Tag Archives: 8-bit

Haven Editorial – Regncon 2017

Bergen is a great town at the west coast of Norway, with lovely people and some cozy conventions, such as Regncon 2017. Which on its own is a very fitting pun for a convention taking place is a very wet country. The convention takes place during autumn and host a slew of wholesome geek activities. Its the one place to go in order to try out odd board games. Since people bring a bulk of them, which can be lent then and there.
Table top RPG’s, my personal favorite. Essentially a game master cook up a scenario in a setting, then people sign up to partake in that story.

I had one hell of a time playing Paranoia, a fantastic game about conspiracy, secret organizations and clones gone wrong. 

Now I should also mention the various card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh! Pokemon, Cardfight Vanguard and many others. Including a Norwegian favorite  Magic The Gathering. Often followed by a tournament of said game. It’s a good place to find players. Daniel (Rose) found someone to play Yu-Gi-Oh with, a rarity in Norway.


I did also held a chill and impartial cosplay competition. Due to few costumed people actually showing up, I just gave them prices accordingly to my specifications. Which weren’t three handcrafted Necronomicon’s.

There was also very nice workshop for learning how to paint table top figurines, held by an organist which specialize in miniature gaming. Which was also a wholesome activity to participate in. 

Regncon also invested in beads. Those hollow plastic cylinders you put on top of a spiked board. Then fuse then together with an hot clothing iron.

Someone even brought a button making machine. It’s a fascinating contraption to behold.

At least two video game completions where held as well. One revolved around Tekken, that combo heavy fighting game with quirky characters, beating the snot out of each other.

Same holds true for the more fast and fluid brawler Smash Bros.

Personal thoughts from Daniel, I enjoyed the convention. I won a bag of Smash a Norwegian chocolate in a smash brothers tournament. Because why the fudge not, the old Yugi player I played against is a old friend, he ran glad beasts and my Blue-Eyes feasted upon him and his soul and it was absolutely a wonderful time in competitive and casual gaming then I spend the rest of the day taking these photos you see here and painting a miniature, I ultimately really enjoyed Regncon 2017 and hope everyone gets to visit Regncon in the future.

Njål Sand

 

Haven Review: Spirit Sphere

What do classic Game Boy color games have in common with Spirit Sphere? The visual appearance and color pallet. Which not many people can pull off properly for a game, which results in poor design, and gameplay. However Spirit Sphere is none of these with excellent design, and a visual appeal I absolutely love due to its classic look.

Spirit Sphere in it of itself is a very simple game with pong like gameplay, a sphere shows up and you use your sword to hit it back to the other side. However the sword is only one of the aspects of the game with various characters to choose from and unique weapons to use the game has a very character based aspect to it because no two characters are alike.

The aspect of the game as I have mentioned is like Pong where you hit the ball and try to score a point and even on Normal mode its quite challenging as I was getting my face handed to me by what looks like a very sinister wizard named Ozo.

During the games you play you can collect power ups to make winning easier from a bow, to bombs it feels like its screaming Links Awakening to me although its nothing like that, well apart in its visual appearance anyways. Another thing that ends up dropping in games is coins which you can use to get unlockable things from a beautiful fountain you can visit as well.

But I think one of the best features of the game so far is that it has a multiplayer feature, although the multiplayer is local-multiplayer only which I find a bit disappointing. Because I do think the game would do very well with a Online Multiplayer feature for people who want to kill time and also have a good time with friends.

The game even offers controller support to make playing it even easier, which makes me really wish I had a controller again because its one of those things that I am greatly lacking at this point in time.
Don’t get me wrong the game is very enjoyable but trying to handle this on a keyboard for me is incredibly difficult and quite hard to pull off.

I even enjoy the upbeat music to the game which sounds incredibly accurate for the era they are trying to represent. In conclusion though the game just screams retro, and not like most pixel-art games today where just because they have sprites they think its retro.Spirit Sphere is a game that takes the designs of a true retro based game’s and brings it to life for modern PC gaming.

-Daniel Clatworthy

 

Haven Review: Downwell

DownwellTitleFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

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downwell intro scene

Highway to the bottom of the well.

It’s a long dark shaft that stretches far into the abyss. Everywhere there are gruesome monsters and convenience stores. Don’t question the logic too hard. After all, the player uses gun boots to cushion the fall and to kill monsters. Stomping on things also helps to beat the monsters, unless they’ve got spikes or are on fire. The more things killed in a row without touching solid ground grants a bigger bonus and unlocks an achievement. As gems are collected from rocks or fallen foes, a “gem-high” meter fills up. As long as gems are collected and kills are preformed, it will make the attacks a lot more powerful and potentially turn the player into a drunken fool when it runs out.

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Color palette unlock example.

Since the levels and power-ups are randomized, there is no telling what kind of power-up you might find. Laser beams, shotguns and food are examples. It’s very easy to control. You have left, right and jump, which also fires the guns when airborne. Between each level there are three random bonuses to choose from. Don’t question the logic of laser sights under your soles. After every four levels the player arrives at a new setting, with other enemies and different music. At the bottom there is a boss and after that there is a hard mode to unlock, which turns everything up to “11”! There are also a lot of challenges for achievement hunters. Due to the nature of the game, you will die a lot. Every enemy takes a tick of your precious life bar, which can be refilled though stores and pickups.

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downwell palette example

Each enemy you kill without landing increases the combo counter. Can you get to 100?

When dying in Downwell after taking too many hits, an experience gauge is filled and new color schemes and styles are unlocked. Each style provides different bonuses, while the palettes are your colors. Examples include green, blue and all grey. The graphics are simple and only have two colors at any given time. It’s the game I wish was on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) as I grew up. It’s fun, simple and extremely addictive. Did I mention that it’s dirt cheap on Steam? Music and sound effects have a good impact to them and fit in nicely. Though at times the music can be off key and a bit of an ear worm. Yet it’s instantly recognizable.

Downwell it’s addictive and fun, very much so. You have been warned. The controls are stupidly simple as well. Left right and jump, which also fire the gun boots when airborne.

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I hope it ends “well”.

 

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It’s essentially a very good time-sink that anyone can pick up and play. If you need more proof, take a look at my “first impressions” video:

Since the game is on Steam, I just have to provide a link.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/360740/

Check out this fine peddler of independent wares.

http://www.devolverdigital.com/

Incidentally, the development team made a home page for the game.

http://downwellgame.com/

Njål Sand