In recent years I forget I made this. What a bizarre space to return to... part visual novel, part extremely sloooow 3D adventure, this was me testing the waters for a 3D game!

I find its spatial composition, lighting, minimal textures to still be stunning, even if they're a bit primitive in terms of technical artistry. I was really (and still am) into photography theory around that time, so I like to think some of that showed...

I still think the messages of the game's story resonate with me in terms of approaching being Asian in the USA. The idea that Chicago is entombed in this game is also a bit eerie for me, since I don't live there anymore.

True, the movement in the game sucks and the writing could be stronger, but hey!


One of my clearest, earliest memories was playing the Metaknight game around its release before my family made a cross-country move in 1996. It's interesting to see this came out in September of that year, so I can almost pin the month we moved despite forgetting otherwise.

Modern Kirby feels a bit perfunctory to me, drawn out. I like how short and sweet each game in Super Star is, the different textures they give while borrowing from the same mechanical set.

My favorite is Great Cave Offensive... just a cute adventure into some really bizarre spaces (the caves leading to the castle, which connects to outer space, and this fantasy-feeling kingdom is a poetically beautiful set of levels). That the game lets you openly explore them, letting the spaces breathe, no map to guide you, feels pretty miraculous.

That and the game is full of genius music! The goa trance-inspired Cocoa Cave is a favorite.


I blogged about this here:
https://melodicambient.neocities.org/posts/2020-11-14-Nemuru-Mayu.html

A really dreamy, unique dungeon crawler, with peculiar NPCs strewn throughout its depths. The battle system is confusing, and I remember the inventory system feeling a bit punishing. I didn't get too far but maybe one day I'd pick it up again.

The game doesn't really let you get a sense of 'where you are' in the universe, and I love that feeling of being deattached from a tangible reality.


Hey, I made this game... nice...
...It's been a long time since I played it, actually. The way it pivots from a traditional, straightforward adventure, to small 2D worlds that defy expectations of the opening hours, to thought-provoking revelations of Nova and bizarre turns in the Outer Sands! Is pretty unique to think about. Actually I learned a lot from playing this game too, since I didn't write most of the script.

My only nitpick would be that there should have been 3 NPCs in Cenote, not 4! I think that part of the game goes on a little too long.


Wait a minute... I made this game! How about that.

I haven't replayed this for some years, but I love its minimalism as well as how stripped back all the song instrumentation is. There's a 'novel-esque' negative space to how the game lets the player piece together what they're exploring. I don't think that was 100% intentional, but it's an effect I'd like to explore more...

The way the postgame blends into the main game is still eerie how memorable it's been, even moreso given that it was kind of added in over a few weeks near the end of development.

The puzzles and combat are kind of ho-hum, but I think are engaging enough to do the trick in terms of balancing out the more quiet, free exploring of the non-dungeon areas. At least I had the sense to not include block pushing puzzles! I feel like Anodyne still has a good direction in terms of its dungeon design, and I think the levels are creative. I've secretly been hoping to see another weird Zelda-like at some point. I like the genre.

Marina and I talk about how we sort of got 'lucky' making this with the limitations it had - the game being tile-based, and gameplay being a minimal version of Link's Awakening - meant it was relatively easy for us to put together.


2008

Creative indie action game, one of the first downloadable indie games I played!


Beautiful art, not very interesting level design or gameplay. Dialogue is at times humorous but other times feels like something rushed out for its children audience? Still, with the fan translation it's worth checking out for its creative spaces and where it's willing to send its protagonist!


2007

CLASSIC flash jrpg. I don't remember much about this lol