The First Hours of Faster Than Light

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After a month of forced vacation (my gaming laptop died on me) I’m back and boy have I got things to say!

Faster than Light (FTL) is another one of those games I bought in the amazing Indie bundles around the Internet, its a real time  strategy game, developed by Subset Games and sold only via digital distribution platforms such as Valve’s steam.

The game was released in September 2012, was met with good reviews and it swept the internet thanks to the popularity of websites such as YouTube and its millions of followers. It features some rogue like elements and stands as a great example of a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The first thing I want to mention is the game’s beautiful soundtrack, as soon as I’ve heard it, I knew I had to buy it online! Its soothing and has a particularly simple yet charming tone to it, invoking the wonder of traversing the unknown perfectly. A huge shout out to Ben Prunty, the game’s composer who did such an amazing job.

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For the record, I didn’t manage to beat the game (yet) but I’ve manage to reach the final level and got obliterated, on easy mode none the less… I’m working on it though, cof. The game’s mechanics are fairly simple, you start off with a small crew that you can build up to a maximum of 8 members, and your only purpose is to escape your pursuers and reach safe haven. You go through several star systems, some friendly, some not as much and then you die… Yup, in this game you’ll die, A LOT! And I don’t mean the game is difficult, it’s just unfair. Luck is a factor than albeit being present in most things, governs the greater part of this game. You’ll be seeing a lot of text boxes (Random Events) that in themselves constitute the game’s backbone, in these events you will have to choose an action to take such as helping a ship that is under attack or just let them be and avoid a fight altogether, each having their own advantages, do you prefer to be the hero and maybe die trying to save a few strangers or just continue on your merry way and live another day? Maybe you need supplies and that enemy ship that hasn’t spot you has a lot of them just waiting for you… It’s up to you to decide how to tackle each event. 

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When you get yourself in trouble, and trust me, you will get into a lot of it, you’ll be presented with strategic space battles where have to control your crew by using the mouse, have them man their stations and choose what systems to attack in the enemy ship and what weapons to attack them with; there are missiles, lasers, bombs and beams  that you can use to take your targets down! If you want to take the battle to your enemies, you can teleport your crew into their ship and eliminate the threat from the inside (you can also be boarded though). There is also an assortment of droids that can do anything from attacking your enemies to repair your ship during battles!

Despite being easy to understand, FTL has a lot to offer and a lot of little things you’ll find out the more you play it, it is very unique and if you like strategy and sci fi be sure to check it out!

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The First Hours of The Cat Lady

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The Cat lady is an adventure/horror game created by Harvester Games, an Indie developer that focuses on delivering old school style adventures with a horror twist. They mainly want to appeal to core gamers and one must agree that they successfully do.

In this game, you play as Susan Ashworth, a protagonist that feels real and whose view of life is grim and overall negative. She lives alone in her apartment and kills herself right at the beginning of the game. After a strange yet interesting turn of events (which I won’t spoil for you) she finds herself again in the land of the living. Armed with the knowledge that 5 people will enter her life, 4 of them with ill purposes and 1 who can bring the true happiness she’s sought for years, she has been tasked to cleanse the world of the 4 who allegedly do not deserve to live.

You play this point and click adventure in a 2D perspective and it basically consists in walking and interacting with objects around you, as a true adventure game. Exploration is non existent since you’re completely restricted to moving left or right and the objects you can interact with aren’t that abundant…

It is a linear experience but one very good at that. It looks purposely ugly and gives a strange puppet theater feel to the characters, which enhances their unappealing look and gives the game a personal style that you’ll probably come to love the more you play. There are puzzles to be solved and people to interact with and although there is text to be read, all conversations are voice acted.

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The voice acting is all over the place… Some actors are good enough while some are very weak, there even were one or two times I could notice the poor quality of the actor’s microphone! One thing I find very important to make a videogame successful is its soundtrack and I can proudly say that this game has got you covered, from the music itself to the eerie sounds that will make you want to think twice before moving to the next room.

I’m still on the third chapter of the game (there are a total of seven) and I feel compelled to just go at it and finish it in one sitting! If it keeps up this level of overall quality it might even turn out to be one of the best horror stories this year…

I recommend you all to give this game a try! It is not available on Steam albeit being on Greenlight waiting for approval. For more information you can visit the developer’s website by clicking here.

The Beautiful World of Proteus

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Well, I like to be an all-around gamer, so I try to play games in all genres!
Well the most recent one I got was Proteus. The game is basically a free roam, go wherever you like kind of game, with no objectives other than to explore!

The best of all is that it does not get boring (in part because it’s a very short experience). The game world is generated every time you start a new game and what you get is an island to explore. There are no characters, no dialogue and no missions to do! It is only you… you and a peaceful deserted place for you to lose yourself in.

The soundtrack is good, although not great. I love the sounds of the night and the ocean, but during the day in the middle of the forest, it can get a bit irritating, with too many high pitch sounds at the same time. The music is generated by the objects around you and that is maybe the reason I got a few too much sounds at the same time.

All in all it’s a good little experience and I do hope to see the next project from Ed Key and David Kanaga soon.

Why I Love Indie Games

We all love AAA titles and it’s a great thing they exist because they keep gaming in general relevant as a business.

But we all know that big companies avoid taking huge risks and most of the time they play it safe! But a new movement started massively growing a few years ago, the Indie Game Industry (if we can call it an Industry)!

From games made by a single person, to games made by teams of a few people, the Indie Scene has brought us great experiences! Sometimes we get simple games like, Proteus or Journey, other times we get a game like Minecraft, who brought the Indie genre to the spotlight, a game where your imagination is the limit and where you can explore and build whatever, whenever, wherever you fancy!

These little “huge” games have a very special place in my heart and I can only imagine what the future will bring for us gamers, and from what we have been experiencing, along with announcements like The Witness for the PS4, it will be a Bright Future!