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An Experience I feel everyone should go through.

I knew if I played this I'd fall in love, because while the artwork may not be good, it's a refreshing change and as one who myself has gotten to where I have without relying on art to get by, I applaud this game, first off, while the art isn't exactly good by the standards of those who would like to watch the world burn in HD, it's consistent from what I've seen throughout the whole game, and the sheer amount of customized art among other things puts this above most entries I've seen for the contest. Some of these entries are just so fucking pretentious with art its gross, so I'm refreshed to see someone do what they can and for what it's worth, the art helps the game and it's charm.

The characters are all very real (ironic considering one of them has no reflection and the other is made out of clay) and the trio itself speaks well for the games element, I haven't gotten incredibly far yet because my greed for the sparkly treasure chests is starting to get the better of me (Diablo II has encouraged me to get treasure whenever I see it), but I've loved every bit of character interaction so far and the games aesthetic is very entertaining, the enemy varieties were funny and I especially liked the marionette mechanics, I just assumed "oh yeah, puppet master, kill him, the puppets are no longer a threat" and that does happen, what i didn't expect (but found out early on because I love stealing everyones shit) is that taking the strings kills the puppets, too! Later on though they can reattach them and you can steal the strings again, but I'm aware this is a limitation of RPG maker not the developer's abilities. So I'll look past it.

One thing is definitely true of this game, Bud is the life force of the group, and him dying will quickly result in annihilation if you can't keep Mara up, the battles are very tight, and very rounded, and your greed will get the best of you if you think "oh, I'll just take everything i can get and worry about consequences when they hit home".

What I like is that everything is WORTH taking, this is a game where a single accessory can increase your magic attack and attack by 15, (and that can easily increase your damage output by 50%), and some are spellbooks that teach Mara cool spells like Meteor Shower, just for instance.

You won't go out of you way for a chest and find something useless, I also like that there are only battle items, you actually do have ways to conjure items in battle, and the rat with wings can also steal them from enemies.

That said, there are a couple minor balance issues, Fairy Potions are virtually worthless so long as Crow is alive since he can recover 25 or so in the turns he has nothing else to do (which is more than you may think). Later on the game becomes incredibly difficult, which is fine, I'm a man who can appreciate some difficulty, and it's nice that I'm being punished just once for being a greedy (insert desired profanity here).

The music also served the game well, going along with it's quirky mannerisms and down to earth tomfool aesthetic. I must say I wasn't expecting this, as most here probably aren't aware I reviewed Housekeeping's previous game "Long Rope to the Top of the Mountain" and while there's certainly the "ascending to the top" vibe his games carry, seeing everything in his psychedelic uncontained art style is an experience, and if the tightly pursed gameplay, charming character design and quality pacing weren't reason to play this, you just need to do it because much like with Braid and Psychonauts or Killer7 there just isn't anything else quite like it, and it's an experience you need to have.


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You're magical to me.
Great review! Glad to see this game getting more love!
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