I Am Overburdened

A title that serves as both an expression and description of gameplay, I Am Overburdened is, in principle, about everybody’s (non)favourite part of RPGs: having too much loot and struggling to juggle what to keep and what to ditch.

Should I go for those +5 gloves of nail-biting or stick with my powerglove of uncanny referencing?

The game doesn’t exactly deliver on this promise, per se, though. Funnily enough, this is a far better outcome: instead resulting in a fast paced arcade-roguelike-ish affair with an extremely streamlined loot system and minimal inventory tetris. Unlike its namesake, I am Overburdened is a simple pleasure to run through, albeit (for a commercial release) a relatively short one.

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Nightkeep (demo)

Nightkeep is, well, as its indiegogo page puts it: “an action RPG platformer inspired by such classics as Castlevania Bloodlines, Demon’s crest and a variety of JRPGs” – yes, please. Ture, it’s yet another retro-style game wearing its influences strongly on its sleeves, but the demo here is polished enough in its own right that Nightkeep looks to be shaping up to serve an interesting mixture of platforming action.

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Orcish Inn

Ever thought Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley were good but suffered a distinct lack of Orcs? Well, you’re in luck my friend, as Orcish Inn has increased the Orc content by a mere infiinty%.

Orcish Inn’s goal is similar to those games, but, instead of farms and marriage, the action here is about as self-explanatory as the title suggests: you’re an orc, and you want to build an inn. That’s it. But it will take a long time as you must, quite literally, build it from the ground up, all while the spectre of winter creeps forward.

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Despite being a pre-alpha demo, Orcish Inn’s concept is already surprisingly fleshed out, with enough to keep you busy for a while. Don’t think of it as leisurely busywork , though. Although the game calmly tells you “there is no hurry,” this is immediately followed by a threatening “except for winter, where you will likely starve and freeze.” Oh. Right.

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The Lost Cover Disks: Electro Man

Welcome to a new featurette – a more in-depth series of retrospectives where we dig up old coverdisk games from our dusty basement and take a look at these forgotten heroes of digital history. And of course- their modern legacy and remakes. Remember Titus the Fox, Cosmo the Alien, or Baron Baldric? No? You soon will! Welcome to The Lost Cover Disks.

In a world… where everything is full of empty polish factories and teleport puzzles… In a world… where upgrades were not always upgrades… In a world.. where you kind of look like Robocop but not really… An Electro Man will rise. But then also die in one hit.

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That’s the basic premise behind Electro Man, an early 90’s shareware game that littered many obscure coverdisks of the day. The awesome graphics belied the mediocre gameplay, enough so that the game was relatively well-respected at the time. As it turns out, the hindsight of nostalgia doesn’t hold up so well, however.

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The Lost Cover Disks: Test Drive 3

Do you remember Test Drive 3? Probably not – despite being part of a now relatively known series. Chances are that you missed out entirely on the third part in the now long-running racer, as Test Drive 3: The Passion (full, sensual title) was a rather unremarkable game. It was a dam hot mess almost impossible to control, unless your preferred driving style was “schizophrenic robot”, though the early 3D lego block graphics were pretty cool for the time.

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Despite everything, Test Drive 3 was damn awesome – but not for the reasons you might think. Naturally, in a game about race cars, racing is the last thing you want to do. Iinstead, Test Drive 3 was all about what was happening outside of the road, which logically makes it one of the greatest driving games of all time.

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The Lost Cover Disks: The Baldies

Do you remember Baldies? No,no – not the equally obscure band.,. the real-time strategy/disturbing Deliverance-style inbreeding sim from 1995? Still no? Well then, wWelcome, my friend, to a game where bald men fight to the death and also sometimes breed in a Battle Royale style sim game. Welcome.. to Baldies.

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That’s right, someone thought it was a good idea to make a game exclusively revolving around bald men who live, work, and uh, procreate together. How? Just go with it. Also, be prepared for a fair bit of slaughtering their neighbours on the menu, because in the 90’s, it wasn’t entertainment unless mass extinction was the ultimate goal.

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Let’s Play Helherron #3: First Steps

Welcome back to my playthrough of old school tactics RPG Helherron. In previous articles, I went through the painstaking process of creating eight characters who hopefully won’t die painfully. Now, I begin the actual game.

The brief intro

After the arduous process of creating characters, who may or may not even survive the first battle, we are finally welcomed into the game proper.

A quick exposition tale tells is that the king has been kidnapped, villages are being raided by furries, and if that wasn’t enough, a curse has been placed over the region.  In the midst of this, the adventuring team Dimetrodon Inc is dumped into our little house. Pretty cramped for 8 people, but those were the times.

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The Lost Cover Disks: Wacky Wheels

While not the most obscure of games, Wacky Wheels was well received yet was not quite the smash hit it hoped to be, and flounders in relative obscurity in these modern times.

Skidding in the drift of the more successful Mario Kart, Wacky Wheels attempted to emulate the same gameplay on the arguably superior (by that time) hardware of the IBM Personal Computer. Mode 7 Chip? We don’t need no stinking chip! What resulted was a less spectacular Mario Kart clone, but that was all it needed to do to be fun – it worked.

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[Let’s Play] Helherron #2: Character Creation (cont.)

Welcome back to the second article covering my palythrough of the excellent old school game Helherron.

When we last left off, we had whipped up the first half of our party, a relatively standard D&D style grouping of fighter, mage, healer and thief. While this sounds like a pretty competent mix, we sorely need some heavy hitting tanks, and more magical firepower than a single mage can provide.

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[Alpha] Drift Stage

Drift Stage is another retro-inspired racer that isn’t afraid to express its love for neon. Admittedly, the alpha demo (download below) isn’t much and came out ages ago (sorry about that), but the project looks very much alive and has been receiving regular updates, anyone interested might want to test the ignition.

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