Review: 8-Bit Adventure Anthology – Volume 1 (PS4)

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Yep, this one’s a must-buy alright. I was actually a bit under the weather a few days back when code for this arrived and amusingly enough, a few hours spent dying and retrying in all three games in this set made me feel a whole lot better. That’s good old old school gaming for you, kids. Anyway, here’s the deal: three classic adventure games for a mere eight bucks is a no-brainer, especially if those three games happen to be Shadowgate, The Uninvited, and Deja Vu. Do yourselves a big, fat favor and stay away from walkthroughs, though. Trust me on this one – your brain probably needs the workout.

While fundamentally the same in terms of interface and straightforward pixel art visuals, each game has its certain charms and difficulty that make them quite enjoyable and yes, frustrating if you’re not into trial and error or frequent game saving. Shadowgate has elements of fantasy role-playing, The Uninvited is a straight-up horror/haunted house game, and Deja Vu is a thriller/crime drama. If you’re going in cold or haven’t played these since the Macintosh or NES days, expect your poor main character to die at the drop of a hat. A lot. Your characters in all three games are cursed with the weakest skulls, brittlest bones and other ailments that make them all too easy to fall victim to any hazard these games toss their way. Believe it or else, this is a good thing.

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#TBT: Play A Little With The 8-Bit Adventure Anthology Website

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While you’re waiting for this game’s Halloween release date to roll around, why not spend a little time treating yourself to a few tricks here: http://www.8bitaa.com/ where you’ll find a few fun mini-games that unlock demo versions of all three games in this upcoming set of classic adventure games. Hey, you know you want to and yep, it’ll keep you indoors and out of trouble. Your neighbors do NOT need their house TP’d again, so put that ladder back, pal.

-GW

8-Bit Adventure Anthology (Volume One): The Throwback With Bounce Ability

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Adventure game fans of old will really appreciate this one, a triple threat of classics set to be re-released by Absolution Games in the form of 8-Bit Adventure Anthology (Volume One), coming October 31 to Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. No fancy updated visuals here (other than what looks like sharper cover art) for the three titles included.

So, what’s in that set, you’re asking? Well, let’s WALK up to the DOOR and take a PEEK inside:

The 8-Bit Adventure Anthology (Volume One) includes these classic games:

Shadowgate™: The wind whistles through the silent halls as you step through the stone threshold. You’ve just entered Shadowgate, a once shining castle, now an evil, dark moldering ruin. Swallow your fear and take up your torch. You are the ‘Seed of Prophecy’ and in your hands lies the fate of the world itself.

The Uninvited™: The last thing you remember was a figure appearing in the middle of the road and the sound of your sister’s screams over the screeching tires. When you come to, you discover two horrifying things: your sister is missing and the mansion that now looms before you seems to be calling your name…

Déjà Vu™: It’s 1942 and you wake up in a seedy bathroom with no idea how you got here or, for that matter, who you are. You grab a .38 hanging on the door, stumble up the stairs and find some stiff slumped over a desk with three bullet holes in him. You check your gun. Three bullets are missing. This is gonna be a bad day.

Yep, I can hear your brains all clicking into place now (well, those of you who recall playing these on PC or the NES back in the day). How about some screenshots to get you grinning? Okay, LOOK:

Pricing hasn’t been set yet, but I’m betting a few of you will be ignoring those Trick or Treaters just so you can camp out at home with the lights down low as you click away at solving and surviving the mysteries and assorted deathtraps that await. Well, that’s my plan and I’m sticking to it. While it won’t be a HIT with the kids ringing my doorbell, I’ll feel better knowing I’m not responsible for any cavities in the not to distant future.

-GW

Review: Whispering Willows (Wii U)

WW_Wallpaper1920x1080Platform: Wii U (via Nintendo eShop)
Developer: Night Light Interactive
Publisher: Reverb Triple XP
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: N/A, but probably T (Teen)
Official Site
Score:A- 90%

While its methodical pace won’t be for all tastes, Whispering Willows is a great example of an indie game that does some cool things with an ancient formula. It’s a light horror adventure game that happens to be side-scrolling and going to be visually familiar to fans of many arcade and console titles. There’s no run button here, so young Elena Elkhorn’s exploration efforts will be a languidly paced but somewhat spooky journey in and around the haunted mansion she’s searching for her lost father in. That slow pace noted above means your character and the game she’s in requires you to take in every sight and sound offered (which is fine as a lot of work went into making the game). But as this isn’t action heavy at all, the bulk of the story is told through journal notes found while walking about and you don’t want to go into this expecting to be frightened out of your seat by anything resembling a jump scare or gore galore.

That said, the game’s frights come in a few forms from creepy-looking ghostly things only Elena’s spirit form can see to areas where darkness and strange visual elements make Elena’s trip mildly to moderately terrifying if you’re into the vibe the game creates. The dev team also deserves major props for making Elena of Native American descent, which explains her helpful spirit-walking powers she can use thanks to an amulet gifted to her by her father. Continue reading

Heroes of Loot: Budget Bitty Dungeon Crawling Hits The Vita


 

It’s a darn good thing I pay ZERO attention to what internet comment sections on game and video sites say. Absolution Games’ budget twin-stick dungeon crawler Heroes of Loot is actually pretty fun to play and dirt cheap at $2.99 on the Vita. The bite-sized dungeons, fast-paced gameplay and simple retro looks aren’t getting a lot of love from the usual suspects, but the game is great fun so far. You’re basically getting a Gauntlet homage with a bit more humor and difficulty that ramps up as you clear special optional side quests.

yeah, yeah, it was/is a tablet game, but so what? If you like your dungeon crawlers and teeny sprite characters zipping about laying waste to hordes of monsters, collecting loot and trying to stay alive, this one’s right up your alley. Or right down your dark dungeon hallway. Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have a LOT more monsters to kill. In the cutest possible manner, of course.

Whispering Willows: A Haunting You Will Go (On Even More Platforms)

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Abstraction Games and Night Light Interactive have a nice and spooky surprise coming soon for Xbox One, Wii U, iOS and Android owners. Although the game is already out for a few platforms (PC, PS4, Vita and OUYA), I’d actually never heard of Whispering Willows until an email about the latest version popped up in my inbox. Initially set for an August 12 launch at $9.99, Xbox One owners will be seeing the game as part of Microsoft’s Deals With Gold promotion starting Friday, August 28th at 30% off ($6.99) for two weeks only (through Friday, September 11).

iOS and Android versions will also be available on the 28th with the Wii U version following shortly thereafter. The horror-themed puzzle adventure has you playing as Elena, a young girl with the ability to use astral projection. The talent comes to good use thanks to her father going missing in a creepy mansion and yes, Elena heads into that haunted palace set on finding out just where he is and what’s happened to him. I’d say more, but I’ll need to play the game and get back to you on how it turned out. I’d gather all those plaudits on the official site mean the game is worth the price and more. A half dozen screens to ogle are below.

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