Soul Jump, Play the Ukelele, Customize, and Explore the Islands
Continuing today with The Summer Game Fest, Epic Games had their own showcase and caught my eye with Tchia. This sandbox adventure game is inspired by New Caledonia with mountains to climb, lagoons to dive in, and archipelagos to sail across! The new video with developer Awaceb below, gives us a look at the game feature of “soul-jumping”.
Soul jumping allows Tchia to take control of, not only over 30 types of animals, but over 100 objects as well! For example, you can fly in the sky as a bird, explore the ocean as a fish, and dig for treasure as a dog. With different abilities, you can solve puzzles and uncover hidden secrets. I mean, check out that coconut with sunglasses enjoying the beach.
What’s even more amazing is that iam8bit, a production company, is officially selling physical copies of Wattam for the PS4 with 3 alternative covers! You can pre-order your copy here for $29.99 which will ship in Q2 2020, if you’ve decided on which cover you’re going to get, Sushi, Apple, or Sun. Here’s the details of the listing:
Wattam (PlayStation 4 Physical Edition)
Collect All Three Covers – Apple + Sushi + Sun
Pack-In Bonus: Original Instruction Manual written & illustrated by creator Keita Takahashi
Music by Asuka, Brad, Sam and Timmie
Region Free Worldwide Compatibility
As a special bonus, a handful of randomly selected orders will receive a one-of-a-kind, original drawing by Keita Takahashi. These drawings will remain a surprise until orders ship.
In Melbits World there are 4 worlds, each one with 9 levels where you can dodge evil viruses, collect seeds, rotate platforms, and utilize springs. It’s a family-friendly game you can play with up to 4 players and collaborate and communicate with each other! To find out more about Melbot’s upcoming projects, check out my article on the Melbits POD; a toy for mobile devices.
This hilarious new theme for the PS4 features the horrible goose on top of a large pile of stolen objects stacked in a pond. It also comes with some background sound effects and some honking text! Every now and again when you look up to see what that mischievous goose is up to, you can find it with things in its mouth such as keys, a fork, a rose, etc. It will also run across your screen so keep an eye on that foul fowl!
Of course, this makes me extremely jealous of the PS4 as I played my copy on the Nintendo Switch. Who wouldn’t want to be greeted by this marvelous display of shenanigans every time they turn their console on? I’d love for the Nintendo Switch to have avatars, dynamic themes, or other such free content for my home screen! For now, I’m still going to download this theme for my PS4.
Overcooked 2 is still one of my favorite co-op games out there and every time Ghost Town Games and Team17 announce new content for it, I’m super excited! As of today, December 17th, 2019, you can play new DLC, Winter Wonderland, on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, for the total of $0! From the trailer below, you can see that these new kitchens are inspired by the most recent Season Pass that includes Campfire Cook Off, Night of the Hangry Horde and Carnival of Chaos!
Moreover, with these 5 new festive kitchens, you can cook s’mores by the campfire, feed the Horde which are now holiday cookies and candy canes, and use those awesome new cannons from the carnival levels! If you haven’t already purchased the Season Pass, this is a great free way to test the features! Furthermore, look forward to 5 new seasonal recipes, hot chocolate, pancakes, roast dinners, Christmas puddings and mince pies! You can also play as 2 new chefs; Reindeer Chef or Present Head Chef!
Lost Ember is an adventure game where you play as a wolf that has the power to inhabit other animals. Travel across beautiful landscapes and discover what happened, through memories, to the ancient civilizations now in ruins. Lost Ember is available now on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Steam (current 10% discount). I’d like to thank Mooneye Studios for supplying me with a PS4 code in order to share this review with you today!
When I started to play Lost Ember, I was expecting to really enjoy playing as several animals from birds soaring through the skies to fish swimming in the depths of the sea. What I wasn’t expecting is the emotional journey I was about to embark on complete with amazing voice acting and a breathtaking soundtrack. Although the ending is a happy one considering, be prepared for some tears!
A Tragic Story of Greed, Violence, and Loss
Lost Ember is a tale of the Yanrana people and their once mighty city. They believe that by giving their dead their traditional funeral, their spirits can freely pass on to The City of Light. You awaken to a talking ball of light wondering why it can’t pass on and why it appears trapped with no one able to hear it. As it is said that those that are denied The City of Light stay behind and take the form of animals, the ball of light, or rather spirit guide, assumes you must be a Lost Ember, a lost soul. Together you set out to remember who you were in your past lives and if you can be redeemed.
All names of the Yanrana people are carved into medallions that they wear around their necks. You find one with the name Kalani inscribed on it. Another spirit appears and bestows upon you powers that will help get you were you need to go. Scattered around several environments like lush green hills, snowy hilltops, and dark caverns, are memories represented as red smoke. With each memory regained, you can break through “barriers” and move forward. I don’t want to give away more than that as this should be experienced for one’s self. Piecing together what I was seeing had me constantly questioning what kind of person my character was. The larger point of the premise is to see things through others’ perspective.
Controls, Rendering, and Frame-Rate Need Improvement
The animals you can change into were the ones I knew about such as the adorable wombats and moles, but there were a few surprises like bison and elephants! The movements felt quite real although I found it a tad annoying to have to repeatedly press the X button to move and use L2/R2 for up and down when it would have just been easier to move around with the joystick.
As the wolf you can hold R2 to run quite fast so I found myself using that animal the most. That or a bird as it was hard not to just fly everywhere when my wolf got stuck often outside of the marked paths. This was a little frustrating for an exploration game where you can check hidden places for collectibles. Sticking to paths at times and not being able to jump down more than 5 feet or die took me right out of the moment.
Another complaint I had with the controls was the lag whenever I moved too quickly or entered another area, the occasional crash, and the glitches. I would run into invisible walls not knowing where I can and cannot go which often got me stuck trying to button-mash my way out. One time as the mole rat, which allows you to dig underground to get to another side, I rose up in a pile of rocks and couldn’t move. As I panicked, I decided to release my mole from my possession and watched as it ran off and faded from my view as I continued to be a disembodied being becoming one with the earth. Luckily, you can Restart Last Checkpoint and not lose much time.
The Animals are Adorable and Full of Life
There are no enemies and when you fall, the game just puts you right back where you were. This helped put me back into a relaxed mood as I can just sit back and enjoy the scenery and story. I also wouldn’t have been able to bear it if I had to hurt any of the animals. However, it did feel weird to possess their bodies at my will only to abandon them in areas probably far from their homes, exposed out in the open. I tried to remind myself that this was just a game. Then, when I was a fish and transformed myself back into a wolf on land, I saw the poor thing flopping around unable to get back into the water! I quickly re-possessed it, dropped it off somewhere nice with some friends, and doggy-paddled my way back to shore.
It would probably ease my mind if every time I approached the animals, they didn’t run away as fast as possible. Even though I understand that I am a wolf and therefore a predator. Are all the animals actually people inside anyway or is that just a legend? It was still nice to become these animals and have the wolf disappear and become part of the gang. You can also do many “silly things”, as the game puts it, like munching on some berries or taking a nap. It made everything feel so much more alive, and made for some great snapshots too. They also added some baby animals that you can inhabit which significantly upped the cute factor!
Can’t Stop Thinking About What I Just Played
With all of the negatives I just mentioned, I still found myself immensely enjoying the game. The beauty and care that was taken in creating the wildlife and this emotional story far supersedes any of my grievances. My heart ached when I looked around and saw how much nature was thriving now that the humans were gone. The very same humans that over-cultivated which lead to pestilence and hunger. The song with lyrics at the end of the game along with certain revelations had me crying. Lost Ember took me only a few hours to play through but I still find myself thinking about my experience.