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A Fun Earthbound-like Game

  • Dyluck
  • 02/08/2018 08:58 PM
  • 210 views
This review will be mostly spoiler free.

This easiest way to describe this game is that it reminds me a lot of Earthbound from the SNES. If you have fond memories of Earthbound, then you will enjoy the quirkly off-kilter charm and fun that this game has to offer. Like the aformentioned Earthbound, this game puts you into the role of a silent protagonist kid in a modern day town who gets involved in the dealings of other kids, adults, and even aliens, with the fate of the world on the line, all the while still making time for school, chores, and video games. The story gets quite interesting as well, as you start to unravel the mystery behind everything going on in the town.

I really liked the overall tone of the game, which was fairly lighthearted with a quirky charm. The townspeople have various personalities, and there are even some zany talking non-human characters, which the townsfolk seem to just accept as normal citizens. Alien characters will also make amusing comments about normal human culture and conventions because they are unfamiliar with humans. There are many humorous moments in this game that I enjoyed, because it didn't seem forced, and rather seemed very natural for the characters and the goofy setting. One of my favorite moments was where you had to choose the right song lyrics to beat a boss, but I really wanted to choose the wrong lyrics because they were more hilarious.

The game uses an artwork style that is original and very unique. For some, it may appear a bit amateur and off-putting at first, but once you've seen more of the whole setting, you will find that the style is very fitting for the tone of this game. Some of the mapping could be better though, especially as some dungeons have way too many long empty hallways that are just a waste of time to navigate. The items and weapons are also fitting with the modern theme and appropriate for the point of view of the kid protagonist. Recovery and utility items are often various kinds of junk food and props, and the weapons and armour are toys and clothes that a kid would find (at least until things get more serious later on).




Lots of dirty magazines...



The game takes place over the span of 5 days, and on most days there will be 2 main phases of gameplay:

The first phase takes place inside the school, where you will be interacting with various students. Doing so may initiate sidequests, give you puzzles to solve, let you exchange items, and various other activities. There is also a conflict going on between Bullies and Nerds, and how you choose to interact with either side can change the interactions of others students as well as open new areas or sidequests for you.

The second phase takes place after school, in which you can explore the town and its outskirts. This is probably the most fun part of the game, as you will be able to talk to various people and do many sidequests. Through these sidequests, you will learn more about the people in the town and how some of them are connected. You will also earn EXP and money as rewards, so you don't have to do much fighting if you don't want to, which is good, because the fighting is probably one of the weaker aspects of this game.

The sidequests in this game actually make up the bulk of the gameplay, while you have the option to finish your main objective to end the day at any time. The great thing about the sidequests from the school and after school, is that they often have some immediate impact as well as future impact that can be seen in subsequent days in the game. Your actions and choices will have consequences that will affect later things in the game, as well as open or close opportunities for other sidequests. There are a lot of hidden quests and goodies hidden throughout the town, so exploration is quite interesting. There are also some inventive and challenging puzzles in this game, many of which involve choosing a sequence of numbers based on various hints.



Going around town, looking for sidequests, is the best part of the game.



There are a few issues that need to be worked out, such as the dungeon mapping mentioned before, with too many long empty boring hallways acting as mazes. The intro area and school also needs to look better, because it doesn't make a very good first impression for the player. The graphics would be better if there were a little more details and variety with the walls and objects. The music volume varies quite a bit with some of the music tracks, so it needs to be evened out a bit.

Fighting was very simple for the most part, so having more useful skills in battle would be nice. I was told that some skills didn't do the correct damage output as intended, so that needs to be fixed, because I was mostly only using the Normal Attack to do the most damage. Quest rewards and treasures need to be better, as I often already bought better stuff from the stores already. Some of the puzzle descriptions need to be rewritten more clearly as well, especially the ones that tell you how to choose a sequence of numbers. I've talked to the creator privately in detail about most of these issues and other little things already, so I'm sure they will be taken care of eventually.

Overall this was quite a fun and enjoyable game, especially if you want to try something a little different from normal fantasy rpgs. You will enjoy this game if you like the idea of exploring the town and looking for various sidequests to do, and solving some challenging puzzles as well, while uncovering a story about alien conspiracies. The various choices and consequences of your actions, as well as the 3 possible endings, also add a bit of replay value to this game. I give this game 4 out of 5 stars.

Posts

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Thanks a lot for the review!

Some of the issues described in the review are fixed and these fixes will be included in the patch next month. That being said - more severe issues(like volume levels, puzzle descriptions and mapping) will probably require more investigation and thought from me, so they will have to be included at a later date.

Oh, and thanks for seriously getting into sidequests and exploration part of the game - that's the part I've put the most work into, so I'm glad it works (mostly)as intended.
I tried to find them all, but I think I still missed some. I don't think I found all the Rad Girl puzzles, or what to do with "nothing", or what to do with all the shoes in the forest, and I think there was like one day where Kate didn't do anything, but not sure if she was supposed to.
author=Dyluck
I tried to find them all, but I think I still missed some. I don't think I found all the Rad Girl puzzles, or what to do with "nothing", or what to do with all the shoes in the forest, and I think there was like one day where Kate didn't do anything, but not sure if she was supposed to.


From what you've told me - you've got 2/3 endings(I don't count one that is just a variation of the other), so it's still a lot of effort. Shoes are just a detail - they don't have any use, "mechanically" speaking. And yeah - Kate's quest ends on day 3.
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