Oxenfree – Let’s Play: Part 1

“Olly olly Oxenfree”

Hello readers! Raz here with the first episode of thectrlpad’s new Let’s Play series that follows the relatively recently released Oxenfree (in fact this is the first of our newly reinvigorated idea to follow Indie titles more closely).

Check out the first episode below:

You might be wondering why we’ve decided to start with Oxenfree and not something a lot more recent or even something with a much wider audience – well the reasons for it are right in that sentence. We wanted to go for a game that has had some time to settle for most people and with the recent success it’s had at ‘Game of the Year’ awards it’s more likely people will be looking into what the game is like. This is precisely why it stood out for us as well.

I won’t lie, it wasn’t on my radar personally as I’ve not played an ‘adventure-style’ game in quite some time but after I started the game up and got going my mind was instantly lost in the narrative – but firstly, let me tell me talk about how much I dig the music.

For anyone whose watched the above video you’ll know straight away the ambient soundtrack from Andrew Rohrmann aka scntfc strikes you with pure emotion. I mention that it’s very akin to a Tycho album. It’s perfectly trippy and gives off vibes and flashes of Stranger Things feelings in my soul.

For anyone interested head over to scntfc’s Bandcamp page. I eventually did find out that it abbreviated to ‘scientific’. Ben (thectrlpad’s resident musician, who has a background in reviewing and examining music) is going to be doing an in-depth review of the soundtrack. For anyone who wants a listen, just head over to YouTube and you’ll find a lot of uploads of some tracks – you won’t be disappointed.

The narrative of the game really pleasantly flows naturally. Conversations feel real, and unlike many games I’ve played in the past the dialogue options don’t take you away from the experience. It’s so far one of my favourite aspects of the game. At times I forget that I’m playing a game, but rather feel as though I’m watching an animated TV show. In the Let’s Play I mention the likes of Gravity Falls – to which I had similar feelings towards the overall world and likability of characters.

That brings me onto the next point – the characters. So far, everyone feels realistic and likeable (with the exception of Clarissa – that bitch!) Alex (the main protagonist), Ren and Jonas remind me of people I know in real life and they’ve all been fantastically realised thanks to their respective voice-over artists.

Visually the game has shown me what potentially awaits. It has great art design, especially with those photographs that are shown on the loading screens to give you a closer connection to the characters. I’ve currently only seen very little of the game world but I do expect there to be a lot more variation. It’s both eerily dark and colourful where it wants to be, and the continuous control of Alex during cutscenes and conversations embody what an adventure title should be.

Overall my first impressions of the game are highly-positive, and albeit bar some insane design or story elements I have the feeling I’m going to really enjoy this journey. The presentation of the game is incredible and I cannot wait to find out what has happened to Alex and Jonas…

Head back to thectrlpad next week to see what’s about to go down!

Raz

Chameleon Run – Review

Cool Runnings

Think of a minimalist Mario Jump; married with heightened sensitivity to the very physics of the game, funk based theme music, and a cache of complex jump combos, and a constantly altering terrain – then you can imagine what Chameleon Run is like.

Apologies for mentioning the Nintendeon plumber who lives in a messed up, sometimes upside down, 2Dimensional parkour world. But chances are that if you are going to make a side view sprinting game with an obstacle course set between you and your goal; it is going to be referenced, and held under scrutiny of its 8-bit forbears.

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That being said; Hyperbolic Magnetism have done a really good job with this game. The minimalism and simplistic views the graphics provide are extremely satisfying to run through as you run through the tutorials/the whole game.
 Blurred outlines of colossal cuboids, cones pyramids, and cubes protruding out of nothingness in the background; the top and bottom of the gaming frames are obscured by hazy pools of forbidden entry. Forever keeping you running the 3Dimensional gauntlet in front of you.

Your run is set on an angle so as to better see the world (or lack thereof) that surrounds you. As you run, you are subject to length way laden hurdles varying pink and yellow. The same colours of your attire. Yellow clothing permits you to run along the yellow bricks, so as pink clothing allows you passage on the pink bricks. Failure to change clothes in time, or hitting the ground/darkened bricks, results in your demise. Crumbling into tiny cubes, strewn upon the visceral landscape. So best lead with your best foot forward and your reflexes keenly attuned to your surroundings as this game only has one speed; fast.

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Hyperbolic Magnetism indie game developers based out the Czech Republic, have really hit the big time this last year (2016) with their plenty of games available for all mobile device platforms. Titles such as Lums, Oh My Heart, Temple of Ra, and many others tailored for the on goers, the restless, the ones in need of respite from the daily. Aided by fellow indie game developers/indie game publishers Noodlecake Games based out of Canada, this team up needs to continue. Such brilliance in this one game must bleed into other projects soon.

This game is for; gauntlet runners, those who minor in physics, and people interested in a modern take on an old arcade gaming format (right hand, jump; left hand, switch colours).

Recommended time frame before deletion: 34hrs.

Ben

The Trail – Review

Fresh off The Trail

The Trail is a game that takes you deep into a land unknown. It takes you, pioneering traveller, and sets you on a journey to the town of Eden Falls where you may build yourself a home worthy of settling down in the new world.

Continue reading “The Trail – Review”