It’s been a relatively quiet week for gaming releases but I’ve got a few that you should give a gander.
This post is part of a series where I take a look at the most interesting games on the new releases list for Steam. You can find out more about it here.
Side Note: The I of the Dragon
It should be illegal to use the English language in such a way. That might be the point though, to get a little more attention by abusing. Dangit. Well, clever marketing or not, I of the Dragon is a 2004 published RPG where you RP as a dragon. It looks and sounds indie and the reviews so far aren’t the most positive for it. This is from the same publisher of such classics like Raven’s Cry. Yeah, that awful RPG that came out this year. Maybe we’ll just agree to pass the heck away from this one.
Wowie wee wow. Combine dark fantasy, H.R. Giger, let your artists go nuts and this is the results. The trailer and screenshots are full of delicious dark candy for your eyes to chew on. It wears its influences on its sleeves and clearly doesn’t care that you noticed. It just wants to be loved. Point & Click games typically have really good art to make up for the…well…unchanging gameplay. But this one is clearly trying to stand out this year. If only I had an interest in the genre. Point and clicks are often too slow paced for my taste. If I had to play one though, I think it would have to be this one.
By the way, watch the second trailer. It throws out a hint of the story and shows off some of the gameplay. The first one is all about what the press are saying about the game. Looks like there’s logic puzzles, timing based shenanigans and other fairly typical puzzles for this genre. I’ll bet it looks gorgeous. I was pretty amused by Destructoid’s comment: “It’s like H.R. Giger and all of the covers of your favorite metal albums had some freakish baby”. It’s a rather apt description. Anyway, I’m intrigued and maybe you should be too. It’s not getting much attention right now.
I don’t typically bite on games with this art style. I find it to be part of lazy development more often than not. But then, the trailer intrigues me just a bit. And then I’m even more intrigued when I notice who the publisher is: Activision. Not often that you see a very indie-esque game come from them. I have to wonder if Activision’s staff just didn’t realize this was being made until it was too late.
Anyway, did see a bit of gameplay from YouTube and it doesn’t look too bad. Puzzle solving horror game with a black/white color scheme. I’m just curious, why is this game mostly falling under the radar? I don’t get it, you would make a deal with Activision to get more advertising power usually and yet in this case, not a bit of that is happening. Odd. Moving on.
Ok, hardly the first game to have crayon aesthetics but I think it’s the first game of the RPG/Rogue-like genre to have the aesthetic. I could be wrong. I’ll give the devs credit for picking it, it drew my attention where most rogue-likes look just a little too similar to each other to really stand out. I will say though, not much stands out about it from the game’s description. Being able to carry a helmet, armor, main-hand/off-hand weapons, use skill powers or have consumables isn’t really that exciting. At least the trailer focuses on showing off the gameplay. Anyway, it’s a quirky oddity in the releases so here you go.
Strange name aside, this here is an educational word game from a non-profit organization that doesn’t look like it sucks. This isn’t the first edutainment game I’ve seen from a major organization (NASA likes to produce quite a few when it can) but most tend to miss the…point of making a game. Main criticism I’d have to level at it, is that it shows off a lot of touch control in the trailer. I get that making a new trailer for PC isn’t always easy but it doesn’t give off a good first impression. The other main question I’d have is how it made the port from mobile to PC. Unfortunately, my trusty PCGamingWiki site doesn’t have an article for the game. Too bad.
As for the concept itself, I was pretty skeptical when watching the trailer. You’re trying to find a path between words with synonyms until you find the shortest path to the target word that you’re given. To me, it just seemed like the kind of game you’d press random words until you found a solution. But, then they talk about the musical cues on words you pick that guide you through the path of words. That combined with the multiplayer leaderboard aspect probably helps people try and figure out the best path that they can.
Good edutainment games are hard to find. Whether Synonymy fits the bill remains to be seen. But it’s one of the more intriguing games that I’ve stumbled across where they are trying to teach you more about synonyms. Or maybe just how insane the English language can be at times, who can be sure. It’s only a couple of bucks which is a nice change of pace for mobile-to-PC ported games that typically charge many times more than the mobile game’s original price.
Thanks for reading! Feedback is appreciated for this series as I continue to refine it.