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Favorite 4: Games that Won’t Draw a Crowd

Posted by Rob Rich on October 18th, 2012

In keeping with the recent mass transit theme, this Favorite 4 is all about maintaining personal space. While many of us might enjoy occupying our commute time with bird-flinging or hack n’ slash action this can sometimes invite some unwanted attention. Lining up that final shot can be difficult enough without some complete stranger leaning over us and watching our every move. This is where games that appear uninteresting, but are actually quite fun, can come in handy.

Organ Trail:Director’s Cut
Like it or not, a number of people dislike “retro” visuals. Whether it’s a general lack of appreciation or some self-imposed snobbery depends on the individual, but regardless not everyone thinks pixels are neat. It frustrating, sure, but it can also mean the difference between someone you don’t know trying to awkwardly start up a conversation on the bus about the game you’re playing and being left alone.
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Mission Europa
I’ve gone on at length about how much I love Mission Europa, and also about how downright ugly it is. But that’s the “beauty” of it. It’s a fantastic action RPG with some incredibly deep and rewarding systems, but it looks so bizarre and low tech it won’t draw much attention from the guy standing in the doorway just over your shoulder.
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DragonSlasher
DragonSlasher is another game with visuals that belie a much more complex experience. It looks like a simple action game with solid color cutouts for characters. It’s most definitely not much to look at and at best might draw a curious glance or two for a moment before any would-be gawkers shift their attention elsewhere. And while they’re busy reading some other poor commuter’s newspaper, you get to enjoy what is essentially a side-scrolling portable Demon’s Souls in peace.
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Game Dev Story
This really applies to all Kairosoft games but I wanted to stick with the one we all fell in love with first. Although it’s certainly cute to look at and sports some pretty colorful visuals, Game Dev Story is only really interesting when you’re playing it. Watching it, especially when you have no idea what’s going on, is much less interesting. Which means less random people breathing down your neck and more planning a new console launch.
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Mission Europa is a Console-Quality iOS Game

Posted by Rob Rich on September 28th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HIDEOUSLY AWESOME :: Read Review »

The Backstory
A mining operation on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, has gone quiet. A team is sent to investigate and gets shot down in short order. Players control the lone survivor as he teams up with the facility’s computer in order to piece it all together and hopefully get home intact. A task made all the more difficult by the horrific cyber-zombie-demon-monsters that used to be the miners. It’s the kind of story we’ve seen in Sci-Fi horror before (Virus and Moontrap are just two examples I can think of), but it lends itself incredibly well to the interactive medium.

The Gameplay
Mission Europa (specifically the quintessential Collector’s version) is an odd duck of a RPG. It takes place entirely in first-person, utilizes both melee and ranged combat, features skills and summons that are akin to magic, contains tons of “lewts,” offers a crafting system, and has a pretty creepy atmosphere despite looking like it was rendered in crayon. Most of the time players will be wandering through the blood-stained halls, searching for a hidden item or hunting for a boss, all while fighting their way past the repurposed crew and other monstrosities. All the while finding and refining the abilities and gear that suits them best.

How does it Compare?
Because Mission Europa is an amalgamation of a number of different game types, it’s a bit like a lot of things. The gear collection, refining, and crafting is reminiscent of classics and contemporaries like Diablo or even Borderlands. The first-person combat is similar to an older Bethesda title, say like Oblivion. Meanwhile the oppressive atmosphere and disturbingly dark tones bring cult classic System Shock 2 to mind. The amazing thing is that it incorporates all these concepts, but it does them well, and even cohesively.

I could picture Mission Europa running on a PC quite easily, and it’s got the wealth of content (loot drops, crafting, creepy story, multiplayer, etc) most PC gamers crave. It would be right at home on Steam, too. Who knows? Maybe with a little push Banshee Soft might submit it to Greenlight and put my claims to the ultimate test.

*NOTE: “Console-quality” refers to the quality of the experience, not just the graphics. This is about the depth of gameplay, content, and in some cases how accurately it portrays the ideals of its console counterpart.*

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Mission Europa Collector's Ed. HD Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on September 19th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HIDEOUSLY AWESOME
It most certainly doesn't look like much, but Mission Europa Collector's Ed. HD is a role-playing loot monger's dream come true.
Read The Full Review »