Haiku the Robot – First Impressions (IGC Showcase)

Yep, Haiku the Robot is about robots, although you’re more likely to catch on fire before most of its poetics! It’s a dystopic pixel platformer with a variety of routes to navigate through. The tunnels are left from the aftermath of an apocalyptic turn. It does have somewhat of a narrative for the first minute. Mostly, you’ll be in the heat of battle. You are thrown into the general theme of trying to find your way around immediately. Thankfully, maps are available.

Collect bits and bobbles to fund your robot hack and slash lifestyle. This game is as challenging as platformers like Dadish 2; although the mechanical obstacles feel more like being in a large machine. Enemies across each level wander, bounce, and get into your business. There are secrets and puzzles everywhere. If you take a wrong turn, well, you’ll end up back at your checkpoint. These checkpoints are around enough to challenge you, in the general areas of your exploration. Let me give you somewhat of a mental map for this.

Playing Haiku the Robot

The theme of Haiku the Robot runs a bit melancholic. The pixel art effects and the grim backgrounds are smoldering and dark. Luckily, the game is packed with hard-boiled noir robots who vend goods or present challenges–and generally add the only social elements of the game. And the areas you make your way through contain secrets. New areas can have treasures of monetary value and levers that with a slash of a sword unlock even more areas.

The game is kind of weirdly cute yet dystopic in a style that’s approximate to that feeling you get when you see a Jack-o-lantern out of season. Haiku the Robot is so fleshed out though and with several levels in the robot world of Arcadia, you get your money’s worth.

There is also a feature that I wasn’t able to experiment with before I got wiped during my gameplay session at the boss while recording, and that is the chip system. With the chip system, you can customize your gameplay. I guess this is sort of like the skill tree system of various RPGs and could be an interesting resource for later moments in the game.

Yet, even without a play style upgrade, the hack and slash plus movement mechanics of Haiku are fluid and smooth. I never felt that I was not in total control of my character’s fate, leading to some fail-defying heroics as I tried to reach the first boss.

Out Now on Steam!

Based on the level of engagement I gave the game and for its return, I should honestly be thankful. Most enjoyable platformers find their merit in the flow of the gameplay. I feel strength when playing this game. The way it will challenge you to use experience with these types of games is a thoroughly rewarding experience. Perhaps, as the yin to the yang of its theme, the balance of dark and light is potentially the zen quality origin that makes playing Haiku what it is.

Haiku the Robot is out now on Steam for $19.99. I have to note that I received a promo copy of this as a publisher showcase with the Indie Game Collective. Make sure to check them out and please enjoy the content here on Mr. Dave Pizza where I have covered many indie games of all genres and categories.

Thanks again for reading. Enjoy your games!

Soul Delivery – Hot Neon SanFran Robot Cyberpunk: ItchIO Demo

Alright, folks, I am compelled to write about this. Last night I posted a video of a game on itch.io called Soul Delivery. Yes, it is true, the graphics in this game are so stunning, it’s enough to short circuit. Though, until now, I’ve never even heard of it. I don’t know who the dev is, and I don’t know anything more than what’s covered on the itch.io page. But, since there’s a demand on this, let’s just take a look at it right now, and I’ll polish this up later once I’ve had a little more time with it–maybe, I don’t know, it’s pretty good!

Soul Delivery is a solo-dev project from a dev called “Single-Minded Ryan.” It is a platform-side scroller in a super-rich environment with pixel art worthy of gods and heavy attention to detail not usually reserved for such independent projects. You start off in San Francisco, sometime in the future when robots are the only entities inhabiting the world. You too, are a robot, and you don’t quite know who you are either, but you’re off to work as a courier promptly after your awakening. Wander the city and talk to strangers, walk-in buildings, for clues about how and why you are here. Meanwhile, carry a strange package across the cityscape as you pursue such clues.

Platform: PC (ItchIO)

First Impressions of Soul Delivery

Okay, so first of all, the graphics (gasp.) This is a free demo on itchIO and it’s practically one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! What. It’s paired with attention to detail and a very interactive environment. The whole ambiance in general is right though. I spent a few days in San Francisco a decade ago, and as a former PNWer, I totally understand what’s going on with the plethora of bohemian yet high culture that the city has. This is represented correctly in Soul Delivery in numerous examples, adapted of course for the playful tropes of the game’s theme. There’s also plenty of high-geek cultures too, in the nicest way, like the ’80s Arcade halfway through the first section with glowing cabinets inside. Loved it.

If you were wondering, the way I tracked down this game is by using the input methods search on Itch.IO. You probably didn’t know that existed, but it does, and it means that this demo can be played entirely with a controller. An Xbox controller at least, which Mr. Dave Pizza recently acquired.

The controls are smooth and responsive too. The smooth animation feels like an Apple Arcade game mixed with a high res pixel clip, although this is definitely a PC game., which is refreshing because the game is not too cumbersome or resource-demanding it would seem. (At this point, yes, it’s a nice game to take for a test run for now.)

Soul-Delivery’s Various Features

Directly plucked from the dev’s ItchIO page: https://singlemindedryan.itch.io/soul-delivery

  • No violence, no shooting and fighting. This game doesn’t require you to be especially reactive.
  • Enjoy beautiful 2D graphics generated from 3D models with dynamic lighting.
  • Talk to robots with dynamic options to explore the background story of this mysterious world. Especially the relationship between humans and AI.
  • Explore 4  areas(in the demo) in the cyberpunk city.
  • Solve puzzles and help robots to advance the story.
  • Upload your consciousness to different bodies, wield their abilities(no in the demo).

Final Thoughts

Might throw more in here eventually, but here’s the thing: I do not know when/if this will be released. It’s clearly a major project, but there haven’t really been any updates to the dev’s YouTube channel since last year, although there are a fair amount of frequent comments on the game’s itchio page. I’d really encourage you to support this dev with a charitable amount toward the demo, but also to try it out for free because you’ve got to see this one.

That’s it for now. Thank you so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. Leave a comment below, stop by again, say hello on social media. We appreciate you, and I’m glad to have so many friends here. Take care. Oh yeah, and one more time, here is the game’s ItchIO page, you can download the demo there: https://singlemindedryan.itch.io/soul-delivery

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!

OPUS: The Day We Found Earth: Beautiful Robots

I think I recently made a comment that, as I get older, the more I make the heartbreaking conclusion that mankind will never explore the galaxy due to physics and entropy. What a bummer. What if we had explored it though? And what if we went so far that we couldn’t find our way back? That’s what’s going on in OPUS: The Day We Found Earth.

OPUS: Data Briefing

This game is now reaching 6 years old with a release date by SIGONO INC. back in 2015. As I write these, I keep finding games around that era that are absolutely incredible for some reason. Once again, the creators of my current topic here really created something beautiful, something ingenious

This type of story is not unfamiliar. If you think about stories like Battlestar Galactica you are probably very familiar with this idea. That idea is humanity is on a mission to find Earth again.

I’m not sure what it is, but there is something about this topic that people really love. Maybe something about survival? We’re all working on that task every day. I occasionally entertain the idea in my head of living star-bound in a life-spanning intergalactic vessel like Parzival in Ready Player One or Dave Lister in Red Dwarf.

I had to mention it because the hologram character, in physical presence at least, is a touch like Rimmer. Her personality and identity are completely different though. I’m glad because there is a lot more delicate sentiment here about genuine existentialism. (I love Red Dwarf though.)

OPUS: The Day We Found Earth
Exo-planet
Galaxy

There’s More to OPUS, A Lot More

This is not quite that story though. OPUS: The Day We Found Earth is about robots! Actually a robot and an A.I. and their existential journey. Depending on your philosophical convictions about self-awareness or animism or spirit, there’s a lot to think about. Their names are Emeth and LISA. Emeth is a robot who has the task of finding Earth. LISA is an A.I. Hologram shared in the ship computer’s memory, that is a facsimile of Emeth’s trainer, a doctor named Lisa. There’s a large gap in the story though, as one moment you’re looking for Earth and the next you’re awakened as Emeth way into the future, long after the days of human involvement, and the story starts again there.

Let’s Try It Out

I wet my feet enough to learn that this game involves life as Emeth the robot, in a spaceship that’s been abandoned, which is actually a giant Earth-like-planet-finding telescope. You’re entrusted with finding Earth, quite the task. If it sounds daunting, it is at first, but then it becomes fun. You interact with your creator a bit and her partner and get to work.

I knew there was a story from the beginning, however, I did not realize that I would actually have to procedurally locate Earth by scrolling around the galactic sky. It’s kind of fun when you find an exo-planet (a term that I actually know about that means planet outside the galaxy.) A meter comes up and measures the components of these planets and you can even name them! I named one Pizzageuse as in the real star Betelgeuse, the tenth brightest star in our night sky… and pizza.

As you awake in the future, your creator’s, the doctor’s, hologram shows up as a companion and leader who has the same task and lightens the load a bit but mostly exists to drive the story. Zooming in on exo-planets with a space telescope is fun but there is more to this game. Not a huge amount else, the searching is important, but it is only an element in a “human” story, a pondering, about… robots.

OPUS: The Day We Found Earth
Emeth Robot
OPUS Gameplay
OPUS: The Day We Found Earth

I Love Robots

OPUS: The Day We Found Earth tugged on my heartstrings from the beginning. Even though it’s about robots, it really addresses some meaning-of-life-type themes. There is a metaphor for parenting, and I did a little research and it seems like the game might have an appropriate but very emotional ending. I like to have a little philosophy mixed in with my sci-fi, so maybe you do too.

The game won’t last very long, maybe a couple of hours. You’ll be able to grab it for under $5 most likely, it was $1.99 on eShop. There is absolutely nothing inappropriate about this game, but you should be ready to be hit with some serious topics packaged in this neat indie game.

If you want to play a game that’s as beautiful as Kurt Vonnegut novel but compatible with a mature but empathic film, this is it. This is Wall-E for grownups. And you’ll probably complete it in a couple of hours. Good luck. Robots are beautiful.

Closure

P.S. There is a sequel to this game called Rocket Of Whispers, which is an award-winning game as well. Here is my link to my review of that game! I’m glad I discovered this game’s existence, it is a game with incredible sophistication and so much integrity!

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