Blackbar, the “texty-artsy game”, as called by its creator, is now available on Google Play. The game is difficult to explain, but it’s suffice to say that it’s a very uncommon one. Blackbar features minimalist graphics, reminiscing a classic text adventure, and sly jabs at censorship. It can be purchased here: Blackbar on Google Play.
Type:Rider is quite an unusual game, as it features adventures of two dots amidst the creation of words and fonts. It’s even stranger than it sounds, and it also looks absolutely stunning. The date of release is set to October 10th. For now, there’s only several screenshots and a Making Of video.
It’s a pleasure to see that A Ride into the Mountains is a fun game. Because, while many people try to go for the elusive â€œart gameâ€ title, most of these games turn out quite repetitive and unexciting, even if highly unusual. A Ride into the Mountains, however, has simultaneously familiar, and unusual gameplay, which comes with a simple, but engaging story.
Every level of the game is a next stage of one kid’s adventure to save his family’s relic, which is located deep into the mountains, across many dangerous paths, where lots of dangerous creatures roam. The kid, however, isn’t exactly made of paper tissues. A bow and a very enduring horse are more than enough to murder everything that tries to kill the hero, as well as serve a basis of the gameplay. The game is divided into several levels, each one consisting of a bunch of encounters. In each encounter, hero should fire a bow at the enemies, until he kills every one of them, evading or shooting down their projectiles before they reach him. At the end of every level, there’s a particularly difficult boss fight, which concludes it. The game can be finished relatively quick, as dying will simply restart the current encounter, but the challenge comes from a bunch of achievements. Perhaps, it’s the only flaw of the game â€“ it’s too short. Even collecting the achievements isn’t that much time-consuming, and the whole game can be finished in several hours. Aside from that, though, A Ride into the Mountains is cool.
The bow controls are the main task and challenge in this game. To draw the bow, the player should touch the hero and pull the finger into a direction, opposite of where he needs to strike, and when the bow gets a sufficient charge, release it. There’s also a focus mechanic that lets the player to slow time and see a precise path the arrow will take, to time and angle the shot perfectly, but it’s not always available. The player also needs to move the horse forward and back to evade the projectiles, by tilting the device. Although quite simple, the great number of different enemies gives the game needed variety. Overall, I’d say that it’s not a game for everyone. It’s short, and it has strange graphics, and several other things, but it’s a definitely interesting project. I’d suggest it to people who like experimental, genre-bending games, and aren’t bothered by the game’s relative shortness.
Upon launching, Hero of Many announces as clearly and distinctly as possible: it’s an â€œartâ€ game. Wildly-colored graphics, total absence of a single written or spoken word, and absolute confusion as to how in the heavens one is supposed play it. I don’t really want to talk about the gameplay of Hero of Many. Partly â€“ because I still don’t understand it completely, and partly â€“ because there’s quite a bit of joy in figuring out how to actually play the game. Anyway, it’s not like the game is really difficult to figure out, so here goes the explanation.
The player controls a small floating sphere, not unlike a cell, emanating a dim white light. The cell is controlled by tapping anywhere on the screen, moving it closer to that direction. When the cell comes in contact with other small white spheres, lying around the levels, it absorbs them and its light grows brighter. The goal of the game is to simply drive the cell around the level, reaching the end. This is quite tricky, however, since the levels are filled with small black sperm-like tail-wagglers that attack the cell on sight, slowly draining it of its light, and eventually killing it.
The cell itself is absolutely defenseless against them, but as it floats around the level, it reaches white tail-wagglers that start floating along with it, and attack the black ones, should they float too close. Naturally, the cell should evade the black things, letting the white tailheads do their job. These spermints can be controlled, to an extent, by swiping in any direction, making them dash there. Of course, the player’s floatingsters die just as easily as they kill, so they always need to be resupplied, searching for the stray ones across the vast, branching levels.
Although Hero of Many is ridiculously simple at the beginning, and I indeed wondered, if it’s just philosophical pondering and meditative resource, instead of a proper game, it gets difficult staggeringly fast. Just as I wanted to dismiss it as all beauty and no challenge, I found myself completely stuck, losing all of my tail-wagglers to the spikes that some levels are scattered with, as well as losing my cell’s health to the constant onslaught of dark-mattered bastards.
So, while it is indeed beautiful and has a majestic micro-universe design, I am personally a lot more amused by the fact that it’s quite a challenging and unconventional game. It’s half action, half strategy, and all exciting. Perhaps, it’s a little too unusual to be interesting to everyone, but Hero of Many is a game of great quality, as well as of great challenge, and I liked it quite a lot.
Peter Molyneux’s 22Cans studio has released its first “experiment,” the much-pontificated Curiosity: What’s inside the Cube? It’s a game where essentially players are trying to chip away at a cube and its myriad layers in order for one player to discover what’s inside it. Coins are earned for breaking bricks, and they can be spent on the ability to check stats, or to buy items that will break into the cube faster. And yes, only one player will find out what is inside, and it’s supposedly life-changing. Or at least, as life-changing as a video made by Peter Molyneux can be. However, Peter Molyneux is known for exaggerating his games ever so slightly, so who knows what it will be. Also, this is not the studio’s true ‘first’ release, as they plan on releasing additional ‘experiments’ down the road for a total of 22 before releasing one true game. Or at least that’s the plan.
Now, while we usually review games instead of writing more open-ended articles like these, Curiosity feels more like a notable experiment than anything else. Gaming critics have surely either been chomping at the bit to write about this or rather confused because it’s such an odd, out-there thing. One review praised the game highly, another trashed it for doing nothing, and both seem like valid viewpoints, having played the game: there’s an inherent fascination in playing with the concept and players have been making the most of the canvas: they have been carving their names into the cube, along with various messages. Part of the allure is figuring out what’s inside. But considering that only one person will find out, and that’s even if it ever gets cracked open, it’s really just a waste of time with an opaque goal. Again, both viewpoints seem valid, and that’s almost why it’s worth downloading, for those reasons alone.
Though there is just one problem: the game may not be working properly on Android! The cube is meant to be shared between both platforms, but it is definitely appearing differently on Android than on iOS. This may be due to the massive load on the servers so far, or just an Android-specific issue; the game loads properly on iOS. Time will tell. Interestingly, the game semeed to not be installable on any devices when it launched on Monday night, but as of Tuesday night it is installable on many Android devices, but server communication is still wonky at best. Until then, it’s available for free on Google Play. Will anyone discover what is really inside the cube? Speculate in the comments below!