[🧵 3/x] The cabinet (much like Zaxxon's) is yet another example of the glorious aesthetics of "The Wood Age" (my pet name for the US obsession with wood paneling in the 70's-early 80's). Interestingly, the wood-paneled look actually works thematically with the game as well, given that the game takes place entirely outdoors :) Let's also take a moment to admire the control area art, which depicts two monkeys playing xylophone as blue rhinos dance it up nearby. Awesome!
[🧵 2/x] Congo Bongo is an is an isometric platformer developed by Sega that sees you traversing four single-screen stages in order to reach a giant gorilla. Along the way, you must jump- over obstacles, onto moving platforms, up inclines- to reach your nemesis. Each level has unique obstacles and challenges, ranging from dodging lobbed coconuts or jumping on floating platforms frogger-style. At the end of the fourth stage, you enact sweet, sweet revenge to your gorilla foe (more on this later), and the game begins anew with increased difficulty.
[🧵 3/x] Zaxxon immediately stood out in the arcade for being one of the first games (that I'm aware of) featuring an isometric perspective. This gives the game a distinct 3-dimensional appearance at a time when most games were strictly 2-dimensional in perspective. Not only does this look cool, it also requires new skills of the player- specifically, adjusting the altitude of the ship in real-time to avoid obstacles and/or precisely land shots on enemies.
[🧵 2/x] Zaxxon is a space shooter created by Sega, comprised of three distinct stages. Stages 1 and 3 see you flying through large “space fortresses”, while stage 2 requires you to fly in free space between them. Each stage has various hazards (turrets, rockets, fighter ships, etc.) to defeat, while also contending with an ever-decreasing fuel supply. At the end of the third stage, you fight a large robot (who I *believe* is the titular “Zaxxon”), after which the waves repeat, albeit with higher difficulty.
Here you go.
August 31, 2023 - Day 243 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 263
Game: The Ascent
Release Date: Jul 30, 2021
Library Date: Aug 31, 2022
Unplayed: 365d (1y)
The Ascent is a cyberpunk-themed isometric action-shooter RPG, with an oddly annoying control scheme.
This is not, technically, the first time I've played The Ascent. I played a short part of it -on PC- when it was on Xbox Game Pass. I remember being annoyed by the controls then, but forgot I'd installed it.
Then it dropped in the August 2022 Humble Choice bundle, and I uninstalled it from the Xbox app and installed it on Steam, and promptly forgot about it.
Turns out that was *exactly* twelve months ago.
When starting it tonight, I remembered my annoyance with the controls, and turned on my controller.
This is a game that feels like it was designed to be played with a controller. On a controller, and an isometric* game, moving with the left stick feels natural. WASD feels odd, because you're using two keys at a time.
But targeting with the right stick feels like playing in glue. Maybe if it had snap-targeting, but it doesn't. Targeting with a mouse feels natural and particularly during the first frenetic boss battle, if I'd been trying to target with the controller, I'd probably have given up.
My only other critique is that "isometric*" above. A lot of isometric games handle being behind an object by making it transparent, or outlining your character.
The Ascent puts a circle on the ground, which can be a little hard to keep track of when you're behind a large fixed object during a frenetic boss battle.
On top of this, it's isometric until it isn't. Suddenly, the camera is behind you for a while, but not when it might be helpful, like when you're behind a giant object during a frenetic boss battle.
The gameplay and atmosphere are excellent. It nails that gritty cyberpunk feel. The mobs suddenly popping up out of nowhere give just the right amount of chills. The first level in the bowels of the city feels -and sounds- like you're underneath everything.
The visuals and sound design when you complete your first major quest getting a machine running is great.
The Ascent is a game that overcomes its weaknesses pretty damn well.
The Ascent is:
August 23, 2023 - Day 235 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 255
Game: Desktop Dungeons: Rewind
Release Date: Apr 19, 2023
Library Date: Apr 19, 2023
Unplayed: 126d (4m4d)
Desktop Dungeons: Rewind is Desktop Dungeons Enhanced Edition in 3D.
Gone are the pixel-art bitmaps, replaced by glorious detailed 3D artwork.
The gameplay is (at least at this point) identical.
Like, last night I played through the first map multiple times before I understood it and beat it.
Tonight, exactly the same map, with the same mobs, and the same drops, but all in 3D.
So: Desktop Dungeons: Rewind is an isometric 3D roguelike dungeon crawler puzzle game.
Where last night it was a great example of a game where the gameplay overcomes my dislike of pixel-art games, now the fun gameplay is also pretty.
Still a pretty standard dungeon crawler. Explore the dungeon, attack mobs.
However, each square you uncover goes towards refilling your health and mana. You need to explore the fog of war to find mobs, but if you clear the fog of war and then try and kill the mobs, you're gonna have a bad time.
I cleared the first level with exactly the same strategy I used last night, still hooked. The only reason I didn't keep playing was that it ran into my actual work shift.
Between dungeons there's some resource management and basic city-building going on, but the game is designed to be played in short chunks. No change, just prettier city-building, in 3D!
In a shocking and surprising turn of events, Desktop Dungeons: Rewind is:
Something a little different for today.
I spent my weekend practicing vintage textures, shading, and halftones. The result: this robot.
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, what do you think?
June 22, 2023 - Day 173 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 191
Game: ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove!
Platform: Epic Games Store
Release Date: Mar 1, 2019
Library Date: Oct 14, 2022
Unplayed: 251d (8m8d)
Way back on the 1st of January when I set out on this misbegotten journey, I wrote in my toot that I was open to suggestions.
Today, on day 173, a friend suggested "Have you played ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove!"
I had not, however, I did not have a copy of the game in my Steam library, nor do I have an unused Steam key.
"I'll buy it for you!"
Friendo, adding to my pile of unplayed games does not reduce the size of the pile. However, I considered the offer, and took a look at GG.Deals, because the last thing I wanted was for friendo to pay full price.
It was at this point I made a terrible discovery. The game had been given away free on the Epic Games Store last October. As I have collected most of the games given away by Epic, the chance was... yeah. I do own a copy of the game.
EGS is the anti-Steam. It takes anything that's good about Steam, and does it in the worst possible way.
Steam handles a large library well? EGS handles a small library terribly.
Steam makes moving a game to a different drive incredibly simple? EGS requires 15 years experience in tech support.
Steam makes buying a new game almost dangerously easy? EGS makes it laborious enough to question whether you even want the *free* game in your cart.
The free games given away on Steam have literally become little more than demo versions, to see if I like the game enough to either use the Steam key I might already have, or buy the game on Steam.
Yes, I despise using EGS so much that I've bought games on Steam that I already received for free on EGS. I resent the exclusivity arrangements that force me to use EGS for Tony Hawk 1/2 and Alan Wake Remastered.
Of course, collecting all these free games on EGS means I have *multiple* piles of shame, across different launchers (I won't even get into GOG).
However, this is a review of TJ&E:BITG!, not EGS, and now that I've gotten my EGS rant out of the way on Mastodon (as seen in less detail on :birdsite:) this is the first game from my EGS pile of shame this year.
TJ&E:BITG! is an isometric platformer, that has you searching islands, & shaking trees looking for bits of an exploded ship.
The main thing I'm looking for in a game is fun; maybe it was in one of the trees I didn't shake.
Having never played any of the previous three(!) games, I felt utterly bewildered for most of my playtime.
I understand that people love this game, I just don't understand why. Respect, though. If it's your cup of tea, more power to you. It's most definitely not mine.
I'm sorry, friendo, but I'm glad I saved you the purchase price, because for me ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove! is a big:
Woodland Cabin. (Isometric no. 4)
(Side-note: Ive been absolutely blown away by your support on Mastodon in my very short time here. I can't thank you enough for the warm welcome 🙇.)
June 14, 2023 - Day 165 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 183
Release Date: Jan 22, 2021
Library Date: Dec 25, 2022
Unplayed: 171d (5m20d)
Tiny Lands is a cozy isometric puzzle game. It's those old "compare these two images and find the differences", but with tiny little low-poly side-by-side dioramas that you can rotate and zoom.
They're very pretty, with an almost tilt-shift style, and a wonderful away of sound effects intermittently plays in the background while a very chill & laid back soundtrack accompanies you.
Set up my new WQHD work monitor tonight to test it, and this was the perfect game for it.
However, it is possible to, in a word, cheat.
If you've ever deliberately gone cross-eyed to trigger a 3D illusion, that some technique works almost flawlessly here. The differences in the images suddenly pop out at you as you rotate the tableaux, but it defeats the purpose of just chilling out and letting your mind wander.
Tiny Lands is:
I’ve been into isometric pixel art lately, too! It’s nice bc I can do that on my phone and it’s fun and relaxing! Especially seeing how little I can make something and still have it be discernible. Here’s two little rooms I did. Working my way up to more complex pieces. It’s a nice break from the chore that my usual art has been for me lately 😒 #pixelart #pixels #isometric #tinyart #mastoart
Hey folks! 👋
I'll start from the beginning...
Veil of Darkness! I'm a 'sucker' for a good vampire video game. Event Horizon and Strategic Simulations, two companies that gave me my earliest exposure to Dungeons & Dragons. I loved the eeriness of this title and it came out around the same time as Bram Stoker's Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola. I happened to love Joel Schumacher's The Lost Boys and Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark, so this game was right up my alley. #dos #retrogaming #gaming #pcgaming #rpg #isometric #vampire #dnd
June 11, 2023 - Day 162 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 180
Game: Meeple Station
Release Date: Apr 11, 2020
Library Date: Jun 2, 2022
Unplayed: 374d (1y9d)
Meeple Station is game #7 from June 2023's Humble Choice, the last of my unplayed games from the bundle, and answers the question "How do we fill out the bundle to 8 games?"
I actually picked it up in a bundle last year, so I have a free key.
Meeple Station is an isometric pixel-art colony builder/management sim. You build and control a space station.
In this case, build and control are very loosely defined. When I looked at this game, I was expecting to find it was still in Early Access, but no, apparently this bug-ridden disaster area is the release version. Patch 1.0.7 was released in Jan 2022, 1.0.8 was released in July 2022, and nothing else since.
Some nice ideas, but very poorly executed. After 63 mins, I hadn't even completed the 5 tutorials.
For example: You assign crew members to a task, then you have to wait for them to complete that task to move on in the tutorial.
There's no way to force them to do it, you just have to wait... and they just won't do it. I restarted two tutorials, one of them at (as it turned out) the final step. When it happened again mid-tutorial #5, I was done.
Meeple Station has some nice ideas, but:
June 8, 2023 - Day 159 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 176
Game: Curse of the Dead Gods
Release Date: Feb 24, 2021
Library Date: Jun 7, 2023
Unplayed: 1d (1d)
Curse of the Dead Gods is a roguelike isometric dungeon crawler.
This is the second of the five previously unowned games from the June 2023 Humble Choice Bundle.
I like dungeon crawlers when I'm in the mood, but roguelikes are not my go-to style of game.
As an intrepid dungeon raider, you seek fame and fortune, and you're almost immediately cursed as you enter the temple. Smash things, pick up gold, kill mobs.
Weapon upgrades, spiky floors, strange gods. I feel like I've played this before...?
Wait up. It's Hades with a warmer colour palette, and less dialogue.
That's not to say it's a bad game. If you like gameplay of Hades, you might like this. If you like the storyline & wit, maybe less so.
It's a good looking game, but left me wondering when I'd choose to play this over Hades.
Curse of the Dead Gods is:
Isometric voxel-style infographics illustration about Bitcoin money laundering crime, for the Dutch National Police Corps.
#isometric #pixelart #voxelart #pixels #voxels #magicavoxel #infographics #illustration #illustrator #police #bitcoin #money #crime #buildings #city #town #blender3d #b3d #art #artwork #MastoArt #FediArt
Check out my hand drawn old school isometric Abandoned Mine map time lapse video! Drawn with procreate, and now on my #YouTube channel!
#dnd #5e #osr #ttrpg #oldschool #grimdark #isometric #warhammer #Pathfinder2e #maps #map #cartography #gaming #oldschool #draw #TimeLapse #tabletopRolePlayingGame #tabletop #fantasy #handdrawn #RolePlayingGame #DM #dungeon #DungeonMaster #tomb #DungeonsAndDragons #DnD5e #cartographer #procreate #ipad
May 19, 2023 - Day 139 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 155
Game: Moving Out
Release Date: Apr 29, 2020
Library Date: Sep 25, 2022
Unplayed: 236d (7m24d)
Moving Out is an isometric couch co-op game.
First mistake I made was trying to play it with keyboard and mouse. Definitely designed for controller. Picked up the controller, it became playable.
Take your cartoony avatar, rush into the house, grab the highlighted objects, load them into the truck as fast as possible.
The moment I saw the option for multiple players, I should have twigged that this was designed to be played co-op.
I can see how it might be fun co-op, as you get in each other's way and coordinate to try and beat the timer.
Single player? It's not much fun at all. Is this the kind of game I'd pull out to play on the couch with friends? Maybe, if I had friends who came over to game, or a party.
Alas, I'm 49, and neither of those things happen.
Moving Out is just a bit:
May 17, 2023 - Day 137 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 153
Game: Batora: Lost Haven
Release Date: Oct 21, 2022
Library Date: Mar 10, 2023
Unplayed: 68d (2m7d)
Batora: Lost Haven is an isometric action-adventure with RPG elements (RPGlite?)
It's another quite pretty game. It also has a female protagonist, which is frequently something that improves my chances of enjoying a game.
One of the small pieces of the puzzle in coming to terms with being trans was looking at all of the small signals strewn across my life.
Playing games, reading books, watching movies... when the protagonist is female, I connect with that story in a way that rarely - if ever - happens with a male protagonist.
Batora has an interesting "save the post-apocalyptic world" storyline, which has my interest; on the other hand, as often happens with isometric games, I find the fixed camera angles somewhat stifling.
Batora does allow you to zoom in and one by one level, but it feels like it could have used an extra level of zoom-in.
Batora: Lost Haven has piqued my interest, and so far it seems:
Dungeon of the Split Fort isometric map.
Available in 300DPI here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/isometric-05-of-48135948
Apr 20, 2023 - Day 110 - NewPlay Bonus Review
Total NewPlays: 120
Game: Seven: Enhanced Edition
Platform: Steam PC
Release Date: Dec 1, 2017
Library Date: Jan 30, 2019
Unplayed: 1541d (4y2m21d)
Why not a twofer?
It seems a lot of the games I'm playing are mashups of other genres.
Seven: Enhanced Edition is a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk isometric stealth ARPG.
I'm not sure that the parts gel together that well. The graphics are great, the ability to run, jump, climb, and zipline from place to place, and then pickpocketing someone to get a key to enter a new area is kind of fun... but the isometric view makes it somewhat tedious.
When trying to navigate in a stealth game, I want to be able to get a full idea of what's going on around me.
The game has a function that allows you to scan an area using your cybernetic eye, but it disconnects from your position to scan, which feels like it takes away any sense of anchoring that view, relative to where you are.
It's not a bad game, it feels like once I get through what appears to be the introduction it may develop further, but I get so anxious, and becomg so very methodical and careful in stealth games, it kind of takes the fun out of it.
Seven: Enhanced Edition is:
Mar 8, 2023 - Day 66 - NewPlay Review
Total NewPlays: 73
Platform: Steam PC
Release Date: Sep 22, 2017
Library Date: Dec 4, 2018
Unplayed: 1555 days (4y3m4d)
Figment is a isometric action-adventure-puzzle game, that opens up with a voiceover indicating a car accident.
The voiceover does not prepare you for what you will encounter; a whimsical environment with a grumpy character named Dusty, who is being harassed by a chipper & chirpy bird named Piper.
It only gets weirder from there.
You are in... somebody's... brain (I have no idea who), and you control Dusty who is unhappy about having to track his way across this surreal landscape to retrieve his scrapbook.
The soundtrack is comes out of nowhere and thumps you with wailing guitars, and somehow it all comes together in a way that made me want to keep playing.
Figment is interesting, and thus:
(It's also free on GOG and Steam until the 9th of March, links to follow!)
RT Ricardo Oliva Alonso
#Genuary Day 13: Something you’ve always wanted to learn
I´ve chosen: The basics of Isometric Projection! Long way to get to @wblut ´s level, but here are my humble beginnings. :)
Excited to see what everyone else has chosen for today's prompt!