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A stroll in the Forest

  • Kylaila
  • 07/12/2014 04:55 PM
"Save Point" is a ~1 hour long RPG made for the IGMC 2014. It focuses on exploration and fights rather than a deep story.

On the one hand, it is a very average game. No epic story included, no tactic-heavy gameplay, no unique themes, no major character-growth.

On the other hand, it creates a really nice atmosphere, has some whacky dialogue and is simply fun to play. It has a nice allure I can't quite put my finger on. So it might just be me.
I'm not quite sure why I enjoyed it as much as I did, but a number of things contributed to it.

Firstly, the game doesn't take itself too seriously.
You may be hunters, but you are stuck in this forest because a ridiculously strong monster blocks the way. Now you search another route and gather strength while you're doing that.

Dying is a virtue.

Now, there are a couple of whacky games out there making fun of themselves, but most have a general whacky and humorous theme + world. While the characters of this game make fun of each other whenever possible the gameworld itself does not seem to be affected by that. You've got a beautiful forest with rabbears (and I thought I liked bears!) and very few different enemies involving plants and ogre-like creatures.
The soundtrack is simple, instrumental and relies on flutes etc. to carry the atmsophere - I really enjoyed this one, it gave us a really nice, but also relaxing forest feeling while the battle theme spurred you on. It does not grow repetitive over the course of the game, either.
While the forest-tiles do not change, the use of light (or shadow) gives us a good variation of it. It also remains realistic as a result - fog and shadow are common occurrences in forests. Suddenly ending up in a desert not so much.

Secondly, as you can see above, the characters are very small. This makes for a rather realistic forest-to-hero ratio, the forest seems quite realistic layout-wise.
It also allows for treasure chests to be actually hidden. Some were quite difficult to spot and required some going back to open. As chests are your only way to acquire equipment and items, they were worth the trouble.

And lastly, the battles may not be difficult, but they are fun. Mostly because they are actually fast-paced and use the a "classical active time battle" system. But really, fights should be fast. Especially when you fight all the time. That makes it more fun and less of a chore.
One of the many reasons I like the classical RPG Maker games is because the battles are so very fast by default. .. they can be, at least.

The ATB-system means that you have two action-gauges, one is for you to use skills/attacks/items as usual, the other is an automatic attack which you can set at the start of each fight. For example, I can set my healer to use party heal automatically and just keep attacking with my active skills.
Also notable is that your characters are not running on mana, as such you are also automatically healed after each fight (you do have a healer, so that just saves you time). That allows you to use skills freely, but it also means that normal battles are not as difficult and mana life-management isn't either.

The problem is that this makes items more or less useless. The only time you may want to use one is in the very last boss-fight. And even then, it really wasn't required as you healer heals just fine. Oddly enough, you find tons of items despite that (I had 40 resurrection herbs alone). The boss-fight is quite hard depending on how far you've leveled, but other than that the battles are fairly easy. No character ever died during a normal fight. Not a complete cakewalk, but almost so.

It's a quite pleasant, funny game. It has one of the most amusing endings I've seen in some time, too.
It does not have any overly unique features, nor does "Save Point" attempt to blow itself up into some epic adventure. It is a humble and enjoyable game.


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Thanks a lot for the review!

I'm glad you enjoyed the game. I wasn't so sure about the humor parts, so I'm happy to know it wasn't too bad.
Kind of disappointed about the game balance though. Items were supposed to be useful when you're in trouble (potions are more effective than heals), which I wanted to happen. I tested the game a lot, but I actually did it without really getting any chests.
I basically wanted to make the game pretty hard for players who didn't explore, and a little easier for others. I guess the game becomes too easy when you explore a lot though. Oh well!
Not having mana/MP was a choice I made from the beginning, so I knew items wouldn't be as useful as in other games where you use them between fights.

Thanks again for the review, it helps a lot!
Glad it helps :)

Yes, it was quite refreshing. I did some backtracking before I fought the boss, so that might've been the breaking point. I can imagine it being a decent challenge without searching for treasure chests, but oh well.
The "it's a girl"-jokes were not exactly mine, imho, but it was funny all in all. The ending, too. It fit right in and it gives more meaning to the title as well
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