Posts Tagged ‘Plug In Digital’

Finding Teddy Review

Finding Teddy Featured

Finding Teddy Boxart

Developer: LookAtMyGames
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Platform: Mobile – Android, iOS PC – DesuraSteam

When I started up Finding Teddy I really had no idea what to expect. It begins with a view of a young girl in her bedroom. While she’s sleeping a gigantic hairy spider limb reaches through her closet and steals her teddy bear. She wakes teddy bear-less and ponders for a moment before heading into her opened closet. From there, players are transported to some entirely different realm.

This simple introduction really excited me to sit down and play the game all the way through in one sitting. Of course, it’s a fairly short experience (one to three hours) but neat nonetheless. Finding Teddy is a point and click style adventure game with a couple of puzzle types. There are the standard item puzzles which require you to use a certain object with the right thing to make something happen. However, there are also puzzles related to repeating back songs in the right place.

Finding Teddy Featured

It’s the musical puzzles that help set this game apart mechanically from others. Each music note stands for one of the letters of the English alphabet (and even have similar shapes). Through music the player conveys words and ideas to the world’s inhabitants. This could mean you ask for “help” from one or tell another to “dig” a hole. I liked this concept and was sad to see how short the game is.

Most puzzles make a lot of sense just as long as you’re very aware of weird bits in the environment. Also make sure to use your fly and/or cat partners once they’re added to the team. Finding Teddy is a brief but very nice adventure game. It’s obviously optimized for touch devices (as you click on edges of the screen to move) but the PC release better showcases the pixel art. Basically, you’re in for a treat regardless of the platform you choose to play Finding Teddy on.

Score: 4

4 out of 5 alpacas

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Pretentious Game Review

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Pretentious Game Logo

Developer: Keybol
Publisher: Bulkypix, Plug In Digital
Platform: Mobile – Android, iOS PC – Armor Games, Steam

Pretentious is a word that many have used to describe the indie game community as of late. To some, video games that attempt to tell depressing, unique, or otherwise non-normative stories are purely seeking attention. They are quite pretentious. Although I don’t agree with the sentiment I was very intrigued to play a game with the gall to call itself Pretentious Game!

Pretentious Game is actually a series of four games (first released as Flash games online) that features simple graphics and gameplay. You play as a square, sometimes two, and platform in a 2D space toward completion. Much of what makes Pretentious Game is how it tweaks the long-established platformer formula.

Pretentious Game Featured

Each stage features a bit of text and this hints directly at how to solve each stage’s “puzzle” aspect. For example, an early stage suggests that flying would be neat. Lo and behold, your block can suddenly glide through the air for that level! Sometimes the hints are a bit more convoluted, as are the methods of activating them, but it still doesn’t take long to run through each one. It took me a little under an hour to beat Pretentious Game 1-4. Each tells its own vignettes and these were more interesting than expected given Pretentious Game’s own title.

Right now there are only four chapters and each is free on Flash game portals. Mobile devices offer the first for free and then ask for an in-app purchase to unlock the rest. In comparison, Steam’s $4.99 fee seems a bit steep. The graphics are improved and you get access to all future chapters, but if you don’t require PC play then mobile’s your best bet.

Score: 2.5

2 1/2 out of 5 alpacas

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Type:Rider Review

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Type:Rider Boxart

Developer: Ex Nihilo
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Platform: Mobile – Android, iOS PC – Steam

My life is filled with typing. As someone who enjoys writing, how could it not? My penmanship is lousy and with a high WPM it is always the preferred mode of writing. Between pieces drafted for myself for websites, there are thousands of things being typed out by my fingers on a daily basis. Why then, do I have such minimal  understanding of the history of written language? I have my preferred fonts, but even then have never looked into why they’re named the way they are or the stories behind them.

Type:Rider is a video game but it’s also a teaching tool. Through completing each themed stage, I was able to learn about the history of fonts from Clarendon  to Helvetica. There are ten stages in all (with one secret level) and along the way you can read about what led to the development of certain fonts and what they were used for.

When it comes to playing, it is a standard platformer. Instead of being a little pixellated person though you’re two dots. They stick together mostly and you use them to jump, swim, and roll around stages. Because of the odd lead character, there are sometimes control issues. At times, the dots would end up “standing” on each other, which would mess up an otherwise easy jump. On other occasions, the dots flip around each other too much which causes other mistakes. It seemed most of the parts that made platforming a challenge were due to the unusual protagonist properties. Perhaps it would have been better to have a single dot.

Type Rider Featured

It’s a shame that the relatively easy game is bogged down by some annoying platforming bits because everything else is absolutely stunning. Type:Rider starts out with relatively dull looking stages, but getting past the first two or three is definitely worth it. It seemed that the developer really had a strong concept for what to do with more modern fonts and executed it perfectly. Futura had a similarly retro-futuristic vibe while Didot was filled with nods from the art world at the time. Before completing any level, I ended up taking copious screenshots because of how fantastic the visual design was.

In all, it seems that Type:Rider is a game full of surprises. It might look like a very simple platformer which teaches a bit about fonts, but there is much more at play. Yes, it’s pretty easy, and yes, it is really about fonts. But the way that they express the “feel” of each font is spot on. They’re not used simply as platforms or as background art, but are treated with reverence. If nothing else, playing Type:Rider will give players a new and much-deserved appreciation of fonts.

Score: 3.5

3 1/2 out of 5 alpacas

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Truck Racer Review

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Truck Racer Boxart

Developer: Big Ben Interactive
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Platform: PC – Desura, Direct, Steam, PS3, Xbox 360

Truck racing in video games has a rather sordid past. Even though there have been multiple attempts at creating fun titles, they all end up falling under the horrible shadow of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. This well-known atrocity of a game has long since controlled the talk of truck racing games, but maybe recently released Truck Racer can show that it is possible to make a good game with tractor units.

In this game, you can engage in a ton of championships, simply practice on courses, or test out a timed trial mode or elimination race. In most ways, it’s like other standard racing games except for the fact that you’re racing really heavy trucks around the track. They feel like it too. Although you can get up to 90 mph pretty easily, turns are far tougher to execute carefully. Much of the early game is spent slowly making huge drifts into walls.

If you can’t quite get a hang of your ride, then head to the garage and get it spruced up. There are tons of upgrades available which can increase speed, traction, braking, paint job, and more for your preferred vehicle. However, in order to go on a spending spree the player must have acquired points by participating in championships. Even those who don’t get the coveted first three places will still receive points, just much less. Unlocking new championships also requires points so make sure to not spend them all on upgrades!

Truck Racer Featured

Races themselves are pretty exciting, in part because you’re stuck handling a massive machine on the fairly small track lanes. Ramming into other trucks to get by is satisfying, especially when parts start breaking off and littering the track. Players can utilize boost, which is increased as a player drifts or drives recklessly. The boost is integral to passing because these trucks can only go so fast otherwise.

As fun as it is to bang into other trucks there were also issues with this mechanic. On multiple occasions I found my truck stuck to the other one somehow, which caused precious seconds to be wasted waiting for the two vehicles to separate. Perhaps this is realistic but really destroys the otherwise fun arcade style that Truck Racer presents. It’s also unfortunate that, so near after its release, that there were no online games to be found. It seems the best course of action is to buy the game with a friend or two if you intend to have regular online matches. Other than these issues, there were a couple of occasions where the game also crashed on me.

Looking past the technical troubles, Truck Racer is still a lot of fun. It certainly looks fantastic, far better than any other truck-based racing games have before. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t just some ridiculous game. Truck racing championships occur in the United States, Europe, Brazil, and likely other places as well. If you can’t get yourself to a real race, then Truck Racer serves as an almost suitable replacement.

Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas

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