Precipice, solving a gruesome mystery

Crime-solving games have never been my cup of tea. They usually tend to annoy me in the long run, as sooner or later, I always run into a riddle that just drives me crazy. However, I do also give everything the benefit of the doubt. And thankfully, Precipice developed by Ryan Trawic didn't let me down.

It's a very short point and click adventure that features a nice and incredibly gloomy artwork. Even the animations are quite flawless, which, despite the limited length of the product, are a clear sign of the high amount of effort that has been put in the creation process. Precipice, unfortunately, has the potential to be labeled as NSFW. But if you think you're alright with some pixelated nudity, then go ahead.

You play as a private investigator that lives somewhere around a treacherous neighborhood. Truth be told, nothing really suggests that the game is set in a hypotetical future. Or at least, I haven't been able to tell until the second half of the gameplay. At first, in fact, all you have to do is to get dressed, find your wallet, and head out. But then, an unexpected event will instantly switch the player's focus to the scene from which this sad story has originated.

The time has been rewinded, and you find youself inspecting a synthetic corpse. Indeed. After all, we're talking about a scenario where it's quite common for people to have a robot made to address every sexual need. However, this one's dead, and with it, even its human counterpart has been found lifeless. At this point, you should start to look for clues in order to give your partner the most accurate version of how things went down. Though what's funny, is that there's really not a lot to check in the one-room apartment you're searching.

Eventually, I simply choose the most plausible option when reporting back to the guy that was supposed to help me. And, while keeping in mind that I haven't disclosed what the game had already shown to me, you're reassured that whatever decision you take won't have any repercussions. Download it on, and prepare to have your mind blown away.

Fingercrafts, problems don't go away biting your fingers

I've always found funny the way I end up by remembering certain games over the years while forgetting about others that were clearly more fun. I can't deny, I have a really weird taste. But after all, the common trait that these titles have, appears to be the brutality with which they present the point they're trying to make. Fingercrafts by Seanographies is a harsh game. It's a clever and intimidating depiction of an issue I have myself. But be aware, because the game, might talk about you, too.

I can't really come up with any canonical game genre when I think about Fingercrats. It's barely a game, all things considered. So, instead, I take it as nice way of communicating how unhealthy it is to bite your own fingers that just happens to be slightly resembling a browser game. I have a hard time dealing with anxiety, and for that matter, I basically rip off my nails whenever they give me the chance. I've tried a lot of things to fight this senseless need, but no matter how much work I was putting into it, one occasional distraction always costed me the weeks of what it felt like painful abstinence.

But let's get to Fingercrafts. Because if there's one thing I liked particularly, is how the author have decided to manage the visual aspect of it. An ominous mouth is watching from a stage its 5 favorite fingers like an opera singer would do with his delighted audience, I imagine. Eager, and thirsty. Except that sound-wise, the game features a very disturbing tune made of dissonant guitar chords.

By taking control of one of the fingers pressing the key with which it's labeled, the hand that was once in the foreground teleports on stage alongside the mouth. Now, with the mouse you can do the rest. At this point, in fact, clicking with the left button triggers a good bite, whereas if you keep it pressed, you will be able to lick the blood that is sadly bound to flow endlessly. However, there's even more to it. Because at every finger you wreck, a very delusional thought about the character's life will be written right in the middle of the screen. He's worried about a lot of things, but whether it is the school, or the girl he likes, every bite makes it worse.

The sad part, is that it's all very true. There's no relief in doing such things, and although it's some sort of a very potent addiction which isn't as dangerous as many others, I can see it causing some minor health problems along the obvious aethetics damage. Stay away from doing it in real life, play Fingercrafts online instead!

GHOST COIN, modelling weird creatures

Konstantin Kopka is an old acquaintance of mine. Therefore, If you don't understand why I was so excited about his newly released GHOST COIN, I guess you're probably still missing great games such as Wunderheilung, or A Good Cup of Tea. He made much more titles, but these two in particular, happen to share together with today's feature, a very distinct and lovely art style. This time, however, there's not a lot of adorableness involved, as ultimately, I would describe this game to be quite unsettling.

It's a point and click interactive experience, and that, is simply a denomination that I just came up with. It's pretty close to what it is, actually, but as far as being exhaustive, that's the best I can do. GHOST COIN takes place in a long black and white hallway, for the most part, but right off the start, you're simply brought into a screen where the only thing that stands out is a coin with a smiling face. The peculiar soundtrack, makes the situation look so awkward. Because, although it took me a lot of time to figure this out, the low quality looping tune reminded me of one of the few times I went to the circus. I thought I was about to be pranked by some shady clown, at first. I really did. But thankfully, the game turned out to be much more clever than that.

Clicking on the coin makes it stick to your cursor. And, upon keeping the left mouse button pressed, it will start to scratch whatever surface you're hovering. Thanks to that, the first wall will be easily brought down revealing the dark corridor I mentioned previously. Where one by one, surreal creatures will ask you to shape them as you wish by scratching off exceeding white particles.

The dust you produce falls down like snow, and the coin's animation, makes this seemingly tedious task extraordinarily satisfying. If you want to get a glimpse at what GHOST COIN is like, there are a few tiny gifs available here. But since playing it through requires not more than two minutes, and it's available as an online build, you may want to give it a try right now.

Halieus, a disturbing sequence of scenes

Halieus is a very, very weird one, almost disturbing. It's a short game made for the Music Video(game) jam by Barnaque, a game development duo that somehow, manages to surprise me consistently no matter what. The concept behind the jam, was to make a game meant to showcase a song. No other kind of sound was allowed, and the length, had to be completely bound to the track's. They went with Two Parent Home's Last Level. Which on top of being already known to me thanks to Respire by James Earl Cox III, it made me realize that providing any kind of visual background to a song you like, makes a world of difference. There are feelings that can only  be triggered when what you hear, matches a certain imagery, and I think that the game jam, was mostly about highlighting this.

On the other hand, what we have here is a simple one-button game. The artwork, as I was expecting, is highly sketchy. The outlines of the characters are inaccurate, but the solid coloring, however, features at times an interesting effect that plays around with massive desaturation. As far as the story is concerned, I highly doubt that what you see makes any sense. Everything seems just, too disconnected and random to make me believe that there's a meaning behind it all. But as we all learned, enjoying a game is far from being able to explain it to someone.

Halieus is structured in several scenes that you can alter by pressing the A key. The transitions, are anyway tied to specific moments, so mashing the button, or not touching it at all, isn't going to change anything. The first, and quite unsettling one, depicts a first-person view of a guy slicing ferociously a fish. Whereas the others, are all seen from a third person perspective and include seemingly peaceful scenarios followed by much more uncomfortable ones. What basically splits the game in two perfect halves, is a quick brutal scene of someone being hit by a truck. Afterwards, it will be proposed upside down, accelerated, and seen from any possible angle.

Further down the line, you will find yourself doing the same things you did in the first part. Although this time, you will be repeating the single-button action in environments completely invaded by elements that were once belonging to different, and completely unrelated sections of the game. I realize how hard can it be to picture Halieus just by reading these messy words. Therefore, downloading it is perhaps what you need.

Dream.1, psychedelic city lights

Unlikely worlds, aimless exploration, if you know me even slightly, then you know that these are the things that I like the most. Dream.1 by Oxam combines them both, and although the hefty download can't be justified entirely by it embodying what I essentially love, I'm convinced that it's anyway pretty worth it. The dev goes on by adding that he doesn't consider Dream.1 to be a game, but that, I guess it's referred to the fact that it can hardly fit into any fixed genre.

Giving my best shot, I would go with a first-person exploration game. Which, although it does a great job at narrowing down the variety, it has always been a rather open-ended label. The controls are the standard ones, WASD to move and Space to jump. However, probably because of the many wonders that Dream.1 has in store, the G key can be used to take a screenshot which will be saved directly in the data folder. Most of the in-game objects are extremely dark, but everything is anyway perceived as very bright due to every outline coming in light colors. The constrast produced doesn't end up by being disturbing, not even in the long run. And maybe thanks to the soothing soundtrack (included in the download), I felt like I could keep on wandering forever.

One thing I had some troubles with is the navigation, overall. The movement is slippery, and jumping makes you accelerate so much that it's very hard to land on the ledges you were aiming for. I'm not trying to say that it makes the game unplayable, but I think it's safe to say that it takes quite a lot of patience.

Dream.1 starts off in a dark apartment in one of the thousad skyscrapers of the city you can clearly see from your panoramic window. After my first, quick look there didn't appear to be a way of venturing outside. I looked for something resembling an elevator, a door, perhaps, but I couldn't locate it. So the first, and actually only challenge, is to find a way out. The outside is structured in levels. There are tight elevated roads that can help you reach the highest buildings, and interesting paths at the lowest levels adorned with glowing objects that I can't recognize.

All in all, the game doesn't really offer a goal. But if you're looking to get lost in a fantasy universe, while listening to some good music, I suggest you to download it on without hesitation.
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