Indietail – Cat Quest

Today’s we’re going on a catventure! I mean, we’re taking a look at Cat Quest after all! Cat Quest is not only a lovely homage to classic RPGs but also a parody of the same. It not only mocks the genre but also adds its features into it to make a purrfect game for every pun-loving RPG-fan!

Developer: The Gentle Bros
Publisher: The Gentle Bros
Genres: 2D, Open World, Action, RPG, Indie
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, Switch, PS4, Android/iOS
Copy was purchased.

After a dark wizard has catnapped our dear sister, we find out that we’re a so-called Dragonborn! The wizard summoned dragons into the world and we’re the only one who can save the world from those nasty lizards! In Cat Quest, we’re able to roam the expansive continent of Felingard, fight monsters in real-time battles and not only upgrade our skills but also our equipment!

Combat:

Combat in Cat Quest is kept relatively simple. We’re able to attack enemies with a normal attack, using our physical strength, to deal damage but also recharge our Mana. Our Health-bar can also be protected with Armor that recharges over time when out of combat, similar to the Shield in the Borderland series, although not as quickly. To not receive damage, we have to watch out for the enemy-attack-patterns: Indicated by red scorch marks on the ground, we can see what spell they are currently casting or when the next attack is coming. We simply have to roll or walk away from that zone then, making combat quite dynamic!

We’re also able to cast spells that consume Mana but also deal damage on top of other effects based on the spell’s nature: Fire sets enemies ablaze while your Ice-Spell deals damage to them and causes them to attack and move slower. For Spells to be stronger, you need ability power. Both physical and ability power are gained through level-ups and items. 

The first four spells that can be unlocked. All diverse but also punny!

Just like enemies, we also cast our spells in different directions. The Fire Spell is an AoE-spell around you, while Lightning is a horizontal and Ice is a vertical attack. There are also other spells with different patterns as well as a Heal Spell but I don’t want to spoil too much. Different enemy-types can use different spells, although they all resemble yours. Hence you sometimes have to dodge the ice attack while still attacking enemies. 

There are also enemies with special properties that allow them to not receive damage from physical, magical or certain elemental attacks, although making them weaker to the opposite. I personally liked this feature quite a lot as it made me change my spell-loadout in between fights in order to be effective while also making me walk and roll around a lot more in combat instead of just mashing one attack-button. 

One of my favourite catracters!

Questing, Levelling and Items:

There are two types of quests: Side Quests (which are completely optional but also really hillarious) and the Main Quest (which is the Story basically). These are most often either “Kill these monsters”, “go there”, “find that” or “talk to these guys” quests, which is relatively repetitive. Once you complete the quest, you’re most often rewarded with Experience and Gold en masse. But while I said that the quests are repetitive, I must say that the dialogues between the characters are pawesome! Also most quests only take about 2-3 minutes and always grant you a level up until level 60-something. At that level, you’d also have to farm a few dungeons to level up and proceed with the story. 

There are 99 Levels, 62 Side-Quests and 12 Main Quests to complete and 52 Dungeons to clear, so you’ve got a handful to do in this game. On top of that, there are also about 66 armors and weapons available in the game which can be broken down into different sets. 

The absolute meme-blade

A set would be the Squire Armor + the Squire Helmet + the Squire Sword. While the Armor-pieces enhance your armor- and magic-stats, the sword only grants you physical and magical damage but no armor. There are also other pieces in the game that grant you different boni like more health or just one stat bonus or even grant you one bonus while also giving you a malus that you need to make up for with other items or that you just take into account. Hell, there’s even a “Crappy Set” that reduces everything – and the more you upgrade the different pieces, the worse these items get!

Overall, you can customize your playstyle a lot with these items, although I would loved it if these “sets” had actual set boni like in other RPGs. That would have been a great addition to the game! Set boni aside, I love the combinations that are possible with these armor pieces and also really enjoyed the fact that you can see the armor and weapons on your catracter. 

Kit Kat the Blacksmith and her lootbox-shop, I guess

Dungeons usually harbor a few enemies, experience points, gold and chests. There are normal and golden chests, the normal ones contain items while the golden chests contain better loot but require a key to be opened. When you loot dungeons, you’re able to obtain multiple pieces of the same set. If you already have those pieces, your existing armor/weapon gains more levels and hence better stats. Usually, you’d have to go to a blacksmith and pay 50 gold or even 5000 gold for a chest that contains some loot. This, however, is a crap mechanic, in my opinion, as you cannot directly upgrade your armor. Meanwhile, spells can just be upgraded with gold at Arcane Towers without the hassle of playing a loot-box-minigame. 

Twin Towns at Twin Peaks! Two towns that are somehow connect although they’re not!

Presentation

Cat Quest really shines with its humour and the paw-ns (nope, a pun on puns doesn’t work) that are scattered all across the world. The Open World uses vibrant colours which is insanely cute! Also the overworld uses different colour palettes for the different zones/biomes while the dungeons always have a rather dark and enigmatic colour palette, which I found rather fitting. The music is okay but nothing special, in my opinion. It doesn’t really stick in your ear but there is no point in the game where the music doesn’t fit.

The world is nearly as huge as the devs’ cat-pun-repertoire, which makes it enjoyable to explore, especially as you unlock more ways of travelling later on, like “Water Walking” (cats don’t swim, they walk on water) and “Flying”, which renders you able to backtrack later on. Overall I really did get catventure-vibes from this game and enjoyed it through quite a few hours! 

A small portion of the overlord!

Conclusion

While Cat Quest has its flaws with the bad item-upgrade-system and the repetitive-ness of the quests, there are a lot more positive points to it as combat is superb, the puns and the humour is absolutely lovely and as the customization is also absolutely great! The World is HUGE and there is a lot of end-game-content to the game once you unlock Mew Game mode and play the game with different modifiers like having only nine lives, staying on level 1 for the whole playthrough, stronger enemies or even no armour. 

So overall, I’m recommending this game to every lover of puns and RPGs who doesn’t want to play another dark and dramatic game but have a relaxed fun time in between Dark Souls deaths while groaning at least once in a while.

Meow!

Note: This is already my 50th post. Thanks a lot for all the comments and feedback on my other ones!

Indietail – Untitled Goose Game

Yesterday I bought a game on the Epic Games Store. It came out two days ago and, Geesus Christ, it’s fun! Of course, I’m talking about Untitled Goose Game, a hilarious stealth-game (I’d say?) where you pull small little pranks on the people around you and annoy them as much as possible. You play as a Goose (duh.) that is leaving the park’s pond to be a douchebag.. and I must say, this game is a real firequacker!

Developer: House House
Publisher: Panic
Genres: Stealth, Casual, Indie
Release Date: September 20, 2019
Reviewed on: PC
Available for: PC, Switch

But let’s get to the beakinning.

Right when you start the game on one of your three save files, you’ve got a small little tutorial where the game explains to you how to duck, sprint, honk, and do other things that are quite useful to know. It’s relatively simple and easy to pick up. You basically only use your mouse for the controls, except for when you want to spread your wings (X – Although I haven’t found any use for that yet except for bragging, I guess?) or when you want to honk (Space – quite useful! And it adds a lot to the game!). You’re also able to sprint with Shift and Zoom In/Out using A and S if you’re not comfortable with using the Mouse for all of your controls. 

Using tab, you can access the tasks that you need to complete to be able to leave the current area. The game has a lot of varying areas that get unlocked over time. It’s all one neighbourhood but you can get everywhere without completing the previous areas and then opening the doors to new paths. I found this aspect of unlocking new paths for you to travel back quite interesting as you’re able to “replay” some levels, too, when you’re in the mood for that. 

There are a lot of different tasks!

In the first area, you’re messing with a gardener. There’re some rather harmless tasks like making him wear his sunhat and entering the garden and some ducknically meaner tasks like stealing his tools and throwing them into the lake or using items from his garden to have a picnic in the park.

What’s interesting is the fact that you get a ton of ways to complete some of the tasks, which I really wing! For instance, you need to get the gardener wet which is accomplished in a lot of different ways! Even getting his hat off and replacing it with a sun hat can be done in an easy way or a few alternative ways. Super interesting!

I guess it’s all rather harmless as it’s not violent in any way (apart from one task where you need to make some people fall on their bum, later on, or have the gardener hit his thumb with a hammer) but overall you never really feel like an asshole, maybe a bit douchey or just mischievous but you’re not the worst person (or should I say bird?) ever for doing those things. No harm, no fowl!

In the next few areas, things get a bit more complicated with a boy being scared of you, a grumpy shopkeeper having a broom and some ill-winged pub-stuff that are goose-o-phobic and won’t let you in by normal means! It’s getting trickier little by little, sometimes you might need to hide more or distract people from somewhere else, you also sometimes need to just lurk in the shadows, observing your prey, finding out what their patterns and habits are before you finally STRIKE! 

It feels like a mix between the Hitman Games and Goat Simulator… but with a goose. You’re like a Poultrygeist, messing with people that are just following their daily routine.

But how’s the presentation? 

Well, artstyle-wise, generally speaking, it looks like a painting. The game uses a pastel-ish colour-palette, which I found rather cute. It kind of makes the whole game feel a lot less evil and quite a lot friendlier! While overall minimalistic, there’re still tons of details in the animation.

For example, when walking through the bushes, that kind of look like they’ve been painted onto a canvas, I saw tons of small leaves moving, which I found really fabulous. Everywhere you go, a ton of things are moving or at least movable, making the game very lively, despite the canvas-ness of it – and on top of it all objects that you’re able to move around, make sounds of their own, which is really cool!
Speaking of sound… (lol)

The sound-design is another thing that is bringing life to the game!

It all reminded me of a ‘symphonic fairy tale‘ we’ve learned about in music class back in seventh grade. Back then we learned about Sergei Prokofiev, a composer and pianist, who turn “Peter and the Wolf” (russing: «Пе́тя и волк») into a music piece where every critter, every animal and every person had a theme that fit their characteristics. The rabbit being small and nimble had a theme played by flutes, while the duck or the goose was rather sluggish and played by an oboe. 

We are a pretty boy now!

In Untitled Goose Game, we’ve got something similar going on. There’s a theme for every person, every occassion, and for the goose. It’s all played by a piano but in different octaves making it relatively easy to distinguish between different moods of people. People chasing you, people being afraid of you, you being the ultimate douche – there’s a tune for everything!

I found this feature rather entertaining and even kind of nestalgic. There is some music here and there, too, but the piano is most often the main thing going on, soundtrack-wise. 

While we’re at it, another great thing about this game is just the overall mixing of the game. It’s rather entertaining when you hear the waddling and paddling noises and overall the honking in between moments of mischief. I love it. 

Conclusion!

All in all the artstyle, the animation, the soundmixing, the derpiness of the goose and the fact that the goose head always looks at other people like it’s got some evil plan… All those points are great and really selling the game to me, so geeze what, I’m recommending this game! I haven’t seen any flaws at all. If you nest up and get softlocked, you can just reset the game and get to keep the progress of all completed tasks.

Overall it sells some good quality time at a good price and even though it’s an Epic Games Exclusive title, you may want to get over your pride and enjoy yourself a bit. 

Anyways,

take care!

Indietail – Westerado: Double Barreled

Howdy, fellow cowboys and cowgirls! Today we’re taking a look at Westerado: Double Barreled, a game where we chase a buffalo on the loose before finding out that someone not only burned down our ranch, but also gravely injured our bigger brother, and killed our mother! Our mission is to find the killer and take revenge! To do so, we’re equipped with a revolver and some other tools! Yeeha! 

Developer: Ostrich Banditos
Publisher: Adult Swim
Genres: Indie, Action, Adventure, Shoot 'Em Up, Western
Release Date: April 16, 2015
Reviewed on: PC
Available for: PC, Xbox One, Mac OS
Copy was purchased.

Let’s get to the plot:

After these incidences happened, we’ve got to “take care” about our brother and head to our uncle’s place where we learn that the killer is most likely in Clintville. Once we arrive there, we’ve got to earn Clintville’s citizens’ trust by completing quests and errands for them, including escort-missions, bounty-hunts and lots more! 

One of our first quests brings us to a graveyard.. Is that a premonition?

Gameplay-wise, it’s relatively simple:

Since we’re in the Wild West, we’ve got to solve everything with guns. There are multiple guns, ranging from shotguns, revolvers, bolas, to dual-revolvers, and even a sniper rifle. You can switch between weapons without any issues but have to load them up and unlock the gun while dodging bullet shots in the meantime. While the Bola doesn’t deal damage and holds only one shot, it instead captures enemies rendering them unable to shoot, which I found quite interesting. Meanwhile, the shotguns are able to hit multiple enemies, though only having two shots and being short-ranged, while the rifle is more precise, is able to pierce enemies and has five shots. 

One of two factions! Help them free the buffalos or fight them to the death! Your choice!

To kill enemies, you need to shoot off their hats before landing the killing blow. In the same manner, they’re able to shoot off your hat, before being able to kill you, too. Luckily, you own two reserve-hats that you automatically get used once you lose a hat, hence blessing you with basically four lives (three hats and your head). When killing enemies, you can pick up their hats to restock on lives. When you die, though, you are saved by someone who carries you to a nearby bed, refilling your hats and magazines but also helping himself to some of your riches. Hence, you lose money whenever you die which is why you need to go to banks relatively often, although they also help themselves to your bank account now and then – still, the bank is a lot safer than carrying your money around and risking to lose everything else, although not dying is probably the safest! 

Our Journal is helping us with keeping track of the Killer!

Speaking of the bank, there’re a lot more buildings in the towns that help you: 

The Sheriff’s and the bank often need help with killing bandits, while you may as well play some cards, have a drink or talk to other people at the Saloon, sometimes granting you hints on what the killer looks like. To find the killer, you need to find a few different hints in a “Who is it?” manner. As “clothes make people”, you only gain hints on what the killer looks like. The killer, though, could be nearby at any time, which is why you probably could kill him at any time in the game, if you wanted to. In fact, you’re able to solve all problems in the Wild West, using your guns. 

A quest by the bankers: Bring money to safety while killing those darn bandits!

See a saloon door? Shoot it open!
See someone funky? Shoot them dead!
Don’t like where the conversation is going? Pull out your gun, threaten them or even shoot them dead again! 

It’s hilarious. At all conversations, you’re able to pull out your gun, resulting in some funny moments where you randomly threaten people. 

We’re protecting buffalos from bandits – an escort mission from one ranch to the other!

Humour is a big part of this game, too, as well as references. Being a game published by AdultSwim, I had a great time throughout the game with random moments and references to tons of things, e.g. the founder of Clintville being “East Clintwood” or the fact that killing every NPC in one area results in you unlocking a horde mode for that area. Hillarious.

When you kill enough people, you also gain the reputation of a killer, leading to bandits randomly surrendering and stopping the fighting because they fear you so much.

Conversations are shown in this film-esque style! You always have the option of just leaving in the middle of the sentence or even drawing your gun, although those choices might not benefit you!

At some point, you might question whether or not you’re worse than the Killer you’re searching for BUT honestly, I don’t even know. It’s quite fun to just go all out on your revenge and the few casualties that it might take are the Killer’s fault, obviously. If he hadn’t messed with you, those people wouldn’t have died. (just kidding) 

Presentation-wise,

it’s got a lovely pixel-art style going that is enhanced by the liveliness of each area, with dogs, coyotes, scorpions, snakes, birds and all kinds of other animals being featured in the scenery. The music is also quite great and there haven’t been any issues with the sound just stopping or not fitting the area, in my opinion. Overall a great art style and great music.

On top of that, there are no restrictions to where you can go and where you can’t. A true open-world game, I guess! There are also factions in the game: Support the buffalo-friends or the militia, you’ve got the choice when it comes to alternate plots. 

The Map is huge but empty at the beginning. Over the course of time, you’re discovering more and more of this Western World, both over- and underground!

But let’s get to flaws. Overall, I really enjoyed the game, but the map sometimes seemed quite frustrating. There are tons of quests and all of them get marked on the map. When you’re unlucky, you just don’t know what you’re actually doing right now or you’re going to areas to do one thing and end up doing something else. Having the option to actually follow only one quest at a time, like in other games (i.e. Borderlands or MMOs in general), would’ve been nice, although this is an Indie Game and all that.

Another thing is the fact that there are no checkpoints that you can set yourself: 

When you respawn, you actually spawn in a “nearby bed” – which is at your Uncle’s. Before facing off against the Killer, you also get a checkpoint there, and although there are fast-travel-points here and there, scattered through the world, it gets quite annoying to always have to teleport somewhere or walk a while and it kind of feels lazy in some way. I would’ve liked it if there were rooms in the Saloon that you could pay for, to set a spawn point nearby. It’s not a big deal, I guess, but I personally got quite annoyed by it. 

But overall I had a blast during my playthrough. There is a learning curve at the beginning but once you get used to the aiming and all that, it’s actually quite enjoyable. My first playthrough was four hours long but there’s a lot of replay value, too, as you’re also able to go with higher difficulties, unlock new characters with new abilities and other properties and there are a ton of easter eggs to be found in the game. I definitely recommend this game!

Have a nice one! 

The Stray Sheep #30 – You don’t have to

So, for the past few days, I’ve been asking people for help and recommendations for a new budget PC. So far I’ve only played video games on a laptop and this one’s getting quite old. So, I ended up checking for the recommended requirements on a game and compared stuff using a versus-side so that I could end up with a build that doesn’t cost too much, I guess. Then I asked people on a budget-builds-discord about it and they told me that I can get the same specs for a lot cheaper if I built it myself (which is true and which is why now I’m going for that). 

In the end, I still need to save up for it for a while and then eventually I’ll get to ordering the PC. 

But that’s not what the post is about. I wanted to thank all the people out there that helped me with my questions as I trust them on their opinions, knowledge and recommendations. This post addresses something one person said.

For the past couple of weeks I ended up bashing heads with one person there, which happens sometimes, I guess. Most often you can make up with others. In this case, however, it lead to that person leaving our community and leaving a rude message. I am not planning on rehashing things or getting back at that person or even creating more drama. One thing that person said inspired me to make this post as I thought that it may be something that some people out there may struggle with.

“For weeks I forced myself to try and get along with you […]”

If you can’t get along with someone, you don’t have to. It’s worthwhile to try to do just that – get along with someone – but beating yourself up over it and even forcing yourself to do so is just complete nonsense. You don’t have to get along with everyone.

At our Uni, I’m a member of a few different clubs and groups. I could draw a diagram of the drama club people I know and the literature club people I know and people I know from my work and uni politics and all that and there’d be tons of intersections. That happens over the course of time. It’s only natural.
You know person B and person C that get to know other people, including person A. There’re way too many people out there so you can’t possibly like everyone..
If you don’t get along with person A, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get along with the people that person A has to do with either. You certainly can still talk, play, and enjoy your time with person B and C even when you disagree with person A’s opinions or just can’t stand their personality or whatever.

So, if you are in that situation that you’re trying to get along with people that you don’t like and forcing yourself to do so “for the greater good”…
Or if you are in that situation and you’re trying to change yourself to not cause any conflicts, then remember that

you don’t have to.

The other parts of the message are irrelevant. There were some rude remarks, I guess, but I don’t want to get back at that person. The person told me to grow up, then blocked me, hence I can’t talk to her about it – but I also don’t have to. If she doesn’t want to get along with me, that person doesn’t have to, and I, as well, shouldn’t try to force her.

I struggled with the decision of whether or not I should publish this post for a while today. I ended up rethinking it and whenever I thought that it might help someone and that it might end up as a rather uplifting post, I also thought that that person might think of this as a personal attack of some sorts. Maybe this post will help her, maybe it will help somebody else, maybe it will help nobody at all, I thought it’d be a nice idea for the 30th Stray Sheep.

I guess I could mention that I found myself in that situation quite often when I went to school. For the first few years, I never got along with my class mates and always tried to fit in. Hell, there were even teachers blaming me for not fitting in when in fact, you can’t always be friends with everyone. There was this huge douchebag in my class. A real snob on top of that. We had a back and forth from elementary school to highschool and eventually I just didn’t care at all if I was the outsider in class as I still had friends in other classes and online and in our Drama Club back then.
At some point, I thought that I don’t need to have fun in school as school only serves the purpose of educating yourself, getting good grades and eventually graduating. You don’t have to stick to these guys for ever.

So if you, dear reader, are troubled by anything like this: Remember that you don’t have to beat yourself up over this or even change to fit in. You have your life and they have theirs. You don’t have to be friends with everyone. I’d love a world with no conflicts, but I don’t understand what’s going on in everyone’s minds and I doubt that you do.

And just in case a certain someone reads this, I’d like to mention that I never hated you or meant you any harm in any way. I enjoyed talking to you and really appreciated all the help I received from you (and everyone else who helped me with my questions) and I’d like it if you came back eventually and kept in touch with everyone. I enjoyed the conversations we had most of the time. If anything, come back for the other people here, not necessarily for me.

Take care.

Indietail – Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to)

Today we’re taking a look at Kind Words! We literally take a look at kind words, too. Hope that made you groan! Let’s get right into it!

Developer: Popcannibal
Publisher: Popcannibal
Genres: Casual, Indie, Experimental
Release Date: September 13, 2019
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was purchased

What is Kind Words?

Kind Words is a social experiment, I guess. You are sending anonymous paper planes to people all over the world for them to read, though you gotta stay positive! You’re also able to receive paper planes and make or receive requests. On top of that, you’re able to collect, receive and send stickers to people, decorate your room with them, listen to chill lo-fi-music in the background, and receive new music for your virtual playlist by playing daily. 

I was kind of proud of this one.

It’s a lovely game and I only just stumbled across two blog posts about it, so I thought it’d be nice to write about my experiences with it after playing a bit for a bit. I don’t usually buy games right away but having Aywren and Belghast talk about them in such high notes really got me excited about it and it’s only four euros, so it doesn’t tear down a black hole into your wallet. 

I already covered all the gameplay there is, to be honest. I feel like it’s more of a social experiment than an actual game. There’s not much to do apart from being nice to people who need some kindness. I’m sending virtual hugs here and there, talking about my experiences with similar situations and overall try to comfort people. I feel quite nice and I also received some heartwarming answers to my requests even though I didn’t even feel down at all. 

In the beginning, you’re talking to Ella the post-deer who’s quite shocked about you not knowing post-deers. She’s quite cute and delivers your paper planes, requests and answers to everyone in the world or the people who need them right now while also explaining features to you and notifying you when there’s a new answer in your inbox or when people thank you for your answers. She only just started this job, so you first need to send her a letter, which I immediately began with “Deer Ella,…”. I just couldn’t resist but she didn’t feel upset about it at all, I guess. She may have groaned, who knows. I just got her standard-NPC answer after that quick tutorial.

But when you speak to real people, you get overwhelmed with warm messages, real problems and a bit of negativity here and there where people are worried about their futures or don’t know what to do with their problems. I like helping people but when you help too much, you might need some kind words yourself! Hence, don’t hesitate to send out some requests as well! 

When you read requests, you can just browse through them, answer them or even report them when they feature major negativity, innapropriate language, toxicity or even trolling. I don’t know what happens to the people behind those messages but I’m quite sure that a message with too many reports gets deleted. I so far received about 20 paper planes and answered even more requests. I only encountered one negative comment where someone was cursing and flaming their boss and just being overall negative and toxic. I could’ve answered that person, I guess, but I didn’t know what to do and instead decided to report the message for being toxic and inappropriate. 

After that, I needed some cheering up, too, so I went ahead and asked for some puns and received a good one here. 

Overall, this is a lovely game. It’s cheap but the music is good, the community has been nice so far and the decorations are insanely cute, too! 

The only concerns I have is the fact that it may be a platform for trolls to engage on but I’m sure that the report system will take care of that. As for flaws, I guess one could mention that apart from writing there’s not much gameplay. Also, some paper planes fly past and you’re not able to catch them quick enough whilst reading another one. This is quite annoying and I would have liked it if the paper planes would take a few rounds around your room before shooting off into the distance of the screen. Also, they sometimes fly through walls and the floor which can be patched, I guess. These are just minor flaws, so I’ll definitely recommend this game to everyone who may have a tough time once in a while. 

Sending love to everyone out there! – Cheers!

Indietail – Children of Morta

After a small break from the daily posting, we’re back again with another review! Today we’re taking a look at Children of Morta, a game about family-bonds and monster-slaying! Please enjoy this review!

Developer: Dead Mage
Publisher: 11 Bit Studios
Genres: Rogue-lite, Action, Dungeon Crawler
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC (Windows, Linux, Mac OS), Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Copy received from the 11 Bit Studios

But what is Children of Morta about?

Children of Morta is about the Bergson-family consisting of Grandma Margaret, Uncle Ben, Father John, Mother Mary, and their Linda, Kevin, Mark and Joey. They live at the foot of Mount Morta and have to fight against the spreading Corruption which is endangering their homelands, Rhea. To do that, they venture into different dungeons to find clues about the Corruption and the source of it.

In its core, Children of Morta is a story-driven rogue-lite-dungeon-crawler where you’re playing as six of the Bergsons that can be categorized into different classes, ranging from the brawlers John (Bruiser) and Joey (Juggernaut), the swift Mark (Monk) and Kevin (Rogue), and the ranged Lucy (Mage) and Linda (Archer). While John and Joey are rather tanky and have high durability at the cost of less movement speed, Mark and Kevin focus on high mobility, quick strikes and crits, while Lucy and Linda are great at distance but are not that good in close quarters.

By diving into the dungeon, you’re able to receive not only clues about the world’s lore and the source of the Corruption but also gain cosmetic items for your house – and gold which also can get invested into bonus-stats for your characters. These range from simple stat-buffs like attack damage and movement speed to increased “luck” (more gold), increased experience, and others!

When entering the dungeons, you’re able to not only level up your characters permanently but also gain items that improve your chances of beating the boss of the dungeon.
For instance, there’re usable relics with a cooldown that provide you with a shield, blocking all damage for a short while and then exploding for massive damage around you, or, if you don’t like that, why not place a totem that buffs you, slows enemies or even distracts them from you so that you can snipe them as Linda?

Some one-use-items can give you gems, healthpoints, small buffs, etc. while other charms can grant you passive boni like a poison-DoT-effect on enemies that are hurt by you and your abilities or a small little companion that stuns enemies for you. There’re tons of combinations for items on every run, which is hella rad!

But how does one acquire items?

Well, on every level there’s at least one item-room with a divine relic, which helps you a lot. It can be an active item or a passive charm but usually you don’t want to miss out on those anyways! There’s also crates all around levels that have to be opened with gems that get dropped by enemies or are found at corpses and pots and the like. These crates can contain gold or more gems, runes and items. When you have spare gems, you can also invest them at the shop before the end of the current floor to heal up or receive more items!

There are also special rooms where you’re able to help refugees that fled from the Corruption into the Dungeon or where you do other tasks like defeating hordes, playing a game of “God’s Pong”, escort NPCs to other rooms, and lots more. At the end of all of them you’re rewarded with items, again. However, while some are rather easy to complete, others can cost you some life points or are rather tricky to master. Hence, you should always wager if it’s worth it to risk your precious life points for an item now or if you should rather push for the boss, especially since some items might not synergize with your character, like a damage-aura around your character when you’re playing a ranged one.

And while there are items that may not be that good on your character, there are no bad items.

Items do not synergies in a bad way like in The Binding of Isaac where you can get boomerang tears and ipecac, which is quite bad unless you also have explosion immunity.

So, it’s always great to pick up items in Children of Morta! I once even had an item that sets enemies on fire while I had a rune that poisoned enemies that I hurt, which lead to two DoT-effects proccing on all enemies!

With items you can make up for your character’s flaws or empower your strengths – an aspect that I really enjoyed!

On top of items and the stat-upgrades, you’re also able to level your characters by defeating enemies. When levelling up, you gain skill points which then can be invested into powerful new skills or upgrades for recent ones. By investing points into your skills, you reach new skill-levels, unlocking bonuses for ALL other family members. For instance, John unlocks a passive skill for all characters at level 20 that recovers some HP every few seconds. Usually, you could only get healed by potions and items, so HP-regeneration is a pretty big deal. Other family members also unlock stuff like “more movement speed”, “more crit/dodge chance” or even a free gem on every new run. Runes get unlocked with levels, too, not only for your own character – though – but also other members. Hence, when you level Linda, her runes become available for other members – i.e. Mark uses his magic whipping-ability and also casts Linda’s explosive crescendo when equipped with the that rune! Runes, however, are used up over time making them not as overpowered as one might reckon!

While combat and all the strategies and stuff are quite cool in Children of Morta, the game truly shines in the cutscenes in between runs.

When you end a run, you’re presented with different cutscenes about the daily lives of the different characters, giving you insight over the character relationships, their dreams, wishes, values, worries, flaws and other weaknesses. I love slice-of-life-shows and I definitely am getting those vibes in this game, too. On top of that, when you unlock characters you get some more cutscenes where they interact with their family members.

Relatively early into the game, you can see Kevin training in secret and even receiving his own daggers from his uncle, the family’s smith Ben! He’s excited and wants to help his family in every way but his mother is worried about him. There’s a few cutscenes for this one that are shown after every other run, I think, which changes the pace by quite alot. After all, you’re able to see these lovely scenes after getting back from dangerous runs!

I really enjoyed these little scenes and the interactions between characters. Even when you’re not doing anything and just relaxing in between runs, the characters are talking to each other or training or doing something else – which is quite neat to spectate.

There’s also a few log entries that you can check out once in a while to find out more about the characters’ pasts. I highly recommend reading those entries once you find them! They’re very interesting! My favourite character, by the way, is Ben!

He’s a lovely old fella and his background story is also really cool. I love seeing him interact with everyone and dwell in the past and all that.

Overall this is a lovely game, as one can see in its presentation!

The music is great and very atmospheric, the narrator is awesome, has a warm voice and makes every scene better, and then there’s the art style: It’s pixel art and while you surely feel like you’ve seen pixel art in basically every indie game ever made, you’ll shortly notice that it’s very detailed and quite beautiful. Especially the lighting in some places makes the world feel so lively and the dungeons so enigmatic! It’s truly a beautiful game.

But now onto some flaws. While the soundeffects and the soundtrack are great, there’s moments where a track stopped or where the game isn’t sure about what to do next. It’s just silent. Another thing I noticed was the fact that aiming feels a little bit sluggish here and there, especially when playing a ranged character like Lucy or Linda. But other than that I didn’t really have any issues with the game. The game surely is hard at the beginning but due to the levelling, the upgrades, the unlocked runes, abilities, and items, you get the hang out of it quite fast. When you get stomped once, you often can go to older dungeons, level up and return to the higher dungeons in order to master them. Every run feels refreshing and, as you probably can tell, I am, frankly, in love with this game which is why I highly recommend this game!

I hope you enjoyed today’s review! I tried to use topic sentences and highlight important bits of pieces while not making the review too long. If you’ve played Children of Morta, too, feel free to comment on your experiences with it. I’d love to receive some feedback on this post so feel free to also comment on suggestions or point out mistakes of mine!

Anyways, I wish you a lovely rest-weekend and hope you don’t mind tomorrow’s mondayness too much.
Cya! 🙂

Note: I haven’t touched the Multiplayer at all since right now it only features local multiplayer. There’s Online-Multiplayer planned for the near future, according to the devs’ twitter and steam page, so stay tuned for that when I’m getting to it in another post.

The Stray Sheep #29 – lazy

To be honest, I’d like to blog daily, but today I’ve been lazy. I didn’t really have many ideas today, so I think from now on I’ll try to stay with a few posts a week instead of daily posts since I don’t want to post for the posting’s sake. Also, I really need to work on some “Indietail”-s.

Next week’s going to be quite busy. I actually got some uni-stuff to do as well as work and other stuff. Posting daily for a while has been quite fun but it really isn’t my cup of tea, I guess.

So, today I’ve been lazy. I didn’t get much done and I still need to do some chores, actually. Tomorrow I need to get up early to get the dishes and all the other chores done before work. After work, I’ll have to clean up my room and then I’ll have to finish these last few drafts (still need some more screenshots from these games here, on top of some more playtime). I’d like to take the blog into more of a review-direction instead of just posting about all kinds of stuff, aka Stray Sheep.
So, yeah, the next posts won’t be daily, instead, there’s at least a weekly post, maybe even more. We’ll see.

Anyways, have a lovely evening or day! 🙂 See ya!

The Stray Sheep #28 – Look what you made me do!

While originally today’s Stray Sheep was about achievements and stuff that some games make you do (hence the Taylor Swift reference), I kind of ended up with a post about games I’m playing right now and the fact that I can’t play everything at the same time, which sucks. So, I’ll take the first prompt and use it another time and instead will recycle this post to the last prompt, I guess. 

I’m currently facing a bit of a dilemma. There’re too many great games out there, my steam library grew a bit more today, too, thanks to a few steam keys that Krikket was giving away on the Blaugust-Discord, my backlog is still…huge… and I also have too many games I want to play right now. These include Asheron’s Call (as you could guess my LttP-post), Warframe, Children of Morta (which I’m doing a review on right now), League of Legends (where I’m playing TFT right now but I also got into Top Lane again while still enjoying Support and Mid Lane!), and other games. 

Every game that features fishing is a good game!

I’m really hyped about Asheron’s Call. It’s a bit nostalgic and reminds me of some of the first games I ever played for PC, like Might and Magic, The Elder Scrolls III (I think): Morrowind, and some other games where the graphics were quite great but nowhere near today’s standards. The music wasn’t that great either at the time – in fact, Asheron’s Call has no music at all! It was a simpler time back then, though I doubt that I’m qualified to talk about it, as I was born in ’99 and hence can’t remember “the good old times”. The reason I play it is mostly due to the other people I got to know there. It’s a lot of fun and although I get scared whenever a Tusker or Olthoi approaches me (I’m a scaredy-cat… I know…), I still enjoy my time there, tipping cows, fishing, grinding, and doing other fun stuff! It’s great and I haven’t even touched dungeons all that much, either! 🙂 I’m quite excited about playing some more, but most of the other people are American and hence not in my timezone. Naithin, actually, is a Kiwi and hence also not in my timezone which makes it quite hard for me to play together with them as it’s either late in the night for me or way too early when they’re up and running. And while the game itself certainly is solo-able, it’s a bit more fun with friends…

In Warframe, it’s a bit different. I currently need to level my Limbo, who I’ve finally built. The only reason I wanted to play Limbo was because of him having a top-hat. And while that might be quite superficial… well, it is. There’s no denying that. I still enjoy playing Limbo and it’s a lot of fun to step through the Rift and help allies using it. Right now I’m grinding some missions for the Limbo-levels and I’m trying to get the Neptune-Junction to unlock the “The Second Dream“-quest. If you know of these things, you probably can tell that I’m not that far into Warframe, yet, but I’m getting there eventually! But here’s the catch: While I certainly want to play more Warframe, I just never get to it. I usually end up not having enough time to play because of the patching taking too long – or I’m just too busy with IRL-stuff and me wanting to get the next blog-post out. It’s annoying but at the same time, I want to play more of it.

Children of Morta… well, it’s great. The review’s coming out soon and I do not want to spoil anything or even repeat myself, so I won’t talk about that at all! 

As for League of Legends: I really enjoy TFT (Team Fight Tactics), right now. It’s a lot of fun and I certainly enjoy it more than other Auto-Brawlers BUT lately the meta and the RNG aren’t in my favour, leading to me not enjoying it enough. Hence, I got back to playing more SR-games. 5v5, with friends and/or randoms. Practising top lane. 

That joke and dance are great!

For those of you, that don’t know, I’m a support-main and recently got into playing Mid and Bot Lane again. So, naturally my Jungle and Top aren’t the best, right now, which is why I’m practising that again with some occasional Support-Games to not get too rusty on that side. I’ve played Darius for the first time last week and now have played a total of five games with him, and while he’s not as easy Garen, he’s not too hard either. It’s kind of fun to play someone as beefy as Darius while also dealing tons of damage and still having some weaknesses! Also, his /joke and /dance made me chuckle quite a lot, leading to me actually kind of liking him, even though I feel like a douchebag whenever I play him. But the thing here is that I kind of end up with tons of Support Mains in my friendslist and while I practice all roles, I’m not good at all of them and certainly don’t enjoy all of them. I don’t want to play with Randoms all the time but I also don’t want to get forced or force others into some roles they don’t play, leading to me not playing all that much League, lately. Also, I already got to Gold 4 this season, hence I don’t need to play Ranked any more.

So, yeah. There’s your quick little post about the fact that I can’t decide on what to play and always end up with too little time for certain games, the wrong timezones in other games or other stupid reasons that hinder me from playing. Tomorrow, I’ll try to finish that review on Children of Morta or I’ll finish another draft if the CoM-review takes too long. I hope you enjoyed this little post of mine about my little dilemma of not-knowing-what-to-play. Do you know these situations? 

Anyways, have a nice day! 🙂

Late to the Party #2 – Asheron’s Call

So, the other day Naithin from time to loot posted about Asheron’s Call, a relatively old MMORPG that looked quite interesting and I ended up signing up for it on a private server (it seems) with a nice community. Welcome to Late to the Party #2! This time, it’s about a game that came out in ’99, just like me. 🙂

Look at this friendly fellow! The friendly Lich (or rather Undead) from next-door! 🙂

So, in Asheron’s Call, you basically roam the world of Auberean but you’re only roaming the continent of Dereth which spans around 1000 km². It’s a lovely world that looks quite old-school-ish, I guess, but then again, it is old-school and I’m just a youngster. You create a character at the beginning by selecting one of several heritages and by setting up your “class”, gender, face, body, and skills. What’s interesting is the fact that you don’t have traditional classes but have to use points to invest them into different Attributes:
Primary attributes:
Strength (Muscular power – melee combat damage and carrying
capacity)
Endurance (Healthiness – affects Health and Stamina)
Coordination (Character reflexes – no idea what it does but my mage
has no need for it anyway)
Quickness (Agility, I guess – it basically determines how fast you run
and attack in combat)
Focus (Ability Power – the more focus, the better you perform at magic
and other mental skills)
Self (Willpower – affects your mana)

As for points, I went for a Battle Mage (as Naithin, a pro at AC, recommended it to me), using 10/100/10/10/100/100 for my primary attributes – or rather a side recommends that but I put fewer points into Endurance and more into Strength so that I can carry more items.

The Secondary attributes, Health, Stamina, Mana, can be increased later on, manually, with experience points.

I’m sexy and I know it. – I mean, I’m quite hot, right? Like, literally on fire.

My Battle Mage specializes in War and Life Magic. War Magic is my damage, basically, while Life Magic is used to buff myself. There’s a way to basically create infinite mana. When I’m low on mana and health, I just heal myself, then use “Stamina to Mana IV” to convert half my Stamina to Mana, then I use a bit of my Mana to cast “Revitalize Self IV”, leading to me gaining more Stamina again. After that, I cast “Stamina to Mana IV” again, gaining nearly full Mana back at the cost of Stamina which regenerates automatically. Afterwards, I use “Revitalize Self IV” again and got more Stamina again and only am at 212/220 Mana again (basically full). This is made possible due to my Mana Conversion-Skill that makes my spells more efficient and lets me use them while using less Mana. “Revitalize Self IV” replenishes my Stamina by quite a lot while costing me 30 Mana but with Mana-Conversion, I’m gaining more Stamina but lose less Mana, leading to me having basically infinite amounts of Mana.

Even as an Undead Mage, I’m still welcome in Holtburg!

I really like “strategies” like this (though I’d consider it an exploit, even though the server-admin told me that it’s meant to be this way).
Speaking of the server-admin, spigot, he’s quite a friendly guy. I talked to a few people on the server yesterday and they all are really cool and quite friendly, even when I’m a complete newbie to the game. It was interesting to see them engage with me even though I’m a complete noob. They brought me to different dungeons where I was able to kill enemies while still gaining a considerable amount of experience points without dying. To prevent me from dying, they also used buffing-spells on me, making me quite resilient! It was really enjoyable to grind those small dungeons while talking to all these guys on their discord server.

If you’d like to join Naithin and me on that server, I’ve linked Naithin’s post above and will link the Reddit-post here as well, though it’s also linked on Naithin’s post. I highly recommend reading Naithin’s post as it’s well written, as always, and quite fun to read 🙂

I soon will post again about this game as I highly enjoyed it and as there’s a lot more to discover about it but for the time being I’ll leave it here since I’m running low on time… I’ve only levelled to Level 26, so far, and I’m nowhere near the level I’d like to be at! 🙂 But yeah, there’s more to come soon! The next few posts being about my journey for the fishing rod, cow tipping and other fun things I did. 😀

Have a nice day! 🙂

Atayot!

Indietail – The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands

In today’s Indietail, we’ll take a look at The Bonfire: Forsaken Landsa game that I bought for two bucks and while I really want to like it, there’s some flaws that I can’t overlook. Stay tuned for a review on The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands!

Developer: Xigma Games
Publisher: Xigma Games
Genres: 2D, Strategy, Survival, Simulation
Release Date: March 9th, 2018
Reviewed on: PC
Available for: PC, Androids, iOs
Copy was purchased

In The Bonfire, you’re a wanderer from distant lands who settles down and starts chopping some wood. There’s some background story to it but I haven’t really understood it for the past few playthroughs. The game has a few different menus: Actions, Build, Craft, Workers.

You’ve got one character that you control by selecting an action to do, like chopping wood to get some wood. This takes a lot of time, usually, but once you’ve managed to get your hands on a few pieces of wood (I guess), you’re able to build a Bonfire which then will attract wanderers that then can work for you. 

Good job! You can now attract other wanders!

In the Build-menu the different buildings, you’re able to build, are listed. That includes farms, mines, huts, and other buildings to get more resources and workers. Once you build the first buildings, the next ones are available. For instance, you need food at the beginning and therefore have to build a farm first to nurture your workers. Afterwards, you can build an Iron Mine to craft iron tools and improve your workers’ efficiency. After that, there’re sheep-herding, a tannery, coal mines, steelworks, a shipyard and other buildings for other jobs and resources.

Your additional workers can be assigned to different jobs via the workers-menu, while you still can work at the different places via action-menu. Workers will collect those materials automatically and bring them to your shed, one by one, day by day. Once they’re exhausted or once dusk arrives, they’ll head to the sheds or huts to go to sleep. During the night, you’re still able to work on your own since you apparently don’t need any sleep at all. 

After a bloody fight, I got to defend the village against the demonic beasts!

Here comes another mechanic into the game, though: During the night, monsters appear that try to kill your “villagers” aka workers. They range from wolves to giant spiders (ugh!) and even deer-monsters. After you managed to kill them, you’re able to skin them for leather, gems and other materials (it seems to be random). To combat these monsters at night, you can also make wanderers guard the village at night. When they’re guards, they can’t work during the day but will stay awake at night and fight the beasts. However, this requires you to craft a torch per guard. 

That’s where I’d like to introduce items. As already mentioned, there’s the crafting-menu where you’re able to craft items for your work-efficiency. By crafting a cart (10 wood), your workers can carry more resources before returning to the shed instead of getting, e.g., one wood, bringing it back to the shed, going back to the woods, chopping another piece of wood and repeat. Instead, they chop five pieces of wood before they return to empty their cart. There’s the torch for one piece of wood that is needed for guards. There are iron tools, later one, that improve the work speed and also allow you to clear paths to the coast. Later on, you’ll need to upgrade your guards’ gear, too, as the few guards, equipped with wooden spears and torches, won’t deal enough damage to the enemy hordes. Instead, you’ll give them iron or even steel swords and armour. 

What I really liked about the game was its simplicity and the fact that there are still a few mechanics that require strategy. The atmosphere is great and overall the game feels quite relaxed. You later unlock trading, research, dungeon crawling and now and then you even encounter mysterious wanderers that need food and tell you stories in return or reward you with equip. At some point, however, you notice the game’s flaws.

My town is growing!

For instance, you can’t upgrade the protagonist. You’re able to give carts, tools and armour to everyone else but not use those yourselves? At some point, you’re short on wood or iron or something else and you click on that “mine iron” or “chop wood” button to only bring back one wood or one iron each time, which gets quite annoying. You’re not able to click on some “repeat until” or “repeat forever” button and let it run on for a bit but instead have to click on that button again and again and again. Quite repetitive. Also you can’t work at the tannery or the coal mines or somewhere else and only are limited to three to five options.

And you can’t get more efficient at it. There are workers with different traits like “Strong”, “Honest”, “Wise”, “Quick Footwork”, “Hardworking”, and others but there is no explanation for those traits and there are no bad traits, either. Sure, hardworking is good for workers, I get that. Strong is really good for warriors (that don’t protect your town btw), brave is nice to have on guards but I have no clue if I’d rather have a wise or an honest trader. Also, in the beginning, I thought that “Quick Footwork” would make them walk faster, like in Grim Nights but it doesn’t. It seems like it’s just good for Scouts, which is quite disappointing, to be honest. 

Another flaw that I noticed was the material-list. You can’t move around the UI like in Banished at all and while the presentation of the game with its snowstorms and the snowy lands and all that is quite pretty, you sometimes can’t see your material list at all.  Having it on a grey or darker background and just on the side of the screen instead of the top half of your monitor, would have been quite smart and handy. Instead, at nights, I’ll just have to guess what resources I’ve got and what not. 

Here’s my shipyard and my coal mine but due to the stormy weather and all the fog, the white material list can’t be seen all that well. There’re occasions of snow storms that make it even worse to see and there are no ways to customize its colour or anything at all.

Speaking of the UI, changing jobs is a pain in the butt! You need a few different clicks in a menu that sometimes assignes jobs while you’re scrolling through the horizontal list of jobs. Afterwards you’ve got to re-asign stuff like pickaxes, carts, axes and other items. It would’ve been better if they just autoassigned those.

There are also other UI-choices that I can’t really support like the dungeon crawling having the retreat-button on the left, even when you’re travelling from right to left (which in my brain doesn’t make sense, leading to me pressing on “retreat” instead of “forward”, hence leaving a dungeon instead of proceeding).

The sound-design is horrible, too. The music is the same track all over again on days and a different one for combat. Sound and Music are often way too loud but you’re only able to turn it on or off in the settings. Once dusk arrives, you’ve got some time to work, still, before the beasts of the nights let out their demonic screech and visit your village for some tea with blood and sugar, as well as some villager-scones. That screech is even louder than the usual sounds. It’s so badly mixed that it’s too loud, even with it turned to the lowest settings in my windows sound mixer. 

And for disclaimer purposes, I’d like to say that I don’t want to trash the game or anything but I personally find these flaws so annoying that I don’t really want to play the game for more than an hour or two..
When I bought the game, it was only 2€ but they raised it to ten bucks now, which is outrageous for a game with only three hours worth of gameplay and this many flaws. I still enjoyed the game for a bit for its “city-building”-aspects, I guess, but I would never have bought it for the ten bucks it costs now. It has its good sides but there’re some aspects and flaws that I can’t overlook when it comes to a review like this.

The dungeon crawling – “Retreat” shouldn’t be on the left when you’re moving “forward” to the left, in my opinion. Other than that quite interesting..

So, in the end, I can’t recommend this game at full price.

If you’re in it for the experience, wait for a sale to come and buy it for two bucks or so. And, as I said, I want to like the game but I can’t fully recommend it because of the poor execution, the horrible sound issues, the repetitive gameplay, the bad boss-fight at the end (that I haven’t even touched here btw) and all that.

BUT the sequel is in the works and it’s going for a rather isometric style with a different UI and some more city building-like aspects. From what I’ve seen it looks a lot better and less problematic, hence, I’m quite interested in that one and will probably do a review on that, too. I don’t want to bash that one but the dev seems to be quite excited about that one, too.

Anyways, have a nice one!