The game "Grapnes 2: Kepnalcide" by Taco Bot seems to be a squeal.
I haven't played the first game, (if there is one), nor did I finish "Grapnes 2: Kepnalcide", but here's my review anyway.
The game starts like a fairytale, there is a black screen and it sounds as if a storyteller is going to tell you the story of Gary the Grapenes.
The game begins with the hero being a little blue square and his dad also a square with a beard talking. The child is advised to not leave the house while the father rushes off to fight enemies that threaten the land. Inside the house one can read the father diary. Every bookshelf has a text box, that's cool.
I was expecting the game would keep this ridiculous playful tone... Still, soon the game shifts 180% degrees to more serious topics such as war, slavery, battle, loss of an eye and murder of the hero's father. Oddly the drawings do not really support this dramatic plot.
Then there is a plot twist again: After 20 years of imprisonment in a prisoner camp the hero square, now grown into a large square with a robot eye patch escapes.
But on the other hand, the plot does not stay that dramatic or serious through those parts of the game, that I saw.
Bravo! Great Design!
I really liked ...
- the intro was cool. The boat floating in the water, and then the credits, it look very professional.
- the colour wheel thing for battles, that's innovative!
- It seems to be that there was quite some world building done in that odd world.
- The music is not bad.
- The comment about the log in the forest.
- The question if one wants to read the dad's journal
Things that could be improved:
- The graphics do not support the story very much. Unless it's a joke game, if so it's and not my kind of humour then.
- Making money through battles is difficult.
- Why can't I download the file from slimesalad? I would prefer a download from slime salad.
- In the Mountain-Village there is a mini-game where the player has to evade falling rocks. If the player is hit he or she has to start again and that's the bad part: The player is teleported to the beginning of the mountain village, so reach the mini game you have to walk back to higher levels. Not only it is frustrating if the player fails, because progress is not possible but also the way one has to walk feels like a second punishment. How about moving the restart-point to the entrance of the mini game?
- The pathways in the mountain village do not lead anywhere. Why are they walkable then?
The game had some twists, first I was expecting a game about the hero as a child, waiting for his father to return, then I was expecting something serious about war and ethics, but then the game turned out to be the typically OHR setting with a world full of slightly strange and funny inhabitants. I haven't played the whole game, so I feel can not really judge the plot and tone of the game here.
One observation, the plot itself is clearly outlined for the player in the first part. The player knows quite exactly how the hero go to the place where the game starts and what the objective is. The game starts on an over world map and the plot gets blurred a bit after the first town, because one can travel to different places. That's the trick with over world maps, I guess.
The mini-game mentioned above is a gating mechanism that worked so well it kept me from continuing the game. Also, I could not leave the town basically one gets stuck, if that happens. (Or I missed a other way to get there?)
The battle design is interesting, fight the enemies with berries, depending on their colours they take more or less damage depending on the colour of the berries thrown at them. Also Taco Bot added a colour wheel that is accessible from the main menu here one can look up how the colours work. Good idea!
Altogether, the game was interesting, but with some improvement it would be a nicer playing experience for the player.