Tag Archives: Puzzle Solving

Haven Review: RAMBOE

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Now this is one of those interesting games working on a pun for its name. In RAMBOE you are playing as a Ram! Named Boe! Because Boe was a renowned explorer who got eaten and his body devoured he found his soul roaming around in a depression and so he took over a Rams body and became RAMBOE!ram-boe-979615-h900 You get all that? Because I’m not repeating myself! The object of RAMBOE is to push blocks into a portal, these blocks posses the souls of people who have had the similar fate as Boe in which they no longer have a body and cannot move. So Boe pushes these blocks into the portals so the souls can be free again and weaken the giant Ice Giant who ate Boe’s body.

Now in terms of puzzle solving the game is fairly straight forward as it teaches you everything you need to know and how to play it. Such as staking multiple blocks on-top of each other, and how to solve the various and extensive puzzles that are put forth for you.

The one issue I found with the game though is that, the audio options don’t save outside of the main menu which has led to me talking very loud. Which you can see at the end of this article in the let’s play video we got attached.unnamed

The music is nice as is voice acting although the speech can be a little hard of hearing at times. Due to the persons accent as they try to speak. But these are things that can be easily rectified. The game visually looks a bit clunky, don’t get me wrong though the game itself plays nice and its color scheme is visually appealing but it feels like the animation could use a little work.

The game controls are also very sensitive at times making it hard to play as even the slightest touch will send me plummeting to my death. A smaller issue that could be rectified in my opinion just by making it so the character you control cannot fall to your death.

ram_boe_2In conclusion though, the game has the makings of a good puzzle game with a decent story it just needs some more fine tuning and polishing. It is available now and you can buy and play it, but we can only hope the developer will continue to support it and make it shine like it can.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
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Haven Review: Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma

Zero-Time-Dilemma-logo-Primer-PlayerNow I should mention that Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma  is the first Spike Chunsoft title I have ever played and so with that statement let it be known. I am really enjoying myself so let’s jump right into the review now shall we?

The game is a decision game, a game of choice each with its own consequences and the player faces that quite often. Taking a page from the multiverse theory of multiple realities in which every outcome has actually happened whether good or bad.

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That being said I have played the game for a good while now and I have seen a lot of the results and it is brutal, each with its own unique story and continuation. Which ultimately affects the overall gameplay giving me the player a very unique experience. It is further enhanced also by letting the player go back and redo certain scenarios over again until you have more favorable outcomes.

But lets talk a bit more about the game itself, the game is launching on the Nintendo 3DS, the Sony PSVita, as well as Windows through Steam and we were playing the Steam version. Although a bit buggy I suspect in the future that those issues will be fixed. You can have anti-aliasing support and a few extra graphic settings to make the game run more favorable on your system. But ultimately my experience with that was not so great as no matter what option I choose the game lagged and stuttered and it ran very poorly. Which is also notable in our videos as you watch and the characters lips are all out of sync as well.ZTD_GameBoxes-632x399

another issue I found was a small audio bug where the game would not save your options from BGM, SFX, and character voices. You could lower the volume to these but unless these settings are changed while you were actually playing and had a free use of the options menu during game-play your settings would not be saved.asdf

Now the characters all seem one-sided in their personalities and for me that seems is a bit of a disappointment. You got one guy who is always angry, one guy who is always calm, one girl who is super shy, one girl who is super calm but with a steer demeanor, I could go on but I’d rather not.  The characters don’t really have any unique traits that make me want to like them more apart from their visual appeal and none of them stand out to me in my head mentally.

But, that does work overall with the premise of the game. Where the only means to escape the place you are being held is to kill off up to six other characters to get passwords to open up a sealed door which will lead to your escape. You don’t feel tied to any character or try to save them because of how bland they are and you become more okay with their one-sided character traits to the point where you actually get a jolly out of killing them off.2016-02-22-193445.0

A lot of the issues I’ve run into in the game are minute and small problems but are easily overlooked as the gameplay of the game standouts a lot and has a lot of branching paths from which the player can choose different means of surviving in games to the death and the choice of being able to experience all of the outcomes is really amazing.

The music also really helps set the tone of the game as well as when things boil down to decision time where the player has to choose the outcome that they will live with and not know the results until after it happens. The worst part of that though the intense problem solving you got to do at times where in the end the player could ultimately face death even after doing everything you possibly can to stay alive.

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In conclusion though the game offers a unique and varying experience and is definitely one of the more unique titles we have had the privilege of playing. Which I can only really say I hope you pick up a copy upon its release as it is really good despite its few flaws that I mentioned.

You will enjoy putting all the one-sided characters to death and not regret doing it not even a tiny bit.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

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Haven Review: Spheria

SpheriaFirst 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.

Marble-rolling games occupy a special niche in the arcade game genres. Players typically take the role of a tiny ball, rolling and careening its way around obstacles and pitfalls on the way to an exit point  The game we have for you today is slightly different. It’s called Spheria; developed by Daydream Software and published by Black Shell Media.Spheria1In Spheria, the “marble” is actually a large, heavy medicine ball. Using either keyboard or mouse, the idea is to navigate compact, yet tricky tabletop maps. Positioned precariously on each map is a series of checkpoints. You must roll the ball over each in order to unlock the exit. Now here’s where it gets interesting. The checkpoints don’t instantly light up the moment you encounter them. You must stop and linger for a second as they power themselves up. This is not as easy as it sounds, for the surrounding blocks and maze walls will do whatever they can to stop you!
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The first obstacle you’ll encounter are the basic building blocks. Green blocks turn yellow when you bump into them. Yellow blocks turn red, and red blocks simply disappear when struck, leaving a gaping hole in the floor. As with most marble games, you don’t want to fall off the map if you can help it. Another type of obstacle is the blue block.

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As in another famous puzzle game, blue is the color of repulsion; it will bounce your ball away upon contact. Unfortunately, you can’t simply avoid these blocks. Some checkpoints are nestled within groups of these bouncy nemeses!

Next, let’s examine the flooring. Most tiles are a plain gray (safe) color. However there are others to watch out for. Muddy tiles will slow you down. Icy tiles are slippery and will alter your direction of movement. Arrow tiles only allow passage in the direction they point. One of my favorite sequences involves reaching a checkpoint guarded by blue blocks and arrow tiles!Spheria5By far the trickiest mechanic I’ve come across is the dissolving floor. Green tiles are safe, but only for a short time. They quickly turn red, warning you of their impending disappearance. If you’re on a tile when it vanishes, you’ll be dropped off the map into oblivion. So you can see how levels which combine all of the aforementioned elements may get frustrating, but at the same time very rewarding when solved.Spheria4aIs there anything the player can do to acclimate to the game’s demanding skill? Indeed there is; it’s called the tutorial! These entry-level maps do a great job teaching you about the physics of the game, and the accompanying boundaries.Spheria6

So overall, is Spheria worth it? Priced on Steam at $4 (USD), the answer is yes. Despite the game’s inherent trickiness (so prevalent in arcade titles), Spheria‘s addictive nature will keep you returning for more. Add in it’s 22 Steam achievements and you have a fun, beer-and-pretzels arcade leveler with lots of replay value!

-Chris Roberts-SpheriaScale