Got too many games? Fear not, here’s more!

At this point, thirty minutes ago, StuffedWombat, the developer of Gutwhale, asked on Twitter what long term effect this 1000+ game bundle will have on the people that will buy games/that have big gaming backlogs already… and well,… here’s my answer to that.

When I speak of “this bundle” I mean the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality that the itch.io people put together featuring tons of great games and other lesser-known titles. For the next few days, you get about 1637 items by 1304 creators at a price of $5… instead of a regular price of $9,083. For only five bucks you can not only support the charity but also unlock DRM-free copies of MidBoss, Night of the Consumers, Odd Realm, Beacon, A Short Hike, Celeste, Overland, Night in the Woods, Long Gone Days, Tonight We Riot, Catlateral Damage, Nuclear Throne, Minit, Death and Taxes, OneShot, The Stillness of the Wind, a bunch of RPG assets, Fossil Hunters, Last Word, Crest, Pyre, Mon-Cuties for All, Octodad, and many more! 

There are a ton of titles in there that I’ve got wishlisted on steam for a while now or that I’ve seen screenshots of over on Twitter and that I wanted to review for my blog and now I’ve got them all… for five bucks. Sure, I own a lot of them already and some of these titles (like the RPG maker assets) are probably not going to get installed any time soon… but regardless of that there’s a ton of value in this package as well as a great cause as all proceeds will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Community Bail Fund split 50/50! Isn’t that lovely?

But now, back to the original post idea: StuffedWombat (jokingly) said that people won’t buy any small games any time soon as they already have so much to play, which leads to the question of if that’s true. 

I personally have a fixed budget for each month that gets spent on free-time-activities, be it new books, games, going out with friends or games. With the lockdown being a thing “going out with friends” is not much of an option for me personally and with my backlog of books being a thing and exams coming around the corner, I don’t really need new books, to be honest, so naturally, I spend a lot of it on these kinds of things. This month, for instance, I’ve purchased this bundle, used my twelve bucks on Humble Choice, and bought Sea of Thieves, so that leaves me with little to nothing else.

By limiting myself to a certain amount of money I don’t get to go on these spending-sprees when the different sales are around the corner, like the upcoming Steam Summer Sale.

…and since I didn’t spend all that much last month, I decided to donate twenty bucks to the Trevor Project as part of our recent charity-stream and donate some money to some other projects. I feel like that’s a good cause and ever since I quit smoking two months ago, I’ve got more money available for games, which is a good thing. It’s a bit of a motivational thing. 

Now that I own this bundle, I obviously won’t need to spend too much money on titles in this bundle, right?

Well,… technically yes. I guess I won’t have to buy titles like Pyre or Tonight We Riot as I already own them… but I kind of want to also have them on Steam, if that makes sense?

Nuclear Throne, for instance, was one of my first purchases on Steam. Regardless of that, I also own it on the Epic Game Store and (now) twice on itch.io thanks to huge bundles. Do I need this game four times? No. Is it worth it? Hell yes. It was free on Epic Games but Epic Games doesn’t feature a lot of the features that I like in Steam like Achievements or INGAME SCREENSHOTS, FFS. WHY THE FUCK IS THAT NOT A THING YET? – sorry, I lost my composure. 

And well, itch.io is something I browse now and then, but I haven’t made any purchases on here apart from the bundle for racial justice and equality as well as the COVID-relief bundle. 

And there are still plenty of games on my steam-wishlist like Firewatch that I really want to play someday that we don’t have in this game yet. If it ends up to be in the upcoming steam summer sale, I’ll happily grab it if my funds allow it. And that although I already own 700+ unplayed games. I’m already spending a lot less on games and my backlog is shrinking slowly (if you don’t look at the pile of 1000+ games from itch.io that I now have) but regardless of that there will be times where I’ll buy releases that I find interesting, simply for the sake of owning and eventually playing them. 

Of course, eventually, I’ll have to limit the funds that I can spend on free-time-activities. When I have to deal with taxes and kids and pets and stuff, I’ll have different priorities. When I have a cat, I reckon that that cat will get a separate set of funds dedicated to its food and toys and whatever… and whenever I need to, I’ll reassign the game-funds to it or my food-funds or whatever. Yup, sounds like a fool-proof plan to me. Obviously, the game-funds would have to decrease… but I’d also have a job then, so that’d mean… more money! Maybe I’ll be able to work through my backlog and review more games, that way, but for now, I think my limited funds are alright. It’s an alright measure. 

And to get back on track, people will always spend money on games. Even if some of us will spend less in the future, we will still spend now and then and support the (Indie) Game industry in one way or another. 

And that’s fine. I doubt that any devs will have to fear that they’ll go extinct eventually. And I’m sure among all the hoarders and buyers there’s plenty of indie game promoters that have to buy games to get their blog posts and youtube videos and whatever out, so at least those will fuel that ever-raging and never-ending fire called the “backlog”. 

Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. It’s a bit of a silly prompt, I guess, but I wanted to give my two cents to the topic and also mention that I plan on getting a cat once I’m done with my studies. Lovely. 

I wish you a wonderful day. 

Cheers!

Indietail – Gutwhale

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be inside of a giant whale? Or what it’s like to manage your inventory properly if you only have one spot? Or have you ever thought about the possibility that a van is currently chasing you… from ABOVE?!

Well, if you didn’t really know what I want from you with any of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place! After all, we’re looking at the newly released arcade-ish rogue-lite-title “Gutwhale”!

Developer: Stuffed Wombat, Franrekkk (Art), Britt Brady (OST)
Publisher: Stuffed Wombat
Genre: 2D, Action, Indie, Roguelike
Release Date: April 6, 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
I got a review-key for this game by the dev.

At the beginning of March, Josh from Stuffed Wombat was fired from his job due to the Corona-Virus-outbreak, so he started developing this game. In the game, you essentially engage in a gameplay-loop where you dive into the whale’s gut and have to shoot enemies with your gun and die when you run out of lives. Your gun only holds one bullet at the time, so when it hits a wall or enemy, it bounces off and you’ll have to pick it up again before you’re able to shoot again. The enemies either move, jump or shoot at you as well, resulting in a little bit of a bullet-hell-feel that I overall found rather enjoyable.

Patience is key

If you die and your bullet is still on the ground, you may use it in the next life as well, which leads to strategy-opportunities. Each area or biome is divided into different levels where you need to clear all the enemies. Using arrows, the enemies of the next level below you are indicated to you so that you can position yourself in a good position.

Despite the in-your-face-techno kind of music that is blasting your ears in a rather fast manner that was created by Britt Brady (known for the Gato Roboto soundtrack), the game actually requires a lot of patience. I guess you can rush into the fights without any strategy at all but in my case, it never worked out and I got a bit frustrated. Not at the game but at myself for not doing what I wanted to do: Not Die.

You have to patiently wait for enemies to move a certain way and you have to position yourself accordingly, aim steadily and know when to move fast and when to wait for a second and reconsider your next move. Sure, the game may be a tiny bit fast-paced when you’re getting swarmed by four frogs at once or when it suddenly turned into a bullet hell game with all the mushrooms shooting at you… but it still punishes you for being overaggressive, which I found rather enjoyable.

The artstyle is…. gutsy?

Frankrekkk did a great job to portray the inside of a whale. It’s very red and it almost feels as moist as I’d imagine a gut to be… The enemies also come in a bit of variety with new enemies for each area and new patterns for their movement. There are small jellyfish that chase you around in the first level alongside mushrooms that are shooting bullets at you and small whales eating away at the blocks that stand before you. Down below, in the next bigger area, you’ll find a lot of skeleton foes that move based on your movement while there’s tankier enemies further below that hit hard and are able to take more than just one or two hits.

Overall, I didn’t get too far into the game yet. It’s mostly just this one frame away and I always get a bit too tilted when I play Gutwhale as I just am not really good at it. Regardless of that, I made it to the third area and nearly have beaten it… and I’ve unlocked new hats that unlock new modifiers for your gameplay like getting more points (that then can be spent on extra lives or extra bullets) but also only having one life or like replacing all enemies with frogs… or like having a high jump… and all of these hats and modifiers make the game not necessarily easier… they just change it up a bit keeping the difficulty and bringing something new to the table so that you can enjoy this finite rogue-like-experience for a ton of time.

Overall, I’d say that Gutwhale is a great game. The art style, music and gameplay are completely satisfactory but there are some issues that may get fixed in the future (the game just came out after all):

In the settings, the game gives you “options” but not really options. You’re able to play in “Fullscreen”, “Smollscreen” and “Bigscreen”, which is amusing at first but it gets rather annoying when you don’t have the option of turning on Borderless Windowed or change the resolution at all. Similar problem with the sound: Sure, the soundtrack is nice… but being able to either turn it on, off or have someone whistle, isn’t really helpful. The game is really blasting the music into your ears and generally, I find it rather annoying when I cannot turn down some of the volume settings or the brightness or anything like that.

I get it. These settings are supposed to be for entertainment only and stuff but “serious settings ON/OFF” would be a nice setting to have as well where you have these joke-settings on “on” and normal %-volume-settings for sound and music and brightness and everything else, too, on “off”. At first, I found them fun and even chuckled at them but over time it just got annoying, though I guess that you can either turn everything off or you use the computer’s audio mixer for it.

Apart from these issues with the settings, I didn’t encounter any other flaws or bugs or whatever and really enjoyed the game. Sure, it can be frustrating sometimes but I never felt like the game killed me. It always was my over-eagerness or my impatience or a false input.

Hence, I do recommend the game. For four bucks on Steam it’s a grab that is absolutely worth it, so check it out if you enjoyed this review.

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!