Ghost 1.0

Ghost 1.0 is a game that combines twinstick shooting with exploration platforming and although it takes a little while to wrap your head around the controls, it feels really empowering when you get it. There are plenty of dangerous things with dangerous weapons in the game, but you always feel empowered to avoid projectiles and fire back without the game ever taking the skill out of either, which is no mean feat. So while the difficulty curve is sometimes uneven, the game mostly gets the moment-to-moment gameplay down really well.

As for the larger scope, it is set up as a roguelite platformer with light exploration elements and heavy loadout/progression options. It offers you the choice to play it as a more forgiving platformer but it’s hard to say what the intent was – if you keep your items you soon have more weapons and upgrades than you can keep track of, and if you decide to go the survivalist route it’s not very good at giving you a chance to get back in the game. It also has massive amounts of different upgrades which is a bit of a shame since there’s not a lot of opportunity to experiment and the time could possibly have been better spent making the areas look more interesting.

There’s something goofy about Ghost 1.0 hinting that it is exactly what the creator intended it to be, a tone that draws more from 90s cartoons for preteens than any of the games that inspired it. Rather than attempting to set a somber and desolate mood like the games that inspired it, it gleefully accepts that its story and design is something of a fanwork – rather than a game where every element is placed with intent it flows over with content both good and bad. It’s hard to fault it for being a passion project, but at the same time it feels a bit like a lost opportunity.

Also, since I played a bunch of games since the steam sale…

One Dog Story is another platformer that feels like a passion project more than the work of an experienced hand, it has some interesting encounters in it but a lot of arbitrary difficulty spikes, odd mechanics and general bugs.

Ovivo is a simplistic and stylish take on a concept that’s not entirely original. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but it plays well enough and looks good enough that it is well worth the time it takes to complete.

Albert & Otto feels like it wants to be Limbo with more action gameplay, it has some pretty neat puzzle elements in there but leans heavily on physics that are unpredictable and telegraphs that do not give you enough information.

Abzu is, seemingly intentionally, Journey with a little bit more gameplay. I’m not entirely sure the collectibles really add anything as Journey was a very pure experience, but it’s high bar to reach for and Abzu is still a great experience.

Event[0] uses its pieces masterfully to set an unnerving mood – the text recognition is by no means perfect, but it is just good enough to deliver something better than your average scripted conversation.

Out there Somewhere is a short platformer including equal parts camp, early 90s PC platformers and some Knytt. It is a small game, lasting less than two hours for a single playthrough, but a game that delivers the full experience of its gimmick without overstaying its welcome.

Finding Teddy has some really nice color palettes and environments, and some really neat puzzles to unravel but can sometimes take its inspiration of old-school adventure games too far in the obscurity of its puzzles.

Monsters ate my Birthday Cake I backed the kickstarter to this way back in the day and never got around to playing it, but it is a surprisingly solid puzzle game.

Snakebird starts of difficult and then raises the bar. Reminds me of Jelly’s Puzzle in that the rules are clear and simple but solutions are still very tricky.

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Posted on Aug 25/17 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »