Next up in the Halloween recommendations is Mutazione!
Over 100 years ago, the “Moon Dragon” meteor struck a popular tropical resort town. Those who survived began developing unique mutations. At first, rescue teams tried to help. As they retreated, however, the survivors created a small isolated community called Mutazione. And now you play as Kai, a 15-year-old who’s traveling to the community to take care of her ailing grandfather, Nonno. Except, Nonno has other plans for Kai.
Spend your days helping grandfather Nonno as his health fails him. Make new friends with the other inhabitants of Mutazione. Even plant musical gardens and trade seeds with them. Also attend BBQs, boat trips, and band nights to get to know the town. But most importantly, embark on a journey to save the people from the lurking darkness. Secrets and betrayals simmer under the surface of this friendly community, and it just might tear them apart.
They survived an apocalypse, but they might not survive the small-town drama!
Songs of Glimmerwick is a charming story-driven RPG where you play as a young witch. You’ll be attending the renowned university of magic in the land of Glimmerwick. Complete narrative quests that focus on unique characters and an intriguing story. Attend classes to learn new magic, have fun at bustling festivals, keep an ear out for some juicy drama. Don’t forget to listen out for some mysterious rumors. Learn new skills like talking to frogs, plant crops, and even cast spells using the power of music!
I love cats. I also enjoy both mystery and adventure games. In the upcoming Peace Island, we get an alluring combination of all of these things. Currently in development by Eric Blumrich and a small team of experienced devs (known for games like Prune and Grand Theft Auto V), this game is already gathering attention online.
About Peace Island:
You’ll play as cats! Starting out, you’ll be playing as the cat named Elizabeth. The day before, she was was coaxed into her pet taxi and dreading a trip to the veterinarian. She never sees the vet, though, instead falling asleep. When she awakes the next day, her human is nowhere to be found and the door is open.
Throughout the game, you will meet 8 other cats. You’ll need to gain the trust of these cats and eventually gain their friendship. At different points, you will control each of the different cats. Each one has unique strengths, weaknesses, and roles.
The world of Peace Island – outside from being Peace Island – is an open-world based on real-life Maine. Inside the island are 4 defined communities. These are Peace City Landing, Greenwood Farms, Ellison Heights, and LaFlamme Fishworks. These are settlements, farmlands, coastlines, woodlands, and more!
The story of the game is that the humans have all gone missing. The mystery is plentiful. There are an invasive species on the islands, artifacts and documents left behind, and 200 years worth of alternate history to unravel. Not only do you have to figure out what happened to the humans, you have to use the divergent storylines to decide if they are worth bringing back.
Cooperate – You’ll have to gain the trust and build friendships with the other cats. You’re going to need them!
Discover – It’s up to you to find and piece together all the evidence.
Explore – The open-world is huge and scattered with lots of details.
Infiltrate – To solve the mystery, you’re going to have to get inside the buildings. It may take more skill to find a way into some of them.
Peace Island is currently in development for PC, Mac, and Oculus VR. There is no set release date, yet, but a beta should be coming soon. You can check out more and support the game on Patreon. You can also see daily screenshots on Twitter.
In this cute and cozy little visual novel game, Witchy Life Story, play as a customizable, fully emotive witch of your own design. You are the youngest member of the esteemed and magical von Teasel family. You aren’t exactly the star of the family, though. Grandma has set you a test, and should you fail, you’ll receive no more magical training. The task? Save the harvest festival in the small village of Flora. And you only have two weeks!
You and your crow familiar, Ramsey, will spend your time gardening, using your plants in spells and rituals, getting to know the villagers, and helping them make their upcoming harvest festival a success. Fulfill orders for the villagers, including relax incense or chitchat potions. You’ll craft spells, perform tarot readings, and lead guided meditations. Witchy Life story even has three romanceable villagers! Two weeks is enough time to make the festival a success and for you to make some big life choices, right?
Play Witchy Life Story today
Witchy Life Story is now available on Steam. There is even a free demo if you’d like to give it a test spin!
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.
We’re nearing Halloween, a wonderful time of year, and I wanted to keep you all in the festive mood this month! Although, I’ll never understand why people love pumpkins in October so much. I mean, potatoes are awesome every day of the year! Last month in September 2019, a creepy and cute little indie game gem was released for Steam, Origin, GOG and Humble Bundle. It’s a short casual and story-driven game with dark undertones but the narration by Mr. Voice and other voice acting really has me interested! If you’re a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events, then you should probably check out this title.
About Little Misfortune
Little Misfortune is an interactive story, focused on exploration and characters, both sweet and dark, where your choices have consequences. Starring Misfortune Ramirez Hernandez, an imaginative 8-year-old, who seeks the prize of Eternal Happiness, as a gift to her Mommy. Led by her new friend, Mr. Voice, they venture into the woods, where mysteries are unraveled and a little bit of bad luck unfolds. Sharing the same universe with the cult video game Fran Bow, created by the visionary dev-duo Killmonday Games.
You may pet a doggy, a fishy, a wolfie, the Kraken, the kitty and the foxy.
Visit a pet cemetery with a shovel.
Now with real human voices: Hear Misfortune say some pretty cute things!
Quench, developed by Canadian indie studio Axon Interactive Inc., is a puzzle game about herding different tribes of animals through many obstacles. You are a bird named Shepherd that will guide these animals through an emotional pilgrimage using your power of the elements. I found the puzzles surprisingly varied and the story to have unexpected twists of intrigue and betrayal that I won’t be spoiling but rather be giving my impressions on my experience. The game is available now on Steam here and the Nintendo Switch here, the latter being the version I will be reviewing today. The myPotatoGames team would also like to thank the developers of Quench for giving us this review code!
The main focus is on the young new leader of the Elephant Tribe, Shaman located near the Western Elder Tree. It is Shaman’s duty to gather all of the other following tribe members: Springbok, Wildebeest, Zebra, Baboon, and Lion. Together they will travel to the Eastern Elder Tree and bring offerings to pray for prosperity and good fortunes. This is especially necessary as you have become aware that the lands to the East have become dry and hot, leaving many to go hungry, and dark spirits or smokebeasts have been plaguing their homes. You, the player, are born from a single fruit of the Western Elder Tree. I found this to be an interesting premise as elder trees grow in subtropical areas in real life and flower elderberries. It is even said in folklore that they ward off evil and give protection.
Dark Spirits “Smokebeasts”
Just when you think that the story would simply be about a voyage of hope, leadership, and union (which is a great story in its own right), the game is filled with tragedy, loss, and more questions I needed answered. I had previously not given much thought to the smokebeasts as I just figured they were enemies and that was that but there’s a lot more to it.
There are different types that you will contend with that have their own ways of dealing with them. However, because you cannot zoom in and the levels can become quite chaotic, it can be hard to differentiate between Cindertsags and Ravagers (which took me a while to figure out which enemies those names belonged to). I think the game would have greatly benefited from a glossary or monster guide to not only show you the difference of appearance, but also to remind you how to defeat them (temporarily or otherwise).
Levels and Puzzles
There are a total of 28 levels, half of which are more like an epilogue where you return home and fight the final boss. The first few levels are like tutorials showing you how to use the Power Wheel and your Weather Powers which are as follows: rain, lighting, wind, and earthquake. There are groves that have stones to indicate either a resting spot or an area that requires a specific element to activate.
At first I thought that the symbols on the stones where there to show you which power to use, but they are actually there to tell you which power you will receive. There can be more than just one stone and therefore the amount displays how many different powers you will gain in return for the one used. It took me several levels to see tiny triangles, maybe butterflies, floating around the groves with their color giving you a hint to the element needed.
Keep Watching that Stamina Bar
As your herd of animals walk, their stamina will drain. The tougher the terrain, the faster that bar will deplete. The specific rest areas need to be lush with green to have any effect on restoring stamina to your animals. If your stamina is empty, one member of the herd will die one after the other. When the levels were easy enough, I restarted the levels when an animal died thinking that if I run out, eventually I’ll have none to shepherd in the harder levels. I’ve also come to care for these animals and didn’t want to lose a single one. However, the number of animals you have will go back to their original count after every level. If you’re thinking “Well the elements are obvious; rain re-hydrates trees, earthquakes get rid of boulders, wind blows away sand, and lightning destroys thorns.”, you’re in for a spin later on.
Weather Powers Can Do More
Elements will also have some secondary benefits or problems such as rain healing your tribe or calming smokebeasts, lightning create brush fires in dry spots, wind uncovering enemies, pushing them away or speeding up your animals, etc. These are all things you have to take into account before using your powers. Luckily, the game will pause when you choose your power and lets you take a look around to plan out your paths and strategies. What I enjoyed the most is that there are usually several different ways to arrive to the same goal and your powers aren’t limitless. Therein lies the deeper puzzle aspect; you must ration your powers and/or trade them wisely. Meaning, you can and will run out of your powers if you’re not careful.
Different Tribes, Different Strategies
Once you have told your tribe of animals to set for a specific course, you cannot turn back. Sometimes even the most careful planning will be ruined by unexpected surprises as you watch your herd scatter away from a hidden enemy or having stragglers in the back that are slowing down the herd and draining more stamina.
Things start to get really intense when you have more than one tribe of animals to control and they are placed in different areas of the map in your levels. They also have unique characteristics that you need to be aware of at all times. For example: elephants are great swimmers but are much slower on land, wildebeests can easily climb slopes, and baboons can throw their firestones at certain enemies. You’ll probably use a lot of your lightning to quickly revive fallen animals but it can be quite frustrating if it happens in the water or right in the middle of your tribe because you can accidentally kill the ones that are alive.
Complete All Objectives to Pass
Something that aggravated me towards the harder levels was the fact that instructions for the objectives where not at all clear. The main idea was there, but I struggled with what exactly it was that I was supposed to do when there were too many path choices that weren’t linear. Moreover, there was a level that told me to herd my animals to the water but I didn’t see any. Do I bring them south? North? Where do they want me to go? When this happened, I had to experiment quite a bit and then restart once I’ve figured out where everything was and what it did. Thankfully, not all levels where like this and sometimes a glowing ring showed you where you should head to.
Graphics, Controls, and Sound
I didn’t mind that the gameplay had low-poly graphics with very simple designs except when it came to not being able to clearly see what was what if there were several things bunched together. However, it helped when hovering over certain areas with your powers as they would light up if you were using the right one. Then I would get frustrated again when the game would often lag or not respond to my commands. At the end of each segment of the story, there was a wonderful recap with beautiful backgrounds with a “cave drawings” art style. That, coupled with the soundtrack, made the game feel like it was truly inspired by African culture.
Every single level in the end was unique and changed with the story in mind. They can be pretty challenging but are grouped up into shorter stages so it’s not much of a drag if you need to do it over. The animals are adorable and every tribe leader has an interesting personality that made me care about the story just all the more! Sure I’ve had my fair share of troubles with the controls, explanations, and speed, but it was overshadowed by the games heartfelt narrative and exciting strategic puzzles. If you want to learn more about the game, need support, or want to chat with the developers, you can do so here on their Discord channel.
Jenny LeClue, created by Mografi, is about being a detective, crime-solving, and helping Jenny make some tough choices along her adventure which will ultimately shape her destiny. Now the developers have announced that the game will be releasing on Steam, GOG, and now Apple Arcade on September 19th, 2019! That’s only a couple of days away for us to be able to investigate the strange town of Arthurton. There isn’t a release date yet for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch versions but there’s a possibility they will be coming later this year. For more information about Jenny LeClue, check out our previous article here.
Thanks to Apple Arcade, the indie developers of Mografi have expressed that they can launch with the localization in 14 different languages, and original music by SCNTFC. SCNTFC, AKA Andrew Rohrmann, has composed and produced the soundtrack for Oxenfree, along with other amazing indie games.