Tag Archives: freeware

2017 Game Review Haiku, #18 – Overcursed


Ghost-hunter hired
Begins with points, clicks, outlets
Ends on massacre

I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I can’t believe I’ll ever stop. These game summaries in chunks of five, seven, and five syllable lines paint pictures in the mind better than any half a dozen descriptive paragraphs I could ever write. Trust me, I’ve tried. Brevity is the place to be. At this point, I’ve done over 200 of these things and have no plans of slowing down. So get ready for another year of haikus. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

The BackDoor series is unpredictable, except for the puzzles


The BackDoor series, which comes from a creator called SolarVagrant and so far consists of two games, namely Door 1: The Call and Door 2: The Job, is a small thing, with large ambitions. To me, especially with adventure games, that’s good. Respectable and well-intended. After all, Sequoioideae redwoods start as just a seed in the ground. Blackwell Legacy from Wadjet Eye Games and Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! both started small, in humble territory, but contained more than enough material and ideas to burgeon into larger, more mainstream experiences. I think, with enough time, this too could become a series you hear about more often. Naturally, I’m getting ahead of myself, so on with the summaries.

For Door 1: The Call, you begin as a young man…falling. After what seems like far too much falling, you find yourself in a strange house. The only person who might know what is truly going on is a mysterious individual who contacts you over the phone…or might actually be the phone, seeing that it talks to you and has sharp, untrustworthy teeth where the number buttons are. Turns out, this strange house is on the moon. Your best plan of attack for now is to escape, and that means solving puzzles by finding items, combining them correctly, and examining everything in the environment to use them on. Pretty standard stuff, save for the part about being on the moon and trapped between different dimensions.

For Door 2: The Job, things pick up immediately where the previous game left off, which, for a sequel to a 2013 release, is great for me playing them back-to-back, but others might have forgotten some details, especially like why some items are still there in your inventory. No biggie. Through more guidance from your phone friend/foe, you find yourself in a strange city of a robots. You are tasked with finding a specific robot called Aert, and you’ll know him by his unique scarf. Along the way, you’ll interact with a number of other robots–some more friendly those humans than others– in this familiar city hub and do the traditional thing of collecting items and using them just right to solve puzzles. Eventually you learn that Aert is kidnapped by a gang of goons for the sole purpose of tricking his girlfriend to date the leader.

The first game is obviously much smaller in scope and mechanics. Door 2: The Job really feels like something grander, with colorful characters and world-building and plenty of things to interact with and examine. Let’s call the experienced…enriched. I felt more invested in my tasks, such as catching a rat, fixing machinery, or tricking the shopkeeper to sell to a smelly, untrustworthy human, even if I couldn’t follow the larger, outer layer plotline all that much. Maybe whatever Door 3 ends up being will explain why this animated phone is dictating your duties and mocking you all at the same time.

Many of the puzzles in Door 1: The Call and, much more so, in Door 2: The Job are pretty obvious. From a solution standpoint. For example, you find a locked ventilation shaft grate and know that you’ll need to get by it somehow. You need something to take the screws off. The rub is figuring out how to accomplish that task. Some puzzles even require a bit of trial and error, especially the time-based ones right near the end. Thankfully, when you fail them, the game resets to a checkpoint in the previous room, so it is not too punishing, save for wasting time.

Visually, not too much has changed from Door 1: The Call to Door 2: The Job, and that’s okay. There are stylized and entertaining cutscenes. The pixel art, especially the character portraits, reminds me greatly of Cave Story, and the city, while not huge, does have a personality and some areas to explore. Also, the color palette seems to have switched from soft blues to light yellows, browns, and greens. Don’t let the screenshot at the top of this post fool you as I had to mess with its color to get my large, blocky white letters to read well on top of it. Regardless, while it might be some time until we see Door 3: [Subtitle], I’m eagerly looking forward to it. That said, I’ll never trust an anthropomorphic telephone.

The Temple of No holds a map that sees all things that ever have been or will be (but in map form)

gd final impressions the temple of no

The Temple of No is the first Twine game I’ve ever played. How do I know that, other than being me and knowing everything I do except for the hours when I’m asleep and dreaming about drowning in an ocean of spicy tuna sushi rolls? Well, for starters, I had to look up the definition of Twine before beginning the game. Evidently, when it comes to videogames, it means this: Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. Basically, HTML-driven code that’s perfect for choose-your-own-adventure models, so long as it is inside a browser. I think you can pick your browser.

And that’s sort of what The Temple of No is, except it is more interested in breaking the fourth wall and ensuring you know that you are not the protagonist of the game than sticking to a structured narrative. The story is based on choice, and so you can either be a man, woman, or frog in search of a “map that sees all things that ever have been or will be (but in map form).” Yeah, y’know. Like the Marauder’s Map, but turned up to eleven. This amusing little jaunt is written by The Stanley Parable’s William Pugh and features gorgeous illustration work by Dominik Johann. Crows Crows Crows, the studio behind the equally free and interesting Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist, are also behind The Temple of No.

Despite its understandably short length, I only went through The Temple of No once. Sure, sure, I’m probably missing out on a ton of jokes and maybe even more bits of delicious, storybook-esque artwork, but when a game is driven by choice–in this case, what words I click on and in what order–I can’t help but see these decisions as firm and final. I followed the man of the story as he worked his way through the jungle and into the temple in search of the map. In my mind, I can’t simply undo that history to see what would have gone differently with the frog character despite being a huge fan of Chrono Trigger‘s Frog design. Psst: if you played through as the woman or frog, tell me a bit about their stories in the comments below. Okay, thanks, bye.

The writing is good and amusingly smart in places, though I did spot a few grammatical errors. Nothing major, just a missing period or word that was lowercased that probably should be capped. Since the game is heavy on text, it is important that the writing be strong, captivating. I found the clicking of words and timing of audio cues to be enjoyable, and there’s one bit where a man begins talking to himself…for a very long time. I eventually cut him off, but I do wonder just how long it goes on for. Regardless, that’s some solid dedication for a joke, but that’s what makes The Temple of No special. There’s great care behind it.

I guess I’ll have to keep my eyes open for future Twine games, as well as whatever comes next from Crows Crows Crows. I really do dig their aesthetic and versatility.

Abobo’s Big Adventure is a risible romp through the NES era

AbobosBigAdventure001 gd impressions

I’m now at the point that I no longer remember where I download these strange little games. Could be a random website, some sort of bundle, or even just a blog post pointing me to something interesting. I just stumble across them in my “videogames” folder on my desktop days, weeks, and months later, with new names popping up left and right, often giving me pause. Maybe I accidentally fed one after midnight, and now they are spreading like wildfire, threatening to take over my time with so-called bigger games, despite many of these wee indie oddballs working a thousand times better than anything produced by an actual studio these days. Mm-hmm. Still annoyed about that.

Thankfully, Abobo’s Big Adventure helped put a smile on my face and keep me distracted while Dragon Age: Inquisition continued to fold in upon itself. And that’s surprising, because, while I appreciate the NES for what it was and still is today, I have little nostalgia for it. I never had one as a wee boy, though some neighbors did; videogaming didn’t truly happen for me until that Christmas morning when I unwrapped a Super Nintendo, which came pre-packed with a copy of Super Mario World. That said, Abobo’s Big Adventure is a loving tribute to the NES era, and I get a lot of the references and sprites and winking nods, but there’s also some more obscure elements zipping right on by. It’s an odd mix of old and new, but is thankfully a ton of fun to play, even rekindling my desire to trek through the original Legend of Zelda.

For those that don’t know–and I didn’t know upon starting up this free Flash game–Abobo comes from Double Dragon, appearing multiple times, often as a boss character. I played some Double Dragon in my early days, but this character never stood out to me; I guess the developers behind Abobo’s Big Adventure felt otherwise, thrusting him upon a quest to rescue his son, the hilariously named Aboboy. To do this, Abobo must travel through eight different levels, all themed to a classic NES title. I got as far as the one based around Mega Man, but more on that soon.

The controls are very simple, though they obviously change a bit from level to level. Basically, you move with the arrow keys and execute techniques with “A” and “S,” giving you the sensation of using an NES controller in terms of complexity. You can fill up a meter and tap both A and S together for a special move of sorts. Abobo’s actions change with each level, going from fighting goons in scummy alleyways to exploring a top-down dungeon to floating right to left thanks to some helium-pumped balloons. Abobo’s Big Adventure does a good job of mimicking how these old games looked and played, while also infusing them with modern mechanics and less-than-inspired teenage-level humor. Yup, looking at you, penis-shaped Zelda dungeon map. It’s probably silly to call this out in 2014, but the built-in Achievements system is quite flashy and reminded me of the days when Achievements were designed to be fun, rewarding, and experimental. After reading some descriptions, I went back and got a few out-of-the-way ones.

Much like their original counterparts, some parts of Abobo’s Big Adventure are tough, real challenges of skill. This mostly relates to the boss battles, such as the Old Man in the Zelda-themed one, but I found the entire Balloon Fight flight to be a tough grind, as well as the underwater level. The difficulty became too much once I hit the Mega Man level, which features everyone’s favorite off-screen laser beams to narrowly avoid. If you’ll recall, I’ve never been even mediocre at Mega Man games, and so, after multiple attempts of trying to take down the second form of the boss here, I’ve walked away. The keyboard’s not cutting it. And that’s okay. I got through most of Abobo’s Big Adventure, had a pretty good time, and saw plenty; I can’t imagine what comes later is too surprising, though I might find a Let’s Play to see what the last few levels act like.

While games like Shovel Knight and Axiom Verge are obviously deeply inspired by the classics from gaming’s so-called Golden Age, Abobo’s Big Adventure is them. Just slightly warped and more accessible. If you’re itching for something kind of like an NES game, but also not, I say give this a go. Watch out for that damaging TMNT seaweed in the underwater level though.

You fear to go into those Spelunky mines

beat olmec in spelunky GD

Let’s get real: I’ve only been playing Spelunky for about two weeks and some change now, nearly daily, attempting at least one or two runs. Originally, I had no interest in the game, as it came across as maybe too punishing to be considered fun, and so I always kept my attention elsewhere. But then Patrick at Giant Bomb began playing, streaming his daily attempts to escape the mines, dive deeper down, and get better at the numerous mechanics and tricks, and it was actually quite interesting to watch. Kind of like a horror film, where it’s fine and dandy to watch someone else put themselves into a tough and trying situation, only because it is not you, and you can just kick back and absorb.

What is Spelunky, you ask, not knowing? Well, it’s an indie action-adventure game created by Derek Yu that has you running through caves, collecting treasure, and saving damsels for a high score and an attempt at beating the boss Olmec. It originally started as freeware in 2009, getting remade for consoles and the PC years later. The trick here is that the dungeon levels are randomly generated each and every time, and you only get one shot at it, though there are ways to increase your health and gain a second life. Traps are deadly, enemies are tough and quite unpredictable, and don’t even try stealing the idol in the jungle levels unless you have enough bombs to reach safety.

Some runs in Spelunky last around twenty minutes, and some are over in mere seconds. Like an endless runner á la Temple Run 2 and Jetpack Joyride, the “one more go” mentality is strong here. Very strong. Every death is your fault, and there’s always something to be learned for your next spelunking sojourn. Next time you’ll know that you can’t fall from that specific height, that you can’t jump on the walking Venus fly trap enemies, that bees should just be avoided at all costs, and so on. Visually, the game comes across as quite simple, and that’s even more noticeable when you compare the freeware version with the updated console versions, as not many details change, but things obviously get prettier. That said, this is one of the most complex and strategy-heavy games I’ve played in a long, long time.

I’ve beaten Olmec once. And it happened quite fortuitously. See, there’s this fellow called Tunnel Man who you meet when traveling from one themed group of levels to another. Such as exiting the mines and reaching the jungle. And he can open up shortcuts to these worlds if you give him specific items, like two bombs or a shotgun. However, to open the final shortcut to the temple, you have to bring the gold key you find in the mines all the way with you through the mines, jungle, and ice caves, and it’s no easy thing. Or at least I thought it was going to be grueling. Er, I did it on my first attempt. Even crazier is that after I gave the Tunnel Man his shortcut-opening item I finished the temple levels and got to the final boss, all wide-eyed in wonder and disbelief.

Let’s see. What else can I say about Spelunky? Dat music. Now, you can never really hang around too long in each singular level, as a ghost shows up that can one-hit kill you, so you are trying to move through the world at a speedy–but safe–clip, and that means you’re unfortunately missing out on some fantastic tunes. Everyone will be most familiar with the songs for the mines, and they are moody and down-tempo, with elements taken from jazz and all things 1990s. That jingle that plays when you anger a shopkeeper is both awesome and terrifying. The game’s soundtrack, which you can listen to here, is written and produced by Eirik Suhrke, with some additional friends helping out here and there.

Despite beating Olmec, I’m nowhere near done with Spelunky. Not one lick. First of all, there’s a second secret boss called Yama, and to get to Yama requires a lot of specific steps, and you can’t mess up one of them. It seems tough, but practice makes perfect, and I’m going to at least try. First I have to reach the City of Gold and then Hell. Hmm. But I’m also playing the game on the PlayStation 3, which has Daily Challenges, singular runs where the goal is to get the highest amount of treasure, and leaderboards nicely show how all your friends stack up against you. I’ve recently added a ton of Giant Bomb users to my friends list, which makes this feature much more enticing than when it was just me by my lonesome. And who knows–maybe one day I’ll tackle a solo eggplant run?

The Half-hour Hitbox: January 2014

jan 2014 hitbox spelunky top pic

I know, I know. Technically, the month isn’t over, but I really don’t see myself dabbling in anything new over the next two or three days, and so here’s the newest edition of The Half-hour Hitbox. You’re welcome, and all that. Right. See, the dayjob has been pretty crazy these last few weeks, and I come home from work with only enough energy to do a couple of Spelunky runs and then pop upstairs for the heated blanket and some quick-but-quality Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokemon Y time. I think I’m nearing the finish line for that latter title, though Victory Road is proving to be a swift kick in the rear, as my collective team of pocket monsters is still not high enough to make it through in one go. I’m not worried. I finally caught a Garbador, so really, all is fine. I’ll get back to EXP grinding after I’m done stuffing its face full of colorful Poké Puffs.

But enough of that. Here’s a sampling of a few other games I played in January 2014, but haven’t gotten to talk about them yet here on Grinding Down. If we’re lucky, I still might further down the road.


fountain terryc

Last month, I tried Terry Cavanagh’s Oiche Mhaith, and found it upsetting and disturbing. Fountain, made for Ludum Dare 28, is not so in-your-face depressing, but it is shrouded in inevitable sadness. You start out as an old woman near a fountain, which, when you touch it, restores you to a younger version of yourself. Now you can explore the map faster and push away the fog of war. Everything is also more vibrant, the music a bit bouncier, but after awhile you have to return to the fountain for more youth juice as age sets back in. With each return trip to the fountain, your youth fades faster, and you must be young and spry to find all the hidden items. I was not able to get many and found it frustrating that your first trip out into the wild is generally the farthest you can go before the fountain binds you to it until time stands still for our leading old woman. I guess something is being said here.

Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok


Hmm. Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok is as old-school as the oldest school can get, and by that I mean that Bianca, the name I gave to our leading, blonde-haired warrior, froze to death in the forest in the game’s opening fifteen minutes. And no, I had neglected to save at any point. Yup, this is the sort of point-and-click adventure where you can die left and right, so that’s always hanging over your head, along with trying to puzzle out where to go next and how to get there. I’ll try again, as I love its look and the dry voice acting, but it’s not the easiest game to get into and stay in.

Kingdom Rush: Frontiers


It should come as no surprise that my return to some casual time with the RTS genre is with the sequel to the only RTS game I’ve enjoyed over the last several years. Yup, Kingdom Rush: Frontiers, now totally available to play online, in your browser, for zero dollars. I’m down with that, and yes, it’s still a complete package, even if it isn’t technically complete, as some bells and whistles are only available for those that pay to play the game on their iThing or sign up for an online save slot. I’ll stick with the bare bones, thank you very much, because it’s still a fun, bouncy campaign built around constructing towers and fighting off pre-determined waves of enemies. The real trick is to learn when–and how–to spend your money, as a simple upgrade to a specific tower can be the key to victory.

Rogue Legacy

hitbox rogue-legacy

Last year, everyone was talking about Rogue Legacy. And playing it, too. Well, now so am I, but let it be widely known I’m not any good at it. Complete rubbish, actually. I think the longest I’ve stayed alive is two minutes, maybe three, but I’m slowly accruing gold, enough to unlock new parts of the castle and upgrade all the various helpful merchants. It’s a great game when you have a few minutes to kill and absolutely don’t mind getting nowhere fast. I have not yet found a specific build that works well, and the timing for jumping with your sword blade pointed down to activate those platforms is quite tricky.


hitbox spelunky freeware

Speaking of getting nowhere fast, yes…I’m heavily into Spelunky. Giant Bomb‘s Patrick has been playing it every day now for about three weeks, and at first, I watched the videos just because I always watch everything that goes up on the site, regardless if I’m immediately interested in the game in the limelight. It looked like fun though. I played a bit of the freeware version before finally biting the bullet and grabbing the PSN version for a sick three bucks in their 14 in ’14 sale. And now I play it every day, hopefully getting better with each run. I made it to the first level in the Temple section, which I’m pretty proud of. It’s a tough game, but very rewarding in its own way, and I like the Daily Challenges aspect very much. Also: bats are the worst.

Jet Set Radio


Originally, I wrote Jet Set Radio as Jet Moto. My bad. Remember that game? Anyways, in this one, which is a high-definition port for the PlayStation 3, it is all about gaining control of Tokyo-to through graffiti and sick skating skills. The music is rad, upbeat, and heavy on pulsing drum beats and record scratches, and all I’ve done so far is skate through the tutorial, but I’d like to get back into this as it’s such a weird mix of mechanics and a fantastic use of cel-shaded graphics, the kind that tugs at my artistic heart.


envirogolf capture

This is a bad golf sim that attempts to make you feel bad about playing golf. The jokes are kind of funny the first time you see them, but the experience is lacking overall. By the time I got to the third hole, the jokes were repeating themselves. Also, could really use some copyediting.


facade 24241-shot1

A small indie thing made for the MiniLD 48 jam. You basically walk to the right, read some words, go through a cave, open a door by collecting light-bugs, learn that you can’t go on the rocket that is going to get everyone off this desolate hunk of junk…and do it all over again. The second time gives you a more final reason why you can’t leave the desolate planet with everyone, but then that’s it. Game over. Some extremely iffy writing, but very pretty to look at.

Scaling the Sky


Scaling the Sky could also be called Swimming the Sky, as you’ll be doing a lot of that, and it’s fantastic. I mean that from an enjoyment standpoint and a remote from reality kind. It’s a platformer at heart, but you’re going up, up, up, using clouds for a boost and rainbows to transport you to the next scene. The first few sections are pretty simple, with a clear path to follow, but the later ones ask you to puzzle out the best way to reach the rainbow, and you have to sometimes use the push of a chain of clouds to gain great height. That might sound kinda complicated, but it works wonderfully, and I found myself bouncing in and out of clouds, gaining momentum and playing with it. Eventually, all this climbing comes full circle in a moment that makes you smile.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon


I will most assuredly being writing about this at greater lengths, as it took me by complete surprise, but let me just say that Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a hypnotic ride, one that seems to fuse some of my favorite elements of Fallout 3 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and I’m mad at the world because nobody told me that earlier.

The Half-hour Hitbox is a new monthly feature for Grinding Down, covering a handful of videogames that I’ve only gotten to play for less than an hour so far. My hopes in doing this is to remind myself that I played a wee bit of these games at one time or another, and I should hop back into them, if I liked that first bite.

2013 Game Review Haiku, #54 – Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy!

2013 games completed nelly cootalot spoonbeaks ahoy copy

A nasty baron
Using spoonbeaks for labor
Nelly, on the case

These little haikus proved to be quite popular in 2012, so I’m gonna keep them going for another year. Or until I get bored with them. Whatever comes first. If you want to read more words about these games that I’m beating, just search around on Grinding Down. I’m sure I’ve talked about them here or there at some point. Anyways, enjoy my videogamey take on Japanese poetry.

2013 Game Review Haiku, #45 – Habla Kadabla

2013 games completed habla kadabla copy

An enchanted cash
Register is stolen, but
Habla still smiles

These little haikus proved to be quite popular in 2012, so I’m gonna keep them going for another year. Or until I get bored with them. Whatever comes first. If you want to read more words about these games that I’m beating, just search around on Grinding Down. I’m sure I’ve talked about them here or there at some point. Anyways, enjoy my videogamey take on Japanese poetry.

Be stealthy or be deadly or even both in Super Ninja Slash


Something is happening to me lately, and I’m not sure if I should fight it or just sit down and embrace it: I am moving away from mainstream titles. Sure, sure, I recently burned through BioShock Infinite, but I’ve also been spending a lot of time playing browser-based indie gems like Kingdom Rush and unknown point-and-click adventures like Patchwork and under-the-radar SRPGs like Fire Emblem: Awakening. Well, one could totally probably argue that, with the latest in the series, Fire Emblem has reached it big time. But whatever, I am digging a lot of freeware titles as of late. Which brings me to the latest freebie title I’m enjoying: Super Ninja Slash.

Created as “another game jam game” by Kyle Pulver and with music by Danny Baranowsky, Super Ninja Slash clearly takes inspiration from the not-so-surprising success of Mark of the Ninja, the XBLA title that, in one swoosh, seemingly redefined the stealth genre. Based on its name, you’d think it was a straightforward slice-and-dice action game in the vein of many SNES romps, with you taking down enemies left and right thanks to your untouchable ninja skills. Well, sure, you can do that if you want, but the main goal of the game’s nine levels is to reach the exit alive. You can either avoid guards or, so long as you are quick enough, take them out with a single slash. Other pitfalls include holes in the floor and electrified barriers.

The game looks rather retro, but moves surprisingly smoothly. You can double tap the arrow key to give the ninja a speedy boost, and he/she can wall-jump, though sometimes jumping from a wall to another platform is a little clunky as you have to hold an arrow key in one direction and then hit another as you jump to change directions. Orange-colored guards carry flashlights, which represent their vision cones, and getting spotted once is an instant kill. I appreciate the swift violence they drop on the ninja once alerted. Again, if you can jump and swing your sword fast enough, you can take out some guards. I’ve been doing a bit of both; some levels I snuck through completely unnoticed, and others I had to take out a guard or two to make the path a little easier to tread.

I got up to level 8 (of 9) during my first stint with Super Ninja Slash, but had to close out for work-related reasons. I kind of wish that, just like in Kingdom Rush, local progress data was still saved somehow, but I won’t mind replaying the levels again too much as it is all training for the later, more difficult parts. The website even keeps track of who is the fastest ninja, the deadliest, and the most peaceful, though I suspect I’ll never hit the top of any of those lists due to my lackluster keyboard skills, but that’s okay. Ninjas aren’t meant to be seen, anyways.

Shapik: The Quest is a magical twenty minutes elsewhere

shapik the quest overall

I was not in the mood to go out for lunch today, and so I stayed in, gobbling up my turkey-and-cheese spinach wrap in record time and washing it all down with a bottle of Arizona green tea. No, really–I ate super fast today, and so I had some free time during my lunchbreak, and what better way to fill free time with than freeware. In this scenario, I’m speaking specifically about a little point-and-click darling called Shapik: The Quest, which you can play totally for free in your browser over at NewGrounds.

Now, there are countless little adventure freeware games out there, but Shapik stood out mainly on its visuals. It’s fantastic art is like a criss-cross of Samorost 2 and Botanicula/The Tiny Bang Story (both owned, but not yet played), with colorful, kooky critters standing out in a cutesy way against detailed and other worldly backgrounds. You start out in a magical forest and end in more modern locations, like a building’s interior and roof, but those places still retain a unique look to set them apart from what one might deem traditional. All along, there’s ambient music that is evocative, but not distracting, and no voiced dialogue, just grunts and sound effects and pictures in word balloons a la Machinarium, which helps keep the magic self-contained.

But what is Shapik’s quest? Why am I playing this freeware point-and-clicker? I’m glad you asked. Allow me to copy/paste the game’s description and control scheme, bad grammar left as is, as presented on its NewGrounds site:

This is a story of Shapik, traveling through magic forest in search of his missing sister. Explore a beautiful world, full of mystery, magic and danger and find your missing sister, solving puzzles on your way.

Use your mouse.

Right. You are Shapik, a kind creature of the forest, your sister was stolen by bug-like things for unknown reasons, and you are off to rescue her. That doesn’t take very long, spanning nine individual screens, each of which has maybe two or three puzzles to solve. I ended up finishing it all in around twenty minutes, road-blocked only in two cases: once for a cryptic doorlock code, and the second for figuring out how to overload a furnace. There is no inventory; you just click on things, and either Shapik interacts with it or his bee friend will, and the puzzles themselves are very straightforward, such as using a crane to lift a hatch open.

So that was pretty enjoyable. Really, if you’ve got twenty to thirty minutes to kill, give Shapik: The Quest a go. Oh, and since it’s my blog and my gaming history, I’m counting it as one more done for 2013.