Porpentine of freeindiegam.es returns with another round-up of cost-free treasures discovered on the internet over the last few days. Here’s last week’s, if you missed it. What have you got for us this time, Porpentine?
What if Pokemon, Twitter, and Jet Set Radio hung out. Dystopian farming RPG. Line up four men with swords to make them explode. The tiger is extra health. The hundred day game.
Zineth is a game where you skate around gigantic structures and landscapes, tweet, and play competitive Tamagotchi. Zineth is deserts. Zineth is canyons. Zineth is speed.
The tutorial is actually pretty useful for this one. Zineth was made for an Xbox 360 controller but keyboard and mouse worked fine for me.
Press Q to reverse time, rolling back to motion and freedom and sky, far from dreaded inertia. None of that messing up a trick and spending awkward intervals clunking around in a ditch or waiting for a Lakitu to fish you up and deposit you back on the track again. Zineth is lucid dreaming.
My favorite part is connecting to Twitter ingame. This lets you post a shot of your monster, a picture (a wonderful wish-you-were-here way to post screenshots), or Personal Info (randomized nonsense). Personal Info is the best–“Now I’m Fizzy Magic. I’m scared of exotic depression even though I believe graphic skin must be a joke.” Talking to other people on Twitter is filtered through the same nonsense–“The wife calls me Fate Brick. I could do without tiny ratios ;). total tubs are my first choice.” How did it know…
The only other people in the world are standing around addicted to their monster game. Fling zines at them about how they should put their videogames down and go explore the vast majesty of the desert.
Kevin Rudd Farming Generations
Kevin Rudd Farming Generations (also known as Krudd) has some Earthbound, some Harvest Moon, makes me think of Four Winds Fantasy DX or something in the spirit of thecatamites, but plays with far more restraint than you’d think.
Times are tough on the Rudd farm. The Government isn’t doing shit about the Ikytu. You haven’t seen one of your sons for four years, he’s living the city life. Things are coming to a head. Someone wants you to fail. If it isn’t some vandals, it’s a man from the government. Hell, it might just be a trashbag with teeth that does you in.
The music is really fucking good, especially the farm music, an ominous build-up of see-sawing synth-string, drum thumps, and hoots. The dialogue is funny and deadpan. I like the story because it never leaps to say HERE’S SOME WEIRD SHIT, magicdweedoo incorporates the weird and the mundane with the same flow. Surreality with gravity. I like that I can’t predict where the story is going. The world is doing its own thing.
Certain interactions aren’t always intuitive. Walking can be tedious until you learn the lay of the city. Not that having to familiarize yourself with an area through exploration doesn’t have its charm. The bottom line is that I was willing to be occasionally bored by Krudd in order to be entertained by it. To save you trouble: Sometimes you’ll have to open your inventory and select an item to do things in the world, the hatch key for example. You might need to jump on a chair to escape from danger.
I like the way you get potion stuff: Talk to your cow and get some Vril, pull up some weeds and plant crops during downtime, or play some basketball with the bums hanging in your backyard.
Encounter is a puzzle game wrapped in an RPG battle. Clerics, wizards, fighters, and heroes are arranged in rows. Click arrows hovering over each row to trigger combos. More than one of the same class in a row and that’s a combo. Clerics heal, wizards blast the entire battlefield, fighters brutally shank a single target, and heroes can complete any combo. As you level up you pick new combos for your repertoire. Encounter is addictive pruning, analyzing rows to shift glorious pillars of murder men into place.
This is a marathon, wave after wave until you win or die. You’ll learn to treasure your combos, to cradle your perfect row of mages for the moment a wave of turtles with machetes comes pouring in. Each row is a decision–I could pick this nice 2x of clerics but oh there’s another pair of them near some fighters and that gives me the single-target damage I need and if I do that it’ll slide a mage over and give me a 4x to bring some fucking pain to these dirtbag wolves.
Watch out for rats with books and a saintly mien. They’ll turn your soldiers into dudes with pink shirts who stand around being useless. You can tell because they have a Skull icon. Also the difference between no combo/weak combo/huge combo is enormous–I found that combining the Boost power-up with 4x Clerics was vital to staying alive.
Play to watch huge numbers explode your enemies without a terrible plot sandwiched in between. I got to level 50 before I died.
The game’s in Japanese but you’ll figure it out. Plus someone kindly translated it here so you really have no excuse.
Deepak Fights Robots
If you go to Tom Sennet’s Twitter, his background is an image that says “Don’t hate the player, hate the game that wastes his/her time with, among other things: backtracking, save points, cutscenes, achievements, loading screens, tutorials, grinding, menus, and/or having to learn what 16 different buttons do.” This is Deepak Fights Robots.
Arrow keys to leap around a single wrapping screen of pulsing hand-drawn graphics and grab giant atoms and avoid enemies and then you turn into a super hero and the hunter becomes the exploded and some dopey little dude flies you to the next level.
Deepak is like stepping into a rave drawn by a sentient copy of MS Paint that wants you to be happy but also wants you to get some exercise. Then it becomes more, and more, and more. Enemies that mimic your movements or spew screws that tumble across the level to crush you. Sometimes there’s a cow, or a spring. Extra health is represented by riding on a tiger or a bird. The psychedelic sitar soundtrack by Family FUNKtion and the Sitar Jams is perfect for this warm ride.
The first enemy apologizes and encourages you after killing you. As if to say, we all know this is a game, we’re all in this together, me to give you a challenge, you to get past me and see more of the game. We’re all actors.
In VESPER.5 you control a monk in a strange cavern. Each keystroke is a step. One step per day over one hundred days. The creator talks about making a ritual of it. After the sensory dilation we’ve experienced throughout the history of gaming, here is something entirely minimal and meditative. Your daily pocket of time in this world that no walkthrough, review, or Let’s Play has touched, alien and pristine.
This week’s image courtesy of ‘golem.’ Why not send us other pics for this column? 600×250, please.