The Lightbringer – One Of My Worst Reviews Ever

This is kind of random. No, really, it is. Might as well roll for initiative. Anyway, I’ve been spending a ton of time on the Switch lately, since I was traveling with the handheld recently and got kind of used to it. However, I recorded it while playing on my TV, so I don’t know. Anyway, was looking back through some of my YouTube videos and realized a lot of you like demos for some reason. So, this one was on the eShop and I gave it a spin. Here we go again with this kinda cute boomerang-whirling puzzle solver: The Lightbringer.

It’s all coming back to me, life in The Lightbringer

Basically it took about ten minutes to run through the tutorial and the first level. There wasn’t too much complication to it. It’s a puzzle story I guess. Hero’s journey. It’s packaged neatly for the loremasters, though not too intensively. It reminds me of The Last Campfire and Go Heroes. It’s a very practical release for the Switch, with familiar themes.

You just kinda platform jump from one island to the next and collect things. Just looking over at the game’s website and it is apparent that the levels get a lot more thematic to keep things interesting.

The Lightbringer Is Pretty Straightforward

This is a fun puzzle adventure meshed with platform levels, and the best part I liked about it is it was easy enough for me! I quickly learned the double jump and how to use the boomerang. There is enough challenge though. Perhaps I’d have continued further if I weren’t in a rush to see what was going on here. Another game it reminds me of is Twin Stones, even the narration actually sounds like the same person–is it? It’s definitely square/cube polygons in nature though, even in the preview pictures I looked at.

I honestly didn’t take a ton of interest in continuing and I drowned too many times, but simply because I am satisfied with the presentation. If you’re looking for a game that encourages get-to-the-point puzzle solving, The Lightbringer has a lot to offer. It is currently on sale, so if you’re looking for something along these lines, check it out.

Quick Review

I generally write longer reviews, but this was just something I played to see what’s going on with Switch demos. I might do some more in this vein soon. Not a bad game though! It would be a good play after-work title, something to wrap your head around. There is a demo on eShop now for I don’t know how much longer. Definitely worth checking out though.

Thanks for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. Leave a comment or have a look around. You’re always welcome here! Thanks for stopping by!

Beacon Pines – Can You Figure Out What Words To Use?

Beacon Pines is interactive fiction, but really it qualifies with a new level of cozy interaction and fathoms deep optimistic complexity to its characters. The basic structure of the story relies on an interesting plot device made of… well, plot devices! You start in a storybook tale of a young fawn, though I’d say that’s up for interpretation, named Luka at his grandmother’s. Through exploration and experimentation and interacting with those around you can acquire something known as charms. Charms help change the course of the story. You may need to go back and forth to test what works and what doesn’t, but with each charm, comes some new element that alters everything. Hold on to your BOOK straps, we’re going in.

This is another showcase part of The Indie Houses Event on Steam. Lots of new games there and through my community at Indie Game Collective. Another game I covered for this event was Kraken Academy on Tuesday.

Things Happening in Beacon Pines

When I first loaded this game up, my emotions went twisting around inside me with the stunning cottage core nature setting mixed with Luka’s very deeply personal interaction in a grove. It seemed like a picture that wouldn’t move yet swished beneath your shoes as you walked through the grass. Nothing is quite explained too thoroughly for quite a bit of time. You’ll certainly find that browsing around Gran and You’s cottage leads to interesting discoveries and necessary elements of the game. You’ll have to at least talk to Gran, so you can learn the purpose of the “charms” spread throughout this game.

I don’t really know what the charms are. I got charms with words like “chill” and “ponder.” Anyway, my first charm was “chill.” It didn’t seem to do much at all, or maybe it did, I don’t know. It takes time to wander through the small town of Beacon Pines though, and at this point, it’s the only way to test out each charm. I might be wrong though because apparently, you can move backward in intervals depending on what’s already happened. It’s kind of like a spellbook I guess you could say.

That is perfectly okay, as far as I’m concerned. The characters whom you are able to talk to around the town are really cool looking and have some great dialogue. Great game dialogue is a boon, and when games master it, it can enhance the rest of the game.

Features of Beacon Pines

Here is a list of features from the press kit:

  • Explore an illustrated mountain town to collect word charms
  • Use those words to alter the story
  • More words to make friends
  • And even more words to weave the fabric of fate itself
  • Open the magical book at any time to go back and change your decisions

What I Wonder

The last part of the game I played before making the final quantum leap home was the abandoned warehouse. This part of the game intrigued me more than any other. Why wouldn’t you have an abandoned warehouse with toxic sludge and people who shouldn’t be there as you sneak in with your friends? It’s mysterious, and a tad weird. It is totally part of canon practically in a boatload of visual novels, comics, TV, etc. Unfortunately, reader, I cannot share why exactly the warehouse is there.

As far as the mechanics, this concept is ready to go. The storyline feels like it’s going to take on some substantial developments down the road though. It does not step on any thematic toes for the majority of the story than anywhere else. I think the only game I might compare it to is Bastion, the classic predecessor to Hades. Mostly visually though.

I love what I saw in this demo, and for a low price of free, you should check it out.

Here is some gameplay footage if you want to see what transpired over the course of around half an hour up until its cliffhanger. It might give you a boost.

That’s It

That’s about it for my coverage on this one. No news is not bad news, as Tom Nook says. I think you’ll enjoy this cast of fuzzy creatures. And if you can wishlist it on Steam, even better! Link below.

Thanks so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. If you like what you read, please have a look around, and come back again! Thanks.

Kick Bot – This Is Impossible, But I Can Do It

“Kick Bot,” it’s an exciting precision platformer on the way from Two Scoops games. It’s time for Dave Pizza to step outside his comfort zone and try some of these more challenging game foes. And I’ll tell you, I thought it was broken because I didn’t know how to play it. It’s definitely challenging, but definitely possible. And with the retro-tastic sound effects and neon robot package, it’s exciting to look at and play. In fact, it does that thing where it reminds me of the 90s without cheapening it. So, let’s see what this precision platformer that got my attention is. JUMP IN.

Jump Up, Jump Up, And Jump Down, Kick Bot

Okay, let’s see if I can contextualize this for you. This game basically feels like a TMNT spinoff, and I like it. It is definitely a more Dimension-X of TMNT experience than otherwise experienced though.

The audio design makes me feel like a dream where my braces, I don’t have braces, are peeled off my teeth by a Moog synthesizer. Woah, that was pretty weird, sorry. It’s got a catchy chiptune beat though, and I really liked it. It’s one thing to write about a game and say it reminds you of something, but another to say it is that thing. So, whether it’s cyberpunk or sci-fi, I don’t even really know, it feels darn good though.

I had a little trouble when I played this last week. I thought maybe it was a short demo. Hint: you can sometimes find out what to do if you pay attention to the background. I noticed this when I was reviewing the video later. Pretty much everything that you can do is controlled by two buttons. The triggers on my controller, or left and right arrow buttons on my keyboard.

Tips and Tricks in Kick Bot

Spikes, saws, laser beams, the whole works. There are also springing platforms, stomp areas, and wall edges that you can grip to pretty well with some slight entropy, but that’s no problem as you can also climb the walls before you leap to the other side. If you’re not familiar with this type of game, timing is everything. Timing is everything in Kick Bot. Oh yeah, the reason it’s called “Kick Bot?” … A robot with a giant boot kicks you through the roof when you complete a level. Hey, why not?

Levels assuredly will get harder the more you progress. Just experiment, and persist.

Thwomp

The part where I found my limit, for this casual experiment, were the lava-filled thwomp areas. Thwomp? I don’t know, that’s what they’re called In Mario. I feel comfortable saying that since they are not exact replicas and have their own style.

I’ve been sitting on this game for too long, and the showcases are pouring in. I will be covering the latest Onirism update soon, so stay tuned for that.

There’s going to be a lot going on here soon, and that’s okay since no one said you can’t go backward if you can’t keep up. Except in Kick Bot… yeah, that probably wouldn’t end well. Wishlist on Steam now!

Thanks for reading Mr. Dave Pizza! If you have a moment, check out my Buy Me A Coffee page. And please come back again! Until then, thank you so so much!

Big Boy Boxing: Indie Punch-Out Homage (Demo)

Big Boy Boxing is a cartoony indie boxing dev inspired by Cuphead and the classic late 80’s NES game Punch-Out!! The concept is polished and shiny for contemporary indie players who thrive on retro quirks in new games. You play as a new boxer, trained up through the earnest beginning in the ring with a trainer, Coach Hank. At this stage of development, the demo is pretty short with only one contender, but there are plenty of interesting observations to be made on this neat project. I’d say it’s pretty certain by the time this is released this is going to be a very hyped game in the indie world and beyond. The project from concept to gameplay is really enjoyable and I’m ready to dive in, so let’s take a look.

This project is thanks to a collaboration between Indie Game Collective and Soupmaster Games.

Testing Gameplay in Big Boy Boxing

You might want to start with a controller if you have one because it feels more appropriate than the alternative, however, it is not required. I used a DS4. It is a surprise to have force feedback on such an early demo. It feels like a nicely accommodated feature, and it will be nice when the game is released. Players have control of a few moves. You can duck left, duck right, and duck down. These are the movement options in the boxing ring. To strike, you can try left hook, right, hook, and upper hooks to jab at your opponent. If the opponent starts to pulse yellow, you can hit the special and knock them out.

There’s only one opponent in the demo as of this article. A hobo named “The Hobo Dude.” The fight was challenging enough to stay interesting, it was easy to land the win. I’m old enough where I can admit Punch-Out!! is not a game that holds any particular nostalgia for me other than I know it was a big deal. I tried playing Punch-Out!! recently in an unrelated project. Whichever side you’re on, it’s okay, because this is whole experience of its own that capitalized on some of the best aspects of that game.

Currently Known Features in Big Boy Boxing

  • A Campaign featuring over 15 Unique boss fights, each being highly memorable.
  • Customize your playstyle with different special punches, perks, skins and playable characters!
  • Dialogues, Minibosses, Minigames, Rematches, and many more alternative contents to enjoy!

A Few More Thoughts on Aesthetics

There is a school of thought within the game art world, particularly amongst indies, that seems to be liberated by the fact that pixel art can still be pixel and yet high res. I thought at one point that pixel art was a walk in the park, but it’s a legit art form that requires practice. Big Boy Boxing’s character art and environment look so good. Everything is the right color and form. Areas left to the imagination fire sparks in my brain that has me overall just totally approving of this style.

Thanks

There’s going to be more to this game than people know right now, and I want to know too. The game is slated for release somewhere in 2022, but it could be later, or we’ll see what happens. I want to wish the developer good luck in their dev process, and thank them for bringing this idea. If you want to check out what’s available for the game, you can try the demo on Steam, which I’ll link below. It’s a very brief demo, but enough to get the idea, so check it out!

Thank you so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. I’m trying to be as consistent as possible with these posts lately. Have a look around and see what there is, and if you like this, please come back! Thanks for stopping by!

Dark Dragonkin: Team RPG (Demo) Impressions

Dark Dragonkin is an indie dev project from Twintertainment that is a top-down pixelized fantasy RPG/dungeon-crawler. Players control multiple characters in a group to make them work together to defeat enemies and advance the story. This game is still deep in the dev process with a potential audience of RPG fans and general indie gamers. It feels very attended to as a solo dev project though, and the potential to scale abilities and environments into a fully fleshed world is entirely real. So, I sat down with Dark Dragonkin and played through the first level. I recommend if you test the demo for this you realize how far the developers have come in working on basic mechanics and themes. I thought it was pretty cool, so let’s talk about it.

From Twintertainment: “The prince has been kidnapped! Your party has been chosen to rescue him. You must journey through the realms of the dragonkin each more difficult than the last. There is a realm of fire, ice, lightning, and stone plus more! The dragonkin are quite formidable; you must use each member’s skill strategically to defeat the Dragon Kin King and save the price.

This demo showcase is made possible through collaboration between Indie Game Collective and Twintertainment. Thank you.

Go To Your Room, Dungeon Crawling in Dark Dragonkin

The key to this showcase is going to mostly be what I relay from the developer. I started off in a stone dungeon with a variety of walls and scattered mobs with my cohorts. It is definitely an old-school style design that has a charm. Much of the movement, feels made to accommodate the pixel art form heroes and that is not wrong. Characters work together. Each character is controlled separately like Lost Vikings if you are familiar with that concept. One character goes to one area, then another character moves in to bash, cast, open, etc. The very first one involves jumping a gap while another character transforms into a fairy to access a button. A mob comes out and a brief fight moves the story forward.

Each character’s race/class (talking RPG stuff here) determines what part of the process they are capable of. In the first dungeon area I tested, it was clearly announced what to do. After this process, I tested out some of the other combat abilities which are your standard fare of shield blocking and range attack, including magic spells. I played this all on my DS4 controller, so I was pretty amazed at how easy it was. Button tooltips for the abilities were listed in controller form (A, B, X, Y LT RT) which was pretty good actually, and I didn’t have much trouble. It might take practice to perfect the timing though, but it is entirely playable.

Features

  • You control each character separately.
  • Each character has their own unique skills to get past obstacles.
  • Every Level is like an old-school RPG puzzle.
  • Even the enemies are puzzles of how to avoid or destroy them.
  • You must figure out how to gather the party at the exit portal to advance.
  • Powerful bosses are a challenging puzzle to defeat to gain passage through their realm.

And more from Steam on the character abilities and skills:

  • Rose: The tank of the party. By far the most durable. She has more health and takes less damage than the others. When using her shield she becomes nearly invincible. When charging forward she can stun enemies and move heavy objects.
  • Dante: He is melee DPS. He can dispatch most enemies when he can attack from behind. Stealth is his ally. He also specializes in jumping great distances to avoid obstacles and get in the right position for the kill.
  • Nova: He is a ranged caster. He can dispatch many foes with a fireball at range. He also can dispel magical wards as they descend into the depths of the dungeon.
  • Evelina: No party is complete without a healer. If a party member falls to the dangers of the dungeon, no worries because Evelina can bring them back. She can also change into a fairy to sneak through all the tiny cracks in the dungeon.

Here be Dragons

One great thing about solo dev titles is the ability to create mechanics that are cohesive visually yet feel like someone is taking the extra time to smooth out a janky slip or make sure you know how to play the game. That’s a good way to think about Dark Dragonkin. If you have half a minute, try out the demo, why not? Make sure to wishlist on Steam too if you want to support it.

Thank you so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. And thank you to Indie Game Collective, especially ParaDyme, for helping make this possible. There is so much to see here, so please have a look around! And be sure to come back!

Universe for Sale: A Sci-Fi Game Prologue Preview

Universe for Sale is an upcoming title that combines sci-fi themes and metaphysical themes into a quirky and compelling visual novel/interactive fiction. I already do not recall the main character’s name, and neither will you, as the shroud of mystery is an important part of this introduction. He is a self-described “cultist” with a floating head who drops into a tea shop on Jupiter to meet with a young lady named Lila. The prologue sets up a story involving Lila’s special gift to create mini-universes! Hence the game title.

Universe for Sale: Intriguing Oddities

The first thing that pops out of the screen of Universe for Sale is the brilliant art direction. The intro very unexpectedly starts with Lila young being ready for a story before bed. That cuts to a zoom-in of a highly stylized hand-drawn Jupiter from outer space, and it truly sets the mood. Oh, I just checked. This cultist is simply referred to as the mysterious cultist. He appears hooded in the scraps some structure, a space station, or somewhere. He goes in and pulls down his hood. Shadow is replaced by an incredibly shocking floating skull.

You’d expect a character like this would then next raise a sword and draw lightning through it, but this character is rather timid. Or at least he was for me because this is how I guided the interactions he has with the innkeeper and the strangers of the bar. Most importantly though, with Lila, a young woman with green hair fused with suction cup tentacles that are aloft her head rather casually.

Universe For Sale: It Is What It Says

After drifting through tables filled with aliens and cyborgs, you take a seat at the middle table. Lila shows up. The chatter runs for a bit then you talk about the tea. It is an interesting topic to delve into because the concoction entails a rather sci-fi-like explanation of the sifting and separating of the herbs and ingredients. The whole prologue is not quite Star Wars, but sort of Robert Heinlein. Man, I hope I didn’t mess that one up, it’s been some time since I’ve cross-referenced Sci-Fi. It also reminds me a bit of my friend Willy Elektrix who is an expert on this stuff and creator of Superstorm Melon Date.

Next is the crux of the story. Lila begins to demonstrate completely visually how she can create mini universes out of her tea. It sounds kind of psychedelic or something. But it is compellingly explained with relativity, quantum physics, and a touch of irreverence. The cultist’s enamor at the possibility of the creation of beings in these universes which Lila dismisses slightly cryptically before placing a circular universe back into her teacup. The cultist wants to buy them… I think.

Loose Ends

So, this is a PROLOGUE, basically a demo, it’s still in development. I always prefer a visual novel pre-release called prologues. It gives me an idea of what to expect from it. That is it generally covers one major scene. And that is what’s in this one. I really love the stylistic choices as I mentioned, since they give a very heavy graphic novel vibe. It’s a novel interface for a conventional visual novel/interactive fiction because the choices and responses are fluid and animated. It’s almost on board with a short film the way everything coalesces is so nice.

I really enjoyed this and I’m looking forward to seeing its release. I can already tell it has potential. Hopefully not so much that its artistic genius is lost on gamers, but check it out! It’s going places, like other planets.

Done

Thank you so much for reading MrDavePizza.com. I really take a look at all kinds of games here. And occasionally other topics, so have a look around and read as much as you like. Thanks for stopping by!

Space Mechanic Simulator – This Is So Clever

Let’s talk about an upcoming space game! Space Mechanic Simulator is a 3D space-sim in outer space. So far, this game is still in development, but that may have changed by the time you read this. It is currently in development with a demo on steam that I am reviewing here. Your job is to repair space stations, spaceships, and presumably other space vehicles with a sophisticated drill and a meter. Obtain parts from drones or 3D print them. Once you have detected the malfunctioning equipment, remove it and replace it with a new part.

Space Mechanic Simulator: First Impressions

This is going to be more of a showcase. I have trouble coming up with things to say sometimes about games that are realistic or puzzle-based. There is something to be said here though. And as a getting-my-feet-wet armchair astronaut, I smiled when I saw this listed on Steam. Because a lot of space games are action-packed, storytelling experiences that are sometimes what I want to sink my teeth into. But this game engages in a different way than that. This is more engaging in the logic-based deduction way. And it definitely drives the story well enough for me. The narrator is full of terrible puns to enhance your humor circuits though!

I wasn’t sure if I was going to write about this at first, because I got kind of confused at first by trying to rush through it. But I thought maybe it wasn’t finished. If you’re at that stage, just watch my video. I solve the first puzzle in the demo with ease after I paid attention to the tutorial.

The control keys flashed out of view too quickly in the demo for me, but by quickly pushing esc they’re pulled up.

The idea is to detach the panels, press 3 for the meter, and mouse over parts to see if any are damaged. Then just unbolt layers of parts until you get access to the right one to pull it out.

If you’re familiar with car maintenance, it’s a very similar concept.

Highlights

I really liked this preview of Space Mechanic Simulator. You may have seen me mention before that watching EVA spacewalk videos give me vertigo. I don’t really know what the real thing is like. I’ve watched a few recently though, and it’s actually very interesting. In real life at the ISS, there are, for each task, selections of tools used, just like working on any machine; including drills, wrenches, and sealants. I recently learned that on the International Space Station, they even have a 3D printer for making tools. How rad is that? Considering the nearest hardware stores are on the surface of the Earth, that is probably pretty convenient. That feature is in this game. Realism points!

This is a really approachable sim. The developer has created other mechanic sims, which is an increasingly popular genre, so they seem to know what they’re doing. The demo is very limited just by the nature of being a demo, but the storefront for the game boasts future repair jobs that are much more complicated involving over 100 part selections.

Here is a list of features from Steam:

  • 3 celestial bodies available in astronaut missions (Mars, Earth, Moon)
  • 2 planets are available in missions with a rover (Mars, Moon)
  • repair of bases, hangars, rovers, shuttles, etc.
  • 2 space shuttles
  • 3 solar stations
  • 3 advanced space bases
  • Construction of the rover
  • Machines that consist of hundreds of parts (additional 46 unique parts available only in the Space Shop)
  • Time Attack Mode (repair and construction of machines on time – comparing the best times with others)
  • An extensive campaign with a unique story
  • Interactive HUB where you will be able to monitor and control the entire course of the game

Nice!

As far as my space game reviews go so far, this is the one I think will appeal to dedicated fans of the genre the most. With the EVA thrust controls and time-sensitive repair jobs, it captures the vibe of a real EVA–in a sort of relaxing way.

I’ll post the Steam link below.

Thank you so much for reading MrDavePizza.com. I am currently writing a lot about indie space games, but I play all sorts of games. So feel free to look around the site, and read as much as you like, it’s free!

Forgotten Fields – Go For For An Emotional Ride

Forgotten Fields is an indie-developed story-rich interactive game by Frostwood Interactive. It is about a young Indian author seeking inspiration for his next book in the midst of a major family transition at his childhood home. The character, Siddharth, visits home which at first seems a distraction but may help him re-think his writing completely. The game design is aesthetically pleasing low-poly 3D modeling combined with interactive puzzles and visual novel-style dialogue. It was recently released on Steam and is available to download.

Searching Deeper in Forgotten Fields

The game Forgotten Fields was recommended to me since I am now famous for being obsessed with narrative-story games. It should be no secret since I’ve long identified as a creative writer in my fiction and non-fiction even before this blog. That said, it really is a good match for my taste.

I have definitely been amazed by all concepts of philosophical, spiritual, domestic, and religious since always. As this story is absolutely this, I enjoyed what I saw here. I always review demos where I can, because right now I do this for free, and this may either lead you to the demo, the purchase or simply to share my thoughts.

To Be a Writer

I really enjoyed the color palette Forgotten Fields took place in, and for the sake of creativity, that palette is illuminated in the setting, story, and characters themselves. The game evolves into layers of exposure in the beginning. Start off within your room, a dark poorly lit bachelor pad, and honestly, probably the biggest hindrance of all for our protagonist, Siddharth’s, creativity. A friend comes over, a letter is received, and next, you’re in your neighborhood prepping your bike for travel amongst neighbors.

The theme of this game is writing. This main character is a writer named Siddharth. Siddharth makes his choices based on the struggles of his life as a writer. If you do not relate to this, that is okay. I really want to acknowledge it though, because the storytelling cues in the intro are not in any way cliche. I actually took some of the dialogue to think about my own writing and go, “oh yeah, I’ve been there.”

Also, I really related to the existential opening of this story in a personally symbolic reflection. I have generally been quick to reference certain philosophical themes that are present in this. And I dare say there are a lot of them. This, to me, is actually an indication of self-aware intention in creative work. It certainly doesn’t work in all settings, but there are some games where the lotus is in bloom.

I do not think it is necessary to describe too much that is going on here, but I wanted to give a quick gist of the game on this one. If you enjoy story-rich games or visual novels, it’s here and it is mindful. This is an intelligent game and wishes the developers well.

Plenty Pleasantries

If you’d like to see for yourself, you can find the demo on Steam for now, although there is also a sale on the full version for a little while longer at the moment. I will provide the link below. There is also a website up for this game here.

Thank you for reading MrDavePizza.com. I review all kinds of games, but I’m a sucker for visual novels and story-rich games which you can find side to side with other indie titles on my site like this one. Feel free to look around and read as much as you like! It’s free.

Rail Route – Do You Love Train Dispatcher Sims?

Rail Route is a railroad dispatch strategy game for PC. Trains that travel between stations, railyards, and tracks do so at the discretion of railroad dispatchers. They use special display maps to direct traffic. This game takes most of the nuances of this real technology and has created a simulation. It uses simple mechanics to build a railroad empire. With many options, an informative tutorial, and room to expand, you’ll be keeping an eye on your fleet timetables for engaging gameplay.

Hey, Dave Pizza here. I was sort of surprised when I saw this game pop up on my Steam client. Not only is this game about something with which I actually have some real experience. It’s also the project of my good friends at Bitrich.Info and Angel, a few Twitter accounts that have been retweeting my tweets since my early days. I didn’t even realize they were making this game. So, first of all, thanks to them!

My Railfan Past

Alright, so, I mentioned that I have a background in this game topic!? Yes. As a matter of fact, one of my hobbies for years has been radio monitoring. I have listened to a variety of utility services from public safety to global aviation. One band I have relevantly been interested though is the rail band. At approximately 160-161 MHz, pretty much anybody can listen to the railroad traffic in their area.

The rail band is usually fairly interesting, however, it can be incredibly confusing. This is why some railfans use a program to monitor something called ATCS. ATSC is a dispatch map display that shows you what track sections in a local network are in use, which ones are slated to be used soon, and the direction of the switches as they are aligned amongst the track. It is not a universal or even accurate option, but it can tell you if a train’s about to go by your house sometimes.

Honestly, I haven’t listened to rail band is probably a year, not because I’m bored of it, but I haven’t been able to get out and see a train in about that long. I love trains though. Really. I have been on around 10 major long-distance routes in the US and Canada. I like watching videos of trains. And whenever I get a chance to see one up close I always bust open the camera. Also, I used to live across the street from a rail crossing and I loved sitting on the porch to watch them go by.

Rail Route: Endless Mode

Alright, so there’s that nostalgic trip. I really need to tell you about this game though. It seems that most of Rail Route is complete, although it is in early access on Steam currently (although a free demo!) Its interface may seem confusing, but after a brief tutorial, you’ll be able to figure out the rest quickly. Basically, just keep your trains running and save contract payments to build more and bigger networks.

You can manually adjust the rail switches to re-route trains, and open up tracks plus call new ones into the station. There are options to purchase expansions after you’ve been running your trains for a while. It’s not a clicker, but I bet you could leave it open on a second monitor. The main mode in this game is “endless” after all, so there’s plenty of content.

I think the main thing to acknowledge at this point, without jumping straight into the major themes of this concept, is that this is a pretty neat glimpse of what this game is going to be. If you are into trains or railfanning, you’ll probably think this is kind of cool. I think a lot of gamers really like this minimalist interface also. This is what it looks like for the real thing as I mentioned in discussing ATSC, so I think that is a pretty nice aspect. The simple glow of a string of crawling rectangles on a dark blue background is pretty satisfying for me.

Rail Route: It’s a Z-Train (A Fast Mover)

If you try this demo and like what you see, the best way to support it is by wish listing it on Steam. It is set for release in June of 2021, so you may be hearing more about it soon.

Thank you so much for reading MrDavePizza.com. I update very regularly, so be sure to check back soon. And if you like what you see here, take a look around and read as much as you like!

CRASH Autodrive – This is A Really Unique Interactive Fiction

CRASH: Autodrive is a point-and-click interactive fiction that takes place in Pittsburgh, PA, in the year 2027. You are a passenger in a robot auto cab that hosts you and three other passengers on your way to your respective destinations. The car takes an unanticipated detour and strikes a crossing bicyclist on a deserted back road in the city. With the aid of a host full of clues from your cab sharers, you will use information and evidence from the individual to unravel the mystery behind the crash. In a world where A.I. is everywhere, you’ll have to deduct on your own the implications of this accident. The game is due for release sometime in the spring of 2021.

CRASH Autodrive: Let’s Get to Work

Welcome to another visual novel review at MrDavePizza. I have played this genre of the game constantly for the past few months. It contains enough to engage my curiosity, but enough interaction and variables that there is a rubric I’m able to weigh my reception of games. If you know me, I only review games that I recommend. While many games can get by on heavy-duty 3D graphics and rigorous gameplay variables, I must implore that a thought-out 2D design style and a unique enough plot can make a game like a visual novel do wonders. And the people who often play visual novels are the ones who make them. Once you find one that strikes your fancy, you’ll start noticing the characteristics of each one.

Anyway, that’s super contextual and I won’t hold up your review.

CRASH: Autodrive’s prologue showed up I feel somewhat recently. If you read the beginning description, you’ll pick up on a few themes that are nice about this demo. One is the uniqueness of the plot. The plot centers around the demise of this character, Thomas Sinclair.

Thomas Sinclair

I didn’t learn a ton about him, but obviously, he is this kind of Elon Musk character as the mega entrepreneur of the auto cab the plot revolves around. Elon Musk has discussed creating such a system himself you might know of. It’s also really a step up from uber cabs quite frankly. Anyway, in the game, the auto driver has ironically struck Mr. Sinclair, and well, cut his commute short.

As the story unfolds, Emily (who I guess is the main character?) asks questions of all the passengers to address their findings with them as they wait for emergency services. They’re all a bit selfish, honestly, as they squeamishly vote on who has to check if Thomas is conscious. While not totally transparent, this might be because the common advice of attorneys is not to interfere with an accident since you can be held liable. This is crazy but true. It seems to be in the mind of these characteristics, but not for certain.

CRASH Autodrive: Dialogue

The dialogue in the game ends up taking about half an hour. That’s a massive amount of time to try and deduct the clues of this disaster. This is explained in this way, the auto cab’s emergency services protocol is malfunctioning so no emergency services are activated with the autocab’s A.I. (which is most likely based on a hologram version of Alexa and Siri.) Therefore you’re simply left to discuss what happened.

The conversation is a little silly but not any more than you might expect from an anime of a similar theme and it lets you explore all the elements of the situation. I rather enjoyed all the different branches of dialogue that were available in the demo. It did seem being more direct was the best way to progress the story though.

Check it Out

The demo pulls the curtains and bows at an appropriate moment, a cliffhanger! I’m not sure what kind of continuance of the plot will occur in the final release. The plot is compelling enough, the art is good enough, and the concept is unique. I think you’re going to like it.

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