G-Wreck's been around since 2010 and only got around to releasing a game at the end of July 2011. His debut, appropriately named "First Fantasy", was a brief but well produced demo that was well worth the wait. After all, how many times do you get to see a caveman RPG?
The story follows the cavemen Roggor and Gutar as a routine hunting trip turns to intrigue. It's a short demo so I won't spoil too much plot, but they find themselves wondering why the local wildlife has suddenly become more aggressive. Both heroes are well written with distinct personalities. Roggor is a family man and Gutar a wild bachelor and you get a good feel for each one's perspective and their mutual respect for one another.
G-Wreck presents the story wonderfully. Walkabouts have some extra frames for cutscenes, there's a good balance between dialogue and action, and he keeps a scene under control that could've easily turned to melodrama. There are a few typos if you really look for 'em, but not enough to be a distraction. My only complaint in this department would be that the characters speak more like knights than cavemen, but I can excuse that due to the creation myth explained in the intro, which is both awesome and skippable. A rarity for the OHR.
I love the style of graphics too. The walkabouts are perfect for the mix of seriousness and comedy involved. Hero graphics are on the small side to remind you that you're fighting gigantic prehistoric beasts. The map design is professional quality. There's some weirdness in a few of the tiles, but when you put them all together you get a *map*, not a box with pictures in it. The cave paintings in the intro are absolutely flawless, too.
Because it's a demo you can run from every battle. though you probably won't need to. G-Wreck tries to keep them balanced and succeeds for the most part. I appreciate that he was willing to try, even though things aren't perfect. The fights actually might be a little slow, though the music takes some of the sting out of it. Also, the medicine stick might be a little overpowered, but better overpowered than useless.
"First Fantasy" is G-Wreck's first test of the waters. Like Master K's "Grayscale", it was released to calm a rookie developer's anxieties. I like both of them, but I like the way "First Fantasy" uses its unfinished status as an advantage. Rather than letting the player wander through unfinished towns, G-Wreck lets things go just long enough that you're interested and ends on a high note before he can run out of steam. You're left wanting more and he doesn't tip his hand or show any weakness. Perfect demo design.
2011 Score (Per July 27th): 83/100
Part of Gomey's 2011 Year In Review