Cherry’s first dish(It’s actually a game Review!)

Hello everyone! Your new Chef has arrived! As Pinkie already explained, I’m Cherry and will be doing some posts from now on as well as part of the team here on the resort! I’m a little bad at thinking where to start, so I will just get right into it! I love playing games, and I also love cooking! I do quite a lot of cooking my home life and usually try to do my own recipes, so a combination of both gaming and cooking seems like perfect for me. And it mostly is! Lately I have been playing one game in particular, and it is what I will be giving a brief overview of today, so without further ado, here is Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon!

Game Introduction

So! Chef is a Restaurant management/cooking simulator game currently available on Steam! It game out of early access in 2020 and recently had its first expansion(which adds in a bunch of new features primarily focused on Eastern Asia Cuisine).

The premise for the game is pretty simple, you are a chef and you run and manage a restaurant, the rest is up to you! It is a very free game in terms of options. The end-goal is up to you, as is what kind of restaurant and food you wish to be playing with. For some players, the goal might simply be to run a single seafood restaurant. For others, it could be to have a large burger franchise with several restaurants. All of this is available to do!

The character creation

Getting Started

So first things first. After you get past the main menu, the first screen you will see is the character creation! Here you decide how your chef will look. You have a few options, first being body(This is where clothing is. You got a variety of clothing outfits/styles for both a more masculine & femining body, but no specific gender lock thing!) Secondly, you pick a headshape and then a hairstyle. As a finish touch you can then change your chef expression as well as colour for the various things!

Once you feel happy with your Chef, you get to pick a difficulty option. These come in 4 categories: Normal, Hardcore, Relaxed & Sandboxed. Normal is how it sounds, it’s the game with the original settings. Hardcore is more of a challenge run, stakes will be higher and it will be more difficult to manage the resturant.

Relaxed mode is a lighter version of normal. The pace is slowed down, the difficulty curve is a bit easier, allowing you more freedom to pick and play exactly how you want. Finally Sandbox is more of Relaxed. Atop of having easier settings, you start with near infinite money, and enough skill points to create whatever kind of resturant you want from scratch. Otherwise you need to gradually progress to get exactly what you want.

In my personal opinion, I would say that I greatly prefer Sandbox or Relaxed mode. While I really enjoy the game and think it has alot of creativity and fun, the normal difficulty can sometime feel a bit stressful and straining. You get more or less forced to try and minmax various stats for the most optimal way to make money. But if that is what you are into, then go for normal. It’s still fun!

Pick a location!

Next on the list is to actually pick where you want to have your first resturant! You are taken to a pretty large map(Which is randomly generated each new game). You have a variety of districts to choose from. For example, do you want to have your resturant in a factory area, towncenter, out on the countryside and so on. This will determine some things such as price of rent, how many people will come to your resturant and what types of people(As seen on the right of the picture!)

Each district has a few choices of a resturant themselves, which can be varying in size of both the kitchen and dining area. The resturants can also have small traits that will affect customers and rent. A resturant that is in a dangerous neighbourhood will have lower rent, but the richer customers will refuse to come there, for example.

The restaurant layout!

Running a restaurant

Once you have locked in your pick of resturant, you will be taken to the beautiful image above, specifically your resturant! This is the main layout of the game and where you will be spending most of your time. While I will give a rough explaination of all of the options, I only have two deep-dives left to do however(With pictures).

At the top right corner of the screen you can set the name of your resturant. This has no gameplay effects and can be changed at any time you feel like! Below that is a small panel showing some customer statistics. In order from left to right they are: Customers waiting to be seated, customers waiting to order, customers waiting for food, customers eating, customers waiting to pay, and amount of customers who ran out and didn’t pay/just left.

On the right side is your crew management, and here is where you will see your staff and how they are doing. You can also set them to do different tasks here.

And now for the menus! Going from left to right I will explain a bit what each one does before focusing on the two big ones later as a final touch!

So first, starting with the chef’s hat icon is the Skill Panel! Here is where you see the skill level of your Chef and your crew. As you do activities like cooking or serving customers, your characters will level up. You can then spend points to increase their performance or unlock new options. For your main chef, this for example lets you unlock new recipe templates for the recipe creator, which we talk about later!

Next up is the decorations panel. Here are the options for building up your resturant! You have options to change the colours of the exterior and interior, this doesn’t do much other than look nice! The actual decorations, such as tables and wall-art, clocks, shelves and so on, all affect what type of customers will want to come to your resturant! They add to a specific type of atmosphere(examples being Rustic, Modern, Fancy, Cheap). Finally, you also buy your kitchen appliances here, which determines stats for your cooking. In order to fry food for example, you need a fryer. You can add in a microwave to make food cook faster, but lose quality. Fridge to reduce ingredients costs, and so on!

Following the decorations is the staff manager! It’s here you go to hire new staff. Currently there are two types of staff available,waiter and chef. You can also use different ways to seek out more high quality staff by either just asking people on the street, put out ads or hire a recruiting agency.

Menu is next on the line! Here is where you set up your resturant menu with what is available as well as prices. What type of food you got, as well as how much variety and options will all affect your customers. When you unlock new ingredients you also get pre-created food which you can’t edit, so if you don’t feel like creating your own recipes, there will always be things to serve as you progress! The menu offers alot of options, as you can set up the following: Apetiziers, Main Dish, Soups, Salad, Side Dish, Dessert and drinks! Delicious! As a final note on the menu as well, it is here you go to edit recipes you created yourself.

Next up is the Recipe Editor! Here you will create your own custom recipes, which I will go into more detail later, so for now I leave it as it is and move on to the next option!

The next menu is a bit smaller, and simply details your types of customers you are getting and some customer statistics, not alot to say there! It can help you if you are trying to pinpoint a specific customer base, as it will tell you what your customers tends to order, what they like and so on!

After the customer menu is the ingredients panel, which I will cover with the recipe editor!

Next up is the Chef Advisor! It is basically a built in Yelp/Review site for the game. Your previous customers will sometimes rate your resturant with stars and leave reviews. Some can be helpful, others just really stupid. But it’s always good to pay attention to what they are rating as they can rate everything from staff, speed, food and how the resturant looks! The more stars you get on Chef Advisor increases the amount of people coming your resturant!

After the Chef Advisor comes decisions. At the beginning you can’t do that much here, but you still have a few options. On the decision panel you can set staff wages as well as cleaning routines for the resturant. You can also gradually start to unlock different types of advertising. From billboards to blogs to commercials and so on. You will also be able to buy new furniture options, and eventually, set up mulitple resturants! All of these bigger options though, costs influence. Influence is the measurement of your larger success. As your resturant climbs in popularity, you also gain influence, which allows you to do bigger decisions and begin the path from a small diner to a large, five-star resturant chain!

Next is the city map. It will take you back to the screen at the beginning of the game and lets you choose new locations for your resturant(if you wish to move), or if you want to open up a second one!

Following that comes the financial menu, where you can see more details about your costs and income. It is a good way to determie if you need to lower any decisions or change your prices!

The calendar is the next one! It shows you information about dates. You have twelve months, and 4 days every month. Each day represents a full week. During some months there are special events, like christmas for example, that can change how many people come by your resturant!

The last two menus are not very much to talk about, as they are just more information about the resturant/and a secondary rating/Chef advisor, just without the details. So with those out of the way, let’s go into the ingredients and recipe editor as the final parts of this lengthy article!

The vegetable section of the ingredients panel!

So this is the ingredients panel, and it is huge! If you can think of a type of food ingredient, it is probably in here! The ingredients come in sections of Vegetables, carbs, meat, seafood, nuts, fruits, milk products, drinks, spices and so on! There is quite alot of it.
When you start a new game you begin with 10 ingredient points(510 if you play sandbox), which you can use to buy ingredients. As you unlock ingredients, you get more options to add to your recipes as well as pre-created recipes on the menu depending on what you unlock. You earn ingredients points by cooking your custom made recipes!

Each recipe also comes in 3 levels of quality. Silver, gold, platinum/purple. The more higher-ranked ingredients you use, the better the food quality, but the cost of preparing the food is also higher. I really like this system simply because it has so many options!

The main menu for the recipe editor!

Fun with Recipes

Finally, we have now reached the recipe editor, the highlight of this game! Here you have the option to create your own recipes using a basic template! As you first enter the recipe editor, you are greeted with the option to pick what type of dish you want to create, based on the template. Do you want to make a pie, a sandwich, a soup and so on. Once you have picked that, you can customize the image for your dish. This has no gameplay impact and is just for fluff. And finally you name your dish, and decide where on the menu it sits(Apetizer, main dish, dessert etc).

Once you have saved your template, you are taken to the next menu. Here you will have a small icon telling you what ingredients(and the amount of each) you need to make the basic recipe. Once you have those done, the recipe can be created and you can go nuts with everything else! You have every single ingredient you own available to you, and can throw them in as you please in terms of quality an amount. Each ingredient will add stats to the dish, such as fatness, bitterness, sweetness and so on, as well as the flavour, cost, cooking time and calories. If the ingredients matches well in terms of taste, you can gain special buffs, and the recipe quality will generally be better if the ingredients are matching!

And that is all! My first article here on the resort! I hope all of you will enjoy it, and perhaps even get curious to try out the game yourself! I am very happy to be here, to be able to make all the delicious food with my friends(Which I might share recipes with here soon!) and to be able to geek out!
This is Cherry, signing off on her first post! Bon Appetit!

Steampunk? Steamball? Steamboy!

Welcome back to Paradise my dear Island guests, I am dropping the steampunk greetings because I ran out!  So instead I will go with: “Good day dear guest, welcome to another beautiful day in Paradise, today we serve you this special blend of Anime-Spritz and the Movie-to.  Two parts Steampunk with a solid dash of Katsuhiro Otomo one part Star Wars and expectedly garnished with a bit of Akira.  This review will take you through my experience with Steamboy!

Akira but with Steam

Steamboy came out in 2004 and is directed by the man the legend Katsuhiro Otome himself. He is known as the man who revolutionised anime with his iconic flick.. Akira! This movie cost 20.2 million dollars and is one of the most expensive animated movies of all time. Certainly at that time. A Blueray these days costs you about 19,90 which I assume will be the dollar price as well as you guys tend to get that stuff cheaper than us. My version at least offered me the chance to choose between sub and dub and this had me pondering for a bit.  I am a sub girl.. very much but the dub cast consists of Alfred Molina, Patrick Stewart and Anna Panquin among others and it sounds absolutely phenomenal.  However the matching lip flaps stuff isn’t done as well.  As a sub-girl I watched the movie subbed. For two reasons. Anna who plays Ray, our main character fakes a british accent, and while she does it pretty good it is a fairly thick accent.. making it slightly harder for me as a non native english speaker to understand being the most important. The second the main characters being the Steam family. In Japanese their name is not translated.. so Steam and steam .. which both appear in this movie a lot.. are more separable.  Watching the dub however I think is completely justified!

The movie tells the story of James “Ray” Steam. Son of the great Dr Edward “Eddie” Steam and grandson of the legendary Lloyd Steam. Unbeknownst to Ray his father and grandfather make an invention that can propel the world into the next age of science. The mysterious Steamball. However after a workplace accident Eddie and Lloyed now follow very different beliefs. One seemingly took the side of the Americans and the O’Hara foundation.. led  by the Child-Ojousama Scarlett O’Hara St Jones and the weasley CEO Simon. The other takes the side of Robert Stepehnson, a british nationalist and fellow inventor.  When Lloyd mails Ray one of the three Steamballs, he quickly finds himself marooned between both sides and has to fight his way out of many dangerous situations so that the true philosophy of science can survive. In doing so however war between America and Britain almost seems unavoidable as Ray quickly finds out that power corrupts. It’s a fairly interesting story that does have its flaws. With the runtime of slightly over two hours this movie outstayed its welcome just a bit. For me one of those moments happened at the 45 minute mark and the second near the end. I never would have turned it off but there were points where I was like… hmmm we are treading water a bit.

America vs Great Britain

The set piece for this movie is great. An alternative take on Britain in 1866. The concept of steam having reached its limits and people trying to break it is intriguing. The quasi science behind is that people found a liquid water-like element or material that can both solidify and turn to steam within a small margin or something..with a denser base one can cram a lot more steam in small containers and make it more productive. The money hungry Americans want it to make MONEY and lots of it while the proud british want to use it for Queen and Country and to subject those who would oppose them. One of the scientists believes that we should explore all facets of science.. even the ones that can be used for nefarious gains, it is up to humans to handle them responsibly and the other beliefs mankind can not be trusted with power like  this. Science is meant to serve man not rule over them.  Ray works as a neutral perspective; he just loves gadgets and tech and thinks a tank is really cool when he sees one. He does however think a tractor is pretty dangerous because one nearly destroyed his house.  It’s where one of this movie’s greatest strengths yet also it’s weaknesses lie. It doesn’t really choose a side… until very very late in the movie. It does keep the plot exciting and shows us some amazing steampunk tech, pretty cool utilities and wonderful locales.. yet we also see a main character that doesn’t know very well what he is fighting for or who he is running from.

I do not mind this neutral approach but they back out of it hard, at one point one side is revealed to be pretty evil.. and then near the end they are not..or they regret it and flip.. I am not sure how to explain that. A lot of characters have ulterior motives, lie about their beliefs and or change them as the movie goes along  and a two hour movie is kind of too short  to tell that.  It results in a lot of idealistic speeching to get the point across the movie is trying to make but that sometimes doesn’t make sense.. like speaking about your ideals against what is essentially your boss. Or telling a kid waaaay more than you would tell a kid. As a result some of the speeches feel a bit forced. So Ray  talks to person A, maybe he can’t be trusted, Person B explains his side, Person C tells Ray to be careful and why science should be treated with more care.. but the person is confused.. so maybe it’s person D who has the right vision..who of course also speeches. In the end they are all kind of assholes..but also not?! It’s a tad much.

When action is happening however this movie is great!  The Steampunk inventions work in a really mechanical and realistic way and a slew of interesting gadgets is pulled in. Very early Ray for example has to flee from some bad guys on his steam cycle.  It as an invention that has not fully worked yet so before he can fire it up properly he has some issues and tumbles around in the wheel (it is basically one large steam propelled wheel )  .. in  trying to flee he tries to lose them by quickly hiding behind a Steam train that is coming their way..but the way rails are designed keeps the cycle locked on track. (He had a ramp to get in before)  every scene has tiers as it were. It is not just throwing punches… it is feeling out what the problem is, finding a solution and making it happen. All the fights and action scenes are conquered by clever thinking like how a scientist would.  Yes there is a powerful mcguffin but it doesnt give power as one would in Shonen.. people almost never overpowered…except for a war going on in the background..  but the action fits the tone of this movie so much. Then there are the more comedic scenes and discovery scenes that pack so much charm.. it only has too many speeches.

Well put Together

What stood out to me most is how absolutely stunning this movie is! It looks gorgeous! This is a 2004 movie so it’s 16 years old but it looks so clean!  Yes it is really brown and grey like all steampunk movies and most period pieces, yet the movie knows when it is enough and treats you to a beautiful coloured scene as well.  The details look amazing and this might be the only movie where I do not mind that they used 3d graphics in a 2d movie. It blands in so well and gives everything “mass” Wind effects, steam effects they all look SOOOO great in this movie. I am not a big visual type of person but this , this wowed me! It looks 80’s in design , quite close to Akira but  with all the commodities of modern animation. I would not describe it as realistic.. but just by looking at it you can add adjectives to every item. The heavy lever, the creaky crank. Just by looking at some parts you know how much force you would have to use to  pull it down or make it move. Pipes twist shapes from having too much pressure little glass cracks from shockwaves nearby. Ray’s aviator goggles shatter after his first crash landing.. there are so many small details

The characters are also great. Scarlett O’Hara St Johnson, who is indeed based on the character from Gone with the Wind for example seems like your typical Oujousama , she feels too good for everything.. she is super shallow but rather than having her completely overcome this it is because of said shallowness she discovers some of her beliefs or some stuff her company does doesn’t work for her.  Per example.. she talks to a person she has warm sentiments for seeming worried.. however once she founds out it will give her less money .. she thinks of him as a bad element.. influencing something else she likes..  She really wants to keep her mind finds a way to explain how she can have her way.  Later on however she sees one of her machines is causing destruction.. the CEO spins it to her as a marketing tool.. so people can see what they will buy! She is against this however because she doesn’t want the “pretty things” to be broken. We see growth, as in the person learns what they want and do not want and what is more important for them.. but they do not morph into a great hero who learned their lesson.

Ray and both Lloyd and Eddie get plenty of similar obstacles in their way. Ray wants to do right.. but he is very idealistic.. he isn’t in this to do right by some or to do right by the good side.. he wants to do right for all. He also believes man is good.. and those traits get him in trouble.. but he doesn’t give up on that. He stays who he is and sticks with his choices, even if that choice is not making a choice. Eddie and Lloyd also make decisions based on this and even Simon who is but a minor character can’t help but showcase his dominant character trait .. being Greed even when it endangers his life. Yes he is weasley, yes he is your typical  “snake man” archetype..  he doesn’t do the whole chickening out thing , not really at least, however he is not stupid enough to die for his greed either. Characters stay themselves rather than being a stereotypical movie role. That can lead to a few eyeroll moments, as “in other movies, the hero would have learned by now” .. but that is just the point.. these situations happen because it just so happens to be these characters that were put in this situation and I love that so much!

Soaring to the Skies

The movie does fall in the pitfall of having too many finales, the final encounter has so many tiers that it stops being interesting in the final step or so. It’s still amusing but I reached a point where I would be fine with any outcome as long as it would end.  It’s not quite “you haven’t even seen my final form” levels.. but there are definitely too many elements in the end. Reason is once again those shifting alliances and believes. What starts as Small guy versus big corporate evildoers ends up as England versus America and that ends up in..  about 8 subgroups or so each doing their own things. It makes sense.. but it all is a bit convoluted and it means some plottreats do not go anywhere. There is a big thing about scuba divers in steampunk suits but one falls off the stairs because he trips and that ends the entire thing with the Scuba divers.. We see a character be built up as super important in the conflict and at one point he just stands there and watches.. while he technically was still doing things… and of course for some reason each side has the perfect counter for the other teams surprises packed and loaded on their ships.  Air Travel is still unheard of yet  when America shows something in those veins. and Brittain goes.. what the F is that thing.. they also go like “Hey now we can test out that weapon we made in case people made such a thing we were just so utterly surprised by”  It dulls the background conflict significantly.

The action with Ray and Scarlett amidst that war is finger licking good!  The story is descent with flaws, the action only has that one bigger setback. Critics rate this movie with about a 6,6 out of 10 and a 6,9 on IMDB. However I do feel those scores are way too low.  On Metacritic this movie scores an 8.7 out of 10  from the audience and that I find is a much fairer score. I would put it slightly lower due to it’s chunky runtime and excessive speeches, which I could forgive if the finale was a BIT more on point but for a movie about the glory of science, for a movie about steampunk I could not wish for much more than what I have got.  Even after finding this movie too long I kind of want  to rewatch it dubbed sometime.. not right now , not even this year anymore but I really want to watch the dub as well at some point and that has to be a seal of approval right there. A sub-girl who liked this movie so much that she would like to see if the dub would make her appreciate it even more!

If you like my content please not that I have opened a Patreon Page! Choose from three possible ways to support the blog and earn a little bit of fun and fame along the way! Of course donating is never an obligation and me advertising this can just be considered “pragmatic blog management” Leaving a comment or any interaction is always appreciated! My rewards and my overall goals are focussed on community so interactions already are appreciated!

Wholesome Horror and a dead dog! Yomawari Night Alone Review

Greetings Mortals and those who have ascendent to monsters this month! For the blog’s birthday back in July I got a lot of birthday wishes, a bit of help on Ko-Fi and one gift! That gift came from a man that is now known as Indigo! That gift was a Japanese horror game! One I knew I would review for Halloween month! See.. sometimes I do plan ahead!

The Night’s Watch

Yomawari: Night Alone was a game that was developed for PS Vita and Steam spread around the world in October 2016. Although the Japanese PS Vita game came out a year prior to the Steam version’s World Wide release. The game has since seen a release on Switch with it’s Sequel : Yomawari: Midnight Shadows as the Yomawari Long Night  Collection, launching close to Halloween 2018.  I got gifted the Steam edition and as such will be reviewing that version and that version exclusively. The game scores about a 7,5 on Metacritic. Getting mostly Positive to mixed reviews and only a handful of negative ones. It takes roughly 3 to 5 five hours to complete this game, depending on if you are prone to use a guide on what to do if you are stuck yes or no. I finished the game in about 4  and a half hours myself, which included about one hours of pointless searching, including me exploring for some hidden items.  To gain all hidden items I’d say would take.. about two more hours depending on your skill and control scheme. 

 In this game you play a nameless girl protagonist who during the tutorial is walking her dog. It is shown we can toss items as well and when we toss a stone we just picked up our dog goes to fetch it and run under a truck. Left with only a big pile of blood in the road, a torn collar and a hole in the side rails.. the girl looks flustered and makes her way home. It is there that she lives alone with her older sister. When that sister asks where Poro is the little girl is too traumatised to remember and says she doesn’t know. The older sister goes to find Poro but doesn’t seem to be returning so the traumatised little girl has to search all over town for her dog that presumably died and her sister.. whom she claims will die if she is not found. It is a journey that is filled with mysterious and dangerous spirits which want nothing more than to eat a little girl.. or to exact their terrible revenge on those who took them from this earth to early.

A not so lonely Night!

This game is brought to life in 2d topdown anime like artstyle with the main character and her sister and dog having some chibi-like qualities while the ghosts and monsters take a more “realistic” detailed appearance. The town is more in style with the Main character, being made out of soft natural tones, while monsters usually take on red and black shades or look overly large or with “wrong” details. It helps convey the issue that what you are seeing on this night does not belong to this world and it is through this style of visual trickery the game really builds it’s tension. The game is set in a sleepy small Japanese town and it’s adjacent locations such as the rice fields, the factory, the school and the woods. 

Each chapter pushes you to visit a sub-location that makes you traverse to a newly unlocked part of town. Locations feel both unique and generic at the same time which conveys a great feeling of being lost yet does clearly show you what chapter you are working on. If you are outside the school there are a bunch of straight paths,  and sideways that all look alike but you very much know you are at the school.  You constantly need to search for the most effective route for you to get a new item or clue and while the same looking path causes panic and disorientation , the unique looking location itself does limit your search area thus never making it feel too daunting.

The sense of dread is aided by the fact that this game lacks a soundtrack! Except for maybe the menu and some very sparing moments there is no music playing at all during this game. All you hear is your footsteps on the asphalt or concrete.. and some monsterlike growls and grunts.  Here and there a dog will bark and you wonder if it’s your Poro or it’s some other dog. Cat’s will cross your path to fake you out but the game doesn’t really use jumpscares to be scary. Instead it builds up to this claustrophobic anxiety. The sound design helps with this!  Most monsters don’t even make a sound but if the MC draws close to a spirit her heart starts beating loudly and the closer it is the more panicked that heart rate it becomes

The character has access to three tools to shake them off. She can outrun them by having access to a limit sprint, she can toss an item to create a distraction and she can hide behind a rose bush or certain signs. When you hide the main character closes her eyes in fear and hopes the evil goes away. Instead of monsters we see pink swirls of mist  as our heartbeat races. While you are absolutely safe in these locations and even if a monster saw you flee inside the use of the heartbeat is absolutely fear inducing. The fact that a pink/red mist is used instead of enemies always makes it a gamble if they are far enough to come out yet.. is it that creature you just saw? Or is this something else? How will it react to you coming out of hiding? Sound.. and the light of your flashlight are in most cases the only thing that makes these ghosts appear.

The strongest element of the audio-visual design of this game is most definitely the monsters/ghost. They are all so weird and extreme.  A giant spider  that has no head but instead a very humanoid face on it’s back.. check.. A zombie-like creature whose head is almost alert like a flashing light.. you know one of those alarm light or flashing lights of a cop car. A ghost dog with a disproportionate head  so it looks like one of those stone guardians? Check! And these are enemies we encounter in the first chapter! Later we encounter many many more.. and everything feels unique and special. There are even spirits of children.. who look like children except it is as if their sprite is poorly covered with a black pencil and their eyes and mouth are now light sources. 

Some of the spirits  won’t harm you but if you bump into the wrong one.. bam you are still dead, MC gets eaten in a single hit. My favourite spirit feels like Nina Tucker and Alexander.. but missing the lower half of their body!  It crawls in a straight line towards you at lighting speed and the only way to avoid is is to sprint to  the side on time. It has some qualities of Samara from the Ring as well. Spooky creatures. Each time you see something you wonder to  yourself.. Oh My Arceus.. what the heck is that! Get it away from me! You are never truly alone on this night but you REALLY want to be! 

A whole night of wholesome!

While we have control of the main character most of the time , there are some in game cutscenes that take away that control. Sometimes it seamlessly passes over into you playing again and requires split second decisions and reactions. This keeps a tension to them I don’t often see, they are needed to let the character react to things. She can for example burst into tears, fall to her feet in fear or just look extremely startled. The anime style makes it feel cute and sweet and you genuinely feel like a very young girl.  She doesn’t dare to venture off the roads too much so invisible walls in front of patches of grass are explained that way. She just wants to find her sister but tries to follow as much of the normal rules as possible.

This is reflected in the way she handles ghosts. At many moments you can encounter a “boss” ghost of the area which is usually a tormented spirit of some kind whom the main character has to bring a little offering or distract , or even perform a little chore to put them to rest.  She wants to do the right thing and will place flowers on peoples final resting places as she acknowledges them and hopes they can find peace. It is really cute! Not all spirits are just evil.. most are just lost and while we journey we see this girl come to terms with that. She isn’t happy they are so scary..but they do not deserve to suffer either. 

The age of the main character is also reflected in your menus. Your inventory feels like it is drawn with crayon, just like your map of town. It’s all drawn by the main character. Her journal entries displaying your objectives and discoveries are all written in a very childlike manner as well. It creates an endearing effect , even though we do not know anything about this main character, she doesn’t even have a name. We want to see her safe.  She is so sweet and innocent, yet she did a terrible thing.. although not intentionally! She made her sister pay for her mistake! In the end we will find out that this will not come without consequences either… yet this is one of those horror games that ends.. pretty well. At least as far as can be expected. Weirdly enough the game also doesn’t shy away from darkness. A girl being pushed from a cliff and finding her broken body happens all the same as a spirit staring at the flower at her grave and being happy.  It doesn’t go as dark as the second game which big reveal made me super upset, but it does really do well to walk a very strange but believable balance of dark and sweet.  The main character is such a good girl and I had a smile when she befriended another spirit on her journey.. but I had my heart pounding in my throat when I first encountered them.

This wholesomeness also extends to the collectibles. During your journey by visiting places you do not HAVE to visit you can encounter stuff the main character seems to call treasures. Which are non functional collectible items. These can be simply crayons, but also pieces of fashion of things that she thinks look cool or special. The final treasure she can collect are those which belong to people who met an unfortunate end or whom she at least things belong to other people. Throughout the town you find numerous billboards that sometimes have rumors or missing person reports. A description of them is given in text .. for example “wears a red cloak”   and somewhere in the map in the last seen area you find a torn piece of red fabric.  These relics connect to the bigger world for those willing to pay attention, yet you do not miss anything of the main story if you choose to ignore it. Most of these types of treasures are spirits you will never “really” encounter. You just find rumors and more often than not proof that they won’t be coming home. The main character logs all these treasures in her little notebook even making little drawings for them.  Plenty of these treasures are hidden behind small sidequests, for example you can get an egg as a treasure if you find and bring home five chickens to a coop you unlocked but forgot to close earlier. That kidlike charm is in everything you do here  and I love it.

A Long Night or a Short Night

If you rush this game and stick only to the main goal and NEVER explore you can finish this game in 2.5 hours or so?! Which caused people to complain about it, yet I feel that is a bit of a lackluster reason to shoot this game down. People also complained that if they rushed they could complain about Pokémon Sword and Shield within 8 hours which was to short. Yet these games are clearly made not just to rush. That would be the same as saying Mario sucks because if you use warp pipes it only has like 5 playable levels in my opinion.  Just because you can rush doesn’t mean you have to. Plus people who say that finished the game that fast, I assume either had a walkthrough present on how to play or watched a let’s play because there really are some parts that require you to figure out some patterns or find well hidden items. The game makes it clear enough where you should go but if you don’t constantly use the map to walk the perfect route  you get plenty of bang for your buck.  Horror should not go on too long because you can not keep that fresh for 8 to 10 hours. You might with a jump-scare style game or some deep narrative story but not in this format.  So I believe this game actually has a great length. 

However.. I am not super fond of their save system. In this you use a consumable coin to make an offer to an altar that works as a quicksave point.  From then on out using an altar  can allow you to save ..for one more coin or it can work as a quick travel point to other shrines you have uncovered. Quicksaves do record your progress but not your location upon a restart. If you want to go to bed (I play this LATE at night)  after playing this game for a bit you will respawn back at your home, then you have to find a shrine near you pray to it teleport back to the location you where at yesterday, which can be hard to read of a children’s map and thus make your way back. If you do not have coins because you tossed them as distractions or if you save too much you can not save. Getting killed usually respawns you at the last prayer too late.. with some exceptions after cutscenes or “instance” switches. For example in chapter five you will be able to transfer between the normal world and a red tinted one that houses a huge town-covering centipede… whenever you switch between worlds you gain a checkpoint there.. but not always. So it always feels a bit as a hassle to come back to the same chapter the next day which more than once forced me to finish an entire chapter before taking a break.

I do not mind the “ink ribbon” system  they go for with the coins, I think it does add some tension in Resident Evil , however in the age of streaming and let’s play respawning back at home feels really outdated.  As lazy as it may sound, I do not want to spend 10 minutes just to get back where I was before. Not only do I have to find a shrine to pray near my house I also must be sure that I have coins with me so I can pray to the altar I went to just so I get a respawn point up. So if I am out of coins I first have to venture into town to find a few, which are usually around vending machines and temples. Another issue I personally had was that I had a bad time with the controls, which more than once resulted in me tossing a stone at a shrine and  that douses the flame of the altar and negates the checkpoint. Since a few first encounters with ghosts result in certain death.. as you have no way how they work yet or how to flee from them, this means a lot of backtracking.. or at least going through hoops to end up where you were before. So sometimes chapters felt too long for the wrong reasons. Encountering new ghosts or seeing new attacks of a ghost I had no clue on how to dodge yet. It can cause a few of the trickier parts to go stale or frustrating real fast. Especially if you are out of coins!

Big Sisters Advice

The controls on PC are very clunky, walk with the arrow keys interact with z is fine but then the sprint button is mapped to E,  waving your flashlight is mapped to WSAD , tossing an item instead of cancel is mapped to X and item select is mapped to V while turning off your flashlight is mapped to B.  So the C button isn’t really used. Then through the item select menu you can switch items by pressing the sprint button instead of the arrow buttons..because you can still move when selecting items but you can not sprint?! Arrow keys Z is fairly normal for any type of game that favours a controller but the rest here makes no sense to me at all. At a certain point I just remapped almost everything! It’s fine since it’s an option to do that.. but my advice is.. play this one with a controller it plays so much nicer.  If you do not have a USB controller this game easily is worse for it.  This is also a horror game I now prefer to play earlier in the evening. Just so I can go on for stretches of an hour or so to complete a chapter. It is more enjoyable that way mostly because your journal does not update whilst in a chapter. Your goal will not update so if you forget where you were.. you are pretty lost. So play this game when you know you have a few hours available that month and you can play each chapter with the old clues still in your mind. Making notes could also be great  if you want to complete the game and get all treasures. 

This game comes with a manual and it’s not the easiest game to pick up, it is quirky and relatively slow paced. Fear doesn’t come from shouting in your microphone or a big husky man chasing you. Fear comes more in the build up of this chase, because of the unknown. It causes a sense of claustrophobia in a sense.  Will you sprint now to get to your location early.. or do you walk keeping and end out for that crawling spirit.. will you come out of hiding while the enemy is still that close? What way is his head facing?! These abnormal creatures are amazingly designed and you want to see them all, but how can you see them in all their glory without being killed.  The game wants you to have fun, explore a bit of the areas you already know.. while strictly tunnelling you in new areas to keep them feeling nice and claustrophobic and it is a formula I can deeply appreciate. 

There is however a feeling of distance you will need to be able to accept.. you aren’t seeing the adventure through the main characters eyes, you guide her, even the way you control her feels slightly less direct with a mild delay.. as if you are guiding her by her hand instead of actually controlling her. It feels unwestern.. which it is. This game really understands horror but it is very much its own brand of horror. It is a unique type of horror that I would recommend people to try out without a shadow of a doubt in my mind. The game built around it is pretty good as well, just at times it can feel a BIT too much like a Newgrounds game to completely put me under its spell.

Thank you Indigo for gifting me this wonderful game! It doesn’t rely on jump scares and more so has you actually fearing for this sweet innocent child that is one of the most adorable main characters I ever played with. For people interested in this game, you can check out the steam page here! Happy Halloween and spooky games to everyone!

Magic, Missiles and Magic Missiles; Project Warlock Review

Hello dear Paradise guests, it’s Indigo, your friendly neighbourhood Security officer here! Today is a special day, at least for me. this will be my first ever blogpost on Pinkie’s Paradise…..or anywhere else for that matter! Today’s post will be about possibly one the world’s most unprepared game protagonists as I’ll tell you about Project Warlock!

Project warlock is a Doom/Duke Nukem- style First-Person Shooter with some RPG-elements sprinkled in here and there developed by an indie company Buckshot Software and published By Crunching Koalas and (I’m not kidding here) Gaming Company, created with the Unity Engine. The game follows the titular Warlock as he rips and te-Oh wait, wrong game- I mean blasts his way through different corrupted realms and even the plains of Hell on his quest to…. Well, I’m not exactly sure since the game doesn’t really have anything one could call a plot. There are few text crawls about the world the warlock goes through, but not really any reason WHY he’s doing it. Revenge? Obligation? the Devil beat him in Call of Duty and said something mean about his mother? we can only guess why…. but we don’t have to guess how…The answer is with violence….And lots of it.

Hey Warlock, The DOOM Slayer called and said you stole his pose.”

Putting the ‘War’ into ‘Warlock’

The moment the first level loads, one thing comes clear… The Warlock really hadn’t prepared for his ‘cleansing of the worlds’ at all! his starting arsenal consists of a knife, an axe, and a wand that is fueled by his mana….and that’s it! No spells, no guns, despite clearly showing them on the title screen! Granted, he amasses himself quite the arsenal on his quest not unlike a certain other man with a raging murderboner against the forces of hell, but you’d expect him to pack a few spells weith his weapons! The Warlock’s arsenal will grow from barely having anything to packing multiple firearms, ranging from your basic pistols, shotguns and submachineguns to more exotic pieces like miniguns (still bit unsure how he carries it one-handed, rule of awesome?), laser rifles and flamethrowers, last of which is a rare thing to find in a 2.5D game at least in my experience. All of the Warlock’s weapons can be upgraded at his workshop, the hub/rest area before the next proper level, with upgrade points found in the levels (hidden or in plain sight) or dropped by bosses, for example the classic double-barreled shotgun, or boomstick as it’s called in game (groovy) can be modified to have its barrels even more cut down to increase the damage spread….or go completely nuts and add two more, making it an absolute shoulder decimator were it ever brought to the real world if judged by the knockback and sound it makes when fired. The amount of available customisation to weapons gives incentive for multiple playthroughs, as does the perk system. instead of spending it liek every other normal person, Warlock collects money to level up! paying fees for his patron in exchange for power, perhaps..? leveling up gives the player the possibility to shape the warlock into a fighter they want him to be.
A pure mage with shallower pockets for bullets? easy! a hulking Lead farmer? go right at it!
Evey five levels the warlock gains a perkpoint to spend on perks. Unlike gun upgrades, perks need a prequisite for certain skills, which makes sense, since having next to no spirit wouldn’t make sense for someone with magic potential perk, or trying be a melee master when your strenght is weaker than a wet noodle. With the right stat and perk allocation, almost everything is possible. hmm, why do I feel i’m forgetting something….

Hmm…..I DO like the the smell of napalm….

Oh right, i forgot to talk about the spell system…. Truth to be told, it feels like the developers added the spells as they are as an afterthought. You start the game without any, the first spell you get is a flashlight…and while it looks pretty it’s not all that useful, the game is quite well-lit already and you need to buy the spells after finding a spellbook. A neat idea in and of itself….if the spells didn’t use the same upgrade points as the weapons do! Now I can only speak for myself, but if i had to choose between throwing magical dynamite via a spell or having napalm filled missiles in my missile launcher i’ll take napalm any day! In my playthroughs, aside from one attempt, I haven’t used a single spell aside from the flashlight that’s given for free as a semi-tutorial kind of deal. Using the plethora of guns is just so much more fun! And boy oh boy….. you’ll be using them a lot….

The flashlight is pretty….
But I find this more entertaining!

Knee-deep in shells

Why do you use guns a lot? Because the enemies are as numerous and varied as they are relentless! The second one of them spots you, you can be sure his mates are not far behind ready to show you a world of hurt! And they will not stop until you or they themselves are dead! The enemies range from little floating eyeballs and skeleton soldiers in the medieval levels, to battledroids and massive Gundam-expies in the far dystopian future. The enemy design is something to be praised, they all look really nice and fit their chosen time period/ location well, and despite having the same-ish overall roles, no two enemies behave exactly the same and have their own set of attacks, soundbites and animations, most of which are really well done! As the resident edgelord of Paradise I especially find the dystopian future mechs and fully armoured soldier mooks really cool-looking! What also surprised me was that some enemies really didn’t want to give up. Huge mech loses it’s legs? It will keep shooting to get some payback! shot off an arm of a yeti? congratulations, you just pissed it off and it attacks faster and more frequently!

Though it’s not all muzzle flashes and lasers, sometimes the enemies can get a bit..wonky. I’ve witnessed many times enemies accidentally killing either their buddies or themselves when trying to fire arching explosives at me…while their friends are either in front of them. or aim stright and not take the arc into the equation….causing them to shoot at their feet in front of them. Yet despite that I never saw it as a true flaw, it adds to the chaos!

One big issue i have with the enemies are the damage types. Some of them are straight-up melee types, others use projectiles…and some are straight-up hitscan. this in and of itself wouldn’t be such of a big deal, but sometimes the enemies i’d think were projectile-based are hitscan instead, riddling me with lots of bullets, leading to an early grave… though as i’m going to reveal in the next paragraph, isn’t all that heartrending anyway!


Around the map in 80 seconds…. Wait have I been here before?

The levels are…actually quite short. like, seconds short, but that needs some elaboration.
Ther maps themselves are actually quite solid with big open arenas and tight tunnels for cqb-action, with more of the map opening as you collect keys or grab certain trigger items. However, some of them, while looking huge with lots of explorability, can be completed within minutes, sometimes even seconds due to secret areas hidden in the maps. some simply open up to reveal a room with more health, ammo, or even a new weapon earlier than you should get it like in DOOM 2016, while some have a teleporter that almost literally whisks you at the exit, skipping most battles and loot, oftentimes without a teleporter to take you back. while this might be a godsend to speedrunning, I myself feel a bit bummed when my curiosity is rewarded by taking most of the exploration out, especially when playing the ‘story’ mode where you can’t revisit completed levels. My personal record is getting through a non-boss stage in 1 minute 34 seconds…. and I wasn’t trying to be fast!

On the rare exception the maps can also be total mazes, especially on Egypt-themed world. I guess that’s apropriate, the pyramids being built to deter thieves after all, but having wasted 10 minutes running around to find a door i haven’t opened yet really grinds my wheels! at least the game is generous enough to spawn enemies when you make progress to show you are doing the right thing!

The secret rooms I mentioned before do earn bonus points for being simple, yet sometimes challenging to find. to find one you don’t have to perform a complex set of actions or pull levers, most of the time you just need to find a piece of a wall that looks off, that usually hides a room, though until you learn to spot the difference between wallpanels you’ll be spending quite some time hugging the walls like an over-enthusiastic building inspector. And some rooms even hide yet another hidden room in them, adding to the layers of wallhugging!

Hmm….. this looks like a good spot for a hidden room….

When you go to kill Satan you wanna look nice

Like the enemies and the guns, the overall design,artstyle and sound design are a real treat to the eyes and ears…. or eye in my case. The style reminds me a lot of Classic Doom games and Blood, with a modern-ish twist, the world having what i’d call shell-shading like in the Borderlands series. And while simple, the areas and buildings still manage to show a good deals of detail and never feel bare, random breakable objects thrown around the area to give the sense you aren’t just waltzing through an area that never had any life-form step a foot there

The music is a mishmash of heartbeat-rising intensity, calm yet pressuring droning and at times odd creepyness, yet none of the tracks feel like they should be in a different game.
the early medieval stages have Castlevania-ish vibes, but with the Warlock in play the tracks have that subtle electronic undertones, creating a more unique sound experience. I like it a lot!

I wonder if these guys are the reason these docks are abandoned…..

With all that said and done Project Warlock is a good choice when you have few hours to spare but no idea what to do. Sitting down and clearing a level or two really helps kill the time! while it had some hiccups with the map design or me rushing in to a fight i didn’t prepare for properly, not once was there a moment where i wouldn’t have had at least some fun! Were someone to ask, i’d gladly Recommend this to them! As the Manager would say…it’s Berry Good

And that was my first actual blogpost ever! So, if there’s anything I should improve on or add, please let me know in the comments! Constructive criticism is always welcome, how else am I to improve!? Project Warlock is available on Steam and GoG for a steal, so if you feel like my review piqued your interest go take a look! Have a nice Day, and stay safe while visiting our Paradise!!

Pinkie Falls and Gets Up Again: My First Win in Fall Guys

If you watch YouTube , if you have even a bit of gamers’ blood in your system or if you follow anyone on Twitch you will have probably heard of the game Fall Guys! It’s a hot commodity and Fall Guy content is all over the net! Since it basically is a Free For All 3D platformer and I love 3D platformers, I decided to throw myself into the madness! And so Fall Guy 1149 was born! I made sure he was pink and together.. we went hunting what all those YouTubers I follow have been hunting for! A Fall Guys win!
It did not take me that long at all!

Pinkie becomes a Fall Guy

I bought the game four days ago from when I am writing this and the first day I pretty much knew I was not going to win. I got the game on Steam since I do not want to pay for PlayStation Plus.. I always forget I have that and let in run for months on end. I did hook up my PS4 controller to my Laptop though so if I ever can show you personal screenshots.. which is unlikely because I wanna win, so I probably take stock screenshots from elsewhere,  you might see PS4 controls on there. But before I forget  let’s explain the game to those who do not know about it.. I would genuinely be surprised if people miss it but maybe it’s just hyper inflated in the Pokémon and Dragon Ball community.. and the other YouTube communities I follow.

I’d describe Fall Guys as Takashi’s Castle meets Wipe-Out the video game. With fairer challenges than Takashi’s but games that are VERY much inspired on Takashi’s castle. In fact one of the games is straight from that show!  Each game you start with 60 Tsum Tsum like bean-men and compete in a five round free for all. Each round a new game will be played and so and so many players will be cut! This can mean you have to reach the finish of a stage in time, be one of the so many remaining standing after a gauntlet of obstacles or sometimes a team challenge where your team has to prevent.. ending up with the lowest score. The fifth game always reduces the player number to 1 and thus gives us a winner in more unique finale games. Most of these games are obstacle courses to navigate through but sometimes you also have to play…platformer style soccer of “capture the flag” Trough competing you win credits and trough winning you get crowns which you can trade in to customise your Fall Guy as you progress. Each day the store has new items on sale! So en masse the internet is trying to be the last guy standing!

Not every mini-game is as good as the other and not every game is as fair as the other, but since we are only on season one I do expect this to be fixed over time! Yet my review of all the separate games comes later! I  still haven’t played them all but expect a post about that in the future as well! I really like Fall Guys! It is probably the pinkest video game I have ever seen!  There are lots of blues and Pinks and so visually I am already intensely drawn to this game and I want to play more and more of it!  On day one I had nothing fancy unlocked so I went for a sprinkley looking Fall guy with a ugly yellow and bright pink looking colour scheme.. with some furry feet! Customisation options are very limited upon start up but by playing daily or tossing money at the game you can quickly change that! It’s one of those types of games! I just paid for the base game and want to earn what I wear as trophies!  Rather than paying for vanity items.. even though I deep down really want to get that unicorn outfit… like really really! I don’t want to pay 10 bucks for that though! 

Day 1

The best thing about Fall Guys is that it does not have voice chat, or text chat even.  You just play against 59 other Tsum Tsum guys.. or minions even and all you hear is the plopping sound of the characters. No weird taunts, no stupid dances just cuteness. There are emotes but nothing seems vile or vexing. It doesn’t seem like a toxic 12 year old’s favourite pastime unlike Fortnite! Which I find to be a HORRIBLE …HORRIBLE game. Well rather than that I usually find the players horrible but the game itself I do not like very much either. Fall guys however  had me hooked from the first game.  All games are very self explanatory..with nuances for you to discover through play. I knew the first day I would probably not get a win as I did not know any of the games yet.  Yet much to my surprise I made it to the finals twice on my first day!  Just by paying attention, a bit of luck  and sometimes clever thinking you can make great progress. Some platforming skills make it easier as well. Yet I discovered there are many ways to win Fall Guys! You do not need to be the most skilled, you could just be the most lucky just the more skill you have.. the more chances you have to get lucky!

I really like this type of game design! It makes it so that the guy with his super pc and mega expensive controller doesn’t always get the win. It means I have a shot to win even if I am not a “diamond tier “. The game is super competitive..but also kinda… not there is a sense of wanting to win..but it feels also if players really want to have fun, unlike some other games out there where the win means everything! You just plop into a game with 60 people and have fun for as long as it lasts. I can have fun whether I win or lose… but I can also get pretty invested so that I get angry if I lose because of other players’ stupidity.  Yet that is a great choice! Even if I can get weighted by players below my skill level so do stronger players it is part of the chaos and that’s what makes it work. It can be frustrating but a new game is always around the corner so you  just sigh or shout a no no word and already  set up for the next game. If you want a break you can also follow the entire rest of the game and cheer for your favourite Fall Guy! Your friends if you take them! I can’t voice chat on discord due to my laptops and my voice’s limitations but hey I can easily see it being lots of fun.

The first day I had lots of fun too!  I familiarised myself with most of the mini-games and came to the discovery I really liked “The WhirleyGig”  mini game. An obstacle course filled with propellers to avoid or jump over. I also discovered I do not like Tail-Tag a lot.. a game where you have to steal others tail! Lag is most notable here and hitboxes are a bit weird so sometimes I miss when I was sure I grabbed a tail .. or my tail gets grabbed when the guy is super far away from me. I grew to dislike the team matches as people really tend to quit or stop trying if they are far behind. At least this was the case on day one! I  reached the Jump Challenge Finale twice.. which is basically like a skip rope challenge on a decreasing space with a propeller trying to sweep your legs from underneath you.. but there is also a propeller overhead, decreasing your jump window and preventing you from sticking to a single spot.
I like this game but I also encountered a big problem in Fall Guys for now… cheating! One guy had some auto jump tool and kept making the perfect jumps.

Day 2

This would be the day I got my first win, and not even that late in the day. I was having as much fun as I did the day before! I learned some strategies for games like Fruit Fall , which was to move via the sides and do not jump but run onto the conveyor belt. This is when I noticed that some things were very counter natural for me as a platform player.  Having been used to Hat in Time the dive jump lets me be faster than walking.. Mario Sunshine does that as well.. so the fact that running here is actually a bit faster unless you need a very short dash and still needs some time to get used to. I make mistakes based on platformer instincts.. but Fall Guys works a bit differently.. which is both a bit of an annoyance as it is I really like that it has its own unique flow.  Fall Guys do not react like Mario! Their jumps are much clunkier, they do not get on their feet as fast in a way they feel more as a mix between  actual humans combined with ragdolls that can take a lot of force. I would not say violence because I am not sure if getting hit by a giant pear or a pink windmill fan counts as such. Yet your Guy can be tossed around like a dogs favourite chewtoy!

During day 2 I really managed to get in this magical flow!  I cleared the first game I got a good rank without much trouble ,being much more aware of the little details of the obstacle courses than during the first day. Keep your eye on that object Pinkie, take a left here .. the crowd is going the other way  they will trip on each other you can make up for lost ground by running solo!  Then I had to play the memory game and I did not find an apple ..which was the safe tile. .the memory game is a game where all tiles get designated with a increasing number of possible fruits.. then at the end of brief memorisation period you get designated one fruit and all tiles marked with that fruit will stay while others will vanish.. if you fall you get booted out of the game. Lucky for me one tile had a big crowd on them so I just jumped to that tile and it was a good one! Yay!

For the third round I had to play Fruit fall. A climb up a slippery hill with fruit and logs being launched at you! I wanted to jump on the conveyor belt again but just in time I remembered to walk on instead. I did not need to respawn and found a golden route by following the sides! I got across the line in second place and my Guy was happy he did not fall! A team challenge of jumping trough hoops was new to me but was by FAR my favourite team game I played! This was such fun and our team aced it! The final challenge was a race to a crown.. with balls being launched at us, hammers spinning around and a few  gates and other things in our way. I was in third place but number one and two got impatient and missed their jump for the crown! I had my shot and with a press of R2 I latched onto the crown and onto victory!

This was my fall guy at level six! He is level 11 now!

Winning felt good! I was prepared and I knew what I had to do by keeping the pressure up on the guys before me. They had to jump at an awkward time or see me surpass them and try my desperate jump .. probably of their heads! I unlocked a new skin! I got a crown which allowed me to purchase a heart skin! I took a break from there and came back to gather more wins later.. it wasn’t that easy. At the end of Day 2 and the entire Day 3 of playing I was confronted with cheaters.  Big time!  Day three I had a hard time finding a fair match. One time a guy cheated so bad at the Seesaw challenge during the first round.. by clipping into it on the bottom and making the last  seesaw unavailable to us that he got the win by timing us out and finishing.  That sucked! This happens a lot. There were plenty of games where as soon as the game began one person already finished because they simply seemed to be able to fly or something. This is the biggest flaw of the game so far. Sure there are a few unfair games in there, graphics can be quite clippy and the controls feel a bit clunkier than I think it would need to be but those all give it a certain charm as well. The cheating however basically invalidates the entire game. You can still compete for experience but a crown only goes to the victor.

While it doesn’t prevent me from playing Fall Guys it does at least make me less invested. I pretty much assume I can’t win but there is still plenty of outfit stuff I want to grind out so advancing a round is good enough! Should I ever have enough coins ..because I am very picky in what outfits i like.. I can see the issue of cheating later on , when I have the perfect outfit later on stopping me from logging in. Luckily the creators have already said they will work on putting this to a stop and since I just play an hour or 90 minutes a day I think it will be fine!  A great game that could REALLY use a “vote between one of two challenges”   options to prevent the stupid games from showing up so often and a bit sharper controls but one that makes me smile by simply hearing the sounds, that Kenny like voice and the ploppity plop of Fall Guy feet! and seeing those cute graphics! It really helps that like being Fall Guy 1149 and I am hungry for more crowns.. and there are very few games that make me this competitive.. without ever feeling toxic! It’s amazing!

Imagine you got a mysterious money bonus from your boss! Or have recently acquired some funds you do not really know what to do with it. Well it it might be a sign your boss is trying to frame you for something! In that case you should NOT be a Fall Guy! Get rid of that money quick! Kind as I am I offer you a way to get out of your boss his evil ploys! Donate some of it to my Kofi! It will make me very happy and keep you out of jail! I am also here for none dubious funds! In case you feel like becoming a coconut! I promise I won’t spend it on a unicorn suit! Ah I love Kofi Promos! Of course blog participation is also appreciated!

The Legend of Zzzzelda: Sword of Ditto Review

Most of you know that Link in most of Zelda games is a reincarnation or an ancestor of the games we played with before. However the timeline of this universe is murky at best.  So how about we would get a Zelda game with a clear timeline?! Nintendo was not up for it so instead Onebitbeyond made a Zelda clone that lets you play as a whole slew of heroes reincarnated throughout time. One game the entire timeline.. that sounds epic right?!…..Right?!

<Disclaimer: I reviewed the STEAM version as trough the eyes of a single player experience, it is possible to play with more which may alter the experience, also other versions can have different forms of content.. this is strictly based on MY play-trough and what I experienced>

Sword of Ditto : Curse of Mormo  starts of super charmingly and funny. The graphical style reminds me a bit of the quasi modern cartoons like Super Adventure Time , Star Versus Evil and Steven Universe. A Dung Beetle named Puku shows up and drags out a destined hero to face the evil queen Mormo as her evil rules again. You get a little green outfit as you hold your sword above your head and the dung beetle drags you into the tower where your character gets promptly killed. He was underprepared. Whoops! A funny intro I will give them that. We then move to the next generation, the world seems slightly more devoid of life.. the town a lot more somber as we play a new hero. This time Puku tells you the basics.. Mormo has two Anchors that you need to destroy.. which are hidden deep in some dungeons. However to get access to these dungeons you need two toys of legends.. weapons with alternate functions if you will such as the bow or a yoyo that is kinda like a boomerang.. or a ring that kind of works like a grappling hook.

You can also gain a big foot! , though I am not sure how they got it at level 1

If you die in the field your bug friend will most likely save you but in some dungeons and the final encounter there is no resurrection possible so if you die there.. the world is ruled by Mormo once again and you have to fight her again. So Sword of Ditto is kind of like a Zelda Roguelite ..which kinda sounds like a bad idea to begin with due to the nature of all the tools you need but the game at least is very forgiving.While I deeply enjoyed the playthrough of the second lifetime.. as it really felt like a classic Zelda.. it would quickly turn to a much worse trip than I would have imagined. I beat Mormo on my first playthrough… now I would have to do it again..I spend all my resources on life potions because I expected this battle to be super rough but it was super easy… so now I had to do it all over again and start from scratch. This did not feel right to me.. something was eating at me, a feeling that  would only get worse.

I like the colours!

Let’s kick of with the positives however. It controls super nice, the fighting is fun, the mechanics are clever and the game looks super great and cute. Even though those pineapple monster things are straight up from Zelda and there is an old man.. cracked walls where you place bombs.. a c-button where you can lay out for toys to actively switch in.. sound effects when you open a door or a chest appears, silver keys for tiny doors and a gold key leading to a boss room in dungeons, even ancient tablets that tell the history of the world… Okay this game is SO much a Zelda clone that is basically a homage.  Yet that feels great to me.. it loves the Zelda games so much that it doesn’t stray from the old formula. Being one of the few persons in the world that doesn’t really like Breath of the Wild (as a Zelda game, I would be fine would this be a new IP but still find it tedious) I was happy I at least got to play something new that till feels like something classic. It does really cater to that need.

I imagine this screenshot with a certain overworld theme!

The combat is great, fun and dynamic, enemies all weaknesses, some are vulnerable to elements, some to toys others simply to your sword and some need to be attacked in the back. I really had some fun discovering the weaknesses. Toys can be leveled up and you can increase your attack power by putting stickers everywhere. Which is a fun way to mod your game. Each generation after the second comes with a Curse from Mormo.. which theoretically can really give you a cool gameplay variant. Some dungeons have their own conditions as well.. such as your sword being nerfed.. or dodge rolling taking mana/battery power. Yet it can be bonuses as well such as extra experience or even attack boosts or elemental immunities.

Why is my bathtub in this game?

There are pots you can break (who would have guessed)  that are filled with certain elements these can alter the battlefield. Such as poison which is a simple dot, fire, which is yet again a dot.. ether ..which if you or the enemy fill their either meter, you crystalise and become stunned.. and some yellow goop that makes everything it touches bleed money. There are plenty of weapons , plenty of NPC’s that upgrade stuff and you can collect celestial crystals to pass a toy or stickers to the next generation. Bombs come in several variaties like exploding ones, ether ones, fire ones and even MICE!… Thats right a bomb shaped like a mouse that crawls over the floor and bombs you. Bombs You?! Sounds familiar.

All in all it’s a very charming looking game, you can even unlock new sorts of heroes to reincarnate as in the next version, such as a luchador, a ninja, a mouse a frog or even a robot. My favorite one was the Kitsune because I love the Yoyo boost they get. Each hero type can level up and gets better stickers and weapons in the next generation which seems like a need idea. This game is like a love letter to Zelda with some clever ideas of their own, so surely this has to result in a terrific game right?  It even has the option to make your controller prompts look all Nintendo like if you hook up a controller.. or Playstation OR Xbox . So much consideration.. and museum keeper I am pretty sure was named old man! So points for that… yet somehow despite all these strengths.. this game did not work for me… at all.

Sometimes searching for pictures doesn’t go as well as you’d like!

Like I said the second generation is great fun to play through..but you go in blind so in the third generation I lacked some tools. As a Curse I gained the “Ether Storm”  which powered up all the enemies to be above my maximum level (levels are a thing here and if you reach Mormo’s one.. you HAVE to fight her in 24 hours regardless if you got all loot or weakened her enough) this created some annoyance. One area was blinking on my map but due to being undergeared and underleveled I could not make my way there. As it turned out I had to go there to sacrifice an item in my inventory.. a token of my victory over Mormo so I could ignite one of five lights! I did not think I had to destroy that item and I did not see the little stubs on the doors as lights just as decoration.. so when I got there at daytime and I can only tribute at night (which I did not know either) I just thought.. oh maybe in a next generation.
Which was wrong.. because you can not send it over to a new lifetime.. which meant.. the second generation victory was for naught. Two hours of play wasted because I failed to see through some mechanic and in turn making my journey harder because now I had to deal with these curses.

You WILL remember because you play the semi-same game about every hour or so

Now one more round would not have been terrible at all if there were more toys to explore, more clever banter to discover and more characters to unlock and level up. However in the third generation I already maxed out my fox boy.. who now had great stuff and passives.. Attack bonuses I would have to give up by playing another class. If I die with a weaker class. .I lose everything I worked so hard to pass on..  I am not against a game punishing your for dying..but  since the game also punishes you for succeeding through curses and taking your items away every two dungeons it kinda feels needlessly tedious at every step, good or bad.
Just get the stuff you need and get out. Which doesn’t mesh well with the Zelda Formula.

Like keep living in a gas station in the desert in a semi dead world.. this game can feel kinda…pointless

The WORST thing though however is the lack of variety.. in the third generation.. mind you this is the second playable one Puku already repeats all his dungeon dialogue from the second generation. In the fourth I discovered you basically alternate between any combination of only four toys to solve dungeons. With two toys per generation needed that means it does not take long to encounter repeats. So puzzles get boring quickly. All dungeons seem somewhat procedurally generated as well which usually works well enough but mostly in the non essential ones (Which you need to explore for more shards so you can pass on your rewards) this can feel a bit odd. Like two treasure rooms spawning adjacent to each other. Double damage modifiers in a dungeon that has no combat at all or puzzles in dead end rooms with no rewards.  I get the charm of Zelda randomisers to keep things fresh but with these added modifiers it just doesn’t work for me . I don’t mind the dead puzzle room so much.. nor do I mind having my sword damage halved when I just need to open a chest. However it can feel incredibly frustrating if you are grinding for levels to encounter half experience dungeons in one filled with chests and enemies..just to walk into a pot breaking one and see experience is double where there is no xp to get.

Still the game looks super adorable and charming! No matter how meh it was to me!

I gathered four out of five light orbs so far and I threw in the towel then and there as I could not stomach any minute of the game any longer. I would need to go to at least generation 7 due to me missing one tribute, but this game lacks so much. Each Toy dungeon has the same boss.. (though with a different skin.. a sword of ditto of the past.. but these are not your characters just some random things) which meant I had to fight that 12 times.. but both also show up during the Mormo fight so technically that would be 24 times .. you fight “dark Link” There are four bosses in the main dungeon.. or at least I just encountered four.. but one of them I only encountered once. and another I encountered six times.  Even dungeon puzzles begin to loop and that is IF you succeed every time.. this would be the MINIMUM level of repeats. By the fourth light I was playing the same game over and over again with my reward being the same dialogue over and over again..hinting only at a slightly different ending at the end.

The Magic School Bus theme goes here!

Each time I got something upgraded and I got something very cool and new.. I either lacked the celestial shards to pass it to the next generation because cool stuff costs more.. or it got overwritten because I wanted to play as another race. I even encountered the same curse three times! Once I had a timer of seven days which was kinda neat ..but most of the time it is just Ether Storm.. which basically means that aside from grinding for Celestial Shards you also need money and food as well so that is just more grinding. Which you can’t always do because you get time-gated.  The world has several themed areas and they appear randomly.. sometimes they drop resources like shiny stones.. or computer chips which you can trade in at shop-keep for new toys..but the price for the good ones is insane.You have to grind them out so hard that you basically can’t do anything else.. since you can’t pass these on to next generations. Of course you then can buy a toy or a sticker which you then can not pass onto the next generation because you have not grinded Celestial Crystals.. so it all can be for nothing.

I bet if you main the bunny hero.. you’ll visit the motel a lot

Never have I seen a game so relentlessly discouraging any form of the completion or punish you for getting good stuff. If you want a good item.. you have to work for it.. then you have to work to pass it on again.. and then subsequently to keep passing it down every generation.
If you make a game that spans six generations, at least give us enemies to carry us through those 6.. or 5 because we see non in the first generation. I would not mind looping after that.. but during the main run it just feels extremely lazy. There are a few important NPC’s such as a fat Catlike Crime Boss, a Penguin who can up your bomb count and a Walrus who can open boxes.. but even though 100 years pass each time they are all constantly the exact same. Even if you save the world.. your house might get more decrepit.. or spots on the world map randomly get switched to something dystopian like a huge junk yard. It almost doesn’t fit.
I might have just gone really unlucky.. but that is no excuse! I still had a bad experience, if that can happen because of simple RNG you still did something wrong.

Did someone make a bad Bunny Joke?! I ‘ll kill them! He is the vengfull one!

I am really angry at this game because it had so much potential, in a way this IS the game I wanted to see come to be.I’d compare it to P.T.  Releasing as a playable demo and you are all like! Oh this is going to be so awesome.. but then they did not know what to do with it further and just loop it. Like Imagine their studio going like”We build a great over world but we can’t make dungeons”  “Randomly gen it and add this reborn mechanic to it.. we can hide that we did we lost inspiration along the way”

I would not go as far to  call it a bad game..because in so many ways it is not.. but it feels unfinished.. and put together by the duct tape of reincarnation. Which is fine.. if you mask the tape afterwards but they did not do that either. It’s like watching at the ceiling of the Sistine chapel.. but instead of all different forms of art.. there is only the creation of adam up there. The rest is the same painting but the clouds have been replaced by lizards clothing colours have been swapped.. they achieve this by instead of actual artwork just putting a sheet of paper over the cloud with a lizard drawn on top and those new clothes are just some cotton balls they jammed up there while cleaning. There is still some beauty hidden in there..but you can’t help but be pissed off at how cheap they went in the end. 

Rarely felt I so conflicted about a game as in it’s purest form the gameplay is solid, the graphics are amazing and the ideas are creative ..even if it very clearly “borrows” form Zelda games. Yet never have I loathed continuing a game as much as this one in recent times. If it ever sells for like 5 dollars or is part of a humble bundle I recommend you get this, play trough the second and third generation and then leave it alone. I tried to complete it .. and the more and more I discovered how lazy it was the more I began to hate it.. which is why I have no choice but to scare it with my lowest rating.. as I really can’t stand playing it any longer anymore.. with the side note that I kinda feel bad about doing it. It doesn’t mean you’ll have to think the same, I just really dislike tedium in games. I hated keeping grinding for arrows and breaking weapons in Breath of the Wild as well.. and no one seemed to mind otherwise either. This to me just feels like playing the same game five times in a row and it punished me for about everything I did. I hate it! Yet I hate that I hate it too.

I am angry I had to grade like this! I wanted to love this!

Pinkie Playing as Evil Minion Hero: Underhero

We have all played through our classic RPG’s .  Find the Three Crystals of the elements than you can access the castle to defeat the final evil. We have all been that hero and we loved it. Yet how did that world come together? Why is the crystal there? What happens to a magic world after the main character gets a game over?  Questions like these are answered in the game Underhero.


Underhero is an RPG that mimics the gameplay of the old Paper Mario RPG’s. To a certain extent. It was gifted  to me by a multifaceted ocelot, which is a close friend of mine. So keep in mind that I did not spend $15,- dollars on it.  Which may make me a bit more positive as I REALLY got my money’s worth. Is it worth 15 dollars? I’d say yes.. probably. This game can start out a bit rough, especially when you do not have an Xbox controller to hook up o your laptop like me. Still perseverance pays off , after having finished this game, up to a point where I only missed on a few achievements simply for not wanting to backtrack for stat upgrades I no longer needed.  I did most what this game had to offer and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I guess one facet of that ocelot is giving me good games. 

In Underhero you take on the role of a noble hero who is ready for the boss fight against the evil boss Mr Stitches. I figured he would whoop my ass and I would have to level.. much like what happened in the first Paper Mario. Yet two steps in and you die. A Masked Kid.. which is something like a Koopa or Goomba compared ot the mario universe..thinks outside the box and drops a chandelier on the hero. Now that the hero is dead your Boss Mr Stitches thinks he can finally conquer the kingdom of man.. so he sets the captured princess free as he doesnt need her anymore and assigns the masked kid.. which is now you.. to return the three magical stones that the hero needs back to their original bosses. When looting the dead hero though, the kid finds a talking sword hilt named Elisabeth IV who tells the Masked Kid he is now the hero who must defeat the dark and evil lord Stitches. And so begins your reverse quest that shows the logistic side of video games.

In Stitches, laughing out loud.

Underhero is not a serious game, it’s lighthearted and fun and spoofs yet embraces RPG traditions. We never knew but the evil rulers in video games have a complete business set up that deals with how to get certain minions at certain places. We  see how the castle houses the evil monsters in tiny apartments, we see they have a cafeteria and even unions. There are work meetings, office party and they even have Taco Tuesdays.. which are very beloved by the employees. If monsters are born with a different colour they either get send to another area or become a Miniboss.  This castle functions as your main hub from which you begin your adventure to return the stones for a new hero to come.. but to still defeat the bosses there so you level up.. that’s what really matters anyway. Elizabeth IV the talking hilt functions as your Navi you can even talk to her by pressing a button…but she gets very annoyed if you do this a lot. 

Elizabeth gets annoyed a lot because she has been through this a lot of times already. Each time you have to find a key she is annoyed, especially when things turn out to be more complicated as you originally thought.  Like when you enter a dungeon and can take an elevator to the boss floor.. but a fuse is blown, the fuse lays behind a door which of course is locked.. and the key gets hidden behind a racing event. The little hilt is annoyed how this always keeps happening to her and constantly berates any unoriginal events that happen in the game. As Masked Kid you are unsure where your loyalties lie.. Will you follow Elizabeth or  your widely beloved boss Mr Stitches. Not long after the first dungeon, Mr Stitches has become aware that the game is lasting longer than originally.. he now can actually start to siege the hero town hub.. but well since they never go on this long.. there is no more money. Budget cuts have to be made…. Taco Tuesday gets cancelled. Now that you realise how evil Mr Stitches truly is.. he really must be stopped or this cycle will continue forever. I truly enjoyed the corporate humor, this game offers and was oftenly laughing out loud. It’s silly but it really works.

Not very Heroic

Not playing a heroic character comes with a few advantages.  A fair few enemies are skippable because they do not think you are a threat.. after all you are a minion as well. If you want something from them you can always reason with them. Even when engaging combat you can small talk with them before you hit them. They will tell you rumors about treasures or maybe some lore.. which you may need later on. Enemies , except for smart enough sub-bosses will never attack you first.. you as the hero need to defeat them but they don’t know you are a hero. You might be a hero but your still you , you still served evil.. so if you do not feel like smacking your coworkers down or  if you are running low on health and do not wish to start a fight you can always try to bribe your opponents. Just toss a few coins at them and they will usually let you go… this is just a job to them after all. Since Elizabeth is just a hilt she can take on the form of several weapons. Her main form is a sword, for quick clashing action, a hammer for big damage or a slingshot to hit enemies that are far away.
Masked Kid is no slouch himself…. he can jump to avoid attacks or duck to avoid attacks. Outside combat he can climb vines and hover using his cape.. he is also pretty good at figure skating. Yes our little guy is an ice dancer. That’s……..

The game balances, sort of turn based,  battles with puzzle platforming and exploring. With just a hint of adventure gameplay. A combination that works out reasonably well. When controlling Masked Kid with a keyboard you will definitely notice you are dealing with an indie developer.  Paper Castle Games made a very good game but in terms of control and subsequent gameplay I had a few gripes. Jumping feels very floaty and when platforms are on multiple levels you can always walk through platforms even if the ledge you are standing on seems to have a solid edge. Key mapping to using potions on <- arrow made me waste a few potions, and the level up system is kind of off. Each level I could choose between three stat boosts, health, stamina and damage. Health upgrades are completely useless as they are found in abundance, stamina recovery you get trough dodging a lot which means you do not have to take a lot of them. As a result the game has this “unpolished” feeling throughout. It’s nothing that you can not overcome but since this game mimics Paper Mario so much you will notice this sure ain’t no italian plumber game.

Saving the world

I finished this game in about twelve hours and like I said I only missed some shield upgrades, as I mastered the art of parrying (and thus did not need a high hp shield)  and one weapon upgrade stashed in the apartments. The difficulty curve of this game I’d say is pretty perfect for what it is. Each time an enemy defeated me, a hindernis stopped me in my tracks or I died through a setback , I learned to understand those enemies better, discovered how a mechanic worked better and got closer to defeating the game.  Except for a certain rival battle , i dd not need more than three attempts maximum to get around anything. Which is perfect for me for a game like this. A funny and lighthearted game like this.. in which coffee works as a full restore and where punching clocks work as save points you should not have to dig to deep for results. It’s not a breeze but not a slog either. The final battle is incredible the whole idea that that final level a hero goes trough is only a certain area of the castle is hilarious to me as well. All in all just a very good but clunky game.

The five worlds you visit in this game are cleverly designed varied, though stereotypical, forest, haunted house, volcano, a sci fi water level, and the evil castle.  There is lot of fun to be had in each world. Along with some classic tedium and fetch quests, but that is part of the heroes life. Each world has their own unique little things,mostly show from their clever writing. An Ice Skating Party and House party in the ghost world, A moth with a split personality constantly showing up, a road block of labourers that want more Fedora’s or a Salsa Dancing spanish speaking enemy who is implied to maybe have a romance with the boss.  This game is best in it’s flavoring, it’s dialogue , it’s story and its general sense of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed this game, but less for for the gameplay and more so for everything else. It was a unique and charming adventure that can be a true delight if you are well versed in classic game tropes, this game’s world be very charming to you and you can surely enjoy it despite its flaws. If you do not care about story, do not read dialogues and just want a game to beat.. I suggest you look elsewhere. For a game filled with cute enemies there was not enough pink things though.

Flavour Time! Underhero scores :
A bit lighter on berries than my usual cocktails but still good!

Adorable Games: A Hat in Time

Hey Island-guests welcome back to paradise. By now you will have noticed I am really into cute stuff. I prefer cuter anime, I am a plushie savant, I really like pink stuff and cute little critters and so on. So unsurprisingly I like cute games as well.  Gears for Breakfast produced an adorable little platformer called A Hat in Time and it quickly grew out to be one of my favorite games. Two DLC packs in and a launch on Nintendo Switch in later, I want to share the love on this island.

As mad as a hatter

The plot of this collect-a-thon platformer is simple but wonderfully weird. You take control of a brave space traveller, by the name of Hat Kid. A young girl who lives all alone in her vast spaceship which is fueled by time energy. One day she is close to home when suddenly in mid space there is a knock on her window as the mafia shows up. Something goes wrong in this encounter and her time vault breaks open causing the timepieces, to scatter on the planet the mafia guy was from. Hat Kid goes to the planet to recover her missing timepieces.

She finds a friend in a mustachioed vigilante named Mustache Girl who decided to help her. But after realising what the time pieces can do she quickly turns on Hat Kid and decides to use the time pieces to destroy all that is evil … in an evil way.  So now the race is on, to acquire enough time pieces to get Hat Kid home at least and stop Mustache Girl from her genocidal vigilantism. During your journey you have to collect enough yarn to create a series of hats that will grant you new abilities, while making movies, selling your soul and dealing with the Mafia. A simple premiss that is given shape by some wonderfully weird and flavorful characters.  The writing is so funny and all the characters come alive. Even the scrubby mafia’s which are basically your equivalent to goomba’s in this game get a voice and some personality. Near the end basically everything does. A Hat in Time creates such a wonderful wacky and colourful world you keep wanting more. Each character crazier than the last but also unique and the proceedings in each stage nice come together, for a neat and somewhat touching conclusion.  It is not a story that is meant to wow you, but you will constantly go .. .. awww thats so cute or charming. It also never seizes to surprise. The moment you find Hat Kids hidden pillow-ford and read her diary it only keeps getting better.

Hold on to your hat

This all is presented in lovely gameplay that is best represented in the silver age of 3d collect-a-thon  platformers. The age of the Nintendo Gamecube like Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy , Whiplash or Mario Sunshine. Hat Kids natural moveset is fairly similar to that of the plumber but without that weird all water jug that he since.. only takes out for smash. Like most non “icons”  of platforming Hat Kid has a double jump, which the big names never actually used but similar to Mario Hat Kid has a dive, can walk tightropes and she has a wall jump/ Hat Kid unlike Mario can do a little free running dashing up a bit as she wall jumps though, a nifty little trick that even puts Rayman’s ledge-grab to shame. Like Sonic n his 3d adventures she has a homing attack as well that can also help her get around.  It is a very dynamic moveset that allows for pinpoint accuracy and uses the best of all the greats, while still feeling as her own. That sense of uniqueness mostly comes from the usage of the hats. Hat Kid gets access to six hats that allow her to do all sorts of neat stuff.

Her basic hat is he iconic top hat, which allows he to focus on mission objectives. The sprint hat gives you a speed boost and later on can even give you access to an adorable mount. The Witch Hat/Concoction had allows you to blow up certain objects. Her snow-cap allows her to use special transportation pads to launch the girl around the various stages. The Dweller had can materialise ghostly platforms or dematerialise “dreamlike”  blocks. Her ultimate hat is the Time Hat which can pause time for a short amount of time. This kid isn’t just about hats though she can also customise these hats by equipping badges which apply several modifiers to the game. Like a featherfall, the ability to not bounce of walls in a dive or even a big beam attack when hitting with her Umbrella. She is one fashionable kid that knows how to get around. This all controls near flawlessly with you always feeling that any mistakes make are your own fault and not a poor control scheme. While the camera can give you some trouble at times, this very sparingly happened though and I could even see Gears from Breakfast doing this on purpose to get that nostalgic feeling. There would be times where the camera jittered where t made me more nostalgic than annoyed. The graphics are colorful and vibrant and the music, dear god how I love this music. I actually own the soundtrack to this game.. and this is the only piece of music I actually own because I am not to big on music. I adore this soundtrack and each stage has amazing musical framing and the boss themes are even better. By far my favorite Indie-game on the technical side.

Throwing your hat in the ring.

The base gameplay is way harder to explain than one might think. In essence we are dealing with a standard platformer but each stage is completely unique and every objective within that stage can play out completely different.  The base game has four stages and forty time pieces, the two dlc’s add two new stages, 13 time pieces and a whole lot of other content, and then there are fan-mod levels which are highlighted as a genuine aspect of the game including achievements. There is a challenge mode as well as both online as offline co-op. Regardless of what you play your objective is always the same. Get the time piece, how you achieve this can differ greatly. From a simple platformer challenge to a murder mystery and from an mission where you have to assassinate an outhouse to stealthily infiltrating a movie studio. A Hat in time takes you on a unique adventure that you will want to complete from beginning to end. Even within each stage you goals are vastly different. In Maffia town I hunted golden tickets in a treasure hunt, I played the floor is lava (literally)  and had a footrace ,against a guy on a rocket. In Subcon forest, I assassinated that outhouse and played hide and seek to save my life, from a super yandere. In Dead Bird Studio’s I defused a bomb and did a PR tour.. and then so much more. Every objective feels carefully crafted, like a miniature game of their own. Filled with great voice acting, funny jokes and tooth achingly sweet moments. All ending in one of the most satisfying and heartwarming conclusions I ever saw in a platform game, that sort of breaks the fourth wall.. yet also makes perfect sense is this vibrant world.

The two DLC stages are completely unique as well and both I can wholeheartedly recommend.  The game has a solid lifespan for a platformer, depending on your skill the base game will last you between 10 and 15 hours, which is solid for a 3d platformer in it’s price range. The DLC and mostly the co-op and challenge mode adds many more hours and now that fan levels are a thing there is a healthy amount of gameplay time…at least for the completionist and trust me this is a game you want to complete.

Tipping my hat

Aside from the 50+ time pieces there is plenty to collect. First there are the buttons I mentioned earlier you can get from a strange glitchy vendor, whom you pay with pons, the currency of this game which you also collect and use throughout various stages. Then there are the hat flairs, color schemes and soundtracks. You an get these from completing so called time rifts, pure platforming focussed stages, that seem very similar to the FLUDDless stages of Mario Sunshine. The hat flairs can reshape your hats, and these can be very cute..if you get lucky. These are locked behind a RNG slot machine… which is a shame, luckily fan stages offer you a coin and gathering 3 allows you to use a slot machine to get more. Base game will disallow you to get everything but as the game is now, the joy of collecting just is greater. Downside to the RNG however still is, that you might have completed the entire game before getting that color scheme or flair you really wanted to use.

The DLC added some stickers to collect to decorate you umbrella with to make your character look more unique and accomplished in online or offline co-op games , fun but a bit more hollow than all the other collectables. My favorite collectable however are the artefacts. Each stage has a cute little artefact to complete, once completed you unlock a puple timerift, which allows you to find a children’s picture book telling the story of that stage.. or another cute story. These artefacts are in hidden packages scattered throughout the worlds.  Completing them and assembling them on you spaceship allows you to read Hat Kids thoughts about them, surprise surprise, they are adorable Same for the story books! Keep your eyes open when playing this game and dont be afraid to explore, the game rewards you thoroughly.

Hats off to Hat in Time.

By now I think I made it clear that this game has won me over completely, move aside Mario, Hat Kid is here. Gears fom Breakfast has made this game that oozes love and cuteness. It’s clever, clean, cute, funny, invententive and more. If you like Banjo Kazooie, if you like Mario Sunshine or whatever 3d platformer is you thing, this game is one you should not miss. This game is probably my favorite PC game ever and most certainly my favorite Indie-game. While it does have it’s quirks and could technically improve some minor things these are all nitpicks that hardly blemish a game that shines brightly from beginning to end. Hat Kid deserves it to be one of the great platforming heroes of her generation and she definitely deserves a sequel. A sequel that I am sure that will come, I will eat my hat otherwise. Luckily this hat has a delicious flavor.