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Dr. Dos

A member registered Nov 28, 2016 · View creator page →

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Big fan of all the Jill-isms. The apples (that give you health) don't fall too far from the tree wrt Sweeney going from ZZT to Jill. Everything was colorful and nice to look at, especially the conversion of Jill's mystic vaporwave ending. Some of the "upgrades" for Dungeons were a blast. Touching the alpha was an incredible experience. The invisible bullets and ricochets guarding that key got me good. The effects when playing as Keyko gave me some ADOM vibes ( ).

Other times though, it really felt like I was playing a late 90s "Dungeons Special Edition" which, while a solid game, didn't add as many surprises or commentary on the source material that I'd have wanted to see for a Trollgame jam.

Jolly Time was the arcade at my local mall growing up, but boy if "Jenk" wouldn't have been an apt name for this one.

I do like these puzzles that let folks flex on esoteric knowledge.

As it turned out, I figured out what to do pretty quickly for hard mode, but even then was too afraid to actually try lest my thought process be incorrect. The blend of elements here also makes esoteric knowledge a burden just as much as it helps! Gems have weird rules with pushing/crushing. Duplicators mean you can play with the stat order of what's on screen, and crushing things can have weird effects if the element crushed is earlier in the stat list which sent me on a wild goose chase thinking there might be some way to use all these to destroy the key somehow.

Honestly I was even wondering if the colors of the sliders was in some way relevant!

Gave an extra star in sounds because you're not the one to blame for duplicator sound effects.

This one does some great work with Zima that makes it really neat to look at! A fun homage to the Barney games of old with some far more valid grievances than "ugh he sings and loves". It's very difficult to navigate the space though! Especially with limited ammo, which makes me fear that a lot of content will go unseen by players.

Game did let me be a chicken in vinyl though...

A previous apartment I lived in had a fridge that wasn't that great and milk tended to go bad days before the date. This let me relive the terror.

I loved the giant face in the mirror.

Thank you for the kind words! I cannot say Tuna Diver is my own phrase though. It comes from the NES port of Maniac Mansion when they had to censor "Kill Thrill":

More like key hallway.

The weird layouts and strange mix of good/bad keys combined with all good cats made this fun to run through!

My god it's full of stars.

Short in length, but it stay managed to get me good a few times.

A surprisingly full riff on City! I liked the subversion with the elevator in City Hall as well as the fakeout with Dr. Stupid. Also this take on on the ZZT Bandit is the best one yet.

Excellent art and extremely good street crossing simulation.

There's a reason I avoid these games!

But it was well done save for the kind of awkward springs and the original version not making it clear how to scale the window so I had to play in tiny mode for a bit.

The overall shortness of the levels made it a lot more tolerable than it might have otherwise been!

I had a smile on my face the whole way through! And got exactly what I hoped the ending would be.

Definitely need to make my boyfriend play all these games in the near future.

This is an expertly crafted puzzle game, or I'm just bad at it. I only played one and a half levels, but flipping through the file viewer to post screenshots for the tweets about it being published on the Museum meant recognizing a box puzzle that was being used for a weird explosives engine previewed some time ago that I assume was used.

Really though I can tell this one is a thinker.

I'm unfortunately unable to give this 256 stars.

It got me! This is the kind of game you'll probably have to restart a few times, but it's brief enough that you won't mind doing so. Good cats.

Brilliant in every horrible way. My only complaint is that there's no real guidance other than the ?+HINT feature which just outright tells you where to go next. Without hints I don't think I would've tried going into the sidebar or out of bounds ever.

The editor was great though.

The puzzles on this one were fun! But the game itself didn't feel trolly! Still a cute little (and big) adventure.

This one was weird! Very good cats, but that torch maze was very jarring in a way that made it tough to want to get through. Granted, my own stubbornness when playing on stream didn't help.

This one was fun! It felt more like it was playfully teasing the player than trolling them, which arguably makes for a better gameplay experience.

Not a fan of the key cutter.

Lots of dirty tricks which I definitely came up with my own before playing. This manipulates the rules of ZZT in a lot of fun ways.

Also it respected my interest in an alternate ending.

I just got through this and had a lot of fun with it! (No spoilers in this review, so don't hesitate to read it)

When I discovered the previous game, "The Testimony of Trixie Glimmer Smith", I was really surprised at just how much it hooked me. After my first playthrough I knew I wanted to go back and see the other paths the game offered, and even got to the point where I was trying things just to see the minor alterations they'd have on the game's ending, so seeing a new VN from Digital Poppy, I knew I'd be playing it immediately.

Though still being a horror-themed VN and starring two of the previous title's characters, the tone on this one felt different! The horror (mostly) played a backseat to just letting the characters interact with each other, and I found myself laughing at a lot of the game's lines. "Trixie" had its humor, but it felt like comic relief to its more pressing plot. "Barrow" seems to be much more willing to just try to be funny, and does a great job of it, even if the situation is more dire. (Even without a supernatural horror, the characters do have to deal with potentially being trapped in the barrow and not being able to get out!)

In "Barrow", you get to play as the new character, a transwoman fox named Tabby. She's a very fun character and I couldn't help but pick all the happy/positive/shippy choices whenever they were presented. She gets to play the role of mediator to Trixie and Nikita who have a very aggressive relationship with each other. The description says that you don't need to play the previous game to enjoy "Barrow", but I would highly suggest doing so myself, as it makes their dynamic a lot more understandable when you know what they went through in the previous game instead of just being told something happened last summer and to drop it. At the same time, Tabby does get to try and learn a bit about them and if you yourself are a blank slate you'll be able to pick up on some of it, if not the specifics.

Also I am extremely jealous of her dress. Though it is perhaps not the best outfit to be wearing on an outing to some weird old barrow.

"Barrow" builds on "Trixie" in terms of interactivity by turning the game into a series of limited choices. This was explored a little in a library scene in "Trixie", where reading books passed X hours and you only had so much time to get the relevant lore, but here it's the main conceit of the game. This time the lore is there but you can only read so much of it before having to work on other things. There's still plenty of old forgotten tales to be read of wars with abominations and magic spells to banish evil, but this time the player has to keep it in their own mind at the end where they need to demonstrate they've been paying attention (and hopefully got all the information needed).

At the time of writing, I've only done a single playthrough. "Trixie" was a very similar game with most of its prompts leading to the same results other than a decision of which character to spend time with, which made subsequent playthroughs a lot of mashing clicking to get to this main split. (Of course, you could just save before making any choices...) "Barrow" is structured in a way that I feel like when I get around to my next run that the differences should happen a lot faster.

As a whole, it feels more compressed than the previous game. It took me a little over 2 hours to get through, but not for lack of content. It's a quicker pace and is able to get to those decisions a lot faster given the context that the game takes place with the characters trapped together so there's no need to talk about what to snack on at a bakery or who to text about the day's events. It's just three lesbians in a barrow after all. It was a very fun two hours, and I'd definitely recommend it (and "Trixie") to anybody who wants a story focused around LGBT characters that isn't a romance.

There should be some final dialog about winning/losing, but the only way to restart is to restart the cartridge! I was going to code something in, but was pretty burnt out by the end and hitting Enter opens up a default menu with a reset there.

This was cute! I didn't expect it to be so upfront about everything but it worked in its favor. I may have messed up the order by talking to the bunny girl first because why would I talk to anybody other than the bunny girl first