Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Clockwork soda robots

Well that didn't go well. Here we are near the end of March and the world is almost unrecognisable. Games are the last thing on my mind while I'm worrying about where we're going to get food from. Free time is pretty much non-existent - I'm working mornings and evenings so I can spend some time looking after the kids during the day, and the odd hour I do get is just a smeared, bleary-eyed crash of time curled on the sofa. Does that mean I'm not thinking about games at all? Of course not. I'm pining for a return to normality, and games are a defining feature of my normal life. I've been thinking of starting up a new gaming project even crazier than this one - I know it's my brain trying to run away from the real world; trying to escape into a dream life of unending electronic entertainment, but who wouldn't want to escape this?

Anyway, I didn't come here to whine. I came here to catalogue the games I was playing pre-covid-cataclysm so I wouldn't completely forget them. I mentioned in my last post that I was playing a few 'snack' games, and I think I mostly finished three of them. First up was Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink. This was a really simple hidden object game, but sometimes that's what you need. I actually find them quite relaxing as a way to turn your brain off for a while. Not really much more to say, it had a story, I played through it, I found all the objects.

Next up was Soda Dungeon. This is one of those 'idle games' ported over from mobile. There are no micropayments in the Steam version (you still can buy in-game currency in bulk, but why would you?) so it's just an auto-grind. Again, something you can do with your brain on snooze. You choose a set of characters, equip them, start them off on their dungeon journey and then go away and do something else for a few hours. When you come back, they're either all dead or they completed the dungeon run - whichever it is, you still end up with a bunch of loot at the end that you then pour into incrementally powerful abilities for exponentially more money. As far as I can tell, there is no end to it. I've made it to the last zone, but from what I've read it's just endless so I'm going to count it as done.

The final game I played was Robothorium. This is a very light RPG where you send a group of robots on missions and slowly level them up. There's a hard level limit that my bots hit long before the end of the game, which is always disappointing. That doesn't mean the fights get any easier, as the enemies scale as you progress. I made it through to the final boss, but as far as I can tell it's functionally impossible to beat it with my current set up. Essentially, all enemies in the game have shields and health. Once you do enough damage to drain their shields you start to remove their health, and once their health is gone they're destroyed. Enemies regain a bit of shield (and sometimes health) at the beginning of their turn. Your characters work in the same way. The gimmick with the final boss is that it recovers a huge amount of its shield every turn, and it has a huge shield to begin with. My characters don't do enough damage each turn to offset the amount it's healing. The boss also isn't doing enough damage to me that I can't recover every turn so we're at a stalemate. I can see what I need to do to defeat it - you can find certain weapon types that do a little damage to an enemy's body at the same time as a little damage to its shield, so I could chip away at its health even while it restores its shield - but those weapons are rare and only found in random drops at the end of fights. I started grinding out fights to try and earn the weapons, but hadn't got anywhere after a few hours of trying. As mentioned, I'm also already at max-level, so the grinding has absolutely no material benefit, which is fairly soul destroying. So, even though I'd actually really like to finish this one, I think I'm going to have to call it a day and drop it.

That's it for now. Who knows when the next update will be. My aim is to carry on with Rebel Galaxy when I can. Stay safe everyone, my thoughts go out to you.

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