Posts with ‘JonasKyratzes’ Tag

Phenomenon 32

By: Derek Yu

On: May 24th, 2010

Phenomenon 32

[This is a guest review by Gregory Weir. If you’re interested in writing an article for TIGSource, please go here.]

Phenomenon 32 is a bleak game by Jonas Kyratzes, creator of the previously-featured House at Desert Bridge. Earth is gone, destroyed in the 50s by a Reality Bomb based on the elusive Phenomenon 32. The only surviving humans are on the Moon Colony, and they’re running out of resources. Your team must explore the distorted remains of Earth to find a solution, but the Reality Bomb has turned it into an alien mishmash of old buildings, twisted plants, and dangerous anomalies.

Phenomenon 32 is an exploration platformer in the vein of Zelda II. Each area is represented by a spot on the overworld map, and contains resources as well as bits of technology that allow you to research enhancements to your initially fragile ship. Reaching the exit of an area unlocks new areas, and many areas have multiple exits.

The game starts off quite hard; your ship has precious few hit points, your weapon is weak, and your movement is clumsy. However, with a bit of exploration and expenditure of resources, your ship quickly becomes quite capable, although the threats in later areas will still prove challenging. This is a huge game, with a broad array of new tools and enhancements for your ship and upwards of 35 levels.

The graphics and sound here are great. The art is black-and-white, with the shapes of things just indistinct enough to look alien and uncanny. The music ranges from atmospheric to downright nightmarish. There’s also full voice acting, which helps excuse the large download size.

The game has a pair of opening sequences that may drag on a bit longer than you’d like, but they can be skipped with the ENTER key and don’t contain any essential gameplay information. The game’s also a little rough around the edges, in part due to outgrowing its development environment; Kyratzes claims it’s the largest game ever made in Construct, and I’m inclined to believe him. There’s occasional slowdown and even rarer crashes, but nothing that should erase your progress or make the game unplayable.

This is a massive, creepy, challenging RPG platformer, and I highly recommend it.

The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge

By: Derek Yu

On: December 12th, 2008

The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge

The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge (a name so long it breaks TIGdb) is one bloody funny adventure game. Even as a Yank, I feel I can inoffensively use the word “bloody” in this situation, because Desert Bridge employs a kind of droll, British humor that is genuinely infectious. Seriously, the amount of wordplay, puns, and nonsense in the game is staggering – it really takes absurdism to a whole new level, even for a genre that is kind of heavy on it.

“It’s an orange carpet. It smells of oranges.” That was the first giggle the game got out of me, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Your giggle-mileage may vary.

But what ultimately makes the game so good is not just the surreal humor, but the fact that, despite how random and weird things can get, the puzzles themselves are quite straightforward. Jonas Kyratzes (who also created the decidedly less humorous Last Rose in a Desert Garden) has done a good job of imbuing his game with a strange internal logic that bubbles out from beneath the absurdist veneer. And it helps that the hand-drawn crayon graphics and the music are both very good and jive well with the game’s atmosphere.

If there’s one minor complaint I have, it’s that it can be easy to get lost in the game, given its first-person viewpoint. But the areas are not big enough that this became a serious issue for me. I still recommend it highly.

(Thanks, Gregory!)

TIGdb: Entry for The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge