Klang

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I never expected to be playing a rhythm-action brawler/platformer, but here we are. Klang’s ultra-stylish aesthetic and tunes mesh with the gameplay to provide something not quite like anything else I’ve ever played before.

It’s an absolute treat to look at, with contrasting neon blues and oranges accenting everything in Klang’s world as he fights a musical battle against… something. I’m not really sure what the plot is, being conveyed in wordless cutscenes dripping with style. The combat is the most satisfying part of Klang, but you definitely want a controller with analogue sticks for it.

All the tunes are electro dancey type stuff, the genre of which I’m not sure of (and is probably a nebulous thing to try and define regardless), by reknowned EDM artist bLiNd. In the screenshot above, Klang is being attacked by a dubstep cannon. It’s awesome.

Fin or Bin:

Fin, and highly recommended to others who are interested. I’m having a great time so far. Reports are that it’s kinda short (3-4 hours) but there’s score attack achievements for people who want to push for a perfect game.

(Steam link)

You Have To Win The Game

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What choice do I have?

Falling somewhere between Meat Boy and VVVVVV, YHtWtG is an exploration platformer very obviously inspired by The Olden Days. You get thrown into it with no map and no instruction on what your aim is (other than- Win The Game) and off you go, into the labyrinth.

Well, an hour in and I’m still not really sure what I’m meant to be doing. It feels like I’m going in circles at this point, and although I’ve picked up some upgrades (double jump and wall jump among others) I’m at a loss as to where I haven’t explored yet. I’m sure it’s one exit on a screen I’ve long forgotten about, but it’s frustrating to have no idea where to go next.

Along the way I’ve been given hints to a “secret word” and a “secret symbol” via writing on the walls of the dungeon, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with either of these, either. I realise this obfuscation is a deliberate homage to retro games that would do the same thing, but there’s a reason we stopped doing it.

Fin or Bin:

Frustratingly, it’s a Fin, but only because the completion counter says I’m at 83% and I have to win the game.


UPDATE:

Found out that to get 100%, I have to deliberately “lose” the game and start the whole thing over. Found out by doing it about 15 minutes after posting this. I’m not here for artificial inflation of a game’s runtime like that, so I Binned it.

(Steam link (it’s free!))

A Kiss For The Petals

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It’s cute.

Aside from some discordantly lewd dialogue at the start, this kinetic VN is 110% fluff, with not an H or an ecchi in sight. Rather, it focuses on the emotional side of the budding relationship between the two main girls, with what is actually a pretty good depiction of a teenager’s first real crush. Every line is voiced (JP) and the artwork is very pretty, with a surprising amount of CGs during important moments. It all ends rather abruptly though and I actually had to go back and check I hadn’t accidentally skipped a chapter. There’s also a few moments in the story where the perspective changes without any real indication, which can be pretty jarring- especially later on, when it happens twice in the same scene.

Fin or Bin:

Well, I actually did finish it, so… Fin, for sure. It’s short, cute, and fun, fluffy as heck, and brought up some laughs.

(Steam link)

The BBacklog Challenge

In
this era of Steam sales and Humble Bundles, we’ve all got one- 100
games for the price of a fart, and even though you only really wanted
two of them, those other games are probably fun too, right? Trouble
is, another bundle comes along, and another sale comes along, and
then comes that 100-hour RPG you’ve been waiting eagerly for… and
suddenly your backlog of games is choking your library. You scroll
through on occasion, having completely forgotten what 90% of the
games even are, convinced that you’ll get to them one day, some
day… eventually.

There’s
no doubt that among these games, there’s a lot of fun to be had.
Some of them might be hidden gems just waiting for their chance to
become your Game Of The Year, or at least a fun diversion well worth
the asking price of 20 cents. On the other hand, you know some of
these games probably aren’t really your thing- but you don’t want
to judge them without trying them first… even though you know
you’re never going to try them, with so many more interesting games
to choose from.

The
BBacklog Challenge is aimed at getting these backlogs whittled down
and cleared out. Here’s how it works:

1.
List your backlog. The whole damn thing. Dust off your Humble Bundle
keys, open that Steam account you haven’t dared look at for three
years, gaze in bewilderment at all the second-hand console games
you’ve bought. Put them in a numbered list, ordered however you
wish.

2.
Either ask for a nomination from your peers, or just use a
dice-roller to pick a game from the list. (If you’ve been asked to
nominate a game for someone, why not pick something you’ve never
heard of? Give those unknown titles a chance in the spotlight!)

3.
Within 7 days of choosing your game, you must give it one solid hour
of play. After playing for an hour, it’s time to write a short
blurb about it. Here’s the most important part of the challenge:

Give
a quick description of the game, a few things that were cool and some
things that sucked. If you really hated the game, feel free to tear
it to shreds. At the end of your review, decide whether to Fin It or
Bin It.

‘Fin(ish)
It’
means you’ll add the game to your current rotation until
you’ve finished it. ‘Finishing’ a game is a hard thing to
define, and it differs from one person to another. For the purposes
of this challenge, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to complete
it 100%- putting the game on your Fin list simply means you’ll play
the game until you’re satisfied you’ve done everything you want
to do.

‘Bin
It’
means you remove the game from your backlog, and consider it
done with. Breathe a sigh of relief as the burden of that game is
lifted from your shoulders. You need never again feel like you didn’t
give the game it’s due- you played it, you weren’t impressed,
time to spend your gaming hours on something you do want to play.

Binning
a game doesn’t necessarily mean you think it’s bad! There’s
going to be a lot of games that are well-made experiences that would
probably be enjoyable to some people, but simply aren’t your kind
of game. That’s fine! Mention that in your write-up and leave a
link for other people who might think the game does sound
interesting.

Either
way, that’s one item off your backlog, and you get to roll again!

The
ideal end result is you’ll end up playing some games you might
otherwise never have made time for, along the way discovering
unexpected new favourites, and sharing those faves with other people
who end up enjoying them too. If you do it once a week for a year,
you’ll get 50 games off your backlog, and just in time for the
Steam Winter Sales to fill your list up again with games other people
have recommended!