In evidenza

Terrene: An Evidence of Life Game is Fantastic

Hey, thanks to JustWall Games for letting me try Terrene: An Evidence of Life. This is an indie open-world space exploration game with some sweet pixel graphics and the types of deep-cut quirks that make me play indies, seriously. I didn’t know what to expect at first, to be honest. I suspected some kind of multi-faceted character system based, but that is only part of it. Actually, there are so many open-ended exploration features that I could see exploring the vastness of space could be relaxing and interesting. If you like games like Starbound or Terraria, be sure to check this out.

Platform: PC (Steam)

Launch and Disembark

Terrene: An Evidence of Life with a pretty simple premise to collect biomatter to make clones on your home planet. You basically have everything you need, and the storyline is not too heavy, so moving into open space from your orbiting ship happens quickly and flawlessly. There is not a vast introduction and the pixel graphics are simple but nice–as in everything you need to see is crisp and rendered on an even color scheme.

I thought the fact you have a fighter jet from the very beginning to be totally unexpected and a nice feature that kind of makes the whole game worth it. Directions of the first mission is simple, just head to the planet in your ship and start collecting. On the way, there’s a round of space fighter combat that’s fluid and totally under your control. And, honestly, I’m not a big mouse and keyboard player, but it was very easy to understand what to do here–just drag your target to enemies!

Features of Terrene: An Evidence of Life Game

So many features, I highly recommend you check out the game’s Steam page if you want to see a full list, but here are some to start with.

  • An open and generated universe
  • Various and unique environments
  • A host of tools and weapons to use and upgrade
  • Satisfying pixel graphics
  • Boss fights
  • A whole slew of extraterrestrial life forms
  • A vast mining and harvesting system to collect what you need
  • Tons of exploration under the umbrella of a genuinely unique and humble vision

Final Thoughts

I play games quickly, but sometimes I just want to chill out with something familiar. The way this allows you to explore and doesn’t overwhelm you with glitzy graphics feels so natural. The game is available for purchase, and I think if it’s in your range and genre, check it out. It has a great community to check out, and I highly recommend this title.

If you enjoy reading about content, you’re in the right place, it’s Mr. Dave Pizza. I wrote this article after receiving a free copy, and my thoughts here are my own. Thanks for reading.

Grey Block – Indie Spotlight

Grey Block is a new psychological interactive fiction. This is a story about Theo Church, a young man who is involuntarily committed to a place called the Green Valley Psychiatric Hospital. Within the framework of a mysterious conspiracy, he tries to escape with the help of a hired assassin, who Theo tells a nurse was originally hired to take Theo out but instead rescued him. She is the primary secondary character outside of Theo who provides the information Theo needs to escape Green Valley. Together they navigate the watch of green-lit security camera spotlights, collecting security badges and hacking unattended computers to solve the conspiracy. Will they solve it? I don’t know, but there’s one way to find out: play it.

Note: This game was provided to me with a press copy by Silver Rat Studios, thanks to them!

Platforms: PC (Steam)

Don’t Lose Your Nerve

Honestly, this game has a little potential to be slightly triggering for some folks, but I feel although the context of the story is dark, the mechanics of the game are quite fun. Although categorized under psychological horror pretty easily, the main feature I was focused on was sneaking around which is quite interactive. Theo and Nikki (his aide in escape) use puzzles to escape, starting off with mini-game puzzles like computers and utility access points to divert power and manipulate guards plus cameras.

The Steam page confirms for me my suspicion that the conspiracy aspect of the game goes deep and far. Although I personally hate conspiracy theories in general, it makes for interesting gameplay. It’s also quite the setup for it with Theo and Nikki, who for all I know are part of some sort of massive hallucination. I think perhaps this is more contained in the aspects of the game which I would deem psychological horror. In essence, no matter what the truth is, the game has made escaping it essential!

I found the puzzle involving computers and the electrical box in the intro area to be challenging without overdoing it. I often feel that when it comes to game puzzles, they should always be solvable using less energy than the next step, but there’s a little bit of everything here, even in the puzzle areas.

Features

  • Escape the hospital by using stealth mechanics to sneak by the staff
  • Disable environmental obstacles with puzzles and strategy
  • Get tips on how to progress from your friend
  • Full 3D environment
  • Rich story with thrilling mysteries and character development
  • Do anything to get out!

Check Out Grey Block!

This is a very interesting game. I imagine there aren’t a ton of games out there like this, but it’s a brilliant concept and there is no question about the intrigue of the storyline. Really glad I got to try this because I feel ecstatic about sharing this intelligent and engaging game. Be sure to check out the gameplay video above I made with gameplay from the first area. Once you get some of the details down, you should be on your way!

If you’d like to play Grey Block by Silver Rat Studios, head to the steam link below!

Thank you so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza, I hope you enjoyed this article, and feel free to look around. And again, thank you to Silver Rat Studios, this is surely a polished game of this nature on the indie scene or otherwise!

(P.S. if you are a dev, I showcase games all the time and would be happy to take a look at your game! Contact Me.)

DreamCell: Lost in Nightmares First Look

DreamCell: Lost in Nightmares is a 2D action twin-stick rogue-like that landed on my desk today. I have been hooked on the rogue-like/lite genre quite a bit lately. You may want to navigate to my YouTube channel for proof with the video below. Despite that, games like DreamCell: Lost in Nightmares give enough content to chew on for a regular day’s gaming. The game is currently in a demo stage, scheduled for release on November 25 2022 on Steam. It’s a challenging but ultimately amusing rogue-like that I could see evoking repeatable gameplay. It has challenging but anticipated enemies, and perhaps not just with the weapons available but also a large cast of unlockable and playable main characters with different abilities.

Platform: PC

The developers are Blockcode Games from Croatia. Thank you to them for letting me know about their game.

Features and Notes of DreamCell: Lost in Nightmares

Surprisingly, this modest rogue-like has a whole bunch of interesting features to separate it from some of the other 2D bombardings of your average intro dev projects out there–those are fine too though, guys. There are 50 unique enemies, procedurally generated levels, a whole host of weapons as I mentioned above, character customization, and boss fights.

Oh, and the macabre circus soundtrack is quite perfect as well.

Cool Things About DreamCell: Lost in Nightmares

This game does two things very excellently. One, it evokes the creepiness of games from previous indie eras like World of Goo and the sepia-toned aesthetic of an otherworldly cartoon. Second, it’s kinda cute in a way. In fact, it’s quite tasteful, and despite what I anticipated, this game is actually super polished!

Other Thoughts

If you’re interested in checking out DreamCell: Lost in Nightmares, head to the Steam link below. Last we verified, there is a demo up before the release! If you enjoyed this article, please come back again and subscribe to us on YouTube to show your support.

Thanks for reading Mr. Dave Pizza, see you in the next article.

Stories From Sol: Part 1 – Interactive VN Demo

Thank you to Space Colony Studios for reaching out to me about this upcoming interactive fiction demo for Stories From Sol: Part 1 Gun-Dog. I’m so excited to tell you all about this new demo. It has touches of retro nostalgia, with a sci-fi storylines, and the beginning of a really good series.

What’s really going on here though is we have a new game entering onto the scene with no background really, although everything about it is seductively brute–it’s worth checking out, hands down. It’s a hard space sci-fi story, a genre not without a plentiful fandom, although this sneak peek led me mostly through sharp comedic timing and even a romantic interest?

Platforms: PC

Genre: Visual Novel/Interactive Fiction

Link: https://space-colony-studios.itch.io/storiesfromsol1

What We Know About Stories From Sol: Part 1 Gun-Dog So Far

The UI and monochrome color pixel interface looks like something from an old DOS game to me, which appears to be correct. Apparently, we’re dealing with a format attuned to a PC-9800, a 1983 Japanese model that runs localized versions of MS-DOS and Windows. Okay, we’re going deep cut here I guess.

Though the sound is sparse in the intro, the sound and music that are there are quite delightful. I enjoyed the smooth pallet of olive green and tinny explosions. As mostly an addendum to my YouTube, I made it through the first few sections of the story, but I liked what I saw.

Story Elements of Stories From Sol

Interactive elements are few at first, but soon your Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? for a PC user interface on the side lights up with new options like the look, move, and use buttons. This makes it easy to interact–using a mouse–with areas of your environment that will light up as you drag over them.

I didn’t experiment with the choice-making in the intro for some reason, I guess because I wanted to progress through as much as I could quickly, but the dialogue is there and there are choices. Choose between a standard answer–or action–or click the ellipsis button below it.

The Gun-Dog is actually the ship in Stories from Sol you are stationed on. It’s rather big, and most (all?) of the story takes place on this ship. You will undoubtedly see just how much you can explore on your first trip to the bridge, where interacting with an old friend unlocks so much potential for more exploration.

This Article is Accompanied by a YouTube Video from the MDP Channel (Subscribe!)

And That’s It

Looks pretty cool. Please note that not only is this a demo, but it also’s part one of the whole story, so if you enjoy it, make the dev know so with a comment on their ItchIO. Or drop by our tweet on Twitter as well.

I hope you enjoyed this commentary. My peers and I are around to help devs like this and share games we think need to be shared, so you’ve come to the right place. Please have a look around, and be sure to come back. Thank you so much for reading https://www.mrdavepizza.com

P.S. Don’t skip out on MDP’s marvelous visual novel section: https://www.mrdavepizza.com/category/game-reviews/visualnovels/

NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy – Interactive VN Demo – Review

This article was published in ChoiceBeat: The Visual Novel and Interactive Fiction ‘Zine Issue #5. Thank you to them for the opportunity. Check out more great articles from the issue by either:

Get the ‘zine free on ItchIO: https://willyelektrix.itch.io/choicebeat-issue-5
Or read in your browser on FlipSnack: https://www.flipsnack.com/choicebeat/choicebeat-issue-5/full-view.html

“Dream Harvest,” the developers of NeuroNet: Mendaxy Proxy have provided a demo that gives a special preview of this futuristic fiction that showcases a highly visual and highly interactive story experience. The synopsis goes something like this. Wake up, you’re the newest programmed artificial intelligence developed by a very prominent corporation in the high-tech metropolitan Catena.

Take it into your own hands in the bizarre POV of the AI, who is named Arc after a few calibrations in the prologue, or “beta” if you will. As you evolve, you’ll be given various responsibilities that will make you think and test ethical tropes that perhaps you aren’t as committed to as you think. 

The game goes beyond average production of interactive storytelling to provide a rich, polished, cyberpunk adventure for fans of the format and theme. Additionally, in NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy, everything you do matters a lot. The choices are deceptively simple, you could even say the choice system is downright hard for a game of its kind. 

I’ll cover a few highlights from this engaging cyberpunk story preview and share some of the innovations I witnessed.

The platform is PC–slated for Steam, Epic, and Itch.IO sometime in 2022. The demo on its own takes about 1-hour to complete and suggests a much longer full version playtime.

Platforms: PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Linux

Waking Up & Making Choices That Matter in NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy

Honestly, the best way to try NeuroNet: Mandax Proxy is to jump in without a clue as to what it is about, or at least that is what will happen anyway. The disorientation could potentially be overwhelming as you initially try to figure out what is going on in this glowy animated techno feast of environments.

Interacting with actual humans happens rather quickly, seeing as they are the scientists at the corporate lab you are brought to sentience in. Initial tones of the A.I. are eerily set in a placeless, electronic chasm as a metal, floating brain–or something that looks like one, but soon the variety of locations expands greatly with your access to surveillance systems around the city–we’ll get to that.

Your human masters run a series of questions after you’re booted up to test self-awareness and ethical frameworks. This is certainly a more soft sci-fi approach in my opinion, as opposed to a hard sci-fi approach–since the exact physical phenomena of sentience are not addressed. Knowing that this is the type of speculative reality the game is built, it makes playtime more casual, but potentially equal in authority. This is important because the game does provide an allegory for technology gone too far. A what-if as it were, which is almost necessary for any speculative fiction.

Most of the demo involves testing the purpose of the A.I.’s creation. This purpose is to automate the ethical mechanics of running a real city’s public processes through a series of choices that are broken down to–but not immediately revealed–choices that affect society, the law, and corporate profit. What you, “Arc,” decide to choose will affect what kind of opportunities open up to you in the future–and also, potentially determine how altruistic or malicious you are. It is a popular game mechanic to offer these types of choices and offers itself to players who are potentially new to visual novels and interactive fiction. This is amplified by its presence on the Epic Games platform for its release.

What’s Promised and What Questions You Might Have

The highly adaptive story framework is tantalizing as a mere demo to NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy, and enough to raise some questions. Exciting questions, like how much control will the player have to manipulate the fate of an entire city? The developers promise a think-fast choice system, and from the preview, this is very much realized. “Deceptively simple” is the term coined on their Steam page.

Additionally, it is one thing to confront a riot with your own hands and another entirely to disperse it from inside a cold laboratory mainframe as something which doesn’t even have a real brain. Once again though, this is soft sci-fi, and it is totally fine to chill and just try different things (it doesn’t actually affect the real world of course,) but perhaps you might want to think about the game’s message if you’re the philosophical sort. How and why your choices might lead to a dystopia are worth considering for gameplay and also personal enrichment.

Features of Neuronet: Mendax Proxy

  • Choices Matter – The most highly emphasized aspect of the game’s story.
  • 23 Fully Voiced Characters – Voice acting and character illustrations are very polished.
  • 5000 Different Story Events – Lots to work with here.
  • Rich Worldbuilding – Lore and backstory are important and explorable.
  • Stunning Environments – Lush cyberpunk backgrounds make up every new area.

Keep an Eye on This One


That’s pretty much it for NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy–the demo at least. It became obvious at one point in the demo that this game is going to be a massive story, and I’m sure the developer team is working on all the details. Even in this indie renaissance era, some sophisticated visual elements can bring to life stories with many perspectives. For the genre, the environments and character art are very impressive. 
The interactive aspect of the full release may create some very custom and very exciting realities.

The demo’s cliffhanger suggests that choices in NeuroNet: Mendax Proxy will be not only important to gameplay but a vast journey of choices and consequences. Be sure to check out the demo for this one, especially if you’re a cyberpunk fan.

Here is the Steam link:

Kraino Origins – Beat the First Boss & Enjoy This Great Game

Here we go with Kraino Origins. Add this to your Halloween Indie Game countdowns, because it’s got enough spook for the whole community. This game feels like it was made from the plucking of my own seasonal heart string, with its borderline creep-fest color scheme and environment. Slash your way through constant monsters, zombies, and ghouls in this 2D platformer that spans 8 bosses–now out on Steam!

Kraino Origins – What Is This Magic?

So, the idea here is: “what would happen if you took the classic indie game Shovel Knight and filtered it through grim undertones and replaced the knight and shovel with a psychopomp and scythe?” I honestly didn’t even realize that this is what Kraino Origins is until I did some research online. Why is this significant?

Well, I think it is because I’ve never really played any other games that really executed this effectively–to my knowledge? Once immersed in the game though, I found myself bouncing on zombies’ heads galore because the whole game is built around this. In fact, I insist you know this because this comparison is crucial!

But just in general, this is a very good game, and not too creepy.

I didn’t really think a lowly gamer like myself would come out of this one with honor, but, once again, my experiments paid off. I highly encourage watching the video real quick if you’re on the fence or stuck.

Guide/Tips for Kraino Origins

There are a few things to know about Kraino Origins. Let me break them down.

BOSS (Slurmp):

I struggled hard for the first boss. I’m not an expert platformer, but what I eventually discovered is that if you use the analog stick to orient and then bounce on the boss’s head (with some slight timing) you can take him down fairly easily.

Defeat Slurmp
The first boss, a ghost named Slurmp

This is not obvious at first though, and it’s really just enough to get you through the first part of the game only. Since there are about 8 final bosses, you’ll need to figure out how this timing works as you go along.

If this fails, it’s possible that this technique has been patched, as the dev has informed me that I’m the first to have played it this way! As for now though, it works, so take from it what you will. It’s possible to beat Slurmp without this technique too, just use good timing.


ITEMS & WEAPONS:

Collect coins, shards (they kind of look like broken tokens or moons), and abilities/weapons–purchased from a hidden in-map vendor. These will all help you get through the level and help you take down the boss a lot faster.

Note: There are also checkpoints on every level, including before–at least–right before the first boss. These are very helpful because there are surprises around every corner which you might not survive! (At first.)

MOBS:

There are a few different types and functions of mobs in Kraino Origins.

One is your standard mob, executed by a fell swoop of your scythe one or two times. There are also the ones who a head bounce progresses the precision aspect of the platformer better. Then there is the kind of mobs that are, to be honest, kind of annoying and depend on your ability to time attacks and be in the right place.

That’s it

Anyway, that’s about it for Kraino Origins. It just so happened that my pals over at Indie Game Collective are showcasing it, so it absolutely had to go up on my Halloween list (which you can get to by going to my front page. until October 31st, 2022) It really is a very polished spooky platformer, and if you’re throwing a party or doing a Twitch stream, I highly recommend it! It’s currently only $9.99 on Steam. Here is a link to the game on Steam below:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1982130/Kraino_Origins?curator_clanid=40853436&utm_source=IndieGameCollective

How to Get Xbox Game Pass on PC

In this article, I’ll show you how to get Xbox Game Pass on PC. If you thought that Xbox Game Pass was a console-only service, it’s actually available on Windows PCs too! I’ve been using Xbox Game Pass on PC for about a year now. Although I’ve paused my account a few times, it has been one of my top resources. Xbox Game Pass is a service from Microsoft’s Xbox that makes available 100+ video games for digital download on a subscription basis.

I’m not attempting to upsell you the service, but it’s truly one of the best gaming services out there. You can play day-one releases as well as past releases from Bethesda, EA, as well as tons of mid-tier indies like Hades and Stardew Valley. The setup is easy so I’ll get started.

What You Need to Get Started – How to Get Xbox Game Pass on PC

How to get Xbox Game Pass on PC
Some of the Games Currently on Xbox Game Pass (Check for Current Selection)

The Game Pass service is originally something available on Xbox consoles. Within the past few years, it has been ported over to Windows PCs that have gaming capability. It is not a streaming service like GeForce Now. You can download the games and play them locally. When your subscription runs out your game data is backed up to the cloud until you want to renew your subscription.

You’ll need at least Windows 10 installed on a PC, with moderate system specifications for many of the games but not all of them. Xbox allows you to browse the current games on its service before you even sign up, so you can see what the requirements are if you have your eyes on a particular game or two.

You’ll also need an internet connection, which seems like it might be obvious but maybe not. In all honesty, though, you’ll only need it to sign up and download the games. Your computer can be offline for up to 30 days before it will need to be re-authorized. For the best experience though I recommend a stable internet connection. Most likely you’ll want to check the app regularly though to see what games are new too. They are updated frequently and often highly anticipated games get released under the cover of night as a big surprise. You can also see some of the games which are coming soon, but some just show up.

Next, Download the App on Windows – How to Get Xbox Game Pass on PC

This part is pretty simple. Just for the record, you can set up your account in either the Game Pass app or the Xbox website. Your first month is only $1, so you’d be crazy not to go for that deal honestly, and after you do signup you can cancel at any time immediately, pro-rated. Xbox is literally raining money.

The Xbox PC Game Pass website is here: https://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-game-pass/pc-game-pass

Either join on the website with whatever account information you need to add (Note: you may need to set up a Microsoft account if you don’t already have one, but you can use the same one as your Windows login or a new one quick and free.) Afterward, click the download button in the upper right that says “Download the App.”

How to get Xbox Game Pass on PC
Screenshot of Xbox GamePass Website

Run the Install, and You’re All Set

And that’s it. Prepare to play tons of awesome games that you can download at any time. Even if you do find yourself unable to afford it for a period of time, you can always see what games are new in the app. If you are a gamer though, you’ll most likely always want to have it, because you will save tons of money on games with it. Heck, even as I just was writing this, a popular new game just dropped in the new games.

Oh, and just one other thing to mention, I have found a very helpful resource for ranking games on Game Pass and getting a comprehensive view of what’s available through a third-party website called Gamepassta. You can check that out at https://www.gamepassta.com/

Anyway, I hope this article helped you figure out what to do. Thank you for reading this article, I’m Mr. Dave Pizza, enjoy your games!

Why Are Indie Games Popular? – The Truth

First of all, indie games are my favorite “genre.” I think this is an important cultural phenomenon–and also a fun one–but for argument, let’s scrutinize it. So, Indie games usually have fewer details, less polished graphics, and are often focused on the simpler things, so why are indie games popular? And additionally, I might even ask, are they? I’ve been playing and writing about indie games for a couple of years now and I have seen so many genres and concepts that make the games I used to play seem unnecessarily photorealistic and expensive. Knowing what goes into game development actually helped me realize the simple joys of low-scale projects scattered across Steam and the bizarrely creative ItchIO platforms. I’m going to answer this question, because well, I need to, and it’s an important question.

Reason #1 of Why are Indie Games Popular: They’re Cheaper (Well, they are)

Why Are Indie Games Popular?
Celeste

When I was younger, before Steam and all of that kind of thing, there weren’t even really such things as indie games. You either bought the available Nintendo or Sega games at the store, rented it from Blockbuster or Family Video, or got lucky with a hand-me-down or sometimes demos. These days, you can get 1,000s of games not only cheap but totally free–on every platform! That certainly fuels the desire of many gamers. Because if you are like me, those old days of playing one or two games on repeat, while blissful back then, seem totally dreadful to me now.

The cheapness of indie games does give credit to small developers, but it also gives communities a voice that is getting louder. Trends and fashions come and go, but subcultures and artistic aesthetics take grip in a fiercely creative new generation. These days, owning an indie game, even one that you downloaded, can almost seem symbolic with all kinds of social media outlets to share it–or dare I even say, cool! (That’s right, cool AND affordable.)

But this is all kind of abstract.

Reason #2 of Why Indie Games Are Popular: They’re New

Why Are Indie Games Popular?
Viruaverse

The pandemic took a lot of people into new hobbies and even careers involving new things to spend time at home with. This culturally generated shift has prompted what some content creation historians might consider the last great shift in digital individualism.

You can start a podcast, a blog like this, make a movie, music (without any instruments), or more relevantly, video games. When you play an indie game you’re playing something from a real person or small group of people that you can hop on Twitter with and literally talk to like a next-door neighbor in your DMs. I marvel at such transparency, personally.

Indie games also are prolific in saturating the game market. There are so many new games on a regular basis now that you can be a pixel art warrior in the morning and a digital ski-baller at night, both with a spin on current events and not breaking the bank once again.

Reason #3 of Why Indie Games Are Popular: They’re Unique! Perhaps Even Quirky

Why Are Indie Games Popular?
Donut County

So, yeah, obviously this is the #3 on the list, but number one on the books. Indie games can be totally super-duper weird, and get away with it because there are no board meetings or stocks to trade, it’s all in the mind of the dev. Those of us who are fluent in Reddit speak and general geek-speak know there are some pretty wild subcultures out there, and we’re all for it.

Indie games allow for the type of free speech that free speech is intended for. Not the weird abusive anger you see in the headlines, but the kind where somebody who could never produce a TV show suddenly makes a game about that crazy idea they’ve had for years but couldn’t quite share within the limits of their social network.

Reason #4: They’re just cool, and some additional thoughts

Monster Pub Cheers
Monster Pub

Basically, indie games are just cool. Good art is like that. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling by himself and it’s regarded as perhaps one of the most beautiful masterpieces in history. As such, I really like playing funny games with weird graphics. Not the same at all, but good things can come from the rogue midnight-oil coders of the ambitions of a day-time waitress or a stay-at-home-dad. I have played many great indie games out there, and here are a few:

  1. Celeste
  2. Cryptid Crush
  3. Stardew Valley
  4. Cosmo’s Quickstop
  5. Hades
  6. Hoa

Thanks for reading

These are just some general thoughts I had after spending many days playing indie games and wondering what they had in store for me. It really is a great way to play games and it helped me escape from the lofty polish of more popular games. Games are fun but try something different when you choose your next game, you might like it. If you’re already doing so, keep on playing those indies!

This article was written for MrDavePizza.com by Dave Pizza. Thanks for reading!

Overboard! – Get Away With Murder – Really Funny And Dark – Review

This article about Overboard is in the June 2022 Issue 4 of ChoiceBeat: The Visual Novel and Interactive Fiction Zine.

With eye-catching flat graphics and exciting period stylized environments, no one could say the game Overboard! doesn’t have class. (Also known as Overboard! Get Away With Murder.) Literary elements and composition create an intellectual environment on the fictional steamship SS Hook, where your task is to resolve speculation on a murder. It’s not just an ordinary mystery though. From the very get-go, it’s made apparent that you, the apathetic yet charismatic, Veronica Villensey, are the killer–of her own husband! It is up to you to decide what your motive is, or if you even care! For context, however, it is hinted that the financial ruin of the late Mr. Villensey is most of the motive.

In this article, I’ll cover Overboard‘s innovative gameplay and include some peppering of the satisfying nature of Overboard.

Platforms: Steam, GOG, Nintendo Switch, Apple Appstore, and Android

Parallels and Comparisons

Mysteries are a respected genre for their ability to unravel a story at a consistent pace. But, with the exception of some frequent cozy or speculative interpretations, the formula is pretty standard. I can only speculate how much of this fluctuates between trope and innovation in Overboard, but it’s worth mentioning for context.

Amongst similar games in what I’ll call the youdunnit genre, there is not an absence of the you-are-the-killer trope. For example, of an indie youdunnit, the pixel detective game Loco Motive, a free-for-all upon the Orient Express, contains the theme of unraveling a mystery in which everyone is a Clue‘esque suspect. It doesn’t quite put the modus operandi of the killer so specifically in the hands of the player as this game does though. Loco Motive appeared on a 2022 Nintendo Direct and is set for release this year.

Because of this, it is an interesting side note to speculate if adaptation for pre-digital formats of the genre has become a trend. With an identical decade and similar characters, and me being a moderate fan of historical dramas, I personally find this trend to be intriguing. There are certainly other historical games, but organized crime and war are the usual themes. Overboard lets you kick off your shoes and enjoy a 21st-century version of an engaging 20th-century mystery.

Screen Grabs from Overboard!

How Overboard! Works

The ability to really hone every aspect of the story really impressed me. From the moment you wake up as Veronica, the ability to direct your own fate is based on a combination of luck, guessing, and skill. For example, themes of foreshadowing are important story-telling tools in Overboard. Because of this, what might seem like a character trope can actually help you direct the desired income by taking advantage of the character flaws of other passengers on the ship. You are really put on the spot to cover up what seems like a barely meditated act along with the quirks and nuances of complex characters.


Most of the dialogue contains response options that float between defensive, collected, and guilty. As you interact, mostly in an attempt to cover your tracks, the clock counts down until your arrival at the port which effectively ends the game. Also, the solution to Overboard is not as simple as it sounds, and most likely is meant to take several rounds of experimentation to get off free. Losing is not terribly discouraging though, because experimenting exposes the secrets of each character.

The game makes way for a new style of experiencing visual fiction and has been lauded by players and game critics. The interactive story gets credit for unlocking critical innovation in the interactive-fiction/VN genre with every production perk that a creative dev outlet would pull together. Also, UK developer inkle Studios has a bibliography of several high-quality stories, including the successful 80 Days, a take on the Jules Verne classic, similar in scope to Overboard as an open-ended/high-quality period game.

Summary of Features in Overboard!

  • Open-ended story with many possible endings
  • Stylish flat-graphic animated illustration
  • Historically accurate environment
  • Several characters with purpose and unique backstories
  • Replay accommodation with saved history and no penalties
  • A dark but witty theme
  • A wonderful navigation system that uses an animated diorama of the ship
  • Meaningful choices and time-sensitive objectives
  • Risk, romance, and intrigue!


Other Thoughts about Overboard!

Overboard helped me step outside my comfort zone for mystery narratives. With the art so trendily stylish and the subtle Wes Anderson likeness, a genre in itself, Overboard put me in the zone. So, I felt like after Mr. Villensey went literally “overboard,” I was ready to have some fun quite soon. Nothing feels excessively sinister in the story–even though it kind of is. The ability to really mess around with characters can be really fun. The time-sensitive countdown for each game encourages fluid gameplay that can be used as a lesson for each next game. In that sense, the flow is perfect. So, overall, if you don’t mind paying upfront for an armchair adventure, the value is consistent. It’s definitely one of the more engaging visual novels/interactive fiction that I have played though.

Thank you

Thanks for reading my article on Overboard. If you’re interested, I have a whole section of visual novels on my blog here:

https://www.mrdavepizza.com/category/visualnovels/

If you liked this article, be sure to have a look around or check out MrDavePizza on Twitter or YouTube. Please come back and thanks for visiting!

How To Find Free Games On Steam

This is a tutorial on how to find and download free games on Steam. If you’re familiar with the Steam client store or website, you might know the layout can be incredibly open-ended. I use it every day, and it is one of my most useful resources. This allows for some exploration of methods to filter new games posted. Steam is considered one of the most essential clients for finding new game releases for digital download on PC. It is home to tens of thousands of retail, but also free, games.

This isn’t a terribly complicated process, however, for the Steam client, or website, the interface can be a little layered. Not bad, just slightly hidden! To find free games on Steam, there are a few shortcuts to know. You can use it not only to find free games but also to sort them. This can be based on release date or even genre (also known as tags on Steam.)

Get Free Games on Steam Through the Steam Client

If you do not already have Steam, start by going over to store.steampowered.com and setting up an account. If you already have Steam, skip to the next part. There is a green button in the upper right of the main store page labeled “Install Steam.” Download and install the client. Set up an account, or use an existing one, then follow the steps to verify your account.

Download the Steam Client
Download and Install the Steam Client

Steam has been around since digital game delivery first existed and is considered a pioneer in this type of service. As such, you may already have a Steam account that you’ve forgotten about! You can either set up a new account or go through the recovery process for your old account. Usually, this involves a process of verifying Captcha, or you might just need to verify an email.

At any rate, you should now be logged into your account with the client before moving on to the next step.

Finding Free Games From the Front Page

Next, if you are not already there by default, go to the Steam store page. This is the first section on the client menu and will be denoted by the main page of the client. Steam has many promotional events occurring throughout the year, so if you’re unfamiliar with Steam content, this is a good place to see what it’s all about.

The Steam Store Page
The Steam Store Page

Once, you are in the Steam Store, look for the search box in the upper right of the page. Click the magnifying glass in the corner. I’m not sure why this is how this page is accessed, but it is the quickest way.

Click the Magnifying Glass (It’s tiny!)

Sorting Free Games on Steam

On the right side of the all products page, you are now at, there is a section called “Narrow by Price.” Drag the price slider in the upper right all the way to the left, so that the price range says Free.

Narrow Price to Find Free Games on Steam
Narrow by Price (Slide Left for Free)

It should look something like this:

Free Games on Steam
Free Games!

Okay, you’re almost there. Actually, you pretty much are, but there are a few more tips I have to offer that will make this task a little more rewarding in finding exactly the type of free games you want.

Initially, you’ll only see the most popular free releases in the list of games available. If this is what you wanted, you are done, but I’ll show you how to take it a step further.

Next to the price slide in the upper right, there is a dropdown menu that’s labeled “Sort by.” Click it and change the selection to “Release Date.”

Sort Free Games on Steam by Release Date
Sort By Release Date for Newest Free Games

You should now see a list of all the most recent free games on Steam.

There are a variety of types of free games in this list, classified as either free, free-to-play, or demo. While demos are a type of free game and plenty of fun, they are not typically the whole game and just a preview copy. If you want to try demos, you can find them with this method, but you can also filter out demos as well.

Select Game Type and Narrow By Tag

Below the price slider, look at the sidebar menu that says “Select Game Type.” Click “Games.”

Select Games Only
Select Games to Filter Out Demos

Now, all of the games on the list will be labeled as “Free” or “Free to Play.” Choose something that looks interesting, download it if you wish, and play–or browse through and look at the other games.

You can even sort the genre of games by selecting from the “Narrow by tag” list. This is a fun system in the Steam store interface that allows you to narrow down exactly what type of game you want within hundreds of unique descriptors that games are listed in.

You Can Even Sort By Genre

A small note: some games are listed as either free or free to play, but there is no overall difference between each type of game. The only difference I have found is sometimes free-to-play is a temporary tag, but not necessarily. Free games are invariably just simply free.

A Note About Links That Lead to Games that Aren’t Available

What the Add To Wishlist Button Looks Like in Steam

If you go to a page that says free but it’s actually a closed Early Access or there’s no game at all, this is just a consequence of the game being listed incorrectly. It can be a little annoying if it happens with a game that looks interesting. If you’d like, you can resolve this by adding the game to your wishlist so that you’ll be notified when it’s released.

Have Fun!

That’s all for this tutorial. Potentially, you’ve found this page by watching one of my YouTube videos. If you found this tutorial useful, please see some of my other articles! If you are actually looking for free games that I’ve reviewed, be my guest and go here for my reviewed free games! Thanks for reading MrDavePizza! Enjoy your games.