Posts Tagged ‘bundle’

Bundle Stars – The Zen Bundle Review

bundlestars

Here’s something a little different for Pixel Pacas! It might surprise you (or not at all) but I happen to be a massive fan of video game bundles. As a collector as well there’s hardly a need for me to own more games, but sometimes the deals are far too tempting to pass up. In any case, Bundle Stars The Zen Bundle launched recently and is packed with a most surprising selection of games. This bundle is definitely not for everyone, but there’s a niche audience who will totally dig it. A big thanks goes out to Bundle Stars for providing us complimentary access to these games!

Read on to see brief discussion on each included title as well as links to full length reviews where applicable.

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Tale of Tales 10th Anniversary Bundle

Tale of Tales 10th Anniversary

Tale of Tales is one of my favorite developers out there. They’re best known for projects such as The Graveyard, The Path, and Bientôt l’été. I shared my own glowing review of Luxuria Superbia a little while ago and absolutely loved it. Even when I don’t adore one of their projects, I still respect what they’re doing.

To celebrate their tenth anniversary, Tale of Tales has a bundle up with many of their past experiments and prototypes. I won’t list everything here as the bundle page does so in wonderful fashion. Some of the items I’m most interested in include 8 – their first unfinished game project (that may actually be coming back in the future!). There are also tests and prototypes for The Endless Forest, Fatale, and more.

Basically, this collection is something that no Tale of Tales fan should miss out on! It is running from now until December 25th. Because you must pay a $5 minimum, this bundle might not be accessible by everyone, unfortunately. If you do have an iOS device though you can grab Luxuria Superbia for free today!

Telepath RPG: Servants of God Review

Telepath RPG: Servants of God

Telepath RPG: Servants of God Boxart

Developer: Sinister Design
Publisher: Sinister Design
Platform: PC (Desura, Direct, GamersGate)

This post is part of the Indie RPG Bundle review collection

It’s possible that if you’re reading this review that “Telepath RPG” might sound familiar to you. Having never heard of Telepath RPG: Servants of God before, it was quite the surprise that there were actually two previous games in the series. Both appeared as free titles on Newgrounds. Those Flash titles appear to have set the basics for what the series would become in its third iteration.

Telepath RPG: Servants of God sets the stage in a fantasy Middle East where people have come to impose their religion upon the local people of Ravinale. You and your parents are sternly opposed to these new rulers and vocal enough that your entire family is imprisoned! But there are many others looking to kick these theocrats out of the city. With these soldiers at your side, the player must serve as a tactician to lead them to victory. Unfortunately, the story is static in that you can’t change the main character’s gender or race despite it not affecting much (beyond the obvious usage of “he” in voiced lines).

The game is played from a top down perspective where you control each of the teammates. Actions are always governed by the player and include positioning, attacks, and healing. Each character has a max number of places they can move per turn and distances for their attacks. With each in your hands, it’s required to keep track of positioning so that one character doesn’t block another out of attacking or anything like that. Play is pretty simple and that’s a big part of what makes it so fun. It’s incredibly enjoyable to control the team and keep them smartly placed for the most effective victories.

Telepath RPG: Servants of God

Beyond these main story battles there are also side quests to be completed. Regardless of what you’re doing, Servants of God is infused with tons of chatter. Characters all have personalities apparent through their words and the writing is a pretty good read. Many, but not all, characters also receive voice acting to speak their lines. It seems the voice actors might not be professionals, but they are (usually) not embarrassing to listen to.

One point that might bother some players are the visuals. The gameplay screens for battle and exploration depict characters as very cartoony. It definitely clashes with the otherwise high quality portraits. Some scenes have colored drawn backdrops that both look unpolished and like they were pulled from a fable. I’m not sure how that works out, I appreciated them nonetheless.

RPG players who are willing to spend some time with Telepath RPG: Servants of God just might find it to be surprisingly enjoyable. It’s not perfect, but offers easy to understand gameplay and a variety of difficulty levels so most everyone can play.


Score: 3.5

3 1/2 out of 5 alpacas


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Gamebook Adventures 6 – The Wizard from Tarnath Tor Review

Gamebook Adventures 2 - The Wizard from Tarnath Tor Featured

Gamebook Adventures 6 - The Wizard from Tarnath Tor

Developer: Tin Man Games
Publisher: Tin Man Games
Platform: Android, iOS, PC (Desura)

This post is part of the Indie RPG Bundle review collection

Many of us have “played” gamebooks in the past whether or not we called them by that name. Perhaps you played Choose Your Own Adventure stories or the Lone Wolf series. Whatever the case, Tin Man Games have been focusing on creating gamebooks for the digital audience and they do quite well at it. The Wizard from Tarnath Tor is the sixth in their Gamebook Adventures line.

The story focuses on your lead character, who begins the story stuck in a trap. You are saved by a wizard who then regales you with a tale about how he came to be there. According to him, he was a wizard from the great City of Tarnath. At least it was until it was destroyed in a rampage. This man asks for you to return to the city and fetch his wizarding tools because he senses that something evil has begun to take place there. And, of course, whether that is believed or not – that’s the journey you must undertake!

The Gamebook Adventure series pays great attention to keeping their games very book-like. Pages look realistic and page flips are animated as well. In a really useful move, you can also increase or decease the font size which is something that can’t be done with a traditional book. The Wizard from Tarnath Tor has a great deal of pages and choices to make along the journey.

As you might expect, it’s the choices that make these games the most interesting. After reading pages of text you are regularly presented with a new choice to make. Choices may reveal hidden objects, new dangers, or simply flesh out the adventure. Battles occur in turn-based fashion with dice rolls deciding the offense and defense of each side.

However, it seems something must have been amiss during its production because the writing does not stand up as well against The Siege of the Necromancer (the only other game in the series I’ve played thus far). No, it’s not necessarily the skill level because I was still curious to unravel the story. Instead, my eyes were regularly drawn to grammatical flubs. That, and the phenomenon of re-using the same word many times in a short span was also common. Even with these troubles, I still found the experience enjoyable.


Score: 3.5

3 1/2 out of 5 alpacas


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Indie RPG Bundle Giveaway!

Indie RPG Bundle

Indie RPG Bundle

Last week, we at Pixel Pacas decided to do something monumentally reckless. Instead of just posting about how cool the latest Bundle in a Box looks, we decided to review all of the included titles. The massive Indie RPG Bundle includes up to 13 games. Eight can be purchased for a minimum of $1.99. If you want to get the other games then you’ve got to pay at least the average.

But what if you’re lacking the funds to make this RPG-filled purchase? You’re in luck because we’ve been granted two codes which unlock the full bundle! Instead of hoarding them away, we are offering them to you folks.

Interested in nabbing the entire Indie RPG Bundle? Just let us know which game (or games) from the set most interest you! Feel free to look over the eight reviews we’ve provided so far to help you out. Then post a comment here letting us know your most anticipated titles!

The giveaway will end this Sunday (the 29th) at midnight PST. Bundle in a Box’s Indie RPG Bundle itself closes up sales next week.

Unemployment Quest Review

Unemployment Quest Featured

Unemployment Quest Boxart

Developer: Charles DeYoe
Publisher: Charles DeYoe
Platform: PC (Desura, Direct)

This post is part of the Indie RPG Bundle review collection

Chances are there’s probably been a time in your life when you’ve found yourself struggling for work. For me, the struggle is current and not something that should be desired by anyone. At the very least I’m lucky enough to have a place to call home until luck finally strikes. So maybe it’s because of my current state but I found Unemployment Quest to be quite a neat and unique title.

You start the game as a young guy who has apparently survived college but can’t find work anywhere around town or even at the mall. Some of his friends have found work and it seems only the main character is left out. Day after day, he must return home to his parent’s house to confront a supportive but disappointed mother and outright annoyed father.

Unemployment Quest Featured

So how does this factor into a video game form? You see, the player must battle those he wishes to give a resume to, and battle for increasing confidence (and gaining money). The fights are much like a typical JRPG and the art style meshes with this. It looks much like a 16-Bit game even if it has some different thematic elements at play. Leveling up helps a lot with fights but still doesn’t seem to change the mood of prospective employers.

In a way, I appreciate the commitment to making job acquisition an impossibility for most of the game. However, because of that, it seems silly that money is so easy to come by in the game. For a while you’ll be stuck broke, but soon enough there are treasure chests that start popping up with gratuitous amounts of money. Real life doesn’t work that way although I sure wish it did! Of course, the money is needed for buying new items a la every other RPG out there.

Once you get past the few iffy points like that, Unemployment Quest is definitely worth checking out. It’s cool to see the various ways the typical JRPG world was tweaked to service a story about the incredibly relatable task of looking for a job.


Score: 4

4 out of 5 alpacas


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The Wizard’s Lair Review

The Wizard's Lair Featured

The Wizard's Lair Boxart

Developer: Magicbane
Publisher: Magicbane
Platform: PC (Desura, direct)

This post is part of the Indie RPG Bundle review collection

Roguelikes, roguelikes, roguelikes! It seems like that’s all coming out of the indie scene at times. Of course it’s not, but there are certainly a great deal of them coming out recently. The Wizard’s Lair is definitely another roguelike, but it’s pretty fun, even if there’s little to differentiate it from the hordes of others.

In this game, you are a little adventurer heading through a multitude of dungeon floors. With no knowledge of the layout, the world around you is completely black. This fog of war dissipates once your character moves close, but by then, there might already be a swarm of monsters ready to burst out of the darkness. There’s little you can do at that point though other than to point your measly sword at them before being overrun.

The Wizard's Lair Featured

As is standard of the genre, once you die it’s game over. After that there’s no time to mourn. Simply pick up another game with a brand new character. There are a great many sprite characters to choose from although they don’t appear to change your skills. Basically, all skills and equipment are generated by finding weapons, potions, and scrolls in the dungeon. As your inventory is limited there is only so much junk that can be carried at any one time.

Visually, The Wizard’s Lair seems to fall in the middle of roguelike graphics stylings. After all, there’s only so much one can do with the highly recycled premise of dungeon crawling for loot. Actually, perhaps that’s not a fair assessment with other roguelike games such as FTL existing. In any case the graphics are serviceable. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any music. There are sound effects though (which can be toggled off if you wish).

There’s nothing wrong with The Wizard’s Lair but it’s not particularly distinctive either. The nicest feature to me was instant compatibility with a 360 game controller. It also is a very fast game, making it easy to run through a few levels during a break.


Score: 2.5

2.5 out of 5 alpacas


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Gamebook Adventures 2 – The Siege of the Necromancer Review

Siege of the Necromancer Featured

The Siege of the Necromancer

Developer: Tin Man Games
Publisher: Tin Man Games
Platform: Android, iOS, PC (Desura)

This post is part of the Indie RPG Bundle review collection

Before being part of a bundle, I have to admit I had never heard of Tin Man Games or their Gamebook Adventures series. However, after playing, I have found that The Siege of the Necromancer is an incredibly entertaining game and something I need to have more of in my life. Why is that? What exactly is a “Gamebook Adventure”?

If you’ve ever played with a Choose Your Own Adventure book then you’re likely familiar with the premise. In this title, you are presented with a long story, almost purely comprised of text (although images pepper some pages). As you read, there will often be choices presented which can lead to very different outcomes. The main goal is, well, to survive the adventure!

Siege of the Necromancer Featured

Gamebook Adventures 2: The Siege of the Necromancer starts you out in the middle of action. You and a band of a couple of men are seeking to survive rampaging goblyns. Things quickly go downhill, but you make it out alive. From there, you must explore and visit new environments on your travels. There are a great deal of helpful tools to find but, unfortunately, there are also a great deal of enemies standing in your way!

Battles are more interesting than the Choose Your Own Adventure books of yore because they actually play out more like a RPG. During a fight, you roll dice to set attack power or defense. Enemies roll as well and whoever has the higher roll will either be able to attack, or alternately, dodge an attack. It works out quite well and becomes tense as you watch the dice fall on-screen. Those who think the animation is too slow can also make it quick.

Beyond that, there are seemingly hundreds of choices to make throughout a single playthrough of The Siege of the Necromancer. Even after a successful playthrough there’s still so much left that you can easily give it another run. Put simply, the game is a ton of fun although most might not even consider it a “game”. It certainly makes me want to check out what else Tin Man Games has to offer!


Score: 4

4 out of 5 alpacas


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Northmark: Hour of the Wolf Review

Northmark: Hour of the Wolf Featured

Northmark: Hour of the Wolf Boxart

Developer: Rake in Grass
Publisher: Rake in Grass
Platform: Mobile – iOS PC – Big Fish GamesDirect, Steam

This post is part of the Indie RPG Bundle review collection

Strategy RPGs are pretty popular but card-based counterparts are a bit rarer to come across. Still, when there are already such excellent card games out there such as Magic the Gathering it can be really hard to create something different. Northmark: Hour of the Wolf accomplishes making a sound card-based title without hanging onto other card games’ coattails.

The game begins with an attempted assassination. The kingdom of Northmark is in a panic because of it and you’re the one selected to basically carry out all their duties. Travelling from town to town you will come across helpful people, shops, and tons of opponents standing in your way. The only way to get past them is via fighting, of course.

Fights are when the game shifts into its card form. Both players select their warriors (cards themselves) and can then apply upgrades to them, as well as how they should be armed for attacks. You can tweak the fighters via cards which upgrade their defense, attack, and a number of other things. Weapon cards are used to actually fight the opposing cards, and all relevant information is weighed in order to see what attacks are successful and how much damage they deal.

Northmark: Hour of the Wolf Featured

It’s a surprisingly complex system and one that isn’t described very well by the in-game tutorial. Still, it’s not too hard to get a feel for it after a handful of battles. Between story mission, you can even jump into some prize fights to help level up your character and get more money. Said money can be used to pick up more cards for your deck.

Northmark: Hour of the Wolf also has some excellent presentation. The art looks great from the character models to world map view. Then there are the card designs themselves which look like they could be from a tangible product. Honestly, it’s surprising just how polished it is. The writing is a bit of a let down in comparison, although it has some nice snark about it.

Fans of card games will probably enjoy this interesting RPG-ized title. On the other side of things, those without a familiarity of card games in general should probably proceed with caution.


Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas


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Empires & Dungeons 2: The Sultanate Review

Empires & Dungeons 2 Featured

Empires & Dungeons 2 Boxart

Developer: Niels Bauer Games
Publisher: Niels Bauer Games
Platform: PC

This post is part of the Indie RPG Bundle review collection

RPGs have come a long way over the years. Most coming from Western publishers now seem to favor wide open fantasies with less interest in strategical planning. Still, others, mostly in the indie scene, cling to the minute specifics that made the genre so endearing to begin with. Empires & Dungeons 2: The Sultanate takes an interesting stance between the two. It is both “old school” but simplified for the modern player.

Players will first be greeted with a map of the current stage. It always shows the location of your castle, the enemy castle, the enemy themselves, and objects of interest on the field. These include resources (iron, wood, etc) as well as dungeon entrances. In this top-down world view you primarily seek out resources or dungeons while also keeping an eye on enemy movements. Resources are used to further strengthen your home base and help generate more, stronger armies.

Empires & Dungeons 2 Featured

Of course, if you want to get money and honor, you have to venture into dungeons alone. Dungeons are also shown from a top down view that is strangely confusing at first. Once you figure it out though, you can venture into different rooms within. Usually, there are enemies to fight although sometimes there are merchants and others willing to barter for items. Perhaps the best feature in this mode is that if you die there is little punishment. The gold won on that dungeon trip won’t be collected but that is the only result.

Perhaps Empires & Dungeons 2 could be considered too simplistic? Much of the play is simply devoted to clicking around the map for resources or spamming attacks in a dungeon. Although this is definitely a turn-based strategy RPG it is surprisingly light on strategy. The visuals are also like to be off-putting to many gamers. In fullscreen mode (the only option), the play screen takes up less than half of my 1920 x 1080 resolution screen. The frequent typos were also distracting. Still, there is some attractive gameplay worth looking past them for if you’d like to spend time with a less stressful RPG.


Score: 2.5

2 1/2 out of 5 alpacas


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