Tag Archives: digital

Haven Review: Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps

   “Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-“is the first part of a visual novel game set in an all girls missionary school in japan. You follow Suoh Shirahane from her arrival at this school, and in her quest to overcome personal challenges and make friends.

Suoh is a very shy, kind and beautiful girl with a passion for books. Growing up very isolated from other children made her long for friendship. Her choice for joining this school was their friendship program. Where all students will be assigned compatible friends to share dorm rooms with while they live at the school. Suoh tries her best to navigate the social scene to get the friends she desperately wants, which causes her some embarrassment at times. But she learns from these experiences and moves on, and friendships starts to blossom in her life. Being around all the different people at school also has some darker sides, and makes memories of her childhood come back to her throughout the story, and you gradually learn more about Suohs past.

The game is a simple “click your way through” the story, and will also give you opportunities to make decisions that will have an effect on Suohs life.  So you as a player will determine this girl’s path through her time at the school while you make lifelong decisions and solve mysteries, all while fulfilling the responsibilities as a student.

Flowers is a very pretty game, with wonderful art and also with nice background music. They also used voice actors for this game, which makes it even more immersive and interesting to play. If you like anime/manga in a school setting, or you like quality manga art, you might want to give this game a try.

Personally I enjoy this game, but in moderate portions. Playing for too long became a little boring for me, it can be a bit slow, but then again it is a visual novel. But I do find myself wondering what is going happen to Suoh and return to the game to continue her story. I have yet to play many visual novel games, so I cannot compare this to others. But I do enjoy “Flowers”, and I personally would recommend it and feel it is worth buying.

“Flowers -Le Volume sur Printemps-“is the first part of a visual novel game set in an all girls missionary school in japan. You follow Suoh Shirahane from her arrival at this school, and in her quest to overcome personal challenges and make friends.

Suoh is a very shy, kind and beautiful girl with a passion for books. Growing up very isolated from other children made her long for friendship. Her choice for joining this school was their friendship program. Where all students will be assigned compatible friends to share dorm rooms with while they live at the school. Suoh tries her best to navigate the social scene to get the friends she desperately wants, which causes her some embarrassment at times. But she learns from these experiences and moves on, and friendships starts to blossom in her life. Being around all the different people at school also has some darker sides, and makes memories of her childhood come back to her throughout the story, and you gradually learn more about Suohs past.

The game is a simple “click your way through” the story, and will also give you opportunities to make decisions that will have an effect on Suohs life.  So you as a player will determine this girl’s path through her time at the school while you make lifelong decisions and solve mysteries, all while fulfilling the responsibilities as a student.

Flowers is a very pretty game, with wonderful art and also with nice background music. They also used voice actors for this game, which makes it even more immersive and interesting to play. If you like anime/manga in a school setting, or you like quality manga art, you might want to give this game a try.

Personally I enjoy this game, but in moderate portions. Playing for too long became a little boring for me, it can be a bit slow, but then again it is a visual novel. But I do find myself wondering what is going happen to Suoh and return to the game to continue her story. I have yet to play many visual novel games, so I cannot compare this to others. But I do enjoy “Flowers”, and I personally would recommend it and feel it is worth buying.

-Ingelin Gridset

Haven Review: Enter the Gungeon

EnterTheGungeonTitleFirst 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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Defiantly not Vulcan Raven.

Enter the Gungeon

Play as a shady gunslinger stuck in a gun-themed dungeon, where living bullets are armed with guns that shoot bullets…and that’s only the first room. In fact there are several gunslingers to pick from, with some unique starting options and passives.

Tutorials are for chumps; here is all you need to know. One stick is for moving, the other is for aiming and every hero has a gun that shoots projectiles. They all come with a “dodge roll” and can have an extra item equipped. They also have a fancy bullet-stopping area attack.

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A gun that shoots the word bullet.

The game is quite simple, highly intuitive and extremely addictive, in both single player and coop modes.

In this randomly generated “gungeon”, virtually everything will try to kill you unless you shoot first. If you can’t kill it, you’re obviously not using enough bullets! That being said, not every weapon uses conventional ammo. Even a simple water gun is deadly and good for quenching fireplaces and things that throw Molotovs, or pesky items afire.

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There is always something going on.

The most brilliant gun I’ve found so far is the love gun. It shoots nice things, including hearts and squeaky teddy bears. With a little luck it charms enemies as well. Too bad the gun and item drops are completely random, just like the room layout and enemy setup. Rooms usually contain an assortment of things, such as debris, flippable tables, and movable barrels. Naturally, this means that red ones go boom. The most annoying thing with Enter the Gungeon is that there exist suicide bombers. Fortunately they’re easy to dispatch and will probably blow up adjacent enemies.

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Watersports and runaway minecarts.
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Yet another stupid death.

Each floor has a boss and most have a store, as well. Eventually savvy players will realize that it’s possible to reveal floor shortcuts and find many unlockable goodies. Even the first floor can be a challenge, and enemies will most likely succeed at killing you. It’s a top down game where some luck, skill and a lot of patience is needed to progress. Enter the Gungeon is drawn in that lovely pixel art which is so popular these days, and it works wonders. Despite the easy controls and solid mechanics, this game will kick your ass hard and you will die a lot. Luckily, it’s possible to unlock shortcuts and other hidden goodies. But those take some luck and a lot of skill to access, since the bosses drop a special currency. Trust me, each and every boss is unique and hard. This means they will gobble you up and spit you out; then do it all over again.

Don’t let the sprites of the gungeon fool you. A lot of effort was put into the graphics, and it shows. Each room is littered with stuff to destroy. Debris are mostly permanent and can be scattered about with explosions. Many of the gungeon’s rooms provide teleporters. These devices allow you to fast-travel around the map; as long as you’re not currently engaged in combat, that is.20160415210749_1

The room you’re in will be “locked off” during shootouts. The soundtrack for Enter the Gungeon is quite catchy and brilliantly captures the feel and style of the game. It can be bought separately, or in a bundle. The same goes for the sound effects. They make just enough noise not to become annoying. Personally, I enjoy the hell out of this game. However the premise and execution is not necessarily for everyone.

GUngeojn

http://store.steampowered.com/app/311690/

Njål H Sand

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