I like playing lots of games at once, I guess Amitte’s profile

If I don’t have anything cool to say, I’m probably playing: Coloring Pixels, Japanese Women - Animated Jigsaws, Moe Jigsaw, Pixel Puzzles: Japan, Pixel Puzzles: UndeadZ

For my ABC Challenges, go here: General, Hidden Object Games, Point and Clicks, Visual Novels

See dem sweet Steam stats here.
PlayStation stats are here.


Progress report: May 2019

God… I planned to do a lot, and I mean a lot more with my backlog in May, but alas…
I went back to school and it, along with multiple other things, took a huge toll on me.
So I ended up with a “meh” on my first Challenge Me! and close-to-absolutely-no progress on my other stuff.
(Psst! If you’re curious, you can still check out my challenges here: General, Hidden Object Games, Point and Clicks, Visual Novels)
Siiigh… and to think I’ll be holed up in the hospital for half a week soon…
Anyway, here’s what I actually managed to accomplish:

Catgirl Magic: Furry Duel - Another one of those crappy anime-styled games, yaaay… I still can’t believe I’ve spent over 2 hours on it. As the name states, you’re a catgirl… and you duel. But more seriously, the game has a whopping 15 levels of kitty-dueling. “Well then, how do you duel?”, you might ask. After choosing your desired catgirl wizardess, you face off against opponents (Basically the same models. At some point you’re literally going to fight yourself. How stupid is that?) by making cats appear on the table standing between you and your opponent. Whichever cat has a bigger point value wins. Whoever loses a round… takes off a piece of clothing. Well, more like it disappears off of her body. Each character has exactly four pieces of clothing to take off, so the shortest duels last four rounds, but if you come to a draw, the duel could last even eight rounds (can’t remember if it took any longer than that; I’ve spent a while playing this on and off, actually). All the interactivity this game has to offer is mashing Space in order to put a cat on the table and even that doesn’t work instantly most of the time. I know I often caught myself waiting for the game to announce another round (because when that happens, you, obviously, can’t duel for a brief moment), when in reality the game just didn’t want to register my Space-pressing. What also doesn’t work in favor of this little game is its RNG. It’s unbelievable. While at times you’ll be winning two, three duels in a row, later you’ll come to a big halt because even though you can use stronger cats now, the RNG won’t let you pass. Speaking of which, the cats you use start differing in looks and point values as you pass levels, but it’s stupid that you only get a certain set of cats forced upon yourself. Maybe a deck-building element would make it more bearable. Because of that, I believe I only passed ten, maybe twelve levels and gave up on trying to go further (thankfully, there weren’t any achievements that would force me to); just had to grind the achievement I got last on the easiest duels not to make myself suffer too much. Oh, and another thing I just remembered. Whenever you put out the cats, both your character and the opponent shout. Every time. It’s only simple lines in Japanese, stuff like “Go!” and “Take this!”, but they’re extremely high-pitched and they often overlap, creating a cacophony, so I had to mute the sound almost instantly.

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist - A short (and again, FREE!) game from the original creator of The Stanley Parable (which I’ve yet got to finish, achievement-wise), about an amazing heist… but not really. If I said anything more, I’d spoil it all. Just know that you’ll be led by an informative narrator (played by Simon Amstell, and I have to say, I really like his voice) and it’ll all be grand. I’d say the achievements are pretty unnecessary, but I guess they are a dealbreaker for way too many out there when it comes to free games (Seriously, people! How about looking at creator names or themes?). That being said, I got all the achievements, but it seems there’s one thing in particular that I’ve missed. Gotta remind myself to go back and check it out.

Elementary My Dear Majesty! - It’s tough to keep this one on the HOG list because of what the gameplay actually looks like, but I don’t suppose there is any other way. This game would probably win the award for most varied and disjointed locations in a HOG. In Elementary My Dear Majesty!, you’re a… knight? tasked with curing a princess who suddenly turned into some kind of alien creature. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s later abducted. Anyway, I assume this game tried to bring something new to the table - 3D HOGing - but that fell flat on its face. The locations use a weird rotation mechanic which barely turns them to a chosen side and everything you need to find step-by-step is contained within those few degrees you can rotate most locations. The objects are either in plain sight or hidden so well you have to use hints. The other riddles are either a piece of cake or trial-and-error bullshit. Seriously, it’s like being in school. You want to try to do something your way, but no one will even let you. (Besides, how am I supposed to know alien dressing etiquette?) The game provides scenarios that would only make children laugh, going as far as making an Eskimo so stupid he got buried in snow or mashing China and Japan together. The music is extremely repetitive, playing for the most part, a track that for some reason reminds me of this… possibly because they use the same flute (Or is that even a flute? I’m a music dumbass.) One thing I liked though was the timer in each location, which let me know how much time I spent (obviously) on playing said location, as well as a progress bar (so I could measure my suffering). All in all, it looks like it’s for children, but then again, is as complicated as if it was meant for adults. Not recommended.

Fran Bow - Fran Bow is a point-and-click which tells the story of… well, Fran Bow, a ten/eleven-year-old girl who’s believed to be insane and therefore is first met by the player in a madhouse. The task is to help her escape said madhouse and return home safely… and after a successful escape, that’s when it really picks up. Most of the time, you can make Fran take her “medicine”, which will briefly transfer her to an alternative, much more gruesome reality, and sometimes it’s there you have to seek out clues and necessary items. It’s a tale much like Alice in Wonderland, but a lot more brutal (And Fran does claim to know Alice at a point in the game, too!) - on the scale of different Alice portrayals, it would be somewhat of a mix between the Disney one and Madness Returns. The developers did a pretty excellent job with this game and I already can not wait for their next game, Little Misfortune! I’ve seen the demo at play already and it is plainly amazing!

Guilty Summer Kiss - It’s one of those games I knew was going to be bad, but I got it (and played it) anyway. You’re an unnamed guy and your nonexistent friend made you a bet that you won’t be able to pick up the three most popular girls at school. Your task is to prove him wrong (or not, that’s not hard either). The thing is, getting all the girls was way too easy. Really. It was harder not to get with any of them. The “visual novel” aspect of this game is watered down to “say what she wants to hear, or you’ll have to play a minigame to save your ass”, which is just annoying, as the minigames are partially broken. The interface looks very smooth, but the characters are weird (save for the pink-haired girl, for some reason I actually really like her design). There’s also nudity and it is… poor man’s porn. Not only that, but I didn’t even have the chance to see a lot of it anyway; the short video scenes were very laggy, even though I played this on a computer that’s way better than what I usually use. Guilty Summer Kiss is just really shallow and it’s only going on the Beaten list because I can’t seem to figure out how to get the rest of the achievements (even though I feel like I reached the necessary requirements). I heard the game has really changed from what it was before, so maybe that’s the… irreversable… problem… grits teeth Anyway, if any of you have played this crappy game and know how to get the achievements I’m missing, I’m all ears.

Guilty Summer Kiss 2 - Bloody Secret - Feeling dejected about the achievements in the first game, I quickly picked up the second one to see what it’s about. And it’s… a little different. It introduces a murder mystery, but honestly, the story is so shallow I didn’t care for it much. This time you don’t necessarily pick up any of the girls, you rather determine if someone’s going to save you (or if you will be saved) when you’re in trouble. The second installment introduces three new characters, which are more or less responsible for the dark themes (again, only one of them looks interesting enough in my opinion). It also has the nudie option, but again, it suffers from being poor man’s porn and laggy video scenes. Luckily, this one is Completed, as I managed to get all the achievements, some of which pretty much required to just peek at some of the most unexpected lines (I managed to play through the game a few times without getting the last achievement only because at one of the choices I kept picking the one that led me away from what I needed to read to be done with the game, such a pain).

HuniePop - Finally completed! HuniePop, if, for some reason you’ve been living under a rock for the last 4 years or so, is a dating sim where you pick up girls, aaand… well, sleep with them. And it all comes to fruition through playing an innovative and complex match-3 game. On one hand, it’s not surprising it took as long, given how strict some of the trophies are, but on the other hand… I’ve been playing it for so long I could almost recite the whole game from memory at this point. I absolutely adore this game. Not because I’m sexist or something, just… the humor. It’s pretty amazing. And you know, at the end of the day, if I want to fetishize fictional men, I gotta let people fetishize fictional women, right? As convinced as I am that the dev isn’t keen on making a genderbent version, here’s to the sequel, which seems to be coming closer and closer to release. Ha, get it? Coming… release. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Rusty Lake: Roots - Remember the time you were ten-something and liked playing browser games after you diligently did your homework? (Or not, in which case kudos to you for getting on with life… or not? Anyway, back to the point.) This is what Rusty Lake: Roots plays like. It’s not a bad port of a mobile game, it’s just remindful of them. I was worried I wouldn’t understand any of the story, going into this one, as it’s not the first installment, but now that I’ve finished it, I think I wouldn’t understand anything anyway. Rusty Lake: Roots leads you through the lives of the members of the Vanderboom family. The wholegame has a sort of a roadmap - starting with James Vanderboom, who first came to Rusty Lake, you explore scenes from different, more or less major events and through some point-and-clicking and riddle solving, you gain the results or things needed to complete said scenes. Voice acting was sparse, but good. The art style fits the theme - it is a horror game, so don’t expect to be collecting cute animal plushies and the like. The sound effects were another thing that reminded me of browser games I played when I was younger. As easy as the gameplay sounds, there were places I got stuck, so I can certainly appreciate the creators making their own walkthrough of the whole game - not only is it professional, it only saved time random people who would have done that instead, I assume. If you like point and clicks and Twin Peaks (which is said to be the main inspiration for this series), then Rusty Lake: Roots, as well as the other installments are for you.

SIMULACRA: Pipe Dreams - I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the original SIMULACRA. It did get grindy too, but… while I pretty much knew most of the solutions to the original game, it took a while for dozens (!) of fellow players to figure out the requirements for multiple achievements in this one. I don’t get what Cold Cases or The Gulf War have to do with anything, really… It was almost 10 hours of suffering (first playthrough excluded). But enough of that. SIMULACRA: Pipe Dreams is a found-phone game… but in this case, you (finally?) don’t find a phone, you’re just an unnamed person using their own phone. The focus of Pipe Dreams is Teddy, your friend, who recently got addicted to a Flappy Bird clone, to the point where he’s been unemployed for quite a while, his girlfriend left him, his flat is a mess and no one takes him seriously anymore. Oh, and he’s also having episodes of memory loss. In time, he’ll persuade you to start playing the game as well, and he’ll keep challenging you… until the point of no return. Similarly to the original SIMULACRA, there are four endings you can get in this one. There are, however, quite a few achievements related to the Flappy Bird copycat by themselves, which, if grinded right, could have taken less time than they did for me. The well-known IRIS OS also comes back, this time to plague your phone with… ads. First time you watch them, they might actually look funny, but when they start popping up randomly, not only do they serve as potential jumpscares (Seriously, Kaigan Games! Could you not do that?! I don’t want to fall off my seat every time someone calls!), but also solid cringe. At least the Simulacrum has a voice in this one, and it is positively chilling. At the end of the day, I really tried to empathize with Teddy, since some of the things he said were a little too real for me, but then his character was just all over the place… meh.

Step sisters: Episode 2 - This… is the last I’ll ever see of Hanae Novels. Thank god. It picks up where Episode 1 left off, and for some reason the titular sisters decided to read their mother’s diary to find themselves a mystery: Who did she lose her virginity to? They figured their aunt might know, cause apparently she knows way too much, so they went to visit and ask. She saw right through them being lovers and admitted to being the mysterious person that took their mother’s virginity. And after they left their house, they snuck around the back to peek into the window of her bedroom for what was obviously going to become voyeurism… only that it cuts off there. I literally just told you all the whole plot. God damn, those are awful. Now, onward to a different kind of bad!

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - Gotta start by saying I absolutely loved this one! I’ve seen many people say it’s on the level of “not even worth it for free”, but it’s not the case for me. Captain Spirit is another creation of DONTNOD Entertainment, the studio behind Remember Me and the Life is Strange series. It’s described as sort of a demo, set between the events of Life is Strange and Life is Strange 2. In it, you assume the role of Chris, a 9 year-old boy who’s really into superheroes and is one of his own - his alter-ego, Captain Spirit. You have the opportunity to spend a beautiful Saturday morning in snowy Oregon - you could help your dad clean around the house or spend time playing instead; or even both, the world is your oyster. After almost 5 hours of playtime and going through the game three times to try pretty much everything I could, I’m kind of sad to see it ending the same every time; but without the ending being as it is, there would be no foreshadowing to LiS 2. Speaking of which, it was really cool to discover the numerous references! Besides the fact that you’re still in Oregon, just in another town, if you read everything you can find, you’ll discover that Chris’ mom went to Blackwell Academy, the same high school from LiS. Hawt Dawg Man is also still a popular mascot in-universe. For being as short as it was, it was a real treat, allowing me to go back to look at the childhood wonder that usually slowly gets lost on us as we grow older. And since the credits said Chris also appears in LiS 2, I can’t wait to play it now! If you liked Life is Strange, I definitely recommend you check out Captain Spirit as well!

Welcome To… Chichester 0 - Preview - I said I was gonna play bad stuff, and here I am again. As a frequent VNDB user, I’ve been seeing the title Welcome To… Chichester popping up way too often for my liking… so I noticed that this one was free and decided to take a look. It… was… ugh. When will people stop making bad games? I get it, indie and all, but I still can’t believe some people are proud enough to sign those with their name, and that’s what the creator of this one did. It was 20 minutes long, its grammar was terrible and while it might have linked to the rest of the franchise, it did a terrible job of explaining anything. I get that it’s just a “preview” and that it was basically the creator sort of playing around in VN-making software (there are two versions of this!), but I mean, come on…

Progress report: April 2019

Check the progress on my ABC Challenges here: General, Hidden Object Games, Point and Clicks, Visual Novels

4 Elements - I’ve been stalling this game for almost two years, that’s how bored I got with it. It’s one of the many games I discovered through Big Fish Games and thought they were cool back, like, 5 years ago or so… which lead me to believe this one was still gonna be cool, and, ultimately, buying it. To start off, 4 Elements is a simple game, although it’s hard for me to describe its main mechanics - the Steam Store page says “match-3”, but… eh, not really? Anyway, the story in this game is that some kingdom has lost the power of all the elements (which has been keeping it alive) and you, the player (assisted by a fairy) have to bring it back. Your task in each level is to clear the pathway for the energy, so it can reach what I assume would be the core. Each element has its book, each book has four creatures corresponding to it and each creature takes four levels to be unlocked, so you can do the math. The only things that stray away from the general concept are finding keys to unlock each book (HOG scenes) and the final step of restoring each creature’s entry in the book (spot the difference). I suppose the reason I’ve been stalling this game is because it got more and more tedious as levels went on. I kid you not, near the endgame I’ve had to replay multiple levels due to running out of time simply because there weren’t enough good combinations on the board, even to charge up the super powers. That, and it’s got its years, so it doesn’t look the best (fullscreened, at least). Also, fuck time-based achievements. Whoever thinks those up should turn around and walk away (not to get any meaner, but seriously, fuck time-based achievements).

9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek - What on earth happened here? So glad I got another SG win done! And this one was a perfect fit for my ABC HOG challenge, too! I liked how the style of this one was more cartoonish than, let’s say, Enigmatis 1 - and here, the fast travel function worked too! The HOG scenes were… amazingly easy, for the most part. The voice acting was okay - I feel like one of the guys voiced two, if not three characters, and it was very easy to hear. The only reason I spent nearly 4 hours on this game (instead of the estimate, which would be 2 hours) was, again, achievements. Why, why, why, Artifex Mundi? I get that achievements make or break the deal for some, but putting them in HOG games is just… ugh… they’re either no-brainers or so strict you have to replay the game just to get them, which, again, was the case with this one for me, and honestly, that’s the only reason I don’t feel as good as I normally would about their HOGs. But at the end of the day, Artifex Mundi are my nationals and I wanna support them, so I’ll play all I have!

Aozora Meikyuu - The first commercial, as well as the first English-language release from an otherwise German studio by the name of Yume Creations. Aozora Meikyuu is the story of Aoi Takamatsu, a seemingly normal guy who dropped out of high school after the girl he confessed his love to rejected him, and became a hikikomori - living this way for three years, until one day, a mysterious, naked girl fell from the sky… and landed right on him. At first I had no idea how the confession part, having happened so much earlier than the rest of the story, would have any impact, or meaning, even, but trust me when I say it does. The protagonist is hard to sympathize with and the heroine is pretty much an expy of another heroine (looks-wise, at least) of a way more popular VN (hint hint: it’s Japanese). However, there’s one thing I don’t think I’ve seen done in any other VNs so far - whenever a character’s expression would change, the sprite representing that would slide onto the screen and replace the previous one, instead of… flickering. Some might find this annoying, but it wasn’t too bad in my opinion - rather, that way you’re sure you didn’t miss a sprite change. There’s still the discrepancy between the sprites of the heroine and the way she appears in CGs - her hair is either more pink or more orange, respectively - and neither version really corresponds to an in-game description saying that her hair is of “cherry blossom” color, as I see it. Other than that, the music is good, although a little too repetitive, the backgrounds are surprisingly good, the story becomes more and more obvious as you read on and there’s really no need for all the choices to be timed other than that the developers thinking it’s a good way to trigger a slightly different ending. And last, but not least, the “uncensor patch” is, for the most part, unnecessary.

Coloring Game - Quickly, before it stops counting as Completed again! This seems to be a statement from L. Stotch - lewd games are not the only thing he’s about! Coloring Game is, essentially, the same thing as Coloring Pixels, and thus, it will be compared in its entirety to ToastieLabs’ creation. First off, I’m glad L. Stotch used some words in the instructions for Coloring Game - lord knows stuff takes time to figure out if you only show pictures (just like putting together furniture!). The biggest issue I found in-game was the ability to invalidate colors - say you’re filling in number 3 after having filled in number 1, but those numbers are pretty much next to each other, so if you drag too far, you end up erasing number 1… who even thought of that. On the other hand, I like the fact that when picking a number, only the boxes with that number react to your input. To be fair, the update that came in while I was busy coloring the demo images, added the much needed color lock function… but removed movement with WASD keys - what the hell, dev?! “People have reported trouble”, my ass! First it was better than Coloring Pixels in that regard (since I play it on the laptop, apparently it doesn’t seem to think I have a mouse wheel, thus leaving me to navigate around images using the arrow keys, eternally), and then it just made itself worse in one update. It seems the game doesn’t recognize my mouse movement (or I’m too stupid to understand the new mechanic, with this guy’s games it could be either, really), so if it wasn’t for the smaller copy of the image letting me navigate I might not have been able to finish the base game. (Update: as of now, the movement mechanics have been modified again, this time for better, if I recall correctly… not too bothered to check.) Speaking of that part, it’s kinda cool to see yourself fill in the image, bit by bit, but on some images the colors just blend in too much, making it sort of useless. The bigger images were just a pain in the ass in general, too. All being said, I colored all the free images, but I don’t suppose I’ll be buying the DLC when it comes out.

Cursed - My first experience with Jetdogs Studios’ games. Frankly, I thought this was supposed to be a HOG… until I played it. It’s kind of a fusion between a HOG (in terms of how the story is told and what the game looks like) and a point-and-click (as the game doesn’t contain any HOG scenes, you just go back and forth finding stuff and using it). I really liked the availability of a fast travel mechanic, which, for some reason still isn’t a thing in all the other games (grits teeth looking at you, Enigmatis) and the fact that I could either have the inventory reacting to hovering the cursor over it or have it stay on the screen at all times (both options had their pros and cons). The cutscenes didn’t differ too much from the rest of the game (again, Artifex Mundi, I only played, like, two, maybe three of your games, but it seems you’ve never bothered to get better?) and the 3D animations looked pretty good (aside from the character animation, good god they looked horrible, opening their mouths in one and the same motion when “talking”). Speaking of characters… the voiceover was terrible, aside from the protagonist, who was voiced by Amber Lee Connors - it was really good listening to her. And it seems I have remembered her voice well already - she also acted as Beli Lapran in HuniePop! Uhm… anyway. The story wasn’t really profound, but that’s not something I personally expect from games like Cursed. And that being said, if you don’t mind the flaws I mentioned, then I suggest you pick up Cursed for yourself. I’m eager to see what else this studio has for me in store, I have quite a bunch of their other games still waiting in my backlog.

Deponia - Went back to get the remaining achievements. Thankfully, Daedalic, for some reason, has a separate page on their website for save states from different parts of the game, so this wasn’t too troubling (only took me about 2 hours, I’d say, including my laptop dying at one point, so that’s cool). Needless to say, I didn’t play the whole game again in Droggeljug mode - guess I’m just too lazy, lol. Anyway, I’ll be seeing this game again whenever I decide to tackle The Complete Journey, so this entry can go into the Completed pile now.

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek - My first Artifex Mundi game. I’ve beaten this one back in 2017, but decided to complete it only now. The one thing I want to say to myself is: let’s try not to beat HOGs, but actually complete them instead… The achievements I was missing basically forced me to replay the whole game. As for Enigmatis itself, it was… good. The HOG scenes balanced the ratio of items you can see straight away and the ones you have to really look for, some riddles actually took me a while to solve. The music was great, the story… didn’t conclude itself. The voice acting was okay by itself, but when paired with visuals - the voices didn’t really match the characters in my opinion. The animated cutscenes were also of bad quality when compared to the rest of the game, but a quick glance at the options made me realize I couldn’t change that in any way… welp. All in all, I wish I didn’t have to spend those extra three (four, even!) hours on completing this one.

Hatoful Boyfriend - Wow… this was an amazing ride. Hatoful Boyfriend is the one VN that people who don’t know call “the pigeon dating simulator”, and the people who do say there’s much more to it. Sure enough, after repetition, repetition, repetition… if you stick around until then, you’ll get to the dark underbelly, as I like to call it. Just be prepared, it’s a read longer than any of the routes by themselves. Not to mention, while the character routes are amazingly easy and light reading, the BBL route brings out the big guns - expect a story that is more or less half confirming the info you’ll be fed piece by piece before you get to it and adding more info on top of that. That is not to say I didn’t enjoy Hatoful Boyfriend for what it is - a story that has since been confirmed by its creator to lack polish. One thing I personally wish would happen to this title to make it better is script editing - there’s enough errors to warrant a patch at best. Letter swaps, word repetition, missing words and even excess use of ellipsis - they got it all here and it definitely catches attention. Even so, I think this VN was worth the close-to-15-hours that I spent with it. (I actually accidentally idled this one for about 2 hours, I’m so mad at myself, grrr) And since on the surface it’s an otome game, I have to say - Yuuya is best birb. It’s unusual for me (I sure do like flirty guys the least), but he took my breath away when I first saw his human form - I mean - glasses and hairpins? I must be dreamin’, y’all.

Keyhole Spy: Frozen Hotties - I’ve actually made the mistake of playing this one on my boyfriend’s PC. He hated me playing it so much that even I questioned my gaming choices (lol). The interesting thing about this installment is the “Battle” mode; the sliding puzzles are a joke and the match-3 is as annoying as ever.

Pixel Puzzles 2: Anime - Goood daaamn, I finally finished another one! I sure like to torture myself with those puzzle games, don’t I…? sigh Anyway, this one, as the name suggests, was full of pictures drawn in anime style (although in some cases they seemed to border on being fanart for series I know, I feel like). It also had a fairy that, thankfully, doesn’t fly around the whole screen (like the astronaut would jump in Pixel Puzzles 2: Space), but her voice is so annoying I’ve muted her almost instantly. She’s there to charge the hints - you can make her disappear, but for some reason that will also render you unable to use hints, which is just straight up BS. (I mean, if I can even see her peeking at the image in zoom mode, I’m gonna want to remove her, right? Or can it get even more annoying than that?) The last puzzle took me over 2 hours to complete and at that point I was just so done with the game… and that’s pretty much all I could say about this one. Puzzles looked nice, the difficulty was alright, the thing this one had to make the itself seem more lively (aka the fairy) was annoying as always and I still can’t believe those puzzle games take that much time.

Refunct - Finally got my boyfriend to complete it! (I don’t know how all of you dating assasins complete tough games together - me, I just feel like I’m a mega sadist asking him to do the tedious stuff…) Refunct is, at heart, a speedrunner’s game, and the dev knows that well, so aside from the collectible-based achievements, there are also three achievements pertaining to that. My thoughts on the game aside (it’s a really pretty and atmospheric parkour game for an extremely low price), it was interesting to watch boyfriend memorize the whole game to complete it and I was rooting for him immensely each time. That being said… this is the last update about you, Refunct. See you in the Completed tab.

Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena - At the beginning, Samantha Swift felt nostalgic, being one of many games I first came into contact with through Big Fish Games, but then I realized it’s… actually not that cool. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. Samantha Swift is, to put it bluntly, a game for kids. Sure, names of some of the objects you have to find are probably unknown to children, but then again, come on! The art style is so cartoony and half (if not all) of the items in any HOG scene literally stand out! Not to mention Samantha’s scanner, which can show you the outline of any given item, and even the abundance of hints! HOG logic is also at play - a blowtorch working underwater? Can’t imagine that happening.

Snow White Solitaire. Charmed Kingdom - This game was charming and I don’t mind having spent 8 whole hours on it. It’s waaay better than the solitaire game I finished last month. In Snow White you have to help… well, Snow White restore her kingdom using your amazing solitaire skills and abilities of the friends she meets along the way. The difficulty is reasonable - at first I was struggling immensely, since I didn’t have any abilities, but when nearing the end of the game, I was pretty much kicking solitaire ass, using wild cards and character abilities interchangeably. There are a few things you have to note - there’s a limit of four wild cards, so if you pick up another one, it’s going to be used immediately; one of the abilities seems like it’s bugged, so if you use it on the last card of the level, watch out or you’ll end up using it on the first card of the next one too; and last, but not least, there are options that allow you to customize cards, which I only changed after finishing the game and wasn’t too satisfied with either way. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that while it’s a solitaire game, Snow White introduces HOG scenes and puzzles at times - both of which are child’s play. Personally, I enjoyed Snow White, and so far, I think it might become my benchmark when it comes to custom solitaire games.

The Cat Lady - The Cat Lady tells the story of Susan Ashworth, a woman in her 40s, who doesn’t see a point to her life anymore and tries to commit suicide. Failing to do so, she receives an offer that might just turn her life around… saying any more would spoil the fun. The Cat Lady’s charm is definitely in its grittiness - most of the game is presented in black and white, the sprites look half-painted, half-pixelated, the UI is somewhat clunky, the music adds to the atmosphere wonderfully… but in the middle of all that, The Cat Lady is a grim tale of health issues, violence and death, among other things, so sadly, it might not be for everyone. Those who remain unfazed by this description; I strongly recommend you play it and tell others about it.

Aaand… that’s it from me for April! If you read all of that (or skipped through, I guess I don’t mind… too much), tell me: do you like monthly update posts? Or do you prefer weekly? Game-by-game? I’ve recently been thinking about trying something else and I’d like some feedback. :)

ABC Challenge

Sorry, I know I’m spamming immensely! This is the last one, I promise!

Rules:

  • Omit “A” and “The” in names (Come on, that would be just too easy.)
  • No chickening out! (Obviously. I’m trying to beat a backlog here.)
  • In case of more obscure letters, the game chosen must contain given letter somewhere in its name.

List is subject to change.

# Game Achievements Playtime
1 4 Elements
100% (14 of 14) about 9 hours
2 AER Memories of Old
0% (0 of 20) 0 minutes
3 Burly Men at Sea
0% (0 of 25) 0 minutes
4 Captive
0% (0 of 13) 0 minutes
5 Draw a Stickman: EPIC
0% (0 of 52) 0 minutes
6 Epistory - Typing Chronicles
0% (0 of 55) 0 minutes
7 Fumiko! Won on SteamGifts
0% (0 of 20) 0 minutes
8 Gone In November
0 minutes
9 Hacknet
0% (0 of 11) 0 minutes
10 It's Spring Again
0% (0 of 4) 0 minutes
11 Japanese Women - Animated Jigsaws
18% (6 of 34) about 2 hours
12 Koi-Koi Japan [Hanafuda playing cards]
38% (13 of 35) about 1 hour
13 Light Fantastik
0% (0 of 23) 0 minutes
14 Murdered: Soul Suspect
0% (0 of 48) 0 minutes
15 Nyctophilia
0 minutes
16 Oxenfree
0% (0 of 13) 3 minutes
17 Papers, Please
0% (0 of 13) 0 minutes
18 QP Shooting - Dangerous!!
0% (0 of 36) 0 minutes
19 Rakuen Won on SteamGifts
0% (0 of 15) 0 minutes
20 Scribblenauts Unlimited
0% (0 of 25) 0 minutes
21 To the Moon
0% (0 of 1) 0 minutes
22 Unforgiving Trials: The Darkest Crusade Received through SteamTrades
0 minutes
23 Visibility
0% (0 of 17) 1 minute
24 World's Dawn
0% (0 of 30) 0 minutes
25 Yomawari: Night Alone
4% (1 of 27) 20 minutes
26 Zzzz-Zzzz-Zzzz
0 minutes

ABC Challenge (Point and Clicks)

Just got this idea and I really want to bring it to life. This will hang out here… for as long as the other posts cover it up, I guess! The reason why I’m not making this profile-only is that I’d love to get some suggestions on what you all think I could play for every letter.

Rules:

  • Each game on the list must be finished within the year it was started.
  • One game at a time, please!
  • Omit “A” and “The” in names (Come on, that would be just too easy.)
  • No chickening out! (Obviously. I’m trying to beat a backlog here.)

List is subject to change.

# Game Achievements Playtime
1 Alter Ego Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
2 Belladonna Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
1 minute
3 The Cat Lady Favorites
100% (25 of 25) about 14 hours
4 Downfall Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 30) 0 minutes
5 Fran Bow
100% (18 of 18) about 10 hours
6 Grim Fandango Remastered Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 47) 1 minute
7 Haunted Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
1 minute
8 Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
9 Jack Orlando Director's Cut Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
10 Kathy Rain Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 20) 0 minutes
11 Little Kite Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
12 Mata Hari Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
13 Noctropolis Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 15) 0 minutes
14 Oknytt Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 10) 0 minutes
15 Primordia Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 29) 0 minutes
16 Quest for Infamy Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 59) 0 minutes
17 Rogue Quest: The Vault of the Lost Tyrant Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 7) 0 minutes
18 Sinless Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 31) 0 minutes
19 Tales [PC] Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 24) 0 minutes
20 Violett Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 21) 0 minutes

ABC Challenge (Hidden Object Games)

Just got this idea and I really want to bring it to life. This will hang out here… for as long as the other posts cover it up, I guess! The reason why I’m not making this profile-only is that I’d love to get some suggestions on what you all think I could play for every letter.

Rules:

  • Each HOG on the list must be finished within the year it was started.
  • One game at a time, please!
  • Omit “A” and “The” in names (Come on, that would be just too easy.)
  • No chickening out! (Obviously. I’m trying to beat a backlog here.)

List is subject to change.

# Game Achievements Playtime
1 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek Won on SteamGifts
100% (19 of 19) about 4 hours
2 Agent Walker: Secret Journey Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 16) 0 minutes
3 Beyond the Invisible: Evening Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
4 Crystals of Time Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
1 minute
5 Dreamscapes: The Sandman - Premium Edition Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs Won on SteamGifts
0 minutes
6 Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 36) 0 minutes
7 Faces of Illusion: The Twin Phantoms Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 13) 0 minutes
8 House of 1,000 Doors - Family Secrets Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
1 minute
9 Jane Angel: Templar Mystery Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
10 Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
11 Lost Legends: The Weeping Woman Collector's Edition Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
12 Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold Collector's Edition Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 26) 0 minutes
13 Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 15) 0 minutes
14 Ominous Tales: The Forsaken Isle Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
15 Pickers Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0% (0 of 40) 0 minutes
16 Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena
about 3 hours
17 Twisted Lands Trilogy Collector's Edition Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
18 Vengeance: Lost Love Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes
19 Witch's Pranks: Frog's Fortune Collector's Edition Point-and-Click Adventures/HOGs
0 minutes

ABC Challenge (Visual Novel)

Just got this idea and I really want to bring it to life. This will hang out here… for as long as the other posts cover it up, I guess! The reason why I’m not making this profile-only is that I’d love to get some suggestions on what you all think I could read for every letter. I’ve been aiming for a year where I read at least a 100 VNs for a while now, so this might help speed it up :D

Rules:

  • Each VN on the list must be finished within the year it was started. (I mean, do I really need to explain this one? Read fast or you’ll forget everything! This pretty much excludes all the longer VNs though.)
  • One VN at a time, please! (Same reasoning as the previous one.)
  • Omit “A” and “The” in names (Come on, that would be just too easy.)
  • No chickening out! (Obviously. I’m trying to beat a backlog here.)

List is subject to change.

# Game Achievements Playtime
1 Aozora Meikyuu Visual Novels
100% (1 of 1) about 2 hours
2 Blind Love Visual Novels
0% (0 of 6) 0 minutes
3 Carpe Diem: Reboot Visual Novels
0% (0 of 7) 0 minutes
4 Darconika: The Cube of Soul Visual Novels
1 minute
5 Empty Horizons Visual Novels
0% (0 of 13) 1 minute
6 Frisky Business Visual Novels
0% (0 of 20) 0 minutes
7 Galaxy Girls Visual Novels
0% (0 of 23) 0 minutes
8 Hatoful Boyfriend Visual Novels
100% (16 of 16) about 15 hours
9 Invisible Apartment Visual Novels
0 minutes
10 Jake's Love Story Visual Novels
0% (0 of 12) 0 minutes
11 Kyoto Colorful Days Visual Novels
0 minutes
12 Last Days of Spring Visual Novel Visual Novels
0% (0 of 9) 0 minutes
13 My Name is Addiction Visual Novels
0 minutes
14 NEKOPARA Vol. 1 Visual Novels
0% (0 of 14) 1 minute
15 Osozaki 遅咲き Late Blooming - First Visual Novels
0% (0 of 16) 0 minutes
16 Pink Rage Otome Visual Novels
25% (19 of 78) about 1 hour
17 Russian Horror Story Received through SteamTrades Visual Novels
0% (0 of 12) 0 minutes
18 Sakura Spirit Visual Novels
0 minutes
19 These nights in Cairo Visual Novels
0% (0 of 24) 0 minutes
20 Voices from the Sea Visual Novels
0 minutes
21 Without Within 2 Visual Novels
0% (0 of 6) 0 minutes
22 XOXO Droplets Visual Novels
0% (0 of 36) 0 minutes
23 You, With Me - A Kinetic Novel Visual Novels Won on SteamGifts
0 minutes

Progress report: March 2019

It’s finally done…! Man, March was a crazy month! I like to believe I stopped wasting time online, even if just a little bit - and started putting more of it into my backlog. I’ve also had a small accident at the very start of the month, so yay, a week off! /s That being said, let’s get into what I’ve accomplished:

18+ - This one was made by the dev of 21+ and… I didn’t think I’d say it, but it’s even worse than that one. It took literally 5 minutes to complete, on the dot. All there is to it are simple riddles with photos of animals behind them… like, what? Is this what people think games are now?

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs - Huge plot twist! Just until recently, I’ve had this one on my won’t play list, but now that’s changed; my boyfriend played it and I diligently watched him, reading all the in-game notes and offering tips when he got stuck. Truth be told, I still don’t really grasp the story hiding in that game… I’m up for some explanation, if anyone wants to provide! Also, for now this will be beaten, but who knows, I might take up the challenge of collecting all those notes one day.

Antenna - Truth be told, I’ve seen Antenna in the Steam Store years ago, but hadn’t decided to play it until now. It looks really good, I have to give it credit for that; but my gripe with it is the same as nearly everyone else’s - what are we? why are we where we are? what are those sound puzzles supposed to be? why are we solving them? what is anything supposed to represent in this game? I finished the game in less than half an hour and I don’t suppose I’ll miss it much.

Confess My Love - Confess My Love is a small game created in China, telling a story of a high school boy who doesn’t quite know how to confess his feelings to his classmate. You can help him do it… with as many as 20 endings. Personally I really liked that at some point the outcomes started to deviate from what about 3/4 of the first ones are. One thing about this game that I imagine might turn people away from it is the incredibly tiny window it plays on (might not look the best on a big monitor?); but hey, it’s free. Also, it was one of those games I thought I was gonna get stuck on forever, but who knows, maybe my boyfriend’s presence helped me finish it that one day :D

Dad’s co-worker - Ah, yes. I’ve had so much free time this month I decided to go through the whole Hanae Novels catalogue and… these “VNs” are so bad I can’t even believe they were released. Such are Steam’s politics, I assume. This one took five, maybe ten minutes to read… and the next two hours and a half to idle all the achievements. Congratulations, your “game” sucks ass. Want a cookie?

Dark Angels: Masquerade of Shadows - I have to say, the moment I saw this one on HRK I had to get it. The girl on the cover image really caught my attention, but… it’s not the protagonist. I know, I know, I was sad about that too. But let’s get back on track. Dark Angels is a fairly linear HOG game - by which I mean I don’t remember any “HOG logic” happening. Both the hidden object scenes and the minigames were challenging enough for me to be hovering my cursor over the hint button before reminding myself that I can’t use any hints if I want to actually 100% the game. The story of the game was pretty interesting - if someone wanted to make a movie out of it, I feel like I’d watch it. I have to comment on this though: while there was no “HOG logic” in the interactive aspect, there was some in the plot. I mean, at first the protagonist isn’t quite sure what killed her mother and why it happened - she’s not too convinced about using her mother’s chakram - but as soon as she gets to the DA hideout, she’s raring to go? Doesn’t make much sense to me. The art was amazing - especially when it got really colorful and vibrant - best example would be the hotel and its neighboring areas. The sound was good - for the most part - of all the characters, the protagonist had to have the worst voice acting… a real shame. One can also tell the game wasn’t made by native English speakers - while the VA’s accents sound very clear, they pronounce the word “chakram” as “shakram”? I guess that’s not that bad though. I also really like the theme song for some reason. I’ll have to look it up sometime.

Dima Rescues Ira - A surprisingly short and dull point-and-click. Honestly, I’m glad it wasn’t longer because I could have checked out before completing it in one sitting. Thankfully I could watch the dev’s walkthrough to get it done - and celebrate a finished SG win! Yaaay! :D

Emily is Away - Oh, I love games that awake nostalgia for things I didn’t have the privilege to experience myself… Emily is Away is definitely one of those games. Shortly put, it’s a bittersweet coming-of-age story. I’ll be looking to pick up the sequel sooner or later.

Glass Masquerade - This one had been included in my very first post, but by now it had been updated with multiple DLC puzzles, and it’s here to mark me completing all of them. My opinion on the game remains unchanged - it’s as mesmerizing as it’s been before. I can’t wait to play the second one.

Glass Painting: Winter Art - This one is a special snowflake …get it? no? okay. As of the time of writing this, the game is (officially) unplayable because of some mistake the creator made and you have to fix it yourself if you’re eager enough to play. I, for one, was terribly disappointed in what the game had to offer. The designs are nice, sure, but the execution is so poor that it would be more enjoyable to buy a real coloring book and fill it out instead. Plus the achievement that wants you to “play the game for 2 hours” probably so you won’t refund it immediately, seeing how bad it is… I love idling games! /s

Hidden Object - Sweet Home - Hidden Object - Sweet Home is a game made with basic Unity assets. Really. It’s mind-numbingly easy even on the “hard” difficulty …and just… not that good-looking. It also has an achievement that wants you to play for an hour (even though the content it has to offer might last you… maybe 20 minutes, and that’s if you can’t see an item or two), which is honestly the only reason I completed it only now. Verdict: Avoid.

If you know what I mean - This is definitely the longest VN from Hanae Novels, which mildly compensates for the time needed to idle all the achievements in comparison to Dad’s co-worker. Shame the most they could do went into a story that’s pretty much someone’s wet dream (or at least their imagination of one).

Keyhole Spy: Fantasy Passion - Meh, just another Keyhole Spy game.

Keyhole Spy: Naughty Witches - Meh, just another Keyhole Spy game. x2

Lauren’s visit - It’s as short as Dad’s co-worker, if not shorter. I literally cannot congratulate Hanae Novels for being one of the worst “developers” out there.

Lines X Free - A free- Wait! That’s already in the title! clears throat Okay then… Lines X Free is one of Konstructors Entertainment’s multiple takes on Numberlink puzzles. Like some other games mentioned in this post, I picked this one up earlier, then just left it and decided to come back to it in March. Nothing special to say about it, really.

Little hidden city - This one initially didn’t really seem appealing, but then I played it and for an unfinished-looking game, it was actually pretty dang hard! Other than that, it was just a short 100%.

Love Games - This one had an interesting premise, but, as Hanae Novels go, it had to stop at a To be continued… screen. Jokes on you, Hanae Novels, I know it’ll never come to that.

Masha Rescues Grandma - See Dima Rescues Ira.

Minecraft: Story Mode - A Telltale Games Series - Episode 1 - I’ve never been much for Minecraft - not when my cousins played it because they genuinely found it entertaining, and definitely not when it became one big meme. However, when I tried out Minecraft: Story Mode… it feels weird to admit that I actually really liked it! I might return to the full version of the game some day.

Missing Translation - A free puzzle game in monochrome colors. Call me stupid, but I still don’t really get anything about what happened in it.

MONMUSU - Realistically speaking, I had finished this game months ago… but only now did I finish grinding the important parts( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Mosaic: Game of Gods - Mosaic: Game of Gods is a puzzle game, which, as the name suggests, has you completing “mosaic” puzzles. Every ten (or so) levels, you get transported to a different world and the materials the puzzles imitate change - paper, stone, glass, etc. I enjoyed putting the puzzles together, but I got somewhat fed up with the sound effects after so much puzzling. There was also some story introduction to it, but I barely paid attention to it.

Mosaic: Game of Gods 2 - I got this one before the first game and played most of it shortly after, but when I realized the puzzles started taking longer and I thought I wouldn’t get the time- and point-based achievements, I quit for a while. Luckily enough, finishing the first game prepared me for this one and I ended up knocking it out shortly after as well. At least this one didn’t have a weird opening song xD

Mutual Secret - Technically I don’t have any achievements in this one… but that’s just because Hanae Novels had become so bad they managed to fuck up the only thing that made their games sell back when they could charge from them. The fix I found only worked halfway for me, so if anyone’s bonkers enough to know how to make it work, I’ll appreciate it. As for the story… a woman falls in love with another woman. Way too fast. Just like the VN’s “ending” - way too fast.

My Lady - A short VN from Michaela Laws that has you assuming the role of a young noble girl who is hopelessly in love with her butler - the one man out of her reach. I like the fact that this one has voice acting (Michaela Laws puts on a fairly amusing accent to establish the maid’s personality… or does she sound like that in real life too?! DUN DUN DUUUNNN!), but due to how short it is, it ends very abruptly, which is a shame. Was it worth however little it costs, in the end? Honestly, I can’t tell. It seems people either totally love or utterly hate Laws’ works, so it’s up for you to decide.

Mystic Journey: Tri Peaks Solitaire - Ladies and gentlemen… here it is. After a whopping playtime of 15 hours, I present to you… Mystic Journey: Tri Peaks Solitaire - completed. I first downloaded this one after seeing it’s free because I thought “Hey, I like solitaire!” and pretty much dismissed the mixed reviews. 15 hours later, I can surely say that people are right in not liking it - it is the worst custom solitaire game I’ve played up to date. It uses a rechargable life system and only rewards you with bonuses when if you finish a level. The bonuses are scarce and usually end up not helping. The AI (I guess that’s what it would be for this game?) is terrible. Let’s say you have to remove two “6”s from the board. Okay, you’re looking for either a “5” or a “7”. What does the game give you instead? A fuckload of “6”s… or other unrelated cards. Like, how the hell are you supposed to deal with that? Chance is chance, but that is just ridiculous. Long story short, I got pissed at the game a lot, but in the end I don’t feel like it took me that long to complete it… so if you really want to play it, I suggest you do what I did and only play once in a while, between some more interesting games.

Orwell - I’ll start by saying that Orwell has become one of my favorite games. In it, you assume the role of a person examining data on citizens of The Nation (has a powerful ring to itself, doesn’t it). Your job is to discern which information is right, wrong or doesn’t matter in the predicament you’re set in. All in all, Orwell is an anti-utopia piece that gets a little too close for comfort.

Piquant Bathing - It seems the Keyhole Spy franchise got somewhat of a rival, as Piquant Bathing came in to present pretty much the same concept… only with Numberlink puzzles. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t just all the same people making those games, hiding under different dev names.

Refunct - Once again, boyfriend’s a dearie and lowkey got hooked when I let him try this one out. Here’s to hoping he’ll get the last two achievements for me, now that he managed to get the eigth one.

Regeria Hope Episode 1 - Regeria Hope is, to put it bluntly, an Ace Attorney copycat. It does what it aims to well, but it could use just a little polish. Shame no more than one episode has ever come out.

Rescue Love Revenge - I started playing Rescue Love Revenge years ago literally but in time, I ran into a wall. Thanks to my boyfriend, who helped me with the tricky jumps in one or two levels, it can now be marked as Completed. It’s a somewhat climatic platformer, but cowboys aren’t really my thing. The story, if there is supposed to be any, doesn’t make any sense to me either.

Slash It - As its Steam Store description states: “Slash It is a 2D colorful arcade game. The goal is to match shapes, press letters and numbers in the right time and direction.” Short and not complicated. I did have to mute the music though (which isn’t something I do often), as it was getting on my nerves.

Slash It 2 - This installment somewhat improved - the new “Words” mode quickly became my favorite and a sure way to quickly get most of the letter achievements (why the hell would you not input any words with “J” in it though, developer?!). The music got a step-up from the first game as well (Vocaloid ftw!). I’m inclined to believe this one took me half an hour longer than the first one because I had to grind out the letter achievements I couldn’t exactly get in the “Words” mode fast enough.

Speedy Girls: Dream Team - Pretty much Keyhole Spy, just that it adds a racing/tuning mechanic. One of the many games I’ve decided (and managed) to finish this month, nothing more to say.

Step sisters: Episode 1 - Last of the Hanae Novels galore (at least for now), this one talks about, uh… two girls… who fall in love with each other… but just so you know it’s not incest, they’re step-sisters! Bleh. I’ll play the second one whenever. Oh, and achievements for this one are broken too.

TAIKU MANSION - I must have gotten this one in a bundle somewhere… can’t remember what bundle it would have been though. Originally I was scared away from the game by a reviewer saying how they feel like it contains malware… but it doesn’t seem to do so. All in all, if it wasn’t for the walkthrough, I’d never have passed it because of how unreasonable the game is - with the walkthrough however, it was a damn short game. Nothing exceptional about it, though.

Teddy Floppy Ear - Kayaking - Gosh… Teddy Floppy Ear is one of the many fictional characters I loved when I was little, and it was interesting to get a peek at what he would look (and sound!) like in game form. The results are… somewhat surprising, but not in a bad way. I’ve actually passed most of Kayaking back last year, but I held it off because I thought I got stuck right before the end - as it turns out, I was just too hasty with my directions! It only really took a minute or two to finish the game properly, but I guess that makes it count for March 2019 after all.

The Girl on The Train - My first experience with NewWestGames’ VNs - it’s nothing special. Contains some logical errors that are tough to overlook, but other than that it’s just a short story about a girl falling in love with another girl.

The Monster Inside - A short visual novel (or “an audio-visual novella”, as its title screen describes it - honestly, this will never not make me chuckle softly) with a somewhat predictable ending. Aside from that, it only takes one word to describe it: noir.

The NADI Project - A walking simulator made in Unity. Laggy, unintuitive and its story is so pieced I still didn’t understand it in the end.

The Tiny Bang Story - This one is real nostalgic! I remember playing it on Big Fish Games back when I didn’t even know of Steam’s existence. Grabbing a key for it from some freebie was a joy. Experiencing the game in all its glory was that as well (instead of only really using BFG’s hour-free trial; I know, I know, lame :P), although there were a few frustrating sections. A particular concern that people seem to have with TTBS is that its riddles, while creative, can’t be solved properly by colorblind people - a real shame the developer didn’t do anything to improve on that front.

Trash Story - Another one from the dev of 18+ and 21+. Trash Story puts you in the shoes of what’s-his-face Russian guy who, uh… goes on an adventure? Not a single thing in this one made sense. It was the kind of bad that makes you smile before you start sobbing softly at the thought of someone thinking this is a legit game. In the 20 minutes it took me, it managed to get so weirdly offensive I… bleh. That’s how I feel about this “game”. Bleh. It has 5000 achievements, end of story.

Unhack - In this InvertMouse game, you assume the role of… a debugger, I assume? - who, for the sake of the game, is referred to as an “unhacker”. In your job, you’re assisted by your company’s AIs, who will turn out to be important in the story of rivalry, friendship and dealing with the past - all of which Unhack has got in store. Personally, I like the fact that this game is fully voiced (save for the main character). There also aren’t any achievements, so I didn’t have to force myself to replay it multiple times for the sake of passing it on the hardest difficulty or something like that. Also, when I was stalling it, it had gone from a viable entry on VNDB to one that’s now deleted (having been recognized as “not a visual novel”; possibly in comparison to its sequel, which is a straight VN), but that won’t stop me from keeping it on my BLAEO VN list, since the game is made in Ren’Py and whatnot. I will also note that I played the DLC - Unhack:Destruction.

Who is Mike? - Yet another short and free VN; this one begins as you (aka Mike) wake up and see yourself standing right before you. But how can that be? Can there really be two Mikes? And most importantly: Who is Mike?

Without Within - Without Within is a short and free visual novel created by InvertMouse and follows Vinty, an aspiring calligraphist. Honestly, this one’s so short that writing even a sentence more to hint at what it’s about spoils its ending, so I’ll stop here.

XXZ - A match-3 game from L. Stotch that deals with girls, girls… undead girls. Initially, I turned this one on some time last year, passed two levels and uninstalled it. In March, however, I suddenly felt an urge to give it another shot, and, as it turned out, it wasn’t as tricky and bullshitty as I imagined it to be (still some BS in its mechanics, but I believe that’s only for the game to try and last longer) and that I didn’t understand all it had to offer due to the way instructions are presented in L. Stotch games. All in all, it’s a short and free match-3 game that lets you kill zombies and rewards you with erotic pics.

东方试闻广纪 ~ Perfect Memento of Touhou Question - As the name suggests, this is a quiz game that focuses on the Touhou franchise. As recognizable as some of the Touhou characters are, I’m convinced bullet hell games are not my cup of tea, but I saw this and I just went for it… with a walkthrough. I pretty much don’t know any Touhou lore, but kudos on gathering so much info from all the different places, I suppose?

While I was gone… (3/3)

December 2018:

Christmas Adventure: Candy Storm - As we all probably know, the end of December is the only right time to play games that look like this. There’s not much to say about this one - it’s a HOG/point-and-click hybrid about helping out three elderly women who are sisters…? I initially watched Game Grumps trying this one out and when the time came, I got it for myself as well. An easy 100% indeed.

Fap Queen - It… works as intended, I suppose? One could always cheat.

Flix and Chill 2: Millennials - A sequel to Flix and Chill, this one has improved art style, new couples and another YouTuber cameo. As enjoyable as it could be, it got dulled down in the end due to the replaying.

The Walking Dead - Yes! I got this one as my first successful SteamTrade, and it’s easily a favorite now. I played most of it back in October, but seeing how each episode took 2-3 hours to play through, I decided to dial it back… cue my surprise at how fast the last episode ends. Having finally played a Telltale game, I’m really sad that the studio had to close down. Then again, it seems that really was coming.

January 2019:

21+ - It feels like the creator of this one is in the past decade, if not century. Then again, they are Russian, so that might be the case. The jokes are bland and not funny at all; if I’ve heard them before, I did so a dozen times, probably. I honestly have no idea as to why someone, anyone would feel compelled to stuff them into a “kinetic novel”.

A Bird Story - I seriously need to stop hoarding games. I bought this one back in 2016 and it has probably been sitting on my desktop ever since I got it. Just like its Steam Store page says, it’s a story about a boy and a bird, conveyed without words. It’s a valid way of storytelling, but I have to say, I didn’t understand parts of it, which makes me sad in retrospect. That being said, the hour I spent with A Bird Story was definitely worth it.

A Normal Lost Phone - Another creation that fits into the newly established found phone genre - this one, unlike SIMULACRA, doesn’t allow you to communicate with anyone. Everything is there, hidden behind pretty art, for you to uncover the whole story. A big chunk of my playtime had been recorded before January, but I totally couldn’t concentrate on reading back then. When I initially watched gameplay videos of this one, the story moved me to tears; I’m sad it didn’t end up that way when I finished it myself. Guess I just knocked it out then. Next up, its spiritual successor! Whenever I get to it, of course.

Heart’s Medicine - Time to Heal - This one was a real treat. Back when I was little, I had become a big fan of PlayFirst, who, at the time, were making probably the most popular games of the time management genre. It pains me to this day that they decided to turn to mobile gaming when there’s still a market for their games here. Discovering Blue Giraffe/GameHouse and their games, I couldn’t contain my excitement and got myself Heart’s Medicine during a sale. My playtime, clocking in at almost 15 hours, shouldn’t be surprising. Definitely looking out for other games from those studios!

What is love? - This VN was so bad Steam deleted it. The photos used as backgrounds look decent, but the sprites are clearly stolen, and badly so. The writing tried to sound intelligent and looked weird when describing the characters’ actions. It was so inconsistent that pretty much every character has been misnamed at least once during the course of the game. Speaking of which, it really makes no sense. You can only kind of initiate a relationship with one of the characters, because I guess that’s what the developer really wanted, and even then, it still feels extremely rushed. Or you can just hook up with the receptionist and become lesbian hunters. Or maybe you’d rather be peeped at by a random stranger at the sauna. The world is your oyster… but do you really want that here? I realized I don’t, actually.

February 2019:

Garden of Oblivion - This one is a throwback to a few years back, when I first played it on Android. Made by one of my favorite OELVN creators, Träumendes Mädchen, Garden of Oblivion has you playing as Reven, a girl who wakes up in a strange dream world and has no recollection of who she is or what is happening around her. The task is to help her learn more and possibly escape. But how? Play to find out! I really like this one. It’s short, not complicated and doesn’t overstay its welcome. Sad to see that the developers don’t seem to be doing much nowadays.

Hot Champions: Dream Team - See yesterday’s post; it’s all the same kinds of games by (almost) all the same developers, really.

Lily’s Day Off - Another VN throwback. You play as an anonymous character with no recollection of their memories, as they stumble upon Lilypad Lily, an idol who happens to be in the exact same predicament as them - she can’t remember anything. Going from that, you have multiple choices which stuff the player character and Lily into a handful of different roles. I enjoyed this one for what it is - a short comedy VN based on the cuteness of Lilypad Lily, a character created by Kyuppin.

Mumps - I’ve played about half of this one by myself, but then I got stuck. And by the time I had it finished, I was getting help from… my boyfriend! This might seem like boasting, but I’m just genuinely happy he showed up in my life :) Last year ago at that time I had no hope for something like that happening. I’m excited for what might be in store for us. As for the game, there’s not much to say about it, really. It’s pretty much a game that any beginner developer could have made - you play as a pig that has to collect all the acorns in a level and get to the exit. One of the gripes people seem to have with it is that it’s named after a disease? No idea about what the developer thought, but I also don’t see why people get that mad over it.

Pixel Puzzles 2: Space - Finally! I thought I’d never make it, and yet here I am! There’s way too much time I have to spend on 100% those puzzle games (Pixel Puzzles 2: Birds took even longer than this one, criminy). The developers seem to think it’s fun to make additional “gameplay” by inserting things that make you get yourself rid of hints… no, that’s not cool. Nor is the astronaut that will bounce and float around your screen unless you kill him… mwahaha. That being said, this allows me to focus on all the other puzzle games I have in my library.

Press X to Not Die - The secret to survival is… Press X to not die! This game is pretty okay for a first from the developers and at the start, I really liked it, but… after replaying it a dozen or so times, I got really tired of it. I’m glad it’s done in my book now. Probably wouldn’t be a 100% without some help. Speaking of which, is that sequel ever coming out?

Robin - A small adventure game which puts you in the shoes of Robin, an individual suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Designed to shed light on the disability and hopefully make people learn about it and understand it, I, personally, appreciate what it has done. I’m not affected by CFS, but I do sympathize with people whose lifes look similar to Robin’s. Moral of the story: art can teach.

Waifu Bay Girls - See Hot Champions: Dream Team above.

While I was gone… (2/3)

September 2018:

Refunct - Funny story, I got the code for this one back when I was browsing PSNProfiles… all I had to do was ask the holder :) It’s a really nice parkour-type game which you can play to wind down in relax. Shame it has time-related trophies - that’s the only reason it’s ending up as Beaten. …for now?

Kitten adventures in city park - Incredibly short VN/adventure hybrid about being a good kitty and helping your owner. Not straight-up bad, but not the worst either. The art is pretty good, the voice-over could use some work though.

October 2018:

Football Girls: Dream Team - The beginning of an era. An era where some people seem to think hiding cute girls (YMMV) behind all kinds of simple puzzle games is innovative. spoiler alert: it’s not and there have been lots of people doing it better than you, way earlier. I have to admit I bought into it, but hey, it’s an easy completed game, isn’t it? OwO;

PRICE - A short point-and-click made by a Chinese developer. I have to admit, it was highly unintuitive right from the start and all the way to the end I had trouble understanding any plot that was trying to present itself to me. Art and music definitely make up for it though.

SIMULACRA - This one’s definitely a favorite although after so many replays it had dulled down in my eyes. Found phone seems to have become the new and fresh way to tell a story and I, for one, am not complaining. SIMULACRA is fleshed out further by the use of real-life footage which for me definitely added to the creepy factor.

Yandere School - Got the code for this one from a friend and to be fair, at first I didn’t want to redeem it. I mean, if it feels, looks and sounds like a blatant rip-off of Yandere Simulator, which I never want to play myself, why would I even bother? But I risked it and… it wasn’t too bad! No, scratch that, it was okay. It’s all pretty much made in MMD and due to that, it can get clunky at times. Not too much to say about the story, except that it obviously got ridiculous towards the end. All in all, I suppose it was a small taste of what the aforementioned YanSim could provide… but it’s still not my thing.

November 2018:

HENTAI IDOL - Okay… look… hear me out… I only got this one from some random bundle because I noticed it was an easy puzzle game, I swear! ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Other than semi-good-looking art featuring cute girls… that are actually nude! GASP this one doesn’t have anything else going for itself. So let’s just… leave it at that… yeah.

How To Cope With Boredom And Loneliness - This one is quite special. You assume the role of a journalist, Nigel Wimble, to film a documentary about Harold, who had been grounded for over 30 years. Your job is to pick out the things in Harold’s room, which, in your opinion, would make for good material. With its pixelated art style, funny voice-acting and crude humor, this game made an hour of my life entertaining. Oh yeah, I still wonder why his mother had grounded him…

Keyhole Spy series - See Football Girls: Dream Team.

Marie’s Room - A short narrative about exploring the room that once belonged to a girl named Marie. Putting yourself into the shoes of her best friend, you discover something Marie might not want everyone to know. But what is it? Personally, I really enjoyed snooping around - the room has a soul and for almost an hour, I had the chance to take it all in.

While I was gone… (1/3)

April 2018:

A Date in the Park - It seems I’ve actually completed this one not too long after my first post ever happened. I can recall it being a nice and calm point-and-click, albeit with a really “Huh?!” ending; I’ve yet to play the DLC attached to it, which I bought quite a while later.

May 2018:

  • Doki Doki Literature Club
    Doki Doki Literature Club

    7.0 hours playtime

    no achievements

Doki Doki Literature Club! - Ahh, here it is. The - now - dead meme. To be honest, I did enjoy it for what it was (it did keep me thinking about itself for quite a while), but I think the praise might have been overexaggerated.

July 2018:

Dear RED - Extended - Man, I remember playing this one back when it was still a valid entry on VNDB. Don’t really know what to say about it though, other than that it’s a very short RPGMaker adventure.
DEEP SPACE WAIFU - Got this one as a joke gift from a friend and picked it up immediately. I’m not much for bullet hell and/or top-down shooter games, but this one was fairly easy and enjoyable.
Port of Call - The story of this one must have been really convoluted or symbolism-heavy, because I can not remember anything other than helping souls in some way or another.
Pretty Girls Panic! - A fairly light arcade-type game about uncovering cute (or pretty, as the title implies) visual novel heroines. I had fun with it while it lasted.
Radiator 2: Anniversary Edition - Yes! Finally! I got the last achievement! Time to throw this one into the Completed pile now and never look back :D This might sound weird, but I really enjoy homosexuality presented in that form - still can’t understand why so many people don’t…
ROMBY - Won this one on SG and I have to admit, I had no idea what I was getting into. It turned out to be a pretty clever and challenging puzzle game with not-so-pretty pre-rendered character models… and just when I thought it was going to sit in my Grind list, I somehow managed to complete it, so… yay for me!
Super Sports Surgery - Totally got this one in some Fanatical bundle. Judging from reviews, it’s a blatant knock-off of Amateur Surgeon, which I’ve seen before, but I suppose that didn’t stop me from enjoying this one. Not the best language-wise (not made by native speakers) and a few of the levels got tedious towards the end, but all in all, I completed it fairly quickly.

August 2018:

Deponia - Hussa - The Chorus-Guys Rule! …what was I talking about again? clears throat Ah, yes, Deponia. After I finally sat down to play it, I was strongly reminded to play more point-and-click games in the future, since I love them so (we’ll see how that goes in the future…). As for what seems to be the main problems people have with this game - 1) the protagonist, Rufus - I tried really hard to like him, but all I could say after the first game was just a “…meh?”; I think I’d have to play the next games to see where that gets me; 2) the achievements - since I haven’t gotten them all, I’m marking this game as Beaten and… maybe I’ll return some day. Maybe.

BAD END - Truth be told, I expected something more out of this one. I was really curious about the horror aspect of it, but at the end the creators turned out to have some explanation that, in my opinion, lacked something. A more avid visual novel fan will notice that, for example, the classroom background is a stock image used by many other visual novels out there. All in all, judging by the initial look you can get at the game, it can’t be worse than another VN from the same developer - Sorcerer’s Dream …which I bought at some point anyway.
CAFE 0: The Drowned Mermaid - This was one of the first visual novels I had tried out on my phone (I assume?) back when I was starting out my journey as a consumer of the genre. Now I can finally breathe out a sigh of relief as, after all those years, I’ve read it all. But was it worth it? Maybe back when it would have been one of my first, yes. Now I have to say that it’s too short and too samey in its length, and that the art style involuntarily looks ugly, or even scary (YMMV)… But I know that there’s still worse out there… It’s waiting for me… It’s out to get me… Kyaaa! :D
Flix and Chill - Sort of based on the Netflix and Chill “meme”, Flix and Chill has you matchmaking couples left and right… but beware! You can make them get together or you can make them not get together! Did that scare ya? Or did you think of something… else? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Loading Screen Simulator - Not the best free game out there, that’s for sure. I don’t even know why I picked it up. It sat on my Grind list for a while, until I finally got the last achievement… and here we are now. Goodbye to you, Loading Screen Simulator. May you piss off someone else now.
Replica - Cheap. Short. Pixelated. Not sure why people are so adamantly comparing it to Papers, Please when there aren’t many comparisons to be made, in my opinion. I’m just glad I don’t quite have to be in the main character’s shoes.
Wander No More - A short kinetic novel set in old-timey Japan. It has voice acting, which was certainly a positive surprise. My gripe with it though, is that it felt like it had been cut short. The last scene seemed like it had more going for itself, if I recall correctly. Really good quality for a free product.