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Metal King Slime
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2012 In Review 037 - Look, But Don't Touch 
 PostSat Sep 21, 2013 5:27 am
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look0015.png
There's some black in the palette too.
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It's that kind of a game.
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Natural splendor!
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Mysterious...
This is a review of Look, but don't touch.

Pre-Thoughts:

This is another 48 hour game, I believe the final one of them I'll be reviewing this year. As I recall it's an interesting combination of visual novel and text adventure, a game where you're a disembodied spirit who picks up on the secret doings of a little town as you unravel a mystery. I don't remember much about that mystery or how the game itself works out, but I know that I at least liked the concept.

Thoughts-During:

No music, no title screen.

Controls kinda tricky to get used to.

Post-Thoughts:

This would work much better with sound. Or an intro to get you captivated or at least SOMETHING. Not to say that there aren't some intriguing developments or storylines to check out, but the game is only as interesting as you are curious. If you don't give a crap about anything, you're not going to get much out of the game. If you think finding a skeleton and then retracing his steps to figure out who he is and why he died is interesting, then you might be able to find something here.

As the name suggests, you're a spirit of some kind who can only observe his surroundings, not interact with them. You're in a small village kind of place, with huts here and there surrounded by wilderness. Some guys have just made a big score in a mine. A witch is teaching her pupil. One family is hungry and another family is missing. Something glistens in the muck and mud of the swamp. Who are they? What're they doing? Why are they doing it? You poke around long enough, you might find out. While the textboxes are interesting, and you can find a juicy morsel to investigate here and there, I'd really rather there be some kind of music or sounds to help set the atmosphere. Maybe even a map, to help you keep track of your surroundings. I suppose Hawk might argue that he wants you to draw your own map, but it's not the damn 80's and my name isn't Magellan.

It's a hard game to review. I think the concept is interesting, I think his scenes are well written, but I just can't focus on 'em long enough to try to figure it out, especially when it's so easy to lose track of where you are in the world. A little bit of context might even help. I don't know if there's an actual conclusion or not, or if you find out why it is that you can look but not touch, but I'm also not going to find it. If you like mystery novels and don't mind the quiet you might have some fun with it for a little bit. If not, it's probably not going to be your cup of tea.

Personally, I think Hawk did the whole "See what's going on in a town" thing better with Master_K in Time and Time Again. The graphics make it a little bit easier to swallow, and where you can talk to people and do stuff and fight stuff it makes it less of a drag.
Metal King Slime
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 PostSat Sep 21, 2013 12:44 pm
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I'm not sure you're a disembodied spirit; IIRC there are one or two texts which say that characters ignore you.

I played this when it came out but strangely I still remember pretty much the whole story and especially the map layout. Having to work hard to keep track of all the locations in my head while playing the game has permanently burned them into my memory
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 PostSun Sep 22, 2013 5:39 am
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TMC wrote:
I'm not sure you're a disembodied spirit; IIRC there are one or two texts which say that characters ignore you.

I played this when it came out but strangely I still remember pretty much the whole story and especially the map layout. Having to work hard to keep track of all the locations in my head while playing the game has permanently burned them into my memory


I don't know whether to feel proud of this as an author, or like a monster.

A disembodied spirit was the intended interpretation, but it's deliberately quite vague since I wanted the player to be a largely detached viewer. (More particularly: I think the Witch is the only character that notices the player, indicating her stronger connection to the supernatural)
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