Review: One Eyed Kutkh (PS4)


Charmingly abstract and somewhat brief, One Eyed Kutkh comes highly recommended as a game that’s just as entertaining for kids as it is for adults looking for a nicely non violent bedtime story experience. Developer Baba Yaga Games and Sometimes You bring their inexpensive Unity engine indie to the PS4 and it’s a winner despite that short play length. Hey, sometimes you just need a tiny bite late at night, as a big full meal can often leave you with a rumbly tummy afterwards.

The story’s a simple one (and yes, so simple I’m swiping this from the official site because the PlayStation Network page isn’t up just yet):

A single traveler on his way home crashes on a mysterious planet. To continue his journey, he’ll have to get to the ninth heaven, deceive the Sun and the Moon and steal their space-boats.

That’s pretty much it, except the game uses no words at all save for intentionally alien noises coming from a few characters.

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The Guest Hands-On: Quiet Hell Hotel Holds Soviet Science Hostage


teamgotham_blackMadrid-based Team Gotham is a four-person studio that’s cooking up an unsettling Unity-powered first-person adventure game called The Guest that’s headed to PC at some point next year via Steam thanks to publisher 505 Games. Set in 1986, you’ll step into the shoes of Dr. Evgueni Leonov, a Russian scientist who wakes up in a strange Massachusetts hotel room that seemingly has no way out. In true adventure game fashion, searching for clues and items to combine and use come heavily into play as Leonov needs to problem solve his way through a number of scenarios as he uncovers what’s going on. Locked doors, batteries, scraps of paper, coat hangers, assorted tools and more could be studied and collected with everything you can carry having some use at some point during the game.


The time period The Guest is set in means there are no handy cell phones to use to ring for help (and no cliched “I can’t get a signal!” moments either) or other modern tech on hand. All the good Doctor has are his frazzled wits and anything you find while scouring the rooms you explore. The demo at 505 Games’ NYC event was a short enough teaser to be extremely intriguing as it showed off some initially simple but extremely well done puzzles and a wild bit of business that sort of resembled a panic attack Leonov has when he accidentally locks himself in a bathroom. The resulting freak-out made for a nice jolt and the only way to get it to stop was to find and use some pills stored in the bathroom’s first aid cabinet. How Leonov got to that hotel is explained during the demo, but you definitely don’t find out what the heck is up with his room being as weird as it is.

Team Gotham’s use of Unity here is quite stellar for such a small team. The game has a nice realistic look yet shouldn’t be at all demanding on some lower-end gaming rigs. Other than some newspaper and magazine clippings, objects can be rotated and examined to simply read their labels or to uncover additional clues. Yes, items need to be combined in order to succeed, so be prepared to turn one of the aforementioned coat hangers into a handier lock pick at some point. While not a “horror” game at all (at least as far as I was able to see), the mixture of waking up in a half-trashed hotel room, the need to medicate Leonov on occasion and the cryptic news clipping and other clues he finds give The Guest a nice psychological vibe. While the game should have appeal to anyone looking for a finely crafted first-person game that’s not all about shooting up monsters (or anything else for that matter) fans of hidden object games who want something more cerebral should also take interest in this one as well.

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So far, this one’s PC only but it’s easy to see at least one of the big three wanting to add this game to their lineup. Given that The Guest is planned to be Oculus Rift capable at some point, it’s a no-brainer for Sony to want to add this to their Morpheus games lineup. Or at least that’s what I’d be angling for if I were picking potential indie hits at SCEA. While they only have a handful of titles on the way 505 Games is on a roll with a very strong lineup. With The Guest, ADR1FT, How To Survive 2, and Indivisible coming, it’s going to be a good selection of titles for gamers who want variety in their experiences.

OMNIS – The Erias Line: Elyn Studios Needs You To Back Their Dark 2D RPG

OMNIS logoSome crowd-funded game projects tend to be hit or miss affairs when it comes to getting backers. Get enough (or too much) buzz for a silly little meme game that’s got an much depth as a broken pencil point and you can rake in money like as if the wind is blowing it fiercely through your front door.

On the other hand, work hard at a bigger but not hugely promoted game in a familiar but quite packed genre and you get a slight breeze of contributors that drift in at not a quick enough pace to make that funding target.

Newcastle upon Tyne-based Elyn Studios is hard at work on a pretty cool game called OMNIS – The Erias Line, and you should probably go check out the demo over on Indie DB because while still a work in progress (there’s a fair amount of placeholder art), the game is coming along really nicely.


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Firefly Online: The “Little” MMO That’s Gonna

Even though I don’t play online games these days, Firefly Online has had me intrigued every since I heard there was an official game underway. Oddly enough, no one from any PR firm contacted me about covering it, so I assumed that was some sort of warning sign or worse, someone not wanting to do the hard work of getting the word out on something they thought was going to be too niche for its own good. Well, I was wrong on both counts as I found out when I bit the bullet and signed up for Firefly Online Cortex, the companion pre-game app currently available on Steam, Google Play and the App Store.

firefly online cortex 

There’s not much to do in Cortex other than collect digital trading cards and points playing mini-games on a map of The Verse or reading news updates. That said, the cards are cool, there’s a second series coming soon and you can also score some even better bonuses by ponying up five bucks to attain Big Damn Hero status. This status will get some some great perks for the main game when it launches this spring on Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android OS. What kind of perks? Well, exclusive gear for your crew mates, access to items non-BDH players won’t have and some other neat stuff. Hey, they got my five clams without hesitation. I’m not here to babble about anything you can read in the FAQ here other than to add I like where this is all going and if you ever were a Firefly fan at some point in the past, you may want to think about signing up yourself.

What I like about the game based on the descriptions and video above it that it’s NOT at all forced social interactivity. You can play along with your virtual crew as you rise up in the ranks, taking your customized ship into charted and uncharted territories for fun and profit. The game is in fact, a single-player experience that just so happens to have some social elements added in like the ability to create and share quests with others. As it’s also powered by Unity, this means there’s a slim chance it may end up on other platforms (as in consoles) if it does well enough on the initial platforms it launches on (and there’s enough demand for a port in every port, of course).

Right now, my own personal choice will be what to play this on when it does ship. I’ve been eyeballing a few inexpensive tablets recently (primarily for gaming purposes) as well as dinking around on devices owned by a few friends while I decide to make up my mind. I suppose I could just run the game on the laptop just fine. However, I want to keep it freed up to write and have something else dedicated entirely to FFO. So, it may be a mobile platform after all that’s bigger than a phone and smaller than a breadbox. We shall see, but whatever I choose, Firefly Online will be played. At my own pace, of course.

Godzilla Strike Zone Trailer: A Little Free Fun While You’re Waiting…

Interestingly enough, had that new Godzilla film been made about ten years ago, gamers would be playing some new (and possibly rushed to make the film’s release window) game like this with longer levels and perhaps some sort of added multiplayer features. The days of paying fifty bucks for licensed movie games is over, I’d say and so, you get Godzilla Strike Zone for free on PC as a web browser game, on iOS though the App store and on Android through Google Play. Is it any good? Well, that depends on your definition of “good”, folks. It’s fun to play and loud and not very long overall, so I guess that counts as “good” in my book. Granted, you don’t need to know a thing about Godzilla old or new to dive into this and nope, you can’t ever beat FREE in my book even if a game isn’t all that hot. This one’s not going to task your brain in any way shape or form, but I’d recommend playing with headphones or ear buds, as you’ll rattle some windows if you have the volume up too much.