Some brief mini-reviews of games I’ve played the past week or so:
Gunmetal Arcadia Zero– Developed by Minor Key Games, Gunmetal Arcadia Zero is a prelude/companion game to Gunmetal Arcadia, a procedurally generated action-adventure platformer. IGC pitched it as “Looks like Zelda II, plays like Castlevania”, and while there’s truth to that, it reminded me more of a more linear Wonder Boy game. There are items and upgrades to buy, and you acquire more life as you progress through the game. There are just enough offshoots and tiny branches without the game going into Metroid-esque territory in terms of exploration. In short, I loved this game and would highly recommend it. Quibbles with the game included a few parts that crossed the line from “challenging” to “cheap” if you weren’t prepared for them, and the fact that candle powerups and chests seemed to be completely random. It makes sense as a prelude to what the developers call a “roguelite” in Gunmetal Arcadia, but I wasn’t a huge fan of it in terms of trying to complete the “speedrun the game” achievements. Also, without using the CRT simulator, some of the cinematics are kind of Uncanny Valley/offputting.
Arcadecraft– Developed by FireBase Industries, this is an arcade management simulator where you’re dropped into 1980 to try to run a sustainable arcade. I enjoyed the few hours I played of this one. There are enough real-time elements to keep the game from getting too boring, ranging from addressing angry customers to keeping tabs on how full the coin boxes on your machines are. I’d recommend this game if you’re already into management sims like SimCity or Rollercoaster Tycoon, or if the concept of owning your own arcade really appeals to you. The downside? It’s incredibly hard to survive the start, to the point I wouldn’t recommend it as a first management sim. Imagine SimCity, except your starting cash is a loan, and instead of installments, you have to pay THE WHOLE LOAN AT ONCE back, plus interest, in two years, while also paying city maintenance costs the whole while. That’s basically the start of Arcadecraft.
Cursed Treasure 2– Developed by Armor Games, I admit to cheating a bit on this review. You see, the Steam version of the game effectively wouldn’t run for me, forcing me to fall back to the free Flash version found on their website. That actually ran rather slowly, too, but it did at least run. I attempted the first few levels of the game in the Flash version, and liked what I saw. Cursed Treasure 2 is a Tower Defense game with some RPG elements such as experience and leveling up your three main towers. As for my issues with running the Steam version of the game, I try not to be too harsh on games for having problems on a 5-year-old laptop, even if there shouldn’t be anything super-advanced tech-wise about running a Tower Defense game. In short, I’d recommend this as well, and just wish I could run it “at speed”.