I’m always on the lookout for hidden gems that never got a fair shake. Venetica, Velvet Assassin, and even the Game of Thrones RPG are great examples of what I mean, those being games flawed enough to turn most reviewers off, but that have oodles of charm once you can look past their shortcomings. The Cursed Crusade is a game I thought might belong on that list based on some user reviews on Steam, and I purchased it in the hopes that it would dazzle me, but this game was panned for good reason and has little to offer anyone. It’s tedious, unfinished, unfunny, ugly, unoptimized, and worst of all, a complete bore to play through. Read more →
The Cursed Crusade is a game I picked up after reading a few reviews that said that it was rough around the edges, but nevertheless one of those gems that flew under the radar. It’s not a gem, though. In fact, apart from its combat system which is only slightly enjoyable at best, it’s little more than a bunch of QTE sequences broken apart by frantic searches for new weapons that may or may not have fallen through the ground after the one you’re using breaks. Fortunately for fans of tedium and things that make absolutely no sense, all weapons in the game break after using them against 3-4 enemies, so these frantic searches are every bit as frequent as they are annoying. Then there’s the story, which goes out of its way to explain nothing about your curse, even going so far as to suddenly end before a single plot thread is resolved. This game is truly the bottom of the barrel. Read more →
The very first time I played through 80 Days, I stumbled onto Goland, the Mongolian princess who you meet (and are potentially kissed by) while traveling through Russia. It ended rather abruptly, however, and despite my attempts to follow her and find a less bitter resolution, I eventually ran out of money, forcing me to leave it as a dangling plot point that never got tied up. As it turns out, it’s possible to have her appear at the ending, but this requires doing things in a very specific order. I’ve worked out a route that should allow you to get this ending while still making it back within 80 Days, and I’ve made a point to test a number of different things to figure out what triggers this ending and what you should absolutely not do. Read more →
I haven’t exactly made my hatred of Inkle’s Sorcery a secret—from my review of it to random conversations where it’s come up, I’ve always made a point to explain why it’s a terrible ripoff of a game. However, I’m hardly one to give up on developers for the inadequacy of a single series, so I couldn’t help but pick up the Jules Verne novel-inspired 80 Days when I caught it on sale; not only did it promise to be a complete game, but it also infused the original story with a steampunk twist that sounded too intriguing to pass up. Fortunately, it didn’t disappoint in either case, and my lusts for story-rich games and the steampunk aesthetic both wound up being sated. Read more →
80 days is one of those strange games I never really thought I’d get into. For one, it was made by Inkle, the people behind the abominably short (not to mention incomplete) Sorcery games. Beyond that, it’s more of an interactive novel than a “game” in the sense that traveling the same route and making the same decisions yields identical results each playthrough. That said, there’s some variance in what items are available to purchase, and since a good portion of the game consists of buying items cheaply from one place and selling them for a higher place elsewhere to fund your travels, this adds a bit of variance to what would otherwise be a static experience. Even without that, however, the game is one of those weirdly enjoyable experiences, a steampunk version of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days that sees Passepartout (you) and Phileas Fogg going around the world and stumbling across all kinds of mechanical creatures and miscellaneous wonders on the way too bizarre to be present in the original story.
I played through it over and over and over again. All together, I’ve probably finished the game more than 15 times. It’s not a particularly lengthy experience, mind you, but even playing it obsessively over the course of a week or so wasn’t enough for me to learn the game inside and out; while I made a point to figure out how to win over the heart of a Mongolian princess and kill off Fogg by way of neglect near the North Pole, I found that I was still discovering little things in locations that I had never visited. The game may not be much of a “game” in the traditional sense, but that doesn’t stop whatever it technically is from being a lot of fun. Read more →
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can’t beat Comix Zone, and liars. I suppose there’s a third category of those who have learned the game’s ins and outs well enough to make it to the end without cheating, but let’s be realistic—most of us aren’t that kind of person. This is a brutal, unforgiving game that just so happens to be wonderful despite some wonky design decisions that render it virtually impossible for the average person to beat despite its short length, but fortunately for us mere mortals, the game can be legally obtained on Amazon and Steam in an emulated form. This allows you to play through the game with save states, turning a game that would otherwise be maddeningly frustrating for most players into a feasible experience. Read more →