◻️◻️◻️ ANTICHAMBER ◻️◻️◻️

murdWhen I think about the name “Antichamber”, it sounds to me like the name of an old metal band, which I’ve fallen for because of it and one or two decent songs that they’ve made. As far as my dedication to music composers go, this has been a formula that I’ve never let go since an early age of my life. It is perhaps not a good way to develop a taste for something, especially music, but I’ll tell you what’s really good…

This game.

“Antichamber” was gifted and requested to me by my good friend [camelpuncher]. It is a first person puzzle game that revolves around approaching problems from certain angles and using a gun that can shoot and move small cubes. While one might get turned off by its seemingly low- detailed graphical design at first glance, this game is quite beautiful when you take the time to explore it fully. The corners of this game’s world can leave you with quite the experience, as is the ending to it, which really left me with a “Damn!” in mind. The unique approach to this game and its structure can make the player feel confused and that they are dealing with something complicated at first. However, “Antichamber” makes sure to teach you well all the basics that you’ll need in order to solve every single puzzle that you can find. There are branching paths and a map that lets you access any location that you might desire. Quite the player- friendly game…

Over the few playthroughs of this game that I did, I really end up liking the cube gun. The cube gun is used to collect and place cubes, with further upgrades of it letting you move them around or even duplicating their amount[?]. With cubes you can fill panels to open doors, obstruct doors from closing or platforms from moving, build walls, elevators, stairs, fuses and many, many other things. This game is packed with a lot of cube- related creative activities. Cube coloring also gives you an idea of which puzzles you can solve or break depending on the upgrade of your cube gun. While it is a good idea to try and find all the gun upgrades as soon as possible, being able to break a certain puzzle because of an upgrade advantage might not be as satisfying as you might think it is. This game really brings back memories of my childhood, when I spent a lot of my time playing with a constructor kit…

As an extra, I did an additional playthrough to search for those mysterious purple cubes. [Which satisfyingly, do absolutely nothing…] Yeah, I know, they are labeled as pink, but my eyes see purple. I did consult a wiki regarding their number and how to obtain two of the cubes which can be reached without doing certain shenanigans. But I spent around half a day searching for the 13 ones which can be find in a regular play and despite my fears of hidden walls and whatnot bullshit…

…it turns out that they are pretty easy to find and that the world of this game isn’t as big as it might seem to someone on their first few playthroughs.

I give this game 9.5 out of 10. Honestly,

 

I enjoyed it more than Portal.

 

/

RA Invasion [Part 10] – Return to Puzzle island

moai

A pretty short but satisfying RA Invasion weekend, where I beat a game that I’ve been meaning to for quite a while now. I’ve piled up on a lot of games recently that I either haven’t touched or spent enough time on. Worst part is that a lot of them were generous gifts from some pretty nice people and I don’t want to make them feel down for neglecting their gifts. That’s why I think that for a time being, I am not going to add new stuff, until I clear at least 80% of the titles that I currently have on my machine. That goes for my RA entries as well, so there is also the possibility of me dealing with less games per post, given that the difficulty rises or the game itself is long in terms of play time.

Moai- kun [NES]

Moai-kun DONE!

“Moai- kun” is a pretty underrated puzzle- platformer for the NES by Konami. It’s like “Boulder Dash” meets “Nuts & Milk”, a combination that works surprisingly well. There is the issue with having to get used to how far your weak jump can get you and the game kind of requires you to be a bit more precise in your platforming. Jumps don’t have to be exactly pixel perfect, but doing them as closer to the edge of a platform as possible is a must. Of course, mastering the ability to actually do jumps from exactly the edge lets you shortcut on a decent number of levels. As a whole, levels are one screen big only and honestly, 75% of them are pretty simple. The puzzles revolve mostly around pushing and piling up rocks, either to clear or create a path. It’s nothing too complicated and there isn’t too much room for error, which lets you find the proper solution quite easily. First few stages of this game do a pretty good job of teaching you as much about the mechanics of this game as you need to know, really. The game follows the idea of having a difficulty curve composed of throwing a few hard levels in between easier ones, that are there to let you take a breather. I really enjoy this way of handling a difficulty in a video game. There are lives in this game, but you earn extra one after completing a level. It’s pretty easy to stock up on a decent amount and even if that’s not enough, there is still a password system that one can use. This is probably the first retro puzzle game featuring extra lives that I’ve played, where the developers knew how to handle their distribution along with the overall game difficulty. There is a decent variety of enemies in this game, but luckily, you have the means to deal with them, even though your attack is pretty short ranged and needs a bit of a good timing. As you progress into the game, there aren’t a lot of additional gimmicks for you to handle, but the ones that you encounter still freshen up a playthrough quite well. The ice levels are actually fun and enjoyable and the fire breathing Moai heads in the last few levels can be threatening, but they are still pretty impressive in terms of presentation.

For me, the biggest issue with this game was level 34. Every other time when I’ve tried to beat this game for other entries, I would play this game up to that level and give up there. This time I spent a good 20 something lives and once I managed to solve it, it felt really satisfying. This game handles both platforming and puzzles reasonably well and I’m glad I finally managed to finish it.

Also, that one RA achievement for this game, where you have to beat level one in ten seconds. Honestly, I don’t think I could have done it with my current setup, AKA a keyboard. I TRIED FOR A GOOD 30 MINUTES TO DO IT… It just seems impossible. Maybe I could have asked my friend to lend me his controller, but why even bother him, when I can just turn rapid fire on? Still, the achievement feels a bit out of place, but then again…

…lots of other sets have abominations like that as well. It’s not something new and surprising, yes?

Totsugeki Masui Shoujo Alice [PC-98] – Needle on the path

Syringe

A lot of medical tools tend to look pretty grotesque and disturbing. The mere sight of them tend to fuel our imagination with excess ideas of an outcome that would cause us an unimaginable amount of pain, once said tool is put into use. However, in reality, the actual case usually ends up being that you feel little to nothing… I’ve recently had a really messy visit at the dentist, where it took a while for my tooth to get pulled out. For how bloody and unusually painful it was, it still didn’t reach THAT point of uncomfortable experience that my mind fantasized about earlier, before the visit. Perhaps medicine has advanced to a point where one can be always at ease regardless of how extreme the situation is… or maybe I just grew up? … [?]

“Totsugeki Masui Shoujo Alice” is one of the best “Pipe Dream” clones that I’ve ever played!

Still, RNG can screw you up majorly if the game doesn’t decide to give you the proper pieces, especially in later stages where the field is already filled with paths and there are few empty spots where you can discard.

While the game doesn’t have a direct answer to this issue, it offers others that makes things a bit more tolerable. One of them is the addition of 1- ups that you can collect. While they require a bit of additional work for you to collect them, a stage containing one usually means that you don’t have to worry about failing it, as long as you collect the extra life beforehand. Another thing is that instead of having to deal with a flow of liquid that slowly fills up the space and the path that you created, your only concern here is the main character Alice, who can move freely as long as there is a proper path set for her. Backtracking is an option and in some stages a key element for success. You can also make Alice move faster, which is pretty important for stages with tight time limit, which are usually the result of the player being forced to place path pieces on one another, as the game is forcing the lose time intentionally. These stages are the only pain in the butt, but there are things that you can do to prevent consecutive losses. Trying to discard as less pieces as possible is a no- brainer, yet again, it is still quite affected by the RNG. Don’t place pieces that would drain the timer near the goal if Alice has still a way to go! Wait for her to get closer, then after placing the piece, just fire her up to go as fast as possible. There are items that can refill your time meter, but they also require some additional path building to be obtained… usually.

( I really like how the level designer/s put items out of reach to tease the player. You don’t see that kind of design usually, but I still find it quite charming when I do, even if the joke does not have that much of a high impact.)

The game has a decent difficulty curve. It paces between throwing hard and easy levels at you, but in general, it’s quite low in difficulty overall. There is a save and stage select feature as well! If you are looking for a great adult content, this one offers only nudity, with one of the girls being on a plain, boring black background for some reason. Either there was a blackout or she was hiding in a basement, one can only wonder as to why that is as it is.

Personally, I am quite satisfied with this game. If you are wondering what do syringes have to do with this game, I guess it’s the main character’s weapon of choice, which she uses against a guy/s…? [?] You do have to collect one before finishing every 5th stage or else… you just can’t enter the house and a life is lost instead if you try to do so.

Don’t ignore a need for a syringe! Vaccinate today!

RA Invasion [Part 1] – The humble bundle beginning

RA1

I have chosen to start exploring the Game Boy section of RA, since that system have caught my attention since a long time ago. I guess now I have the opportunity to do so without setting up a new volume and drag it out for over two years. To me, Game Boy games seem a bit on the easy side, honestly, but I should probably not jump into conclusions at this early stage. Playing these games really throw me back at when I started playing video games for the first time in my life.  Back then games were much simpler, Chinese bootleg ports and the year was 1995. Yep! It’s a pleasure living in south – eastern Europe!

Adventure Island [Game Boy]

Adventure Island DONE!

Is this game really part of the Adventure Island series? It’s way too easy and generous! Compared to the NES version on which its based on (Adventure Island II), this one is like a walk on the beach! *drum roll* It’s also way more bland and not all that exciting. I guess it is to be expected from a downgraded port. Ain’t no Adventure Island if I’m not constantly on my toes, dreading what jerk of a setup has Hudson put in certain areas of the game. I’m glad that the score rewards you with extra lives, as well as the bonus games after each level. Having those additional tries is unnecessary, but quite reassuring and it lets you be more bold with your platforming. Also, dinosaur rides, because why shouldn’t there be more ways to abuse an already low difficulty game?

What I enjoy doing for RA were the no score level and no dinosaur rides achievements. The second one took me a few tries, not because I ran out of lives, but due to me picking dinosaurs on accident. Gotta avoid those eggs alright! That run made the game feel a bit different, with you having to be a bit more careful and be thankful for the skateboard’s existence. Like in “New Adventure Island”, the skateboard here is a decent and rewarding option! Also, dying on the last level and having to do it without a weapon!…

… It still doesn’t feel all that difficult…

Lolo no Daibouken [Game Boy]

Lolo no Daibouken DONE!

I’ve only beaten the Japanese version of this game, which is shorter, easier and less time consuming than the European one. I’m not sure if it has any notable differences in terms of level design, I feel like the EU version has those exact levels, but you know… To be on the safe side, I’ve decided to include the JP version as its own separate entry.

I’ve only managed to reach the advanced stages in the EU version, after half a day of playing with some little breaks in between. I feel like I need to give this game the same treatment like I did with “Fire ‘n Ice” for the NES. Wake up early, invest a whole day into the game and if not done by then, leave it running during sleepy time until the next day. I do not like leaving my machine stay active for a long periods of time like that. I believe in the rights of machines having their night and lunch breaks for donuts as well.

I am going to do it eventually, probably not in the near future. PROBABLY! I really do like this game and the EU version gets really crazy at the advanced stages! “Adventure of Lolo” for the Game Boy is a fantastic and addictive puzzle game, similar to the other entries in the series. Egg transformation and management has never looked so good within one screen levels of absolute pleasure and mind orgasmic quality. Again, I just need to plan a very long session for this game alone. It would be worth it though…

The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt [Game Boy]

The Addams Family - Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt DONE!

This game is outright jump and bump, raw platformer. I thought I need to chart a map, which I did, but I realized that it wasn’t necessary. This game looks vast and huge, what with its split paths and loops, but it’s actually pretty easy to memorize, without the need for cartography being involved. I initially set my starting priority to be the kitchen area, where I can power up with an extra hearth container and 1-up, but then I found the secret room in the hub world on accident…

I don’t know what blew my mind more – Finding that room on my own or the contents inside it…

I still went out to map every room that I found and I am happy that I covered around 80% of the overall rooms. Going for the rest of rooms is not really worth it, as it’s just  probably optional bonus rooms with item caches, which are not needed for the overall full completion of the game. I think this game could use a better set for achievements, like having to fight the bosses without getting hit, as well as defeating the optional spider boss. Maybe even throw in a time related achievement?

It’s not a bad game, but it suffers from bad hit detection and the controls could have been better. There is also no music whatsoever during the actual game. Only during the menu and after you beat the game. This is yet another downgraded port of course, I guess the Game Boy library is a breeding grounds for those…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That covers most of part one! I also did achievements for “Felix the Cat [Game Boy]” and a homebrew “Waifu Clicker [Game Boy]”. I’ve talked about the first game before in another volume. As for “Waifu Clicker”, I think I would like to get to the highest level and possible score, before I give my *Final* thoughts on this beautiful and FANTASTIC game!

Next time on RA invasion: I play more video games! Can you believe that? It’s outrageous and with a nasty smell of caramelized onions!

W A Y – ☃️ + 🐫

way

“Way” is this game that was quite the thing a while back, with decent amount of followers. To play it, one needs to download the game itself and then connect with another person online via the client in-game. It’s a two player cooperative, puzzle- platformer and sadly, a very short in terms of length. The game itself isn’t all that hard either, no game overs, generous checkpoints… The general idea of this game was to experience it with a complete stranger, to whom you connected, wherein you can get to know each other a bit upon finishing the game, where a drawing board is presented.

Sadly, I missed on the craze back in the days, so all my playthroughs of this were with my close friends. Servers are deathly- death, so you can be sure that if you and your friend plan on playing this game, you are probably going to be the only two people in the world doing so, thus, connection between you two will be ensured.

Another thing that killed it for me was the fact that I talked with my fellows online, wherein the game expects you to just use the emotes and sounds that your character can make. Actually, I think there was this one person who played it with me and we didn’t talk, for whatever reason. There isn’t all that much of a difference, really. But I still think that lack of voice communications is the key for a better experience.

Way DONE!

The game is pretty good, but don’t expect any amazing puzzles or platforming. The main gimmick revolves mostly around moving to spots and avoiding obstacles that you can’t see, but the other person can, thus you have to wait for their navigation signal. Suffice to say, this game needed/s an update. More levels, more puzzles… I am honestly fine with graphics and music. They are all right. Just add more content and it’s a *BANG*. However, given how much time has passed since the last update, I assume that we won’t be seeing anything new anytime soon. Still, it’s a neat game with quite the unique idea behind it. You never know what the future holds. Maybe a time where the game gets out of its alpha state and the beta crashes upon us with a grand- huge content? Yeah, right… AS IF!

Thanks to “NachoBear” for helping me with the screen capture for this post!