Tag: pc

Dune Sea

Developer: Frolic Labs
Publisher: Frolic Labs
Music: Jake Butineau
Platforms: Steam, Switch
Released: 10 – 10 – 2019
Genre: Side-scroller, adventure

You are a goose, and it’s time to fly.

Perched on the edge of a cliff, you don’t know what’s ahead of you, but with a leap you spread your wings, embarking on a journey.

The destination isn’t important, the joy of Dune Sea is in the journey. The process. Watching the landscape go by, making your way through the air, finding and coaxing friends to join your ramshackle flock, avoiding obstacles, learning how to soar with acrobatic grace.

Dune Sea is a side-scrolling adventure game, if adventure meant a meditative zen-like experience with a little bit of a challenge. With a simple, low-poly art style, soothing music, and a steady pace, Dune Sea is exactly what I needed to play, when everything was too overwhelming, too noisy, or just took too much energy.

Gameplay is soothing, if that wasn’t clear already. It introduces controls simply and slowly. First, let’s figure out how to hop off the cliff and spread your wings. Next, figure out how to fly quickly, change directions, and how and where to land for a rest. A some of the controls are explained to you, but a lot you are left to figure out. You’ll pick up some little collectables and learn that it’ll give you a bit more stamina. You’ll also learn what happens when you do run out of stamina.

A lot of it is very straightforward, and what you’d expect from a game like this. But you have a few interesting tricks to learn. If you encounter a flock of birds, honk at them! One of them may decide to tag along for a little while. And with enough bird friends, you’ll be able to unlock new and interesting pathways, and move past difficult obstacles. Is it necessary? Not really! But who doesn’t want a ragtag flock who can help you blast rocks?

Sometimes, the lack of explanation can be frustrating. I had quite a lot of trouble at the very first launch, where I was told to press two buttons, but I didn’t really know how to, or how long, or in what order.

I’m not afraid to admit I crashed off that cliff at least half a dozen times. But once the mechanics of flight clicked, it clicked, and the rest just fell into place. It helps that it is a forgiving game, with plenty of checkpoints. You don’t get punished harshly for a mis-timed dive. Instead the game goes ‘hey, let’s give that another go’. So you spend less time struggling, and more time just enjoying the journey.

In addition, there is a Zen Mode, where you don’t even have to worry about obstacles or crashing. You can choose to only have to fly.

Like the simple art style, and soothing gameplay, the music just ties it all together. You don’t HAVE to listen to the music, but I think you need to. It’s so gentle, melodic, easy to allow into the background of your flight. It really ties it together, giving pace to your experience. Gentle guitar tones, violins in the background, an echo of the melody rings in the background. It feels open, and warm. I wouldn’t fall asleep to it, but I found it relaxing. I had a better meditation experience playing this game, than I did in my last yoga class. Everything just compliments each other so well, woven into one experience.

There’s no rush, no glaring need to keep flying, no overwhelming drive to DO things. It just lets you fly.

What is Dune Sea? It is a journey, an experience, that serves no other purpose than to just let you experience it. Your destination doesn’t matter. Your goals can be to just stay off the ground. You can build a giant mega-flock, or you can just see where the game takes you, for as long as you want. It’s not exciting, it’s not busy, it’s sort of boring. But in the way that paddling down a quiet river in a canoe, and you look up at the sky and watch the clouds drift by is boring. In the way that sitting by a stream, and tossing sticks into it and mentally betting on which stick will reach the big rock first is boring. In the way that sitting on the train and watching the landscape change and the buildings go by is boring.

It just felt like, for a few minutes at a time, I could just breath. And fly.

That is Dune sea.

Reviewed by Zahra Pending @Degari_rose on 2nd of December 2020

Zed Games Podcast – Episode 268


268
In studio: Razor, Lee May and Sean Mccarthy.

This week we chat with Rebecca Cheers and Kaitlyn Plyley, writer and director of TITS OR GTFO , a play about navigating geek culture as a woman. We talk about the themes that the performance touches upon as well as some of the stories surrounding the show’s conception. Lee reviews Broken Age Part 2 (PC).

Aired 6 May 2015.

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Review: Sir, You Are Being Hunted

sirrobot

Platform: PC
Developer: Big Robot
Website: http://www.big-robot.com/2012/03/12/sir-you-are-being-hunted
Australian rating: Unrated

The robots in Sir, You Are Being Hunted are more English than tea and racism. They wear tweed coats and top hats, smoke pipes, stalk about on the moors shooting pheasants, talk endlessly about the weather in their whirr-buzz-click robot voices – they’re like characters from Sherlock Holmes made out of brass.

Oh, and they want to kill you.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted is a game of stealth and survival in which you’re stranded on a string of islands with very little to protect yourself, and must gather fragments of scattered scientific equipment to rebuild a teleporter so you can get the hell away. Between you and those fragments are packs of robot gentlemen and their robot dogs, forcing you to crouch in long grass and behind hedges to evade their shining red eyes whenever a hunting party approaches.

You spend a lot of time in this game toggling in and out of crouch mode. Sir, your thighs are getting a heck of a workout.

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Review: War Of The Vikings

vikingsnow

Platform: PC
Developer: Fatshark
Website: www.warofthevikings.com
Australian classification: Unrated

The Viking swings his axe and you backpedal furiously, swapping your bow for your sword in time to parry his next swing. The blow after that bites into your arm, but you’ve delayed the warrior long enough for one of your Saxon brethren to arrive. He stabs your enemy in the back and the Viking falls to his knees. You raise your sword for the finishing blow.

Unfortunately it takes three tries to get your aim right because your sword keeps bouncing off the rocks beside the fallen Viking, and in the meantime an arrow from someone you never see – possibly another Saxon who hasn’t realised you’re on the same side – takes you down.

Then you respawn in the middle of a group of enemies who decapitate you instantly. Then you respawn again, in time for the server to collapse and boot you back to the menu.

You have been playing War Of The Vikings.

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Zed Games Podcast – Episode 214

214

We are joined live in-studio by Cameron Davis – “grizzled games industry veteran” and author of Blow The Cartridge, a web comic series about retro gaming. We discuss comics, games, life, the universe and everything – including hilarious stories about the games industry and Street Fighter 2. Check out his work here.

Lee and Jody collect the bounty on Mercenary Kings (PC/PS4)

Aired 9 April 2014

Zed Games Podcast – Episode 214

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Review: Shadowrun Returns – Dragonfall

dragonfallfight

Platform: PC, Mac, iPad, Android (tablet)
Developer: Harebrained Schemes
Website: http://harebrained-schemes.com/shadowrun/dragonfall
Australian classification: Unrated

Between missions my crew of data thieves and mercenaries stay in a hideout in Berlin’s Kreuzbasar. As well as hackers and killers, one of them’s a shaman – Shadowrun mixes magic with its near-future technology – and he used to front a punk band. When was the last time you met an actual punk in a cyberpunk game? So I ask him, “You can sing?”

“I was the front man for a punk band, boss,” he replies, as if I’m an idiot. “Fuck no, I can’t sing.”

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Review: The Rapture Is Here And You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home

rapture

Platform: PC
Developer: T-Probe Productions
Website: http://connorsherlock.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/trihaywbfrfyh (free download)
Australian classification: Unrated

“Why would you play a game where the world ends no matter what you do?” Candi asks.

“It’s like building a sandcastle on the beach,” I try to explain. “You know the tide’s going to come and wash it away but it’s still worth doing.”

“My sandcastles never lasted that long,” says Ray. “They always got kicked over first.”

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