Book of Unwritten Tales

I thought I was going to hate this one but it got better. Well, a little better anyway. The first chapter is SO boring. Your character, Wilbur Weathervane, knows almost literally nothing about anything. I mean, I get it, they need to deliver exposition and having the character be a total fucking dumbarse means they get to explain the plot to Wilbur and the player at the same time. I understand why he is the way he is but that does not make him any more interesting to play as. ūüėõ

Fortunately,¬†Wilbur is the only unbearable character. In later chapters you get to play as other characters. There’s Ivo the pretty elf girl and Nate the dashing rogue. These two have a personality that extends beyond “Duhhhhh” and seem to be better voice acted too (though that might just be because Wilbur’s VA had nothing to work with).

The game claims to be funny. That’s a selling point on the Steam page and everything. They should probably remove that. :p The jokes amount to little more than “Boy! We sure are in a stereotypical fantasy video game setting aren’t we?” as well as “Does this remind you of anything? Maybe a book about a lord? And maybe some rings? It does? Oh good! That can be the joke then!”. There’s some decent jokes in there (I kind of like the World of Businesscraft idea and the final chapter was pretty damn fun) but mostly it’s just predictable and lazy.

If you get it as part of a bundle (as I did) then it won’t hurt to give it a whirl. I wouldn’t spend actual money on it though. ūüėõ

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4 Elements

This is surprisingly decent for what it is (a simple colour matching game).The basic is idea is you have this fluid and you have to clear a path so it can get to the end goal. You clear this path by matching at least 3 of the same coloured icons which destroys the ground underneath them. As you progress, you gain power ups that help you. A spade that can destroy a single patch of ground (where the ground is more than one level high, the spade destroys only the top one), a bomb that destroys the icons but not the ground underneath (making it very useful for destroying ice and boulders that are otherwise difficult to deal with), a direct swap of any two icons on the screen and finally a reshuffle of the icons on screen.

What ruins it though is the hidden item and spot the difference stages that aren’t fun or skippable. You do at least get unlimited hints during them (though the hint button takes a while to recharge after use) but I usually end up clicking randomly around the picture hoping I fluke a hidden item or difference until the hint button recharges.

The main stages are timed but until fairly close to the end you shouldn’t have much trouble beating the stages before you run out of time. It can be frustrating to run out of time when you’re at the end of a really long stage (one time I was literally one block away from winning when time ran out. Argh!) but you need a fail condition of some kind otherwise it’d get boring.

The achievements are nothing special.¬†Finish the stages, make long chains, win the minigames quickly, that kind of thing. About that last one, slight problem. It shows the achievements were thrown in after the game was done and with scant regard for being a good fit for the game.¬†Finishing the minigames seems innocent enough, just learn where the objects/differences are and click them real fast, right? Here’s the problem. You only get to try the hidden object minigame after every 16¬†stages and the first one (before the game starts) can’t be used for the achievement since it’s a tutorial and that chews up all the time. So you have to play 16 stages to get the first and easiest one but there’s no option to reset the minigame. Even if you quit to the main menu, it remembers where you were up to and how much time you took. So if you stuff up (and you will if you haven’t memorised the locations of the items yet) you have to redo the first 16 stages just to get another try and that is just terribly designed. Finishing the¬†spot the difference one quickly isn’t much better but at least you get a chance every 4 stages instead of every 16 and the number of things you have to find is a lot lower.

All up, good game but it would be better without the stupid minigames (and their related achievements).

100% Orange Juice

Remember Mario Party? Remember all those fun minigames between rounds? Now imagine Mario Party without them. Just rolling the dice and seeing what you happen to land on. Not nearly as much fun, is it? Well, that’s roughly what you get from 100% Orange Juice.

My first game did not make a good impression on me. No instructions, no tutorial, you just get thrown into a board game where you roll dice and…stuff happens? After hunting down an FAQ and working out what the actual aim of the game is, I tried again. This time my reaction was closer to “So, you just roll the dice and hope for the best?”. I’m not entirely convinced this second reaction was inaccurate. You do get to make decisions so it’s not TOTALLY random but it’s still frustratingly luck based. Whether to attack¬†the other players if you happen to pass them, when to use your cards and which way you go at intersections are about the extent of your choices.

So the aim is to complete “norma” which is a stupid name for “objectives”. Your first objective is always to get 10 stars and then return home but once you finish the first one you can choose whether to go for collecting stars or winning fights as your next norma. The bonus squares give you extra stars, the drop squares take them away. Winning fights gains you stars, losing fights costs you them. That’s straight forward enough. But there’s 4 home squares and I can’t for the life of me work out how you’re meant to know which one is yours. They’re apparently colour coded but I couldn’t really see it (though I am slightly colour blind). I may be imagining it but it seemed like which one was mine even changed during the game for some reason. Much too confusing for me, I’m afraid.

The achievements probably shouldn’t exist given that the whole game is largely an exercise in blind luck. Will you unlock achievements as you play? Almost certainly. Could you actually set out with a particular achievement in mind and try to go for it? That way madness lies. The dice decide far too much of what happens to make it even close to being worthwhile.

As you may have figured out, I do not recommend this game.

Pixeljunk Shooter Achievements

Never played this one. Nothing below is unlocked.

Sharp Shooter – Build a combo of 16 or over.¬†This is the most frequently unlocked achievement so it can’t be too hard.

Cave Cleaner РKill over 100 enemies. All the fun of grinding. At least 100 is a low number for a grinding achievement.

Cave Cleaner Pro РKill over 500 enemies. *sigh*

Double Eleven РPlay the game at 11:11 am. This is just stupid. Easy to do but monumentally stupid.

Art Collector РCollect each and every special survivor to fill your gallery. Probably need a guide for this.

Liquid Love – Kill over 100 enemies using fluids rather than weapons.¬†I…I’m not sure I want to know what this is.

Coin Collector РPick up 100 coins in one spin. Less than 4% of players have this one so it might be hard.

Treasure Hunter 1 –¬†Get all the treasure from chapter 1.¬†If I didn’t need one before, I’ll definitely need a guide for this.

Cave Cleaner Supreme РKill over 1000 enemies. I think they want us to kill things. :p

A True Hero (Episode 1, 2, 3) РSafely rescue all normal survivors. Well, I was committed to using a guide anyway.

No Stone Unturned РDiscover all secret areas in the game. Guide for this one,

Don’t Touch Me – Clear a stage without touching any walls.¬†Wait, what? I’ll have to see the stage layouts before I can judge this one.

Treasure Hunter 2 –¬†Get all the treasure from chapter 2.¬†I rather expected this would be one.

Treasure Hunter 3 –¬†Get all the treasure from chapter 3.¬†This one too.

The Platinum Trophy – Especially for YOU!¬†The description is no help but I’m assuming it’s getting all the other achievements to unlock this one.

Using a guide should get me the bulk of them though the wall one is a strange one.

Within an hour of play, I have the multiplier of 16 and the 100 dead enemies. The game is starting to get hard though!

I just hit 4 hours of play time and have gotten all the treasure in chapter 1 as well as getting 500 kills along the way.

At around the 6 or 7 hour mark, I racked up my 1000th kill.

At 10 hours, my fingers are cramped and my head pounding but I got all the treasure in chapter 2, picking up my 100th kill by fluid in the process.

Instead of tackling chapter 3, I went for the coin collector and don’t touch me achievements and got them pretty easily.

Chapters 1 and 2 have been completely finished. All survivors rescued, all treasure found. Nothing left but chapter 3 now (and the 11:11 achievement which I’ll get tomorrow)

At the 14 hour mark, I get all the treasure, survivors, secret areas and achievements from chapter 3. Game complete!

Papo & Yo Final Thoughts

This game is EXTREMELY easy. That’s not necessarily a problem but if you’re looking for a challenge, you won’t find it here.¬†It’s also extremely short. Consider that I finished it twice (even stopping to collect hats the second time) and my total play time on Steam is only 7 hours. Probably one to get on sale because it’s hard to justify spending $15 on such a short game. Especially since there’s not a lot in the way of replayability. You’ll play it twice at most and even then only if you want the hat achievement.

As a game, it’s fine. The controls work, the camera doesn’t cause any problems. The level design is clever in places. No real complaints except that you can’t skip cutscenes. But they’re pretty short so that’s mostly okay. As an allegory for an abusive parent (they mention this in the trailer and every review online, this doesn’t warrant a spoiler warning) it falls flat in one massive way. The monster is not a threat to you. Quico has no way of dying or even getting hurt in the game and if Monster catches you, he just throws you backwards. He’s a nuisance to be avoided but not something you’re ever afraid of. I think in the real world abusive parents are quite a bit more dangerous than that.

It also HATES when I alt+tab out of the game. Every time I did, I had a roughly 50% chance of being able to get back into the game. Lots of ctrl+alt+del had to happen! Fortunately, checkpoints are frequent enough that annoying as this was, I didn’t lose much progress each time.

Still, despite its flaws, it’s a fun enough game. If you can get it cheap and like puzzle platformers it’s worth a go.

Papo & Yo – Hat Hunt

Ok, time to get these hats!

1:35 – game start

1:40 – baseball cap gotten

1:45 – soccer ball hat gotten

1:47 – fish head gotten

1:55 – architect achieved

1:57 – fish bowl gotten

2:05 – shoe on head gotten

2:07 – tiara gotten

2:15 – straw hat gotten

2:20 – wizard hat gotten

2:25 – stopping for now

4:20 – start playing

4:22 – plastic jug gotten

4:31 – striped cowboy hat gotten

5:02 – golden crown gotten

5:06 – melon hat gotten

5:10 – pasta strainer gotten

5:12 – wooly horned helmet gotten

5:17 – realised I missed a hat and the game has autosaved after it’s too late to go back

5:25 – remember that there’s a stage select option

5:29 – tire hat gotten

5:37 – top hat gotten

5:39 – game crash suggests a good time to stop for a while

6:50 – time to hunt some hats

7:10 – chef’s hat gotten

7:16 – lego hat gotten

7:28 – paper bag hat gotten

7:49 saucepan gotten

7:58 – flower pot hat gotten

8:04 – rasta hat gotten

8:22 – birthday hat gotten

8:23 – frog hat gotten – Mad Hatter achieved

8:25 – Don’t Need No Hints achieved

As you can see by the time stamps, if you know where they are (yes, I used a guide), most of the hats are REALLY easy to get. The saucepan was a nightmare though. 10-15 minutes of constantly trying and failing to make the same bloody jump. I got it in the end though and now I am completely done with the game!

Papo & Yo Achievement Progress

7/11/14 8:10 pm – started game

8:40 – Lula Power achieved –¬†As expected, this one is impossible to avoid. As soon as you gain the double jump, you need to use it to clear a gap. When you do, this unlocks.

8:45 – White Frog Massacre achieved –¬†This one is easier than I thought. On the main menu, every time you change from one option to another, a white frog hops across the screen. As soon as you pick an option, they all disappear. Quickly alternate between up and down to fill the screen with frogs and hit A. Quite an easy one.

9:00 – Play Tag achieved –¬†If you keep moving, Lula can’t catch you. So just keep moving for 20 seconds after you throw her and you’ll get it easily.

9:25 – Sharp Splatter achieved –¬†You can walk right up to the bullseye, so hitting it isn’t exactly difficult.

9:32 – Calm After the Storm achieved ¬†– Story related, can’t miss it.

9:35 – enough for today

8/11/14 9:30 am – started game

10:30 – got stuck and had to consult a guide

10:31 – felt stupid for not being able to figure out something so easy

10:32 –¬†stopped playing for a while

11:00 – game on

11:45 – Good As New achieved – Story related, can’t miss it

12:35 Conclusion achieved – Finished the game. I did accidentally use a hint box (I didn’t know what it was) but despite quitting and restarting, it seems to have remembered so I didn’t get the one for not using hints.

So what’s left?

1) Build and cross the houses bridge with only 3 houses

2) Don’t use any hints

3) Collect all the hats – it seems the hats don’t appear until you finish the game at least once I can feel better about the fact that I didn’t actually find any.

So I just need to play through again, collecting hats as I go and I should finish the achievements.