Game Progress 1/15
January 15, 2016

Progress has been slow lately thanks to Brutal: Above the Claw. The review I prepared for it was one of the most difficult to write because the game is very uninspiring. Then again, that's generic fighting games for you. They're almost as bad as average puzzle games when it comes to reviewing them.

I gave up on The Silent Dark, which was freeware horror game on Android. I got tired of trying to squint my way through its murky campaign. The game's lighting is terrible, allowing you to see maybe two feet in front of you and the occasional light in the distance. Worse than that, I had a hell of a time finding any items that would have furthered the story. I was supposed to locate a wrench in a church, but never could. Said building only has one room and there's no wrench anywhere in there that I could see.

The Silent Dark and several other titles that I've given up on have taught me one thing about freeware horror on Android: it's just about laughable. Most of the games available on the platform are unplayable, and those that don't feature horrible mechanics are knockoffs of popular horror games like Slender.

I uninstalled the game and started one with a title that's none too promising: Silent Insanity P.T. Because nothing says "confidence in our product" like blatantly ripping off a major franchise. This is supposed to be a first-person shooter, but I have yet to find anything to shoot. It's 18 levels long, with all of them (I believe) transpiring within the same scheme of hallways and doors. The objective of each level is peculiar. There's a door you have to enter in order to activate the next level, but it will only do so once you've properly explored the stage you're currently on. Level three, for instance, requires you to find a key and unlock another door, then go inside and look around. There are no cutscenes or switches. You just enter and have a gander. If you try to enter the level-ending door beforehand, the stage won't wrap up.

The worst thing about this game is opening doors. Yeah, this simple action is so flawed that I have to talk about it. Every door opens outward and won't move if you're in the way. When a door does open, you have a finite amount of time to run through it before it closes. Most of the time, you have to step back to let it swing outward, and in the few seconds it should take to step through the portal it closes on you. Something as rudimentary as walking through a door shouldn't be complicated, yet somehow the developer managed to make it so.

I've also noticed that shooting the environment causes it to bleed. I don't know if this was intentional or lazy game design, but put some gory wounds on crates, a couple of walls, and a radio.

There are some games that I staff reviewed over the last few years that I never finished, though I intended to. Sure, I may have gotten to the final boss or to the last few stages, but never did I conquer them. 99 Levels to Hell is amongst those games. I did make it to the final shebang, but never offed the big boss. Sadly, since playing through and reviewing the game, I've lost my progress due to my hard drive dying last year. I also lost my Cloudbuilt progress, and that one stings the most. Anyway, I've restarted 99 Levels and have thus far only managed to kill the first boss and unlock the second door. I haven't unlocked the second character yet, though I'm searching for him.

For those who might remember, 99 Levels is a mash up of Rogue, Bubble Bobble, and Metal Slug. You explore roguelike dungeons composed to a number of platforms while nabbing upgrades and special weapons. There's even one that allows you to trap your foes in a bubble and kill them by colliding with them while they're encased, similar to the aforementioned platformer. Death is permanent, but defeating a boss permanently opens a door that allows you to skip ahead, so it's technically "perma"death in this one.

Finally, because Tap Titans left a hole in my soul, I recently started playing Clicker Heroes. I've put about three hours into it and I have to say it's much better than Tap Titans. For one thing, the pace is snappier and amassing a large enough amount of money to see a noticeable difference in your party doesn't take nearly as long. When you've gotten your DPS high enough, you can fly through levels in a matter of seconds where it can take you several minutes to get through one stage of Tap Titans regardless of the power level of your partners. It also helps that you can advance at your own leisure. In Tap Titans, if you kill enough enemies to satisfy a stage's requirements, the game automatically shoves you onto the next stage. In Clicker Heroes, you can linger and grind if you don't feel comfortable moving along just yet. This is even true for boss battles, which makes a tremendous difference. You can repeatedly fight the boss and reap the booty until you're tired of doing so. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two games, though, is that investing in your party members not only increases your DPS, but also your click damage. This boost the pace even more and allows you to scotch foes with greater ease.

Basically, Clicker Heroes is Tap Titans, except not tedious. I'm currently on level 75.

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Never3ndr Never3ndr - January 16, 2016 (10:05 AM)
Clicker Heroes has a much better progression than Tap Titans to keep you playing with ancients, relics, and mercs. Even better, the devs are still paying attention to the game...I played a while ago before relics, guilds, and mercs and was pleasantly surprised to come back and find these new additions to the game.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - January 17, 2016 (09:06 AM)
Yeah, you're right about that. Also, advancing in Tap Titans feels like an uphill struggle at times, where you can blaze through much of Clicker Heroes without even having to click the mouse much, assuming you've beefed up your DPS enough.

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