Tough Girl Gina Review

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Baconlabs
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Tough Girl Gina Review

Post by Baconlabs »

This game was entered into the 2020 Heart of the OHR contest, where it won 9th Place.

Tough Girl Gina is something of a depressing experience. You're flat broke, goons are jumping out of the bushes trying to kill you, nobody wants to invite you over to their place, even your most basic needs like soap have to be crafted from scratch. This game's world is not nice, and you'll have to struggle to make progress.

Truth be told, my initial experience was majorly soured by being utterly confused and lost. Crafting is vital in this game, and without a base of knowledge, you're helpless. There is a readme file included that gives you lots of basic recipes to get you started, but it's regrettable that this info couldn't have been integrated into the game more naturally. I also struggled with basic navigation - many areas look similar, and a minimap on the HUD or a map item from the menu would have helped a lot. The thing that got under my skin the most was the absence of a basic save feature. In Tough Girl Gina, you can only save while resting on a bed or couch or somesuch, and you have to earn that privilege by doing specific things for specific NPCs. Once you've gotten started with it, it's not so bad, but that was a very tall first hurdle to clear while I was still flailing around trying to figure the game out.

Frustrations aside, this game is quite ambitious under the hood. The HUD seen here is a custom-made labor of love, and the ever-scrolling text feed at the top is something I've never seen in an OHR game before. Being able to use items Zelda-style on the map is quite nice, and the menu interface works quite well. The screen-scrolling is a bit inconsistent, changing from Zelda-style shifting to standard fading transitions at certain points, but it is also quite well-done, given that the HUD intrudes on the walkable map itself. Battles also seem custom-fitted for this game, though I never encountered more than two or so enemy types, so I can't judge it one way or the other after seeing so little of it.

This game impresses me on multiple levels, and I think a lot of its more frustrating mechanics actually contribute to the overall feeling of depression that the main character evokes, it just requires more patience than I can give it. To those who follow, please, for the love of God, read the readme file. You'll have a better time than I did.

Time Invested: 0 Hours, 48 Minutes
Rating: 4/10
Accolade: 2MEIRL4MEIRL
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2MEIRL4MEIRL: A depressing but accurate portrayal of destitution.
2MEIRL4MEIRL: A depressing but accurate portrayal of destitution.
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