Breaking My Backlog #8 – Drawkanoid

Breaking My Backlog is a semi-regular features on Troamm.com in which I attempt to complete my entire backlog before buying any new games. You can read more about the quest and see my backlog here.

In Ecclesiastes, the unknown author writes that “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun,” and in a way of confirming this, in 1994 Barenaked Ladies sang, “Everything old is new again, everything under the sun.”

In 2018, QCF Design released Drawkanoid, an updating of the classic arcade game Arkanoid, which may or may not be related in some way to the quotes above.

Now, if you’ve never played Arkanoid, I can guarantee you’ve played a clone of it. Here‘s a list of them. Here’s another list. Here’s one where you rescue chickens. I don’t know what’s going on with that one, but I love it. My point is Arkanoid, or Breakout, or whatever you want to call it has been made and remade and remade again, multiple times over the past 30 years, and chances are, unless you’ve lived under a cliche’d rock for the past 30 years, you’ve probably played something like this at least once.

So, within that context, when a company tries to make a new iteration of something so ubiquitous, how can they possibly make it different? Simple. They add bullet time.

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Breaking My Backlog #7 – The Frederics (With Extra Mini-Review)

Breaking My Backlog is a semi-regular features on Troamm.com in which I attempt to complete my entire backlog before buying any new games. You can read more about the quest and see my backlog here.

Frederic: Resurrection of Music and its sequel, Frederic 2: Evil Strikes Back, are both games about musical anachronisms. When classical composer Frederic Chopin is resurrected in our modern time, he must learn to contend with current pop music, but more importantly, current pop music must learn to contend with him. Both titles are interesting games that tell the story of Chopin travelling the world trying to determine who brought him back, why they brought him back, and what they want him to do, or not do.

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Breaking My Backlog #6 – Girls Like Robots

Breaking My Backlog is a semi-regular features on Troamm.com in which I attempt to complete my entire backlog before buying any new games. You can read more about the quest and see my backlog here.

Girls Like Robots is a game about seating arrangements. Exciting, I know. It’s not just about seating charts, though. It’s really about trying to make everyone happy as you create seating charts. I’m not sure that’s better, but hey, if that’s your thing, you do you. Chase your bliss.

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On Yoshi’s Crafted World, or Why Sometimes Games Can Just Be Chill

I haven’t played a Yoshi game since Yoshi’s Island on the Super Nintendo, which is weird because I actually like Yoshi’s Island more than Super Mario World, which might be blasphemy in the eyes of most gamers, but what can I say? I hate gamers almost as much as I hate sentences with only one clause. Despite my fondness for the green brother Mario never had, I just never took the time to play through any of the other Yoshi games. I seem to remember briefly playing Yoshi’s Story on the Nintendo 64, but I also remember not enjoying it nearly as much as the first one. Certainly, not enough to actually finish it. This second game just felt sterile and cold, a complete contrast to the bright, beautiful hand-drawn graphics of Yoshi’s Island. My reasons for skipping later games in the series vary. Sometimes, I didn’t have the system the game came out on. Other times, I just didn’t take the opportunity to play it.

When Nintendo announced Yoshi’s Crafted World a couple of years ago, though, I took notice. I’ve written before how much I love platformers that find new ways to interact with their world, and the initial trailer showed multi-dimensional levels which allowed Yoshi to move through both the front side and back side of the level, each side offering a literal new perspective on the level. I was definitely interested. So, when I heard Nintendo uploaded a demo, I downloaded it as soon as possible. Ultimately, my impressions of the demo may feel hollow, since I’m not intending to buy the game any time soon. But, I will say this: If I were to buy a game in the next month, Yoshi’s Crafted World would be it.

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Breaking My Backlog #5 – 7 Grand Steps: What Ancients Begat

Breaking My Backlog is a semi-regular features on Troamm.com in which I attempt to complete my entire backlog before buying any new games. You can read more about the quest and see my backlog here.

At this point, I have started and stopped 7 Grand Steps at least four times, and I’m still not sure I understand it. I’ve read interviews with the primary designer, and I think I get what he was going for. But, I’m still not sure I understand it. I think, in order to understand this game, you have to be ready to appreciate both the history of humanity on a grand scale and token-based penny arcade games. I’m not sure what the Venn diagram of that audience looks like, but I’m not sure I fit into either circle.

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