SummerAzure's Grouvee Challenge 2021

December 2020 was tough at work and I didn’t manage to beat medium (58/60). I was so tired that I overslept New Year’s fireworks! So I’m going to beat Tier Mode Medium this year:




Platformer - LEGO The Lord of the Rings
All LEGO games has to be played in coop (splitscreen with brother) for ultimate experience. Definitely not for the plot - I mean Lego jokes are worse than dad jokes. Boromir was killed with banana? I loved coop (or rather killing each other by mistake) as much as when two players can be at different place: I was running with Fellowship from Moria when my brother was fighting Balrog as Gandalf. Reminded me of my all time favourite Metal Gear Solid 4 Raiden / Solid splitscreen. It adds this cinematic feel.

Shooter - Princess Remedy in a World of Hurt
Free little game for an hour of playtime. Retro game looks like from 8bit machine. Princess shoots not bullets but injections and bandages to heal people of Hurtland. It has LGBT tag on Steam because after healing everyone we can marry whoever we want to: man, woman, frog, squirell. Cute.

RPG - Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark
Basically it’s Final Fantasy Tactics. I don’t think you can make high fantasy that is unpredictable, so for me the plot is OK, nothing new but not too cliche. It’s a game for those who seeks tactic experience. The AI is good and I loved the customization of the party, mixing the classess. I liked the colorful 2D art too, it has hand-drawn feeling.

Strategy - Dungeon of the Endless
It’s a roguelike tower defense with RPG elements. The twist is that we don’t have enough energy to power all rooms and have to switch between installations. We can place heroes in the dark rooms but we will be outnumbered by enemies. Fortunately it’s pixelgraphic with view from above. Otherwise it would be a survival horror. For FTL lovers - the difficulty is similar.

Brawler - Draw Slasher
Draw Slasher is like Fruit Ninja with pirate monkey zombies that invaded ninja village. It would be funny and ridiculous but because it’s mobile game there is a problem with camera movement that breaks the experience. But if you look for “mouse only” game and cheap one (2$) it’s ok.

Point and Click - The Franz Kafka Videogame
I really wanted it to be better! It’s surreal, with art childlish but grim. Unfortunately there is a difference between dream logic and nonsense - Rusty Lake games prove this. Because Franz is extremely short (1,5h) and cheap game I still recommend it if you already finished Rusty Lake series and loved it.

Stealth - Deus Ex: Human Revolution
I didn’t manage to complete it - I think I’m at 75% but I don’t like rushing through a stealth game. As MGS fan I love boxes, DIY barricades and stairs to areas I shouldn’t reach yet. I try to make my game less linear, look for different routes. I love the plot and the cyberpunk main character that really is augmented and badass. Even AI idiots that don’t see me crouching in their offices can’t break my immersion. Unless you hate yellow it’s a must play.

Puzzle - The Room Two
I love Lovecraft. I was really afraid of his stories I’ve read at primary school. The Room is not based on Cthulhu Mythos but it is inspired by them. It’s not gore, the monsters aren’t present, - but they are waiting outside and there is a mystery that drive characters into madness. The game could be more difficult but playing with Steampunk machinery is very pleasant experience.

Visual Novel - Coffee Talk
Finally I can be a barista! The problem with high fantasy is that suffers Medieval Stasis. But what if that wouldn’t be the case? Orcs would became programmers and Pixies would write stories for newspaper in modern Seattle. The not-so-fantasy setting creates the atmosphere but the stories of all customers could happen in normal world and the game would still be enjoyable. It’s a great balance between the form and content.

Walking Simulator - CHUCHEL
I initially played it for “Puzzle” category, but I couldn’t add it there. It’s more like playing with toy of a toddler. We don’t solve any problem, there is no mystery. What matters is the experience - the colour, sound, the reaction of various things on the screen as we click. As a toy-game it’s similar to Windosill.

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Historical real world - FRAMED Collection
Noir style of 1940s & 1950s. We change the order of comic panels to let main character runaway with mysterious suitcase. It’s mechanic and artstyle are very simple - the mobile origins are obvious. But it’s ok. After all the whole noir genre of cinema has it’s name after heavy use of chiaroscuro - strong contrasts and low-key lighting. The strong stylization was meant to hide low budget - it’s more theatrical than cinematic scenography.

Contemporary world - The Silent Age
It’s already 10 years old but still good. Point’n’click set in 1970’s with time switches to year 2012 - when humanity is killed by mysterious virus. But it’s more funny than grim. The main character is a janitor and not a very bright one. “I always wanted to learn how to ride. I’d grow my moustache, get a leather jacket”. It used to be a casual mobile game - the playtime is about 3 hours.