Hey folks, it’s November which means that there has been an entire month in which I have done absolutely nothing on this website =S. I’m very sorry for the lack of content, but University hit me just a little harder than I expected, and while I’ve been (mostly) on top of the workload, it (plus mounds of procrastination) has somewhat detrimentally affected my free time. On the bright side, University has made it somewhat of a necessity for me to change my work habits and start actually doing the work when I should, not the night before it’s due. Seeing as there are no real deadlines for Shattered Pixel articles, there is no ‘night before’, which is both why content is so parse at the moment and why University should help me get this site updated more often.
Oh, and yes, the video review of Bit Trip Runner is still going to happen, eventually…
Anyway, I have a lovely series of dark and spooky games to show you over the next couple of days, to go with the Halloween vibe (shut up, I don’t care if I’m almost a week late), made by someone you may already know of. Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw, famed for his hilarious and oh so quotable Zero Punctuation review series is also a hobbyist game developer! Although most of his works are from many years ago, these pixelated games made using Chris Jones’s Adventure Game Studio have become cult classics, and with good reason. Although the gameplay of Yahtzee’s games is often clunky, Ben has proven himself (especially considering his lack of experience) to be quite skilled in generating tension and atmosphere.
Today I’m going to talk about Yahtzee’s two platformer/action games. The first of these games focuses on Yahtzee’s most popular character: Trilby.
Trilby: The Art of Theft takes place 2 years before the events of the horror game series Trilby is also involved in (more on that later), and tasks the player with pulling of daring heists and unraveling a giant conspiracy. Players deftly stealth through the abodes of the rich and powerful while nicking loot and influential information. As far as gameplay is concerned, Art of Theft is easily Yahtzee’s best game, but it lacks the characteristic deep story of Yahtzee’s other popular titles. Still, it serves as an excellent transition into Yahtzee’s style of art and storytelling. Although not scary, Art of Theft is still sufficiently dark to fit the Halloween theme. You can download Art of Theft Here, all of Yahtzee’s games are completely free.
The next game I have for you is 1213, which is Yahtzee’s first platformer game and is not only much darker in tone, but also far more story focused. Sadly it’s lack of focus on gameplay makes the mechanics of the game somewhat clunky. While not unbearable, 1213 suffers from poor control at times, and while this is largely mitigated by the game being designed with this in mind, it can be quite frustrating (you’ll know what I mean when you try a running jump). Despite it’s gameplay shortcomings, 1213 more than makes up for it with a great story told from the perspective of a sickly prisoner who can’t even remember more than the dimensions of his cell and the number a shadowy man in bright white glasses mockingly calls him by. Break free from your cell and discover the horrors of the world outside: a place that, should you have been able to remember, you may have wishing to simply hide from in your cell.
1213 is a great little game split into three parts, with a special edition packing them all into one and featuring a short prequel(which I personally recommend you skip on the first playthrough, it messes up early parts of the story’s pacing in my opinion) and commentary. The special edition used to cost $5, but is currently free as Yahtzee makes his money from Zero Punctuation now. 1213 (the game’s protagonist) must run, jump, shoot, explore, and (most importantly) survive in order to unravel the mystery of his forgotten life while encountering all kinds of danger, both real and imaginary. Because of the fragile state of 1213′s mind and body, the very fabric of reality sometimes bends against him, and the forgotten and repressed evils of his mind become far more dangerous than any real obstacle.
1213 can be downloaded Here, do note that the game contains lots of pixilated blood and some really depressing and dark themes, mature players only! (Art of Theft should however be suitable for anyone.)
Click Here for part 2 of this Article