Gamescom started! And since we can’t go there physically, gamescom is coming to us instead, virtually. I don’t mind at all, though, since Cologne is too far away from us now and we wouldn’t go there anyway. A few weeks ago, I said to bookahnerk how I’d love for them to create a kind of virtual place where you can walk from booth to booth with the developers presenting trailers, demos etc. – And they did create something like that: You can explore the participating indie games in Gamescom’s Indie Arena Booth!
I chose to take a quick look at four game demos from there.
To The Rescue! (Steam Link)
I had been looking forward to this game, but was disappointed by the demo. The main reason is that it felt too busy and stressful. You simply could not clean the kennels and the dogs, feed and water the dogs, build new kennels, place new dogs into kennels and take care of visitors wanting to adopt a dog. Once the shelter closes for the day, the next day starts. I think having time to take care of the dogs then would help a lot. Also, the timer should pause at certain times. For example, when you’re looking at a dog’s info panel. As it is, the game was too stressful for my hand because I constantly had to move my character around and click on things.
Thankfully, the developers are also aware of this and will include settings to slow down the game in the future. I will not remove it from my wishlist yet. I just didn’t expect a race against time-kind of game, but rather a relaxing little simulation game where you will need to make important decisions. Still, the game is cute and I like the topic itself. I just now know that I will have to look at it very carefully before buying to see whether I can actually play it with my aching hand.
Krikket from Nerd Girl Thoughts also shared her impressions about To The Rescue!, which are quite similar to mine.
Gamedec (Steam Link)
I put this game on my wishlist some time ago, so I was really happy to see I can try the demo now. It also already has an option for windowed fullscreen – it’s the little things that make me happy. You get to make a few decisions right at the beginning and apparently, this will influence your game. Choosing your prior profession will enable or disable certain options in conversations or actions you can do. Other than that, I haven’t yet noticed anything, but that’s a given because the demo is very short. I really liked the setting of the world – virtual worlds vs. reality, which one is better, for example – and the first case I started to take care of also seemed interesting enough. There is a mechanic during interrogations that will make somebody trust you or – I guess be scared of you – and this may also unlock certain information from the person you’re talking to. The demo was much too short if you ask me and I would have loved to continue playing. However, this is exactly how I determine whether I want to buy a game or not. Gamedec stays on my wishlist and I am really looking forward to its release!
Lucifer Within Us (Steam Link)
Another detective game – this time, with daemons. So you are basically an exorcist. You get to interrogate people who will tell you what happened. You will find evidence and need to check the statements of the suspects to find lies. The big problem here is that murderers are possessed by daemons, so even usually friendly and peaceful people can turn out to be the murderer. It is well done and certainly seemed interesting. I like detective games and don’t mind them having a surreal fantasy setting with demons. I managed to solve the first case but will not tell you anything about it, of course! This one case is the demo, after all, and I don’t want to put any spoilers here. I also added this game to my wishlist, but I am not sure I am as sold as I am with Gamedec. I like that you can make deductions here and even falsely accuse somebody without facing negative consequences. What I didn’t like too much was trying to figure out which thing (conversation, evidence, person) I can click on when to ask or contradict the person I am talking to. It may get easier once you’re used to it. But a few parts were “discovered” by me simply by accident and not because I thought I would uncover somebody’s lie by clicking on things.
Once again, Krikket also wrote about this demo – so, if it sounds like an interesting game, head over to her blog post about it!
Coffee Talk (Steam Link)
I admit, a game with “coffee” in its title is enough to make me check it out. It is basically a visual novel – or rather, a “talking simulator” as the developers call it. You get to know your customers and serve them coffee, tea etc. I am not sure yet whether you actually get to do anything, make any choices etc. You have to serve your customers the right beverage, but other than that, it’s been only clicking through dialogue. This game is released already (in January 2020), so there are several reviews written. 93 % positive reviews since the game’s release certainly sounds promising. I didn’t get the impression that it’s a bad game. But as much as I like visual novels, I want to have some kind of influence over what’s happening or at least get the feeling that I’m… investigating something? That there is an overarching story that I’m exploring. But here, it feels just as the game says: You are a barista in your café and listen to your guests’ stories. There may be an overarching story that my character is involved in, but the demo didn’t show it. I think I am going to pass on this one.
So, a quick first look showed me that two games that already were on my wishlist will stay there with one being highly anticipated now! Another game got added to the wishlist and the fourth isn’t something I am going to pick up. But it wasn’t a waste of time either!