[F13] Bob 2 and Astatine

Posted by F1ak3r on April 12, 2009, 11:57 a.m.

Okay, so in the past few months, two of the most highly anticipated (and actually expected) games by respected and awesome 64Ders have been released.

Obviously, I'm talking about Another Day In The Life Of Bob and Astatine, by Polystyrene Man and Cesque, respectively. Now, like any active member worth his salt, I've downloaded and play both of these games a bit, and therefore feel justified to ramble on about them, give my opinions on stuff, report bugs, and generally review without specifically using the word "review".

Here goes!

Another Day In The Life Of Bob

I can't say how excited I've been for this over the past few years. I loved the original game, and I found out about its sequel's release, it was like a dream come true.

The new game's certainly a lot more mature than its predecessor, which is to be expected. Out with the arcade, in with the brothel! Forget soup kitchens, let's get some crackhouses!

The new gardening system is a neat idea, and adds a lot to the game. It's nice to take a break from running around and clicking buttons repeatedly.

Of course, though, clicking buttons is the core of what the game's about, and I love all the new options, and the versatility of the buildings. Why have Cubicleland and the school when you can just stick them together and let people learn or work in the teaching staff?

Signs of some sort would be useful, I'd say. When I first started out, I would sometimes wonder around for ages, going in and out of buildings, trying to find the one I was looking for. Sure, I eventually memorized most of the important buildings, but that took some doing.

A contributing factor to the above problem is the sheer number of buildings, many of which serve only one purpose. Maybe it would be wise to combine, say, the hospital, cleansing place, and death building, for example?

The main problem with the game is the amount of bugs.

- If I exit to the main menu, and then load, I am greeted with a computer lock-up upon attempting to enter a building.

- If I buy a house and sell my apartment, I get an error at the end of every month regarding the bills (ignoring this error allows me to cheat the taxman, so it's not that bad (=. ).

- I can't seem to sell plants to the plant-buying guy. Whenever I'm around him, and I try to select a plant in my inventory, nothing happens. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, though. Does he only buy in bulk or what?

When you look at the game overall, the problems I've been focusing on really become trivial and unimportant, to be honest. I sunk a good few hours into this game this afternoon, and will sink many more hours in in future, as I try to become mayor of the town, plant all manner of seeds, and get me and Thom's band to a musical height rivalling the real Thom's real band in real life =P.

Astatine

I am definitely going to find the time to finish this game. The storyline and general look and feel is somewhere between Fall From Grace (well, obviously) and REZ: Havoc's End.

FFG was a quality game, and one I always intended to play more than I ever did, but never really caught onto. I think I was intimidated by the classes and all the gameplay elements it throws at you pretty much from the start.

Not so with Astatine. The way gameplay is introduced slowly, and the way what seems like a simple platform shooter gradually becomes just about as complex as FFG is genius. It ensures the player never gets overwhelmed by things everywhere, and that he can learn to use the basic gameplay elements well before having to worry about the more advanced stuff.

One (very minor) thing that bugs me is the inventory. Why not just keep it permanently in the corner of the screen instead of having the temporary center/permanent corner setup, especially since the inventory items seem to display in the corner regardless of where their box is.

Choice never hurt anyone though, and it's really not an issue at all, provided that display bug gets fixed.

Speaking of choice, an idea just occured to me. Why not allow the player to have the toggle-able option of automatically using health potions when their health is below the max? I might make the game easier, but difficulty shouldn't be about irritating little things one has to do.

I must say, these two are both fantastic examples of what hobbyist developers can do with a little passion, imagination, and hard work (well, a lot of hard work).

I congratulate both of you on a job well done!

Keep it kept,

F1ak3r

Comments

Mat 15 years, 3 months ago

Your very correct, they are both examples of true indie games, with awesome originality aswell.

PY 15 years, 3 months ago

"Obviously, I'm talking about Another Day In The Life Of Bob and Astatine, by Cesque and Polystyrene Man, respectively"

Cesque made bob, now? ;)

F1ak3r 15 years, 3 months ago

@Mat: Word.

@PY: Nice catch. I owe you one.

NeutralReiddHotel 15 years, 3 months ago

Bob 2 was so worth the wait. I remember a few years back when I first played Bob 1, and though, "wow, if Poly ever does a sequel to this game, it'll be AWESOME."

Sure enough, it was.

I should really play Astatine. >_<

Cpsgames 15 years, 3 months ago

Bob 2 <3

I haven't played Astatine yet, but I'll be sure to. Eventually.

SteveKB 15 years, 3 months ago

wiat Astanine is finished now? :O

Cesque 15 years, 3 months ago

Quote:
Choice never hurt anyone though, and it's really not an issue at all, provided that display bug gets fixed.

Hmm, "bug"? I take it you mean items in the corner - well, that only happens to key (unusable) items. Actual inventory items are displayed in the centre of the screen with the "temporary" display.

Quote:
Speaking of choice, an idea just occured to me. Why not allow the player to have the toggle-able option of automatically using health potions when their health is below the max? I might make the game easier, but difficulty shouldn't be about irritating little things one has to do.

I was thinking about adding a "panic button" for potions, but… nah ;)

Anyways, thanks, and great reviews, both of them.

s 15 years, 3 months ago

Links are cool like that

F1ak3r 15 years, 3 months ago

@Cesque: I had the bag of coal appear in the corner with the temporary display, not sure why.

@dabridge: It sure was. Dreams DO come true!

@Cpsgames: Do it NOW.

@meow44: Obviously Poly has more visibility.

@s: Indeeb.

Cesque 15 years, 3 months ago

Quote:
@Cesque: I had the bag of coal appear in the corner with the temporary display, not sure why.

Yessir, because, as I said, it's a key/unusable item. Usable items appear in the centre. I wanted key items to appear somewhere around there, too, but it looked bad. :)