Costume Quest

Costume Quest

Summary

Costume Quest: Trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating

It’s Halloween and you are trick-or-treating when a monster shows up and kidnaps your twin. Go around the neighborhood collecting candy and costumes, making friends, and battling monsters to try to get your sibling back.

Review

Costume Quest is cute and great at adapting the theme of Halloween to an adventure game. The story and dialogue are funny… however, the gameplay gets boring and repetitive quickly. The combat system is incredibly simplistic. Each costume has a basic attack and a special attack you can use every three turns.

It’s nice to have a game kids and adults alike can play on Halloween, but don’t expect much from it.

Costume Quest: Battle system

You might like this game if you like…

  • Halloween
  • Turn-based RPG battles
  • Costumes and candy
  • Fighting monsters

Want to play?

$0.99 on Steam (on sale 90% off) | $4.99 on iOS | $14.99 on PS3 and Xbox 360

Morphopolis

Morphopolis logo

Summary

Find hidden objects and solve mini puzzles as you go through a colorful insect world, transforming into a new insect with each chapter.

Review

Currently on sale for only 24 cents, I picked up Morphopolis without really knowing anything about the game. Colorful art, positive reviews, and trading cards I can sell to recoup the cost of the game? Sure, why not.

Morphopolis is pretty short; the 5 chapters took me 1.5 hours to complete. The art is gorgeous and probably the game’s biggest selling point. The gameplay itself isn’t unique; it’s a hidden object game with a handful of puzzles thrown in. For what is intended to be a relaxing game, though, the insects’ slow walking speed really hurt the experience, because it was frustrating to move between screens.

Not a bad game, but not a great one either. Worth the 24 cents.

Morphopolis

You might like this game if you like…

  • Hidden object games
  • Beautiful, colorful art
  • Mini game puzzles
  • The world of bugs
  • Machinarium
  • Slow-paced, casual games

Want to play?

$0.24 on Steam (on sale 95% off) | $3.99 on Google Play and iOS

The Thief

The ThiefThe Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (1996)

Summary

Gen is the self-proclaimed world’s best thief — he even succeeded in stealing from the King himself — but his bragging has landed him in prison. Now the King’s Magus wants Gen’s help with the nearly impossible task of stealing a lost artifact.

Review

I felt so-so about The Thief. It has a decent story (though it was slow in the beginning) with an interesting protagonist, but it’s definitely intended for a younger reader. I’ve heard that the sequel, The Queen of Attolia, is better, so I’ll give it a try to see how it compares.

You might like this book if you are interested in…

  • Anti-heroes
  • Fantasy worlds
  • Middle grade to young adult books
  • Plot twists
  • Newbery Honor books

Pickle It Updates

Since I published the Don’t Starve Together (multiplayer) version of Pickle It two weeks ago, we’ve already updated it several times to add new features. We also back ported our changes to the Don’t Starve (single player) version of Pickle It.

Pickle It additions since release

  • Pickle sword! A fairly powerful sword that eventually spoils. You can eat it if you get desperate, too.
  • Golden pickle! Pickles have a rare chance of turning into golden pickles when pickling, which provide better stats than regular pickles.
  • Potatoes! Potatoes have a totally unique mechanic. Wild potatoes must be dug up with a shovel and you have to use potatoes to grow more potato plants.

We’ve also made a lot of less interesting changes to improve balancing and fix minor bugs.

Pickle It additions
Some of the new additions to Pickle It

Subscriber feedback

Feedback has been really positive so far. Players have been happy to see the Pickle It mod get updated and ported to Don’t Starve Together. We’ve gotten some great suggestions, some of which have worked their way into the mod already. We’ve also had some totally invaluable comments like “derp” and “pickle it.” 😛

One comment I liked was: “oooooh XD i got this mod very early in dont starve and i just thought that beets and onions were already in the game! I was wondering why i didnt see any in dont starve together…” I’m so happy our mod integrates with the game so well that people think it’s part of the actual game!

We’re currently up to over 34,000 subscribers of the Don’t Starve version and over 5,000 subscribers of the Don’t Starve Together version, including both Steam and Klei. Not bad, especially since Don’t Starve Together is still in beta. We also have 100% positive ratings on both mods, which I think is really cool.

What’s next?

We have some more ideas for Pickle It, which will hopefully show up in updates soon. We’re waiting on art for now (*nudges Sean*). We also have ideas for several more mods, so we’ll be busy for a while. 🙂

The Reign of Giants DLC from Don’t Starve is going to be integrated into Don’t Starve Together soon. Klei announced a public test of the RoG content over the weekend. Pickle It shouldn’t have any compatibility problems with RoG in DST, but we still need to test everything. We even have pickling recipes for some of the RoG foods in the mod already.

Pickle It: Don’t Starve Together Mod

Pickle It IconLast night, we released Pickle It for Don’t Starve Together! Pickle It is a mod that adds a pickling component to the game, making it last longer.

Don’t Starve Together

Don’t Starve Together is an early access version of Don’t Starve that supports multiplayer. It is an open world survival crafting game. The goal is to survive in the strange world as long as you can while maintaining both physical and mental health.

Pickle It

Pickle It is a mod I made with my husband (Nick) and our friend (Sean). Nick and I designed the mod and did the coding, while Sean supplied the art assets. We initially made it for the original Don’t Starve game and knew we had to port it to Don’t Starve Together.

Pickle It adds a pickle barrel that lets players pickle their food to make it last longer (especially useful in winter!). It also adds new vegetables, some of which can be found growing wild in the world. Others have a random chance of growing from generic seeds.

It was important to us to balance the pickle barrel so that it wasn’t overpowered. While it makes food last longer, there is a trade-off with the pickled versions of most foods.

Pickle It: Version 1.3.1

The code for Don’t Starve Together changed significantly from Don’t Starve, so it took almost a complete overhaul of Pickle It to make it work in DST. Adding multiplayer support was tricky, but eventually we figured it out. There isn’t a lot of documentation out there for making mods for Don’t Starve (at least for our mod, which was unlike any other mod out there when we released it), so it wasn’t easy making it work.

We added Xbox controller support, fixed a few things that had gotten broken in game updates, and tweaked the food values.

Since I uploaded the new version of Pickle It to Steam last night, 155 players are already using it. 🙂 I hope it will be even more popular than our original Don’t Starve version, which currently has 24,301 people using it. It’s so cool to have so many people using something I made!

Pickle It mod for Don't Starve Together

Future Plans

We want to back port our changes so they work in the original Don’t Starve version of Pickle It. Unfortunately, it seems like Don’t Starve is still using an old version of the code, so we don’t foresee it being easy.

We also want to add some new things to the mod: more vegetables, new pickled foods, pickled food recipes, pickle equipment, and new craftable items.

Get the Mod

Please check out the mod at the links below and rate, favorite, comment, subscribe, etc. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Updated Don’t Starve Together version of Pickle It:

And here are some links to the original Don’t Starve version of Pickle It (which didn’t get updated):

Another World

Another World logo

Summary

Another World is an action/adventure platformer that was originally released in 1991.

Review

Here is a record of the ~15 minutes I played this game.

Another World
Wow, I look stoned.
Another World
A professor who drives a Ferrari, huh?
Another World
This cinematic is painfully slow. Dum dee dum…
Another World
Press action to continue?! Wtf is action?! *Pushes all the buttons* Okay, it’s Ctrl.
Another World
Wait, I just saw this part. So did I die? Oh yup, I guess I so, because I can swim to the surface. The transition from cinematic to playable was not at all obvious.
Another World
Damn, it won’t let me walk off the cliff. 🙁
Another World
Could I walk any slower? (Found out later you can run if you hold Ctrl)
Another World
Ouch, a worm thing cut my knee.
Another World
Aaaand I guess I’m dead. Bad worm.
Another World
Do I have any other controls? Doesn’t look like it.

I learned that you could get past the worms by jumping over them, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to jump over all of the worms in the second screen of worms. I could get past the first one fine, but the second and third worms kept slicing my knee open. 🙁 I wasn’t interested in this game anyway, so I gave up.

You might like this game if you like…

  • 25-year-old games
  • Dying over and over because you cut your knee
  • Games whose only instruction is to “press action” after you die without giving any indication which button that might be.
  • Retro graphics

Want to play?

Another World is apparently available on a multitude of platforms from desktops to mobile devices to consoles. Here are just a few options (I played on my PC via Steam):

$9.99 on Steam | $1.99 on Android | $3.99 on iOS

TUG Early Access: Alpha 0.8.2

TUG is an open-world sandbox crafting game that I funded on Kickstarter. It’s been a while since I last played it, so I wanted to see how the game is coming along. TUG is in early access, so of course the game is still very much a work in progress.

TUG: Stone furnace

Current version (Alpha 0.8.2) feedback

TUG: Smooth caves
Smooth, curvy caves

The good:

  • The world is large and fun to explore, with many different biomes.
  • Crafting is interesting and complex.
  • When mining, it leaves smooth, curvy caves that look a lot more natural than mining large voxel blocks.
  • Goats!

The bad:

  • Still no tutorial or tooltips, but the wiki is helpful (especially for crafting).
  • Controls are a little wonky and unintuitive.
  • There is a 3rd person view (press “x”), but it doesn’t seem as usable as 1st person.
  • Shortcut bar only has 4 slots.
  • No character customization yet.
  • Fires don’t last long enough.
  • A saber cat ate me. :'(

Version 0.8.2 trailer

Want to play?

$19.99 on Steam | $9.99 (for now) on Humble Store & developer’s website

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Summary

After their father becomes sick, two brothers search the world for a cure. Guide the brothers through various puzzles by controlling each brother separately on a single controller.

Brothers - Climbing a rope

Review

Brothers is a truly unique game that demonstrates how video games can be art. It is driven by its heartfelt story and although there is no dialogue (except gibberish), the message gets across through body language and tone. The scenery and lighting are gorgeous, too.

You control each brother separately on one controller, making it like a single-player co-op game. The brothers have to work together to get past obstacles. They have some unique abilties, too; for example, the older brother is stronger, but the younger brother is small enough to fit through bars. The puzzles themselves are simple, but satisfying… although they sometimes feel repetitive.

Brothers is a downright beautiful game and I loved it. My biggest complaint is that it’s pretty short and not very replayable. Whether the $15 retail price is worth 3-4 hours of gameplay is up to you, but I definitely recommend picking it up when it’s on sale. It was only $1.49 when I picked it up during the Winter sale.

Brothers - Snowy city

You might like this game if you like…

  • Beautiful, emotional stories
  • Video games as art
  • Gorgeous fantasy worlds
  • Unique gameplay

Want to play?

$14.99 on Steam (requires controller), Xbox, & PlayStation

A Wrinkle in Time

If I read A Wrinkle in Time in my childhood, I forgot about it, so I thought I ought to read this beloved sci-fi/fantasy classic.

Summary

A Wrinkle in TimeMeg is an awkward teenager whose father mysteriously disappeared years ago while on a top secret mission for the government. Together with her five-year-old telepathic savant brother, Charles Wallace, and their new friend, Calvin, she gets caught up in an adventure to save her father, who has been lost in time and space.

Review

Keeping in mind that A Wrinkle in Time is a children’s book, I felt like it was a let down.

The book was very black and white, good vs. evil. The Christian influence was too heavy-handed and I didn’t like how the book ended with a quick, love-conquers-all conclusion.

Another part of the problem was with the characters. Meg was whiny and self-loathing. Charles Wallace’s abilities and use of language were weird and unbelievable. Calvin was largely forgettable except for his strange, over-the-top praising of the Murray house.

That said, there were some good things about the book. Having a young, female, math-loving protagonist in a sci-fi/fantasy book in 1962 is pretty awesome. Unlike your typical hero, she’s also full of faults, which makes her feel more relatable. I also like how Meg’s view of her father changed from an omnipotent idol who can fix any problem to a flawed, uncertain person like her. That’s a fairly deep thing to have in a children’s book.

You might like this book if you like…

  • The battle of good (light, love, guardian angels, individuality) vs. evil (dark, black, cold, conformity)
  • Christian themes
  • Space and time travel
  • Narcoleptic fortune tellers
  • Illusions of delicious turkey dinners
  • Faceless tentacle creatures

And if you like A Wrinkle in Time, there are four other books in the series.