Blog Archives

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: 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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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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[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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World of Horror

An old school macintosh hypertext adventure game styled after the horrific works of Jun Ito? Shut up and take my sanity! World of Horror peeks back beyond the cosmic veil to the beginning of the point and click adventure era, in what is as much a love letter to old school gaming as it is to old school horror.

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The demo we played (dd12 at the time of downloading, latest version is dd15 -ed) was a bit rough around the edges, with an interface that is sometimes more scary than the monsters, but if you can keep grip of your mental faculties long enough, you may just enjoy World of Horror has to offer before succumbing to the embrace of the eternal abyss.

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Resident Evil: Codename MADMAN

You know you’re old when people start referring to those new fangled games what with that extra 3rd dimension that all those scrappy kids are into, like Mario 64, or even Mass Effect, as “retro”. One day the likes of No Man’s Sky or Resident Evil VII will be called a “quaint retro effort with clunky controls and terrible UI” no doubt.

Anyway, my point is, is Resident Evil 4 retro now? It still feels relatively nuskool to me: shiny polygons that don’t look like Virtua Lego pieces, faster gameplay, more responsive over-the-shoulder shooting, and a bit lightened up on the ol’ tank controls. And then I take a look and see that it’s pretty dam old as far as the series goes: 12 years(!) What have I done with my life.

In any case, here we are featuring a kind of remake/re-imagining of Resident Evil 4. Or at least what Resident Evil 4 could have been before it was Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil: Codename MADMAN is one fan’s effort to put together a completely new experience based on early prototype.

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[Freeware] Sinnerman

I’m not sure which sin(s) Sinnerman gets his name from, but at least one of them is sloth. He certainly moves about as fast as a particularly arthritic sloth, at least. I desperately wanted to like Sinnerman, but after half a dozen deaths I couldn’t handle repeating the cycle again. If the game speeds up this one caveat though, it’d be a dangerous contender for my time.

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