Jettomero: Hero of the Universe

Jettomero: Hero of the Universe is the absolute worse kind of game to write a review for. It isn’t bad, but it does nothing interesting and doesn’t lend itself to any interesting discussion. Jettomero is the gamification of milquetoast radio-rock: not good enough to make you want to sing it’s praises nor bad enough to make fun of how bad the lyrics are. It’s simply there until it isn’t anymore, and by the time you realize you’re playing or listening to something different you have to ask yourself “wasn’t there something else on just a minute ago?” I know that sounds harsh and I really don’t mean it to be, but there’s no way to talk about the game without sounding like I’m just spewing vitriol all over it.

This should be SO MUCH easier than i found it to be. Damn my need to look where i’m typing!

The game starts out charming enough. You play as a clumsy giant robot that wants nothing more than to be a hero to the human race. It’s a cute concept made even cuter with the endearing comic book style visuals, and I am a sucker for cute so this seemed right up my alley. The games story even manages to nudge it’s way into some really interesting territory. The only problem is that by that point I was already burnt out on the incredibly dull game play loop.

You rocket from one planet to the next, looking for body parts and energy until you find a boss. Once you beat the boss you rocket into a wormhole to another set of similar planets and repeat the process. This loop is boring. Not helping matters is the fact that the climax of the games interactions, the boss fights, should have been much easier than they were for me. They’re basically just QTE’s, which I normally don’t have an issue with. Unfortunately though, i’m playing on a PC and don’t exactly type well. I graduated summa cum laude from the School of Hunt and Peck. So I can find the right key but I do have to look for it. This made hard for me to get through the list of commands in the time given. I’ll admit this was a personal issue that I most likely wouldn’t have had if I was using a controller, but it really killed the experience for me.

Like a puppy pissing on the carpet, i can’t say i’m happy with the results, but it is still adorable so i can’t get too mad.

Again, I’m really not trying to come off too negative. Jettomero isn’t uninspired nor is it broken. It’s just kind of…there. I’m sure someone somewhere will be into it, but I found myself completely apathetic throughout my time with the game. If the issues I had don’t sound too tedious or the trailer looks interesting I say go for it. But if you like your games to be….you know, at least a little entertaining, then maybe give Jettomero a pass.

Jettomero: Hero of the Universe was Developed by  Ghost Time Games

Point of sale: Steam, Xbox One

$12.99: if you can’t remember where that last $13 went, check your steam library. You might have have bought Jettomero and forgot about it.

A review code for Jettomero: Hero of the Universe was provided

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Bear With Me Episode Three

The problem with reviewing episodic games is the fact that by the time the last episode comes out everything of interest has already been said. That’s the case here. If you’ve kept up with my reviews you already know everything I have to say about Bear With Me: the writing and voice acting are top notch, movement speed is a little too slow, puzzles make up for the lack of classic point and click “moon logic” by making key items needlessly hard to find through environmental obstruction. All of that is as true here as it was back in episode one, so what is there to talk about?

For those who haven’t kept up with everything I’ve written…the fuck bro? I work hard on this shit (You can Find those reviews HERE and HERE, by the way). Okay, okay, once more for the people in the back: the story centers on a young girl named Amber Ashworth and her hard-drinking, privet detective teddy bear, ted. The two of them are investigating a series of arson’s in Paper City, a sprawling metropolis of paper and cardboard located in Amber’s attic. The only thing the two know for sure is that The Red Man, the person responsible for the fires, has a vendetta against Ms Ashworth.

The ultamate review of who exactly the Red Man is and What He wants with Amber is incredibly saddening.

As this is the conclusion it’s hard to say anything more about the story in fear of spoilers. What I can say is this: while the ultimate reveal lands pretty firmly in predictable territory, the presentation makes that a non-issue. Voice actors Mia Sable and Miles Rand sell the hell out of their roles, so even when you know exactly what’s coming there’s still a punch and weight to the games heavier moments.

The only thing unique to talk about for this last episode is the fact that it has one of the worst puzzles I’ve ever had to sit through. Again, I do love the hell out of this game, but I have no idea what the devs were thinking here. Near the end you have to make your way through a maze using a poem of sorts, but none of it makes any since. Nothing said in the poem helped make a decision on where I was supposed to go, nor did the quips Amber said when investigating things mentioned in it. The opening line talks about letting “butterfly’s, mushrooms and firefly’s guide you”, but then when those things are present they are literally by every path you can take. Every other puzzle in the game I figured out with a little bit of work, but here I had to resort to going down random paths and using the process of elimination to figure out where to go. For comparison sake, look at the piano puzzle from Silent Hill. Yeah it might have taken some brain power to figure it out, but everything you need to know is right there. I’m seriously hoping someone from the dev team sees this review and explains to me what the fuck was going on here. But then again, with my luck once someone does explain it it’ll be super obvious in hindsight and I’ll feel like a complete idiot.

I know I’ve said this before, but scenes like this make it hard to know who the game is for. Sure, this doesn’t look too bad,but this is the after math of a shootout between cops and gangsters. So is this an edgy game for kids, or a cute game for adults? I honestly can’t say for sure. Either way though, i loved almost every second.

Now I really do want to stress this: that level pissed me off greatly and is definitely a low point for the series, but I still loved my time with Bear With Me. Now that it’s possible to play the game in its entirety I can recommend it just as strongly as I did on day one. The minor issues I had never got cleaned up, and that’s a bummer, but they never raised above being minor issues. If you don’t like point-and-click games, I doubt this will change your mind. But if you can just…bear with it….i think there is a lot to like in Bear With Me.

Bear With Me was developed by Exordium Games

Point of Sale: Steam


$14.97 for the complete series; a totally bear-able price

A Review Code for Bear With me Episode Two was provided by Exordium

William Shelton has awarded Bear With Me Episode Two the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dead_File.exe

Are Creepypasta’s still a thing? This is a serious question, since if you go back 5-10 years ago, you wouldn’t be able to move around the internet without bumping into at least one of them. Honestly? They all had one major thing in common – they all were terrible. They all generally followed the same boring routine of ‘I once found a popular game but it was spooky, spooky things happened and then I died even though I’m narrating the story’. It’s like a bunch of twelve year-olds got together to tell a tale and the average twelve year-old’s idea of scary is just ‘lets throw some blood, some darkness, and the occasionaly ‘OOGLY BOOGLY WOO’ jump scare.

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Dead on arrival

Why am I wittering on about this? Well, all this is pretty much what Dead_File.exe‘s story is in a nutshell. A rather messy, and poorly translated, story about brain digitization and mutterings of how ‘If you die in this game you die for real’. There’s attempts at a plot through text-only blocks that appear between levels, but again, these generally feel whiffly, incomprehensible, and at the worst of times, just childish. For instance, at one point, the game tries to give you a moral choice question – would you save a man or a dog? Picking the ‘Man’ option just tells you hes already dead. Picking the ‘Dog’ option gives the exact same response making the entire choice pointless.

Graphically Dead_File.exe tries to follow this ‘spooky’ theme by presenting gameplay through a shaky-VHS recording-vision. It almost works, but suffers thanks to one-too-many moments where the graphics make it difficult to see exactly what to do thanks to spikes that turn from lethal to non-lethal and the only way to tell this is by slight shading differences. The aesthetic does its job, but some minor points make the game more difficult than it needs to be.

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As a side-note, the game openly advertises that it is not safe for epileptics to play which a lot of games usually don’t bother to do!

Dig into the gameplay though, and it’s not too bad. Dead_File.exe is basic platformer 101 in action. Jump about, avoid spikes, and react the exit each time. While for the most part it controls and plays fine, they throw in several aspects that just hurt the game as a whole, just like the visuals. Take for instance the screen-by-screen nature of the levels, instead of scrolling from side to side, the game zips you into new screens every time you reach the far right. The problem here however is the game often has a habit of throwing bottomless pits and spikes at you just as you enter these screens which, in turn, results in cheap death after cheap death.

The third chapter in particular is pretty cruel thanks to a mechanic where you play an invisible character, the only assistance you get in the level being a pair of red eyes that pop up every so often to help gauge location. Its just frustratingly annoying and not fun at all.

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Even then, Dead_File.exe itself is pretty short – clocking in at around one hour and twenty minutes. At least the price follows this path too, costing a dollar/79pence.

Overall, I can’t really recommend Dead_File.exe thanks to one too many minor annoyances all rolling together to make a game that is ‘just’ off the mark.

headerDead_File.exe was developed by Saddletrip

Point of Sale: Steam

$1/£0.79p gives you around an hour to an hour and a half of gameplay.

A steam version of Dead_file.exe was purchased by James via an IndieGala games bundle promotion which has since concluded.

James B has broken the 6k games barrier on steam and does not know if this is an achievement or a failure. Answers on the back of a postcard please.

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Handsome Mr. Frog

For me there is nothing better than having little, fun, arcade-y games in between big gaming sessions. Those little games that last about 3-10 minutes to play, but have you wanting ‘just one more go’. Handsome Mr Frog falls squarely into this little category of gaming.

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The rules are simple. Keep Mr. Frog alive, and take out all the enemies in each stage to progress onto the next. You do this through grabbing enemies with Mr. Frog’s long tongue and spitting them out into other enemies (or if you don’t have any other enemies about, chucking boxes around the level also works). It’s an incredible basic mechanic but its one that works like a dream thanks to tight snappy controls, colorful and clear artwork and a fun chiptune soundtrack that never manages to loop too much to be annoying.

Handsome Mr. Frog is a perfect little palate cleanser of a game and while it is admittedly repetitive, the pick up and play nature and the tiny price negates this totally. So guess what? I completely recommend this little gem of a game!

headerHandsome Mr. Frog was developed by Cowboy Color

$0.99 or £0.79p gives you plenty of small 2-10 minute rounds of play – You can find this over on STEAM.

James is awarding Handsome Mr. Frog the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.

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