Promising game, but much too raw in its current state.
Page 15, Game 21: Mutiny Island by Elushis
You’re the captain of the pirate ship Red Dawn, but oh, no! Mutiny! That scoundrel Morgan the Mutineer (one assumes he put “Morgan the Perfectly Loyal Crewman” on his job application, the lying swine) has seized control of your ship. You’ve been dumped unceremoniously on the titular Mutiny Island, where presumably you’ll find your way back to civilization and make them rue the day the didn’t simply shoot you in the face.
It looks lovely, like an old-school top-down JRPG. And I gotta give it props for the theme. Unfortunately, it’s let down in two crucial areas.
First, teaching itself to you. It really doesn’t. I had to trial and error my way into what the buttons do, and the “Options” page doesn’t help at all. I finally learned which button was “Attack” — great! It was Button 5 on my controller. Which one is that? (Turns out it’s the right bumper.)
But a vastly larger problem is that this game is SLOOOOW. I don’t mean slowly paced, like a self-indulgent “interactive” novel. No, I mean physically; the framerate absolutely CHUGS, and I have absolutely no idea why. My PC is a quad-core Intel i7-8550U with 16 gigs of RAM. It’s not a top-of-the-line gaming PC by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not a total piece of shit, either; it’s handled much more graphically ambitious games than this.
But I don’t think a faster processor would have helped. I kept an eye on my CPU and Memory stats, and they seemed fine; despite how badly it was laboring, the game wasn’t maxing-out my machine. There’s something REALLY wonky going on in the underlying programming. I noticed that when I found an area beneath the island where there was less stuff, the game’s performance suddenly hit something vaguely resembling “acceptable.” So I don’t know what behind-the-scenes algorithm is responsible for kneecapping Mutiny Island’s performance, but until the dev sorts it out, this game is going to remain a really unpleasant experience.
The very notable lag between me pushing a button on my controller and something actually happening on the screen made combat absolutely miserable. There were a couple of times I accidentally selected a dialog option (without even getting to read it) because I was button mashing trying to get the goddamn text to appear faster.
This was especially problematic when a murderous snake jumped me while I was inspecting something on the screen. If a dialog/interaction box pops up, monsters will NOT do you the courtesy of waiting until you’re done before they murk you. Given how slowly everything reacts, that was infuriating.
There could be a nifty little retro RPG here, if it can sort out its technical issues. Until it does, though, there’s just no way I can recommend it.
What kind of performance am I gonna be looking at for this next game?
Page 7, Game 27: Sanguine Sanctum by Modus Interactive
“It desires more. Feed It. Nourish It.”
If Little Shop of Horrors has taught us anything, it’s that feeding mysterious creatures as much as they want is ALWAYS awesome. I’m in!