Badge Quest


One of the great things about RetroAchievements is that there are so many different ways to have fun with the website.

Some people focus on earning as many points as possible and raising their site rank, whereas others prefer playing more casually and revisiting their favorite games from their youth.

Whatever your preference, I find that setting personal goals is a great way to make the most of your RetroAchievements journey.

Personally, my favorite way to experience RetroAchievements is by focusing on collecting badges.

I like to joke that I have absolutely no standards; no matter the game, if it seems like a quick and easy mastery, I want to add its badge to my profile.

Recently, I came up with the idea to make things a little more interesting by setting a challenge for myself: can I master a single game each day for an entire month?

My only rule was that the timestamps for when I earned the badge on my profile should represent a single game per day; when I began the game is irrelevant.

To make things even more fun, I decided to write up a mini-review immediately following each mastery, reflecting on the experiences that I had with the games. Welcome to Badge Quest.

August 1st

Game Author Genre
\~Hack~ Another Super Mario 3D ~Hack~ Another Super Mario 3D stfN1337 3D Platformer

This was a really delightful little hack! With so many Mario hacks focused on gimmicks or insane difficulty, it was a nice change of pace to play something with traditional level design. I’m not sure how active the SM64DS modding scene is, but I’d love to see more stuff like this on RA.

August 2nd

Game Authors Genre
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time retrogavsn, Kaiserlucas Role-Playing Game

Man, I love the Mario & Luigi games so much! This one in particular I feel gets an undeserved bad reputation. The only really negative thing I can say about it is that there are some pacing issues at times, but it’s still fun as heck and absolutely worth playing.

The combat system is incredible as always, the comedy is on point, and it’s just an overall delight to play. I haven’t played this one since the DS days, so it was really nice to revisit it!

August 3rd

Game Author Genre
Kirby's Dream Land Kirby’s Dream Land dude1286 Platformer

Kirby’s Dream Land is a difficult game to recommend in 2020. It’s short, easy, and doesn’t even have copy abilities. I still had a ton of fun playing it, but I would rather play any of its many sequels.

The highlight of this experience for me was playing through the game’s “Extra Mode”. I went into it expecting a fairly straightforward New Game + sort of situation, and was pleasantly surprised at how different it was from the main game! Extra Mode contains enemies that you don’t even see the first time around, boss patterns are drastically altered, and the overall difficulty level is much, much higher.

Overall, a very chill and enjoyable mastery.

August 4th

Game Author Genre
\~Demo~ Official UK PlayStation Magazine 10 | Euro Demo 10 ~Demo~ Official UK PlayStation Magazine 10 | Euro Demo 10 rabbids4eva Demo Disc, Compilation

Demo discs are cool! Put yourself in the shoes of a kid back in the day. You’re such a big PlayStation fan that you subscribe to the Official PlayStation Magazine. Not only do you get to read about all the cool upcoming games, but now you get to actually play them before you buy as well!

Unfortunately, this is a pretty rough lineup of games.

  • Olympic Soccer doesn’t feature any gameplay, instead allowing you to watch an incredibly one-sided 45-minute match.
  • Supersonic Racers is a hilariously bad racing game that feels dated even by PlayStation standards, but probably the most fun I had with the demo.
  • Toshinden 2, I don’t really play fighting games, so I can’t comment much on the quality of it. But I can say it has some pretty funny voice acting and the AI is easy to cheese.
  • Finally, we have Gunship, an incredibly ambitious game with a three minute timer before you’re booted back to the main menu. The HUD is overly complicated and takes up far too much of the screen, and I’m still not entirely sure that I understand how to even play the game. But I managed to brute force my way to 35,000 points somehow.

So that’s another mastery down!

August 5th

Game Author Genre
Play with the Teletubbies Play with the Teletubbies eldexter Adventure, edutainment

What is there even to say about this game? Should I judge it based on educational value? Should I consider how entertaining it was? Should I consider the points-per-minute ratio? Because it seems like a failure across every metric.

Teletubbies are weird and creepy, man. You know how most kids shows have actual storylines and things happen? Teletubbies is just…Random nonsense? I guess it’s supposed to somehow appeal to little kids’ brains or something…? I dunno man, it’s 4am and I’m reviewing a Teletubbies game. I’ve lost control of my life. Bendy out.

August 6th

Game Author Genre
Tama and Friends Sanchoume Kouen: Tamalympic Tama and Friends Sanchoume Kouen: Tamalympic ikki5 Sports

Tama and Friends is a very small, simple game. It consists of four minigames, which may either be practiced individually or played in a row as part of a competition. A score is given based on your performance in each minigame, with the main goal being to earn a cumulative score of at least 350 points across all four games in order to place first in the Tamalympics.

The art style is incredibly cute and the minigames are quite fun, but the overall package seems seriously lacking in replay value. I don’t know what this retailed for back in the day, but it’s hard to imagine it being worth the cost.

Nonetheless, it was an easy and fun mastery.

August 7th

Game Author Genre
\~Hack~ Legend of Zelda, The: The Missing Link ~Hack~ Legend of Zelda, The: The Missing Link Pelouch Action / Adventure

I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this hack. The amount of effort put into it is nothing short of astonishing. Ocarina of Time ranks among my all-time favorite games, so it really was a delight to revisit this universe for a brand new adventure.

The overall difficulty level was just right for me: not too easy, not too hard. The dungeon and world design is top-notch. Old content is used in fresh ways, and the new stuff is fantastic as well.

I also really enjoyed what they did with the story, serving to fill the gap between Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask in an interesting way.

The music was another major highlight of the experience for me, far exceeding my expectations. I highly recommend anyone interested in 3D Zelda check this one out.

August 8th

Game Author Genre
\~Homebrew~ Tetrigram ~Homebrew~ Tetrigram monkeytoung Tetrigram, Puzzle

Tetrigram, as the name implies, is a mix between Tetris and tangrams. Like with tangram puzzles, your objective is to fill the available space with your given pieces, the caveat here being that these pieces are all tetronimoes.

Oh wait, that isn’t true at all, because you’re also given a couple pieces to work with that aren’t tetronimoes? Weird.

Anyway, the puzzles typically have you filling in gaps to form pictures, which is sort of neat. The overall difficulty level is fairly low, and the difficulty doesn’t really increase as the game goes on, aside from a few random difficulty spikes.

The graphics and controls are basic and work well enough. I get the impression that this was someone’s first foray into GBA homebrew? There’s nothing really wrong about it, it’s just a very simple game.

It’s decently fun if you like these kinds of puzzles, but I’d suggest looking elsewhere if you want real brainteasers.

August 9th

Game Author Genre
\~Hack~ Super Mario World: Learn 2 Kaizo ~Hack~ Super Mario World: Learn 2 Kaizo Searo Platformer [Kaizo: Light / 69 Exits]

I have a bad habit of giving up when things get hard. Often I’ll look at an achievement set and say to myself “I can’t do that, that’s too hard” before I even give it an honest try. I’ve been playing Super Mario World my entire life, but watching videos of people playing Kaizo romhacks always left me with a feeling of “there’s no way I’ll ever be able to pull off something like that”.

My friends wanted to see me attempt Kaizo, however, so I decided to give this hack a try on my birthday stream. I was shocked to discover that I was not only making progress through the levels, but I was having a ton of fun as well?! Learn 2 Kaizo is such an amazing hack because it teaches the player Kaizo tricks very gradually. Playing through this hack taught me that I am capable of more than I believe, as long as I persevere.

This is particularly apparent in the game’s two toughest challenges: the final test and the midair shell jump. The final test is a culmination of everything the hack has taught thus far, and I felt like an absolute legend upon beating it. The midair shell jump, on the other hand, is an EXTREMELY technically challenging maneuver. I don’t know how many hours I spent on this single trick without making any progress, but the feeling of satisfaction upon pulling it off ranks upon my all-time favorite gaming experiences.

Learn 2 Kaizo taught me to believe in myself and to persevere, and I look forward to taking on further challenges in the future!

August 10th

Game Authors Genre
Mario is Missing Mario is Missing SporyTike, SamuraiGamerCat Educational

You know a game is bad when not even the presence of Yoshi is enough to make me smile. I have a pretty high tolerance level for bad games, but this one was a chore to get through. The gameplay loop is extraordinarily tedious, the educational value is minimal, and the game just seems to drag on and on and on.

History was always my least favorite subject in school. It wasn’t until college that I realized that history is so inherently fascinating, I just needed a passionate professor to teach the subject in an actually engaging way. Reading paragraphs about historical monuments and answering trivia questions reminded me of the rote memorization that middle and high school history classes always seemed to emphasize. I’d commit facts to my short-term memory, regurgitate that information on the test, and then forget what I learned afterward. Similarly, I remember astonishingly little of what I “learned” from Mario is Missing.

Don’t waste your time with this game.

August 11th

Game Author Genre
\~Homebrew~ Lan Master ~Homebrew~ Lan Master jared6502 Puzzle

Lan Master is a puzzle game in which you must rotate a tangled mess of computers and wires in order to create a single connected network. I don’t know what the original name for this type of puzzle is, but I’ve definitely seen it several times before in other games.

Lan Master throws in a few twists to keep you on your toes, however. The wires seem to have a mind of their own, and sometimes pieces that you’ve already put into the perfect position will decide to rotate seemingly for no reason. You also have a timer to contend with. The time limit is fairly generous, but can become stressful in the later levels. Achievements are awarded for each five consecutive levels that you complete, which may lead to some frustration in having to redo levels.

I really liked the theming of Lan Master. The visual presentation is appealing, and there’s something incredibly satisfying about seeing such well-organized cable management upon the completion of each level.

Overall, I enjoyed this one.

August 12th

Game Author Genre
\~Hack~ Hack 2 ~Hack~ Hack 2 Bl4h8L4hBl4h Platformer [Normal / 21 Exits]

Like its predecessor, Hack 2 features a small collection of levels, each centered around a gimmick not seen in Super Mario World. Some levels add new moves to Mario’s toolkit, whereas others limit his movement options.

The twists to each level were fun to learn and master, and none of them overstayed their welcome. There wasn’t a single level that I disliked in this hack. The hack gets a bit strange toward the end, culminating in a series of carnival minigames which lead to multiple comedic endings.

The minecart level preceding the true ending was a bit underwhelming, but this is only a small nitpick. I look forward to checking out the rest of the Hack series; after all, how can I not support someone named Golden Yoshi?

August 13th

Game Author Genre
\~Hack~ Thamz in a Wheelchair ~Hack~ Thamz in a Wheelchair eldexter Turn Based RPG

Thamz in a Wheelchair is a Paper Mario hack that lets you live out your fantasies of beating up Emperor_Thamz, the creator of Paper Mario: Master Quest. He has been hospitalized with Hepatitis C and is confined to a wheelchair, severely limiting his options for defending himself. Mario, on the other hand, has never felt better, sporting a max level build with fully upgraded partners and access to every badge in the base game.

The hack seems to be based on a running joke in the Paper Mario modding community, and I’m sure I would find it funnier if I was in on the joke. The achievement set embraces the concept of “doing a lot with a little”, awarding achievements for pretty much any action that is possible within this incredibly small hack.

Strongly recommended for anyone who wants to take out their frustrations after playing Master Quest.

August 14th

Game Author Genre
\~Hack~ Just Blob ~Hack~ Just Blob Bl4h8L4hBl4h Platformer [Easy / 6 Exits]

Just Blob is a pretty fun little hack. Blob can jump extremely high, giving the platforming a significantly different feel in comparison to Super Mario World. Blob also has a unique projectile attack, requiring the use of consumable ammunition.

The visual design is one of the hack’s greatest strengths. I particularly liked the backgrounds, which take on the appearance of pages from a sketchbook, complete with childlike doodles. The enemies feel very similar to their Super Mario World counterparts in terms of mechanics, but reskinned to fit the new aesthetic. The music is ripped from other games, mostly focused on upbeat, catchy tunes from series such as Kirby and Yoshi.

Two of the game’s achievements gave me a bit of trouble, requiring many attempts before I managed the perfect run. Beating the last level without taking damage was particularly challenging due to the erratic nature of the final boss.

Taking into account that this hack was released in 2011, I would say that it does an excellent job at providing a fresh new adventure within the limitations of Super Mario World’s engine.

August 15th

Game Author Genre
\~Homebrew~ Piecrust ~Homebrew~ Piecrust monkeytoung Puzzle, Picross

How do you screw up Picross this badly?! Picross is fun precisely because it is a logic puzzle; that is, you should always be able to deduce the next move that will take you one step closer to the solution. Piecrust, on the other hand, frequently puts the player in situations where they must rely on trial and error, rather than logic, in order to solve the puzzles. The game is weirdly frontloaded with these types of frustrating puzzles, with most of the later puzzles being much easier.

I get the impression that the developer focused on creating pixel art first, and whatever puzzle arose from the pictures was just an afterthought. There’s no sense of difficulty progression either, with all of the game’s 60 puzzles taking place on 10x10 grids. Even the controls in Piecrust are bad. The slightest tap of the D-pad will cause your cursor to move a space, whereas holding the button will move the cursor with incredible speed. I frequently overshot my targets because I held the directional button ever so slightly too long. You can move the cursor while holding the A button to mark multiple squares in a row, yet holding the B button to cross out a square causes the cursor to be locked into position? There is also no penalty for selecting an incorrect square, meaning that you may encounter situations where you do not realize that you made a mistake until long after the fact.

There’s really no reason to play this one over the numerous other Picross offerings out there.

August 16th

Game Author Genre
Tangram Tangram monkeytoung Puzzle, Tangram

There really isn’t much to say about this game. It’s a collection of tangram puzzles, as the name implies. The controls work fine, and the presentation is extremely minimalist. The game’s biggest downfall is that it has a mere 15 levels. Recommended for people trying to get a quick and easy badge.

August 17th

Game Author Genre
\~Homebrew~ Sir Ababol Remastered ~Homebrew~ Sir Ababol Remastered Enddox Platformer (Side Scrolling)

Usually when I do these write-ups, it’s very clear to me why I enjoyed or disliked a game. With Sir Ababol, things are a bit trickier. I know that I had a ton of fun with the set, but it’s difficult to pinpoint why exactly.

The game itself is a pretty standard platformer. Playing as one of three characters with distinct strengths and weaknesses, your goal is to collect all 24 roses scattered throughout the land.

The game is fairly short, and can probably be beaten by a skilled player in a matter of minutes; mastering the set, on the other hand, is rather challenging. The bulk of my time with this set was spent on trying to beat the entire game without getting hit a single time as two of the game’s three characters. Something about these achievements was incredibly motivating for me. Although I often find damageless/deathless achievements to be frustrating and tedious, I found myself trying again and again to master this game, telling myself “just one more run” over and over.

I’m glad that The Unwanted event is bringing more attention to this game, because it’s actually a lot of fun. A very satisfying mastery.

August 18th

Game Author Genre
Bust-A-Move Bust-A-Move Delmaru Puzzle (Matching)

Bust-A-Move is a classic! It takes a simple concept for a puzzle game and executes it to perfection. I’ve played many “bubble shooter” style knockoff games, but never really played the original for more than a few minutes before today. The gameplay is super addictive, to the extent that I ended up mastering the entire set in a single extremely long session.

I was surprised at how challenging the game became in its later stages. Maybe I’m just bad at the game, maybe it’s RNG, but there were several stages that required multiple attempts for me to overcome. It’s one of those games that boots you back to the main menu upon failure and requires you to enter the password to continue, which is a bit of a pain. At least the passwords are short, though.

The game is sort of a pseudo-sequel to Bubble Bobble, featuring many of the same characters once again. Hearing the Bubble Bobble theme play as the credits rolled brought a huge smile to my face, and was the perfect way to wrap up this adventure. Check this one out if you haven’t already; it’s a ton of fun.

August 19th

Game Author Genre
Remote Control Remote Control Jamiras Game Show

Remote Control is one of those games that perfectly encapsulates an era. Based on an old MTV game show, Remote Control tasks players with answering trivia questions about the television shows, movies, and music of the 70s-80s.

The game is cheesy as heck, and honestly pretty endearing. The host and questions try way too hard to be funny, in a “so bad it’s good” sort of way. The contestants’ faces attempt to be realistic despite the shortcomings of the NES, and end up being hilariously creepy as a result.

Though I’m too young to really appreciate a lot of the references here, I enjoyed Remote Control as a glimpse into a different time.

August 20th

Game Author Genre
Taz Taz RetroDave82 Arcade

My time on RetroAchievements has given me a newfound appreciation for the Atari 2600. Like many games on the console, Taz is all about surviving as long as you can and chasing after a high score.

The gameplay is pretty addictive and the achievements provide a satisfying level of challenge. For such a simple game, I was impressed by the creativity behind some of the achievements that require you to play in highly specific ways. The game’s difficulty increases gradually at first, and then drastically upon reaching the “Crazed Wave”.

The only complaint I have is that the controls sometimes felt unresponsive. Sometimes I would briefly tap the D-pad and Taz would not move, whereas other times I’d hold down the direction for a bit longer to compensate and Taz would move farther than I intended.

I managed to master this one fairly quickly, though your results may vary; it all comes down to reaction time and mastery of the game’s controls.

August 21st

Game Author Genre
\~Homebrew~ Super Bat Puncher ~Homebrew~ Super Bat Puncher MagusPC Action, Platform

Super Bat Puncher is a demo by Morphcat Games, best known these days for their work on Micro Mages. These guys know their stuff when it comes to NES homebrew.

The game doesn’t seem to have any of the common NES limitations, such as sprite flicker or slowdown. The movement of the main character is tight and responsive; no wonky NES physics here. I’d go so far as to say these are some of the best feeling controls I’ve experienced on the console. I know it seems like I’m dwelling on minor points here, but I was seriously impressed with this game from a technical standpoint.

The power-ups that you acquire throughout your journey add some really fun and inventive movement options. The game has some pretty cool secrets tucked away throughout its world as well, including a super challenging postgame area that really pushed me to my limits.

I loved this game, and am disappointed to discover that the project has seemingly been abandoned.

August 22nd

Game Author Genre
\~Homebrew~ Sudoku ~Homebrew~ Sudoku rabbids4eva Puzzle, Sudoku

This is a surprisingly good take on sudoku! Rather than having a predetermined list of puzzles, the game actually procedurally generates puzzles as you go.

The game allows you to select from easy, medium, or hard difficulties, as well as including toggles for showing invalid or wrong values, allowing you to customize the experience to your preferred style of playing sudoku. Being on the Apple II allows this game to take full advantage of the keyboard, which definitely streamlines the controls when compared to some other sudoku games on more traditional consoles.

Really, what more can you ask for in a sudoku game?

August 23rd

Game Author Genre
\~Demo~ Official UK PlayStation Magazine 03 | Euro Demo 03 ~Demo~ Official UK PlayStation Magazine 03 | Euro Demo 03 rabbids4eva Demo Disc

Oh boy, another demo disc! This one features two playable games and two video demonstrations.

  • The video for Ridge Racer shows a race from the game, but with dynamic camera angles to make it seem much more exciting than it actually is.
  • Evolva X isn’t a game at all, but rather a sequence of trippy CGI imagery, supposedly to show the kinds of graphics that the PlayStation is capable of? Whatever its purpose, it’s 90s as heck and I love it.
  • Hi-Octane seems like a pretty cool racing/vehicular combat game. You race from a first-person perspective, shooting bullets and missiles at your opponents to destroy their vehicles.
  • Finally, we have the headliner of the collection, Mortal Kombat 3. I’m awful at fighting games, so it took a bit of trial and error for me to discover ways to cheese my way to victory. As someone who has never performed a fatality in my life, I have to say it was pretty satisfying getting the input just right and seeing the achievement pop up! Also, friendships and babalities are ridiculous and downright hilarious.

I really enjoyed the achievements in this set; they did a good job at making me play through the demos over and over, but with different objectives in mind each time. Overall, I feel that the games here were much more fun than Euro Demo 10.

August 24th

Game Author Genre
\~Hack~ Pana Der Hejhog ~Hack~ Pana Der Hejhog Alurith Action-Platformer

This is a difficult one for me to talk about. I’m really not a fan of Sonic games, so it’s difficult for me to speak objectively about what this hack does well. The hack consists of only a single level, but seems pretty polished overall.

There’s an interesting mechanic where the weather changes halfway through the level, and suddenly you’re playing an ice stage. There’s also a ball you can roll on, which was apparently an unused mechanic from Sonic 1. I can see why it was cut; it’s honestly pretty janky and awkward.

The achievement set is fantastic, really pushing the limits of what you can do in this small hack. You really need to explore every nook and cranny of the game’s multiple routes in order to get all of the achievements. There’s a speedrun achievement as well, although the timing on it is very generous.

If you like Sonic games, or just want an easy badge, you might as well check this one out.

August 25th

Game Author Genre
Picture Puzzle (Karoshi Corporation) Picture Puzzle (Karoshi Corporation) monkeytoung Puzzle, Picross

This is definitely one of the easier picross games on RA.

The game has a mere 45 puzzles, most of which are 5x5 or 10x10. Only the last 5 puzzles are 15x15. The controls work perfectly, which was a breath of fresh air after playing Piecrust earlier this month.

There are a couple puzzles that require you to guess, but this happened infrequently enough to not significantly detract from my enjoyment of the game. Also, you know how most picross games have differently colored lines every 5 spaces to help you count tiles more easily? Picture Puzzle doesn’t have that.

These really are nitpicks, however; I had a fun time mastering this one.

August 26th

Game Author Genre
MegaMania MegaMania SporyTike Fixed Shooter

MegaMania is pretty simple little space shooter.

Your spacecraft hangs out at the bottom of the screen, where you move horizontally to dodge incoming projectiles and line up your shots at waves of enemies. Whenever you defeat all onscreen enemies, you earn points based on remaining time and move onto the next wave.

There’s a weird quirk where your bullets always remain vertically aligned with your ship, effectively allowing you to move your shots after you fire them.

I appreciate how fast-paced this game is and how varied the enemy formations are, especially compared to something like Space Invaders. Every 10,000 points you earn nets you an extra life, which encourages aggressive gameplay to complete waves as quickly as possible.

I tend to struggle with shmups, but I had a lot of fun trying this one over and over until I finally made it far enough to earn all the achievements.

August 27th

Game Author Genre
Sky Skipper Sky Skipper RetroDave82 Arcade

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…Oh wait, it’s actually a plane. Sky Skipper tests your piloting skills as you drop bombs on gorillas and rescue caged animals.

The most challenging part of the game for me was managing the plane’s high speed. A slower game mode is also available, but you need to play on the higher difficulty setting in order to earn all of the achievements. I frequently found myself in situations where I had to fly dangerously close to deadly walls in order to save the animals, where the slightest misstep could result in my demise. Fuel management is another vital gameplay mechanic; take too long to complete a level, and you lose a life.

The game’s biggest shortcoming is the lack of variety in the stages as you proceed.

There really isn’t much more to say; it’s a simple set for a simple game, and I had a fun time mastering it.

August 28th

Game Author Genre
Gangster Alley Gangster Alley RetroDave82 Crosshair Shooter

Oh boy, more Atari! Gangster Alley is a game about gangsters in an alley. Okay, I suppose that much was obvious.

The objective of the game is to shoot at the gangsters as they appear before they get the chance to shoot at you. There are also women and children hanging out in the alley, so you have to be careful not to shoot them. The game takes on a first-person perspective, where you move around a reticle to aim at your targets. Accuracy is important, because you have a limited amount of ammunition in each stage.

I quite like the character designs in this. Some of the gangsters look undead, even though I’m pretty sure that isn’t what the designers were going for.

Once you get the hang of the movement of the crosshair, this becomes one of those Atari games that you can effectively play forever. Perhaps it was harder with the original joystick, but I felt that the difficulty level never really gave me much to worry about. Even if you do make a mistake, the game is pretty generous with giving you extra lives as your score increases.

In spite of these flaws, there’s something really charming about this game.

August 29th

Game Author Genre
Kangaroo Kangaroo RetroDave82 Platformer (Single screen)

Kangaroo is about what you would expect from a platformer on the Atari 2600. The game consists of three single screen levels, after which the game loops and becomes slightly more challenging.

I figured I’d be able to knock this one out in less than an hour easily, yet I was sorely mistaken. I ended up struggling big time, taking nearly three hours to master the set. It’s hard for me to pinpoint the reason why I had such a tough time with this game. The game itself doesn’t seem like it should be particularly challenging, with pretty straightforward level design and mechanics, and the achievement set doesn’t even ask that much of the player. Nonetheless, I found myself failing over, and over, and over again. The achievement stats appear similar to the last few Atari sets that I’ve completed with ease, so maybe I’m alone on this one? Maybe I’m just having an off day?

Whatever the case, I breathed a sigh of relief upon finally mastering this one. It was fun for a little while, but I have no desire to ever return to those three endlessly looping stages ever again. I fully expect to hear the sound effects from this game repeating endlessly in my head as I attempt to fall asleep tonight.

August 30th

Game Author Genre
Sudoku Sudoku Kisumebuckets Puzzle, Sudoku

Sudoku on MSX is another sudoku game that procedurally generates puzzles, as opposed to having a set list of unchanging puzzles. The game accepts both keyboard and controller inputs, which I found rather convenient. The game features four difficulty levels, but offers little else in the way of customization.

The real star of the show here is the achievement list. The achievements for this game are surprisingly creative in comparison to other similar games on RA. Seriously, take a look at the list if you don’t believe me; there are some pretty unique ideas on display here. I ended up having particularly bad RNG on one of the achievements, as the game repeatedly refused to generate a puzzle featuring a seven in the top left corner, causing the mastery to take much longer than it should have. Even taking this into account, however, mastering this set was a pretty chill experience.

August 31st

Game Authors Genre
Plumbers Don't Wear Ties Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties monkeytoung, Blazekickn Visual Novel

Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties is a bizarre game that left me asking “why does this exist?”.

The game’s presentation defies all logic. Most of the “game” plays out like watching a movie, except that movies are generally known for having, you know, MOVING PICTURES. They essentially took a movie that they filmed, presumably had difficulty including the entire movie on a 3DO disc, and then decided to instead present the visuals of the movie with a series of images of the scenes from the movie…? So while you watch the movie, you only get to see a single frame that lingers for many seconds as the audio plays, before getting to see the next frame. It’s absolutely baffling, and an awful way to watch a film.

Occasionally you’re provided with two or three options on how the scene should progress, in the style of a visual novel. This isn’t an epic “choices matter” narrative, however; most of the time, all but one choice will lead to a premature bad ending.

The movie itself is a romantic comedy with a paper thin plot and a truly bizarre sense of humor. It can honestly be kind of funny if you go into it with the right mindset, not so much because of the game’s attempts at humor, but moreso because of the overall absurdity of the entire package. The game is fully aware of how ridiculous its premise is, and really goes over the top with a “lol so random” style of comedy. The jokes are simultaneously juvenile and inappropriate for children.

I just…I don’t even know how to review this game. It isn’t a game.