itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality Game Reviews
Popular indie games platform itch.io recently ran a thing where they sold a games bundle to support the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Community Bail Fund in lights of recent events around the murder of George Floyd and others by the police.
The bundle was absolutely massive, containing more than a thousand items consisting of indie games, soundtracks, visual novels, comics and game assets.
I played through only a few of the many games so far, picking what looked appealing to me at a fist glance only. Below you can find a list of what I tried and what I thought about it.
If you bought the bundle and have favorites among the many games, please let me know.
You're a fish. Eat things, avoid being eaten. The control style is quite unique. You need to flap your tail to the left and right. Flap a bit more to one side and you turn a corner. Flap to both sides equally to swim forward. It's available for Android and it works well there. Beautiful water color style. Well made and fun for a few minutes.
You're some kind of bird person, hiking up a mountain. Basically a walking simulator with intermediate gliding. Absolutely beautiful with cute little animal people. Some side quests and a light overarching story. I absolutely enjoyed this game.
You're a cat. In a space base building sim. A quite relaxed take on the genre. There are no enemies except running out of oxygen or food. You have 35 days to explore the planet and advance in the tech tree before you can take your ship and fly back home to end the mission. It's cute but still a serious game. Recommended.
You're a mortician. You progress through preparing different bodies for different kinds of funerals. You learn a bit about what morticians actually do. There's some overarching story about the business itself. The art style is quite interesting, but overall the game felt a bit pointless.
This is a post apocalyptic survival game. You start on the US east coast and your goal is to reach the west coast. You progress from map to map, where each map is quite small. A map is played turn based, with action points for your party members. You basically try to outsmart the aliens(?), pick up supplies and leave the map for the next. I like the bite sized approach, but found it a bit too hard, so I haven't finished it.
You wake up next to a naked girl. You can't remember anything about the night. How do you proceed to talk to the girl? This is something between an adventure and a visual novel consisting mostly of dialog and a bit of exploring the room. Nice, hand drawn art. The game is relatively short. The idea is to play it multiple times to try different approaches and get different endings. I got annoyed by it after the second attempt.
The Testimony of Trixie Glimmer Smith
You're a mouse. At college. A schoolmate trash talks you into finding a lost manuscript. Uhm… I don't know. It's a visual novel. Not very good in my opinion. I gave up at some point. The story is weird (not in a good way) and it doesn't feel like you have any meaningful choices.
You're an old grandma. Living alone on a farm in butt fuck nowhere. You can walk around (slowly). You can (slowly) milk your animals. You can (slowly) make cheese. You can look at things and remember the life you had and the people that are gone. I didn't really understand what else there is. It is absolutely beautiful. But I just couldn't figure out what to do. Maybe that's the point or maybe I just didn't give it enough time.
You're an old man. You receive a letter and start walking. At first you think it's a walking simulator, but it's actually a puzzle game. To progress through the level, you need to readjust the different parts of the landscape by kinda like shifting the perspective. Hard to describe but a fun and novel idea. I really adored this game. Fun gameplay, beautiful art and the story brought a tear to my eye in the end.
You're a clam man. You have a good boring job. Then you get fired and try to figure out why. You uncover a mayonnaise based conspiracy. It's a fantastic game. Traditional point and click adventure with a ridiculous funny story. Logical puzzles. I had lots of fun with this one.
Looks like a jump'n'run but is more of a platforming puzzle game. I liked it until I ran into a bug. The developer already posted a fix so I might give it another go some time.
You drive a car and shoot monsters. It's basically a vertical scrolling shooter with twin stick (drive + shoot) control. It has a super cheesy 80ies style intro. The game is hard but not too hard. Personally I think the sound effects for shooting and exploding and stuff aren't satisfying enough - I can't really point my finger to what's wrong with it, but it feels not quite right. Still a decent game.
Dr. Langeskow, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald
This is by the people who did the Stanley Parabel which I wrote about before and which I loved. This is some absurdist thing again and might be fun but it just crashed in the middle of the game and I couldn't be bothered to try again.
You're a bear. You try to eat as much as possible in the given time. Berries. Mushrooms. Fish. Bunnies. At some point you get so fat that you can only roll around. You continue to eat until time runs out. Simple, casual, fun game.
The Puzzle Game Everyone Knows …but I can't call it that for legal reasons
Tetris. It's Tetris. Blocks are made from little hand drawn, animated faces. The sound effects and the music are
handmouth made. It's hilarious for a few minutes. Actually a decent Tetris clone, though I did manage to run into a bug where the game would simply stop working.
Another vertical scrolling shooter. This time plane based. The sound effects work much better here. However the whole interface is super confusing. So confusing that I quickly gave up. A pity, there might be a decent game hidden behind that confusing UI.
You're a sorcerer's apprentice. When you come for your potions lesson your professor is kidnapped. You need to find the time stone to prevent the kidnapping. It's a single room point-and-click adventure. It's well made and fun but super short.
You're a bee. Or a bee keeper? Uhm… anyway you have to manage a bee hive. You start with a queen and three workers. You need to research and build more cells to get more types of specialized bees. You need to manage your population, defend the hive and amass enough jelly to create a new queen before the old one dies. Fun little base building simulation. Well polished.
Continued in Part 2…