Friday, December 2, 2022

Nothing From LucasArts This Month? Are You Sure?

Another month, another bunch of freebies from Amazon, another post from me, telling you which I took, which I left and which I'll play. Hah! Just joking on that last one. Like I'll play any of them.

Still, free stuff, easy post... all of that...

So, what's new this month? Well, timeliness, for a start. For the first time in as long as I can remember the new offer actually popped on the first of the month. It was pure chance I spotted it, really. I just happened to be on the app yesterday, looking for something else, I forget what, and there they were; six brand new titles.

Let's go through them. It won't take long.

Doors: Paradox - "A relaxing puzzle escape game! Make your way through a variety of hand-crafted 3D dioramas, look for useful objects, find hidden clues and solve fun puzzles! Unravel this mysterious adventure about chaos, order and the surreal" £12.79 on Steam. Rating: Very Positive.  

Can you say high concept? The screenshots look like they were pulled straight from someone's Etsy page, not from a game. There are fifty-eight of these things, apparently, and all you have to do is "solve the puzzles, open the door, and travel to the next." 

Can't say I'm sold on the idea but the images are pretty enough and the puzzles are supposedly "fit for all players" so I might be able to manage them. I guess it might be worth a look. Claimed.

The Amazing American Circus  - "Roll up and play a deck building game like no other! Gather weird and wonderful performers, amaze audiences, explore Gilded Age America, and transform your run down circus into an entertainment empire. Play your cards right and you could claim the crown of greatest showman from P.T .Barnum!" £15.49 on Steam. Rating: Mostly Positive.

This one looks a bit more interesting. The graphics are moderately appealing, although that fin de siecle illustrative style never did a lot for me. It was a successfully-funded Kickstarter, which could be a positive or a negative. 

I quite like card battlers, which is what this is, according to some of the reviews, but only if they're pretty simple and straightforward, which this seems to be if the people who don't much like it are to be believed. It also has a storyline, which is good, and a heavy focus on resource management, which probably isn't.

Enough there, on balance, to make it worth a look, I think, even though it's highly unlikely I'd ever play it to a finish. Claimed.

Banners of Ruin - "Assemble your party. Answer the call. Win the war. Build a deck and fight a series of turn-based combats with up to 6 party characters through the city of Dawn's Point. Each character can unlock a set of unique cards and abilities that can augment your deck in powerful, exciting ways." £15.49 on Steam. Rating: Very Positive.

Oh, look! It's another card battler! Only this one has anthropomorphic animals! Now I'm interested! Also, the visual style is much more my sort of thing. The spot illos are gorgeous and the muted color palette with the chiaroscuro lighting effects does something for me.

On the downside, this one seems to be the opposite of Amazing American Circus in that most of the complaints revolve around mechanical complexity and unfair difficulty spikes. I suspect that, while I might like this game, it won't like me. 

Still, obviously not going to turn it down just for that. Claimed.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons - "Guide two brothers on an epic fairy tale journey from visionary Swedish film director, Josef Fares and top-tier developer Starbreeze Studios. Control both brothers at once as you experience co-op play in single player mode, like never before." £10.99 on Steam. Rating: Very Positive.

This looks amazing. Visually, that is. The screenshots are stunning and the game looks even more impressive in the gameplay videos. I confess I have never heard of "visionary Swedish film director, Josef Fares", but I assume his involvement explains the cinematic feel of the whole thing. 

On the face of it, this seems like it would be a gimme but dig a little deeper and the warning signs begin to flash. It looks extremely wholesome, even child-friendly, in the promotional material, so it's a surprise to find this stern warning on the Steam page: "This Game may contain content not appropriate for all ages, or may not be appropriate for viewing at work: Frequent Violence or Gore, General Mature Content".

That I could deal with but I have more of a problem with the even stricter caveat, in bold and with an orange border, presumably so you can't say you missed it and ask for your money back: "Notice: Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons requires a controller to play." 

And I could deal with that, too. I bought a controller a while back for just these sorts of situations. But not for situations like this: "Control both brothers at once as you experience co-op play in single player mode, like never before. Solve puzzles, explore the varied locations and fight boss battles, controlling one brother with each thumbstick."

Yeah, that sounds a bit much. Then again, maybe not. One reviewer disputes the necessity: "Despite Steam's notice, Brothers does not need a controller to play. " Guess I'll just to have to play it myself and find out. Claimed.

Desert Child - "You are a hungry, young hoverbike racer who needs to get off Earth before it E-X-P-L-O-D-E-S. Hunt bounties, throw races, and do whatever you can to get to Mars and win the Grand Prix." £8.99 on Steam. Rating: Mostly Positive.

I was going to throw this one a hard pass until I spotted something deep in the pitch: "Explore a pixel-art solar system inspired by Cowboy Bebop, Akira and Redline". And then this, too: "Chill to an original lo-fi hip-hop soundtrack". Some of those are things I like...

The reviews on Steam are fascinatingly polarised, veering from "one of the worst games I've reviewed for Steam, as I was physically repelled by the experience" to "a rare game that puts style over substance and still comes out compelling and fun, despite the extremely simple core.

Why the hell not? Quite looking forward to trying it now. Claimed.

Spinch - "Transcend the material realm and assume your true form as Spinch, a hyper-agile organism consumed by the quest to rescue a litter of its missing offspring, in this side-scrolling, psychedelic platformer from the mind of award-winning Canadian cartoonist, Jesse Jacobs. " £11.39 on Steam. Rating: Mostly Positive.

Finally, something I can reject. I watched a few seconds of video and the aesthetic is a lot more pleasing in full sound and movement but I still wouldn't want to be stuck with it for more than a minute or two. Plus, y'know, side-scolling platformer. Not my thing at all. Not Claimed.

And that's it for the app. Let's just check the website because, as we know, there's always something more lurking over there...

Oh, yeah.. Quake.  There's that. I don't think I need to describe Quake to anyone, do I? Didn't play it back then, not going to play it now. Not Claimed. 

Finally, something called Rose Riddle 2: Werewolf Shadow, which momentarily looked intriguing but turned out to be yet another timewaster from Legacy Games. I think I've learned my lesson there. Not Claimed.

Quake needs a link from your Amazon account to the Epic Games store and Rose Riddle requires a similar link to Legacy. Just in case you were going to rush off to grab one of them.

So, on to the in-game loot for games I might one day play... except, for the first time ever, there isn't any. Well, there is but I've already claimed it all. 

Maybe the web page is still on Amazon time. I'll check back in a few days but if even I find anything new, I'll probably keep it to myself. I think once a month is plenty for posts like this. Let's all meet back here in January and we'll do it all over again.


  1. The good news for you is that I believe they may be out of the Lucasgames that won't cause some kind of licensing issue.
    The bad news is that the nature of licensing means they could always make a roaring comeback later on.

  2. Brothers a tale of two sons is good, if you can manage controlling the movement of both brothers at once. I had too much trouble to continue, but I haven’t got a controller. Doors:Paradox doesn’t look bad. Love the description for the Amazing American Circus but no deck building for me. Atheren


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