LTTP: Massive Chalice

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There’s a lot of species survival lessons in Massive Chalice. Most of it requires the player to make some cold and calculated decisions. Morals and modern day customs had to make way for necessity and I can’t think of any other game that rewards this kind of thinking.

The world of Massive Chalice was afflicted by a corruptive force called the Cadence. Fortunately there’s this Massive Chalice that can purge these lands of this Cadence but it takes 300 years charge this giant chalice. As the immortal overseer of this world, it was my responsibility to guide my people towards that fateful day.

It was up to me to breed the best warriors, build the best equipment and protect the Chalice and the surrounding land from the Cadence’s attacks.

With the 300 year hard deadline looming, it’s tough not to drop the sickly or the weak while propping up the strong, the virile and the talented. I arranged marriages between people out of necessity and not love; they had tendencies to live long lives and incredible strength, so who cares if one was 22 and the other was 60? It was about survival of the species dammit!

The people didn’t seem to mind it though. There was only one random event that made issue of the age gap but it was a the single complaint in three centuries.

It was important not to grow attached to specific heroes because they would eventually be killed or die of old age. Instead, I grew attached to specific bloodlines and classes. Hunters (like snipers in XCOM: Enemy Unknown) were god like beings — especially at higher levels. Their offshoots were equally deadly which cemented them as my favored hero classes.

Once all the mechanics fell into place, I really enjoyed my time with Massive Chalice. It rewarded my faith in breeding future super soldiers and selective breeding. There aren’t many games out there where you can say that.

Massive Chalice was the third backed Kickstarter title and I was pleased to see it pan out. I got exactly what the initial pitch video laid out; I managed bloodlines through the ages towards an end goal. What I didn’t expect were the lessons in pragmatism. I found myself questioning decisions but ultimately deciding on what was best for the entire race.

The beauty of it was they didn’t hit me over the head with these dilemmas. I made the observations so I had to make those calls; all they did was layout these opportunities for me to encounter and they did a marvelous job with that.

I like it

Ratings Guide

Broken Age PC Review

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I don’t have nostalgic reverence for old adventure games. I never played Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle or Grim Fandango. I’ve only played the first two Monkey Island games when they resurfaced as remasters and appreciated what they offered. Their quirky sense of humor and charming characters amused me but at the same time, there was an air of obtusity that rubbed me the wrong way. Still, when Tim Schafer and DoubleFine Productions wanted to make a new adventure game in the vein of those classics, I didn’t hesitate to give them money.

Broken Age was DoubleFine delivered after three years of waiting. I was patient. I didn’t mind that they broke the game in two and delivered Act 1 last year. I didn’t mind waiting but was it worth the wait? I thought so.

Broken Age was very much like the Monkey Island games. They managed to recreate that charming quirk and even managed to annoy me in the same manner as those decades old games. If that’s what the aim of game then I would say Broken Age was a resounding success.

I absolutely love the look and sound of Broken Age. It’s a very pleasing aesthetic despite the freakish looking characters with¬†their elongated limbs and exaggerated facial features.¬†Everything was very expressive as if it was made to communicate to a younger audience. It reminded me of a children’s storybook but the game was anything but.

Broken Age required pen and paper to figure out some of the puzzles. It also required a lot of trial and error as I used every item with every character in hopes of stumbling across the solution. Even then, I had to resort to Google for nudges towards the right direction — especially for second half of the game where they seemingly escalated the absurdity of the puzzle solutions.

I wasn’t frustrated by any of it though. I knew what I was getting into and ultimately that’s the correct approach to any game that’s trying to relive the past. I realized that I was going to get the good and the bad. I wished there was a built-in hint system of some kind but when a game presents itself in 4:3 aspect ratio, I can’t help but see an inclusion like that would sully the original vision of the project.

I got what I wanted out of Broken Age. It didn’t surprise me but it successfully charmed me and reminded me of the past. I gave DoubleFine Productions $15 and they gave me what was promised and that’s all that I could ask for.

I like it

Ratings Guide


I’ve Backed Two Kickstarters

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Update: They’re making PC & Mac versions! Backed.

I’ve backed two game related Kickstarters: 1) Double Fine’s adventure game and 2) Wasteland 2. Why those two and not something like Republique?

The answer is simple. Double Fine and the folks behind Wasteland 2 have some sort of track record and they’re casting a very wide net by developing for a very “indie friendly” platform: the PC.

Republique sounds too ambitious for their target platform. It may work out, but I don’t feel comfortable backing a project that may be hampered by their platform choice or their (groan worthy) design goals.

All these Kickstarter projects show some kind of promise, but will they actually deliver? I’ve pre-ordered games before, but I’ve never invested in a game this early before. I hope this all pans out. If Wasteland 2 or Double Fine’s game fall through, it may sour that Kickstarter experience for a lot of people out there.