February 24, 2024

40. Blame it on the spiders

We're finally back after a long sickness period! Our post-afflicted selves this time look at Yeti Mountain (Commodore 64), Kudzu (Gameboy) and Dead Tomb (NES). Naturally there is plenty of other talk including Baldur's Gate 3, the recent endeavours of Wiedo and his Celeste map, and news with a brand new Genesis/Megadrive handheld, a new Atari 400 mini and much more!

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  • Kudzu
    49.99 USD
    | Get it here

    Kudzu offers a nostalgic yet innovative take on the Game Boy adventure genre, immersing players in the role of Max, a dedicated gardener on a quest to tackle an invasive plant menace. Echoing the spirit and gameplay mechanics of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, it combines exploration, engaging puzzle-solving, and combat within a beautifully crafted pixel art setting. The game shines with its clever puzzles that encourage strategic thinking and environmental interaction, though it encounters shortcomings in its combat mechanics and sound design, where inconsistent hit detection and sparse audio effects may detract from the overall experience.

    Moreover, technical issues and the reliance on flip-screen navigation could pose challenges for players used to more seamless transitions. Despite these obstacles, Kudzu remains a heartfelt tribute to the Game Boy era, blending a compelling narrative with inventive gameplay elements like gardening tools that serve as both weapons and puzzle-solving aids. It’s a blend of the familiar and the new, offering a journey that’s as refreshing as it is reminiscent of past gaming glories, appealing to both retro enthusiasts and newcomers looking for an adventure with a classic feel.

  • Yeti Mountain
    8.99 USD
    | Get it here

    Celebrated as a groundbreaking fusion of RPG, skiing, and platform genres (courtesy of Protovision), this game offers a compelling narrative spread across three acts, centered on the mysterious disappearances of skiers on Yeti Mountain, rumored to be the home of the mythical Mekhteh monster. Players embark on a multifaceted journey, starting with an RPG-like exploration of the ski resort to gather clues, leading to investigative interviews and, ultimately, uncovering the truth behind the legend.

    The gameplay intricately blends engaging RPG elements with thrilling skiing sections, offering a variety of challenges from avoiding obstacles on downhill runs to mastering slalom gates and performing aerial tricks for points. However, the game’s unique genre hybrid might not cater to purists seeking a traditional RPG or skiing simulation experience, potentially limiting its appeal. Despite this, Yeti Mountain’s innovative gameplay, coupled with Protovision’s reputation for quality, makes it a standout title for those eager to experience a fresh and adventurous take on Commodore 64 gaming.

  • Dead Tomb
    59.99 USD
    | Get it here

    Set in a humorously conceived future where players embark on a time-travel mission that goes awry, Dead Tomb invites intrigue with its premise of landing on a pyramid and the ensuing quest to repair a spaceship using a giant diamond. Its inspiration from early text adventures, particularly the reference to Temporal Inc., underlines its commitment to capturing the charm and challenge of classic text-based gameplay. This commitment to authenticity is a significant draw for enthusiasts of the genre and those with a fondness for retro gaming experiences.

    However, Dead Tomb is not without its shortcomings. The game’s adherence to the conventions of early text adventures results in puzzle designs that can feel obtuse and frustrating by modern standards. The lack of modernized gameplay elements or quality-of-life improvements may alienate players unfamiliar with the rigid and unforgiving nature of its inspirations. While its unique distribution on the Video Way System adds a layer of historical curiosity, this aspect also limits its accessibility and appeal primarily to those with specific nostalgia for that platform. Despite these drawbacks, Dead Tomb stands as a testament to the enduring allure of point-and-click adventures, offering a window into the past for those willing to navigate its challenges.