Currently Feeling: hungry
Currently Listening: Suspect Podcast season 1
First up today I'll be talking about an adorable little game called MacBat 64. It’s clear from the start that the goal was to emulate the style of early Nintendo 64 games, and in that aim it succeeded very well! I mean, the whole thing gave me warm feelings while I was playing it, and I loved the character designs and fuzzy textures. The music nailed the style of Kirkhope’s old tunes, to the point where if I had heard them on their own, I would genuinely have wondered if they were outtakes from Banjo-Kazooie or its sequel.
As far as the gameplay goes, well it’s very simple. For me, this is not a problem, because I like chill experiences that are about more than just skill. As someone who makes games myself, I’m always interested in seeing how developers can keep gameplay fresh while only using a few tools--in this case, movement and jumping controls. There is no punch or attack, except for a few special sections, and I was impressed by how many different puzzles the levels were able to throw at me with only that set of tools.
There are a lot of easter eggs that you can find after you’ve completed the experience, which is about an hour long, maybe. It’s clear from all the little extras that there was a lot of affection put into this game, and I love to see it. After having enjoyed both this and the Toree 3D, which I’ll also be reviewing below, I’m officially a fan of this developer.
Overall Impression: Very cute! Fun and simple
Time to complete: About an hour, maybe more, but not much.
You'll like this if you like: Old Rareware games, nostalgia trips, simple platformers
Toree 3D is a cute little retro-styled platformer with very simple controls that can be completed in an afternoon. The style is cute and very reminiscent of games from the PSX era--maybe a little too cute if you’re not into bright graphics. You play as the titular Toree, a little yellow bird who can run quickly and jump, and you’ll be trying to collect all the little stars in every level in order to complete them. The levels are laid out in a way that makes me want to speedrun them, so although the game isn’t on rails, I kind of think of it as a runner game. There’s no story or anything, although some of the characters show up in more than one place, so…I guess there’s some kind of idea behind it? I don’t know, that part kind of confused me, but I enjoyed the game nonetheless.
I will say that the music, while good, doesn’t really match the game much. Since the game is pretty laid back, I would have preferred a soundtrack that was a bit less…boisterous. Not that the music is bad or anything, I just felt it didn’t match.
The game also has the ability to unlock a few characters (one of them is Macbat!), and you do this by meeting different challenges on every level--I think you either collect all the stars or try and complete them in a certain amount of time, although I haven’t unlocked everything yet so I can’t be sure. All in all, I really enjoyed my time with this game, and I’ll probably come back to it again in the future.
Overall Impression: A little “loud” visually and musically, but lots of fun
Time to complete: an afternoon, maybe more if you want to 100% it
You like this if you like: VERY BRIGHT COLORS, games like Bit.Trip Runner, low stakes gaming