Tag Archives: GameJolt

2018 Game Review Haiku, #22 – Dord

Ghost dreams of knighthood
A casual adventure
Of strange combat moves

For 2018, I’m mixing things up by fusing my marvelous artwork and even more amazing skills at writing videogame-themed haikus to give you…a piece of artwork followed by a haiku. I know, it’s crazy. Here’s hoping you like at least one aspect or even both, and I’m curious to see if my drawing style changes at all over three hundred and sixty-five days (no leap year until 2020, kids). Okay, another year of 5–7–5 syllable counts is officially a go.

2017 Game Review Haiku, #9 – Nothing Can Stop Us


Can’t stop growing old
Memory shifts, changes–lies
All we have, choices

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.

You can tell a true cowboy by how they spell in Jack MacQwerty

jack macqwerty gd impressions capture

You’d think that, having been copyediting for almost a third of my life now–a couple years in college after I switched from pursuing art something-or-other to journalism and then almost ten years in the big, scary, real world–that I’d be more into the niche spelling genre of videogames. Y’know, things like Typing of the Dead and Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing, where the goal is to spell a word, often fast, for some kind of result, whether it is shooting a zombie in the head or moving on to the next task. I may not be a fast typer, but I’m a pretty good speller.

Jack MacQwerty doesn’t try to do too much differently with this small, but strong sub-genre, but it is cute and quirky and has fun with the mechanics nonetheless. Basically, you play as the titular sheriff, taking out opposing cowboys and bad guys by typing their names. Dun dun dunnn. Sometimes their names are traditional, like CLINT or CHERRY, and other times you’ll be feverishly hitting the keys to finish names like ISENGARD, FART, or IDAREYOUTOKILLME. Not going to lie, I totally guffawed when I saw an enemy called SHRECK quickly followed by THEMASK.

When you run out of ammo, type RELOAD to reload, which makes sense and totally gets under your skin when you hit the wrong key and have to start all over while bullets zoom your way. It’s like missing that active reload in Gears of War when you need it most. Later, you’ll want to avoid shooting bystanders with names like DONOTSHOOT and INNOCENT. Also, if you lose enough health, type HYDROMEL for a swig of power and rejuvenation, not that I believe honey-based liquor contains such powers, but that’s videogames for you. Personally, I go right for the raspberry iced tea.

Ironically, for a game about spelling, there’s quite a number of typos on both the game’s GameJolt page, as well as in the “how to play” menu within Jack MacQwerty. Not sure if they are there to be funny, but the professional part of me doubts it. Other than that, I enjoyed my time in the word-littered Wild West, and the retro aesthetic does a fine job of not getting in the way of either the fun or the jokes. If you have a few minutes to kill and like spelling out funny words really fast, give it a shot. Happy trails!

Where do you go in Go North, but forward

gd go north impressions overall

I’ve never been good at or immensely interested in text-based games. I mean, I didn’t even find the text-based computer game Reign of Grelok in Fallout 3, which paid homage to 1980s classics of the same style, like Zork and Planetfall–and I scoured nearly every inch of that game’s post-apocalyptic world for far too many hours. I also gave up on Frog Fractions once it stopped being about diving deeper into the ocean on that numbers-munching dragon and more about navigating yourself out of some small, cramped hatch.

And so, with that history behind me, I went into Go North not really expecting much, hoping to just stay interested and get through it. Well, I certainly got through it, but I’m not sure what the point was. In fact, I came away from this stroll forward from…um, I guess Jim Spanos and friends, feeling like it was mocking either itself or the genre greatly. It ends with a seemingly inside-joke, which might be hilarious to the creators, but fell flat with me, the player.

But what is this game, you ask as we get to the third paragraph? Here’s some descriptive text I myself didn’t write, but rather found on Go North‘s GameJolt page. See if you can grok it:

You know, sometimes, hope is needed in humanity to brace the terrible and the enchanted. To engulf our hearts with embers of the night, as we flow like lava under the moonlit skydome. Are we not men? In our minds, we are. Are we not soldiers? In our minds we are. And bewildered you stand if only to enjoy each other’s mindsets. But without further ado, the perception of the single, greatest, mind-changing game is here.

Poetic, frivolous, forever fallen into the hands of few

Yeah, I don’t know. It’s a text-driven game where you type “go north” to advance to the next screen. I tried typing “go east” and “go west” every few screens to no avail. You do this until the last screen, where the twist/inside-joke plays out. All the narration is overdramatically voiced over by someone either trying too hard or not trying hard enough–regardless, it’s a struggle to listen to.

Let’s chalk Go North up to both not my thing and not made for me to appreciate. Perhaps one day I’ll find a text-based adventure game worth my while, but for now, I’m off in another direction-most likely south–to play something else.

2015 Game Review Haiku, #3 – A Boney Night

2015 games completed a boney night gd

Here come the zombies
Undra knows a spell or two
Use thoughts on items

From 2012 all through 2013, I wrote little haikus here at Grinding Down about every game I beat or completed, totaling 104 in the end. I took a break from this format last year in an attempt to get more artsy, only to realize that I missed doing it dearly. So, we’re back. Or rather, I am. Hope you enjoy my continued take on videogame-inspired Japanese poetry in three phases of 5, 7, and 5, respectively.