It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera

Spy Chameleon

This game was a great surprise to me. Thought it would be a mediocre indie puzzle game, but it was one of the best and most fun games that I've played this year. You play a spy and have to cross rooms withou being noticed. Fortunately you are also a chameleon and can turn your colour to match the floor, so you can't be sen by cameras and guards.

Game is a good puzzle game, but also created with speedrunners in mind. First levels are easy, late levels are very hard and need exact timing, because often you have only a splt second to make the right move. Completing all levels should be possible for most gamers, getting all awards (eating all flies, complete the level under par time and get all ladybugs) in each level is a complete different beast though. I gave up when I had 80% of them, the rest is simply to hard for me.

I also found two levels that were bugged. In on of them one of the ladybugs in unreachable, in another one the movement of the guards is a little off and so you can't cross it without being seen (which makes it unbeatable).

I absolutely recommend to play this game with a controller. It's probably a nightmare when you try it with the keyboard.

Complete list of finished games in 2016

Took me a bit to get into with the lack of dialog and the need to actually move your character and sometimes even extend or contract him to interact with important objects, taking pixel hunting to the next level in this otherwise charming point-and-click game but as more plot elements came it it won me over and I was really enjoying it by the end

There's lots of 'set piece' puzzles - sliding block, Sokoban, playing 'Go' vs AI etc plus even a couple of arcade parts - Space Invaders and Berzerk! So that's either a warning or a recommendation depending on if you like that sort of thing, I guess...

Full list:
Post edited October 29, 2016 by Fever_Discordia
Mafia II.

I really enjoyed this one, but it does have some annoying flaws.

It's *technically* an open world game, but it might be the most linear one I've played. If anything, it's more of a "cinematic" open world game in the vein of The Getaway and The Getaway: Black Monday in that the world is open in name only really, and that the city is just an obvious backdrop for the story. Sure, you can drive around the city all you want before heading to wherever your mission is, but there isn't much of anything at all in the name of side missions. So with that in mind, the only reason to ever NOT go straight to your mission location is to drive around while listening to the in-game radio, or maybe to buy some new outfits.

The gameplay is generally alright, with one big problem. To get the topic of the problem out of the way, the problem is that it's only uses checkpoints for saving, and they're placed sporadically throughout each mission. That by itself is annoying, but it's made worse by the fact that Vito (the main character) isn't the most durable guy around, and later missions have him facing large mobs of err...mobsters. So yeah...get ready to replay some parts over and over and over and over because you had one enemy left out of ten and he got you.

To merge that complaint with some of the better mechanics, everybody in Mafia 2 is fairly "human" in their ability to take punishment, so you're on somewhat level ground there. Well, besides your allies, they're invincible, but the game balances that by making them absolutely useless in combat. The weapons all pack a believable punch, and the melee is simple but fun.

The cars feel nice and heavy and generally are fun to drive, although the faster cars in the last quarter of the game have a tendency to spin out when cornering. There is a nice variety of cars to find, and the more modern 50s cars really make it feel like times are/were changing. Not much else to say here...

The cops in the game were kind of annoying, which I imagine is the point to be fair, but I digress. To go back to my callback of The Getaway, in Mafia 2 you'll get in trouble with the local police for speeding, driving too erratically, getting in wrecks (along with being pursued for your criminal activity), as in The Getaway series. In my opinion they were a bit too attentive and a bit hard to get away from, with only one way to truly escape their heat at higher "wanted" levels (change your car and clothes). Sure, that's realistic but it's still annoying in a game where half of the things you do can lead to them being on your tail.

Missions are standard GTA-like missions. You know, tail this guy, go here and fight this warehouse full of enemies, etc etc.

Mafia II's atmosphere is top notch. It is set in two distinct eras, the mid 40s and the early 50s and it managed to make both feel unique, and believable. From war time radio news updates in the 40s, to the emergence of the rock n' roll fever of the 50s, the game used the radio to set the mood. As such, new songs were appearing, such as the debut of songs by artists like Little Richard in the last half of the game. Beyond the radio, cars were continuously updating, with new cars debuting throughout the game.

The writing was mostly hit and miss with more hit than miss. The dialogue is by far the strongest part of the writing and one of the game's biggest highlights. All of the characters come across as believable, with Vito and Joe being one of (if not THE) the best written friendships I've seen in a game yet. Rather than being the "forever supportive" friend trope that exists in most games, Vito would actually call Joe out on some of his stuff, nag him and generally see his faults. At the same time, he WOULD also be supportive, just not in the generic "good guy" way. Joe came across as a bit of a boisterous fool at times, but one who always wanted the best for himself and Vito, and he genuinely cared for all of his friends.

The main story and mission writing was the "miss" more often than not, once the game started its descent (or ascent, if you prefer) into the "epic" scale missions. Initially the game was somewhat grounded, with lots of world and character building and believable mission types. The last part of the game started slowly dropping established logic in the name of giving characters reasons to do things they otherwise wouldn't do, so the story could go on. Supposedly important characters were brought in and then quickly forgotten, then used later as a plot device and then never used again, smart characters did dumb things, that kind of thing.

It also has a tendency to beat you over the head with the "this is what you/Vito get for being a bad guy" moral stick towards the end of the game...which was pretty annoying. I really dislike when games assign you a role to play, and then punish you for playing that role, and unfortunately Mafia 2 really gets into it at times.

Overall I did enjoy the game a good bit, but if you haven't figured it out yet, I definitely feel that the first half of the game is a lot better than the second half. I've got no qualms with recommending it, just be aware that it does have some pretty annoying flaws.
NoNewTaleToTell: Mafia II.

I really enjoyed this one, but it does have some annoying flaws.
I know this is only supposed to be about gameplay but I have been really on the fence about playing this and the only reason I haven't is because I keep hearing warnings about, and here is the awful word again, the DRM.

Obviously there is some and I realize you probably need a Steam client for it, but where there any hiccups other than that?
NoNewTaleToTell: Mafia II.

I really enjoyed this one, but it does have some annoying flaws.
tinyE: I know this is only supposed to be about gameplay but I have been really on the fence about playing this and the only reason I haven't is because I keep hearing warnings about, and here is the awful word again, the DRM.

Obviously there is some and I realize you probably need a Steam client for it, but where there any hiccups other than that?
I have the Steam version and to put it this way, if there is DRM, I haven't noticed it. The EULA is a bit sketchy but that's probably the only "real" issue even related to DRM, and even certain games here have that problem.
King’s Quest 5 (I played the DOS version via ScummVM)

This game started out a bit poorly: I began playing the CD version and the voice acting was so painful that I did a bit of research and switched to the Floppy version (not available from GOG :( ) which mercifully has written dialogue instead.

However, after that hiccup I quickly discovered that this game is back on track with the first two KQ games. It is fun and interesting, and even though some puzzles may be hard they are at least sensible. The UI has switched from text parser to point-and-click, but I had no troubles with the new UI and found it very easy to use. The new art style is quite nice too.

There are a *lot* of ways to die, but I didn’t mind because they’re funny and I save often :). On the other hand, I think there were a bit too many dead-ends which do not become immediately apparent, but luckily none I encountered were too serious.

Definitely recommended if you enjoy point-and-click adventures!
Post edited October 29, 2016 by 01kipper
tinyE: I know this is only supposed to be about gameplay but I have been really on the fence about playing this and the only reason I haven't is because I keep hearing warnings about, and here is the awful word again, the DRM.

Obviously there is some and I realize you probably need a Steam client for it, but where there any hiccups other than that?
NoNewTaleToTell: I have the Steam version and to put it this way, if there is DRM, I haven't noticed it. The EULA is a bit sketchy but that's probably the only "real" issue even related to DRM, and even certain games here have that problem.
Good deal. Thank you. :D
+Touhou 7 - Perfect Cherry Blossom Extra and Phantasm Stage (SakuyaA, 1 life remaining in Extra and 1 bomb remaining in Phantasm, default settings)

Oh boy, I finished both of these stages, one of the harder Extras in the entire series! I still can't believe I did them...

Next Phantasm
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

Felt like checking out Wings of Liberty finally, found that it only costs ten bucks and rushed through the whole campaign. Awesome gameplay, if much too easy on normal difficulty. I didn't like where the story went but I still wanted to know how it continues so I bought Heart of the Swarm just minutes after finishing Wings of Liberty, also for ten bucks. I rushed through Heart of the Swarm, which has a terrible story, but the gameplay was still top notch. I was so hooked at that point that I actually bought Legacy of the Void for thirty bucks, go figure. Slightly better writing than Heart of the Swarm, still awesome gameplay. After beating it I actually repeated missions for the missing achievements and moved on to a higher difficulty.
Altered Beast. I think I like the idea of this game more than the actual game. The power-up mechanic of your guy gradually getting bigger and stronger until he finally turns into a monster is cool but the game feels stiff to play. I don't mind a more deliberate style but I feel like my mind often runs ahead of my character in this game, it's so slow and sticky in the controls. The graphics are cool and create a neat little fantasy world, but it's hilarious how your guy's body expands but his head stays the same, so by the time he's just short of beast mode, he's got this itty bitty pinhead.

Final Fight II. Adequate beat-em-up game. It improves on the original in that it runs a bit more smoothly, but I didn't find the environments as interesting despite the international theme, and it got repetitive even by standards of the genre. It's relatively easy - oddly, I had more trouble with the next to last boss than the final guy himself. It just doesn't feel like Capcom invested a lot of creative energy into it. Still, I like it if only because I love taking Haggar and doing those suplexes and jumping piledrivers. I'm easy to please that way.
Clive Barker's Undying - An appropriate game for the Halloween season. I both enjoyed this one, and found some large shortcomings. First off, the art direction and environment design is excellent - the environments feel authentic, even if they may not be realistic. That combined with the sound design and music really help sell the unsettling mood that pervades the whole game. The downside is that the story is often underwritten, and never comes together in the end. The end of the game arrives when the boss fights arrive. The different chapters had their good moments, but they didn't build on one another. Overall, it's a good, creepy shooter.
Code: Realize - Guardians of Rebirth (PS Vita)

A long name for a VN. Got it with the Playstation + program on my Vita. Interesting setting: a steampunk Victorian-era London, where your character will meet the likes of Arsene Lupin, Victor Frankenstein, the Count of St-Germain and the likes.

You'll play Cardia (default name, can be changed) a strange girl with a heavy past. Can't say more without spoiling the whole VN.

It was interesting, but very "japanese", meaning that every of the characters were very handsome and 30-like of age. It's a VN and of course it has several romantic or non-romantic endings.
I just bothered to do one road, since I'm not the completionist type of gamer. The story lasted around 10 hours, which is not bad for a VN. Expect much more if you want to romance all the characters, get all the endings, unlock all the achievements and the bonus chapters... which I won't do, since, again, I'm not a completionist.

So far in 2016:
Amnesia: The dark descent
I have played this game five times before with today's playthrough being the sixth. On my first playthrough I was amazed by the athmosphere, the story and the voice-acting, the detailed environments and the gameplay. As a horror game, it stands the test of time and is still one of the better horror games out there.
But the more I replayed it, the more I seem to have noticed its shortcomings. For once, the game uses the "the ground is shaking" scare a bit too often for my taste. The amount of flashbacks is almost absurd, sometimes I have the feeling there is a flashback every time I enter a new room, area or a corridor. And a few flashbacks make no sense since Daniel could not have possibly witnessed those events himself. And every flashback beginning and ending with the screen turning white and the controls degenerating into jello is just annoying. The scripted events loose their touch once you know when and where they happen. Death is just a minor setback rather than a genuine problem, which does take away from the game's feeling of dread. The puzzles are simple and so is the stealth. The reason for Daniel's amnesia is just stupid and makes him look like a moron. And, to join the haters, I don't like the sanity mechanic at all.
After my first playthrough years ago, I would have rated this game with a 9/10
But that score worsened with subsequent playthroughs and now I wouldn't rate it higher than 7,5/10
But don't let that deter you. It really is a good game, worth your time and money. Play it at least once! If you like horror, you won't regret it.

Amnesia: The dark descent - Justine
A very short, but rather interesting story. I can't say much more about it other than it's a bit more difficult than the original Amnesia.

Amnesia: A machine for pigs
I had known that this wasn't as good as the first one, but I still ended up disappointed. What a let down. The music and the setting are good and its potential was through the roof. Too bad the Chinese room weren't interested, or able to craft a game around that potential. It is essentially a linear walking simulator in a horror setting with a lot of artsy poppycock thrown in. I really think this game had potential, and a lot of it. But the story is absurd, the puzzles are laughable, the exploration is almost non existent and the pig symbolism is as subtle as a pork chop in a vegan restaurant.
By the way, the pigs remind me of the 'House on the borderland', a novel by W.H. Hodgson, good read.
The AI is also whacked, at several points during the game I was right next to a monster with my lantern shining right at its head and they just ignored me. I guess they were too busy trying to scare me by walking in the opposite direction.
As a stand alone, it could have been one of the better walking simulators around. But as a follow-up to Amnesia TDD it is just disappointing in every way.
Post edited October 30, 2016 by benmar
<span class="bold">Oxenfree</span>

I had heard good things about this game, and I was considering getting it in the ongoing Halloween sale here on GOG... until I learned it was significantly cheaper on Steam. I don't know who is to blame for getting a worse deal, but be it as it may I got angry at the devs. So when I saw Oxenfree appear in the BTA tier of the current Humble Day of the Devs 2016 Bundle for even less than in Steam, and even though I already owned the rest of the Linux games in the bundle, I decided to 'hate-buy' it: I paid the BTA price but I didn't give a single cent to Night School Studio.

And man, do I feel bad about myself now I've played through the game and I've loved it to pieces... Loved the story (it starts as a cliché 'coming of age' teen drama, but it soon turns into something much more interesting), loved the art style (even though the 3D-rendered character models feel sometimes a little out of place), loved the visual and sound effects, loved the voice acting, and I even ended up loving the characters, despite some of them coming across as total jerks at first.

It's a narrative-heavy and narrative-centered game, but without forcing you to sit down and listen to long speeches or read walls of text. In its own creators' words, it's a "walk and talk" game, meaning the action will keep unfolding while you're talking or listening to other characters, and you'll never (or only rarely) get control taken away from you. A feature I found pretty neat is how little time you get to choose a dialogue line, in case you want to say something (with or without interrupting the currently talking character). Many people complain about it, but I appreciated it for its realism: I mean, in real life conversations keep moving without stopping at every sentence in case you've got something to say. If you wait too much the opportunity is lost and, past that point, saying whatever you wanted to say would sound weird or would make you seem a little slow. Plus, remaining silent is always an option, even if you've been specifically asked something, although that will have an impact on what others think of you... or at least that's what I like to think, and will try to find out in a second playthrough (after the way the game ends, one almost feels forced to replay it).

It's by no means an open world game, though. The map to explore (a small island off the northern West Coast of the USA) is quite big and has lots of interesting places to visit, but there's usually only one way to go from point A to point B. The narrative kind of dictates which parts of the island you are going to visit next, but you can take as many detours as you wish, if only to try to find all the hidden stuff: 'anomalies' and letter pieces, basically. Several times throughout the story you are offered a choice, and I'm also curious to find out how much does the plot change depending on what you choose. If we are to believe the devs when they claim Oxenfree has over 18,000 lines of dialogue (while e.g. your average Telltale game has only 2,000), I'm quite optimistic on that regard.

My list of finished games in 2016
Kraven Manor

This was my Halloween game.

Short puzzle solving game with really good scares and terrifying monster.

It's only 2 hours long and has no bugs or glitches.

Well worth the price.