Stardew Valley Review

As mentioned in another post here, I spent much of this past weekend playing Stardew Valley on the PC. Stardew Valley is a game that harkens back memories of popular retro games such as Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. The game is fun and relaxing… however, like most games in this genre, the gameplay can get tedious and repetitive at times. Stardew Valley also suffers significant development delays and setbacks, which is not surprising considering the entire game, from the graphics, to music, to programming, was all made by just one person. It doesn’t get anymore “indie” than that. Despite these few small flaws, the game is one of the highest rated Steam games of all time with nearly 50,000 Overwhelmingly Positives since its release in February 2016. If you’re still wondering if Stardew Valley is worth playing, read my Stardew Valley Review below.

Title: Stardew Valley

Developer: ConcernedApe

Publisher: Chucklefish

Platform: PC (also recently released for Xbox One, PS4, and soon to be released for Nintendo Switch)

Genre: Farming Simulation

Where to Buy: PC Version on Steam Here.

Release Date: February 2016

Geeky: 2/5  –  This is a low budget indie game, so you won’t see triple A graphics here. And given the genre and nature of farming simulation games there isn’t much action going on. I also feel the controls and UI are clunky, to the point of detracting from the gameplay (read more about that later in this review). However, given that 1 man made everything in this game, that’s pretty impressive and worth an extra star at least for effort!

Sweetie: 4/5  – Everything about this game exudes charm and cuteness. However, the characters feel impersonal and the story a bit lacking, costing it to lose 1 heart for “sweetie” factor.

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Concept: 8/10 It’s hard to believe this game has been out for less than a year; it’s so wildly popular and became an instant fan classic, that even games by fully staffed development teams have not made nearly as successful games or seen as many sales or positive reviews in years worth of time. And day by day new fans come to experience Stardew Valley for their very first time and fall in love, and continue to share their experiences. I was somewhat late to join the party, starting back in maybe July of 2016.

At that time, people were growing restless with lack of progress made on features that had been promised such as multiplayer. Here we are another 6 months later, and there’s still no word on when multiplayer will be added, just simply that it is in the works. The game has received several updates and improvements, including finishing “routes” for “new” characters (The characters were already present, but now you can date more of them).

And that’s important because really… the game of Stardew Valley is like the game of your life. Stardew Valley’s open sandbox environment and multiple choices and decisions that you will make, all shape what will happen. Will you get married? have kids? Choose a life of adventure exploring dungeons, fishing all day, or focus on rebuilding your grandfather’s farm? Or maybe just sit at the tavern, playing games, and wasting your virtual life – the choice is yours.

Although the game starts slow, once it picks up, there will be numerous choices you must make (which you’ll start to notice around maybe Fall of the first year or so)… Things such as deciding if you want to let fruit bats live in the cave near your farm or if you want to use the cave to grow mushrooms. Hopefully by Fall of the first year you’ve had time and resources to upgrade your house or add new buildings that let you craft new recipes and add new gameplay elements such as making pickled vegetables, fruit preserves, wine, cooking meals from your crops in your new kitchen, etc. Characters at times may also ask you questions which may impact the game or change their friendship towards you, such as asking you what types of books you like to read, etc. Lil bit by lil bit you will begin to see how YOUR farm in Stardew Valley differs from that of your friends’ farms. (Or how it will differ for you on subsequent playthroughs).

There are also numerous in-game events held throughout each season such as festivals, cooking contests, dance parties, and more. If you’ve been working on your social skills in the game and making friends, or even romances, these special events will be even more special, having someone to share them with.

You start with little in way of resources to begin the game and with little to do. When I first started playing, it was tedious. It felt like work, like real life. It was made somewhat worse by bad controls and UI… However now, as my first year in Stardew Valley draws to a close, the game has me firmly hooked. I couldn’t believe I stayed up until 1am playing it lastnight, and I want nothing more than to go home and play it again as soon as possible. — Soon you will be able to take Stardew Valley with you everywhere you go with the Nintendo Switch! For many, this means starting all over from scratch though and replaying through these tedious first few hours of gameplay as I seriously doubt it will sync your game saves — though it would be awesome if it did!

Stardew Valley is slow paced, and definitely not for everyone. There is some combat; however, at least on the PC, the combat is simple and basic at best, and involves no strategy, and just mindless clicking. The controls also make any actions, from combat, to fishing, to farming, a real pain at times. However, despite these flaws, Stardew Valley shines because of the charming retro vibe and relaxing gameplay mechanics. It’s one of the best casual games around and guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy. It is just simply a “Feel Good Kind of Game”.

Gameplay: 6/10 If you’ve ever played a Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game then you will be right at home in Stardew Valley. The basics of gameplay include planting, watering, and harvesting crops, conversing with townsfolk, dating/marrying a townsfolk, upgrading/decorating your home, exploring dungeons, collecting and crafting items, and joining in various events. — It was also marketed as an “Online or Multiplayer” farming game (which drew many fans who have long dreamed of an Online Harvest Moon — however, that feature, which arguably is the game’s MAIN feature, is still no where to be seen and with no estimated release date a year later.

I’m critiquing the gameplay for the PC version right now since it’s the only version I have played as of time of review. While the features of the gameplay would get high marks here in terms of the vast amount of things to see, do, choices and consequences, and customization, the score ultimately suffers due to terrible controls and UI. Please note for this review I play on a laptop and do not use a mouse. I am a keyboard only user. As such, there are some things that just DON’T work. Period.

Like for example, I read that to put bait on a fishing pole you left click the bait then right click the fishing pole, but nothing happens when I do this. Luckily, you can fish without bait, but with some tools you aren’t so lucky. I assume that loading the slingshot with stones also works in the same fashion but can’t figure out how to load it with ammunition either which makes it completely useless to me. At the fall grange faire, the controls for fishing were different than fishing on the main map too! In the main map I can use my button shortcode which is C as opposed to mouse clicking, — this for some reason does not work at the fall grange faire and you have to use the mouse (in my case keep in mind, I’m using my laptop’s “touchpad” which you can click/scroll/operate like a mouse.) —

I have read that PS4 controllers will now work in Steam so I may have to try that and hope they are supported in Stardew Valley. I also do have a usb mouse – but given that I play largely from my bed, it makes finding a place to put the mouse a challenge. I am surprised because quite simply, this is a casual game. If I were expecting to smoothly play a triple A title without a mouse, from my bed, well that would be my own fault for having unreasonable expectations… but the truth is, there’s nothing here that should require finesse or skill.

And it’s not just a little bit cumbersome, it’s that things completely don’t work in some cases as illustrated above at worst. At best, I find myself constantly turning away from my target while fighting in the dungeon, or watering an empty square next to the plant I’m trying to water. Or I’ll forget I have an axe equipped and accidentally kill a crop I’m trying to work with (OK so that last one is my fault 🙂 lol).

The gameworld is not that large, but you walk really slow, which makes it seem a bit larger (Please note for this review, I’m critiquing the default map, not the new ones added in after release). You will also find that you get weak from exhaust and/or injuries easily when you first begin playing, and that even adding new weapons, armor, and accessories, doesn’t seem to speed up combat as much as you might hope.

Despite these weaknesses, the gameplay is actually fun and enjoyable with a wide variety of things to do and see. In fact, there’s often not enough in-game hours in a day to do everything. I love rainy days in the game so I can go fishing or explore the dungeons without wasting half a day tending to my crops. I also love that as you continue to do something in game, such as fish or fight monsters, you gain levels of proficiency with different skills and at certain levels, these skills branch off and force you to choose a path, with different pros and cons, which further customizes your experience from that of your friends – and also greatly adds to replay value.

There could be some other features added that would further enhance gameplay, difficulty and challenge, such as making certain foods expire – would also create need to use the preserve machine — or making for example icecream melt after so many in-game hours. As it stands right now you could buy or grow an item in year one, and eat it 5 years later without risk of getting sick, etc. They could even add a temporary debuff “Food Poisoning” that would wear off after so many in game hours.

Story: 6/10 – Well the story is that you write your own story. You decide exactly what you want to do, who you want to be with, and shape your own virtual life. It offers a ton of customization and the story does branch and reveal different routes based on who you date and other decisions you make within the game, but largely, by the end of the first year, the story has felt weak and bare bones at best. The in-game events do help to spice things up however, I suspect that after the first year they will be less exciting since you’ve already seen them. — However, it makes up for this in the amount of customization, freedom, and exploration that these open world sandbox games are best known for. Watching slowly as your farm takes shape and beginning to set a path for yourself and discover how to make your farm uniquely your own is truly the best aspect of this game, and that will become even more of a big selling point once multi-player finally gets implemented so you can visit friends’ farms.

Characters: 6/10 – Well, there’s a lot of them, but none of them are terribly interesting… They will recycle through the same dialog over and over. In the beginning, as to be expected, many of the characters are distrustful of you (You’re a stranger afterall!), and so they do not talk about anything meaningful or overly deep. Getting close to people, just like in real life, takes time. Relationships take work, and Stardew Valley is no exception to that rule… I have yet to see if the characters, or story for that matter, get more interesting past the first year, but with well over 30 hours of real life put into the game, that’s more time than one should be expected to “wait and see” if things improve.

Right now my highest relationship, according to the fortune teller at the fall grange fair, is with Shane, one of the newly added routes in a recent update. He is sorta the Tsundere type. Rough on the outside. He often plays guitar in the tavern. He likes Hot Peppers, Spaghetti, and Pizza for presents, and he is a cold unfeeling jerk lol. At least initially. I think there may be more to him, which is why I was curious to pursue him. I think his route shows the most promise for “character development” if written correctly. It will be nice to see him warm up and hopefully be less of a jerk over time lol.

Other characters seem to pay homage to various Harvest Moon games, there’s a guy named Linus (not dateable) living in a tent who reminds me of Gustafa from Harvest Moon on the Gamecube. There’s Harvey who is a doctor, Demetrius a scientist (who at time of this review is not dateable), Sebastian who is a stereotypical Emo/Goth guy, Alex a fitness nut,  a Magician (I don’t believe he’s dateable either), Clint who is a Blacksmith, and Elderly couple. The tavern workers, a Museum worker, a Carpenter (female), Goth girl, Librarian (female), and a handful of others.

Despite not having much “depth” to the characters (at least after almost a whole year of time passing in game), the characters themselves are charming, and always busy and on the move. They breathe life into the game and keep it feeling active and bustling year round. Not only these human characters, but the animals on your farm, the monsters in the dungeon, and even just little touches like birds and butterflies randomly flying or a squirrel quickly climbing a tree, or a rabbit running through the bushes, they all make the game seem… living. It seems as if every character has a mind of their own and a life of their own. This is a big plus and part of the game’s unique charm.

Graphics: 8/10 – Keep in mind, this is an indie game that wanted to go for a retro-vibe. If you’re not a fan of “outdated” graphics, RPG Maker style games, and Isometric Top-Down view style games, then this is not the game for you. — That said, Stardew Valley is for you if you grew up with the 16 bit Harvest Moon games, don’t mind “indie-retro” games, like to customize the appearance of your character, and like “cute” bright graphics.

Everything about Stardew Valley is exceptionally charming. And there is a lot of work that went into everything from the tile sets used in town or your farm, to the dungeons, character portraits, or animations. As mentioned above, the environment really feels almost like it’s alive somehow, with so many small details and little touches, falling leaves, wind, rain, animals, and background animations that really add to the charm and little extra love that was poured into this game.

I’d like to see maybe a tad more detail on the character sprites, and even more options added for character customization and more interior decorating items, or more various monster designs and not just recolors – but that’s just a wishlist, already, the artwork is pretty great if you’re a fan of pixel style games.

I did take off a few points for the following:

  • It gets pretty hard to see where I’m going at night. I dunno if it’s my monitor settings – and I am well aware you can craft items like torches and etc to brighten things up, but I get pretty lost.
  • Also some items can be hard to see if they’re behind trees, or other tall graphic items, and this too, can at times cause you to feel “stuck”.
  • Lastly, back to the UI again, it is just a lil bit clunky and could use some refinement.

Music: 10/10 – The soundtrack is one of my favorite things about this game. It is infectiously catchy. Not only does it feature great music, but sound effects are skillfully used to further create immersion and once again give rise to a game world that feels bursting with life. Sound effects for weather effects, animals, monsters, and machines and tools all help paint a picture of what life in Stardew Valley is all about.

Replay Value: 10/10 – Despite myself criticizing many things in this game such as terrible controls and user interface, lack of promised features and development setbacks, and a rather barebones story and characters who are dull and cliche, there’s just something indescribable about the gameplay itself. It is just a fun game. It’s not a perfect game… but it is one that I would recommend. I can seriously see myself sinking hundreds, or even thousands, of hours into the game, a single playthrough takes probably a hundred hours or more, and if you want to try a different profession or pick a different husband or wife, you’ll be starting a new farm, as the game autosaves every night which takes the freedom of creating multiple save files from a single playthrough out of your hands.

When I play Stardew Valley, I feel like I’m living a second virtual life, I come to care about my character, her friends and relationships, the farm, the city, and everything that’s going on in the game world. It offers me a challenge with several aspects being only discovered later in the game, and that too keeps the experience feeling fun and fresh and wondering what will happen each time I play.

Stardew Valley is a game that pulls you in with all of its charm — However, it could do with some fine tuning to greatly improve certain gameplay and story aspects.

Would I play it again? Absolutely. Given the sheer amount of things to see and do, it is impossible to accomplish everything on a single playthrough and no two farms are exactly alike.

It is that feeling, that my farm, my village, my animals, my crops, my house, my little virtual family, that they are unique and truly unlike anyone elses’ that is the driving force that makes me want to sit down and invest my precious time and energy into this game. That and the kawaii cute graphics and charming nature of the game that seem to just suck you right in.

And once Multiplayer gets implemented, kiss your real life goodbye, as the 50,000 people who think “Overwhelmingly Positive” things about the game, as well as thousand of new players, will be busy visiting their friends’ farms and experiencing brand new gameplay elements.

Stardew Valley is constantly evolving with new maps, new characters, new skills, new recipes, and new fun!

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Stardew Valley Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Humble Bundle Birthday Sale = Free or Heavily Discounted Games for You!

Humble Bundle just kicked off their annual birthday celebration which will run for the next 11 days featuring hundreds of discounted digital PC games from both AAA studios and indie developers. Some of the savings are up to 75 or even 90% off. In fact, they’re even giving you a free game just for visiting the website and registering or logging into your account.

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Pixel x Pixel Games Announces Guardian of The Rose Action RPG With Branching Plot and Multiple Endings Based On Your Choices

If there’s one thing that I love in a game, it’s a branching plot and multiple endings, as you’ll see from many of the games reviewed or news given here on this website. So I was really excited when Pixel x Pixel Games emailed me yesterday to promote their new Action-RPG.

This game looks really great for retro game lovers. It was clearly made with a lot of love and fond memories of someone growing up in the 90s playing all of the classic games.

I’ll just include the message I received from Pixel x Pixel Games below because it pretty much highlights all of the features that I would want to highlight about this game. I’ve bolded the bits that I thought were the most exciting. Check out what Pixel x Pixel Games has to say about Guardian of the Rose below.

Guardians of the Rose is a story of high adventure, taken on by a small group of companions, that are seeking to overthrow the Great Witches that have assumed control of the kingdom. You are a newly christened member of the Royal Guard, the magic-keepers of the king. With the Royal Guard now tainted by witchcraft you have no choice but to take it upon yourself to form a new Guard that will overthrow the witchcraft that has enslaved the kingdom. Encounters with river spirits, groundlings, giants, and dragons alike are some of the adventures that will befall you.

Open-Ended Adventuring – The world is laid out specifically so that you can choose to explore in any direction you want. You can choose to progress the storyline at your own pace while immersing yourself inside the lore and sidequests of the kingdom. These sidequests are not your typical “save my chicken” type quests but instead are designed to make the player feel like he is making a significant difference in the lands around him.

High Fantasy pitting Magic vs Witchcraft – Magic was taught to the people by a legendary hero that saved the world from the Great Witches long ago. Ever since, witchcraft has been outlawed and users of the craft have been hunted mercilessly by the Royal Guard. Now that witchcraft has risen to power again, you are tasked with saving the Kingdom but you have no magical ability like the great heroes of times before.

Compelling Story – Guardians of the Rose was heavily inspired by the classic tales of Homer, Viking Sagas, and high fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings and Winds of Fate. Not only is the main storyline compelling but there is a focus on enveloping the entire game in epic world lore.

Choose your own way to play – The player must choose what path to take, good or evil. The only goal of the game is to restore peace to the land. How it is done is up to the player. You can choose to incite revolution from the stealth of the shadows or you can wage all out war. With a completely customizable stats and skills system there is very little the player does not have control over.

Multiple Endings – Depending on how you play the game, which path you take in your exploration of the lands, and who you decide to party with, the game’s story and ending can change fairly drastically.

Guardians of the Rose is a story-driven 2D action adventure RPG. It controls like a modernized, fast-paced version of old-school Zelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls Series.

Along with the inspiration from classic books and stories the games style was inspired by old school Arcade games that I would play as a kid at Pizza Hut and the local bowling Alley.

Check out the press release provided by Pixel x Pixel Games below:

Press Kit

 

DESCRIPTION

Guardians of the Rose is a story-driven 2D action adventure RPG.

  • Controls like a modernizedfast-paced version of old-school Zelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls Series.
  • Inspired by the Classics of the 8-bit and 16-bit Generations
  • Pixel Art Graphics and Chiptune Sounds
  • Hidden Secrets around every corner
  • Compelling, charming characters
  • Open World Exploration
  • Epic Boss Fights
  • Long lost magical Artifacts
  • Choose how you complete the story: wage all out war, incite a revolution, or something in-between
  • Alternate Endings based on how you play the game

STORY

The illegal art of Witchcraft has tainted the Royal Guard and brought ruin upon the kingdom.  A small group of the Royal Guard has slaughtered the King’s family and taken control of the kingdom.  It is now up to you and a small group of members of the Royal Guard that calls themselves the Guardians of the Rose to save the kingdom.  Your small band of allies has to work together in secret to cause a revolution in the kingdom.  One slip up and you will be on the run from the Royal Guard and wanted by relentless bounty hunters.

And you, a boy with no magical ability, are left with the task to save the kingdom.  Will you choose to taint yourself with witchcraft or will you choose to search out legendary magical items to use in your struggle to save the kingdom?  Explore the Unfellable Forest while avoiding being trampled by Sand Giants and Unfellable Beasts.  Fight off sea serpents and other creatures of the deep that are terrorizing sea port towns.  Venture into the snow-ridden Mountain Lands and discover hidden temples in the wild forests.

(see kickstarter lore for more information on Guardians of the Rose’s Story)

HISTORY OF PIXEL X PIXEL GAMES

My uncle taught me how to play Mario and Duck Hunt on the NES when I was 1 or 2 years old.  Shortly after, he gave me his NES when he was shipped off to Desert Storm.  I’ve wanted to make video games ever since.  I’ve been drawing and selling my art to strangers and my mom’s coworkers since I was 3 years old.

I was a graphic designer/web developer before becoming a stay-at-home dad in 2012 when my son was born.  In late 2012 I published my first flash game to Mochimedia.  After working on a couple more games in ActionScript I realized that I had arrived to the Flash party after everyone else had already left.  I then continued practicing making games on Unity with C# for a couple of years and now have been developing Guardians of the Rose inside of Game Maker Studio using their in-born coding language GML.

SCREENSHOTS

Download all the screenshots, gifs and the trailer as a .zip file:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/f917k4jjiikfacu/Press%20Kit%20Media.zip?dl=0
http://www.mediafire.com/download/633b7ahv3hz998o/Press_Kit_Media.zip
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4W6ptGYrY37VGllRmJqbFI0VGs

Pixel x Pixel Games Announces Guardian of The Rose Action RPG With Branching Plot and Multiple Endings Based On Your Choices was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Third-person Action RPG *Anima: Gate of Memories* due June 3 on Steam (Windows/Linux), PS4 & Xbox One, North American PS4 launch to take place June 7

The folks at Badland Games just emailed me their press release for their upcoming title: Anima: Gate of Memories which is based on a series of books. It is being developed by a small team and heavily involving the author of the novels.

This looks to be a really fun, story-rich RPG with multiple endings, choice-based dialogue system, beautiful graphics, and fun combat system. I’m seeing if I can get a key so I can share some more details and possibly stream or upload some videos for you guys – but until then, enjoy the press release and official trailer below!

Third-person action RPG *Anima: Gate of Memories* due June 3 on Steam (Windows/Linux), PS4 & Xbox One, N. American PS4 launch to take place June 7

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Action RPG Anima: Gate of Memories Available June 3rd (Steam, PS4, Xbox One)

 

North American PS4 Release on Tuesday, June 7th

 

MADRID — May 26, 2016 — BadLand Games and Anima Project proudly announce that the much-anticipated RPG Anima: Gate of Memories will be released digitally on June 3, 2016 on Xbox One, Steam, and PlayStation 4. In North America, the PlayStation 4 launch will take place on June 7th.  Anima: Gate of Memories will have both a standard and collector’s edition PlayStation 4 box release in select territories on June 3rd.

 

Anima: Gate of Memories is a third-person action RPG focused on combat and exploration. Players will enjoy a deep and multifaceted story where their choices and actions directly impact the journey and decide the characters’ fates. As players travel through the tower of Arcane and the gorgeously animated world of Gaia, they’ll endure epic battles with formidable opponents — each with special features and gameplay.

 

Join The Bearer and Ergo — agents of an ancient society called Nathaniel which for centuries has protected mankind from the darkness — on their journey to recover an old artifact called The Byblos that has been stolen by a renegade of the order. After a long pursuit — crossing areas ravaged by war — they are able to corner the fugitive in the middle of an ancient construction. All at once, the entire area is swallowed by light. Our protagonists awake inside a strange structure where they are no longer alone; strange beings have also been summoned there. Soon, both will discover that something darker than they could imagine is about to begin — a war in the shadows in which they will have a leading role.

 

Based on the international Anima: Beyond Fantasy RPG books, Anima: Gate of Memories is being developed by the author and Anima Project — a small team of developers.

 

Key Features

  • Multiple endings: Your choices and actions will influence the journey and decide the destiny of the characters.
  • Epic battles with formidable opponents: Challenge many legendary entities, each with their own special features and gameplay.
  • Deep combat system: The combat system combines RPG elements with fast-paced action and spectacular attacks and spells.
  • Unique locations: Travel through the tower of Arcane and the world of Gaia across stunning backgrounds and places.
  • A huge world: You can move with great freedom — visiting different locations and having the option to always retrace your steps to revisit areas, discover new secrets, and unlock access to previously inaccessible places.
  • Customizable skill trees: Enhanced your characters’ abilities by increasing their stats.

 

Pricing & Availability

Anima: Gate of Memories will be released digitally on June 3, 2016 for Xbox One, Steam (Windows/Linux), and PlayStation 4.  (In North America, the PlayStation 4 launch will be on June 7th.)  On June 3rd, the title will also have a standard and collector’s edition PlayStation 4 box release in select territories. The game will retail for $19.99.

 

Assets

Trailer

YouTube

https://youtu.be/nimAxpPBoVY

 

Download

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9186800/announcement_trailer_Anima_Gate_of_Memories_ESRB.zip

 

Screenshots & Logos

IMGUR

http://imgur.com/a/UcDuR

 

Download

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9186800/screenshots_Anima_Gate_of_Memories.zip

 

Concept Art & Wallpapers

IMGUR

http://imgur.com/a/4H7e0

 

Download

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9186800/concept_art_Anima_Gate_of_Memories.zip

 

Social Media

 

BadLand Games

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Badland.Indie

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/badland-indie

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BadLand_Indie


Anima Project

Twitter – https://twitter.com/animaps

 

About BadLand Games

BadLand Games is an international publishing company that firmly believes in the need to support emerging talent. We are passionate gamers on a mission to find the diamonds in the rough. Working alongside talented developers, we bring captivating, outstanding games to the masses. We’re always on the lookout for enthusiastic and dedicated developers with all sorts of games from beat ‘em ups and RPGs to puzzle games — and everything in between. To learn more about BadLand Games, please visit http://badlandgames.com

 

About Anima Project

Anima Project is an indie studio formed by just three people who have dedicated their lives to games. After 10 years working on the acclaimed Anima: Beyond Fantasy RPG book series, they have decided to go further using their experience to create videogames. To learn more about Anima Project, please visit http://www.gateofmemories.com

 

###

 

Media Contact

Luis Levy

Co-Conspirator

Novy PR for BadLand Games

luis@novypr.com

Third-person Action RPG *Anima: Gate of Memories* due June 3 on Steam (Windows/Linux), PS4 & Xbox One, North American PS4 launch to take place June 7 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

100% Orange Juice Videogame Review

I’ve been playing 100% Orange Juice, a cute little anime-style board game, with my friends, as well as playing it solo in campaign mode, quite a bit the last few days. And we’ll probably play it again tonight too. What I love about this game is that as you play you earn stars (the in game currency) and the characters can level up, which lets you unlock new costumes and new characters.

The characters all have their own stats, such as HP, ATK, and DEF, and there are cards which you can unlock to add to your deck which can further enhance these stats or help you take advantage in battle. This makes replay much higher than a regular board game.  Of course, the cute anime graphics, bright colors, and bright music really add to the overall appeal of this game for any anime or retro videogame fan.

100% Orange Juice can be played by up to 4 players together online. If you don’t have 3 other friends to join you, each empty seat will be filled in by an NPC (computerized opponent) or you can search for and join other players waiting in the lobby.

PS: If you already play and love 100% Orange Juice, check out “A Game of Dice”. You can read my review for A Game of Dice right here. It’s very similar to 100% Orange Juice.

Title: 100% Orange Juice

Genre: Board Game, Card Game, Deck Building Game

Developer: OrangeJuice

Publisher: Fruitbat Factory

Platform: PC

Where to Buy: $6.99 On Steam

Geeky: 3/5 

Sweetie: 5/5 

Overall: 76/90 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

Concept: 10/10 100% Orange Juice is a crazy, zany, quirky, charming, and addictive little board/card game. It has many different modes to play in. For example, you can invite up to 3 friends to join you in a multiplayer game in the lobby, or you can play the campaign mode to see each character’s story, or you can play the game by yourself against the computer in free play mode where you won’t be interrupted by the story segments. Each mode rewards you with stars (the in-game currency) which allow you to add new cards to your deck, purchase characters, or other exciting enhancements to add into your game. Some of the rewards are locked at different levels, which makes you want to play more to level up to get the best rewards. There’s also limited edition rewards that come into the shop and sell out which makes you want to keep playing so you don’t miss any goodies.

Gameplay: 9/10 The matches feel just a touch long to me (Each match takes about 35-45 minutes) – I’d like the ability to be able to “fast-forward” some of the animation and the NPC turns, especially in the single player modes. Overall though, the gameplay is really fun. You roll a single dice to dictate how many squares you’ll move. You can also play cards before you begin each turn. There are different types of cards including: Trap Cards, these cards are ones that you place on the board for other players to land on usually with negative effects, though I have seen “trap” cards (cards you place on the board) that allow you to collect stars or warp or other things as well. There’s also Battle Cards, these cards can only be used in battle, and typically they increase or decrease the stats (ATK, DEF, EVASION, etc). Lastly, there’s (what I would call) Personal Cards, these cards are used by you to heal your character, roll two dice, get stars, or deal damage directly to another player.

As you move around the game board, there’s different types of squares that you can land on. For example, a blue square (or “drop” square) will make you roll a dice and you lose that number of stars. The green squares let you draw an extra card. The red squares generate an NPC for you to battle, and sometimes turn into “boss squares” where if you deal the final blow to the boss, you’ll get a huge amount of stars. The purple squares teleport you to another area on the map. The grey “metal looking” squares are basically “safe spots” where nothing will happen to you. The yellow square allows you to roll a dice and collect stars equal to that number.

Lastly, if you land on a square with another player or NPC, you can enter into a battle with that player. Battles consist of rolling a single dice (or sometimes playing a battle card if you have one). You roll for both attack and defense. Your character’s base stats and any card effects are then added into your dice rolls. Your scores are then subtracted from your opponent’s scores. For example, if your opponent rolls a 4 attack roll, and has a character with +2 base attack, and plays a card granting him +1 attack, his total attack score will be 7. If you roll a 4, and have a character with +1 defense base stat, and no defense granting cards played this round, your total defense is 5. So you would take 2 damage subtracted from your total HP.  It would then be your turn to attack, and your opponent’s turn to defend, and the same principles would apply again.  You can choose to roll Evasion instead of defense, but you must score HIGHER than (not equal to) your opponent’s attack roll – otherwise you take full damage (0 defense). However, even if you defense is higher than your opponent’s attack score, you will always take at least 1 damage when you defend, and a successful evasion will allow you to not take any damage at all. If you lose all of your HP you will be knocked out and your opponent will steal your stars. After being knocked out, you will have to roll a specified number or higher to revive and rejoin the game which sets you back quite a bit from the competition.

The objective of the game is to pass by your home point after fulfilling different objectives. After you complete the first objective, which is to collect 10 stars, you may then choose your next objective each time you go home. This can be winning a certain number of battles, or having a certain number of stars. The first player to clear 6 objectives will win the game, while 2nd-4th place will be determined by how many objectives the others have completed, as well as stars, and battle wins in case of a tie. When going home, your hit points are also fully restored, which makes finding your home base a key part of your gameplay strategy. Sometimes, depending on the game board, your home point may be inaccessible except by trying to land on the purple warp squares and praying that it puts you on the other side of the game board. To make it even more challenging, home points can change “owner” (reflected by the color) at any time. You can only use your own home point, so you have to keep track of where your home point (which matches your character’s color) is located at throughout the game.

Story: 7/10 If you like humor, you’d probably rank this score higher. Don’t get me wrong, I like to laugh too. But I much prefer more “serious” or “dramatic” types of stories. This is a bit like “low-brow” “slapstick” humor, but it is cute and “Otaku-pandering” and it gets the job done. I think it’s pretty cool that every character has their own stories. Once again, increasing that sweet replay value. Especially when you get into the unlockable characters and DLC – there’s probably over 30 different characters and each have their own campaign (story) modes.

Characters: 9/10 The characters are also very cute and each one has it’s own unique personality (and story). If you’re a fan of other games by OrangeJuice (which are mostly “bullet hell” games) then you will recognize many of the characters from their other games. For me, not having played those games, the characters are new, but still very loveable. The animation and expressions and enthusiasm each character shows throughout the game is really endearing, even if the story and character development is a bit weak.

Graphics: 8/10 As mentioned, 100% Orange Juice features adorable anime graphics, which yes, maybe aren’t the highest quality, but they add to the overall cute-ness of the game. They are a little bit pixelated, and the characters are very simplistic in design – however, the ability to customize your characters with different outfits, or unlock a multitude of dozens of new characters, as well as the expressions, animations, and personality of each character make it a very “kawaii” game.

Music: 8/10 It has a good soundtrack – although not enough different songs, which can lead to it becoming repetitive if you play many games of 100% Orange Juice in a row consecutively. The tracks that are there though are really cute and catchy. I just wish there was more of them – if there was, this would get a perfect score.

Voice Acting: 7/10 – Well the voice acting isn’t great lol – but it’s funny. It’s all “Engrish” (Japanese people badly mangling the English language lol). There’s not a lot of voice acting, but it’s still something a little extra to add to the Otaku-Pandering nature of this game. Most people use the term Otaku-Pandering in a negative sense, but I love Otaku-Pandering games, so I mean no offense by it. I think it makes the game even more quirky and lovable for any anime fan.

Replay Value: 10/10 There’s so many different things to do, modes to play, stars to collect to unlock a huge variety of in-game content and bonuses, level up your characters, get new cards for your deck, unlock new characters, get cute costumes and outfits, go through campaign mode with every single character, and then of course, the most fun part, play the game over and over again with your friends. This is a game with almost infinite replay value. The matches are short enough (usually around a half hour) that it’s a perfect pick up game when looking to kill time, but the amount of time you could spend trying to get 100% competition on the game is probably hundreds of hours.

For under 7 bucks at regular non-sale price, I can’t recommend this game enough. It’s well worth the money. The money you pay for this lil game will more than come back to you in gameplay value, especially if you have friends to play with online.

PS: If you already play and love 100% Orange Juice, check out “A Game of Dice”. You can read my review for A Game of Dice right here. It’s very similar to 100% Orange Juice.

Overall: 76/90 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

100% Orange Juice Videogame Review was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Kitten’s Super Adventure, an Insanely Cute New Cat Game Combines Spyro The Dragon with Adorable Kittens

You have got to see this super kawaii (cute) new game! Especially if you’re a fan of Spyro the Dragon, or if you just REALLY love cats – Luckily, I’m a fan of both, so I think that this game is super adorable!

Check out the official Twitter account https://twitter.com/KittenSAdv

Also help make this game a reality by supporting the project on IndieGoGo https://www.indiegogo.com/…

Even if you don’t want to donate, if you like cute stuff, you can just go look at all the adorable screenshots and video demos.

Here is one of the demo and promotional videos which helped the game to already be greenlit by the steam community. And beneath the video are some features which I mostly copied and added some commentary to from their indiegogo page. I really hope this game becomes a reality :) It is maybe the cutest game to ever come to Steam.

Features:

Multiplayer
(This is a feature that is still in the experimental stage and is planned to be in the final version, where you can enjoy being a kitten with other players, show off your customized kitten, have races, contests, you name it!)

– Rich Storyline
(You can check out the IndieGoGo for the story details. To me it sounds a bit silly, immature, but still want this game just for a cuteness factor)

Large Explorable Worlds
(The size of each level will vary and present different obstacles/tasks to complete).

Interactable Objects, NPC’s, Etc.
(Some object will be around just for fun while others will be main keys to progressing further in the game or opening portals to the other playable areas).

Puzzles
(Puzzles can vary from “Activate the buttons” to getting through multiple areas with move able objects that need to be in a certain patter. Puzzles will change with the levels.).

Ability To Customize Your Kitten
(Customize your kittens body structure, clothing, accessories and more!
Some levels in story mode may remove your clothing/accessories and replace them with ones that fit the story, please keep this in mind and remember to save your customized kitten setups).

Save Customization For Later Use
(You can save a bunch of different customized kitten setups to be used at any point in time during free roam or story mode).

Here are some videos showing customization options – keep in mind, they are alpha videos and do not represent the final game.

Varying Mechanics
(The base mechanics for movement and interaction will always stay the same but depending on the level there may be an extra mechanic or even a few extra mechanics that can be utilized such as using a hoverbike, riding a skateboard, using a jetpack, etc.).

Kitties with Jetpacks? LOL….

Alpha Gameplay Video – once again not representative of the final product

Kitten’s Super Adventure, an Insanely Cute New Cat Game Combines Spyro The Dragon with Adorable Kittens was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

LiEat Releases Tomorrow on Steam for just $2.99

LiEat is a little indie JRPG-inspired trilogy of short games. The entire trilogy can be completed in just 2 or 3 hours. The game was originally Freeware made with a program called WOLF RPG Editor. I’m not sure, but am assuming that some enhancements were made for the Steam Release as is typically the case for free to play games which later get redone for steam.

The story follows a con-artist trying to sell information in various cities and a dragon-girl named Efi who has the ability to turn lies into living things and then eat them. There are multiple endings and turn based combat when Efi encounters various lies who have turned into monsters.

Synopsis from Steam “Welcome to the heart-moving world of LiEat, a fascinating trilogy of JRPGs that captured the minds of thousands. Follow the story of a dragon, Efina, who travels the countryside with her multi-named caretaker/reluctant guardian. Appearing as a young girl, Efina has a unique, magical gift: when someone lies near her, the lie will manifest itself as a living monster. Efina then can consume the lie for strength and sustenance: she can eat food for fun, but only lies make her feel full. As she explores the world, she meets other dragons with interesting powers, discovers bizarre and terrifying mysteries, and finds out about her own history as well as her guardian’s.”

It also looks very kawaii (cute). You’ll be able to order the game from the store page in Steam tomorrow (2/26/2016). http://store.steampowered.com/app/373770

Check out the trailer for the Steam Edition Below.

 

LiEat Releases Tomorrow on Steam for just $2.99 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Top 10 Subscription Boxes for Geek Girls

Subscription boxes are taking over the internet. If you’ve never heard of such a thing, you must be living under a rock. The basic premise is you subscribe by paying a monthly fee and you get a box full of monthly goods delivered to your doorstep (or digitally in the case of a few subscription services out there). You don’t get to choose the items inside, so it’s like Christmas, or a birthday, opening a box and being surprised every month. How exciting! Of course, you run the risk of not liking what’s inside either though so it’s a gamble. They have boxes for everything from beauty products, to cat toys, dog treats, and yes, even anime and gamer and geeky boxes too.

This post has been modified but not “updated” to introduce new boxes, or remove boxes which may no longer be available on the market – since its original publication in December 2015. When I initially wrote this post, it was based on “second hand” research, such as watching box opening videos, reading reviews, looking at photos, visiting the websites, etc. However, over the course of 2016, I have personally tried and purchased several of these subscriptions. To see some of the boxes I’ve reviewed look here: http://geekysweetie.com/category/review/subscription-box-review/

I would also like to take a moment to give a “shout out” to Boxychan since I did not know about it in my original post below. It is my favorite anime subscription box. I’m currently signed up with their 9 month program at $28 a month. You can read my Boxychan review here http://geekysweetie.com/boxychan-anime-box-june-unboxing-photos-review-monthly-subscription-box-anime-manga-fans/:

And one final shout out to Pusheen Box – I signed up in Spring and am still signed up and expecting the summer box to ship at any time. You can see my Spring Pusheen box review here: http://geekysweetie.com/pusheen-box-spring-pusheen-box-box-opening-review/.

Regardless of the “Top 10” nature of the boxes below, Pusheen Box, and Boxychan are my favorite subscriptions. I’m also signed up to Humble Bundle Monthly which you’ll see in the Top ten list below. Those are my current 3 subscriptions of this nature. Very happy with those ones. I’ve also reviewed and subscribed or been gifted other boxes from this list below but am not a current subscriber to them. Have had to unsubscribe in some cases due to some varying degrees of quality issues, counterfeit items or just “too expensive” When a box on this list has been reviewed, I try to make an effort to go back to this list to add additional comments and point you towards my full review. Enjoy the original post below. And leave me a comment about which subscription boxes you enjoy!

This post will feature the top 10 subscription services for geeky girl gamers and otaku anime fans. Let’s dig in.

10 Humble Bundle Monthly

This is a new subscription service, in only it’s 3rd month currently. However, it’s from a reputable company that features bundle games regularly on their site. The new Humble Monthly features a plethora of games delivered digitally (usually through Steam) each month and focuses on more AAA titles and games which have never appeared in bundles on their site before. The subscription service costs $12 a month and you can sign up at https://www.humblebundle.com/monthly or view their past bundles.

Unlike any of the other boxes on our list, this one is all digital. It also does not give you any preview or theme or indication of what the next bundle will contain so you go into it completely blind. But for 12 dollars a month it’s a pretty good deal. I haven’t been too thrilled with the contents yet myself; but it does broaden my gaming horizons some, by giving me AAA title games which I would absolutely not buy for myself such as Saint’s Row and Payday. I just wish they’d have more diversity like some AAA visual novels or AAA roleplaying games. Everything has been action / stealth / shooter etc. I know that’s what most gamers want to see, but out of 6 games in each box, can’t they throw a girl a bone here by making 1 or 2 of them each month more “girly”? UPDATE: This post was originally published in December 2015 – since then, there have been a few RPGs, such as Talos Principle which made me pretty happy -Im still subscribed to it – but most months don’t see much that tickle my fancy. However, Talos Principle had been on my wishlist since it first came out – and that game alone paid for several months worth of this subscription – so not a bad deal.

9 Loot Crate

Everyone knows of Loot Crate, the subscription service with geeks in mind. The subscription box costs $13.95 a month and includes things like funko pops, tshirts, toys, posters, and more, from various pop culture references such as dr who, marvel, nintendo, minecraft, and more. Sign up here: https://www.lootcrate.com/crates/lootcrate/plans 

8 Anime Crate

From the makers of Loot Crate, comes Anime Crate, a new subscription box focusing on providing merchandise from Anime series. For some reason, it costs a lot more money than loot crate at $24.95 a month. It also unfortunately seems to focus primarily on mainstream shonen titles such as naruto, dragon ball z, and bleach. None of which appeal to me. It is a relatively new box; so perhaps future themes will throw in some shoujo items. You can view past crates or sign up here: https://www.lootcrate.com/crates/anime/plans

The nice thing about all the boxes from Loot Crate is they give you a “monthly theme” so you can decide to sign up, and/or cancel if there’s a theme you really want to check out. It says each crate has over $60 of goods, and they give away a  “Mega Crate” each month with usually $500-$800 worth of goods such as gaming consoles and more. Of course with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, your chances of winning the Mega Crate is pretty low; but it does add a bit of excitement to the mix.

7 Level Up

Another box from the makers of Loot Crate, this one focuses on clothing. They have both men and women’s clothing in sizes ranging from Extra Small to 5-XL. Yay for body diversity. This “box” works a bit differently, with lots of options to choose from. My favorite is the accessories box which is definitely the most girly of them, with things like purses, scarves, wallets, totes, and jewelry all with a geeky theme. That one runs $14.99 a month. There’s a box for tshirts, at just $8.99 a month! That’s a great deal on geeky apparel. They also have a premium tshirt box for $14.99 a month which is a bit more “stylish” (form fitting, or with cuffs, collars, etc) (more dressy). They even have a box for geeky socks for just under $5 a month. If you can’t decide which box you want, they offer a bundle with 2 socks and a premium tshirt each month for just over $20. You can check out all the different clothing bundles here: https://www.lootcrate.com/level_up 

Loot Crate also offers pet boxes for geeky items for your pets. I didn’t include it in my top 10 list because not all of my readers have pets, but it’s worth checking out if you’re a pet lover.

6 Nerd Block

Nerd Block is probably the 2nd most widely known subscription service (right after Loot Crate). Like Loot Crate, Nerd Block offers many different types of boxes including Classic, Arcade, Scifi, Horror, Comic, Boys JR, and Girls JR. Nerd Block calls itself “Toy Subscription Boxes for Geeks”

Like Loot Crate they also give away one special box each month, called the Big Boss Block, which includes things like video game consoles and more expensive items. But like Loot Crate, since they have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, your chances are slim to none to get this special box.

Also like Loot Crate, they offer a preview each month so you can decide to sign up or cancel before the next box comes out. For example, at time of writing, the next box is a mortal kombat, portal, and street fighter themed box.

Their boxes cost $19.99 a month, and focus more on toys than the other boxes. Each box also includes one Tshirt. For any mommy bloggers out there, the JR boxes have “child safe toys” for kids aged 6 and up.

You can view all of their boxes and sign up here https://www.nerdblock.com/

5 Kawaii Crate

Kawaii Crate features Japanese goods such as plushies, toys, snacks, and more. The crates also sometimes include anime DVDs, Manga, or Magazines. The really cool thing about Kawaii Crate is if you don’t like what’s inside, send it back and get a full refund!! I don’t know of any other crates that let you do that. It is pricey at $40 a month making it less affordable than the Loot Crate anime box. You can sign up at http://kawaiicrate.com/pages/subscriptions

4 Betoyo Bento

This box features some really super nice high quality collectibles, dolls, and figurines, for just $38 a month. UPDATE: The price has dropped to just $28 a month making this box almost too good to pass up. The next box will feature a sailor moon item. Oh how I wish I could sign up!! lol. It’s all toys/figures and there are some really good ones too. You can check it out here: http://www.betoyo.com/Their blog appears out of date, but they are very active on Facebook – so it is still an active box subscription site. UPDATE: Along with the new pricing, they’ve updated their website.

3 Anime Bento

Anime Bento is another toy/figure/plushie box. They also sometimes include tshirts and let you choose from sizes small to 2XL (although unlike Level Up it appears you cannot choose men or women’s clothing, which fits differently obviously). However, the items they include are very cute and high quality, I even see Nendoroids on their list of past items. You can learn more and sign up at https://animebento.cratejoy.com/subscribe/20362213_Anime+Bento

2 Omakase

Omakase is a bimonthly subscription box with a different anime series as the theme each month. It is a brand new box, and their second (current) theme is Naruto (yuck). Their first theme was Kill la Kill. Each box has EXCLUSIVE items that are made specifically for Omakase and not available anywhere else. I will very likely subscribe if/when they have a series I like. Since it is bimonthly, you only pay every other month, but unfortunately on the other hand, you only get a box once every other month too. It’s $35 each time. In addition to the cute toys, figures, etc, you get ad free anime streaming (coming in January). Therefore, this box could potentially rival Crunchyroll and steal some subscribers – I say potentially, because, Crunchyroll has deals with tv networks in Japan to bring us anime in as little as 3 hours after it airs on Japanese television. It remains to be seen, how many series, or how timely, the new Omakase anime streaming service will be. However, for just a fraction more than the highest crunchyroll plan, you’d also get a box of neat items every other month. They also promise “exclusive anime content” whatever that is (maybe behind the scenes, interviews with voice actors, etc) I could see that being a bit threat to crunchy if Omakase can keep up with the speed, selection, and volume of anime to be of equal value. You can learn more or sign up at https://www.viewster.com/omakase/

Sadly Omakase is no longer around. With that in mind, I’d like to recommend a new subscription box that I discovered called Yume Twins.

2. Yume Twins – Yume Twins is a super cute, mostly plushy based subscription box. It’s a new box developed by the folks behind Tokyotreat, a Japanese snackbox subscription service. This one is unique in that it is all kawaii shoujo (girly) stuff, mostly around popular anime franchises such as studio ghibli, sailor moon, and sanrio. It costs $23.99 and ships straight from Tokyo to your doorstep. All of the products are licensed, non-counterfeit and it features expensive items like Alpacasoo and exclusive kawaii plushies each month. Check them out over at https://yumetwins.com/

1 Kawaii Box

Kawaii Box is my pick for the best subscription box for geeky girls because all of the items inside are kawaii, girly, and adorable and all of the items are imported from Japan and South Korea making them 100% unavailable in any US store. It includes things like toys, plushies, accessories, beauty items, stationary, and more. It costs just $18.95 a month and includes 10-12 kawaii items in each box. Check them out at http://kawaiibox.com

Edit to Add: i also just discovered DokiDoki – a monthly subscription box by Japan Crate with cute anime themed items including plushies, toys, bentos, stationary, and more from series such as Studio Ghibli Films, Totoro, Sailor Moon, Madoka Magika, Sanrio, Hello Kitty, Animal Crossing and more. It costs $30 a month and ships the first week of each month. You can find it here: http://japancrate.com/dokidoki In addition to all of this, they also give away one Suteki Crate which contains awesome items such as imported region-free nds systems with cute designs and colors. Adorable!

Edit regarding DokiDoki on 6/6/2016 – I ordered the June DokiDoki Crate and did a brief review. I really would not recommend this crate. You can read my review here. http://geekysweetie.com/doki-doki-june-box-opening-subscription-crate-review/

Edit: 5/2016: I also discovered Geek Fuel – and we have a special offer for our readers for $3 off their subscription. Geekfuel is a geek and gamer subscription box, though geared more towards “western” geeks (starwars, dr who, etc) as opposed to “anime geeks and otakus” It’s still an awesome box and you should check it out 🙂 The offer is good on any subscription plan. Learn more and sign up at geekfuel.com or use our link for your special discount: http://fbuy.me/dT0MG

Also I joined the Pusheen Box. I did a Box Opening Review here. Pusheen is a famous character from the internet. He is a cute fat grey striped cat (who reminds me a lot of my own cat). I love this character. This is a quarterly box so that helps cut down costs since you only pay once every 3 months. I recommend this box if you like Pusheen as it has Exclusive officially liscensed pusheen merchandise. Learn more at PusheenBox.com

Do you subscribe to any of these services, or know of other geeky, gamer, anime or kawaii subscription services? Leave us a comment below. ❤

Top 10 Subscription Boxes for Geek Girls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

The Letter, a New Horror Visual Novel Kickstarter Campaign Half Way to Funding With 5 Days Left

I got an email today about a kickstarter campaign for a new horror visual novel inspired by Japanese horror films such as Ringu and the Grudge. It’s currently half way to funding with only 5 days left.

It features 6 playable characters, fully animated sprites, and quick time events similar to telltales gaming mechanics.

There’s a playable demo also on the kickstarter page.

There’s a number of trailers and visuals for this game, and it looks great. So if you like anime, visual novels, or horror, please consider donating to this project so that we can all play the finished game when it comes out.

There are numerous bonuses for those who back the project on kickstarter, as well as several awesome stretch goals related to the game as well.

For $13 you will receive a digital copy of the game (only 5 left at this price) and for $50 you can get a physical copy (on a disc).

Check out all the cool rewards here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yangyangmobile/the-letter-2?ref=project_tweet

 

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The Letter, a New Horror Visual Novel Kickstarter Campaign Half Way to Funding With 5 Days Left was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Sometimes Always Monsters Preview Sequel to Always Sometimes Monsters

While trying to promote my recent review of Always Sometimes Monsters over here I came across exciting news on destructoid that a direct sequel is in the works titled Sometimes Always Monsters. As a little aside, that title drives me crazy. I always forget if the first game is titled Sometimes Always Monsters or Always Sometimes Monsters. The only way I can keep it straight now is by reminding myself that A is the “first” letter in the alphabet “Always” and S is the first letter of “Second” or “Sequel”.

Anyways, it aims to preserve the continuity of the first game and be a “direct” sequel. You can import your saved data from Always Sometimes Monsters and your decisions, ending, etc all carry over to the new game.

The main gist of the story appears to follow the “good end” of the first game, in which you win back your love and publish a novel about your crazy journey. You’re now a successful author and you’re going on a book tour to meet your fans. As you travel from city to city, lots of things happen. Some people are jealous of your success, while others adore you and invite you into their lives. Along the way there’s many moral dilemmas and they claim only you can choose the right path. (though in their first game there were some choices which were clearly better choices and imperative to getting certain endings). Like the first game, it will deal with controversial real world issues and ask the player to make some very difficult decisions. The game’s art style seems very reminiscent of the first title as well. From the trailer below, the gameplay seems similar to the first game as well in a sort of “combatless rpg” or “visual novel” in which you can explore the world around you, but won’t find yourself in combat or leveling up or collecting loot. Instead, it aims to be an artistic story and put you on an emotional rollercoaster with very “real” feeling characters and their very “real” feeling problems.

You can pre-order the game already, but they warn there’s still no estimated release date and that it might be a long wait. It is a little pricier than the previous game, going for $15 on Vagabond Dog’s website here: http://www.vagabonddog.com/store/sam

Also, Vagabond Dog is asking you to email them your save files from the first game, and they say that as they work on the sequel they will analyze and incorporate many player’s decisions into the sequel and also exhibit player data at PAX and other game conventions. You can submit your saved game file right here: http://www.vagabonddog.com/blog/continuity

I am floored and excited by the announcement of a sequel. I loved the first game. If you’ve never played it, check out my review for Always Sometimes Monsters

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Sometimes Always Monsters Preview Sequel to Always Sometimes Monsters was originally published on Geeky Sweetie