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Game Play -

Let me start by saying this is the only place this game loses points, everything else is great. The battle system is ...weird. It was pretty creative, but it took me forever to learn it. Here's how it goes: Every character has a special skill, for example there was the gardener (my favorite character) - The gardener would plant a tree, and then on the next turn, he could reap the benefits of the planting (in this case a fire spell item and a healing spell item). He could plant as much as he wanted. Another character would have an appraise ability. She had some gems in her skills, and she could 'appraise' aka use them and they would do damage or heal. There was a percentage charge on this, so if you used the same thing over and over it wouldn't be as strong. (I didn't realize that until the last fight....)

The rest of the characters had similar skills, it took me forever to understand what was required in order to use them properly. (The main character had runes? I still don't get it.. how do I get more? Just buy a new sword?? how come some of them were grayed out sometimes and not others?) I tried avoiding the confusing skills all together and just attacking at first, but it looked like the game didn't allow it (everyone would fall down and you'd lose your turn)... Either way, if there's going to be a complex system for fighting and skills, some explanation would be helpful. I also never understood what EX was. I just ignored it. And Levels? Um........ yeah I never figured that out either. I defeated 3 of the 4 monsters, and saw the queen. She advanced me to level 4. Then I defeated the 4th monster and saw the queen, and she again advanced me to level 4. So........... yeah, I'm at a loss. I guess she just gave me more skills? But I didn't know what to do with the ones she had. Another small annoyance, it seemed like the fighting system text sped by. Maybe that was my fault cause the battles caused me to go into sheer panic mode because I kept dying and had no idea how to counter-act it. (Was I not using the right skills, did I not equip? Was I supposed to use a different character?) I just felt lost for all of the battles until near the end.

There other half of game play was the story advancement. You had to run around and talk to everyone a lot. And they talked... and talked... and talked. I have to admit, I didn't know how long the game was, so after a while I kinda started fast-forwarding through their conversations as it seemed like they rambled, a LOT. I fully regret this now as this is the way this game tells the story. You had to recruit people, and no one/nothing had explained that you could recruit all of them, so I had picked my 4 and went to fight the in castle monsters and died miserably. So I wandered out of the castle and found out from the guard before I left I could take everyone! So I did. Or so I thought... There was no real segue between relations with the characters. I didn't get 3 of the characters until I was over half way through the game, because I just got so tired of everyone rambling, I reached the point I was avoiding talking to people because I didn't want 5 minutes of dialogue back and forth. Again, I fully regret not being patient with this story, but it just needed to be broken up with some different activities.

The last thing I struggled with was equipment. I had no idea what RD was (the money like thing) cause there was no shop, so why was I collecting it? It wasn't until again – the last dungeon (if you could call it that) did I realize it actually did matter, but really not much. Also the butler guy just always refilled your supplies, and that was nice, but you couldn't horde anything... I like hording things! The enemies kept dropping stat boosts. Luckily I went into their equipment pretty fast and figured out to equip them; but they kept being dropped over and over and over again, so I was worried I was supposed to be using them instead of equipping them and that's why I was dying so much? The enemies kept saying they were easy but they totally weren't. So over-all I think I'll have to play through it a 2nd time and maybe I'll do better because that's how long it took me to learn this.

Time to Beat: 2 ½ hours.

Characters -

Now that the game's bad points have been thoroughly bashed, lets focus on everything else, which is the super awesome parts! The Characters. I loved them. They had such vibrant personalities, and were a little cliché in a good way, yet quirky enough to be individuals. They never jumped personalities, they were solid and well built. The main character was a girl named Elsa who liked death and serious things and fighting. Then all the characters around her were either complete nincompoops (Don't get to use that word everyday!!) Sardonic, haughty, demanding, etc. It really felt like a group of nerds; you know you have that idiot friend, that dismal friend, the guy who thinks they know everything, the one obsessed with explosives. Yeah, that's this game. You could tell the writer was a bit of a man hater, but it wasn't enough to be bothersome. I was happy when I found out I got to recruit and play all of them because they seemed pretty enjoyable.

The 'villains' if you could call them that helped advance the story in a shady way. They were sibling monsters and momma monster, and they were completely cute. It was like you just wanted to cuddle them instead of fight them. (Which was the point – they weren't supposed to be huge terrors)

Story -

The main premise was pretty simple, you have to defeat the 4 main monsters and the final boss to win. There are also 3 endings that you can earn. The story is meant to be comical in nature and pulls it off well. The dialog is very entertaining if you're not in a hurry. You need to talk to multiple people multiple times to get the full story on things, like why the captain of the boat was so sad.... Also the villains had their cut scenes too, where they showed some behind the scenes type of story, so you could have an overview of everything – but not too much as to know what is going to happen next. The story flow was pretty good, except it seemed a little heavy in the beginning and you just wanted it to be broken up some. The story is about the grumpy knight, Elsa, coming home from training to be a Death Knight to save her home kingdom from these not-so-terrible monsters. Her mother is the castle's chef and only wants to cook and bang her Boyfriend/husband thing. Elsa, not being a fan of her was reluctant to come home. Also, Granny was a super pushy 'you need men' type of lady. This also drove Elsa insane. Elsa just wanted to get the job done so she could get as far away from these people as possible, and most of you wouldn't blame her for wanting to flee this bat-crap crazy island! The story was filled with lots of laughs.

Look and Feel -

Everything was so cute. I felt like a little kid in an anime plushie store. You just want to hug everything, even the grumpy knight. I think I emptied my bag of 'aww!'s on this one. The 4 main monsters were so adorable they would make cute little plushies to snuggle with at night. All of the character face profiles and battlers were cute, in a chibi-esque fashion. The music went with the game great. It was up-beat and jived with everything around it. Even the text in text boxes was bubbly and cute. For chip-sets it looks like the Japanese VX ACE DS graphics were used, which made everyone tinier and cuter. All of the custom or found graphics went well together and it really created an excellent feel to the type of game this was. I think I need to play a 'man' game next to get my blood sugar lowered, because it was all sugary and cute. There was also very little spelling and grammar mistakes making this feel very professional.

Over All -
I think this game is a great example of what people can do with RPG Maker. This game would deserve a full five star rating if they just had a little more introduction to the battling system instead of me having to spend 90% of the game trying to figure it out; but it's completely headed in the right direction. The fact they got this far in 2 weeks for a contest is amazing, impressive, and deserves praise. I am happy I picked to download this game, for it was was 2 ½ hours of fun!


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How did I miss this?

First of all thanks for playing and an even bigger thank your for taking the time to do a review, it means a lot to me and Indrah.

Really glad you enjoyed the game.

RD was what you used to buy new equipment from the guard. So Elsa could get more weapons.
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