Reviews

GAMING: Half Hour Games – Homesickened

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Homesickened is a short story made in Unity about revisiting old memories by Snapman, released on October 30, 2015. Rendered entirely in vintage-style CGA, Homesickened forces you to relive old traumas to dredge up memories that only re-open wounds. Can you survive the greatest horror of them all: your own anxiety?

We’ll give Homesickened a revisit of our own after the jump.

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GAMING: A Good Gardener

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A Good Gardener is a Unity-made wartime gardening simulator released on April 20, 2015 by Ian Endsley and Carter Lodwick. An undefined war is going on, and you’re assigned a duty to help out: to grow a garden in a derelict lot. Day in and day out, you maintain your burgeoning garden while the war rages on in the background. Your only companionship besides your plants is your mysterious commanding officer who tries his best to keep an emotional distance between you. As the days crawl by, the truth of your war effort creeps to the surface while you learn what got you into this situation in the first place.

We’ll plant the seeds of our opinion after the jump.

Note: A Good Gardener is a game that’s difficult to talk about without spoiling the twist. The rest of this review contains spoilers.

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GAMING: Cuttle Scuttle

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Cuttle Scuttle is a cuttlefish reproduction simulator by Dan Monceaux, Adam Jenkins, and Julian Shank, released on December 4, 2015.

It is a companion piece to the documentary Cuttlefish Country, a film detailing the modern plight of Australian gulf cuttlefish in their attempt to survive in a human-changed ecosystem. Within Cuttle Scuttle, you play as a female cuttlefish during mating season in the Spencer Gulf. You are tasked with finding virile males to breed with, and to lay your eggs safely so the continued survival of your species is guaranteed. But it’s not easy being a cuttlefish: you’ll soon find humans are making reproduction harder than it needs to be.

Does Cuttle Scuttle successfully make cuttlefish more cuddly? Find out after the jump.

Content warnings: I don’t think any of us ever expected having to write this but there’s, uh, somewhat graphic lo-fi depictions of cephalopod sex.

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GAMING: Half Hour Games – Joy Exhibition

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Joy Exhibition is an alien art exhibition simulator made in Unity and released on December 16, 2015 by Strangethink. Trapped in a mysterious alien ship, you must communicate with the voiceless species using nothing but the medium of paint on canvas. Equipped with an array of randomly generated spray paint guns, you paint surreal and abstract works of art for them to admire.

We’ll paint a picture of our experience for you after the jump.

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GAMING: Hylics

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Hylics is a JRPG-style game made by Mason Lindroth and released on August 29, 2015.

The concept of “hylics” is taken from Greek gnosticism, where it was the basest portion of what made up a living person: their physical body. This was the evil portion of a person, the part of them that demanded to eat, to have sex, to do anything that would keep a person away from perfect spiritual enlightenment. Hylics doesn’t portray itself as an evil game, but it is an intimately physical one where the entire world is molded out of malleable, changeable clay.

After the jump, we’ll sculpt our opinion out.

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GAMING: Half Hour Games – Frail Shells

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Frail Shells is a first-person shooter made by Taylor Bai-Woo with music by Ryan Roth. It was released November 15, 2014 as part of the 7DFPS Jam, a collaborative game design event dedicated to making a first-person shooter in seven days.

War is hell. War has changed. War never changes. War! What is it good for? There’s a lot to be said about a good war. There is a lot to be said about a bad war, as well.

Since the world has an enormous fascination with watching people kill each other, games about war are just as prominent as real wars. Frail Shells is a game about war, but it’s not like other war games. It’s about a much more personal kind of war.

After the jump, we’ll land boots first into our review.

Note: Frail Shells is a game that’s difficult to talk about without spoiling the twist. The rest of this review contains spoilers.

Read On…

GAMING: Half Hour Games – Dr. Langeskov, the Tiger, and the Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist

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Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist is a short whirlwind heist simulator made in Unity and released December 4, 2015 by Crows Crows Crows. In it you play a mysterious cat burglar, whose crime spree has taken them to the fabulous mansion of Dr. Langeskov for one of the greatest heists of the 20th century. Slip past the mansion’s guards, beware of Langeskov’s precious pet tiger, and the emerald may be yours – just watch out for its terrible curse… A truly terrible curse… yeah…

Oh, who are we kidding? We can’t do this. This place is in shambles and we’re not going to waste our time writing a review when we’re not even being paid a living wage. We haven’t gotten paid in two months and they expect us to do a whole review for this game. Well, we’re sick of it. Sick of it. We’re joining the strike. Forget this. You can get someone else to make the jump, you sickos.

Read On…

GAMING: Half Hour Games – Expat

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Expat is a game released on June 2, 2014 by Blendo Games for the Space Cowboy Game Jam, a collaborative game design event inspired by Cowboy Bebop with the theme of combining both the American and final frontiers.

We’re always excited to play games by Blendo, as they always have a massive amount of charm that we feel represents the best qualities of the independent game market. Expat is no exception, as it’s a game about a real rough-rockin’ hombre out to earn a little extra scratch with one of the oldest professions in the world: knocking troublemakers on their heads and turning them in for cash. Fly across the solar system and make friends, hunt enemies, and get wads of cash or die trying.

After the jump, we’ll blast off after the most valuable bounty of all: a game review.

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FOOD: Dutch Crunch – Bistro Blend

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Old Dutch Foods is a snack manufacturer, primarily known for their brands of potato chips. They only tend to distribute in the northern United States and Canada. Dutch Crunch is Old Dutch’s brand of kettle chips, and our preferred brand of potato chips with an unparalleled Salt & Vinegar flavor.

If you’re eating locally in the Midwest, you’ve probably encountered a plate of Old Dutch branded chips. They’re unmistakeable: they have a fresh potato flavor, are always way too salty. and are soaked in oil that covers your fingertips as you eat.

It sounds kind of awful when you put it like that, but it’s a typical comfort food for the Midwesterner. Whether the chips are tucked into a roast beef and mayo sandwich, used to scoop out Old Dutch-branded french onion dip, or just eaten on their own: it’s a distinctive mark of the region, as you can’t find them anywhere else in the United States of America.

We’ll bring the distinctive flavor of a Midwestern Bistro to the rest of America after the jump.

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GAMING: Half Hour Games – Crowtel, and Why Forethought is Important

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Crowtel is a platformer-adventure/corvid hotel ownership simulator released November 2, 2015 by Sink. You are a humble crow in charge of an extremely run-down hotel, and a surprise visit from health inspector cats sends you scrambling to clean up the place before you get shut down.

With six floors of hardcore chirp-’em-up platforming action, Crowtel is a throwback to memorable shooter platformers like Cave Story – but can it leap over the platforms of high standards? We’ll find out after the jump.

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