Hi there, how have you all been?

Yep, this week more than playing I spent my time listening to their soundtracks: the interesting-but-ok Heavy Bullets one; the silky Ironclad Tactics‘; the gorgeous in-game but not-so-gorgeous by itself Jim Guthrie’s Sword & Sworcery; and the absolutely superb Floex’s Samorost2. All ear-candy for sure. :)

Other than that made some decent progress in Pokémon Rumble World (3DS Download) and Marvel Puzzle Quest (Android)–where in a single day I was lucky enough to draw two 250 Hero Points cards through Deadpool’s tacos. :)

Accomplishments! Beside the promised Impressions Journal (take a read if you’re interested) I managed to beat Road Not Taken (Steam)! Not the reeeeeally good ending but that’s life I guess. :P

Road Not Taken

Gotta love the characters. :)

Done for now. I seriously need to drop Kirby’s Pinball Land to play other things… :P

See ya, take care!

I decided to create this journal because I needed a place to share impressions about games I’m yet to finish and I know I’ll never review… Well, in this case I just needed to praise some piece of hardware. ;)

Here we go, I hope you like it!


My first contact with Spry Fox–the developer behind Road Not Taken–was through the little Facebook game Triple Town. It has drawn my attention first and foremost because of its unique, slick artstyle: it shows either a strong art direction within those walls or a talented single artist who can output cohesive work throughout the process. Also, the puzzle-like gameplay–joining a certain amount of objects of the same time to make them “evolve”–was a nice touch as well.

Then I played @lphabear. The cute bears from the other installment were put to work into a word puzzle game with, once again, a nice twist.

Well, Road Not Taken is a fully fleshed out development of those traits–beautiful/quirky artstyle, puzzle-with-a-twist gameplay–into a more solid setting (and some compelling plot too).

The genre the’ve twisted this time was the rogue-like; saving kids lost in a forest with draining resources along the search is the keynote of the gameplay, but the ability to forge objects (of any kind, in varied amounts) into new stuff–even accidentally, wich is frequent at the beginning–lends it some sort of Minecraft feeling… And the joy of discovery never wanes.

Another very strong point is the mockery over Harvest Moon’s marriage system… Marriage here is a main mechanic too, but I won’t spoil more on that. :)

So far so good, Road Not Taken has the looks to bring casual audience in and content to stick hardcore players to the end of it. But it still has the same problem former Spry Fox games bore before: hella-busy screens.

Sometimes the environment can become so crowded with stuff that merely navigating around is virtually impossible, let alone solving puzzles. And with such a great myriad of objects to draw from even the “ban” option–an object “black list” you can set before entering the field–fails to solve the problem since the amount of stuff to populate the screen will still be the same.


Gorgeous… and WAY too busy.

Road Not Taken is the best Spry Fox game yet, but I’ll wait eagerly for their next game to see those guys twisting something else–and going a step further into game design.

That’s it, more comments to come in further posts. :)

See ya, take care!

Hi there, how have you all been?

This week I tried quite a bit of varied games (mainly in my PC due to my left wrist hurting me :P) and after a few Steam digs I stuck with a lovely–if a bit creepy–game by Spryfox: Road Not Taken. It’s some kind of rogue-like which emphasizes discovery over anything else and makes fun of Harvest Moon marriage mechanics in the way. I’m still early on the game but it has that nice Spryfox (Triple Town, @lphabear) artstyle with what seems to be their most well-rounded gameplay so far. Maybe I’ll come back with an Impressions Journal… :)

Road Not Taken Many, many secrets…

Other than that I even managed to finally push Fallout (GOG) one step ahead and start a brand new story arc! I never went that far before in it, so I’m excited as much as frightened to spend my XP points badly. :P Also…

Accomplishments! That was an unexpected one: mastered Marvel Puzzle Quest (Android)! My condition to that was always to get every Gold character in the game, and as soon as I seen Daken in the end of the tunnel I ran for it. lol He’s by far my least favorite of the four but it still gets the job done, I guess. :)

Review! One of my favorite pinballs ever was reviewed! Check Game Boy’s Kirby’s Pinball Land out!


This one–I’ve talked about it before. :)

Done for now. Got a lot of work to do this week, so I probably won’t play as much as I’d like to. :)

See ya, take care!

Kirby’s Pinball Land drops realistic physics in favour of a more cohesive universe–and to a certain extent it succeeds.

 Excellent IP use, raising production values
 Physics steer a bit too much from realism

Pinballs probably make the only genre where ‘arcade-ish’ means less arcadey in the literal sense. Under that light, ‘soft’ pinballs can lean towards one of two (generally opposite) directions: simulation or fantasy. The first one prioritizes some ‘right’ feel and behaviour with the tables and controls–which means more realism for purists; but on the other hand fantasy ones can ba absolutely free to dare pretty much anything not attainable in real life. Kirby’s Pinball Land picks the second for IP’s sake, but goes further than that.

Franchise wise the decision to make things feel ‘fluffy’ was an interesting one, but not without its shortcomings: things are harder to hit due to meagre hitboxes overlapping each other. Something alike could be said about boss fights: such couldn’t be realized in electro-mechanical real-life tables, and per se they’ll always represent fresh air to the genre, but here (again, favoring the character’s setting) they hit you back with a sudden physics change that happens when Kirby shows his real (with arms and legs, that is) form in the fight.

Kirby's Pinball Land

Overlapping hitboxes: a bit too much.

Problems aside the game’s overall balance is perfect, with every little improvement (reaching a higher screen within a tabel, for instance) meaning a proportional raise in score rates. And the creativity route really shines throughout the terrific bonus levels hidden inside each table.

Another serious improvement Kirby’s IP has lent the game was with its presentation. Sprites are among the most beautiful and lively ever on the Game Boy and music/SFXs aren’t that behind too.

If straight-forward fun makes you itch more than realism, than Kirby’s Pinball Land may be the perfect GB pinball for you. if not, it can still be worth a look for the universe alone.

Final word:
4 Stars
Good!  [actual score: 7.5]

Review also published at Gamespot. Thumb it up (or down) if you care. ;)

Hi there, how have you all been?

After last week’s two beats I decided to try some new titles to choose what to play next. And it’s frightening to see how impatient I’m growing with new stuff. :P Of course, nostalgia can be a powerful weapon to make us more forgiving and all, but the other hand is true too: modern developers should be able to learn from others’ past mistakes, and there’s where I’m coming from.

Anyway, I stuck to older games and got two (bitter) beats in the process…

Accomplishments! Bitter for different reasons. After years (literally) I got back to my Steam copy of Samorost2, and liking Amanita’s work so much as I do doesn’t make it any easier for me to tackle the things without looking up for solutions in the net. With this one I thought I could do it but after getting stuck in the same screen once again I gave up. The pixel hunt just kills me… :(


Samorost is absolutely lovely, but this screen has turned me down…

The other one was Picross DS, which proved to be the less interesting I ever played in the series–despite some wonderful pixel art and animation. The “Free” mode unlocked after the regular batch started to drag heavily and I decided to put it down. :( (2)

Eye-Candy! I started to work on a not-that-secret project and things are jumping out. :) Take a peep!


A Trigger fish… and more. :)

Done for now. Getting back to my beloved Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS) for a complete run… :)

See ya, take care!

Just as much as I love Japanese games manuals I do love retro in-game sprites.   So I’ll leave this section open for sharing some of my favorite ones in good resolution, non-distorted, shiny-transparent eye-candy. *-*

Actually I just started working on this project and wanted to share a few sprites I made so far. It’s surprising how making those was as relaxing as playing Endless Ocean (Wii) before. :)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

NautilusThis is my Nautilus, your tool for exploring the sea. :) The final version will be animated with bubbles floating up and all that stuff.







And here are the first species I’ve worked on–and their respective silhouettes. :)

1) Triggerfish 2) Chinese Ray 3) Green Wrasse

Triggerfish SilTriggerfish

ChineseRay SilChineseRay

GreenWrasse SilGreenWrasse

That’s it for now, see ya!

Hi there, how have you all been?

Yep, this Saturday was quite a productive one. Two tough nuts were cracked, one of them a relief and the other a disappointment of sorts… :P

Accomplishments! Laugh all you want, but Zuma’s Revenge (Steam) was one of the toughest beats of my life. lol People usually despise PopCap for being casual stuff and all but man… You gotta get into alpha flow to beat this one, seriously. :P Quick reflexes, a slice of strategy and, above anything else, an overall “pace” sense are all requirements to make it through. And I did it, thank god. o.o’ The bummer came from Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA, Virtual Console) since I believed I’d :C: it but… [spoilers] it has an entirely new “game plus” mode after the main story is done. Tough, tough-beyond-me stuff. :( But that’s OK I guess, at least for those who are natural born puzzle crackers and want a lasting, stainless runner. :)


Phew! o.o’

New stuff! A late B-Day parcel has arrived and some quite nice stuff was in it: two extra shooters (as if I haven’t enough already lol), Final Reverse and Nemesis, both Game Boy‘s; the soundtrack for Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of Light (DS); and this beautiful ultra-retro Link. :)


Exacly the same of the first Zelda’s manual. :)

Done for now, gotta play more mouse games this week because my left wrist is hurting me. :(

See ya, take care!