Some time ago I played Trick And Treat, freebie RPG Maker puzzley halloween fun game in which maid girl Amelia must find her master Charlotte in a haunted mansion. It’s cute more than it is scary and I recommend anyone who can stomach some light horror to try it out.
Since then, the developer has released a prequel, starring Charlotte this time as she attends a tea party with the other witches in the world. Much like TaT, it’s an explore-and-puzzle-solve-em-up, but the mansion is far more populated this time around.
The other witches are, as you might expect, quite prickly with each other, with proceedings coming to a head as one of the witches curses the mansion and is then murdered for it. Typical family reunion at the Beebs household, so far.
No one really seems to care, so it’s up to junior witch Charlotte to solve the mystery of who did it and why. …Well, not really ‘why’; it’s fairly well established that the victim had it coming.
Fin or Bin:
Theatre-kid midgi got let loose during our stream, giving each of the myriad characters a voice. I don’t think she’d let me Bin it even if I wanted to. But! This dev makes some cute and fun stuff, and TWTP is no exception. We’ll be streaming the full game until we Finish it, first part here!
One of the many short, weird, artsy, vaguely-horroresque one-person RPG Maker games to come out of Japan’s indie scene, LiEat focuses on Efi, a little girl with the curious ability to see and eat lies people tell around her. Since her guardian, Leo, is some kind of private investigator, that sure comes in handy!
The package on Steam is actually a bundle of three separate stories, the first of which I have been able to finish. Though there are battles in a technical sense, the nature of these games is to use the medium primarily as a story-telling method, in this instance simply reflecting Efi wofling down the tasty lil lies she finds in the world.
Fin or Bin:
This kind of thing tends to go right over my head, but the premise is interesting and it’s short enough that I don’t mind pushing through. I think other people would get more out of Finishing this one than I will, though.
An “Overwhelmingly Positive” rating is a very rare thing to see on Steam, especially for a free RPG Maker game, so I had to jump in on this one.
Contrary to most RPGM-based games, this is actually an A-RPG very similar to the Ys titles. To attack, you just ram yourself into an enemy, no button presses required. It’s as simple as it gets, which was the aim- the solo developer notes that he wanted to create a game anyone could play and enjoy the story.
The story is ostensibly based in the Ragnarok Online universe, but as someone who has never really delved into that world I’m managing to follow along with it fine. Senia’s adoptive older sister Magaleta headed to the Tower Of Eternity for reasons unknown, and Senia has gone to get her back. I’m not far into it, but already the emotional beats in the story are hinting towards something that’s going to hurt when it all comes to a head. Found-family is my weakness and this one’s going to kick my arse, I can feel it.
The gameplay isn’t hugely compelling but, as I’ve previously mentioned, I’m an RPG Maker creator myself and I can tell Senia’s got some impressive tricks up its sleeves.
Fin or Bin:
The developer is clearly not a native speaker of English, but I beg any interested parties to look past that. He’s just one dude who wanted to make a passion project, and the love really shows. I’ll enjoy Finishing this one.
It’s important to re-state- these aren’t necessarily reviews.
I’ve more than a passing interest in RPG Maker and have aspirations of creating my magnum opus in the platform some day, and Skyborn is rightfully seen as a masterclass in how to use the platform right; there’s a lot of work gone into creating something unique from a technical point of view, let alone the setting and such.
But… as of right now, I’m not feeling it.
There’s a lot of small micromanagements to contend with, from the way augments work (by the way- thanks for teaching me how to use it with the one character who is then immediately removed from the party, thus wasting all my money), to the battle system. Characters have an in-battle stat called Threat which changes based on their actions. Dealing damage or defeating an enemy will send that character’s Threat higher, and when it comes time for the enemy to move, they will target the character whose Threat is highest. It’s a neat idea, but it means even basic encounters require strategising so you don’t just have one character getting whacked constantly.
Again, it’s not Skyborn’s fault, but having just come from the very energetic eXceed, it’s kind of a jarring experience to have to think while I play a game. I currently feel that Threat is a little too restrictive and it should maybe be a higher *chance* that enemies will target that character, but I worry that being in the wrong mood for a game like this is clouding my judgement to Skyborn’s detriment.
Ultimately, the whole reason I set this blog up was to make sure I was playing games for fun, not obligation. Currently, this isn’t striking Fun, but I want to give it another chance some day.
Fin or Bin:
It’s not you, Skyborn, it’s me. I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship. But lets hook up when I go back through the Bin to see what needs rescuing and we can catch up, yeah?
Horror-themed, but a little too cute to just be called Horror, Trick And Treat is a freebie puzzle/exploration game. You play Amelia, maid to Lady Charlotte, on her first halloween spent trick-or-treating. Right from the offset it’s clear that something’s not normal about Amelia, and indeed she is woefully naive about horror tropes as she explores the haunted mansion in search of Charlotte. The puzzles aren’t super taxing but they’re fun, and there’s some real neat trickery in the way the game’s been designed- for example, the screenshot above, showing two rooms- depending on which one you’re currently in, the other will appear bloody and ruined while the one you’re in appears normal. It’s a pretty cool way for the player to know something’s up without Amelia ever realising it.
Amelia herself is very cute. Her halloween outfit is just a pumpkin on her head because she likes them. That’s cute.
Fin or Bin:
I cheated a little and went back to Finish this one already, before I did my write-up. Playing through Trick And Treat made me glad I’m doing the BBLC as I’d never have gotten around to it if I hadn’t been.
Anyone who can stomach some light horror. It’s an interesting story, it’ll take about 90 minutes of your time, and it’s free.