Tag Archives: Team Shuriken

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’. 
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REVIEW: Uncraft’Em All

A wise (and probably horny) man once said, ‘If it ain’t broke, why cover those girls up?’1 A sage observation and excellent advice, to be sure, and one that Uncraft’Em All ($1.00) is still keen on following (it works just fine for the internet). This game doesn’t bring much of anything new to the Uncraft Me series, but something tells me its target audience isn’t too particular regarding new content or extensive gameplay innovations, so long as the girls are included.

Uncraft'Em All - Screen

Ugh, don’t remind me of that game.

Not that the series needs any drastic changes to be successful. Its brand of punisher-platforming, which sees a small, square lad (and a jetpack with limited fuel) jumping and flying through dozens of lava-lined hallways and other hazards, functions well enough. Of course, it’s intentions are to kill you hundreds of times over and tease you with the promise of girls and above-average breast sizes, but the controls and the design are generally well-done.

Uncraft’Em All is no exception to the rule. It contains an impressive-sounding 24 stages, all of which will need to be carefully navigated by you in order to ‘rescue’ a fair maiden held captive at the end of the run. They’re split between four difficulty settings that range from easy to OMG F-UUUUU! hard, and you can tackle them in any order that you choose. However, all of these levels are shorter than the ones featured in previous games (no checkpoints needed), and the girls (the true focal point and your reason for being here, natch) are a ‘sloppy seconds’ of sorts, having all appeared in previous games from developer Team Shuriken’s skintastic oeuvre.

Uncraft'Em All - Screen2

You hear that? That’s the audible, disappointed sigh of a thousand young men who were hoping for an all-new set of women to ‘uncraft’. Life is full of disappointments. Still, while the ladies may have not changed, the levels themselves do provide the requisite amounts of challenge and frustration2 (the profanity-laden vocal track that accompanies each of your failures is still as applicable as ever) the punisher genre is known for.

That said, Uncraft’Em All is like any other Uncraft Me! game you’ve played before, just more of it. That’s not a bad thing, especially if you enjoyed the first two titles, but that also means it’s a retread. And with a new game, Uncraft World, coming to Steam in 2015, this one feels more like a masturbatory… ahem, celebratory— victory lap around XBLIG, thanking its feverish fans for their support, an appetizer to a main dish that will be served elsewhere.


  1. Damn, that’s a terrible joke. Sounds a lot like my previous Uncraft Me! motto, too: ‘If the breasts ain’t broke, don’t fix them!’ I really need to come up with new material. 
  2. To Hell with those timed laser traps, I say. To Hell! 

REVIEW: The Party

The Party ($1.00) is dreadful stuff. I probably could have used a better lead-in to that statement, but I figured it was best to get it right out there in the least amount of time, ‘time’ being something that The Party doesn’t do too well with. Team Shuriken‘s newest pseudo text adventure drops most of the requisite tits and / or any semblance of character development, and instead focuses on a college party that quickly gets out of hand. Sort of.

The Party - Screen

Oh, if I had a nickel for every time this happened to me…

You see, as soon as this party is, quote, ‘getting started’, it ends. That’s right, the game just ends, ten minutes in. All you get is a smarmy / smug ‘Congratulations!’— as if you’ve accomplished some great task— and an invitation to drop another dollar if and when the second chapter is released (and given the developer’s track record for finishing what it starts, you could be waiting indefinitely). I could leave things right here and let us both get on with our lives like The Party never happened, but I suppose I should give some specifics.

After Bro’s1 computer gets fried, he decides to give his buddy Spencer a call to lament the loss. Spencer’s solution is to throw a party, but Bro isn’t feeling it. Also, they know like zero girls between the two of them. Doesn’t matter. Spencer is hell-bent on throwing this party with— or without— Bro’s approval. To do so, he needs to assemble a group of ‘babes’ by guilt-tripping them into coming, and this sets up the primary ‘guesswork’ in The Party. It’s the same trial-and-error stuff you’ve come to expect, mixed with some light animation work and the obvious choices that will instantly ‘game over’ you, even if they might be worth a chuckle.

The Party - Screen2

Once Spencer has gathered the girls, he goes to Bro’s apartment, only to have a group of college dudes show up. Turns out they were expecting hot chicks at this party. The group is instead dismayed to find out they’ve come to a full-on sausage fest, so Bro and Spencer get themselves tossed out of their own party. You skip to a ‘few hours later’, after Bro has supposedly been The Hangover2-ed (new ‘haircut’ and all), and this is when the game ends.

Lucky for you, I’ve essentially laid out the game in abridged form here, so there’s no reason for you curious types to even download it. Sadly, it seems that for every small step Team Shuriken takes forward, it has to take one giant leap backward3. The Party certainly resets any recent progress I’ve given them credit for. Ugh.


  1. I’m sure he has a name, but ‘Bro’ is the only title that Spencer ever calls him by. Also, ‘Bro’ is the same dude at the desk from Venus Explorer. In fact, maybe that’s the ‘game’ that fries Bro’s computer in The Party. I don’t have any clever remark for this, I just like the possible continuity and thought you’d like to know. 
  2. And if we’re talking The Hangover films here, Part II is clearly the best one. It beats the abysmal third act by miles and miles, and it’s funnier than the original because it uses those same jokes from the first film to better comedic effect with already-established characters and situations. This doesn’t have anything to do with the game, by the way, I’m just sayin’. 
  3. Did I just use the Neil Armstrong quote to describe Team Shuriken’s game catalog? Sorry, Neil. 

REVIEW: Venus Explorer

Normally, now’s about the time in the program where I go on and on about boob games and the fall of Indie civilization,  but I suppose there’s no need to be so dire or rehash the past. Team Shuriken‘s oeurve is well-known already. It’s long and varied and full of tits. Venus Explorer ($1.00) continues that chesty trend without shame, this time out combining the animation work and the choose your own adventure-style graphic novella format with some interactive bits that you can actually control.

Venus Explorer - Screen

See that arcade cabinet? Press ‘A’ when you get there.

Venus Explorer‘s story is based in humorous sci-fi: one man with the fate of the Earth in his hands, aliens and spaceships and sidekicks and all that stuff. It’s the typical ‘Shuriken’ plot (read: an excuse to show some lovely ladies),  albeit slightly meta. The game starts with a kid in the 1980s, heading home to play a game on floppy disk called… you guessed it, Venus Explorer. So you’re playing a game about a game within a game. Whoa. Enjoy that moment while you can, since you’ll never see or hear about it again1.

Once you’re ‘in game’, it’s all familiar ground. As you advance, you’re usually presented with a series of choices— forks in the road, where to hide, how to attack, etc.. These lead you to short snippets of animation, success or failure, as you carry out the move. While it’s still trial-and-error on which option you should choose in any given situation, there are a trio of checkpoints that should keep your frustration and replays to a minimum.

Venus Explorer - Screen2

The game introduces a new gameplay wrinkle in the form of some simple platforming, allowing you to control the character in very short flight segments, like piloting a jetpack past very large floating heads(!), or in a ship making your escape. But don’t worry, Team Shuriken knows what you came for, and gives you a handful of ladies to ogle between your various ‘flights’ and navigational choices.

Not that you’ll need to set aside a huge amount of time to see it all. A half-hour of clicking through / guesswork, and you’ll arrive at the all-but-guaranteed setup for the sequel (er… an invitation to propagate the human race). I’ve said that Shuriken’s text adventure games have been approaching decent for some time, but Venus Explorer‘s brevity and hit-or-miss adventuring take that goodwill back a step. Even so, some of us can still appreciate the animation work and the effort. The rest will appreciate the boobs.

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Review on Indie Gamer Chick


  1. Save for the first instance you encounter one of the ladies, when you’ll flashback to the kid at his desk going full-horndog. Team Shuriken knows its audience well. 

My Big Flappy, Feathery Weekend

I know what you’re thinking. Most of the Flappy Bird ire and / or love has died down by now, so why bother with the (literally) hundreds of clones spread across every possible videogame medium? Like 2013’s flash-in-a-pan Harlem Shake videos, there’s only so many videos of ‘somebody humping something to a soundtrack’ that you can watch before the police get called. Such is the case with Dong Nguyen and his Flappy Bird phenomenon. Well, minus the humping, at least, although I wouldn’t be surprised if a video like it exists somewhere. This is the internet.

And like any good internet-driven bandwagon, XBLIG and its eclectic cast of developers has seen fit to grace the channel with seven ‘clones of a clone’ thus far, with many more to follow (I hope not, but hope is just a band-aid you put over despair). There’s undoubtedly a group of people that are still interested in the phenomenon. So, it falls to me to steer you towards the better versions and guide you away from the worst offenders.

Since this is less of a review, and more of a catch-all ‘impression’ of each game, I’ll simply label the results with a PASS (not worth the time), TRIAL (okay), or BUY (good). Of course, if any of these games strike your fancy, you’d do better to download them and see for yourself. For everyone else watching from the nest, on with the show.

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FlappyAvatar - Screen

FlappyAvatar ($1.00), from AztecGames has one thing going for it that all the other ‘Flappy’ clones (but one other) do not; the ability to use your avatar. If you ever wanted to see what your Xbox doppelganger would look like flying through green tubes, FlappyAvatar is that chance personified. It’s also one of the ‘easier’ clones to control, as even though the gaps between tubes get smaller and start to move, you can maintain pretty effective control over your Flap-atar (bad joke, I’m aware).

Verdict: PASS. It has Online Leaderboards, and follows the ‘Flap’ formula slightly, but its lone mode is unexciting.

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Flappy Feathers - Screen

Flappy Feathers ($1.00), by developer RicolaVG, is one of the more ‘authentic’ Flappy-likes, in that it looks and plays similar to the original format. That’s both good and bad, the bad part being you’ll feel the same frustration when crashing into the obstacle mushrooms (no tubes here). The full version features an ‘inverse’ mode, but that’s ridiculous. Who would want to invert the controls and run the course backwards? No one’s hands are raised? I thought so.

Verdict: TRIAL. Authentic look and feel to the original game, but no Online Leaderboards or other (serious) modes.

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Flupp the Fish - Screen

Flupp the Fish ($1.00) from EntwicklerX throws traditional ‘Flappy’ conventions out the window and opts for fish-based flapping. In addition to the standard ‘Survive’ setting, you have a ‘Escape’ mode that requires you to avoid obstacles and not get eaten by a giant fish pursuing you, and a ‘Rush’ mode where you drive a car (a fish, driving a vehicle underwater, yes), collecting coins and jumping out of the way of stationary enemies and potholes. Hmm, unexpected.

Verdict: PASS. The additional modes are neat… on paper and in theory. In-game, they play roughly the same and have a terrible ‘feel’ to the controls.

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Flapping Avatars - Screen

Flapping Avatars ($1.00), from AwesomeGamesStudio, also uses your avatar as a stand-in for a bird. But not really a ‘bird’. You see, you’re not really flying here. You’re running, and jumping through obstacles. As such, the control scheme doesn’t match up to what you’d expect. So, that shouldn’t really qualify this as a Flappy Bird clone, right?

Verdict: PASS. Not exactly a clone, and the lack of additional options and online leaderboards makes this one a bust.

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Flappy Wrecker - Screen

Flappy Wrecker ($1.00) comes from Team Shuriken, makers of not-so-fine boob games and challenging boob platformers. Here, they use their voxel engine from the Uncraft Me! series to recreate ‘Flappy Bird’. It does contain a helpful ‘Fucking Destroy Everythiiiiiiing!!!’ secondary mode that gives you a wrecking truck to ram through all the obstacles and various birds. Not very polite or bird-friendly, but very therapeutic.

Verdict: TRIAL. Nice look and style, authentic controls. No leaderboards here, demolished by your truck’s ‘rage quit’ run.

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Failing Bird - Screen

Failing Bird ($1.00) by Gamefarm, carries with it a similar look and feel to the source material, as well as the not-so-subtle theft (Bullet Bills abound). There’s plenty of varied hazards here, giving it more of a refreshing challenge upon repeated plays. You also have to appreciate a developer that comes right out and tells you all the money you waste on this title will be spent on other, serious endeavors.

Verdict: TRIAL. Four player co-op (local) and online leaderboards puts this one on par with Little Flappers, making it the closest to a BUY from this bunch.

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So, what have we learned from this extended exercise? Only a handful of these Flappy Bird clones are really worth a trial, and even then, it’s going to come down to available features and which game feels the most ‘comfortable’ to you. For me, playing through all of these games reinforces my argument that Little Flappers (REVIEW) is still the best Flappy Bird clone on XBLIG, with Failing Bird coming in at a close second. Do what you will with these assessments.

At any rate, it’s been a long, lost weekend flying around (and boy are my arms tired!), so let’s consider the argument settled. You hear me, XBLIG? No more flying, swimming, or running birds… or bird men… or fish posing awkwardly as birds… please?