Tag Archives: 9 Months In

2014 Game Completed Comics, #10 – 9 Months In

2014 games completed 10 - 9 months in facebook

Every videogame that I complete in 2014 will now get its very own wee comic here on Grinding Down. It’s about time I fused my art with my unprofessional games journalism. I can’t guarantee that these comics will be funny or even attempt to be funny. Or look the same from one to another. Some might even aim for thoughtfulness. Comics are a versatile form, so expect the unexpected.

See the horrors of prison life with 9 Months In

9 months in final thoughts

Premise-wise, 9 Months In was the point-and-click game from the AGS Bake Sale bundle that I was most interested in. See, you play as…dang, I can’t recall her name. Or even find out via the Internet because there’s not a lot of coverage for it. Maybe she never had a name, I don’t know. Let’s call her…Anna, a very much pregnant woman stuck in prison, with only a few days left until her due date. That’s not the date she’ll hit parole, but rather the date her baby will bust free from its own metaphoric jail. At the start of the game, she wakes up in her cell just like she has every other day of her sentence, except her roommate Susie is dead, strangled in her bed sometime overnight. Naturally, everyone blames her, and so she must do what she can to clear her name, and all that before her water breaks.

So yeah, that’s fantastic. No, really. I dig it. A murder mystery in jail starring your less-than-standard main character type. It’s probably something we might even see on the next season of Orange is the New Black, which is a lovely original show on Netflix starring one of the most diverse cast I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. Here, have some fanart. Also, if what I know about prison life is true in that show, then most of these inmates should be in beige-colored uniforms, not the newbie orange. But yeah, I digress. I’d totally take this kind of plot over another “escape this bedroom” kind of adventure game any day of the week.

Unfortunately, 9 Months In, as a game, is simply mediocre–and just barely. Surprisingly, there’s voice acting, but it’s mockingly bad and stiffer than a piece of wood. Dialogue is read out loud in a stilted, expressionless tone of voice, which leaves much to the imagination, but that might’ve been more successful if there had been no VO to begin with. The puzzles are pretty easy to figure out and see from a distance, like the mop in the closet and putting something in the officer’s cup of coffee. You only pick up a limited number of items, and there’s really only so many rooms you can explore in a locked facility. There’s also a big problem with the speed of Anna’s walking, which is glacier-like, and you can’t double-click to skip to the next room, a feature that newer adventure games are spoiling me with. Moving from the basketball court to the showers feels like a literal journey.

Choices matter, and that’s why pregnant Anna is in jail. And choices continue to matter in 9 Months In, as there are multiple endings to the game based on the decisions you’ve been making along the way. A score counter in the top corner of the UI lets you know how close you are to getting 100 out of 100, which I assume is the good ending. Alas, I completed the game somewhere around 87, which resulted in a conclusion felt rushed in order to finish the game in time for promotion. The story’s resolution, through bad voicework and unclear writing, left me wanting more. A solid explanation. Anything. At least a nice song plays during the credits, but otherwise, this was just okay.

So yeah, a bit of a bummer. 9 Months In sounded really cool, but doesn’t do its subject material justice. Guess I just need to hold out hope for an OITNB adventure game Kickstarter.

Finally got around to that bundle of AGS Bake Sale games

Bake Sale games roundup

Hmm. I can’t believe this, but I’ve searched and searched Grinding Down‘s archives, and it seems like I never made a single dedicated post about the AGS Bake Sale, which was a pay-what-you-want gathering of 14 adventure games made with the Adventure Game Studio program by members of its community, with all proceeds going to Child’s Play. Really now, shame on me.

At the time of purchase, I snatched the bundle up eagerly and excitedly, but quickly ran into problems running many of the games on my Windows-based laptop. Alas, I didn’t really try many other methods or even understand the way you could change compatibility and run in windowed frames via the winsetup executable, so I mostly forgot about the slew of games, left to collect digital dust in my videogames folder for…well, nearly two years on the dot (bought the bundle in late January 2012).

The good news is that, lately, I’ve made some great strides in going through my backlog of downloaded games, especially those from the AGS Bake Sale bundle, which, if you didn’t know, are all of the following:

  • 9 Months In
  • Abner the Amazing
  • Barn Runner: The Rich Dame Who Cut the Cheese
  • Ben Chandler, Paranormal Investigator – In Search of the Sweets Tin
  • Entrapment
  • Escape the Barn
  • Falling Skywards
  • Fragment
  • Indiana Rodent and the Raiders of the Lost Cheese
  • The Rail
  • RAM Ghost
  • Red Volition
  • Retina
  • Zombie Attack

Let’s get the lame stuff out of the way, and here’s all the games that I couldn’t get running on my machine, no matter all the different tactics that I tried: Barn Runner: The Rich Dame Who Cut the Cheese, Entrapment, Indiana Rodent and the Raiders of the Lost Cheese, and The Rail. So that’s extremely unfortunate. There’s probably nothing more irritating than buying a game and not being able to play it, which is why I am very selective with my Steam purchases and mostly play everything I can on my consoles. I’ve tried looking up alternate solutions on the forums, but I’m really not tech savvy at all, and so I can only accomplish so much.

Two games that did work just fine on my flip-floppy ASUS laptop unfortunately didn’t hold my attention for very long: Abner the Amazing and Red Volition. The former has a strange look to it, with some tedious pacing, and the latter is too much red. No, I kid about that. There’s some maroon and pink in there to boot. I just didn’t know what to do in the thing and eventually wandered away.

Haven’t attempted to install and run the following: RAM Ghost, Retina, and Zombie Attack. Eventually I will, but I’m not gonna hold my or your breath, as it seems like my computer only likes a really specific type of AGS game and refuses to work with anything else. Oh well..

So, that leaves us with 9 Months In, Ben Chandler, Paranormal Investigator – In Search of the Sweets Tin, Escape the Barn, Falling Skywards, and Fragment. All of which I’ve played and beaten. You may all now toss your handfuls of confetti high into the sky. It might not surprise you that three of those five games have some kind of Ben Chandler involvement, whether he helped make them or is, in fact, the main character, a lost soul searching for his sweet tins. Yeah, that was a weird one to play. But anyways, this entire post is basically to say that you can expect some kind of Grinding Down coverage of these specific games over the next week or so, though I think this comic I did for Escape the Barn sums up that relatively short and straightforward game enough. Forwards, I go.