Monday, 11 November 2019

3-D Bomberman (MSX)

Though it seems like an obvious thing to have tried at some point in the mid-00s, maybe around the time of the awful Bomberman Act Zero, as far as I can tell, this game from all the way back in 1984 is the only attempt at a first-person Bomberman game. To put that in perspective, I don't even think anyone involved had even realised the multiplayer potential for the series at this point! Obviously, this doesn't use polygons, or even sprite scaling for its 3D effect, instead using Phantasy Star-style dungeons to stage an action game.

By that, I mean they're mazes with identical walls, where your movement is in pre-determined steps, and you can only turn in increments of ninety degrees. This wasn't the only action game from this era to use such a setting, with the most famous example in the UK being 3D Monster Maze, released in 1981 on the Sinclair ZX81, a computer with significantly less power than the MSX. An important difference between that game and 3-D Bomber Man though, is that while 3D Monster Maze had the player as a passive participant, running and hiding from the T-Rex in the maze, the player in this game is tasked with killing the enemies (malevolent green balloons, the eponymous floaters from the UK's localised version of the first Bomber man game, Eric and the Floaters), by dropping time bombs in the grand Bomberman tradition. You can also escape from the maze by finding a ladder, but you don't get any points for this, and I'm not sure if the game has an ending to reach.

The game's execution is about as good as can be expected with the technology of the time, with two small exceptions. Firstly, each of your steps covers the distance of half a block in the maze, which, couple with the stiff 90 degree turning, means you can sometimes get stuck on corners for a few seconds, which can be annoying when you're being chased. The other problem is that there are two types of wall: the indestructible outer wall of the maze, and the destructible walls within, and they both look identical. You do have a small radar that only shows you, the enemies, and the outer walls, but it's a weak compromise. There are other problems, but they're not so much problems with this game, but ways in which someone playing it in 2019 can see that it could have been improved upon with more advanced technology: things like atmospheric stereo sound, the ability to peek round corners, and move in directions other than backwards and forwards would all have added a lot, but obviously wouldn't really have been possible in 1984. Which makes it stranger that it's not an idea Hudson ever revisited, as far as I know.

3-D Bomber Man isn't a bad game, but at the same time, it's more interesting than it is good. It's worth playing out of curiosity, but not much more than that. Also, since I mentioned it at the start, I want to point something out about Bomberman Act Zero: while everyone laughed at that game's attempt at applying a dystopian sci-fi aesthetic to Bomberman, the real problem it had was that it was barely a game at all: the single player mode consisted of 100 identical boring stages, and the multiplayer mode was only playable online. And even then, you could only play in that one stage that's in the single player.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Cross Wiber - Cyber Combat Police (PC Engine)

Last year, I reviewed Cyber Cross - Busou Keiji, which is one of the most-played PC Engine games among those of which I actually own real copies. Cross Wiber is the sequel to that game, and it too is a tokusatsu-themed single-plane beat em up. This time, though, the aesthetic is one more contemporaneous to the tokusatsu shows at the time, as opposed to the 1970s retro look of the first game. Think Blue Swat or Mobile Cop Jiban, as opposed to Kamen Rider or Battle Fever J. The best part of this is that one of the bosses from the first game (the fire-breathing giant frog-man) reappears in the new style, looking totally different, but also instantly recognisable.

The new look is generally pretty great all round, though: everything's very detailed and well-drawn, and it has a little bit of a gritty edge to it, and there's lots of shiny technology and gooey monsters. The game itself has had a few changes made to it, too. For example, where transformation in the first game was dependant on collecting an item, this time round, you just have to press the select button when your health is high enough to have some blue segments. There's really no reason why you wouldn't transform as soon as possible, but requiring you to manually do it does make it feel a little cooler.

Just like last time, there's red, green, and blue forms to transorm into (the default is red, and the other two have to be collected as items), and the weapons for each form are the same, too: red has a sword, green has boomerangs, and blue has a gun. It seems the devs realised that the gun was the best weapon by a long distance, so its use is reliant on battery power, and the blue form is reduced to using punches and kicks when that runs out. Other than these small differences, and a shooting stage where you're riding on a hoverbike, it's very similar to the first game, but with a new coat of paint.

The main difference, which is a big factor as to why I don't like this as much as I did Cyber Cross is the difficulty. The first few stages are very, very easy. A lot easier than the first game ever was. Then along comes the sixth stage, which takes place atop a bunch of metal pillars, with instant death pits below and gangs of floating monsters going about the place, waiting to slightly knock you to your doom. It just feels like such a letdown that instead of designing stages and enemies that challenge you in combat, the devs inserted this kind of test of memory and luck. It's not a total game-ruiner, but it did deflate my enthusiasm for it quite a bit.

As it is, Cross Wiber is a game that's decent, but far from essential. The most damning thing about it, though, is that it's both less good and more expensive than its predecessor. I won't tell you not to play it, but I'd definitely direct you towards Cyber Cross instead of it.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Dark Awake -The King Has No Name- (PS3)

So, this is a fighting game that was originally released on Taito's Type X arcade hardware as "Chaos Breaker" in 2004, with this, the only home port, coming six years later. It's a fantasy-themed 2D fighting game base around team battles, kind of like a combination of Golden Axe: The Duel with the King of Fighters series, but with a few interesting little gimmicks to call its own. As far as I can tell, the home version is pretty much a straight port of the original, with the only addition being online play (which I'm fairly certain is no longer available).

There's eighteen characters, divided into six teams, all of except one of which is racially homogenous. So there's a team each of humans, elves, dwarves, sea demons, and undead, as well as a team that's made up of a goblin, an orc, and a troll. Though the designs do lean heavily on typical fantasy tropes, there's still some cool ideas in the designs. One of the dwarves, for example, comes with an entire artillery cannon, and there's members of the monster and undead teams riding mounts of their own. And even the more cliched characters are cool enough to be appealling, too. Though it's a straight KOF-style team battle arrangement with no tagging, you can call the still-concious members of your team in for assist attacks, and this plays into the game's main unique gimmick.

When you pick your team, you see, you get four slots to fill. The first three are for your characters, and the fourth is for an item. There's a ton of items to choose from, and they do various things like healing your health or super meters, increasing attack or defence for a few seconds, summoning a monster to attack your opponent, and so on. This ties into the assist system in a couple of ways:assists are called by pressing a combination of two attack buttons, and your item is listed among your team memebers and used in the same way. Where things get more interesting (in a single player game, at least) is when, after defeating a team, you get a few more items to pick from, and you can choose to use them to either replace the item you picked at the start, or if you're feeling brave, to replace up to two of your characters, giving you a disadvantage in terms of the number rounds you can lose, but also giving you a bigger choice of usable items.

So, is the game any good? Yes! It feels good to play, all the attacks look and sound good, it's just all-round a pretty good game. It was never going to have an easy time, being a post-2000 2D fighting game with no ties to existing series, and it definitely can't have been helped by the fact that it looks a lot better in motion than it does in still screenshots, either. In motion, it looks great, with big sprites and expressive animation, but in stills, the sprites tend to look a lot more blocky and ugly. If you have the means to play a Japan-only download-only PS3 game (or, for that matter, a Taito Type X game), it's definitely worth your time.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Other Stuff Monthly #6!

Like me, you've probably been curious about all those Chinese Lego-alike brands on Aliexpress, especially since they all have their own unique and original themes, along with the clones of official Lego sets and minifigs of characters to whom they don't own a license. These themes are pretty wide-ranging, too, with fantasy, sci-fi, historical, military and other sets. Recently, I gave into the curiosity and ordered one to see what's what. Specifically, I got Sluban set 0615, from their "The Assassin Legend" theme.

All the sets in this theme seem to feature a smallish medieval building, two combatant minifigs and one civilian minifig. In this case, it's a dwarven blacksmith and his shop providing the backdrop for a fight between a female ninja and an androgynous knight. The shop itself is really nice: it's got two floors and a roof, and both floors actually have stuff in them. There's a little forge and hammer on the ground floor, while upstairs has what appears to be a kind of medieval bathroom, with a barrel and trough. Outside, there's a table, a rack and a training dummy.

As for the minifigs, they're very different in look and construction to official Lego minifigs, with slightly more articulation on the necks. They do look a little odd, but that's probably just in contrast to a lifetime of seeing the original design. They're well-equipped too, as the set comes with three blisters full of swords, halberds, axes, and a bow. Another win for Sluban!

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this. I'd heard that these sets sometimes have missing parts, but I actually had a few pieces left over when I was done! There was an absent sticker sheet, but to be honest, it's not missed, as I hate applying stickers. It was also shipped without a box, but that was made clear on the seller's page, so it's not like I was deceived or anything there (but it might be a problem if you were intending to buy something like this as a gift).  I'll probably get some more sets at some point in the future, after what a success this one's been.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Metropolismania 2 (PS2)

Metropolismania 2, also known as Machi-ing Maker 2: Zoku Boku no Machi Zukuri, is a city-building game, though it takes a much more down-to-earth approach to the subject matter than the likes of Sim City. It's also a lot simpler, as you don't have to manage finances,  utilities, traffic, or any of the other things you might expect from such a game. Instead, itcan be considered to have elements from Sim City, The Sims, and Animal Crossing, along with its own unique take on municipal management, planning and engineering.

The most obvious difference compared to those other games is the total lack of budgeting required: buildings, roads, and most other things cost nothing. The only money in the game belongs to your character, and is for buying items either for your own use, or to give as gifts. Instead, buildings can only be built when there's someone who wants to move into them, and finding such people is the game's core hook. If you're doing an especially good job of running your town, you'll be receiving e-mails from families and businesses (oddly, all the employees of any businesses in your town all live together in the business' premises as if they were a family) telling you that they want to move in, and what kind of building they want to move into, that you're then able to build.

For most of the game, however, this won't be happening. Instead, you have to gradually befriend the people already living in your town and ask them to introduce you to their out-of-town friends who might want to move in. After a short time, you'll start getting requests for specific buildings and facilities, too, like hospitals, schools, parks, and so on, and you've got to go around talking to everyone, gathering clues on who might have the right connections for what you need.

It's a novel concept, at least, but unforunately, it's not a particularly fun one. The problem is that you've got to do this stuff a lot of times to a lot of people to get anywhere, and once you've finished one stage, you start a new stage and do it all over again (this seems to be a problem in Japan-developed building games, actually, as having to start all over again is what made me stop playing Dragon Quest Builders after I finished the first stage and found out that that meant losing all the stuff I'd built). And even just the first stage took me something like two and a half hours to get through. The only way I can see anyone getting a long way into this game is if they either have a very high tolerance for repetition, or if they play one stage over the course of a day or two, then take a long break before starting the next one.

There are some positive things I have to say about Metropolismania 2, though. For a start, it does have a lot of charm, and even though the townspeople will repeat the same few topics of conversation over and over, it does somehow give the illusion of them all having personalities. Another thing I really liked is that you can go into a first-person view and walk aroud the streets of your town, and the game even keeps the people going about their business while you do so, so you can talk to them just as if you were passing in the street for real. Or you can do it at night, while the streets are empty, all the shops are shut and the only light is from the lampposts. It's got a very comfy feel about it.

Inexplicably, this game and the one before it both got worldwide releases, so you can get them pretty easily, and pretty cheaply. If you're curious, I wouldn't totally dissuade you from giving it a try, though I wouldn't recommend paying more than five or six pounds if you do.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Totsugeki! Mix (PC98)

The problem with looking into games that are on systems that never got released in English-speaking territories is that you're usually limited to action games and nothing else. Amd when those systems are computers that were aimed at businessmen, like the PC98, it's even worse, since there's a higher proportion than usual of games in very text-heavy genres. Luckily, Totsugeki Mix happens to be a pretty straight-up platfor game, of the kind kids across the world were playing, no matter what systems they had access to. Less luckily, though, is that there's almost nothing interesting about it at all. (Except the nice pixel art, but that's the minimum you'd expect from a PC98 game, really).

You jump over things, attack enemies, collect stuff, and so on, just like you've don't a million times before. The only ways in which the game stands out are either bad, or just slightly odd. A bad thing, for example, is how there are three playable characters, only one of whom is viable. Because only one of them can double jump, a skill whose absence makes some stages uncompletable. An odd thing is how every platform you can stand on is completely solid. Like, you can't walk in front of it, or jump through it from below or anything like that. I'm not sure if this one is a deliberate design choice, or just a problem deemed too minor to be worth fixing by the devs, but it does make some areas really awkward to get through.

Like I've already mentioned, the one good thing that can be said in this game's defense is that it's got really nice backgrounds: detailed, high resolution, and very colourful. I guess you could also make the case that it is merely a boring, mediocre game, and not one that's actively unpleasant to play. But I can't recommend it on the strength of that alone, and I won't. There's plenty of much better platformers with great pixel art in the world, like the Amiga's Lionheart, or the X68000's Castlevania, for example. Play those instead of Totsugeki Mix.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Elemental Battle Academy (PC)

Elemental Battle Academy is a kind of combination of a multi-person fighting game (with up to eight combatants in a match), and a third person shooter. But the combat's largely base around melee. You know what I mean though, right? Anyway, it's about a bunch of magical girls fighting each other in big arenas, with a camera just behind the one you're controlling, that's the main thing I'm trying to get across here.

I have to say this about the game: it's incredibly well-made. It's only a doujin title, but it could easily pass for a mid-budget console game. Not only that, but it all works like it should, too: no glitches, graphical or otherwise, and it all feels very stable the whole time you're playing. If these compliments seem a bit suspicious that's because the above qualities make it difficult to be too hard on the game, and unfortunately I am going to have to do that. The big problem is: it's just not very fun to play.

For a start, all the characters have way too much health, so taking them down (or being taken down yourself) takes far too long, especially when the default settings have matches going until someone's scored five knockouts. Similarly, the arenas are enormous, and even with the maximum quotient of eight characters in them, they feel vast and empty, and this is made even worse when you play story mode, which largely consists of one-on-one battles in these vast,cavernous stages.

Worst of all though, are the controls, which seem to have been designed for people with an unusual abundance of digits. For example, your character is equipped with a melee weapon and a projectile weapon. You move her with the left stick, and turn around/aim with the right stick. Whichever weapon you want to use, attack is mapped to the square button (or the X button if you're using an XBox controller, but the problem here is that it's a face button). This is fairly manageable for melee attacks, where you just need to be pointed in the general direction of your target, then you press the button to attack. To shoot at them, however, requires you to hold down R2 to ready your weapon, aim it with the right analogue stick, then fire with the attack button. If you're really ambitious, you might also be using the left analogue stik to avoid incoming attacks.

There's also outfits and accessories and joke weapons to unlock for all the characters, but if the game itself is no fun, then that's no t much consolation, is it? All in all, Elemental Battle Academy is a finely-constructed exercise in tedium. I guess it really does offer the AAA experience on a doujin budget then, eh?

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Small Games Vol. 5!

It's time for another batch of lower-key games, and once again, it's an MSX edition, simply because everyone loves the MSX, right? Unfortunately though, it, like all systems, played host to some pretty terrible games over the course of its life, and today's post is a bit of a good game sandwich, with bad games as the bread. The first slice being American Truck. It's one of those top-down see-how-far-you-can-go crash-avoiding psuedo-racing games that longtime readers will know I love. It's a pretty bad example of the genre, though.

It's just got a lot of little things wrong with it that all add up to a game that's no fun to play. The scoring system is bad: you only get points for destroying other vehicles, so there's no points gained for distance travelled or leftover fuel or time (though this does make me wonder if the developers were inspired by Goliath, the evil truck from Knight Rider). Instead of the usual fuel meter that acts as a combination time limit and health bar, you have three lives, one of which is lost if you touch the edge of the road, or if you so much as graze one of the black circles (presumably open manholes?) dotted around the place here and there. Also, at least once, I died from crashing into a vehicle, even though this is the only way to score points. I wish this game was better, but it just isn't. Don't bother with it.

Next up is a much better game, A.E., a simple single-screen shooter that was recommended to me years and years ago, though I've unfortunately forgotten by whom. If it was you, sorry! Though this game might like incredibly simple and primitive in screenshots, in motion, it's a different story. The backgrounds are completely static, but the enemies fly around them, and a kind of primitive psuedo-sprite-scaling effect has the swooping in and out of hollow meteors and slaloming through stalagmites and stalactites, and so on. It's a really cool effect that really shows how creative the devs must have been. The game itself is okay, too. Mechanically, it manages to stand out by giving you a fairly unusual weapon: your shots travel upwards for as long as you hold the fire button, detonating into an explosion that lasts a couple of seconds when you release. The enemies come in waves of six that fly away after a few passes. You clear a stage when you manage to successfully wipe out three waves. A.E is a decent game, and I pass on the recommendation I received onto you.

Finally, the second slice of bad game bread is The Komainu Quest, a game that I almost feel bad for badmouthing, since it was originally made as a promotional game for the town of Seto in Japan. I still will though, because it's awful. In contrast to A.E, which seemed to be made by developers who knew both the hardware they were using, and the extent of their abilities in using it, The Komainu Quest is rendered pretty much unplayable, apparently thanks to developers biting off more than they could chew in attempting a scrolling shooter on the MSX hardware (though that has been done by others, before anyone points out, and with spectacular results, too. But that's a story for another day). I say "attempting", because this game doesn't actually have scrolling. Instead, the screen slowly updates as you play, in columns a few pixels wide. The result of this is that sometimes you have enemies already firing at you several seconds before they actually appear, and even stationary obstacles pushing your ship out of the way when all you can see is empty sky. I feel bad for saying it, but The Komainu Quest is only worth playing out of historical curiosity.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Chitty Chitty Train (PC98)

You can probably guess from the screenshots, but what attracted me to this game was the graphics: they're really really nice, aren't they? So tiny and clean and perfectly-formed. I was also thinking it'd been a long time since I'd covered anything on the PC98, and wanted to get back on that, and a great-looking puzzle game seemed like a nice way to do it. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that this game is not nice at all, in fact, you could even go as far as to call it cruel!

But before we get onto that, I should explain it, if you haven't already figured out the premise just by looking at the screens. It's a mouse-controlled puzzle game in which you have to get a train to all the stations, then to the exit. You do this by clicking on the switches to change their positions, and by right-clicking at any point on the track to place a red light that stops any train that encounters it for a few seconds. The cruelty comes from the fact that all the trains (there are other trains on the track that you also need to direct to avoid collisions) all move really fast, and never stop, except in the case of the aforementioned red lights.

Now, there are two basic types of stages in Chitty Chitty Train. There's the complex ones, where you really need to take a look at every switch, the positions of all the trains and stations, and plan your routes carefully. Then there are stages with simpler layouts, where the challenge comes more from having the timing and manual dexterity to click the right switches at the exact right times to avert disaster. Either way, though, you'll be working at high speed, and a successful run of any stage will probably only take a few seconds, though they'll be very intense, high-stress seconds. And of course, it's very unlikely that you'll finish any stage on the first attempt, so don't think you'll be tearing through the game in no time.

There's also an edit mode, which is interesting in theory, though I didn't really have the patience to do anything with it myself. It uses a similar interface to making maps in RPG maker, with you selecting pieces of track and scenery from a window, then placing them where you like on the screen. One interesting bit of information I did glean from this mode is that there are a bunch of different tilesets in the game. All but the first are locked at the start and I could only get far enough to unlock the second, but there's apparently Plain, Snow, Desert, Europe, Future, and Toybox. Hopefully some super player will come along and take screenshots of some later stages someday.

Anyway, Chitty Chitty Train is a fun and charming game, that's also sadistically difficult and stressful. I definitely recommend giving it a shot. And in case you're wondering, all the text I saw in the game was in English, so there's no language barrier to worry about, either.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Other Stuff Monthly #5!

One of the secret reasons I started this series of posts was as an excuse to occasionally buy interesting-looking toys from Japan, and this marks the first time I've bought toys specifically for the blog. The toys in question are a mid-2000s line called Keybots, which I guess never really took off, as there's pretty much no English information on them anywhere, and it doesn't seem to have ever had a TV anime or any videogames. (Though the subject of anime is one I'll get back to later!)

The line is made up of cute monster-like robots, which themselves are composed of an octagonal core with four slots, and various body parts that fit into those slots. The cores also have keyholes in the centre, and come with keys. Insert a key into the hole and turn it, and all the attached parts spring loose. Each core does come with its own colour-coded plastic key, and there's also a shiny key made of metal that fits in any of them.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any boxed examples, so there's no packaging scans this time, but I was able to get one complete keybot, a red-and-yellow dragon-looking guy, as well most of the parts for a blue-and-grey character, that seems to have dragon, elephant and demonic forms. All the slots and parts are compatible with each other, though, and there are even connector parts that allow the building of larger, multi-core creatures.

I'm not really a fan of the general aesthetic of the toys themselves, though I think they're aimed at a younger audience than the usual mecha stuff. There is, however, a lot of satisfaction in how they feel, especially the amount of resistance to turning the keys, and how all the parts pop off when you do. It might be worth having a couple around, just to idly fiddle with and keep your hands busy while you watch tv or whatever. It's also basically a building toy, and like most building toys, I expect you'd get a lot more out of it the more parts you have. I'd totally love a similar line that had designs that looked more like "proper" mecha, or maybe even used designs from actual anime.

And that handily fetches us back to the subject of anime! As I said,  I couldn't find evidence of any TV anime, which was a surprise for a kids toyline. But what I did find, along with a bunch of typical thirty second TV ads, was a five minute long CG animated short from 2006 entitled キーボッツII 希望の紋章. It's not listen on AniDB, MyAnimeList, or the Anime News Network encyclopedia, so I think I might be the first in the west to see it? Also there's "II" in the title, so presumably, there's at least one more of them out there somewhere.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Hangzo (Arcade)

Hangzo is yet another unreleased arcade game that only came to light thanks to MAME, though this time it's not by Taito. It might be by Hot-B or Data East, though no-one seems to be 100% sure. One thing that is for sure is that though Hangzo was inteded to be an arcade game, spiritually, it's a Mega Drive game to the core. Can you really say that game is spiritually something for sure? Yes, I just did.

The game's about three ninjas, who clearly went to the Joe Musashi school of ninjitsu, as they don't spend any time sneaking around assassinating people. Instead they go through cyberpunk cities noisily destroying loads of exploding robots, and also through biopunk laboratories destroying loads of exploding blobby monsters. They even have a limited-use screen-clearing magic bomb jutsu! It really is like a lost Shinobi game, specifically a lost entry into the Mega Drive's Super/Revenge of Shinobi series.

There are a couple of original elements, though, like the inclusion of seperate buttons for melee and projectile attacks, bearing in mind that Hangzo does predate Shinobi III/Super Shinobi 2, and even in that game, the six-button mode was hidden behind a cheat code. There's also a magic fire breathing lion that turns up in most of the stages for you to ride around on. But generally in terms of both theming and mechanics, this is essentially a professionally-made Shinobi fangame.

It's fairly easy too, and shouldn't take more than a few attempts to one-credit-clear. Though a big part of this is thanks to one stage, about midway through the game, inexplicably having a section where a whole bunch of extra lives and health powerups coming floating in from the side of the screen. But it's not too easy, though, not easy enough to be boring, at least.

I feel like the last few posts on this blog have been really negative, and though I want to turn that around with this post, I can't be 100% positive about Hangzo. Probably as a conseqeunce of being an unfinished, unreleased game, it is a little rough around the edges: the presentation is not exactly super-polished, and the hitboxes feel a little strange at times, for example. However, it's still a lot of fun, and I definitely recommend going and giving it a try. It's a shame it never actually got released, and I hope someday, whoever owns the rights to it gives it a little extra sheen and releases it officially somehow.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Oekaki Puzzle (Neo Geo Pocket Colour)

Long time readers might remember that I've always said that Logic Pro (and its sequel, Logic Pro Adventure) are by far the best nonogram videogames around, with all others being mediocre by comparision. Well, it's time for some exciting news: I may have found the all-time worst example of a nonogram game in Oekaki Puzzle!

To start with, it has the same big flaw as so many others: non-existant stakes caused by a lack of any real lose condition, with the added caveat that you get zero feedback at all on whether you're marking the right or wrong squares. It's also missing some common quality of life features, like highlighting the row and column your cursor is currently on so you tell where you are at a glance, for example.

Then there's the puzzles themselves, which are completely joyless things to solve. I think there's three main reasons for this. One: a lot of the puzzles turn out to be things like letters or numbers or just simple shapes when you complete them. Two: a huge amount of the puzzles are symmetrical, so when you've solved half the puzzle, you just go and do the same thing reversed on the other half of the grid. There's a soul-crushingly long series of near-identical animal faces that are all particularly egregious offenders in this department. Three: a lot of puzzles also feature a lot of rows where the numbers have a lot of ones and twos. This is a hard one to explain, but it makes the puzzles really tedious to solve, and also removes the mild satisfaction of filling in a long line of squares with reckless abandon.

I've actually gone back to the original Logic Pro recently, attempting to finish it in a single credit like I did with Logic Pro Adventure when I reviewed it last year, and the differences between that game and Oekaki Puzzle really show how such a simple concept can be executed by two games with such a vast chasm of quality between the two. Don't bother playing this game.