Assorted Interesting Things: 8/9/21

Shorter Games with Worse Graphics… 2!!

Hey folks, do you love shorter games? Do you love to pay developers more money for said games? Well folks, now’s your chance… again! Cannibal Interactive (developer of It’s Six Random Characters and a Single Floor Dungeon, That’s the Whole Game) is currently running a second Shorter Games with Worse Graphics bundle! Fae and 24 other developers have teamed up to bring you 28 games for a reasonable $20.

For things relevant to this blog, Cannibal Interactive’s previously listed game is available in the bundle, along with faer recent game, My Older Sister Left The Computer So I Got On & Found Myself Trying To Coordinate A Raid In A Game & I Don’t Play MMO’s. Autumn Rain (Sewer Rave) pops in with her latest game Be Not Afraid A.K.A. Seraphim Horror Show!?, Tales of the Renegade Sector (Kill the Superweapon) brings the second installment of his Space Captain McCallery series and Sraëka-Lillian’s Ocean OI is in this as well!

The bundle has already reached its initial goal of $6969 and is currently aiming for a grand goal of $696969. It’s probably not going to make it, but it’s nice to believe, so why not contribute to that lofty dream yourself? The bundle’s going on until the 16th, so there’s plenty of time to hop in!

Game Updates

So sometimes, games that I covered on this site wind up updating later on. Obviously, my write-ups only focus on the state of the game when I first played them, so I figured that from now on, I should address any updates in these posts.

Cruelty Squad, the indie FPS that I’m sincerely super into, actually came out of Early Access! I forget the specific Early Access build I played – I think it was before the Home Ownership update? – but I appreciate that the developer has also noted the number of changes between the first Early Access build to its completed version. It really puts the game’s development into perspective and I’d love to put time aside in the future to dig back into the game.

On a game that I’ve played more actively, Luck Be a Landlord has had a bunch of updates, some of which are game-changing.

Since I originally played the game, you now get e-mails from a communist friend that supplies you with rerolls and removals. They’re spendable currency that allows you to reroll the set of symbols you’re offered after rounds and allows you to remove a symbol from play, respectively. In the case of the latter, it’s a big game-changer because previously, it was difficult to pivot away from an existing build unless you got a specific symbol that removed symbols that you didn’t want – and then you’d be stuck with this new symbol in your inventory. Now, however, you can easily remove early game plays that don’t synergize into the late game.

Luck Be a Landlord also accomplished my replayability wishes by adding floor modifiers that add some variations to the difficulty, like adding an unremovable junk symbol to your pool and making the rent payment thresholds higher at some points. As of a July update, beating a certain floor also unlocks a new feature: Essences!

Most symbols in the game has an “Essence” variant that will destroy itself and apply a special effect upon meeting certain conditions. There are simple ones like the essence of the Small Symbol Bomb that gifts you removals after adding some new symbols, and then there are the zany ones like the essence of the Anthropology Degree, which doubles the amount of money human symbols give if you have a certain number of them on-screen at once. If you’re somebody that likes to see Number Go Up, good play can lead to essence buffs stacking with pre-existing synergies to pull in massive amounts of money each turn. In fact, I’m convinced that the essence of the Guillotine – which ends the game after you reach a certain money threshold – exists solely to provide an endpoint.

And finally, I will acknowledge the existence of a game that’s been hard to acknowledge. Yume Nikki: Dream Diary was a reimagining of the cult classic Yume Nikki that was… really disappointing. While the reimagining captured a great sense of atmosphere, its style pivoting to a platformer bogged that atmosphere down and turned the mysterious RPG Maker game into something more generic.

However, at one point, the game got a sizable update that more people got into, and well, I now have a better computer so I probably won’t get trapped in the bizarre performance based glitch that hampered my original playthrough.

I’ve actually thought about revisiting Dream Diary a lot. But, at some point, I decided that it’d be pointless.

See, the thing is, there are a lot of games that have accomplished what people would have wanted out of Dream Diary. Out of the ones I’ve played for the site, there’s #21: The World and Sanguine Sanctum to check out. And trust me when I say that I’ve seen a lot of worthy 3D Yume Nikki successors on itch.io outside of those two. Hell, there’s a lot of worthy 2D successors too, if you’re a Yume Nikki fan that keeps an eye on the yearly Dream Diary Jams. The truth of the matter is, I don’t think that an official Yume Nikki reimagining won’t live up to what fans want, because there’s so many works that Yume Nikki inspired that already does just that.

Patreon

And closing things out, I will self-shill my Patreon. If you’re a regular reader of Indie Hell Zone, you’d notice that I’ve been relying a lot on writing that I’ve commissioned from others – especially Leaf. In fact. I got something lined up for next week already. I’m grateful to these writers for giving me breathing room to relax and focus on other stuff. However, doing this does cost a bunch of money and I’m mainly paying out of pocket, which takes a chunk out of my paycheck that isn’t already going to rent. So hey, supporting my Patreon could help out with that.

I’ve had a Patreon for a while, but I haven’t really done much with it besides writings about Riverdale that I keep forgetting to update. So, I’ve decided to put more proper effort into running things with exclusive writing, and to kick things off, I wrote my thoughts on Inio Asano’s Goodnight Punpun. I decided that the Patreon will be home to writings that don’t belong on Indie Hell Zone, so if you like my takes but want to see me talk about other things, you can pay me a dollar to read those. I’m also open to suggestions on what to do for Patreon content, though just know that I will never make a Discord server because I don’t even have the mental energy to hang out in my friends’ servers.

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