Hello! I am Zelrune! I like to play story driven games like RPG’s and VN’s but sometimes I stray to other genres if the game looks interesting enough.
I have four dogs and one fish! I love pets!
Fun fact: I fostered a lost sun conure for a week and it was traumatising for both of us.
(He was happily returned home.)
April 2021 Report!
Managed to get through more games than usual, but that’s mostly because I added a bunch of stuff to my backlog. I didn’t quite mean to add so many, but I ended up pushing myself a bit more because of it.
I have however, happily managed to 100% three SteamGifts wins so I’m pretty pleased with myself this month, leaving me at 6/11 left.
Added to backlog +7
Lost Ember is an absolutely stunning 5-15 hour hour game, the music is top-notch and the graphics are incredible. The story was fun, interesting, curious, and heart-wrenching and it’s everything I knew it would be after watching the trailer. Enter and explore a huge Fantasy world that was abandoned and destroyed by greed, vengeance, grief, and the natural passage of time.
Uncover lost memories, discover who you truly are, and help the lost soul – and yourself – journey to the final resting place of nearly every soul, The City of Light.
Artificial Defense is a unique mix of an “orbital” shooter, strategy, and a tower defense game set in the theme where you are an AI protecting your “core” from oncoming creeps, or invaders.
Upgrade your towers and production capabilities by completing 49 different challenges, and shoot or bomb your enemies from above.
I really enjoyed playing Artificial Defense, it’s definitely a one-of-a kind tower defense. The music is very catchy and the graphics are smooth. The challenges get more and more difficult as you progress through the game. To finish a challenge, you need to achieve the objective, but you don’t need to leave immediately after. All levels can be endless and the longer you play the more points you can get for upgrades.
Warning: This VN is very slow-paced.
SeaBed is an immersive yuri themed mystery kinetic novel that can easily take around 19+ hours to complete. With 93 unique CG’s, developed characters and multiple soundtracks, it’s easy to get absorbed in the story.
In SeaBed, you play and switch between three different perspectives.
Sachiko the designer, Takako the adventurer, and Narasaki the psychiatrist.
All three girls were childhood friends; however, overtime, Sachiko and Takako naturally fell into the role of lovers. Both quitting their jobs and becoming co-owners of Clover Design Office while taking regular vacations to new places overseas, life is going very well, until it isn’t.
Takako is discovered to have developmental amnesia, and one day, mysteriously vanishes.
Thomas Was Alone
You start playing as Thomas, a red rectangle AI that has recently become self-aware. While exploring, you soon meet and befriend numerous other shapes like yourself that have their own names, personalities, and super powers. Together, you make your way throughout the levels.
Thomas Was Alone is a lovely minimalistic game with simple mechanics and easy/difficult puzzles. Depending on how you play, it can take 3-6 hours to complete. While rather short, it does contain narration throughout the game introducing important story points and new characters. The ending is a bit too “open to interpretation” but overall Thomas Was Alone is a very enjoyable and pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
Beyond blue is an exploration and documentary-based game set deep into the ocean. Play as Mirai, a deep-sea explorer and scientist part of a newly-formed research team with Irina and Andre. Follow, document, track, and take samples of whales, dolphins, fish, turtles, and more in this informative and fun 3-5hr adventure!
I had a ton of fun playing, I love these types of games and it was a real treat to see all the behind the scene videos and listen to whale calls. My favorite thing though, was that despite going into deep, deep sea there were no jump scares at all and nothing can attack or hurt you. I am wholeheartedly a coward and I freely admit that.
Beyond Blue is more than just a documentary though, there is real story going on and it really makes you wanna keep pushing forward further down into the heart of the ocean. I loved the voice acting, I didn’t experience any problems (Except, for some reason one fish was invisible. I found him on accident though.) and I wholeheartedly recommend Beyond Blue to literally anyone, even if this isn’t the genre they usually go for.
Legends of Talia: Arcadia
Play as Knight and Legendary Hero of Talia, Arcadia! Tired of being the Hero and having people constantly overestimate you due to your unwanted titles, settling down in a small random village and retiring has become the latest priority. However, due to a haunting mistake of the past, trouble is about to find you and take you on yet another adventure!
Legends of Talia: Arcadia is a kinetic novel that’s pretty much exactly what you pay for. The story isn’t that interesting and the game can be beaten in less than an hour. While I did enjoy that this Sakura game was more story based and noticeably “toned down,” I’ve read more interesting things on the back of a shampoo bottle.
Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
Play as Kaho, the Priestess from the village of Lun! Lately, a terrible, terrible curse has spread across the lands, and the only way to fix it is for Kaho to travel from her homeland to the Kingdom of Karst to seek the aid of the Queen! However, not all is well in the kingdom.
Meet plenty of new characters in this short and tragic 5 – 20 hour tale!
While Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight is an adequate game, it’s really hard to say it’s any good until a couple hours in. Until you actually find upgrades and learn attack patterns, every enemy and boss can actually be pretty tough and will kill you if you don’t pay attention. Once all the upgrades are collected, the game is much easier, but the opponents stay exactly the same. Some of the enemies you find in the beginning are the same ones you find right before the final boss room and there really could have been a bit more variety.
The biggest disappointment for me had to be the endings. While I’m not posting any spoilers about it, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the game at all if I had known.
Regardless of all it’s faults, it’s not a bad enough game for me to not recommend it, and if you are interested in playing Momodora, I suggest either looking up gameplay videos or reading more reviews first.
March 2021 report!
ALSO: It’s my birthday today! March 31st!
One more day and my life would have been a joke!
…This month has been very difficult and disheartening for me in terms of games. I sincerely hope it was just me that had such a bad streak of games.
SG wins left: 9/11
Added to my backlog +1
Total: +5 - 5 = 0. My backlog has not moved this month. The battle continues.
Joe Dever's Lone Wolf HD Remastered
In Joe Dever's Lone Wolf, you play as Lone Wolf, the Last of the Kai, Lord Protector of Sommerlund. Everything starts when you get an urgent message stating the frontier village of Rockstarn is likely about to be attacked by monsters and the enemy of the Kai. Immediately jumping on your horse and making your way there, you find you are much too late. Fight back against enemy forces, rescue the villagers, and storm the fortress of V’taag after discovering a threatening plot in this turn-based choose-your-own-adventure based off the novels!
I had fun playing Joe Dever's Lone Wolf, but I’ve come to a decision that I can’t recommend it due to the rather abrupt, nonsensical and disappointing ending as well as a few story flaws. There was romance when there shouldn’t have been, Absolutely no build up, 5 minutes before the game ends, right before the final fight. and the game ends rather abruptly after defeating the last boss. Who wasn’t even the last boss, it was the general. Coward ran away the second he saw his minion get annihilated.
One of my biggest issues is with a npc you run into early on, Leandra. Leandra seems to serve absolutely no purpose but to cause trouble everywhere she goes, and aside from needing to be constantly rescued, she has the survival instinct of a suicidal lemming. Story wise, as lord protector, you are supposed to help people and yet in order to constantly make sure Leandra doesn’t accidently off herself, you end up abandoning three villagers in Act 1, two people in Act 3, and one person in Act 4. This is incredibly disappointing for an RPG as there is literally no way to save these people, especially considering that’s your actual job.
Another annoyance of mine is how absolutely unbalanced some of the skills are. In the beginning, you pick what talents and skills you want, but some of them are used so infrequently they are essentially worthless. Having to re-roll your character in Act 3, 8-10 hours in, because the previously unneeded Sixth Sense skill Is suddenly needed twenty times doesn’t sound like a good time to me.
I heavily recommend this set up, Healing – Mindblast/Mindshield – Weaponskill – Sixth Sense.
I did not read any of the novels before playing this game, but if you have and are a fan of them, you will probably end up enjoying this more than I did.
In Sword Daughter, you play as Knight and Lady Tyrna. You and your father have hired some Caravan members to escort both of you across a mighty desert on a journey, but even with extra protection, everyone is ambushed by Orcs! You are knocked unconscious and miraculously survive thanks to a Half-Elf Warden, Gavin, who is on a journey of his own. Reluctantly joining you on your quest for vengeance, you both get in way more trouble than you could have ever anticipated.
While there are multiple endings, an awful lot of them are very similar with copy/paste dialog. The music was nothing special and the story has so many holes it might actually be swiss cheese. The absolute worst part of Sword Daughter is the romance. Tyrna and Gavin fall in love instantly and she is absolutely ready to go ahead and move in with him and get married before he finishes the first sentence.
The best ending is technically a bad ending but honestly, I was ready to burn the entire place to the ground anyway.
Machine Made: Rebirth
In Machine Made: Rebirth you play as an amnesiac Zephrim named Titania, or Tibby! After losing her memories, she awakens and is labeled as an exile for her past unknown crimes. Forced to train in order to be a scout for the Zephrim Race, she is banished to a lonely island where she makes a few discoveries and new friendships!
Uncover her memories in this 5+ hour adventure!
I didn’t really enjoy playing, the level design is pretty bad in which you are expected to interact with objects multiple times and you are never directed where to go and what’s important, leaving most people stuck in the tutorial area. The combat is a typical RPG maker combat, and other times you need to press a sequence of arrows before time runs out.
The battles are a bit confusing as well, as sometimes the noted EXP gain is incorrect. For instance, when fighting the Training robots in the beginning, it can say I gained +10 EXP, when I actually gained +20 EXP. I recommend taking advantage of this and getting to lvl 6 in the tutorial area, as the Island monsters can be a bit tough if you are not prepared.
My biggest issue is definitely the storyline, in which it never made sense to me. And in the few moments I [i]thought[/i] it did, I was quickly proven wrong. I didn’t really know what I was doing in the game and other than wandering around and interacting with random objects hoping to push the story forward, there isn’t really much to do as enemies don’t respawn.
Orion: A Sci-Fi Visual Novel
In Orion you play as Sam, an intelligent 16-year-old boy with a knack for computers. Sam lives peacefully with his brother Louca, in Section 6 of one of the many floating cities in Earths orbit. Reoccurring nightmares, however, has made life rather difficult to deal with, and suddenly getting a strange message from an unknown person named Virgil isn’t helping at all.
“The setting sun rises as the moon weeps.”
I didn’t hate Orion but I didn’t much like it either, and while I prefer to give it a “meh” vote, that’s impossible so this review is negative on the basis that if I could have gone back in time to stop myself from getting it, I would have.
The best thing about Orion is definitely it’s art, and the voice acting honestly wasn’t too bad either. However, there are a few things I don’t like about this game.
First – you need to play eight different endings to reach the true ending.
Second – It’s hard to reach any of the endings because if you deviate from the path even once, it doesn’t count so following a guide is necessary.
Third – all of the endings are incredibly underwhelming. The true ending is as mediocre as every other.
TL; DR: If you had an hour and thirty minutes of free time and are looking for a fun/interesting Sci-fi VN to play and pass some time… it’s not this.
February 2021 report!
- Play all remaining SG wins!
- Finish more games every month then I add to my backlog!
Finished 1/11 remaining SG wins, +5 to my backlog and +6 to finished games.
Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley is an incredibly short and slightly philosophical VN that brings up topics of suicide, death, grief, as well as the lack of thereof.
The story is rather lacking and while it tries to send a powerful message at the end of the game, it falls short, likely due to the odd and out of place twist at the end of the story.
Regardless, it’s not a horrible or even a bad VN, the art was pretty amazing even if the music tracks were repetitive.
The Forest of Doom
The Forest of Doom is a fun choose your own adventure in which you, an adventurer, find a dying dwarf named Bigleg who was on a quest to find The Hammer for The Lord of Stonebridge. The Hammer is an important weapon that the lord needs to unite his people so that they may defend themselves against the Trolls.
As an adventurer you roll for your stats, have a map that automatically marks locations you have been to, an adventure sheet with a list of your items and potions, as well as a bookmark option so you can backtrack and make new choices.
Time to finish varies between people, 1-5 hours. Overall an excellent and satisfying game.
Stars and Snowdrops
In Stars and Snowdrops you play as Her Very Spoiled Highness, or Princess Kovi. You are dropped off at Snowdrop Keep for a “vacation.” After being duly informed by The Advisor Frel that that is anything but, you must find a suitor, or a decent advisor, to go back home.
While Stars and snowdrops has its negatives, I’m very impressed with its soft music tracks, artwork, and in particular, its voice acting. Even in more expensive VN’s that’s not typically an option I get to experience, and it was very well done. The sprites are animated, there is a small amount of character customization, and while the story was interesting, Kovi was a bit of a brat and I’m a bit baffled how quickly she and her love interest fall in, well, love, if given the option.
The story is about 20-30 min long and if you have any interest at all in playing the game, for $1.99 I say go for it.
Neon Space is a short 1-3 hour puzzle game with 10 music tracks. You have abilities, such as “Blink” which teleports you forward when you hit the spacebar, and you can slow down time for a few seconds by hitting “R.”
Overall, it’s not a bad game. Some of the levels are repetitive. I recommend only getting it on a steep, steep sale. The $10.99 regular price isn’t worth it. From the other reviews it seems this game was once only $1.
The Stillness of the Wind
In The Stillness of the Wind, you play as a mother named Talma, your parents and husband passed away many years ago and your siblings and children, Sola and Rama, have long since left the farm. You, your goats, and chickens are the only things left. There used to be a village, but it was long since swallowed by the desert and the remaining residents moved.
While your siblings have all left for across the sea or the city, you do remain in contact with a few of them. Garza, Mimi, Eimi, and your childhood friend and neighbor, Votta Bara. Receiving letters by the mailman is the brightest part of your day, but as the contents of the letters get increasingly worrying, strange and horribly bad things start happening to you and the remaining livestock.
I had a wonderful experience playing The Stillness of the Wind, and despite it only being 3-4 hours long, I had a lot of fun. It was pretty simple and slow paced, and easy to pick up on. Despite the theme being a “quiet rumination on life and loss.” I got an impression of hope, that even though bad things are happening, it will eventually be ok.
There are multiple endings! Make sure you find all the collectables scattered around the farm that appear in the sand when the wind uncovers it! Fill the shelf!
January 2021 report!!
My 2021 goals are:
- 100% my SG wins. (Which is more difficult than you would expect despite there being only 11 of them.)
- to complete more games every month than I add to my backlog.
I’ve had some reasonably good trades this month and added 4 to by backlog, and finished 6 games.
I’ve also kept a promise to myself that if I hit 100 game reviews I would make my own curator group, and I would like if you considered joining. For every holiday and 100 followers, I’ll be giving away HB monthly games or ones I really enjoyed.
Thank you and please stay safe!
Manifold Garden is a truly brilliant game about screwing physics and defying gravity.
The puzzles are deceptively simple and will have you questioning if you are capable of critical thinking. While there is not much story, the utter skill it must have taken to create this game and all the rooms and puzzles are masterful.
Even though I was mostly wandering around confused like a lost pet, I absolutely enjoyed my time in the Manifold Garden. $20 is a steal for this kind of content!
A Bird Story
Another excellent and heartwarming game by Freebird Games, I recommend you play Finding Paradise before playing A Bird Story so it will make more sense and have a bigger emotional impact, but you do you.
You play as a young boy named Colin, who struggles with his loneliness in his day-to-day life. That all changes when he finds an injured bird, becomes friends, and nurses it back to health.
Takes about 1 hour to complete. Very satisfying to finish.
In Divination, you divine the future of three humans and one robot. Will you make the fate of this city one of CHAOS, or peace?
Divination is a very short game, in one hour you can discover every ending. I was very pleased with the layout, theme, and the choices and consequences of those choices, good or bad they may have been. The art was very well done and I hope to find a longer, similar game like this in the future! It was very fun!
In Ladra you play as the thief Estella, who's main goal is to relieve noblemen and women of their burden of wealth, and occasionally dabble in information gathering.
When a friend of a friend hears an unsettling rumor, Estella, the best thief in the city is hired to look into it. After eavesdropping and uncovering vital information of an unsettling plot, you must do everything you can to prevent a war from ever happening.
Coming into this I had pretty low expectations, I don’t typically enjoy RPG maker games but I was pretty happy with this one. The stealth mechanics were pretty neat and I enjoyed the plot more than I thought I would. The music was pretty standard and I did have a slight issue with the achievements. The "Social Link" Master didn’t pop for me the first playthrough but it did the second, I’m not sure what I did differently, others in the discussions have reported it’s bugged.
To fullscreen the game, open the game and right click on the white bar on the top where you can close out the game (X), click properties and then “fullscreen.” Restart the game and enjoy!
You are a mother badger with 5 young, the area you made your den in no longer has enough food to support you and your family, and so you must move on to find another home.
This game is about survival, you need to feed your kids so they don’t die of starvation and avoid larger predators and threats from the sky. Natural disasters, crossing raging rivers, forest fires, it’s not easy to get your family to safety.
Lost one of my children to the river, and another to the Eagle. My fattest child has somehow survived despite my expectations.
1hr 20 min to beat, I was pretty impressed by the gameplay and mechanics. When your children are close to starvation, they slowly turn grey; but when you get food they circle around you, so you choose who gets to eat. Not a very wholesome game and pretty short, I recommend getting it on sale.
December 2020 report!!!
This month I got a bit done, stopped halfway with Hyperdimension Neptunia 2, I just had no motivation to finish it for some reason. Maybe next month.
I did Cjcomplex’s SG event, which helped me move along my backlog.
Finished - 6 games.
Bought - 6 games.
In other words, I’ve gotten nothing done this month. Nice.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone!!
In STEINS;GATE you play as Okabe Rintaro, a self-proclaimed mad scientist who is eccentric enough to create a time machine with a microwave and a banana. He can now also send text messages into the past, creating different timelines. This, naturally, has consequences, some more severe than others. Unfortunately, by the time Okabe has figured that out, he has sent quite a few and needs to travel to alternate timelines to fix his mistakes.
While I didn’t particularly like or even enjoy STEINS;GATE, I will acknowledge it’s probably one of the most well made VN’s I’ve ever played. Okarin was too eccentric, and his personality is so difficult it got to the point where playing STEINS;GATE became too painful to play and I needed to set it aside for about a year.
Despite that, STEINS;GATE is incredibly well made. Despite the time travel theme, I didn’t notice any missed plot holes, and a lot of the science behind the game is really fleshed out. If time travel is your thing, go for it.
This World Unknown
You play as Rhea, an incredibly normal girl born in a small, secluded village in the country of Aslande, who has been at war for centuries. Fortunately, your little village is far away enough from the fighting for it not to bother you much, unfortunately, most of the men in the village were called to fight, including one of your childhood friends. All you can do is your job as a nurse, help people get back up on their feet, worry, and pray for your friend to come back home and for a successful harvest come autumn.
While I did enjoy This World Unknown, I liked it more for its unusual point-of-view you don’t usually read about, rather than its romance. (Being an uneducated girl who can’t read or write, and themes such as PTSD, war, famine, disease, death, prostitution, religion, abuse, dismemberment without being gory.) Speaking of romance, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the four options you have available - Asa, Luca, Valerian, and “Garrett” - but considering the time period and the disappointing life expectancy I guess I shouldn’t ask for too much.
Day of the Tentacle Remastered
In Day of the Tentacle you play as three characters, Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne. You must time-travel back to yesterday to stop Purple Tentacle from gaining arms via drinking contaminated water and attempting world domination! This, naturally, is more difficult than you would expect. Especially when the crystal breaks mid-transportation and sends Hoagie 200 years into the past, and Laverne 200 years into the future. Also, why is the IRS at the door? Doctor Fred? Doctor- HEY!
I very much enjoyed playing Day of the Tentacle Remastered. While a lot of people seem to be playing for the nostalgia factor, I don’t actually remember how this showed up in my library nor have I played it before. While I didn’t particularly like the music, the humor, some of the puzzles, and the whole situation you get yourself into is pretty funny. I can see why it has positive rating and I recommend you give it a go.
In Finding Paradise you play and swap between two characters, Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts. You work for Sigmund Corp. A company that grants dying wishes. Imagine in your last breath, your biggest regret disappears, your wildest dream realized, your life completely re-lived and re-written, or just partially enough that you can rest in peace.
It’s time for you to meet your next patient, Colin. What story will you tell?
I am so impressed with Finding Paradise, I went in nearly blind and I was just blown away by the sheer quality. The music was heartfelt, the scenes were stunning, and the story was brilliant! Finding Paradise is actually a sequel of To The Moon, but both stories can be read alone. I also want to mention that this game is definitely meant to be played in one sitting, and takes about 5-6 hours to finish.
Rakuen is the story of a little hero living in a hospital ward with his mother and many other patients. His goal is to help as many people as possible, and awaken the guardian of the forest Morizora to grant his wish and go to Rakuen, a magical paradise. To do this, the boy must traverse to a parallel fantasy world with his mother and search for lost people and items, and take on quests to bring everyone together again.
Rakuen is a heartwarming and heartwrenching story and I genuinely enjoy and recommend it. Tragedies told through the perspective of a child who got dealt with a bad hand by fate, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The music is memorable and the story is interesting and charming. I didn’t experience any bugs. A lot of work and love was put into Rakuen and it shows. Alt + enter to fullscreen! The window is very small!
Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard
You are Detective Frog, called out onto another case because Detective Lobster is once again busy. Anyhow, you head out to Warlock Woods to find the Invisible Wizard and the culprit of who destroyed the parade and made a mess of the town!
Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard is very kid friendly and rather funny, also pretty short as it can be completed within an hour. For 100% achievements, two playthroughs must be completed. As an adult, I honestly find these Frog Detective games a rather nice break in between games, and I definitely recommend it.
November 2020 report!
Y’all this month kinda sucked for me, I got a bad streak, but at least I finished Hyperdimension Neptunia 1.
Titan Souls is an incredibly difficult game with a very steep learning curve. There is no tutorial, the only way you learn the mechanics is to get killed over and over and over again until you finally get it.
While I understand and enjoyed finishing the game, I can’t recommend it due to the fact it deliberately turns players away. The first boss, the slime, is one of the most difficult bosses that you must defeat and that’s the boss most people interact with first. A game is meant to be enjoyed, one way or another, but making the first boss so frustrating to kill is incredibly harsh considering the rest of the bosses are simpler in comparison.
If you are looking for a harder game though, Titan Souls is pretty good - the story is basically non-existent however. If you are only looking for a tough challenge, this is the right game for you.
The Witness a game where you must uncover puzzles, use the environment for hints, and solve them. The more puzzles you solve, the closer you get to the endings, and there are two. You can do one ending by doing half the puzzles, and the other by either sheer luck in the beginning or by completing all the puzzles excluding obelisk and environmental.
I absolutely cannot recommend anyone to play this. The only type of person who can enjoy The Witness is someone who loves puzzles enough to do them in their spare time. It’s fun for the first couple hours but as you get further and further along, the puzzles build up on each other to the point where looking at a guide become necessary. And while there was a joy at discovering secrets and unlocking doors, as someone who has 100%, experienced all puzzles and endings, I was shocked at how every single finale fell flat.
There are no books to read, no narrators, nothing to piece together any part of whatever story is going on. The only voices are audio logs you can occasionally find that are purely philosophical babbling. On average, this game has a playtime of 30 hours. Only 18% of anyone who has started the game has completed half of the puzzles to see the first ending, and only 4% of that have actually beaten the challenge room.
If you enjoy a small puzzle occasionally in the real world and decide to go for 100%, you will absolutely hate every single one by the time you are finished with this game.
Weeping Willow is a kinetic novel where Sophie needs to find her husband, who left the house after an argument during quarantine. The investigator has shown up, a guard, a nun… and her husband?!?!?
While I did enjoy Weeping Willow - the plot and story was unique and interesting - I can’t recommend it because the terrible ending ruined the whole novel for me. If that something you are willing to look past though, you can get a good solid 50 minutes of entertainment.
Warning: Photosensitivity and Seizure warning. Jump scares, blood and gore, violence, liquor.
I recommend going through the bug report forum before buying or even playing the game, and then note that despite the numerous bugs there has been no updates or technical support for any issues since it came out in September 2017.
I had an easier time with bugs playing Fallout 4 than Tokyo Dark. Game not loading, character not moving, getting stuck in areas, unable to interact with objects, getting the wrong ending on your playthrough, achievements not popping up correctly, and serious flickering that has given me multiple migraines.
“But Zelrune, you must have enjoyed the story at least! You did get all the achievements!” No. No I absolutely did not. I do not know why this game has so many positive reviews, but unfortunately it was too late to refund the game for me because I set it aside for too long and as an achievement hunter, I’m not letting this leave a blemish on my record.
I can run AC Odyssey on max graphics with no lag, I have played this in compatibility mode, windowed and full screen, and messed with the settings. I have also sent two emails, a FB message, posted in Tech support and general discussions and have been ignored since Nov 2. If you have any issues playing this game, You. Will. Not. Get. Any. Help.
Feesh is an enjoyable offline multiplayer game that’s very minimalistic and yet colorful in its design. Each “evolution” lasts about 3 min and you keep evolving your creature until you run out of lives and the game ends.
For only $0.99, it’s a pretty good game you can play with other household members, or just play a short game or two by yourself.
October 2020 Report!
This month was kind of crazy for me. I don’t typically add a bunch of games to my backlog, heck, in the past three months (excluding October.) I’ve only added two games, but this month, I actually added 8. Humble bundle is disappointing me lately, but Fanatical is on a roll! I bought Safe In Our World bundle twice (second time was for another copy of GRIS) and the Anime Tales bundle. I also completed two trades for Moonlighter and Everything!
I try to stay ahead of my intake, so this month was a bit hectic for me. I was only planning on finishing 3 games, I was going for a dragon theme, but I managed 10. I didn’t see anything off the Halloween Steam sale that I wanted enough to buy, but If you have any suggestions/recommendations, I would love to check it out.
I got tired of writing reviews, so while Everything and Hero of Many are complete, I opted not to add them down below because it’s already pretty long. I don’t recommend Everything because It lost any interest I had in it after 20 min of playtime. For Hero of Many, I actually finished it in 2016 but got 100% this month, and I do recommend it. It’s incredibly wholesome and enjoyable.
Elmarion: Dragon time
Elmarion: Dragon time, one of the few games you can be a dragon in, and there are many to pick from. Help or hurt humans as a Fire, Ice, Earth, or Electric dragon, each with their own unique perks and abilities. Go on quests, or just explore secrets and dungeons hidden throughout the maps. This world is yours!
Elmarion is a gem, an unpolished gem, but definitely a game worth checking out and playing, even during Early Access. Frequent updates, bug fixes, new maps and stuff added on, this is absolutely a labor of love. The worst part of this game is the first 10 - 20 minutes, getting used to the controls and flying. I am thrilled to announce this game has not given me motion sickness.
Once, the world was ruled by dragons. Now, they are hunted until their last breath. In a sheltered cave one of the last remaining eggs tremble and hatch. This is their tale.
Dragon’s Wake is a unique 2D platformer that features no dialog. The decisions you make are important and a single playthrough can be done in an hour or two. Aside from the awesome fact you are an actual dragon, your character physically grows as it collects power ups, and is relatively easy to play and understand the controls.
However, it has a huge glaring flaw that I almost didn’t want to recommend this game, the save system. Most games feature a save system where you can save the game at anytime and re-visit the location later, Dragon’s Wake is autosave only and you have no warning when it saves. This can cause some difficulties if you do not top off your health bar frequently, as it is entirely possible to get stuck in a death-loop. As you cannot reload from another location, there is some understandable frustration at needing to restart the game. However, there was clearly a lot of work and love going into Dragon’s Wake and It is enjoyable if you are careful with your gameplay.
How to Take Off Your Mask
This story follows a baker named Lila! Her parents went missing long ago, and she only has her grandmother and childhood friend, Ronan, to look after her. When Lila goes to bed, she wakes up as a cat-human creature called a Luccretia! Can she hide this from her family and her friend? Luccretias are being exiled from the kingdom, will she be able to stay and find out the reason why?
While I did not enjoy How to Take Off Your Mask, I didn’t strongly hate it either. HTTOYM is very unremarkable, and both Lila and Ronan act like they are in a middle school bad romance. The plot had no real reason to exist, as the “bad guys” only purpose was to seemingly create friction between Lila and Ronan, and to lock them in a room together for “sexual tension.”
This whole VN was silly in an unfunny way, the “shocked” sound effect was overused and went off every 30 seconds or so, the mc got jealous of herself, and had plot twists you could see coming in chapter one. There is absolutely nothing to do with baking despite Lila being a baker, and I have no idea who was running the shop while her and Ronan were running around. I recommend skipping this one.
How To Date A Magical Girl!
Warning: Gore, dismemberment, blood, death, cursing, violence, 18+.
Upon awakening your own magical powers, you enter the Magical Girl Academy with your childhood friend Hikari! Meet Miyu, Kaori, Yui, and Rei! Your singular goal is to get a girlfriend before New Year’s Eve! Game start!
The longer you play How To Date A Magical Girl! You start to realize, “This isn’t about dating anymore, is it?” as it starts to get remarkably dark. Gore, dismemberment, bruises, disfigurement, and an extreme amount of violence with a rather unique ending. Although the management part of the game is rather difficult if you want to get all the girls affection percentages up in one playthrough, there is an incredible guide available if you want to do just that. One playthrough takes about 10 hours. Can you figure out who the killer is before your time is up?
Forgotten Trace: Thanatos in Nostalgia - Chapter 1 Complete Edition
Warning: vulgar language, blood, violence, nudity, death and suicide.
Forgotten Trace: Thanatos in Nostalgia was a rather big disappointment for me. While I’m sure it does have an interesting story, I genuinely do not know what it was.
What I do know, however, is that it’s poorly executed. The VN tries to be dark but the scenes last so long it was hard to hold any shock value, or any interest in the story besides “getting it over with.” The text is also incredibly slow, as you can read the same sentences five times before a new one appears on screen. I mean this literally. (Alternatively, spend the entire 7 – 10 hours clicking.)
Another thing that absolutely does not help, is how much of this story is dragged out. I can easily see this being three hours long, but too much extra text was added in to make it much longer than it should have been. “We kissed; I was embarrassed.” “The sensation of that woman’s lips.” “I can still feel the heat of her lips.” “The enchanting heat of that kiss.” “My body is getting all hot thinking about that kiss.” These are snippets of text that are one after another, after the opening scene. This is how the entire VN plays out.
A warning to achievement hunters, while it’s easy to 100%, it’s very tedious. You must replay the game from a certain point a guide explains this. and watch the ending a total of three times for three achievements. It’s also unskippable and 7 minutes long. That I timed. Total, 21 extra minutes.
TL;DR - If this review was too long you are going to hate this VN.
Magical Eyes - Red is for Anguish
In Magical Eyes - Red is for Anguish, The Disobeyers are a organization of people that protect their individual area from Variants. Variants are people who died leaving a fervent wish unfulfilled, or a material object that was so strongly influenced by emotions that it became supernatural. You play as Yuu, a member of The Disobeyers. Strange things are occurring and a stranger incident has happened in your area. Every day there seems to be a new body, gather the clues and find the killer!
Magical Eyes - Red is for Anguish can take anywhere from 8 to 11 hours to finish, and quite frankly I was very impressed by the music, characters, backgrounds, and the story. Definitely a murder mystery novel, but other than the occasional bloodstain, doesn’t depict any scenes of gore or violence. The only thing I would warn you about, is that this is part one of a two-episode VN. The second chapter is Magical Eyes – Blue Indigo Heaven. I spoke to a publisher in Fruitbat Factory about it and it was stated, “it hasn't been cancelled, but the circle doesn't seem to be active atm, so… stalled?” I would not expect part two anytime soon.
GRIS, or “Grey”, is “Overwhelmingly Positive” and it’s easy to see why. Not only are the visuals breathtaking, so is the story. Despite having no dialog, GRIS easily manages to convey the story of a girl named Gris as she deals with tragedy and goes through the five stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
This 2D exploration platformer is completely flawless, and it’s fun and easy to play. The music is enchanting, and the puzzles are simple and enjoyable, the entire game is gorgeous. Collecting all the mementos gets you an additional story piece and I highly recommend doing some extra puzzles to seek them out.
From my experiences playing GRIS, it’s definitely meant to be played in one run, which takes about 4 hours. Getting 100%, or every achievement, will take around 6. Overall, I cannot recommend this game enough, and even someone completely new to videogames will find themselves wanting to play again.
Dear Esther: Landmark Edition
Dear Esther is THE first Walking Simulator, and in an age where there are thousands of games to play, it holds up really well. Originally a Half-Life 2 mod, the developers sought to expand upon it due to its popularity, and after years of progress it was able and ready to be released as a fully-fledged game.
Dear Esther, despite its age, is still pretty unique. While it does leave a lot of the story up to the players imagination, every replay has different randomly generated items. Playing it once might leave you with some confusion about the story, playing it twice nets you new dialog and information as the narrator gets more unhinged, and re-playing it three times… Do it.
However, it does have a couple issues although it’s not game breaking. This game has achievements for finding all the voice overs and 4 urns. In my playthrough, one voice over for some reason was skipped and I got it in my second playthrough, and sometimes the Urns did not count. (When you touch them, the ashes scatter, which is the trigger for marking it as found. I had to do two, twice.)
I really, really enjoyed playing Dear Esther, although if you are not a patient person or interested in exploring, you probably won’t enjoy this. It’s pretty linear and the first playthrough took me an hour, and 45 min each afterwards. I recommend doing the directors commentary first.
September 2020 report!
A day late but I don’t think anyone really cares lol. Anyway, all the puppies I fostered last time were all adopted out and are at their new homes, and now I’m fostering a mostly blind and completely deaf double Merle girl, although she has quite a few adoption requests so I don’t think I will have her for long. My rescue is very picky with adopters though, which I love. She is very sweet!
I haven’t gotten a lot done this month, most of it was finished within 2 days of the month ending. I only added one game to my backlog which I’m actually working on now because it looks so interesting, Elmarion dragon time! I am excited and ready for the Steam October Sales!
If My Heart Had Wings
If My Heart Had Wings is all about Gliders, romance, and perseverance!
You play as Aoi, a boy recovering from a bicycle accident that left him running back defeated to his hometown. Back home, he meets Kotori, Amane, Ageha, Asa and Yoru! Together they join the Soaring club! Fix the glider and give your heart wings! Onward! The Morning Glory awaits!
First of all, I like this but I’m not quite sure I recommend it. Looking at a lot of other comments, “quite a bit of content was cut” is an understatement. The translation could be better. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first route, it went downhill from there. All the routes are incredibly similar, with some minor differences. It’s also a bit pesky because you can’t unlock some routes without finishing another, and the routes are very long. That being said, there is definitely an order you should read them in, and I’m thankful there is already a guide pointing that out. (Recommended Route Order by Capt. Pottypie. Korori – Ageha – Amane – Asa – Yoru.)
TL;DR It’s a great game that get’s less interesting the more routes you play, and by the end I was just happy it was over. I am very thankful of the “Skip all seen text” option in the settings.
Memory's Dogma CODE:01
Warning: gore, violence, partial forced amputation, suicide attempts and depression.
In Memory's Dogma CODE:01, memories of the dead can be digitized and stored online for 49 days, so people can speak with their loved ones once or a few more times before being permanently archived. You play as Hiroki, a loner with two friends, Kakeru a skilled hacker and Sorano. However, after Sorano dies of mysterious and suspicious circumstances, you and Kakeru visit the connect center where memories are stored to ask her exactly what happened. Strange darkness is lurking about, will you be alive long enough to find out?
I really do love and recommend this VN, however it is not without its own issues. Namely, the incredibly open-ended ending and the increasingly long delay of Memory’s Dogma CODE:02. I personally was looking for more information, reading through Kickstarter posts and in 2016, the scenario was 20% done, in 2018, the scenario was 100% done and was suggested to be twice as long as CODE:01. Either CODE:02 is going to be released tomorrow or sometime in the next three years.
August 2020 report
I beat another huge game in my library, which was pretty awesome. In the past two months I’ve only added one new game to my library and I finally hit 300 games, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. Currently fostering a litter of great dane puppies and their mom, I’ve only had them for two days but man they are vicious with each other. It’s hard to wean the puppies off the mom (They are 6 weeks old!) and keep them separated because she keeps jumping over the play pen to feed them and check up on them. I hope she gets adopted soon!
One of the puppies unfortunately is a Double Merle - if you don’t know what that is, you should read up on them - So I was really worried about her, but she’s not blind or deaf so I’m pretty happy. She is the smallest of the litter though, one of her siblings is twice her weight. She makes me anxious when she starts to wrestle with her littermates!
You play as Aya. Your mother passed away a year ago and on the night of the anniversary of her death, you wake up startled to your father screaming! Aya must navigate her way through her childhood manor filled with her father’s evil experiments to rescue him!
Mad Father is a light horror game with a few jump-scares. Explore and collect/use items to further your progress. I’m not much of a fan of horror games but I did enjoy Mad Father and I recommend it to anyone who is just getting into horror games or to someone who plays the genre often. I didn’t have any difficulties playing and there are plenty of guides if you get lost or can’t figure out how to get that one achievement.
The Crown of Leaves
Roui left his homeland, Latori, to become a respected jeweler, but fell in love with cyphers and the mysticism of the world Instead. In the ten years he left his country, he became a recognized and popular author, and wrote articles for the Paranormal Patrolman’s Papers. After he got in some hot water with the Mafia, he returned home to his country and got a commission from The Baron to carve a wedding gift for his fiancé, a bracelet made of sacred wood. Strange things start happening after that.
The Crown of Leaves is a rather impressive kinetic novel/point and click adventure made by only two people. The updates are not frequent and as of now the game is unfinished, (should be an update late 2020 with chapter 2/3!!!) But I am very impressed with all the characters, art, and the storyline is intriguing. Absolutely recommend!
In a land far, far away - in a mmorpg, and to be more specific, Asaph Online - Viole the dark witch is the strongest, most fearsome and terrifying foe in all the lands. Offline however, she’s Kotone, a hard-working Lawyer who just wants a vacation from the mundane. Her wish granted by an unknown power, she falls asleep, and awakens inside the world of Asaph! Meet and flirt with Neve, the Darkling Maid! Fion, the puppy thief! Eleri, the righteous (and surprisingly cruel) knight!
I give Sakura MMO a solid “Meh.” The cutscenes are nice and I think it’s well written, even if whoever wrote this does seem to have a limited vocabulary. The MC Viole is a sadistic person but whenever she acts on it, she immediately regrets which is a bit silly for a personality. Neve is really cute and I like her dark character, Fion was a bit too soft and innocent for a thief, and I honestly just hate Eleri. Eleri is the morally good character who is a bit too stuck on her high horse and fancy’s herself as the Judge and Jury.
Although something tells me you don’t want to play this for the plot. Yes, there is a R18+ patch.)
Hopefully Sakura MMO 2 and 3 will be better!
Sakura MMO 2
You play as Kotone, a Lawyer from modern day Japan who wakes up as her character Viola, a dark and powerful witch from Asaph Online! It’s been a couple months since a mysterious otherworldly power transferred you over to this new world, and now that you’ve had your fun exploring, it’s time to get serious and find some answers! Your Darkling Maid Neve, puppy thief Fion, and surprisingly-cruel-knight-that-also-came-from-Japan guard dog Eleri, come with you to help shine a light on this mystery. Can you make it back home? Do you even want to?
Compared to the first MMO Violas personality has come a long way, and she’s not as apologetic which shows character growth. What really made me mad about this though was that whoever you romanced in the first game completely forgets in the second one. Why?!?! Should have had an option in the beginning where you picked who you romanced, Neve, Fion, Eleri, or all instead of dismissing it and making everyone forget it happened.
On another note… This VN was completely irrelevant plot wise and ends in a weird spot. Viola and Eleri try to find out who transported them into Asaph online by… taking a bunch of useless side quests? What do they honestly expect to learn from a gathering quest or “go kill x of these.” Quests? This whole VN was them taking a quest to find a missing diamond necklace for a wedding, but they took it on the assumption that “maybe they would find out why they came here.” When they could have done something productive like “go ask another witch.” (which is what they end up doing in the last 5 min of this which finally advanced the main quest.)
Yes, there is an 18+ patch you weirdos.
Sakura MMO 3
The Dark Witch Viola and Eleri finally figured out why and how they came from modern day Japan to Asaph Online! The reason it however, is not a good one. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, the world is now ending in two weeks and only those not from Asaph have a chance of saving it! No chance to back out now!
I LOVED this ending to Sakura MMO! A surprising twist and a satisfying ending that I was happy with! The translations are better and the characters showed a lot of growth compared to 1 and 2. Viola is no longer as shy and apologetic and Eleri, the-actually-noble-and-more-respectable-now knight has gotten stronger and shows more confidence in herself! Fion, the-puppy-thief, is still laid back, but she pays more attention now to the important stuff. An overall excellent way to end the series!! Yes, there is an 18+ patch.
AAAAAAAA I MARRIED NEVE!!!
July 2020 report!
This month had been very hard on me and my family and honestly i’m not doing too good. Lot’s of free time lately and tried my best to get my mind off things, which resulted in these VN’s being completed. This year has been pretty bad.
EDIT: At least I didn’t increase my backlog at all this month. Small things.
The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya
The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya has pretty cutscenes and characters, but that’s all it has going for it. The backgrounds are horribly drawn and there is only about 5 of them between all the characters, and the music tracks are few and forgettable.
The storyline is a mess, and unlikely scenarios happen one after the other, Misao, the girl you play as, her personality changes with every route and the writing is cringy. It honestly feels like one person wrote all the text because all the characters, aside from when you first meet them, act the same - aggressive and crude.
Hayabusa – Your childhood friend, starts off well and likely is the best route in the game. Which is saying something.
Kagerou – A Tsundere who’s not actually cute.
Tokiwa – A handsome man who is remarkably childish and self- centered.
Kagura - Cool and collected when you first interact with him, but halfway through his personality flips and he becomes reckless, aggressive, and crude.
Takao – The most bipolar man I’ve ever seen in a VN.
Iroha – Starts off unromantic and cringy, somehow ends worse.
I spent $8 on Kikuya and it was not worth it. I also purchased the second season, Ohgiya and despite being past the two week purchase date, I actually got a refund. THANK YOU, DEREK! WHOEVER YOU ARE!
Warning: Violence and light cursing.
You play as Ashley Chu, a high school student who just wants to be a successful Digital Artist so he can break away from his abusive parents and find his own freedom! He may need the help of his childhood sweetheart, Daisy, and maybe his beautiful and mysterious new classmate??
The backgrounds and characters are absolutely gorgeous, although the English translation probably came off Google translate. It’s approximately 30 hours per route. Unlike what I did, I recommend picking whoever you fancy first, finishing her route, then restarting and set the skip to “skip all text you have already seen." And then do the last route.
Also, I can’t believe that this VN is $2, it typically goes on sale for $0.79 and that is an absolute steal for this kind of content. Also, to give you exactly how amazing this VN is, I want to mention again, it's about 30 hours per route, 1 million words, and each character has about 450 different expressions, and 35 music tracks. Also, you can mute all voices or just specific ones if they get on your last nerve.
Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For-
You are the MC. While taking a shortcut home you stumble upon a broken and rather High-Tec Android about to be demolished. So, what do you do? You take her home and try to re-activate her, of course.
Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- is a rather emotional VN that features Lucy, an Android with emotions in a human society hellbent on destroying her. This VN also features voice acting, for Lucy only, in Korean and Japanese. While playing, I couldn’t help but be reminded of The Turing Test, a test to see if a human could tell the difference between another human and a machine. If the human could not tell the difference, then it is said that the machine could think. That it was intelligent. If Lucy didn’t have the aspects of her that showed she was an Android, she could have passed as a human, perfectly.
There are 2 routes in this game chosen by your final choice, a True Route and an Alternate Route. After the True Route more extras are unlocked. This VN can take anywhere from 3-5 hours to finish.
If you liked this game, you may also like TACOMA and The Turing Test on Steam.
You are Lin Yang, you finished college and you finally have that degree that you worked so hard for! Except one thing. You can’t get a job. At all. It really sucks. Practically broke, you decide to head back to your small hometown and take over your late grandfather’s convenience store. Digging through your grandfathers’ things, you discover a mystical wind chime! You ring it, and three animal girls appear before you! Meet Cherry the fox, Purin the Rabbit, and Puff the Bear! You decide to hire them as employees in your shop! Except one problem, the girls are bound to the wind chime and can’t stray too far from it, and they have no recollection as to who they are! You decide to be a good example of the human race, and help them out.
This VN is very cute and well written! Also, a surprisingly dark story? I noticed that during the gameplay, Cherry’s and Purin’s backstory is revealed and they get their memories back, but Puff doesn’t so it feels unfinished.
Pastry Lovers is a sweet and wholesome game about a girl, Sakura, who was abandoned by her family and raised at an orphanage in the West Isle. Her former family left nothing to her except a note with her name on it and a notebook filled with pastry recipes that was her fathers. Using this book, she aspires to be a famous pastry chef! She will have to go to the main continent of Carseland Kingdom and enroll in the prestigious St. Patras College to pursue her dream! During her time there, will she find clues to her hidden past?
While in the College, she meets Prince William, Christopher DM, Henry Yin, and Hannan Ye! Will she find her fated partner?!? There is another character you can date, Henin the art teacher, he is a hidden character.
This was a surprisingly enjoyable stat management VN, and for the $5 price tag is an absolute steal. It took me about 9 hours to do everything the game has to offer. I want to note that while some people complain about needing to repeat the game to get the other routes, if you get everyone’s affection to 110 and get your status up (and with 9999 gold, you better.) All of their routes are available to you if you simply save on THE DAY BEFORE (To lower/increase your “Blackening” stat via eating at the restaurant.) when you need to pick which route you want to complete.