With 2017 already fulfilling its unspoken promise of delivering a deluge of delectable games I will probably never be able to finish, it does become difficult to limit my commitment or even outright pass up on a particularly interesting find. Smaller projects especially seem to have this hold on me. Lionheart, a visual novel/RPG hybrid developed by doujin circle Shiisanmei is a fine example of one that is engaging, but a joy to come back to between play sessions. Players take on the role of Leon, a young man dreaming to be adventurer. After a chance meeting with a young woman named Maria, she enlisted his unique abilities to explore the Magic Labyrinth, “Libra Corridor.”
Developed by Uzumeya, Enigma is a visual novel that takes place in a world where most of the mainland has been ravaged by mysterious illness. Chester, a young man that happen to contracted the illness find himself washed ashore on a remote island – one that isn’t even apart of any modern map. The only two noteworthy features: a small village unaccepting of those from the outside world and a mysterious forest that is said to devour people. It’s name is Enigma, the very same name of the disease Chester is infected with and now in the terminal stages – his life nearly at its end and this island likely to be his resting place. Are the two somehow connected?
Developed and published by Tenco and localized by Fruitbat Factory, Eiyuu*Senki – The World Conquest is a title that I have been looking forward to for quite sometime. Combining tactical and management elements along with various historical figures reimagined as kawaii anime girls, this is a work that makes no concessions or contains any ambiguity about what it is. However, as quirky and offbeat as it is, does it manage to provide an adequate experience for your inner strategist? Allow me to break it down for you…
Disclaimer: This is a partially review and based off 40 hours playtime. Although, I have unlocked most of the features the game has to offer.
From the developers that brought us 100% Orange Juice and QP Shooting, 200% Mixed Juice is the fruitiest new entry in the Juice franchise that celebrates the many characters from its catalog for its 10th year anniversary. Where 100% OJ was a traditional board game and QP Shooting was a shmup (shoot-em-up), this one is an RPG and actually the first that the developers have done. Very easy to pickup and play much like it’s board game counterpart, most of the joy comes from the novelty.
As someone who is greatly fond of puzzle games, most of my younger years was spent with genre more than any other. Everything from the Lemmings willing to commit mass suicide chucking themselves off cliffs until you intervene to the iconic Tetris conjure up some delightful memories of my youth and most likely the reason why I still easily gravitate to the genre to this day. However, if you were to ask my opinion on a little game called “Minesweeper, a game I was so awful at (and still remain to this day), that it would make its principal creator rollover in his/her in disgust, repressed memories shadowed by shame and anguish would be the only answer. With ManaCollect, a game that is an action x puzzle hybrid inspired by the aforementioned, I thought my torment would be reborn anew, but instead turned into a weird pleasure. Frankly, I just kept getting my butt kicked and kept coming back for more. That’s either a sign of an unhealthy relationship or a solid game. I’m tempted to say the former, but the latter rings true.
Developed by Yakiniku Banzai, War of the Human Tanks is a hybrid of visual novel style storytelling and strategic gameplay as you join the conflict between the ruthless Kingdom of Japon (parody of Japan I suppose) and the tenacious Empire of Japon – both using an army of… human-like tanks to do battle? Or are the tanks personifications of humans? Confusing inquiry aside, don’t let the adorable and benign facade fool you, this is actually a very competent title…with a few caveats for consideration, of course.
Other than its mischievous charm and unforgiving difficultly, QP Shooting Dangerous!! offers no more or less of an experience expected from the bullet hell genre. Still, for the fanatics and devotees – that should be more than enough.
By looking at the name alone, you wouldn’t be able discern that 100% Orange Juice is a board game. Beyond its anime style and theme appearance, it is certainly one of the more interesting hybrids of skill and chance that can be frustrating as it does bring out the worst in people with a competitive nature. It still amounts to a great deal of fun all the same.