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First Impression: Drawngeon: Dungeons of Ink and Paper (Switch) ~ Classroom Doodles Came To Life

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Nintendo.com micrositeDrageus pageOfficial Steam Page

As somebody who works in a school as an IT guy, I’m interested when a game does something that is somewhat school-related. Today I’m going to talk about a game that does something of that nature. Well, the connection might be a bit far fetched but hey, it’s there if you look far enough. So, today’s game is Drawngeon. The publisher Drageus Games gave me a press code for the Nintendo Switch version. In this game, a drawn dungeon comes to life. Now, this game is rather cheap so it might turn people off. But, should you be turned off by this game or is it totally worth your time? Let’s find out in this 100% my honest opinion game quicky review of this game. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the game and/or the content of this article in the comment section down below. 

Editorial note: During the play sessions and writing of this review, an update came out. It’s possible that some complaints might be fixed in a future version. This review is written on v1.0.3.

Classroom Doodles Came To Life

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In this game, you play as a nameable character that is going to explore the drawn dungeons of this world. I think that the store page explains the story better then I can explain it.

The life went on as usual in the Inkland, until the Tower has suddenly fallen straight from the sky!
Many heroes tried to solve its mystery, but none of them succeeded! Maybe it’s your turn to test yourself?

Explore the procedurally generated game world of the Inkland – dungeons, caves, forest and, of course, the Mysterious Tower. Who can reveal all the secrets of the Mysterious Tower?

For those who don’t know what “procedurally generated” means, let me quickly explain it. It means that every time you enter the game, the layout will be different. If you have ever heard about Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, it’s the same basic idea. I find this quite surprising in a good way. For a cheap game like this, the fact that you can replay this game multiple… well, it gives you even more bang for your 4-5 bucks (Depends if the game is on sale or not 😉 ).

This gives the game more variety as well.  Every playthrough will be different. There is a game that’s quite similar to this one in concept and that’s Delver and Eldritch.  These games throw you into a dungeon as well, where the layout and enemy placement is very different every time. And I enjoyed those two games quite a lot. What I’m saying is that I enjoyed my time quite a lot with this game.

The game looks amazing. It looks like somebody drew his whole ideal Dungeons and Dragons lay-out in a sketchbook during study hall or something of that nature. The little use of color makes the items you can interact with stand out that much more.

The further you get into the game, the more bonus material you unlock. These are mostly concept art but they are a nice view of the development of this game. Now, there is a collectable that makes a cat person like me extremely happy. There are a ton of hidden cats all over the map and they are a joy to collect!

The bad ones.

EReFQHkUYAE6jh1Now, the game looks quite nice. I mentioned that before. Yet, there are a few things that ruin the immersion a bit. For example, the game has a problem with slopes. You can look right through them from some angles. You can see an example in the screenshot here. The void or the textures from the block behind are clearly visible.

But that isn’t the only problem I have with the visual presentation of this game. The big issue I have comes with animation of especially the battles. During a battle, which isn’t turned based but rather in realtime, you get an indication that you got hit. But, there is no indication that you hit the enemy. Yes, the text underneath the playing field tells you that you did or didn’t do damage to the enemy but why isn’t this visually shown like hits on your character?

Now, I can totally understand that a game of this nature needs to have a certain difficulty curve. But this game’s difficulty curve is a bit too much. I have no problem with enemies taking 3 to 4 hits to kill when you start the game, but the damage you get versus the damage you can do is a bit too much. Similar games like Delver are more balanced and make the game a bit more enjoyable to play.

The controls are easy to get used to but I’m sorry, they have a few issues that I really didn’t like at all. The first big issue is turning. You can turn by using the left and right shoulder buttons. Personally, I would have used these as strafe buttons. So, basically switch the left and right arrows around with the shoulder buttons.

The second issue I have with the controls is inventory management. The fact that there is no tutorial section, makes it extremely difficult to easily figure out the mechanics of the inventory. It took me some time before I was able to throw items on the ground, move and equip them. This brings me to another issue with the UI. But more on that later.

The 3rd issue is the fact that there isn’t a run button. This makes exploring the map a bit boring. Especially when you are restarting for the 10th time. You have seen most of the early area and you want to get through it as quickly as possible.

When you equip a stat-boosting item, it appears that your stats stay unchanged. Your stats are displayed next to your character portrait and those stay the same no matter what you equip. In addition to that, I don’t even know or understand which stats are what. Now, the description of the items changes color when it’s an improvement but it’s in orange. Why not green or red like in any other RPG?

Not to mention, the inventory is a bit tricky to use. It’s extremely small, so you have to really think about what you take with you and what you leave behind. But, when you want to pick up an item and you don’t have enough room in your inventory, you get the same basic text: “Not enough room in your inventory.” So, you don’t know about what item you can’t pick up and how much space you need in your inventory.

The sound design is a hit and miss story. While the sound effects add to the immersion of this game, sadly there aren’t enough sound effects in the game. For example, the sound effects for most of the enemy’s movements are exactly the same for bats, spiders, and other monsters. This is a big shame since a lot of players use these sound effects to know which enemies are coming to properly prepare themselves. Now, the music or the lack thereof really adds to the atmosphere of the game. The music that’s present is really well done and gives off the tense atmosphere that the game has.

Something that I found, on one hand, interesting and on the other hand extremely annoying, is the fact that to level up or boost your stats, you have to go to a tree at the starting village. It’s an interesting way to level up your character but it’s annoying that you can’t do this in a menu like almost every other similar game.

And with all that said, I have said everything I wanted to say about this game, so I think it’s high time to wrap up this article with the conclusion and my thoughts on this game.

Conclusion

If you read this article, it might seem that this game has a ton of flaws. And I have to admit, this game has extremely rough edges that can frustrate a lot of players. But on the other hand, this game does have a lot of positives that make the game extremely enjoyable to play.

The big problem is that I have seen and played better games in this style. And even on the Nintendo Switch: One More Dungeon is an example. So, is this game a bad game? Well, yes and no. It has its problems and shortcomings but it also has a lot of strong points.

This game is like a broken phone screen. It still works and it’s still a decent way to use your phone but the more the cracks start growing and showing, the more you have to get used to the shortcomings or replace it with a better and more polished screen.

Honestly, I think that this game needed way more time to develop. Since the potential for an extremely enjoyable game is present in this game. But not in the version I have reviewed.

So, would I recommend this game? Yes, but with a disclaimer. Know that this game isn’t the best game you will ever play but it has a certain charm. To who would I recommend this game? To people who enjoy dungeon crawlers or games like Delver and One More Dungeon.

And with that, I have said everything I wanted to say about this game. I want to thank you so much for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care.

Score: 60/100

First Impression: Tarzan (GBC) ~ Hide and SEEK.

TARZAN_gbc_E_IGN entry

So, one day on a garage sale, I saw this game. Since one of the very first games I ever played was Tarzan on the PC, I had to have this. I enjoyed this game quite a lot. And now, after all those years, I still have the same cartridge and the instruction booklet. I’m quite happy that I still have it since I have fond memories of it. Now, I have never finished this game since I couldn’t get passed the tiger battle as a kid. That’s why I’m writing a first impression. Anyways, enough stalling, let’s dive right into this game and let’s take a look at it. As usual, feel free to leave a comment on the game and or the content of this article. 

Collect-a-banana gameplay.

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The story in this game is amazing. They made it work on the Gameboy Color! They follow the movie quite perfect. The levels and stages are designed around some amazing scenes of the movie. As a kid, I watched that movie a lot.

While the characters don’t have a lot of development in the game, I still enjoyed this story quite a lot. I’m so glad that they know what the gameboy color was capable of doing.

The game is surprisingly longer then you would think. This game consists out of 23 stages. Which is quite long for a movie game. It’s actually quite good too. This game is a platformer, but not in your traditional sense. You need to collect a certain amount of banana’s before you can advance to the next stage. The amount of banana’s you need to collect are shown when you start the level.

You don’t always play as Tarzan, there are levels as Tuck… but…

The bad things.

Tarzan_GBC_ScreenShot2

… There is barely any variation between the characters. They all play the same. Apart from Tuck’s hitbox being slightly bigger then Tarzan’s.

While the controls are really solid, the jump animation is a bit broken. Sometimes the jumps, well, don’t work. You can’t grab a ledge you see clearly in front of you or you clip right through the edge.

I don’t know it was my copy or not, but the sound was messed up. The music had like a missing line of melody. The noise it added was rather annoying.

A disappointment was that you couldn’t multiplayer the hide and seek mode. You had to pass your gameboy to your friend after you had hidden one of the characters. That was a major let down for me. Thankfully, this allowed me to play this game with my sister. Since we only had one copy of the game back then.

Another annoyance is that the checkpoints aren’t clearly indicated. Suddenly, you get shown that you reached a checkpoint, but it looked like a usual ledge or platform to me at first. Also, if i remember correctly, once taken is always taken.

Oh, don’t get me started on the password system. It’s quite creative by using symbols but why do they have a password system in place for this game? There were games like the Legend of Zelda who showed that they can make a saving system work on the Gameboy color!

 Is it bad?

Tarzan_GBC_ScreenShot4

So, I have talked about most of the things this game does wrong. But it isn’t that bad. Thankfully, this game has some other good things. The animation blew my mind, and it still does today. What Disney displays here, is just amazing. The game feels tense and nice.

Looking at it now, you could argue that this game has the problem of design over gameplay. I mentioned earlier that some jumps didn’t work correctly. I think the culprit is that the animation is too good.

The difficulty curve is just perfect. While some parts might be a bit unforgiving, I don’t think that is such a bad thing. Do you seriously expect games from that age to be forgiving.

Visually, this game is nice to look at. The game is sometimes a maze… Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that a map would be nice. But at the other hand, I understand why there isn’t a map. Since you play inside the jungle, which is unmapped terrain in the first place. Also, Tarzan doesn’t know the whole jungle like the back of his hand.

Another thing I forgot to mention is how you go to the next level. As soon as you got all the required banana’s you don’t go to the next level automatically, you have to find your partner. He is hidden in sometimes a hard to reach area. This tests your knowledge of the level and you have to use all your skills.

What I don’t understand, and I can’t test it since I don’t have one, is that this game supports the Gameboy Printer. Yes, you can make images and print them. This is wasted potential in my eyes.

Before I wrap up this article, I think I should talk a bit more about the controls. Since there isn’t any tutorial, I liked it that you can find out what each button does on your own. But, as soon as you play, you will understand that this isn’t the best choice. You’ll have to play that in order to understand it. Otherwise I ruined each surprise.

Anyways, let’s wrap up this first impression here. I almost wanted to start the conclusion as I was writing a review. But I haven’t beaten this game, so I can’t write a review. Anyways, I think this game deserves a play. It isn’t perfect, but it’s good. It isn’t polished, but it’s fun.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article. I wish you happy holidays and I look forward to seeing you guys soon. Since the Gameboy and Gameboy Color month will still go in January. I had a way more busy time then I expected, so I couldn’t write enough articles as I wanted for this theme. That’s why I decided that. But anyways~ Take care!

Review #006: Playmobil Top Secret Agents (DS) ~ Climb ladders with stone.

Playmobil Game

This game didn’t have a site, so here is the GameSpot page. 

My buddies over at Arpegi wanted me to review something different. Games I never really finished like SuperMan 64 came up. So, it’s obvious that they wanted me to review a bad game. I selected this “gem” instead. It’s a game I, tried, to play and never really 100% finished. Like I said in my Corpse Party impression article, I usually write about games when I’m completely finished them. But this game is different. On my old Dutch blog, I had simply a list of why this game was so terrible. But I am now going to give it a fair review. Let’s see if I wasn’t harsh on this game, I actually went ahead and replayed the game for as long as I could and then started writing this article. I’m rather curious how it’s going to turn out since my list of things I want to talk about has grown each part of the game. That can be a good and a bad thing since I didn’t tell if it were praises or complaints. One thing is for sure, it isn’t a good good game, it’s not going to get many points. But like the Happy Video Game Nerd has a video series, how bad is it really? And is it worth playing it? Even if it’s only to see how bad it truly is.

So, what’s the game?

playmobil-top-agents-nintendo-ds-001_mAlright, let’s dive right into this game. The first thing I have to men

The music sounds like a track of not even a minute looped over and over. The music sounds like something you created in a program where you can drap & drop samples into a timeline.tion is that I always let the game music play while I’m writing the review. To get in the mood for writing the review. So, I get reminded of how the game played. But do I now regret that decision. The music isn’t terrible but it’s isn’t what a game of this name.

So, I haven’t left the menu screen just yet. The font of the menu screen is terrible. When I’m on the menu where I can pick new game files, the word “game” looks almost like the replaced the letter G with an eight. Some letters are pretty close to each other and some letters like the “W” seem to take up more space then they should.

Plus, it wouldn’t surprise me that they didn’t play much games before this. Which game actually says, “Delete game file”? So, in other words, you can delete the game files from the menu screen? Well, that’s a very new and risky feature. I’ll be sure to try that out.

So, I skip somethings at the menu’s and dive right into the gameplay. One thing I can credit this game for, the game looks clean and inviting to play. They did a good job there. The music gets a little bit better but doesn’t sound catchy at all.

Plus, the names in the game are way to generic. Like the story. A random bad guy suddenly takes over the city or world and after you have some minor plotholes, you are left with a confused mind after the introduction. I can understand that

this game might be based on a cartoon series or a comic book show but they then leave the guys who don’t follow it in the dark and confused.

Climb ladders with stone.

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After the opening you get an extremely long introduction to the story. And like you would expect, the story is extremely generic. It’s a kids game, I can forgive it but it’s extremely forgettable. Wait, I actually take something back. A kids game can have a pretty memorable story. If you take of the Nintendo games and look at the games that are targeted towards kids, you can clearly see that the story is rather interesting.

I went through the effort to make this screenshot myself. This clearly shows the Q&A (word for quality testing) that this game lacks. The animation goes down in my eyes since you don’t climb up the ladder correctly. And here is the thing, it’s the very first ladder you meet in the game.

I forgot to actually mention that you need to press select after each dialogue/cut scene. And I had and actually have still trouble adjusting to that.

I touched on this before but the names don’t improve this game. “Jet Girl” and “Agent SPY” are two prime examples of this.

I have to give this game also some positive feedback, the game’s controls actually do work. And the game does what’s supposed to do. But let’s go further into the game and let’s see if it gets any better, or worse.

The driving. 

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On my previous blog I didn’t gave this game a full review like I’m doing now. And I want to correct that with this review. I often play games that aren’t targeted to my age or my style but when I got to the part where I needed to hit the road, I gave up.

I’m truly patient with games and I like to give them a fair chance, but this game truly lost me at the driving part. The drivers ride all over the place and they can’t turn at the road at all. It almost seems like the game’s animation is based on a grid and made and then the levels are designed. Sadly enough, this makes things break when a level is changed.

Also, I don’t get why on so many places you need to be reminded of the current date & time. That’s a truly “helpful” feature. It’s almost like they put this feature in so that the kids have no excuse anymore when it’s time to stop playing and go to bed.

I also don’t like how the game asks your language every time you start. This is similar to how you don’t have buttons to not have to press the select button after the 2nd or 3rd time you have to. Genius!

But back to the driving. It simply doesn’t work solid enough. Textures can glitch in each other, cars can ride in each other. Your radar/ map isn’t clear and the controls truly are messed up and unresponsive at times. Also, the game got a lot uglier at these parts and it looks pixelated as if this game was for MS-DOS. What I’m trying to get to is that this game doesn’t look sharp in these sections.

And at this part I started to loose interest. I remember from the first time I played this game that this is actually couple of mini-games. And judging that you can select these from the main menu, the game must be a “blast to play”. Since this gives me the impression that the game is rather short. Well, time for the conclusion.

Conclusion

The good:

+ The game controls work in the non-driving sections.

+ The non-driving sections look inviting.

The bad:

– Nearly no sound effects.

– Lacking story.

– Terrible driving.

– Annoying menu’s.

– Bad animation.

– Music that isn’t fun.

– Extremely easy game.

– Glitchy AI, like in the driving parts.

– Uncreative names.

My final thoughts:

I played a lot of Playmobil when I was young and I got excited when I saw this game. And oh boy, do I regret this buying impulse that I sold this game. I normally don’t get rid of games but this game was way to terrible to play.

This game lost my interest extremely fast. I have read some other reviewers talk about this game being fun for kids, but if you are a kid or a parent, I don’t advise this game at all. There are way better games to play that are way more fun and will be less frustrating then this one. The Nintendo DS library is big but this is one of the games that is a mold on the game library.

Don’t buy this game, it’s extremely bad and doesn’t deserve any positive attention. I might be very harsh here but this game is one of the worst games I have actually played without seeing it in a TOP 10 list.

Score: 20 / 100