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The names bond, hydrogen bond

  • Darken
  • 06/05/2018 01:28 AM
  • 1496 views
This is a small little game where the goal is to solve slice of life problems for NPCs. Except these NPCs are personifications of the elements. You happen to be Hydrogen, a mute protagonist wandering through a series of side scroller maps. It's a bit hard to remember all of the characters, where they are, and how to get to them. But starting out you can pretty much pick up all of the tasks by wandering around. Worst case you systematically talk to everyone again if you feel stuck. It reminds me of the game of Sideways by Superstroke. Except there are some puzzles to solve along the way to keep the variety up.



Now, I barely took any physics in highschool. But I can still ascertain that a lot of the predictaments/relationships that these characters get into are a little metaphorical for how the science works. There's also a weird context on how these personas go to school, to learn about... what their personas are based on. You have a school homework question that literally asks what your name is... But I don't think about it too much, I've worked on cartoon shows where sentient vehicles and vehicles coexist. In any case this game comes off as an interesting edutainment-piece where the edu part has you PROBABLY googling the answers anyway. (As a side note, it is very clever how the game has you answer a chem diagram question inside of an Enter Hero Name box)



The artstyle is the most endearing part of the game. It's more vivid playing the game than looking at the screenshots. Within this game's window is a colorful school condensed in a thin strip of areas that you go forward/back/up/down through. The characters have very cute designs that resemble that of Final Fantasy battle sprites, only not battling but rather babbling. The square transitions beautifully with the backgrounds changing color when you go through a floor but wiping when you go through a door. The room titles and menus wrap around all of this in an interesting format. Overall its a very cute looking game that's fun to navigate though even if the structure is easy to lose your bearing in. It has the same sort of spacial awareness issues that plagues most explorable sidescrollers like Valkyrie Profile or Castlevania 2. I almost expected the upstairs and downstairs to loop seamlessly in a way to make travel easier, but I ended up eventually grasping the somewhat -_- shaped layout.

I'm going to stop and dedicate a paragraph to an interesting scrap of context that I really enjoyed. Remember in Pokemon Red/Blue where you realize the protag trainer has an NES and has Stand By Me playing on the TV? That there's some semblance of a recreational life that this character inhabits? There's one room where someone is playing a game and they've already beaten it. You load it up and suddenly you're playing a 4 directional RPG overworld style section inside of a TV. There's nothing you can do in this game within a game, in fact there's only one NPC that 4th walls the very game itself. There looks to be a bombable wall and a tone of varied art assets throughout the tiny world. And I really like that, that there really is nothing you can do which is simular to how there's nothing you can do but read "4 boys are walking on a railroad track..." to simulate a background element. It's just a neat touch seeing an RPG that I would gladly play based on looks alone, only to realize it's a very optional little element of the game. But it's part of what makes it a 4 instead of just a 3 for me.



Aside from the music feeling repetitive (until the basement) and getting used to navigating through the game. I did enjoy the overall game for what it is. It's a small romp that should take you about an hour to complete. More games that look and feel like this should exist.

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It's not so much the music itself was repetitive just that there was no change of music until getting to the basement. More a critique on track variety than anything.

But yeah, no problem. It was a nice little game.
Thank you so much for your review! I'm genuinely honored by your complements (of the art, some of the puzzle mechanics, etc.) to the point where it's a little difficult to formulate a response that conveys how much I appreciate your feedback.

In addition, thank you for the comments on the game's navigability and music! For my next game I will make sure to pay more attention to ease of travel for sure - I admit that the map, even though it was intended to be small - ended up being big enough to make back-and-forth a bit of an ordeal.
As for music, I'm new to making my own tracks, but I'll be sure to practice more so that my next work doesn't encounter problems with repetition.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed playing, and I want to thank you again for taking time out of your day to both play and review Off the Table !!
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