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Sacred Reviews: Barn Fun

Intro

"Barn Fun" was developed by DarkGamer using RPG Maker XP and is a collection of five mini-games that were created as part of the Game in a Day Competition. A competition held on RMXPunlimted, a defunct site, where the only major rule of the competition appears to be that the player had to use the RTP for their entry. As you can probably guess a game made in just 24 hours is going to be really rough to say the least. And going the mini-game route was probably not the best approach. After all, this means we have five mediocre games instead of just one. And at least if DarkGamer had focused on one stage of a strategy game or something the game could have been dumb fun like "WWF vs WWF" by Dyhalto or "FLEX" by Rhyme.

Story
Summary

You play a kid whose currently stuck inside of a barn. And in order to escape you'll need to help the barn animals with their chores/hobbies/tasks. After you've successfully helped one of the animals with their chore/hobby/task they will give you an item if you talk to them a second time which can be used to unlock the next mini-game until you've acquired the key for helping all of the animals.

Greatest Strength/Weakness

I really can't think of a narrative strength this game has since all of the characters are extremely bland and the player being trapped in the barn is just a blatant plot contrivance to force the player to interact with the various animals. On the other hand the game suffers from multiple spelling errors and contains certain lines of dialogue that just leave me scratching my head.



After all, the only other living things in this barn that could arrest our character are a rooster, a cat, a dog, a horse, and an eagle. Though, I'm guessing English isn't DarkGamer's first language seeing as his location is listed as Portugal.

Gameplay

The first of the five mini-games involves helping the rooster hunt down a bunch of frogs. I suppose this is meant to feel like "whack-a-mole" but I'm not sure the spirit of this game can be captured so easily. The game is also a bit buggy as well with frogs being able to get stuck in their downward animation.


Three bugged out frogs. Truly something anyone would want to see in a mini-game.

Thankfully they do clear up when another frog pops up from the same hole, but the fact the frogs can bug out is still annoying. Even if it is understandable that this project is rough around the edges.

The second mini-game involves helping the cat.



And instead of catching frogs shortly after they leap out of a hole. Were now catching mice as they move from three holes in the wall to a massive hole in the floor. A task best accomplished by keeping the cat pretty close to their final destination.

The third mini-game involves helping the dog guard some sheep. A task that is pretty boring and contains sections where it's basically impossible to protect all of the sheep. This is because you can have a wolf pop up on both of the sides of the field of play at the same time. So by the time you've caught one of them the other one is so close to the sheep that stopping it is impossible.

The fourth mini-game involves helping the horse which is either super easy or harder than you'd expect. If you play the mini-game as intended and do three complete laps around the field your going to have a bad day since the horse on the inner most path will frequently cut you off. So it can be a real pain in the $#% to get ahead. The game also requires you to pass between the herbs for a lap to count, but this is where the super easy part of this mini-game comes in.



While the mini-game won't let you cross back and forth over the center counting square. You can cut through the herbs and as long as you don't go from the herb to the lap counting spot it will count as a lap. So you can just shamelessly loop around the check point three times before the other horses can even complete a single lap in order to beat this one. I suppose if someone was crazy enough to speedrun this game this exploit would be useful.

And finally you have to help the eagle catch 10 rabbits for dinner. And in order to complete this mini-game you need to target the rabbits that are walking about instead of hopping all over the place. A task that isn't that hard once you understand what you need to do, but can be a bit annoying since the bunnies hopping all over the place can make spotting the one just walking/running in circles a bit harder to spot.

Graphics

Graphically the game is pretty rough to say the least. Though I'm still scratching my head over why the barn door is placed where it is. Since it's location doesn't make any sense for a door leading to the outside, but considering the circumstances this game was made under these maps are tolerable, but considering this game only has six maps total. It would have been nice if they were a bit prettier around the edges of the play area.

Sound

Seeing as how this game was part of a competition where the developer was forced to use the RTP for graphics and audio. This game features all of the standard tracks you've come to expect over the years when playing your average game made with RPG Maker XP. So I don't have anything particularly positive or negative to say about this aspect of the game.

Conclusion

"Barn Fun" is a really underwhelming collection of mini-games, and while I understand why that's the case. It doesn't change the fact this game isn't that enjoyable in my opinion.