but detail what’s happening on the card battlefield you’re expecting above-average work, correct? Luckily the game is not lacking in that department with smooth selection screens, detailed character artwork on the cards themselves, and smooth animations. Just like the music of the game, graphically nothing spectacular but it is a vital element and the developer has put extra time and effort to make sure it all looks good is seen throughout. Sure, some effect animations and transitions could be better but what is provided is above-average for a game this simple at the core.
All in all, this game is a very solid time-sink for anyone into trading cards, and even those new to the scene with useful tutorials. At a measly 240 :MSPoints: you’re not going to be disappointed at all with the quality of the game, provided you are into the turn-based tactics the genre is known for.
On an adventure? Aim to get the girl of your dreams? Also happen to be a mythical creature of unparalleled devastation? For your sake I’m hoping not. For the rest of us we have Cthulhu Saves the World to itch our burning desire for turn-based game-play straight out of final fantasy, with nostalgic graphics and sound design to boot. The game revolves around our hero Cthulhu losing all of his ungodly powers and abilities, making him no more threatening than the average kitten but learns he can only restore his powers through becoming a true hero.
As Cthulhu sets out to become his true-hero self and regain his other-worldly abilities he meets a cast of characters to adventure with each with their own special abilities and traits making them one of a kind (with a pointy trident too). Amidst progressing in the story you’re also going to notice the unique, and well-placed level-up system where you get to choose a set of distinct traits or abilities from a list of two or three taking the complexity out of the matter, and making a quick decision as to levelling up. Same element goes for the armor and weapon system in the game as well, with one slot for the gear you want of either armor or weapons making the process completely simple and painless when going to the merchant to buy higher tier gear. Overall, game-play for this RPG adventure is superb with simple controls and options, but with enough challenge to make the game anything but a walk in the park with witty, and insightful commentary to wrap it all up into a very enjoyable package of game-play elements.
What good RPG is complete without a well done soundtrack? Not too many as history recalls with a whole lot of great RPG’s also having memorable and unique soundtracks. Luckily, the fine folks at Zeboyd Games have put together a surprisingly well done soundtrack that fits each different part of the game well (in it’s own retro style) and is as unique as the concept of Cthulhu going around doing quests is. A very surprising outcome considering a team of two very dedicated folks made this game, and well-done soundtrack.
For a game that draws back on memories of games such as Chrono Trigger, or the earlier Final Fantasy games you wouldn’t be expecting a whole lot from the graphical department, right? Well you would be wrong, oh so very wrong as the detailed sprited graphics pop on the screen, as does just about everything shown in the game ranging from the beautiful towns, to the dark and dank caves. It’s obvious some serious work has been put into the design of this game, from the detailed enemy sprites to the surprisingly good-looking bridges with beautiful shadowing on them. The graphics are a love letter to 16-32 bit games but that does not stop CSTW from looking fantastic all around.
Cthulhu Saves the World is a steal at the 240 :MSPoints: or $2.99 asked up-front and is worth every penny, especially for those out there with a passion for old-school RPG games. Also, did you know if you purchase the game now on Steam you’ll get a copy of Zeboyd Games’ first release Breath of Death VII free? While it’s also a game just as excellent as CSTW I felt the two were too similar to review separately, with Cthulhu showing vast improvements to the engine (bridges, remember?) and overall look. While BoDVII is also well worth your time and money as it provides a unique story of it’s own, as well as unique characters, environments and items they share too many similar qualities to call for an entire separate post for their outdated first title, which is still good in its own right but CSTW topples it by far with the major improvements seen throughout.