Game-related ramblings.

Tag: ScottGames

Indie Time: Iffermoon

A while back I posted about The Desolate Room, a game that never quite grabbed me. I’ve argued before that bad games can still be worth playing if they’re interesting enough, and there were in fact some interesting mechanics at the hart of The Desolate Room, but the game’s flaws outweighed these for me. I was left, however, with an interest in checking out the newer offerings from ScottGames, like the fairly recent sequel, The Desolate Hope. But rather than jump right to their most recent release, I decided to go through the ScottGames catalog in order, which meant starting with their next game, Iffermoon.

Iffermoon, like The Desolate Room, could be classified as a Japanese-style role-playing game due to its party-based, separate-screen battle system full of charge bars and special abilities. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Outside of combat, the player guides Silence, the young protagonist, through the various locales of the planet of Dinostria in side-scrolling fashion, stopping to chat with the diverse inhabitants and collecting various items along the way. There’s no real platforming; the side-view is merely the method for traveling around, and acts as a showcase for the strikingly imaginative and beautiful locations as well as some really fantastic character designs for the people you will meet. These, as well as the rather unorthodox story, were the main draws for me.

One That Got Away: The Desolate Room

Several weeks ago I saw a post on the blog about The Desolate Hope, a new freeware game from ScottGames. My first thought was, “is this a sequel to The Desolate Room?” And indeed it is.

The Desolate Room is a very odd freeware role-playing game that I heard about several years ago. With a cool art style and a coffeepot robot protagonist who delves into the memory chips of the other wrecked robots on his tiny island, it certainly seemed intriguing. But I didn’t get far before giving up in frustration. Lots of little aspects of the design combined to stifle my enjoyment, and the game simply never clicked with me.

I did, however, remain intrigued by it. It was one of those games that I wanted to like, just because it’s so different and peculiar, so it stuck in my memory despite the problems I had with it. With the sequel garnering no small praise from a few critics, I decided perhaps it was time to revisit The Desolate Room, to see if I was right to put it down or if there’s a gem somewhere in there after all. So I gave it another go, and this time I managed to stick it out.

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