Time to finish my 2016 account of completed games: <span class="bold">Ittle Dew</span>
Loved everything about it: its cartoony art style, its goofy and self-aware humour, and its nonetheless carefully designed and well thought puzzles. Yeah, it draws a lot of inspiration from old Zelda
games, but its main focus are the puzzles and not the adventure/action aspect. And I enjoyed it all the more because of that.
I completed it the easiest way, i.e. by getting all 3 weapons. But the game can also be completed with any combination of two of them, so I miiiiight return to it someday... On the other hand, I beat the devilishly twisted Master Cave (and I only had to check a video-waltkthrough for like 2 or 3 of its levels!), so there's that. <span class="bold">Pythagorea</span>
Surprisingly fun and addictive geometrical puzzle game. Great for learning (or re-learning) some geometry. I guess it'll look better on a tablet with a bigger screen, but I had no problem completing it on my 5.5"-screen phone. Some levels could be brute-forced, and some others I solved by randomly drawing lines, but most of them made perfect sense and could be solved by thinking logically.
My main complaint would be that I had to solve all the puzzles in a set before being able to unlock the next (something that's been addressed in the sequel Pythagorea 60º
, which I'm currently playing). But other than that, an excellent game that'll make you think. <span class="bold">SOLITUNE</span>
Short and experimental-ish point-and-click adventure game "about escapism and sheep", according to the devs' own words. It hasn't got much gameplay, but it's got some nice art and music, and it's pretty cheap. Actually, it was never meant as a commercial game, and you can read a bit about the authors' motivations on their blog
. <span class="bold">Three Fourths Home</span>
This is a game that grew on me as I was playing it. At first I got annoyed (as many people does, I'm afraid) by its cumbersome controls. Yeah, having to press a key all the time in order for it to keep going doesn't make it the most user-friendly game out there. But after a while I didn't mind it that much, and I was starting to care for the main character and the members of her family.
Apart from pressing that key, the only agency you have in this game is choosing dialogue options (as this is primarily a narrative game). As far as I know the final outcome of the story is always the same no matter what you choose, but I think some of the decisions you make can trigger different conversations, both in the main story but also in the epilogue/extra chapter included in the Extended Edition of the game.
As many other narrative-centered games, it kind of leaves everything open to be interpreted by the player. The main story ends with a sort of a cliffhanger and you never get to know for sure what happens. But that's OK, because then the aforementioned epilogue can be seen under quite a different light depending on how did you interpret that ending. Pretty neat. <span class="bold">_PRISM</span>
During the last Black Friday week, I fell victim to consumerism and bought an Android tablet. This is the first game I played (and completed) on it. It came on a recent Humble Mobile Bundle and it's basically a puzzle-ish game with a strong zen component (mainly thanks to its ambience music). The player's task is to disassemble geometric shapes of increasing size and complexity by panning, zooming and rotating them. Obviously, it's a game specifically designed for touchscreens and wouldn't work on a PC. I liked it.
The only bad thing about this game is that it's quite demanding graphically, and made me realize my brand new octacore, full-HD tablet had a somewhat lousy GPU. :( <span class="bold">Odd Bot Out</span>
Continuing with my Android spree I finished a game I had started long ago on my phone, but which I had to eventually put aside. With my new tablet's bigger screen I had no trouble finishing the 100 levels that separate the clumsy but cute robot protagonist from freedom. Almost everything (even the robots) must be moved around by tapping and dragging your fingers, which makes the controls deliberately cumbersome. But in my opinion this only adds to the cuteness of it all, and besides the game would become much easier and blander if you could move the characters with a traditional control method.
Each level is a room of varying size, and the goal is always to open the door to the next level. At first the this is quite straightforward and requires not much effort, but every now and then you find a some harder challenges, both figuring out how to open the door and actually doing it. Out of the 100 levels, only a handful felt too tricky or almost depending on luck. Highly recommended to all the family (kids seem to love it). <span class="bold">Ghosts of Memories</span>
Yet another puzzle-ish Android game. This one is an isometric puzzle adventure, a little reminiscent of Monument Valley
. But instead of deceiving perspectives, its challenges lie on sliding platforms, rotating totems, and phasing between different realities in order to activate crystals. There's an overarching story about a spirit trapped in a crystal, or something like that, but I honestly didn't pay much attention to it.
It's also quite a zen experience as you can never screw up a level, and there are some 'enemies' but they're more of a nuisance than a threat. Plus, the artstyle is really beautiful and the soundtrack is quite relaxing. The puzzles are not hard at all if you pay a little attention to the structure of the level, but nonetheless I got completely stuck once in one of the later levels. I don't know what happened because the next time I picked it up I solved the level in a whim.
It's not a very long game though, even taking the free expansion with like 8 or 10 extra levels into account, but still I'd recommend it to anyone who likes this kind of games. Plus, they seem to be giving away
codes for the game on their website (in exchange for your email), so you can try it for free if you like. <span class="bold">Picross Wall</span>
This one was kind of special for me. I played it on and off while at the bus, at the toilet, at bed before falling asleep... and it took me about 20 months to complete it: such is the scale of its content. It's one in a myriad of Picross/nonogram
games available for mobile devices, and I happened to choose this one on Google Play for no particular reason.
As I hinted it's got thousands and thousands of different puzzles, and the cool thing is that most of them are bits of pictures from famous painters throughout history. So besides getting entertained and exercising your brain, you can also learn a bit of history of art. The puzzle range in size from 5x5 up to 30x30 and for some reason, the bigger the board, the more my phone got slowed down as I was filling up the board. That's the only bad thing (but not a minor one) I have to say about this game. I assume other similar games don't have this problem, but I couldn't really say as I've really got my fill of Picross and I don't want to play any similar game for a good, good while. <span class="bold">DISTRAINT: Pocket Pixel Horror</span>
This is a game I wished it had a DRM-free Linux version (right now on PC it's only available for Windows on Steam
), so when I saw it on Google Play
for free I didn't hesitate to install it and fire it up.
It's a pixelated adventure game with lightweight mechanics but a heavy load of narrative. Heavy, and gloomy, as you can readily see by looking at some screenshots. Despite its creepy nature it doesn't rely on cheap jumpscares to keep you on your toes and make you feel uneasy. The ending did feel a little cheap though, as if looking for some easy emotions, but overall I enjoyed it a lot. Suffice to say that I completed it in a single sitting. <span class="bold">V3CK</span>
The last game I completed in 2016 was another Android logic/puzzle game. Nothing particularly special about it, it just achieved its goal of making me think and entertaining me for a while. My list of finished games in 2016