First, a word for the newbies to this series. These are not reviews. I can not stress this point enough. In this series I pull three games at random from my Greenlight queue. I then answer the core question of Steam Greenlight: would you buy this game if it appeared on Steam?
With that said, let’s reach into the chum bucket and see what we get.
Gravity Core by Gravity Games
“Gravity Core is an Anti-Casual Braintwisting (sic?) Space Shooter focusing on combining the direct training of coordinative abilities with the fun of fighting in a modern space shooter accompanied by a psychotic artificial intelligence.”
I suppose this is what happens when a rail shooter, a space combat sim, and that Japanese game show, Hole in the Wall have a threesome and somebody forgets to use protection. It’s an odd concept, yet I’m intrigued. I think there’s room for this game to be fun, but I don’t know how long that fun would last. The challenge of beating a global ranking isn’t usually enough to make me run the same level over and over. I’ll do it for Race the Sun, but only because that reminds me of Wipeout and it offers a new track every day.
With respect to Gravity Core’s abusive AI, I think it is treading into the realm of Portal and System Shock 2. It takes a special kind of writing to have a game mock its players without alienating them, as was the case in the aforementioned games. It’s hard to tell if Gravity Core has the tone quite right, but I’m nonetheless interested in finding out.
Gravity Core gets points for being different from the pack. Ultimately, I think it has all the makings of a game I would buy on a Steam sale.
Evolutionesque TD by Levahound
Just what the name says, evolution…
12 towers at the moment! Each with 3 forms…”
(Author’s note: this is all the game has by way of a pitch or description. The rest of its promotional copy on Steam is a list of the various towers this particular tower defence game employs)
My Thoughts – which I shall express in the form of a letter to the developer
The internet is a cold and merciless place, apt to sling venom and vitriol at people who have not yet mastered their craft. I say this principally because I admire the courage you show in putting your work out there. I also say this because there are a few things that tell me you are not ready for the big league just yet.
First, you haven’t written any actual descriptive copy for your game. Second, your trailer uses music that has nothing to do with the game. Additionally, I doubt you paid the appropriate royalties to use that particular piece of music. Third, the trailer itself appears to be made in windows movie maker. None of these things give me confidence in your final product.
You’re also competing in a sub-genre that is a dime a dozen. Despite the talent and effort you invested in this project – which is no doubt considerable – you have done little to make your game stand out from the pack. Thus you give me no reason to part coin from hand. Furthermore, I don’t think there’s anything you can do to make me want to pay for this game, even if I am only looking at alpha footage.
Play more games, find something truly original, built it, and don’t release it until it is done.
Most importantly, don’t quit.
Cubicle Quest by Ian Isaro Games
“Cubicle Quest is a game about how life can suck. Dead end jobs, repetitive obligations, irritating coworkers… Cubicle Quest takes all of those things and turns them into enemies you can fight in an old-school RPG.
Adventuring in Cubicle Quest doesn’t earn you levels and gold to fight some great ancient evil. Every quest has an impact on your character’s life, whether it’s getting a promotion at work, finding new friends, or figuring out what you want to do in life. Gain allies and personal strength until you take on the forces keeping you in your cubicle!”
While I can appreciate the attempt at self-deprecating humour in the trailer, it didn’t land for me. Might I recommend replacing the text walls with a voice over for your next trailer. Similarly, I can see how this game might work for some people, but there’s nothing in either the pitch or the trailer that make me want to play, let alone buy, Cubicle Quest.
Ten years ago when I was fresh out of grad school and working tech support at a call centre, I probably would have loved this game. Now that I’m a little further along in my career, I don’t look at my work as something that is painful and alienating.
It’s also important to note that the subversive comedy of something like Office Space, which I suspect this game will channel to some degree, is a product of a different time. There are probably tens of thousands of people who would look at a 35-hour-a-week office job not as an oppressive thing, but the goal at the end of a quest. If a game wants to show me the tedious side of work, it needs to be something a little farther removed from The Office – Papers Please is a good example of this.
Though a valiant effort, Cubicle Quest is a pass for me.
And so ends another episode of Adam Versus Steam Greenlight. I’m off for the next two weeks, though there might be a few guest posts to the Page of Reviews while I’m recharging the batteries and finishing up a few projects.
Have a great rest of the summer. Thank you, gentle reader, for continuing to read my ramblings and rants.