Category Archives: Other

REVIEW: More Fun With Twins

Hmm, More Fun With Twins ($1.00), you say? I mean, it sounds like a challenge, so let’s go ahead and dissect that affirmative statement posing as a game title that’s posing as a game, the reality of it being a lazy match-2 card thing with tits, a blatant cash grab of the worst sort. I’d rather re-play Date The Boss, another of developer DUALHAZE’s projects that seems to defy the odds (and good taste) and continues to be a popular read here at this site1, but I digress.

More Fun With Twins - Screen

Sure, there’s plenty of things in life that are improved by twins. Gum commercials from the 1980s, Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, Crayon Pop, cute pet viral videos, proponents of large families, kids shows (with each twin playing the polar opposite of the other; ha, so easy to mine for comedy gold!2); the list goes on and on. More Fun With Twins does not belong on that list, or in anyone’s game library.

Here’s the setup: a woman named ‘Illiana’ tasks you with matching sets of ‘twins’ cards (i.e. ladies in lingerie) over the course of twenty stages3, supposedly to learn her ‘deepest secrets’. Basically, you flip over cards ad nauseam. Every few rounds, the timer speeds up and another set of cards (and twins, natch!) is added, conceivably to increase the challenge and longevity of this tired exercise. It doesn’t. Even more baffling, the game keeps score, and gives you bonus points for tapping on ‘bonus cards’, which serve zero function and actually cost you the time you waste clicking on them. Baffling.

More Fun With Twins - Screen2

Reach the end, and you get to see Illiana’s milky jugs! That’s not hyperbole or sexual slang of any kind. Suffer through More Fun With Twins and you simply earn an image of two jugs of milk. Seriously. Once again, no joke, no trick. Two jugs of milk. I would have put ‘spoiler alert’ before that big reveal, but the only thing potentially being spoiled here is that digital milk, and your good name. I’ve now saved you from that tragedy and this travesty. You’re welcome.


  1. Which, yes, is a continued contradiction. I absolutely abhor these games and everything they stand for, yet I cover them here, giving them exposure (…hehe, exposure) and me page clicks. So, in actuality, am I just as guilty as these developers? Am I this terrible person lamenting the fall of XBLIG while simultaneously dragging it down further!? Am I the Trojan Horse parked inside my own house!?! Of course… of course… of course… 
  2.  Sarcasm 
  3. Yes, I really played through the entirely of this drivel for you guys. The things I do for the sake of thorough indie journalism! 
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REVIEW: Really Scary 2

I’m really not sure how I got here, covering another Chris Antoni horror title. It’s hard to keep track of how many there’s been, and I swore them off the last time. I mean, I thought I did. Everything’s cylindrical, maybe. Despite promises and all the best intentions in the world, I end up back where I started. Reviews bleed into other reviews, one jump scare leads into the next, and it feels like all of this is being done in a loop. A loop I can’t seem to escape. Which, coincidentally1, is the premise of Really Scary 2 ($1.00).

Really Scary 2 - Screen

Well, it was the premise of Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro’s excellent mindbender P.T. before this, but you get the idea. This XBLIG-inized version of P.T. is a low-budget homage, warmed up in a dirty microwave and served as if it’s fresh, but it manages to do quite a bit with just a little. The game mines the genre for the typical trappings; dim lighting, deranged individuals (including the protagonist, it seems), a healthy splash of blood here and there. Ditto for its cast of the usual Antoni suspects, including the headless bloody bear, the spider, the wolf man, and Chris’ house2.

The ‘loop’ as presented here is almost an entirely linear route (thanks to the pseudo-FMV and the limited, directional controls), more about building up dread and setting up the occasional jump scare than trial-and-error detective work. Radio broadcasts attempt to paint a picture of your budding insanity, doors open on their own, the room changes ever so slightly when you revisit, etc.

Really Scary 2 - Screen2

To help mix things up, there’s a brief ‘puzzle’ sequence (think Team Shuriken-style, ‘guess the right direction or die’ trick), and a bit based on timing where you avoid approaching enemies. Despite its admittedly-limited arsenal, the game’s pacing is decent, spreading out its scant scares and gameplay for maximum benefit. You’ll still likely conquer the game in 25 minutes or less, with only a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ ending to extend that playtime.

Even with my continued savaging of these types of games and their highly-repetitive nature, they tend to do well for the developers that make them. And despite some serious, serious, indie horror / sequel fatigue, Really Scary 2 pulls off some effective jump scares and psychological ticks. It’s not at all original, mind you, but given the community’s apparently voracious appetite for horror on the cheap, that’s not going to be a problem.


  1. Or not so coincidentally, because I needed an opening. 
  2. Seriously, after seeing practically every square inch of the place, at various angles and lighting, and in half a dozen games, I’m starting to feel like I live there myself. I should probably be paying rent. 

REVIEW: Pirates! Quest for Booty

Despite what the double entendre title and some of the screenshots may say, Pirates! Quest for Booty ($1.00) is a mostly serious attempt at an adventure game. And a legitimate one at that. Although the occasional skin and the entirely-text-based exploration aspect of it may bring to mind Team Shuriken, Bandana Games‘ newest take is a far more worthy (and far more lengthy1) idea.

Pirates! Quest for Booty - Screen

Seems like a trap… Is a trap.

If you can get used to that idea. Though I’m old enough to remember the days when these games were the highlight of digital adventure, the thought of rummaging through lines of text placed over stock photographs isn’t exactly appealing to the modern palate. It’s no surprise then, that ‘playing’ Pirates! requires lots of reading, lots of staring at same-y, reused images, and even more ‘Go North / East / South / West’ directional commands. Oh, and a healthy imagination to fill in what the words on-screen can’t completely describe.

As Pirates!‘s anti-hero / scurvy… well, pirate, you’re saved from execution and given a task to recover the missing fragments of a magical mirror, one that supposedly holds the secret to eternal youth. This requires you to purchase a ship and crew, then explore several islands / locations, gathering up the pieces and completing several side quests. Even with the limitations of text, the game manages to create an ‘open world’ of sorts, allowing you to freely explore most islands in the order you choose, coming back to them later once you’ve acquired certain items or advanced the plot.

These places vary in size, ranging from large ports and smaller settlements, to zombie ships, or an island inhabited solely by women. The game does a good job of making each area feel different from the last, despite the similar theme that ties them together. To break up the monotony of the text, there are side activities, such as gambling, and even combat …in a way. Random encounters pit your crew against an enemy, with you winning out by having a numbers advantage and / or by choosing the correct attack (melee, ranged, sneak attack, etc.). It’s not a particularly deep system, but it does toss a light dose of RPG tactics into the mix.

Pirates! Quest for Booty - Screen2

As with any adventure game, though, there’s a fair amount of backtracking and wandering around, either looking for the next story ‘trigger’ or randomly stumbling into a quest you can now complete. A handy map fills in as you explore and marks important locations, but it’s still largely up to you to figure out what comes next, or where to go. That’s both a vital part of games like this, and a shortcoming. Not all clues and / or directions are straightforward, meaning you’ll need patience for some segments or puzzles.

With all that considered, Pirates! Quest for Booty is still better than most games of this type that I’ve tried. The emphasis on exploration— and your choices regarding that exploration— gives it more playability and weight, with some very capable voice-acting adding personality to the environments and characters. It’s a decent-sized adventure that’s totally worth a look …if you don’t mind all the text …and don’t shy away from cheesy pirate jokes2.


  1. I guarantee you won’t finish this game in fifteen minutes. Team Shuriken should take notes. 
  2. What is a pirate’s favorite letter? RRRRRRRRRRRRRR

REVIEW: Ghouls N Gals

Ghouls N Gals ($1.00) is a Team Shuriken game, so you’ve probably got a decent handle on what to expect already; suggestively-clothed, two-dimensional women, and a paper-thin, one-dimensional plot. It’s the standard all-text, choose-your-own-adventure stuff you’ve seen before, slathered on top of some nifty visuals / slight animations. And it hasn’t hurt the developer yet, so why fix what isn’t broke1.

Ghouls N Gals - Screen

The job doesn’t pay enough to afford more clothing, however.

This game2 finds our pair of ghoul-hunting heroines exploring a haunted mansion, of sorts, trying to banish a curse / kill zombies / do something or another. It’s not really important. Rather, you pick from a number of highlighted paths in any given room, cross your fingers it’s the ‘right’ choice, and repeat. These choices take you on a tour of the house, winding through several repeated hallways and navigational choices. Eventually you encounter another character, or observe an object in the environment, and a line or two of throwaway exposition is tossed around.

As an additional challenge, Ghouls N Gals does feature ‘combat’, in the form of occasional QTE events placed over static screens of enemies (oh, and a guy eating a cheeseburger, for some odd reason). If you’re not quick enough, or if you press the wrong button, you’ll lose one half of your ‘health’… meaning one of the girls will die. Fail twice, and you’ll restart. There are two checkpoints that you can reach to minimize the amount of rooms you’ll have to replay, but even without that help, you won’t have to work too hard.

Ghouls N Gals - Screen2

Overall, it’s a predictably short journey that meanders to an anti-climatic ‘ending’, which really just makes Ghouls N Gals a glorified teaser to a sequel that may or may not ever exist. The game earns some bonus points for its playful nod towards P.T.— aka Silent Hills— at one point, but there’s really nothing else here that warrants a careful look, or purchase.

Wherever you stand on Team Shuriken and its catalog of ‘adventure games’, Ghouls N Gals is simply just another release from them, with no reason whatsoever to play this version over any of the last half-dozen cleavage-centric releases. The visuals may change from game to game, but the tired, repeating design and the criminally-short playtimes3 are always the same.


  1. It’s rhetorical, hence the absence of the question mark. Team Shuriken knows exactly what they’re doing, and no amount of questioning on my end (or anybody’s end… hmm… end, hehe) is going to give us the answers we’re looking for. Play on, friends, play on. 
  2. A ‘Chapter 1’ of an unknown amount of chapters. Funny thing is, most of Team Shuriken’s stuff starts out with a ‘Chapter 1’, but no additional chapters show up, despite the promises. That’s a pretty spotty track record, so take this whole ‘Chapter 1’ stuff with a healthy dose of skepticism. 
  3. It will literally take you 10 – 15 minutes to ‘finish’. 

REVIEW: Really Scary

Really Scary ($1.00) is the fourth title (in as many months) from developer Chris Antoni to feature a low-budget horror set and Five Nights At Freddy’s– style jump scares, with the tension created by said scares meant to provide the enjoyment1 and impetus to keep playing. As with any long-running franchise, though, you risk alienating your audience with repeated releases that only fractionally change the core gameplay. Really Scary is thus really familiar, leaving this series (and its idea) running on fumes.

Really Scary - Screen

That depends… we talking about what I did last summer, or did I just leave the toilet seat up again?

This new outing attempts to once again mash together the two play styles of the previous games, asking you to navigate a supposedly haunted house via on-screen control prompts and tackle the usual gameplay of perusing in-house camera feeds in order to ward off your would-be murderers. Your chief antagonists here are bloodied and / or decapitated teddy bears speaking demonic gibberish (good nightmare fuel for your kids!), but the goal of survival and the perks of steady nerves remain the same.

There is some very light puzzle-work to be done as well, mainly in triggering the next ‘event’ or in choosing the correct door, but the real threat comes from watching your attackers inch closer to your safe room. Said intruders are scared off when you turn to face them, with the trade-off of having a limited amount of time to do so. Disappointingly, you should know the drill by now, and even these moments feature the same obligatory quick scares and sound effects found in the other games.

Really Scary - Screen2

Well… bonus points for the old school console love.

It should surprise no one then that Really Scary doesn’t differ much from previous installments (you have to give the people what they want, I guess), though it does offer up some of the smoothest camera transitions and pseudo-FMV so far2. That increased fidelity comes at a cost, however, as this game is also on the shorter end of playtime. It took me about 25 minutes to reach the conclusion, even allowing for a few mistakes in-between.

Brevity aside, there’s not much here that’s new or fresh enough to warrant another purchase, and the recycled bits have lost their edge. I hate to pull out this old gem of a saying, but if you’ve played one of the games from this collection, you’ve really played them all. Granted, there’s been some decent scares along the way, but let’s hope this series now takes a very long hiatus3.


  1. If you’re into that sort of thing, of course. 
  2. No choppy frames – motion sickness = yay! 
  3. At least until next Halloween, please.