The Mommy Gamers

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    You’re not special

    You're Not Special Game Review The Mommy Gamers

    We are living in a golden age of indie games. Whether it is Stardew Valley, Her Story, Papers, Please or Firewatch, these are games from small production companies that have something to say. They show that it isn’t unlimited resources that make a good game but an interesting premise and good execution. That is not to say that every indie game to hit the market is a masterpiece, or even worth your time. But we now live in a world where we can buy fun, inspiring or interesting games for a reasonable price. And the list just keeps on growing.

    You’re not special by Reky Studios fits itself nicely into that mold. You play a character who is not the center of the story. You are just some guy who happens to be in wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time, and finds himself unable to do much about it. I can’t see Ubisoft making a game like that.

    Its what you do with it that counts

    The game itself is reasonably short and can be “completed” from anywhere between 5 minutes and 3 hours, with multiple endings to entice players into replying the game several times. It is primarily a puzzle game but also has action scenes that your character plays a minor role in. But it is not the puzzles that will keep you coming back for more, as good as they are. Once you’ve solved them, its just a matter of replication. It is the story that Reky has developed that keeps you intrigued enough to want find out how each ending evolves.

    And how do they do that? With writing that is informative enough to give you a glimpse of what might be to come and keep you wanting to know more. The use of hearing old wives tales in front of a fireplace and the general feeling that you are jumping into someone else’s story half way through is an intriguing device and one they have developed nicely.

    The other NPCs of the story have their own background, which can lead to side quests, and can often be very funny, with even some 4th wall breaking humor thrown into the mix. But they are used fleetingly, and are generally there to assist you in making or spending your money and progressing the story.

    Throughout all of this there are constant reminders that this is not your adventure. You have no significant power. It takes you longer than the hero to make your way through the various mazes. You do not fight the bad guy, at least not directly. And there are items at the village market that you will never buy. Sure, you can scrounge enough silver together to buy a cloak, but it would take you a very long time to buy armor or a sword. And there is no need; you are not the hero. You are not special.

    But my mom says I’m special

    But the game is. Its fun, its interesting, and its challenging. Sometimes infuriatingly so. And sometimes I feel there should be something to point you in the right direction. Playing through, I missed that there was an extra passageway for me to use to meet the next boss and spent 30 minutes wondering why I couldn’t go any further. It took a question to the developer on their discord to know what to do. That won’t be available forever and not everyone will choose to ask.

    There are also secret exits to the map, for example, that are needed to progress some of the story. That would have infuriated me if I had not been lucky enough to find it by chance. But there are also secrets I did not solve and storylines I did not complete that do make me curious to come back for more.

    Ultimately, it is the fact that this game meets each of my tenants for a good indie game that makes me recommend it for your wishlist. It is fun, the fact that it was even made (and by a single game developer I might add) is inspiring and the entire concept is interesting. All this and at reasonable price. This is why indie games can be great. Welcome to the golden age.

    You’re not special was developed by Reky Studios and is currently available for download for Windows on Steam.

    *The Mommy Gamers received a copy of the game for review purposes.

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    Immersed Games Looks to Kickstart MMOs in the Classroom

    Screenshot of the city of Espeth, from the top of a building in the city.

    Screenshot of the city of Espeth, from the top of a building.

    Let’s face it, there’s no end to the range of projects looking to get funded on Kickstarter. After all, one man’s quest to make Potato Salad has already raked in over $60,000 in backing with more than a week still left to go. That being said, Kickstarter is still home to some more altruistic projects such as Tyto Online, a new educational MMO game in development from Immersed Games

    “We are not your average educational gaming team. We are not trying to make learning fun. Learning is already fun,” says Lindsey Tropf, Founder & CEO of Immersed Games. “Our vision was born from the realization that all games, even games like World of Warcraft, are amazing learning tools. You learn and care about rich, detailed information, without even trying. We wanted to harness that experience to learn something that mattered outside of the game world.”

    Concept art of the biodomes in Zyto Online.

    Concept art of the biodomes in Tyto Online.

    In Tyto Online, Earth has been rendered uninhabitable, forcing an evacuation of the planet’s surviving population. As one of these refugees, players are brought out of cryosleep as students of Tyto Academy, a futuristic school tasked with helping to learning from Earth’s past to help recreate its future. Players will team up for various missions, which will include solving puzzles, decrypting historic records, exploring alien landscapes, and leveling skills, all while learning real-life information during and after each quest. One example sends players on a mission to discover why the ant population in one particular biodome seems to be acting very strange and then inexplicably dying. Over the course of the mission, players will discover the ants had fallen victim to a fungus, essentially turning them into zombies. The mission data then goes on to describe similar cases of a “zombie fungus” existing on Earth.

    With a little more than two weeks left to go, Immersed Games has received just over $21,000 in backing of its $50,000 Kickstarter goal for Tyto Online. Stretch goals being offered include additional character customization options, a “Water Balloon” PVP arena, and additional biodomes, with scalable educational content for multiple grade levels, including potential continuing education beyond grade school and high school.

    Sure, it’s no potato salad, but teaching kids real science through video games is also less a lot less likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

    To support Tyto Online click here.

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