148
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1497
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Recent reviews by JacquesLeSuave

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Showing 1-10 of 148 entries
22 people found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
A game that takes us through the journey of life as told through simple colours and shapes and their position relative to one another.

It's surprising just how effective it is at portraying such an otherwise incredibly complicated thing with only a few rudimentary puzzles over the course of five minutes. Gameplay consists of guiding a shape across a plain white space and moving it to where it belongs, a message that runs deeper than merely solving the puzzle, but still manages to make its point with crystal clarity.

The minimal musical score and ambient audio provide a suitable accompaniment and really bolster what the game is trying to portray as well. In fact, calling it a game might even be somewhat misleading, and I think there's a greater argument to describe it more as a form of interactive art, one which more people should definitely take a moment to look at.
Posted August 1, 2018.
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8 people found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Having played and reviewed many hidden object games during my years on Steam, I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that, while the gameplay is as solid as ever, the actual formula has gone stale at this point. I was expecting more of the same here, but was massively surprised to find something genuienly unique, and dare I even say innovative (not bad for a game that was originally released in 2012). Sadly, within the space of a few hours, it still manages to overdo it's own formula and grow stale once more.

What makes Farmington Tales so interesting is its mix of hidden object scenes, puzzles and a management sim rolled into one. The latter are on the simplistic side, but still have enough substance to be a core element and not just a tacked on extra. Following the story of a farmer who has to pay off a large loan to cover the medical expenses of his sick wife (in itself a surprising subject for one of these games), you play a farmhand who has to rummage through old junk to sell off, as well as take care of maintaining crops, building up the farm and looking after trade in the store.

The object scenes add a little something by having lots of optional quests that can change how you approach the scene - like having a list of five objects and being tasked with finding the two that are the furthest away, or finding them from highest to lowest on the screen, or within a certain time. There are also optional gems to keep an eye out for which unlock new scenes; or special objective items to fulfil quests from the locals. There's a varied array of things up and keep the player busy.

Outside of the scenes, you use the money acquired from these objects to plough the land, plant crops then sell them at the store for even more money. This then goes back into the system as you purchase upgrades to improve efficiency and spruce up the farm. The end goal is to upgrade everything and become Farmer of the Year, but this is where the game starts to fall down.

The problem with such a relatively non-linear, task-based hidden object game is it ends up becoming a repetitive grind as you revisit object scenes again and again to accumulate money to buy upgrades. Though, that being said, by the end I realised the management side was actually making more money than the hidden object side and it was probably better to focus on that. If anything, with the shop element of the game still running in the background all the time, the object scenes seemed more like something to pass the time whilst idling the store for greater profits.

Had the game been better balanced in favour of allowing the player to buy upgrades more quickly, this would have been essentially perfect; the object scenes are well done, with quests to keep things interesting and objects changing with subsequent visits; the puzzles are pretty fun (and easily skippable should you tire of them); and the management simple and easy-going. It should have been casual heaven. But in the end, an otherwise great experience is sullied by unnecessary busy work and repetition drawn out for several hours longer than it ever should have.
Posted August 1, 2018.
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6 people found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
A Date in the Park is a short, free, point and click game about a man wandering around a park in search of his lady friend, and the odd events that happen along the way.

I'm struggling to think of anything especially subjective to say, but honestly I have no strong feelings about his game one way or another. It has a decent enough style about it, using real life images and applying a low-res/pixel-heavy effect to "gamify" the imagery. The writing is pretty OK, and the story (while pretty far-fetched) is... OK as well? I dunno, I was mostly just bored as I walked around examining things to glean little or no information from them, then somewhat bemused when, after a period of nothing really happening, some stuff happened.

It has its quirky charms about it, for sure, creating a fairly immersive, pleasant enough atmosphere and taking the player on a journey, and I can see how many would enjoy it, but I'm absolutely split down the middle here personally. It's not a great game, but by no means a bad game at all, either. It's just... there.
Posted July 28, 2018.
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9 people found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
It's difficult to get into any kind of detail about this game without also spoiling its major elements, partly because it's so short, but also because it's a visual novel all about mystery and gradual revelation - a brief journey of discovery that both player and character alike must go on to learn the truth of a strange, wonderous world.

A young woman wakes up in an unfamiliar bedroom unsure of how she got there. Upon venturing outside she finds herself in a walled garden inhabited by odd, talking creatures that seem excited to be reacquainted with her, but who she herself has no recollection of. Magical as this "segment of paradise" seems, not wanting to spend the rest of her life within the confines of this twee prison, she spends her time trying to find out what's on the other side of the mysterious locked door amidst her otherwise impenetrable surroundings.

It's not a "pure" visual novel as there are elements of moving around between screens to talk to different characters and explore the environment ever so slightly at your leisure, and even a handful of jigsaw puzzles thrown in, too. But for the most part, this is very much a story-driven, text-heavy game more so than interactive fiction. Thankfully, both the story and writing are good enough to back that up.

The subject matter of the game is moderately heavy on aspects of existentialism, and occasionally draws upon a few literary references here and there, which might not be for everyone, but I'd still say it's reasonably accessible regardless of a person's knowledge or interest in such things. And even without much literary knowledge of my own, the story was still something that struck me heavily on a personal level and was enough to keep me engrossed and captivated to the very end, even if the reveals were a tad predictable.

Some may complain at the total lack of voice acting, but I'd actually argue that's more to its benefit in this instance and allows the reader to project their own, far more personal characteristics onto the personalities, helped in no small part by the excellent art on display. While it may be fairly brief and straightforward, I think it's unique and interesting enough to merit having its own little place carved out among most players Steam library.
Posted July 27, 2018.
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17 people found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Game developers - big and small alike - if you ever want to know how to do comedy in both gaming and music, produce damn near flawless voice acting, and make a game that's smart, creative and has actual characters in it, play this and take note, as How to Cope with Boredom and Loneliness is a master class in all of the above.

Assuming the role of pompous, exploitative, self-serving documentary maker Nigel Wimble, you'll interview Harold Fletcher, a man who has been grounded for over thirty years, and learn all about how he manages to cope with boredom and loneliness. This is done by examining the various items adorned around his room then selecting three to question him over. After which, you simply sit back and enjoy the interview that unfolds.

There isn't an awful lot to this as gameplay goes - it's really just selecting three cutscenes and the order to watch them - but what's then delivered to you thereafter is such a perfect little gift of comedy, melancholy and absurdity wrapped up in glorious presentation, that it really doesn't matter if interaction is so minimal. Honestly, in the few short minutes of each scene, you get a greater sense of actual personality and attachment to the small cast here than I have done in hours of many triple-A titles where the lead protagonist's personality could basically be summed up as "angry man with gun".

I'm amazed I haven't heard anything about this before and its praises aren't being sung aloud by everyone who's encountered it, as I'll definitely be doing so to anyone who'll listen from now on and trying my best to make sure they play it. Granted, I guess the nature of comedy being as subjective as it is, some people just won't be into it. But if nothing else, I defy anyone to not love the Boris the KGBee segment. If you don't then there's a good chance you're already dead inside and far beyond mine or anyone else's help.
Posted July 27, 2018.
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7 people found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
2.8 hrs on record
I no longer fear hell, for I have played aMAZE Untouchable.

I've played a lot of games, but I think I can safely say without exaggeration that this is one of the worst things I've had the misfortune to ever play on Steam. It's not even that it's bad in the same way as a game that's a cheap, lazy cash-in or an asset flip, or broken in a way that it's literally unplayable. It's bad in a very special sort of way that separates it from those other, cynical, eye-rolling experiences, and transcends into something that's uniquely loathsome.

At this point we're in the seventh game in the aMAZE series, where, for the most part, they try to mix up the basic maze navigating gameplay with new gimmicks and aesthetic themes. This time around the genius notion is to have a maze where you can't touch the walls or you'll be reset all the way back to the beginning of the course. There's room for a decent enough game to make use of that mechanic and be a fun, challenging experience... This is not that game.

It's hard to know exactly where to start listing what's wrong here, so numerous are its flaw. But I guess the most immediately noticeable thing about the game is it's absolutely hideous. Its searing, bright, pulsating, flashing rainbow colours throughout are a literal pain. I've played ten hour-plus sessions of games before and never had eye strain that comes close to what this induced within less than an hour of play. It's the only game I can immediately think of that would actually be improved by having literal sh*t smeared across the screen, just to reduce the garish assault it intensely vomits into your face non-stop. The only thing worse than the way it looks is the way it controls... My GOD, the way it controls!

Just like all the previous games, you use the keyboard to move a ball around vertically or horizontally. While this has never been perfect at any point in the series, it's sufficed just because there was little real penalty for crashing into walls. In fact, it could even boost your speed in a way. But here, it's just not fit for purpose. The movement is so imprecise - in a game that requires absolute precision - that many of your failures won't come down to player fault, but to bad design and/or programming. This isn't helped by the fact the ball has this weird inertia that means if you press the key down for any longer than the tiniest fraction of a second, it will continue to drift briefly after you've taken your finger off the button. On more intricate stages this results in gameplay devolving into an agonising marathon of cautious taps as you move the ball around a millimetre at a time. Oh, but it doesn't end there!

The ball itself isn't even a solid colour as it has been in every other entry up to this point. Instead, it's now rainbow-coloured AND oscillates in colour as it moves. The effect being that it actually makes it incredibly difficult to clearly visually define the ball's physical dimension and makes it hard to judge how close or far away you are from a wall, made all the harder by the multicoloured, flashing backgrounds and maze walls that make everything a nauseating blur. And just as a little cherry on top, you can't even change direction from left to right without the ball simultaneously juddering up or down, too... or move up and down without going left and right. Way too many times than I care to remember, I'd move in one continuous direction down a long corridor to pick up a gem that unlocks the exit, press in the opposite direction and be shunted into the wall because I was involuntarily thrown into it, losing several minutes of progress. No matter how quick your reflexes or how clear your judgment, if you mis-tap the key, there's practically zero room for course correction and you'll be met with failure. In fact, I'd even swear some of the collision detection is busted on top of everything else.

It's hard to tell whether this is gross ineptitude on the developer's part, or a massive troll as they intentionally try to infuriate players and charge money for the privilege. Or maybe it's a genius move where they intentionally sabotage their game with a dog sh*t entry so as to make us appreciate all the others by comparison and be grateful for its simplicity and its "return to form". But either way, I never want to see, hear or even think about this horrible experience again for the rest of my life. And after spending the three hours it took me to complete it, quite frankly, I want a f*cking medal for it, along with some counselling.
Posted July 26, 2018.
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7 people found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record (0.2 hrs at review time)
A top-down bullet hell arena shooter where you face off against a series of bosses in one-on-one battles. Pitted against three separate bosses (and later, all three at once), you'll use the mouse to move a little sad-face around the screen. Holding down left click will root your character to the spot but also fire out a laser beam in the direction you point to. Letting go will then teleport you to your new mouse location, vital for repositioning and avoiding otherwise inescapable attacks. The basics are pretty quick and easy to understand... actually defeating the bosses, not quite so much.

I really like the clean, uncluttered, black and white aesthetic, with a little bit of red thrown in for flavour, making for a game where all the visuals are incredibly easy to parse, something hugely helpful for a fast-paced, bullet-dodging game like this. I'm also a big fan of the overall design and look of the bosses and their surrounding elements - an interesting mix of grotesque, otherworldly and geometrically challenging, making them all the more an event to fight against. Props have to be given to the audio and music in particular. There isn't a lot of it, but what's there perfectly compliments each encounter.

There isn't a great deal of content here, but I can hardly complain when it's free. Difficulty will be a matter of who you ask as I'm sure some people will breeze through it while others will struggle, though there is the option to adjust the overall speed of gameplay to fast or slow and still have progress count all the same. If I did have one complaint it would be that the final mode with all three bosses at once can feel a little unfairly RNG in which attacks you could potentially have unleashed upon you at the same time and like there's just no way to avoid damage when that happens. But otherwise, it's a solid game that's made me greatly looking forward to trying its big brother title, Dead.
Posted July 26, 2018.
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18 people found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Welp, I've officially lost it. I've suspected as much for a long time, but this is the game that's finally proven it to be true. As I type this right now there are currently 4,136 reviews for this game. Of those, 3,932 of them are positive. As I ponder that fact, the only noise that relentlessly, deafeningly reverberates around my head is the word "HOW?!". When I'm so clearly in the microscopically small minority for something so overwhelmingly beloved, it's obvious that it must be me that's messed up, and not this game, as it would otherwise appear.

This is a grim, gothic, period-piece horror story told via the lens of an east Asian developer telling the tell of a young brother and sister's complicated relationship. You play solely as the brother as he awakens from a dream and finds himself trapped in his sister's room with no real idea of how he got there or much memory of his past. You'll search for items and clues and gradually unlock fragments of memory and eventually your freedom.

I'm pretty fond of puzzle games, and "escape the room" type games are ones I'm becoming increasingly interested in and excited to see emerge further as a genre. But this is so painfully frustrating in several ways that it feels like it's doing its best to extinguish that enthusiasm. First off, everything is mouse controlled and you can only move to designated spots to investigate points of interest, while arrows at the bottom corners of the screen scroll the view of the room from left to right. It's not game destroying, but it's definitely an awkward, inelegant way of navigating the tiny, 2D play space. Far worse, though, is your actual interaction with your environment..

There's no option to specifically try using an item on an object to see if it will do anything. Instead, you have to view an item in your inventory to equip it, then have it be used automatically when you find the correct target object. It may not sound like much of an issue, and may even seem helpful, but in practice it proves highly troublesome and means you constantly have to switch in and out of a cumbersome inventory to test anything, which is made all the more annoying by the fact that some things can't even be interacted with as intended until a certain thing is triggered and you activate it precisely when the games wants you to. There's also a clue system in place based upon finding information spread around the room and piecing it together to learn your past, which isn't quite so annoying and is even a little bit fun in its own way.

For all the mechanical problems that plague the moment to moment gameplay to such a ruinous extent (I haven't even mentioned how bewildering some of the puzzles actually are, to the point I'd be amazed if most people finished this without using a guide), what this game lacks in intuitive interactions and fun puzzles, it makes up for in its art, audio and overall presentation and polish therein. Even if the art style isn't entirely my thing, I can still appreciate the high quality along with the clear care and attention put into it. Having layers of music added as you discover clues is a nice idea, too, but the looping vocal track grew so grating for me I had to mute it after a few minutes. Which was a shame as it was otherwise a nice piece for the first couple of listens... just not quite so much the twentieth time around.

The games that hurt the most to review negatively are the ones that are so close to being amazing but fall short due to the fundamentals being mishandled and dragging down all the good work and potential with it. Even reading other reviews, a lot seem to have the same gripes about it and feel the puzzles were awkward and the story baffling, yet still love it. Which says to me that the presentation is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here and it enough to win people over. But, sadly, it wasn't enough for me to overlook its frustrating gameplay and unengaging story.
Posted July 25, 2018.
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9 people found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Another day, another aMAZE game. This time there's two mazes instead of one! You know, because that's how progress works.

Literally the only difference between this and the more recent games in the series is instead of having one large maze, you'll now have two small to medium sized ones either side of the screen. Start at the very top or bottom of a maze, find a gem to unlock the portal at the centre, then go through the portal to repeat the process on the other side.

I don't really know what this is adding to the formula at all. If anything, it's just taking away, since, instead of having one large maze to potentially meander in, you'll have two small ones to very quickly and easily find your way through. I found myself either being bored and merely going through the motions with practically zero challenge on offer, or else being annoyed at the return of the eye-searing backgrounds that can once again hinder your ability to navigate.

I guess I'd rate this positively just because there's nothing ultimately bad about it, and it's still a reasonable enough distraction where you get what you pay for over the course of fifty stages and about an hour's worth of play. But overall, when compared to the rest of the series, it's a pretty weak outing that's just slightly above average enough to be looked upon more favourably than negatively.
Posted July 15, 2018.
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17 people found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
A decade's old Flash game rebuilt in Unity and reintroduced for contemporary audiences on Steam, Sprout is a point and click, botanical adventure puzzle game about a newly sprouted palm tree seed striving to move to a distant land and become a mighty oak.

Using your ability to grow from seed to tree to seed again, you'll move around a handful of screens encountering other types of flora, and with it, learn new abilities to help you move around in unique, creative ways. Find the right seeds to use for the right puzzle to progress further and eventually transform into a majestic king of the woods... or whatever people call oaks.

If I hadn't read up on it and discovered it was over ten years old, I honestly wouldn't have known. The hand drawn art style, clever puzzles and overall presentation feel right at home with modern indie darlings that win over the community to become instant classics. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that this was responsible for inspiring current games with similar styles.

Taking only a few minutes to complete, and being absolutely free, I've no idea why you're still reading this and aren't playing it right now. Go! Play it right now, g*ddammit!
Posted July 14, 2018.
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Showing 1-10 of 148 entries