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Tag / Computer Games

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Kentucky Route Zero – Acts I & II.

Kentucky Route Zero is an indie episodic point and click adventure game, developed and published by Cardboard Computer. Revealed on Kickstarter back in 2011, the developer had to reach a goal of USD 6,500, but managed to raise USD 8,583. Kentucky Route Zero was planned for release in late 2011, but as with every single game development project ever, that never happened and eventually the game was instead split into 5 episodes with the first one released in January 2013 and the second in May.

The game’s story revolves around a secret highway in Kentucky and the mysterious folks who travel it. The player controls Conway, an antique furniture deliveryman, as he attempts to complete the final delivery for his financially troubled employer. Along the way he’ll meet dozens of strange characters and make a few new friends to help him overcome the obstacles in his path. Gameplay in Kentucky Route Zero is slow-paced, focusing on exploring new environments and talking with new people. Thankfully, “slow” doesn’t equal “boring”. The story is very well written, and although the player seems to have no way of affecting the outcome at all, it’s a pleasure to discover everything along the way.

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Papers, Please.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be one of those border checkpoint drones? Do you want to be just like them and have the ultimate power; the power to stamp or not to stamp? Of course you do.

And now you finally can, thanks to indie developer Lucas Pope and his game Papers, Please. The game puts you in the shoes of a nameless citizen of Arstotzka, a fictitious, dystopian Eastern European cold war country. The October labor lottery is complete, your name was pulled and you’re now a border inspector at the Grestin border checkpoint. It’s your job to make sure that only people who are allowed access to the glorious nation of Arstotzka actually cross the border.

Being a border inspector requires a lot of attention to detail, and the rulebook provided by the Ministry of Admission grows quite thick as the game progresses. Thankfully, Papers, Please does a good job of easing you into the rulebook. It starts out easy, with a simple passport and entry ticket check, but after a few days of in-game time your desk will be cluttered with documents on each arrival: Passport, identity supplement, entry permit, work permit, diplomatic papers, vaccination papers – you name it. And you have to pay attention to everything, miss a vaccination card discrepancy and the game might be over.

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Kickstarted.

It’s been a good 18 months now since I backed my first Kickstarter project, “Make Leisure Suit Larry come again!“. That campaign was a raging success, raising a sweet $150,000 more than was actually needed to get Leisure Suit Larry to come again. After long months of waiting and a few delays, the Kickstarter backers were finally able to enjoy the reloaded version of the first Leisure Suit Larry games when Larry came again in June, and Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded was released.

Even though the Kickstarter campaign was a success, the game saw mixed reviews in the video game press. Personally, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d thought I would, either, as I pointed out in my review. Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded was unfinished, unpolished and perhaps a childhood memory that had been best left as just that; a memory. But even if the resurrection of Larry Laffer felt a bit like a dud, I continued to support Kickstarter campaigns.

As of right now I’ve supported no less than 9 additional campaigns, and some of the looks really promising! Here’s a quick look at the ones that has seen the most progress since they were funded.

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Shadowrun Returns.

Way back in 1989, FASA Corporation, publisher of role-playing games, wargames and board games, released the first version of Shadowrun, a science fantasy tabletop role-playing game. It was cross-genre, taking elements from both cyberpunk and urban fantasy and putting the player in a world where humans co-exist with elves, dwarfs, trolls and other exotic races, where magic and cyberware are common and the Matrix1) is accessed by deckers, jacking into the network with cyberdecks connected directly to their brains.

I was introduced to Shadowrun while attending middle school by some older friends of mine with long hair and/or glasses who were heavily into tabletop role-playing games. Over the years we tried many different games, like Vampire The Masquerade and the GURPS system, but Shadowrun was always the one we returned to and the game that gathered most players. Shadowrun has continued to thrive since its release as one of the most popular tabletop role-playing games and in July 2013, Shadowrun Fifth Edition was released.

The Shadowrun universe has spawned a massive amount of properties, including action figure games, two magazines, over 50 novels and four more or less successful video games. The latest video game installment, Kickstarter-backed Shadowrun Returns, was just recently released and this is my quick and dirty review.

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Leisure Suit Larry in etc, etc: Reloaded.

How well does the Reloaded version of Al Lowe’s adventure game Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards stack up against the original?

Back in April last year, Replay Games surfaced on Kickstarter with the news that they’d managed to convince long time conjurer of dirty jokes Al Lowe to come out of retirement for this top-to-bottom re-imagining of his 25-year-old graphic adventure game, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards.

The game puts the player in the driver’s seat of the story of Larry Laffer, a middle-aged, balding man trying to seduce attractive women. Larry was a nerdy geek all his life and eventually became a computer programmer. He now finds himself in Lost Wages, in front of the bar Lefty’s, with a bottle of breath spray and $94 dollars in his wallet.

I guess I was around 12 years old when I played the original Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards with my friends and even though we never managed to leave Lefty’s, Larry introduced us to new words from the English vocabulary, like “mount”. I think we even got our hands on an uncensored version at some point, but in all its EGA resolution glory, I doubt we really noticed any difference.

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