Justice Playthrough #123: Vilmonic

Very niche game. It’s not for me, but I suspect if it works for you, you’ll fuckin’ LOVE it.

Page 3, Game 10: Vilmonic by bludgeonsoft

This is a lo-fi sandbox game where you’re basically running a nature preserve of fast-breeding creatures. You’ll want to provide them with what they need to survive, and keep the weird zombie things roaming around from causing too much trouble. Nurture your creatures! Get them to evolve into new creatures! Promote bio-diversity! Try and figure out just what the hell is going on visually!

Some critters and a zombie and fungus and … a tire? I think?

This is a very ambitious game. It’s procedurally generating not just critters, but everything about their environment and what they need from said environment to survive. It even has a mutation mechanism, such that the beasties roaming about your screen will literally evolve over time. When this game cares about something, it cares a LOT.

There are a number of things keeping me from getting into this game, though. Some really aren’t the game’s fault — but some definitely are.

Look at that screenshot — there’s a LOT going on. What does it all mean? The game will tell you some of it. If you click the binoculars icon in the toolbar (which the tutorial does NOT deign to mention — grr), you’ll get details about the critter or plant you click on. Lots of details.

Looks like this guy is motion-stressed and water hungry — but, thankfully, not water thirsty. Wait, what?

What’s all that mean? I’m not sure. The game really isn’t interested in telling me. I’m going to have to figure that out myself.

Also, take a look at this business:

why u flat bro

See that squishy-boy right above me? (Yeah, that hunchback looking motherfucker is me. Your avatar is procedurally generated, which I kind of love.) That’s apparently just another Cotei hadei. Why is he so flat, though? Is he sleeping? Injured? Is that what they look like when they’re young? I have no idea, so I’m just going to have to figure it out.

Ditto for anything terrain-related. You just have to sorta figure out by context what terrain types are what, and how they interact with the world; the game has little interest in telling you directly. You may note from my above screenshots, there are what appear to be old tires. Is that what they REALLY are? If they’re old tires, does that fuck up my critters or their biome any? I have no idea.

There’s also a crafting mechanism, if you’d like to do some Minecraft but with a truly risible UI.

Time to make things into other things

What’s all that shit? Hover over it, and hopefully the game will tell you. (The game seems very fussy about interface focus.) To make it, you’ll need to add stuff you’ve gathered into that bottom row, and make sure you put it EXACTLY in the slots matching the recipes above. If you’d like to make mushroom boards, as indicated by the first item, you can’t just have a pile of mushrooms; you must have TWO piles of mushrooms. Then, you click the little right arrow, and it makes as many instances of the whatever as you’ve provided resources for — so make sure you actually WANT all those mushrooms to become ‘shroom planks.

It’s really awkward, and I feel like it would be a huge nuisance if I were getting into the game.

Which, obviously, I’m not.

But that’s not entirely the game’s fault. It suffers from severe interface issues and is generally reluctant to part with information, but as has been well established by now, I am a seriously basic bitch. Even if it were presented better, a sandbox game where your only goals are self-defined and revolve around critters mutating randomly would still be a tough sell for me.

I don’t much like this game, but I definitely respect it. It’s trying to Do Something here. That Something is not for me. But if you think it might be for you, it might be worth your bother to take a closer look.

What sort of mutations are in store for me with this next game?

Page 54, Game 28: Antigas Constelações (sobre a Vila Itororó) by Menotti

“marginalized heritage as blazing celestial bodies – a VR experience”

The sort of mutation where I’m reminded of how I kinda want a VR rig but don’t actually own one, it looks like. Damn.