War of the Human Tanks is a very strange Japanese title, localized into English by Fruitbat Factory, a company that specializes in doing so.
Its gameplay is somewhat Advance Wars-like, though unlike that game, it's not turn-based; instead, each unit has a timer and becomes available to receive orders when the timer counts down. Units have different speeds, of course, but this increases the tenseness of play, as you often want to react quickly when a unit at a key position becomes available.
Your units are "human tanks," apparently something like replicants, since you build them; but they have anime personalities of their own, and all appear as little anime girls in uniform.
The amazing thing about Parameters is that it works. By "works," I don't mean that it runs, but that it's surprisingly engaging, given its minimalist approach.
It's a sort of RPG, with level-ups, attack, defense, and health stats, and a set of monsters to slay and missions to accomplish. But "missions" are small rectangles that gradually fill in as you click on them, spawning XP and money with each click; and "monsters" are other small rectangles, with each click being a round of combat, doing damage to the monster, you suffering damage in return. Until you have the stats to slay a monster, you'll eventually run out of health, and the monster will regen quicker than you can do damage to it.
Submitted by Tof Eklund on Wed, 03/23/2011 - 16:13.
This review is the third in my "series" on sex, romance, and relationships in games, and the first about what I would call a "sex game" (rather than a game with sexual themes). Erotical Night is completely unlike the romantic, character-driven Embric of Wulfhammer's Castle and the inscrutable and dark The Void except in one aspect -- all three games are highly unconventional.
Erotical Night is a "dojin" (informal or "amateur") JRPG about exorcising succubi by copulating with them. It is a deliberately silly game as well as being unintentionally funny at points, and that silliness helps it come across as hentai ("perverted") but in a cute way, like that old guy from Ranma 1/2. Erotical Night is one of a legion of sexually explicit dojin games (many featuring favorite characters from mainstream anime), but it is nearly unique in that it makes sex-as-gameplay actually interesting as a game. More...
Submitted by IanSchreiber on Wed, 11/24/2010 - 23:12.
This game was clearly made for those of us who fondly remember the SNES-era CRPGs of the early 90s; the graphics, music and even controls are meant to recreate that aesthetic. The hook for this game is that you don't play an adventurer; rather, you play the merchant in the shop that all the adventurers buy from, and you level up by making sales moreso than whacking enemies.
This game has a surprising amount of depth to it, but it weans you in slowly. At the start, you simply buy goods at wholesale and sell them to customers; as you level up you earn the ability to buy items from your customers at a bargain, redecorate and expand your shop, and so on. There's a whole town to explore where you can meet adventurers, and you can even hire them to go dungeon-diving for you in the hopes that they'll bring back something valuable. In the latter case, you want that adventurer well-equipped, which may mean (for example) selling equipment to them at a loss for your shop. Oh, and at the end of each week, you have to pay an increasing amount of money to the loan officer that got you the item shop in the first place, so you tend to be watching your cash flow moreso than your hit points.
Like any game, this one isn't perfect. No matter how it's dressed up, your main action is still haggling with customers over how much an item will cost, which can get a bit "grindy" at times. There is also a rather excessive amount of text to page through in the early parts of the game as the mechanics are explained to you (thankfully, it is skippable). Still, the game has a definite retro charm to it, and how many games do you know where a hero story is told from the OTHER side of a shop counter?
Mamono Sweeper is an engaging Minesweeper variant with elements of a dungeon-crawler. When an empty square is clicked, rather than stating the number of mines in surrounding squares, it states the number of levels of monsters. Monsters range from level 1 to level 5; your character starts at level 1, which means that you can kill level 1 monsters you uncover, but higher-level ones reduce your hit points as many points as the level of the monster. You start with 10 hit points, so can make a few errors (or, in the early stage, survive a randomly uncovered monster or two), but die if you exceed 10.
Genetos is tres cool. It's a little dojin shmup in four levels, but each level corresponds to an evolution in the genre of the shmup, and your ship's powers change and increase as you "evolve."
That is, the first game level is Space Invaders, and at the end of it you 'evolve' the ability to move in two dimenions rather than along a line. The second level is an 80s shmup, with waves of attackers in predictable patterns. The third level adds bombs, more firepower, and hoards of enemies -- and the fourth level brings us to bullet-hell.
Elona is a Japanese-developed Rogue-like with a nice tileset and considerable depth for a one-man project. As you might expect, it has graphics reminiscent of 8-bit JRPGs; there's a fair bit of NPC dialog, some of which is moderately humorous, although you do run into the occasional Japlish.
The UI is a bit confusing -- it's entirely key-driven, but with pop-up menus and odd key choices for selection and navigation. However, Rogue-like "hot-keys" give you access to the most common options, and while the tutorial doesn't tell you about them, as with most Rogue-likes the "?" key is your friend.
Submitted by TheDustin on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 00:42.
Some people really dig genre pieces, works that stick to convention and don't really deviate from the norm. You experience them because you enjoy the tropes of the genre and the familiarity of it all. This game is a standard hop-and-bop platformer, but if you have a platformer fetish like I do you'll most likely squeeze some enjoyment from it. Obake takes elements from Mario and Kirby and mixes them in a not-too-radical fashion, but does it with a decent amount of polish and a fair amount of charm.
Submitted by TheDustin on Thu, 10/22/2009 - 16:09.
I should probably be ashamed of myself, but I'm having too much fun. I still have a couple of medals to earn in RunMan, and I've been skimping on my Spelunky sessions. I tried to rekindle my old friendships with Fallout 2, Deus Ex, and Alpha Centauri but I can't seem to find the time. I've got tons of games at my disposal, but whenever I get free time I turn to this unassuming ROM hack of Super Mario World. You probably think I'm crazy but hear me out, because this game is a fucking masterpiece. Brutal Mario is the Cowboy Bebop or Tarantino flick of platformers, take your pick. Either way its a masterful blend of Nintendo's best, and if you have any fond memories of the SNES era you shouldn't miss it. If the above seems like hyperbole, just check out the screenshot there. That's a boss fight with Mammon Machine from Chrono Trigger. I rest my case.
Journey is a charming Japanese dojin game in which you play a pith-helmeted archaeologist attempting to recover all artifacts from a particular underground complex. It's not particularly challenging, at least for experienced platform players, but it is cute, and there is a bit of puzzle-solving involved in figuring out connections between areas of the game world.
9:05 is a tiny game, and everyone interested in interactive fiction should play it at least once.
This is true of most of Adam Cadre's IF work, actually: he is interested in the formal limits of interactive fiction design, and that means that even his smallest and least-known work tends to force the player to reassess what games can do.
But to say much more than that about this game would be to spoil the experience -- try it and you'll see.
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