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ONE HUNDRED 32-bit shareware games for you and me to play

Published on The GiganticPingu Chronicle on 2/4/2024

And I purchased it for nintety-nine U.S. cents plus tax from the AbleLight Thrift Shop, formerly Bethesda Thrift Shop, in northcentral Wisconsin. This was scooped up alongside three "vintage" coffee mugs on which were printed various "Menard's" hardware store logo designs (a fortuitous find!) and a black knit sweater emblazoned with a garish pink/green flower design surrounding a single word: "HYPED." Picture of the haul to be shared in due time:


I've thought to chronicle the myriad of games included on this shareware superabundance along with my thoughts on some of them, which, starting with the next section, are colored in orange. I will update this as I make fun discoveries and try out more of the games (some aren't exactly compatible with today's hardware). As was common with small, often single-person projects from this time in the shareware space, the handiwork of the author is felt everywhere throughout this collection; little messages and easter eggs are scattered amongst included text files and menus, appearing like beacons in the night, inviting us to grasp hold of the developers' outstretched hands and join them on a highly personal journey. Of the more than 100 games included, five were described by the authors as some variation of "interesting." Other favorite descriptors include: "simple," "fun," and "great." The games are categorized thusly:


  • Blitzer: Save group of scientists from Alien Invasion Force. By Steve Sherman.
  • Bombman!: Remake of Classic Atari Game. By Geron T. Isreal.
  • Botz: Go Bot hunting in the Garden of Zardonia. Complete with Sound and Rendered Graphics. By WinGames, Inc.
  • Fractal Fighters: Drive your tank over Fractal Landscape and challenge your foe. By Giovanni Tummarell.

    [Fractal Fighers also receives my highest commendations simply for its starting menu. A wealth of gameplay options, statistics, and accompanying media. Check out that snapshot of Mr. Tummarell himself (from his Quickcam nonetheless!) Is the MIDI that plays an original composition? Listen and decide for yourself! Either way, it's an aural delight!]

  • SimFero: Outdraw your opponent...or else. By One on One.
  • Star Killer: Full 32 bit Windows Arcade shooter action game. Raytraced spirtes, 8 digital audio and WinG-powered graphics! Requires High or True Color Video. By W. Mike Hare.
  • World Empire IV: Successor to the Popular Game. By Viable Software Alternatives.


  • Amazing Maze: A Maze Game for Windows95. By Esa Myllyla.

    [This is basically the beloved character PAC-MAN if he was profoundly evil. This is the result of that beautiful yellow orb being corrupted so utterly that he no longer has any semblance of a conscience or soul, if he were transmogrified into a small drooling cherry tomato. It's PAC-MAN for ADULTS. The in-game rendition of Bach's Toccata and Fugue is appropriate because Amazing Maze is nothing more than a death march. You only have TEN DAYS to play this shareware before EVIL SALIVA-COVERED PAC-MAN POPS OUT OF YOUR COMPUTER. This game is twisted and sinister and there's no other way to put it.]

    [The whole thing reminds me of a character devised by a childhood friend of mine known as the "Evil Pringles Man." It was the Pringles man on the Pringles tubes but if he had a sinister glint in his eye. This is what Amazing Maze is. For these reasons I give it a perfect score.]

  • Archery: Simple Game of hitting the Applec core. By Hobbes.
  • ATR: Maneuver your ship to avoid the Roids. By J. Miles.

    [In-game menu says "ATR II"... you really can't trust anyone these days...]

  • Blackboard Ball Jump: Ring the bell!! By BlackBoard Software.
  • Boogaloopers: The Council has selected you as their special agent to clean up the Boogas in the Void. By Stick Man Games, Inc.

    [Perhaps the most well-made game of the lot. But challenging! One part Libble Rabble and one part Pokémon Ranger.]

  • Boom: You control Wizzard to gain more points than your opponent. By Applied Software.
  • Challenge Pool130: Great Game of Nine Ball. By Jiping Pang/Zheng Lee.
  • Dynamite Joe: Escape from jail via tunneling. By QC.
  • FaceOff: Try hitting the Happy Faces! By Robin L. Cheung.
  • Gazillionaire: Become a Gazillionaire in the Galaxy. By LavaMind.
  • Gopher Golf: Miniature game of golf. By B&B Software.
  • Gravballs: Interesting game of placing Ball in Pipeline. By Wayne Phillips.
  • Gravity Well: Interstellar war for Windows. Battle three computerized opponents. Fast paced game. By Software Engineering.
  • Ice Qube Hopper: Your goal is to bounce the hapless penguin Qubey up, down, and around the mazes of Qubes! By Elpin System.
  • Invaders95: Space Invaders for WIN95! By NanZarts.
  • Krypton Egg: The ultimate Break-Out!
  • Looney Labryinth: Looney Labyrinth is a pinball game that has SVGA graphics and supports Windows compatible sound cards.

    [I've always been intimidated by pinball tables. Oftentimes the visual design is so dense and complex that it overloads my senses. Not to mention that I've never really felt like I have a great deal of control over where the pinballs go. I would lament my lack of pinball prowess at the local pizza parlor Sam's Pizza over a delicious large pie, cut up into near-bite size squares. I am intimidated even by Looney Labyrinth, which aims to emulate the look and feel of those classic tables we all know so well. During my play session I managed to hit the jackpot and utterly destroy the minotaur. The announcer was shouting at me all the while. Well-made pinball fun!]

  • Lunar Basketball: Play basketball amoung the planets. By P.S. Neeley.
  • Penny's Arcade: Complete Shooting Gallery of Fun. Has Sound and 256 color rendered Graphics. By WinGames, Inc.
  • Peron 1.0: Tricky Game of Stearing Marbles. By Freelance Development.
  • Ping Collection: Four variations on the game of Ping. By Lionel/Y Lamoreaux.
  • Poolster 1.0: Interesting Pool Game, with Three Variations. By JHC SoftWare.
  • Prairie Dog Hunt: Shoot them varmits! By Division Software.
  • Roar: By 5212 Entertainment.
  • Sapiens: Adventure Game that take you back 100,000 years. By Diddler & Oliver Guillion.
  • Snake Byte: Try to eat all the apples and then exit. By Mike Fikes.
  • Snooker: Play two variations of the great game of Snooker. By Sushi Chandra.
  • Space Fighter: Pilot a fighter through space. By TCTesting.
  • Space Invaders96: Shoot the Space Invaders before they get you! By Leprechaun Software.
  • Space Mines: Recover Space Modules from dangerous mine fields. Requires Visual Basic to run. By Aamer and Adil Farooki.
  • Star Merc: Your job is to protect shipping lanes, and outposts throughout your assigned sectors of space. By DIVERSIONS SOFTWARE.
  • TC Virtual World: A 3D shoot-em-up game against tanks, planes and helicopters (Oh my!). By TCTesting.
  • Toni Tank Top: Help our Hero escape from the Mad Cows! By Tan Chai.

    [When you close the Toni Tank Top application a delightful goodbye animation pops up along with a song that honestly is a bit of a banger.]

  • Trek War: Pilot the starship! By TCTesting.
  • Wall-Up for WIN: Guaide different colored balls into different colored targets! By Soleau Software.
  • WarpCycle2: Sequel to WarpCycle which was based on the movie Tron. By Bjoem Ischo/Florian Schulte.
  • World Class Decathlon: Become a World Class competitor with this training program. By Magic Games.


  • Gemstorm: The storm has come and with it falling Gems. Your job is to keep the Gems from filling up the land. By Malachite.
  • Laster Blocks: Laser Blocks is a TETRIS like game. By Bela Von Hoffman.
  • Tiles & Tribulations: Catch falling colored tiles and drop them into bins in a logical manner. By Technological Computer Innovations Corp.

    [The smooth rotation of the falling blocks cements this game in a league of its own.]

  • Tiles32: Windows95 Game that allows you to create your own layout. By Ron Balewski.


  • 5 or More: Addictive Logic Game. By MidStream, Inc.
  • Arasan 4.0: Chess Playing Game for Windows95. By Jon Dart.
  • Bedtris 2: Intresting variant of Tetris. By One or Two Playing Game with Multiple Difficulties.

    [A variant of Tetris so "intresting" I had to forcibly close it via the task manager.]

  • Board Game for Windows: Board game for the whole family. By Lezlisoft.
  • Checkers without a Name: Checkers via the Internet. By Chuck Mason.
  • Chess: Chess for Windows 95. By Daryl Baker.
  • Chinese Checkers: Simple Game of Chinese Checkers. By Giles Khouzam.
  • Desk Drop: Fast paced game where the object is to match up three similiar tiles. By Soleau Software.
  • Diaggle for Windows: "Tetris" type game but on the diagonal! By Soleau Software.

    [I mean, it's Tetris type game, but on the diagonal. Whoa! Soleau Software keeps splurting out hit after hit. This is one I'd genuinely love to become a world-renowned professional in.]

  • Dots: Draw Lines to Close and Claim Squares. By Paradigms Lost.

    [I could open up my near-death Apple iPhone 7 at this very moment and challenge any number of my contacts to a losing battle of this game's variation via iMessage. Though I much prefer the penguin iceberg game.]

  • Go-Moku 95: Windows95 version of the 5-in-a-row game. By GoodGuys, Inc.
  • In the Pit: Interest Game that is very challenging. By VReal.
  • KopyKat:Interesting little game that taxes your memory. By BlackBoard Software.
  • Magic Squares 3.1: Simple Games of you against the Computer. By Fabrice Claes.
  • Mastore Mind 1.0:Mastore Mind is a complete computer implementation#of the traditional Master. By Norbert Mueller.
  • Omega 1.1: Intriging Numbers Game. By Kazushi Oernold.
  • Red vs. Blue: Strategic Board Game, you against the Computer. Needs 65000 colors. By Guilhem Mouton.
  • Secret Number: Guess the Number generated by the Computer or your Opponent. By Daren Cotter.
  • Tic Tac Toe: Old fashioned game for Windows 95. By Matthias Schussler.

    [The classic three-in-a-row game but if it was a twisted German prank and had the aesthetics of Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Das Spiel ist unestschieden! As if tic-tac-toe ever results in any other outcome.]

  • TurboGo: Windows95 version of the ancient game of GO. By Arnoud van der Loeff.
  • WinBrick.96: The aim of this game is to remove all removeable bricks from the desk and to get as many points as possible. By Stefan Kuhne.

    [Honestly a pretty good clone of Breakout. Although with any variation of the classic brickbreaker, the game is naturally at its most fun about 10 seconds in when you both have a lot of bricks and your ball is ricocheting off them in a satisfying manner. There are a surprising amount of power-up items. And better yet, when you lose your ball, there's a chance text will pop up saying "Please god, help this guy!" Neat!]

  • Xeno: Capture all opposing pieces so that your colors are on top. By Spudhead Software.


  • 101 Puzzle: Put together a puzzle of 101 Dalmatians. By Disney.

    [This demo version contains around only half of the advertised number of dalmatians. Shameful.]

  • 3d Maze: Generate and Solve Puzzles under Windows 95. By James L. Dean.
  • Annie's Craft: Combine learning with fun in craft projects. By dot.ware.
  • Arcadia: Six games in one. Spelling,Concertration,Memopy and more. By ALS.
  • Board Games for 2: Eight Board Games! Including Chess, Checkers, Fox & Hounds and more! By WinGames, Inc.
  • Crayola's Magic Coloring Book: Great Demo of Coloring Book. By IBM.

    [An absolute personal highlight. Everything I want out of a digital coloring book. Wacky sound bytes when selecting each color and utensil. An ocean setting so serene that if I didn't know I lacked fishy gills I would do everything to make a similar aquatic paradise my home. That Kathy Bates movie A Home of Our Own should have been about this dwelling right here. It should have been about the ocean dwellers. Anyways, here's a drawing I helped a certain egghead I'm fond of fill in. Check out the provocative color on that coral!

    [Moments before writing this, the clock I had hung up on the wall via a thumbtack and corkboard just fell and smashed to the ground in my kitchen. I'll go buy a new one at Target tomorrow.]

  • Dino Spell: Great Spelling Game for 7 to 12 year olds. By Dyno Tech Software.
  • Dyno Cardsv1.1: Card game for 5 to 9 year olds. By Dyno Tech Software.
  • Europe for Windows: Learn about our friends in Western Europe. By Torpedo Software.
  • Hangman: Computerized version of the old game of Hangman. By Jason E. Tenney.
  • Hansel & Gretel: Hanzel and Gretel with coloring program. Great! By Tellitagain.
  • Kids Pow Wow: Personal Communications for the Internet, designed for kids. By Tribal Voice.
  • Know Europe: Learn Capitals and Languages of Europe. By Creative Wonders.
  • Math Bee: Game that helps student learn math. By BMT Micro.

    [Such an earnest creation. It's little more than simple math problems, but with each correct answer you're rewarded with a voice clip telling you "that's right!" or "great job!" Any reference to the titular bee is limited to the starting menu. The game might have been known by "Add Bee" or "Addition Bee" at some point based on file names.

  • Math Mouse: Teaches Addition, Subtraction, Division and Multiplication in different way. By Hufnagel Software.
  • Paddle Battle: Try and Knock the Ball into the Goal. By Lawrence Goetz.
  • Pirate32: Create your own Pirate Ship with different Hull, Sails, Guns etc
  • Santa's Secret Valley: You are to protect Santa's Magic Sack, Magic Boots, and Magic Bell. By Alta Software

    [Wow, this completely stole the show for me. It's a first person point-and-click adventure full of charm, and the demo left me wanting more. Dreamlike in a manner reminiscent of the Rankin/Bass production The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. The art is impressive and sits among the coziest Christmas media. The writing isn't half bad either. You can find the full version of this game online in tons of places, and it seems the full thing is actually pretty fleshed out. The early version I played appears to have many graphical differences compared to later releases.]

  • Symme Toy: Neat program that teaches symmetrical art. By Hufnagel Software.
  • White Raven: Computerized version of the old game of Rook. By Syberdyne Systems.
  • Word Wacko: Word Substitution Program for your favorite stories. By Jim Knopf.
  • Zurks Rain Forest: Explore the mysteries of the Rain Forests. By Soleil Software.


  • Big Two and Friends: Play Popular card game against three computers. By Derel Fung.
  • Canasta 4.1: The Great Old Game of Canasta for Windows95 and NT. By Mark-Jan Harte.
  • Golf Patience: A Card Game for Golfers. By Arthur Crump.
  • Hardwood Solitaire: Beautiful renditionof Three popular Card Game. By Silver Creek Entertainment.
  • SoLaTor Suite 1: Free Games of Solitaire. By Howard Patch.


  • Ancient Ivory: Ancient dice game with nice graphics. By LatticWork Software Inc.
  • Bonus Wheel Slots: Three slot machines in one. By Ultisoft.

  • Eddies Yahtzee: Roll the Dice in this version of 5 card draw. By Eddie Sullivan.
  • Player's Choice Video Keno 1.5: The Old Game brought up to date for the computer. By Ron Dombroski.
  • Slots of Trivia v1.1: Sports Trivia in the form of a Slots Machine Game. By Ultimate Software.
  • SpyYatzy 1.0: Another version of popular Game. By Stefan Pettersson.
  • Wild Wizzard Slots v1.1: 3 Wheel-5 Payline Slot Game with Largest Slot Symbols ever seen. By Ultisoft.


  • Coloring Book for Windows: Great Program for Kids. By Russel Holloway.

  • DEMO

  • Enigma Cross for Windows 4.0: Solve and create your own acrostic puzzles. By Crosstown.
  • Race Demo: Demo of Little Racing Game. By SSoft.
  • Rats95: Kill the rats before they overrun the Maze. By Sean O'Conner.

    [The progenitor to Bad Rats?]


  • Dyno match v4.0: Memory Game for 5 to 9 year olds. By Dyno Tech Software.
  • States & Capitals: Great Game of learning the various States. By M&M Software.

    [And what a great game of learning the various States it is! If you don't have that episode of The Animaniacs handy, then this is a good option for a 7th grade social studies class too. And you get fun facts like a state's bird and flower. Wow! Try putting together a song about THAT!]


  • 3d Cubes: A 3d variation of 'Tetris'... By Maya.
  • Animal Square: Guess the position of 6 animals to beat the computer. By Dream Factory UK.

    [The ideal visual style. Windows 95 and Y2K aesthetic imitators wish they could capture this sense of whimsy.]

  • Apuzzle: Create your own puzzles from .bmp files. By Atur Jorge Azevedo Caralho.
  • Art Quiz: A Picture Puzzle program for Art Lovers! By Cascoly Software.
  • Bear: Try to put the Bear's Face back together. By Russell Sasanori.
  • BrainBreakers V2: Good puzzle to solve! By Juan Tijullio Tarradas.
  • Crypto 95: Great Cryptogram solver! By John B. Allen.
  • Dot to Dot Puzzles: Fun puzzle games for kids and adults! By Doodlebugs, Inc.
  • Frustration '96: This puzzle is only solved when all sides are blue...! By Bela Von Hoffman.
  • Peg Solitare: Try to remove all but one peg! By TC ConS Software.
  • Pic Tac Toe: Puzzle Game for Windows 95. By AHAI Software, Inc.
  • Puzzle 8: Variation of the old 8 tile puzzle. By PocketSized Software.
  • Virus15: Knuckle Banging Puzzle/Arcade Game where you are the bad guy. By Dyno Tech Software.
  • Wheel of Nuts: Match up the numbers along the sides of the nuts as quickly as possible. By HESHAM MOHRAN.
  • Words v1.1: Spell selected words by maneuvering falling letters. By Dyno Tech Software, Inc.


  • Home Stretch v3.3: Realistic and Fun Simulation and Wagering Horse Race Game. By Ultimate Software.

    [CUTE! Offers slow motion replays for those intense photo finishes. And "Beyond Therapy" is a true equestrian legend.]

  • Mutant Chicken Racing: Mutant chickens racing - it's fun! By TrentSoft.

    [I was able to discover that Mutant Chicken Racing was the much-deserved winner of the 1996 Weird Software Contest. An included text file provides some helpful additional context for the game: "Experience the thrill of owning a Mutant Chicken Ranch! Visit Klingy Fried Chicken, or Honest Abe's Used Chickens! Or just watch the little buggers & race!"]

  • Rally Racing: Fast Action arcade type game for Windows 95. By Stanley D. Chatman.


  • DirectX V3: Drivers required for some games on this CD. When you get to the install screen click on the [Reinstall DirectX] button. By MicroSoft.
  • VBasic: Visual Basic files that are required by some of these programs. If you areprompted to, select [OK] for each file to be copied. By MicroSoft Corporation.
  • Web Trail: Allows parents to track where their children are investigation on the Internet! By ALS.

  • WORD

  • Apple: Spell the words before the apples fall of the tree. By Greg DeBacker.

    [I don't think "Greg DeBacker" is a real name.]

  • Hangman: The Old Game in 13 Languages. By Erwin Ravau.
  • New Bago: Interesting, Challenging, Word Game. By Gerhard Schmeusser.
  • Scramble: Practice Spelling and Vocabulary. By Steve Hornyak.
  • Supermotus: Find word of 5, 6, or 7 letters. By Cecile Copere.
  • Word Find: Fun Word Game with nice Graphics. By ASL.
  • Word Zap: Fun Word Game. By Michael F.C. Crick.

  • Published on Steam December 3, 2022

    Another great little game full of charm. And I’ll say this: It really makes you feel like a kiwi!! Can’t wait to see what comes next from Siactro!

    Update as of January 26, 2024

    Super Kiwi 64 just received a free major update with voice acting, cutscenes, and a whole new story mode with three experimental levels. The original release of the game was certainly lacking in terms of presentation, and with this update the game feels much more "complete." I can't get enough of Siactro games because they're so clearly labors of love.

    Published on Steam May 15, 2022

    Great game. Sure would love to be able to play it someday.

    Published on Steam on January 30, 2022

    Didn’t expect to love this game as much as I did. It can of course be compared to Undertale/Deltarune but it really is its own thing in a very good way. It has some incredible standout moments from both a storytelling and audio/visual standpoint. It’s got that irreverent quirkiness you probably expect but is also unique in so many ways. The main “battle” hook is a sort of reverse Guitar Hero setup where you dodge oncoming notes. It’s a simple concept and it leads to some intense moments and really stunning, chaotic scenes. This ended up being one of my favorite games of the last year and it wasn’t even on my radar until I stumbled upon it. Unforgettable. And the soundtrack is better than you can even anticipate it being.

    Published on Steam on January 25, 2022

    This is a great little game with an interesting history. Many know that it was a browser-based Flash game commissioned by Nintendo during the DS era. It functioned as an advent calendar, and each day you played through a single level before being rewarded with an advertisement for upcoming hot releases on the Nintendo DS. This revival of the game remains true to its original incarnation. The levels are designed with a lot of care and thought for exactly how the physics will work either in your favor or against you (basically permanent slippery ice physics). I felt the difficulty could be a bit much at times, especially with no checkpoints, so keep that in mind, particularly if you go for 100%. But overall this is a delightful game that has a lot of charm packed into it.

    Published on Steam on September 5, 2021

    Every sort of effusive praise has been laid upon this game over the years. Nothing more really needs to be said… BUT Chrono Trigger is indeed a titan in its genre, and for good reason is regularly listed as one of the greatest games of all time. Once you play it you will never forget the experience. It will stick with you forever, and JRPGs have just been chasing the level of quality on display here since its release. It has some of the most, dare I say, scenes of beautiful pixel art, such as the party at the campfire or the floating kingdom of Zeal. Great and unique active time battle system. Rich storytelling, scenarios, and characters. An unmatched soundtrack (if you haven’t already, check out the “To Far Away Times” rearrangement album, especially its rendition of Corridors of Time).

    This has become a decent port despite its rough start and it is the easiest way to experience this masterpiece. I recently played through it again on New Game + to get the alternate endings and it was still such a joy to just be in the world. Unequivocal Recommend/10

    Published on Steam on July 8, 2021

    My, Earth really is full of things.

    The original Katamari Damacy is one of my favorite games of all time. The charm, the humor, the music, and the frantic gameplay all come together in such a perfect package. I’ve played this REROLL remaster on the Switch just recently and I also just played through it on Steam because I’m a sick freak. One of the weird technical problems with this game is the Names listing in the Collection mode being weirdly laggy in both the Steam and Switch versions. However I can say that I believe Katamari Damacy is one of those games that everyone should experience at some point, be it in its original form, or the REROLL version, which is really little more than a rerelease. And that’s just fine because the core game is so thoroughly enjoyable.

    I purchased my PS2 and a large bundle of games from a garage sale one warm summer afternoon at the height of puberty for $100 even. I had known a PS2 lot was being sold at this particular garage sale because I had scoured the neighborhood listings in the days prior. So when the seller saw that I was oddly prepared to make this exact transaction, she asked if I had seen one of the postings about the sale. For some reason I said that no, I had just happened upon this sale, suggesting that I often ventured out with only a one hundred dollar bill and an empty backpack on my person. I don’t know why I said this. But that was fine, because there were plenty of nuttier people around town for whom biking was their main mode of transport, such as Crazy Bike Guy, who seemed to do nothing but ride around town everyday shirtless no matter the season or weather. One time I saw him in the middle of an intersection picking up and smashing his bike on the ground. But anyways, after I made the purchase I gleefully rode back home, trove stuffed in my bag,

    Among the titles were each incarnation of Grand Theft Auto available for the system, BLACK with its bullet casing-riddled boxart, and a host of indistinguishable Tom Clancy games. Katamari was not among the lot, BUT it didn’t take long for me to pick it up from the local used game store, now deceased (rest in peace Jonny Cee’s). I will say this was a time in my life when I was very unhappy with myself. It was great and still is great to have a game that really is just pure distilled joy. Today I’m unhappy with myself for many of the same reasons, if not quite as angsty. But I digress.

    Even if things are just things, they still have their purpose. There is a time and place for everything. You wouldn’t guess this at first glance playing Katamari Damacy, which relishes in the excess of materialism. On the surface the game world is littered with anachronistic objects, but closer up they all have some sense of order to them. They may be part of some little vignette somewhere within the organized chaos. The cosmos are in chaos too. When you restore the stars to the sky you may wonder if the end result is really better than what it was like before. But that’s okay. Things often have an order and purpose to them even if it doesn’t seem like it from a distance.

    A dual stick controller is necessary for this game. The controls are unique and may take a while to get used to. This really is the only downside to the game and can be a significant hurdle to overcome, but it’s worth it and the controls do make sense. The gameplay is nonstop kinetic action as you roll around your little ball in the shape of those Covid-19 news renderings. The soundtrack is among the best in video game history. The writing is witty and sharp. There is no greater feeling than when the King praises you for being “so speedy and so smart.”

    A MUST-PLAY, and for me a near-perfect game.

    Published on Steam on July 8, 2021

    When Capcom released REmake it was obvious they struck gold with the engine and style. It would have been a waste to use that architecture for only a single game. Resident Evil 0 was born of both that desire and its cancelled N64 counterpart.

    The first environment in the game is a luxury passenger train. Before playing I’d always wondered how the developers adapted puzzles and combat to such a cramped space. They certainly pulled it off. Though there are some more open areas with familiar structure later in the game, I think much of it shares this same claustrophobic feeling, which adds to the tension. It’s the same ornate environment design as REmake, and it creates a great atmosphere. You could realistically probably get through this train section in 10 minutes if you know what you’re doing, and I wish there was more of it. I’d love to see future RE games return to this sort of unconventional setting as opposed to exclusively sprawling mansions and castles.

    This game has you controlling two characters in the forms of series favorite Rebecca Chambers and newly-introduced escaped convict Billy Coen. Both are pretty likable and I would have liked to see more character vignettes play out between them. RE Revelations was for some reason obsessed with this idea of “pairs” and never really made much clever use of it. It’s better implemented here than it is in both Revelations and RE5. Mechanically the partner system is fairly interesting and it works quite well. You’ll have to carefully manage two inventories and juggle items, made all the more difficult when Rebecca and Billy are separated. The AI is a bit useless at times but passable. I wish there were more puzzles oriented around Rebecca and Billy’s personal items (chemical set/lighter). There are only really 4 or 5 from what I can recall.

    Speaking of inventory management, I find it a bit weird that you’re able to just drop items on the ground and leave them anywhere, as opposed to dropping them all into a shared inventory item box you can access elsewhere. You really have to remember where you’ve put things. At first I thought I kind of liked it, but not having items tied to a universal item box means that you may find several maps between yourself and crucial items you carelessly dropped earlier in the game. I happened to leave the grenade launcher in the lab area without realizing it and really could have used it near the endgame. I wasn’t going to make the long trek back for it, though. It can also lead to situations where you’ve placed things at an awkward angle that just makes it a pain to try and maneuver your character into the correct position to pick it up again. I noticed a lot of items are placed in positions next to examinable features of the environment (ie a painting or statue or whatever). So when you try to pick up the item you end up examining the environment instead. The fixed camera (second-person perspective?) contributes to this confusion, and can definitely act as a hindrance to general movement and battle when the enemy is out of frame. For those accustomed to the freeform camera perspectives offered by the recent third-person 2 & 3 remakes or the first-person RE7, this game may understandably be a bit of a struggle at first.

    For fans of the series, this game still holds up as the first chronological entry in-universe. The love and care put into the game is clear in the lavish environments and item models. The eerie soundtrack is a standout as well (the safe room theme is among the best of its peers). It’s also got a fair bit of replayability with some cool bonuses (Wesker mode, Leech Hunter). The puzzles are well thought out, if at times a bit tedious. Overall, I definitely enjoyed it, but I can get if people are turned off by the outdated control scheme and camera. Great/10

    Published on Steam on July 8, 2021

    Undoubtedly one of the all-time greats, of JRPGS, of Persona/SMT games, and of video games in general. There really isn’t even any reason for another review of this to be written. It’s an absolute behemoth of a game, but an unequivocal recommendation.

    There are two core sides to modern Persona games: the social sim elements and the dungeon crawling. These dual systems interlock beautifully; as your relationships with friends grow, so too does your ability in battle.

    Your free time is spent hanging out with your friends, increasing your social stats, or partaking in a few other activities. When it comes to social links, it’s probably most useful to build up the ones with party members, as specific bonuses in battle are granted, but the individual stories of the other social links are compelling enough that seeing them play out is enough of a reward. The narrative is captivating, and the themes of facing and accepting the darker parts of oneself, while not exactly part of a particularly deep text, still feel poignant.

    The dungeons can at times be a slog, as they’re randomly generated and can be a pain to traverse. But battling itself remains interesting all throughout, and exploiting weaknesses and utilizing all-out attacks are always satisfying. Equipment setup is mercifully pretty straightforward, but a stronger weapon never guarantees your success in battle. When playing Persona games, I’ve always thought it felt like one wrong move may result in complete failure.

    Collecting Personas themselves can almost be considered a third core element of the game. It’s funny that this aspect of the series is often compared to Pokémon, despite SMT debuting I believe 4 or 5 years before it. Anyways, fusing Personas you’ve collected to create new ones offers a lot of depth, and can be a bit overwhelming, but the customization it allows for in team setup is great.

    After playing Persona 4 Golden all the way through, I’ve felt compelled to reflect a bit on the legacy of the Persona series and how each game slots into its history. From what I've seen, most prefer either Persona 4 or Persona 5 as their favorite of the series. It's well known that P1/P2, due to their wildly different gameplay and systems, have come to be viewed as black sheep, but they're still fantastically unique games in their own right. As is Persona 3, though among the latter three games making up the "trilogy," it regularly seems to be an underdog when it comes to overall preference. Whether it be recency bias or substantial improvement between entries, I think it's clear that P4/P5 both excel in their own ways:

    -Persona 4 has incredibly endearing party members (minus Teddy, to hell with that guy. I greatly prefer Morgana), a great rural small town setting in sleepy Inaba, and a captivating overarching mystery with a stronger motive for the plot itself than in P5.

    -Persona 5 has an unmatched sense of style and arguably has superior dungeons, as they're bespoke creations with interesting puzzles and layouts. However, I always thought the dialogue in the original version was incredibly inefficient. It felt like simple things were explained in ten different ways right after one another. I haven't played Royal, however, so this may have changed.

    I don't know if I would be able to choose which OST I prefer between the two. P4 is more rock-oriented while P5 is almost jazz pop. With his Shibuya-Kei influences, Shoji Meguro early on cemented himself among the industry's greatest composers, and some of his best work is on display here. P4G’s soundtrack is legendary, with personal highlights being “Alone,” “SNOWFLAKES,” and “Heaven.”

    There are a number of improvements made in Golden to the base game provided by the original Persona 4, such as several new areas to visit, a couple additional arcanas, new (and in my opinion more fitting) voice actors for some characters, an expanded calendar, and added events. But of course the biggest difference is the ever popular Golden-exclusive character of Marie, who brings great extra content to the game.

    Why Atlus didn’t realize that perhaps people would like to have convenient ways to play their back catalog is a mystery. You’re telling me Persona 4 is popular? The game with a dozen spinoffs and two anime adaptations? What a shock. Hopefully the success of this game on Steam portends Atlus releasing more back catalog games on modern platforms in the future. Cannot recommend this game enough, and am looking forward to the SMT III Nocturne remake as well as SMT V. I just wish Atlus had added in the Yosuke romance route PLEASE ATLUS ADD IN ROMANCEABLE YOSUKE PLEASE

    Published on Steam on June 25, 2020

    Where do I begin? What do I even say? Does it get any better than this? Is ANYTHING better than this?

    As I type this I'm still convulsing -- violently -- shaken to my core over what I've just experienced. I saw the face of God, and God smiled back at me. Garfield cometh for my heart, and I? I let Him in. Willingly. Was this a mistake? In many ways, I'm a pessimist, but not for this. Garfield Kart: Furious Racing is an unequivocal force for good.

    I own one of the world's largest collections of official Garfield brand merchandise. Here is a photo of me with both Garfold and the one and only Mr. J. Davis.

    Thus, my time with this game rendered this day the happiest one of my life.

    Every morning I wake up screaming and every night I go to sleep smiling. A smile so large. I'm trying to emulate the grin of that fat orange cat. Yet I'm unable. Barring extreme reconstructive surgery, I simply cannot match the grin of that furry demon angel.

    At some point we will be forced to question what Garfiefl is. Is He even benevolent? Is He a yōkai of some sort? A djinn? A barong? The mythical Carbuncle? Perhaps on the back of Bahamut, on the back of Kujata, atop the Ruby Mountain at the apex of Creation, supporting the seven heavens and six hells -- and our own realm -- sits Garfielio. Who's to say otherwise?

    I'm always reminded of the lovable meme Grumpy Cat whenever I peruse the funnies for the latest strip featuring the rotund cat. Did Garfield somehow manifest this real-world cat into existence, a twisted mirror image of Himself? Never has Oscar Wilde and his counter to Aristotelian mimesis -- "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life" -- been more apt, truly.

    Garfield Kart: Furious Racing, which I purchased as part of the oddly affordable "Lasagna Bundle !" after thoroughly enjoying the original Garfield Kart, will be a divine experience for you. Of this I have no doubt. Every mechanic works in tandem to present the greatest digital interactive experience possible in present day. My game often ran at a silky-smooth 12- or 13-frames-per-second whilst playing online. I can ask for nothing more than this, as I know my machine is not powerful enough to display the world of Garfield in all its glory.

    The voice acting is Oscar-worthy. In a word: superb. The moving performances for characters like the amiable yet simple Jon Arbuckle are haunting. His every laugh and yelp make my hair stand on end. Garfuld sounds appropriately smug, as He has every right to be. Nermal insists himself upon the player, his high-pitched, terrible shrieks reminding all of his universal hatred. He is but an imposter in a world he has no place in.

    The graphics? Unparalleled. The character models are gorgeous. The lighting effects mimic the world I see through my own eyes. I wonder if the developers were not given early access to Unreal Engine 5. I can find no other explanation for the level of fidelity on display here.

    And I must say: Liz, our sensual vet character and frequent object of Jon's repressed sexual lust, does look hot as hell. This I cannot deny.

    "What about the music?" you may ask. After the stellar soundtrack present in the original Garfield Kart, I was hoping there would be some returning favorites this time around; I wasn't disappointed. Though, I was surprised to learn the Original Soundtrack was, in fact, NOT composed by Alan Silvestri. Regardless, I can only tell you to buckle up and strap yourself in before letting it grace your ears, lest you give in to the urge to get up and dance in the midst of your competitive race at "Crazy Dunes" or "Catz in the Hood." Stupendous. Otherworldly. An aural treat.

    You will be changed by this "game." I hesitate to call Garfield Kart: Furious Racing only a game. I have experienced a high that has made up for every low I've experienced during my miserable, lonely life. I did not once feel "Furious" experiencing this product. Only a unique sense of calm and comfort. In an age where strife and conflict are the norm, the world of Garfield always presents a respite unlike any other. I too hate Monday. I too love lasagna. Perhaps I, too, am Garfield, as are you. Do not miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

    Published on Steam on May 25, 2020

    A fantastically simple (purposefully so) metroidvania that is pure Devolver through and through. Of course from a glance it's undeniably closer to Metroid than Castlevania, emulating much of the aesthetics of the original Metroid and evoking the visuals of Metroid II with its monochrome color pallet -- which is one of the things I love about these visually simpler Devolver games, all the color pallet options. The core gameplay and weapon/armor upgrades mirror much of the Metroid structure as well, though limited in scope. The world map, divided up into sections accessed by elevators, reminded me of Metroid Fusion more than anything else. And of course a certain achievement involving animals references Super Metroid. So this game really just embraces the parody of the genre, and does it well. Interestingly, the parts where you control the cat outside the mech brought to mind Blaster Master. The puzzles involving controlling just the cat proper outside the mech weren't the most enjoyable and could feel a little finicky. I suppose you're supposed to feel vulnerable outside the suit, which is effective, but it's not the most fun. But these sections don't overstay their welcome, and there aren't that many to begin with. The game is quick and snappy and feels good to play. Combat is satisfying and each shot feels good to land. It's not the most precise but the movement does feel good. The frequent save points leave little fear of death, though some bosses could be uncharacteristically challenging compared to the basic exploration sections. The world exploration itself is enjoyable and if you really scour the map you can get a 100% completion rate on your first run. Great game, thoroughly enjoyed it, would recommend.

    Published on Steam on May 24, 2020

    I've heard a lot of complaining over the years about the artstyle of this version of FFV, and everything I saw before I played it really did turn me off, but after spending some time with the game I got used to the artstyle. I don't know if I resigned myself to it or it just grew on me. But regardless, this is a mobile port, and thus it's not of the highest quality in some areas: -The "sprites" may appear blurry in some instances, and the UI and redrawn graphics generally look cheap -If you're using a controller you may find that there is simply no back button configured to the layout. If you have trouble with this, open up the FFV source folder and rename "opengl.dll" to "opengl.dll.bak" or "opengl32.dll" to "opengl32.dll.bak," depending on which you see -The cursor in battle, despite normally resting on the first option "Attack," sometimes randomly shifts to other commands when a character's turn rolls around. I don't know why this happens and haven't looked into it, but it can be really annoying at times when speeding through commands Overall though, the core substance of the game remains largely the same. I don't think this is a by any means a terrible way to experience the game, unless you're a complete purist. It's by far the most accessible Western release if you don't have the GBA or PSP versions at hand. I do also appreciate the use of Amano's artwork for the character portraits. The soundtrack, as is to be expected, is phenomenal and nothing beats Battle on the Big Bridge. The story is pretty lighthearted and rich with high fantasy elements in a throwback to the original, much like FFIX. A lot of character interactions are almost slapstick and the main cast has a good rapport. They're all memorable in their own ways. Several goofball side characters as well, particularly the infamous Gilgamesh. The hallmark of this game is the job system, which still feels ambitious today. The unique sprite designs for every class for each character is particularly impressive, as is the fact that each job class is for the most part viable, and the ability system allows an interesting mix of subclass specialization. There are so many ridiculous strategies that can be done if you really want to tear it apart. Ultimately, the mobile downgrades can't take away from the soul and structure of this game, and despite being viewed as an outlier in the FF series by some, it no doubt remains a classic in its own right.

    Published on Steam on March 7, 2020

    A classic in every way among the pantheon of mainline Final Fantasy entries. This game has probably been ported more than any other FF game, yet no one is sick of it because it's just that good. This 3D remake remains faithful to the original in terms of mechanics and characters, but a few battles -- like Barbariccia -- differ significantly from the SNES version. Updated translation and such compared to the original (though it thankfully keeps Tellah's "You spoony bard!" line). I believe this was the first game to introduce the ATB system which became the basis of battle for several subsequent entries. I was especially impressed with the presentation. While the DS-era graphics largely remain, the added voiceovers to cutscenes in my opinion really add a great deal. Alongside this, the characters and world are realized incredibly well, and I especially enjoy seeing the main characters directly interact with each other rather than only the hero. The ever-changing party is well-rounded, and the rotating members force you to fight differently depending on who is joining you. There's no job system, so each character specializes in one class and they grow along that route. I actually prefer this to the entries which include a dizzying array of classes for characters to take up, which can lead to a feeling that you may be ill-equipped for the next step because you've chosen an ineffective class. It's not an overly punishing game, though of course some parts do require more strategy than others. The only thing to be aware of is the Augment system, which, if managed the wrong way, will result in you missing on some useful abilities. So I'd recommend following a guide about how to distribute them properly, as there's no way you could really know. Overall, this is just a really great game with solid mechanics, story, and presentation; while purists may not prefer this version, you really can't go wrong with it. AND OF COURSE THE MUSIC BAYBEE CAN'T FORGET THE MUSIC. GREAT MUSIC, ABSOLUTELY UNFORGETTABLE TUNES. UEMATSU AT HIS BEST. THEME OF LOVE? INCREDIBLE.

    Published on Steam on February 13, 2020

    Simply put, this Game is like sucking on the teat of God. It is polished to a level not seen in a video game product since Super Mario Sunshine on the Nintendo Game Gear. Every time I play this game I ♥♥♥♥ myself uncontrollably because I am overcome with emotion. All your favorites are here -- Glarfield, Odie, Jon, and the rest........ The soundtrack is a real earworm as well!! If someone were in a hospital bed dying with 5 minutes to live, I would tell them to play this game. Must play before dying. The narrative is very compelling as well. If you're not careful you'll fall victim on the raceway to Jim Davis and his nefarious traps. Thanks to Garfield and Mr. Davis for the game. L'chaim everyone.

    Published on Steam on February 4, 2018

    Folks the graphics for this game are outta this world. Them cutscenes remind of butter they're so smooth. The gameplay is your typical Chrono Dragon Fantasygears format, with a lot of spamming attack rather than magic because you want to move before the enenmy.. hahea.. My favorite part of this game is the random encounters, something I love in every game. Worst part of this game that could be the best is the MIDI soundtrack. Original PSX version had the superior soundtrack. Squall is no doubt the best FF protagonist because he is moody, edgy, and soulful much like meself. Buy this game if you like torturing yourslef