February 11, 2023

18. Drinking with the donkeys

Another whopping episode with so much to talk about! Off we go with a particular focus on Bulb (Gameboy Color), some Amstrad CPC 2022 competition picks and an in depth talk about Pio Pow (NES). We also express our love for Rogue64 (Commodore 64) and touch on the Wonderboy anniversay collection as well as Dwell 2 and Trophy for the NES/Switch.All this together with usual waffling: public transport saftey, fine dining and identity theft involving some sneaky fish all make the cut!

0:00:00 2:19:21
  • Bulb
    3.99 - 32.00 USD
    | Get it here

    This game introduces an innovative gameplay mechanic where the environment’s visibility is directly influenced by the player’s movements. As players navigate through the levels, the light diminishes, requiring them to memorize the layout of platforms and hazards. This feature not only challenges one’s memory but also adds a layer of strategic depth, as players must plan their moves carefully to avoid obstacles and enemies in the dark. Additionally, the game incorporates a unique combat element where players can acquire a single-use bullet to defeat enemies. This adds a tactical decision-making aspect, as players must choose when and on whom to use their limited ammunition. The levels are designed to gradually increase in complexity, introducing more intricate layouts and challenging players to use their brief moments of light effectively.

  • Rogue 64
    4.99 USD
    | Get it here

    Rogue 64 embodies the essence of rogue-like games with its procedurally generated dungeons and permadeath, where each playthrough offers a new layout and set of challenges. Players must navigate through dungeon levels, battling monsters and searching for keys to unlock further depths. The game employs a simple control scheme conducive to the Commodore 64 platform, allowing for fluid and intuitive gameplay. Combat is turn-based, requiring players to think strategically about their positioning relative to enemies. Each enemy type has distinct behaviors, adding variety and requiring different tactics to overcome. As players progress deeper into the dungeons, they encounter stronger enemies and more complex layouts, increasing the game’s difficulty and testing their strategic planning skills. The addition of random item drops, including weapons, health potions and random potions(!!), influences the gameplay dynamically, forcing players to adapt their strategies based on the resources available. This element of randomness ensures that no two runs are alike, enhancing the replay value of Rogue 64.

  • Pio Pow
    TBA (2024)
    | Get it here

    In this cute mind-bending world, players engage in a grid-based, turn-based strategy game where each move is crucial and directly affects the outcome. The levels are procedurally generated, ensuring a unique challenge each time the game is played. Players must find a key in each level to progress, which requires exploring the terrain and engaging with various enemies. The combat mechanic is straightforward yet requires strategic foresight; players attack by moving into adjacent squares to enemies, which also triggers enemy movement and counterattacks. This simultaneous action-reaction system demands careful planning and positional awareness. Furthermore, the game features items and abilities that can be used to manipulate the gameplay, such as freezing enemies or revealing the key holder, adding layers of strategic depth. The minimalist art style and focused gameplay loop make Pio Pow a a great puzzle and strategy game with a small rogue-lite touch and a retro Taito-esque aesthetic.