Full-time-parenting this week, which makes it hard to write. But I bought the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality last week, and it’s got a fuckton of games I can afford to give a very small amount of time to. So here’s some very quick thoughts on the ones I’ve played so far.
For the sake of keeping them straight, I’m going to try them in the order they appear on my download page. I’m not going to spend a lot of time getting them to work if they fight back right now, since there are enough games here that I can just move on. I’ll play until I decide to stop for purely arbitrary reasons.
My system is an i7 with 16 GB of ram and integrated Intel graphics, running Linux Mint 19.3. I don’t expect to play anything that won’t run on that right now, but I may make a note of Windows-exclusives I mean to try at some later date. So, here we go:
Overland: A low-poly squad-survival-strategy game with procedurally generated characters and levels. Sort of a hybrid of Final Fantasy Tactics, Resident Evil, and The Oregon Trail. Runs great on my system. I dig the low-poly aesthetic. Although it has a zombie apocalypse feel, they made the cool choice to make the monsters some kind of crystal-headed-dog-monsters instead of cliche zombies. This isn’t a style of game I like much, but I did enjoy it and will probably go back. Biggest negative is that it drops you in the deep end without anything in the way of instruction or tutorial.
Night in the Woods: Not quite sure what to make of it yet. Looks to be one of those story-heavy platformers that are a kind of a new thing I haven’t had a chance to play much of yet. It reminds me a bit of The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories. The visual style reminds me a bit of the remake of A Boy and His Blob. Though with anthropomorphic animals. Played fine aside from a very long startup time. The introduction is long enough to make the game feel much larger than I can give a fair amount of time to today, but I hope to return to it. Features a rhythm minigame that turned me right off, but hopefully that’s not going to be a major element.
Kenney Game Assets 1: A pack of sprites, fonts, and 3d models for making your own games. I’ve bought a bunch of game asset packs on sale in the past as part of my forlorn goal to actually write one of the six games bouncing around my head. Nothing here is applicable to anything I might do personally.
Sky Rogue: A procedurally-generated flight sim. Had a seizure for me on startup, but eventually loaded and ran fine. Visually interesting. I don’t like flight sims, though, so soft pass.
Celeste: Beautiful 16-bit-styled puzzle platformer. Think it’s in the masocore family, though I didn’t play long enough to be sure. I’m probably going to need to switch to assist mode. I didn’t play too much since I’m not in the mood for a hard game right now, but it’ll be on my list to play again. I think I’ll want to get a gamepad before I try again.
A Short Hike: A cute, mellow exploration game reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century collect-a-thon (though the collection in this is narrow in scope) where you play a bird trying to climb a mountain in a resort town in order to get cell phone reception. Think Animal Crossing: The Breath of the Wild 64. Supergreatfriend played this all the way through last week, so I have little impetus to spend much time with it now, but I think I might get Dylan into it. Worked fine in Linux.
Gladiabots: It’s another squad-based tactical strategy game, but with a twist: you don’t control your squad directly. Instead, you program their AIs using a graphical block-based programming language. I don’t know how much time I’ll spend with it, but Dylan spent the entire time I tried it out nagging me to let him play. I am all for that, except that he misbehaved dreadfully while I was getting ready to install it on his computer, so now no games for him.
Lancer Core Book: First Edition: This is a rulebook for a tabletop RPG. Not really my thing, but the artwork is nice.
MewnBase: A top-down 2D sandbox-survival game. Think The Martian meets Lost in Blue. Where you play as a cat. I died several times before working out how to refill my oxygen, but it’s my own damn fault for skipping the tutorial. Another one Dylan nagged me about. He’s a big Minecraft fan so I’m not surprised. Will probably play again.
Art Sqool: No Linux Port, so I didn’t try it, but I saw Supergreatfriend’s stream of it last week and it’s not my thing anyway.
Walden: No Linux port. Pity; looked kind of neat and the production values seem high.
A Mortician’s Tale: Another one I can’t play, looks cool.
Lenna’s Inception: Procedurally generated Zelda-like with some cool twists. Loving it so far. Will definitely be back. Does seem to be a bit of a performance problem on my system, though.
Oikospiel Book I: No Linux port. Don’t have a good sense of what the game’s about either.
Beacon: No linux port. I’m not a big fan of Roguelites these days anyway.
Odd Realm: I was instantly overwhelmed. I think if I were a much younger man, I would’ve been into this. Seems to be something along the lines of Civilization, or maybe closer to Dwarf Fortress? A much bigger game than I can handle right now.
Night of the Consumers: Another Windows-only one. Also, PS1-styled retro is a visual style that I do not have tremendous affection for. I’m seeing more and more of it these days, and more power to the Kids These Days who like it, but my nostalgia runs out with the 2D era, so for me personally, the first generation of 3D consoles trigger only “That is tremendously ugly” in my heart.
Mu Cartographer: Cool-looking game not available for Linux.
EXTREME MEATPUNKS FOREVER: It’s a visual novel-slash-brawler about queer folks defeating fascism by punching it with bio-organic mechs. So basically the year 2020 but more literal. The author describes the Linux port as untested and janky, but all I encountered were some weird pauses during loading. I don’t know if I’ll come back though; I don’t like the fighting segments at all. I really love the visual novel plot, but visual novels aren’t really a genre I’m into.
Hex Kit: An editor for hexgrid maps for tabletop RPGs. Nifty. Seemed to work fine.
Airships: Conquer the Skies: A steampunky sort of military strategy game where you design and customize lighter-than-aircraft to fight in various scenarios. This kept becoming briefly unresponsive, which is disappointing. I don’t know if I’ll come back. This is another of those games which seems way more complicated than I am up for these days, but I also had a hard time backing away from it.
MidBoss: An isomorphic turn-based dungeon crawler where you play as a minor enemy that decides to use its possession ability to work its way up and take over as the dungeon boss. Played completely fine but I’m not sure I’m all that into it. Also, it came as a binary installer, which I know is entirely normal in the Windows world but is super sketch in Linux. The installer also spammed my log file, which is concerning.
Arcade Spirits: A visual novel set in a universe where the ’83 video game crash didn’t happen so video arcades are still a thing. I’m not into visual novels, but the story is okay so far and it ran fine. I am more likely to watch a Let’s Play of this than to actually play it myself.
Minit: Did not run. First game that purported to support Linux but failed. It’s also the first linux game to only come in a 32-bit version. I’m curious about it and will try to sort out the dependencies at some point, but I have a lot of games to get through. Plus ten out of ten for coming as a .deb, but minus several million for not actually specifying its dependencies
2064: Read Only Memories: I’ve played a bit of this before. It’s an adventure game inspired by several things, but most obviously by the early Hideo Kojima game Snatcher. Tried it just enough to verify that it starts on my box.
One Night Stand: Another visual novel, but I’m interested enough to try to meander through it. The sketchy art style is cool.
Laza Knitez!: Not available for linux. Multiplayer deathmatch is not my thing anyway.
Witch Way: Windows only.
Islands: Non-Places: A weird, surrealist sort of art piece. Did not respect my requested resolution or to run windowed instead of fullscreen. Seems short enough that I will probably finish it.
No Delivery: I’ve had good luck with procedurally generated CRPGs so far, so I’m sad this one is windows only.
That completes the first page of the bundle. I got 58 more of these I can do if you and I feel like it. It actually took quite a lot of hours to write this, but it was work I could actually sit down and do, unlike watching a TV show and then writing about it, which requires being able to focus on one thing for longer than I generally can with the kids around. So maybe we’ll do this again soon…
This post first appeared on A Mind Occasionally Voyaging | Welcome To The WORL, please read the originial post: here