Uurnog Unlimited is a cute puzzle platformer that does some interesting stuff with music, Hue is an equally cute puzzle platformer that maybe has normal music, and Deponia Doomsday is a point-and-click game with a killer art style, just by looking at the digital cover. I think we’re finally out of the “bad game” territory from the last two parts of this series, and now we’ll be getting into the good stuff. But let’s see!
Twitch Prime (a part of Amazon Prime) is giving away 21 free games to subscribers, so I decided to check them all out for just one hour each and give my early impressions in exactly 200 words. You can check out my reviews for Pillars of Eternity, Q.U.B.E. 2, Battle Chef Brigade, Metal Slug 3,Twinkle Star Sprites, The Last Blade, Manual Samuel, GoNNER, and Next Up Hero in the included links.
Much like Breath of the Wild (of all things), the game gives you a set of tools, briefly teaches you how to use them, and then sets you out into the unknown. It is a puzzle platformer, but much of how you decide to solve these puzzles is up to you. The ultimate goal is to deposit a list of items, and while I got through about half of the list, I’m confident that I am not anywhere close to halfway done with this game. Most that remains now are specific animals, which can usually only be found at the end of each stage, along with a key. This key can open up a door to another stage, with one for every letter of the alphabet. This creates lots of freedom for the player while still providing structure. While the pixel art takes a goofy style with no story to speak of, the music is particularly notable for being one continuous track that is more dynamic than any other video game piece I’ve heard. Every time you do any action jump, fire a gun, set off a bomb, or enter a new room, the music will grow in some capacity.
Uurnog Unlimited is currently available for free through Twitch Prime until July 14th.
Hue might not be as ambitious as Uurnog, but that works in Hue’s favor to create something much more focused and precise. While it’s a largely linear progression of puzzles with a minimal story delivered in narrated letters about how a woman got trapped in a different dimension of color. But that’s where the mediocrity stops. Each puzzle revolves around changing the color of the background, and any object that matches the background color will cease to exist until the color is changed again, with objects varying from falling rocks to platforms and boxes, with a few keys thrown in for good measure. This simple mechanic is elaborated on so effectively that each puzzle impressed me more than the last with its creativity. The colors that flood the screen accompanied by a serene combination of piano and strings makes something that fully entranced me, and the hour spent playing this game passed in an instant. More than any other game I’ve yet played as part of this series, I am utterly captivated by this title, and I strongly invite you to try it for yourself. I’m searching for more words, but it’s so good that I’m struggling to find any.
Hue is currently available for free through Twitch Prime Games until July 18th.
All of the characters and environments are full of personality, as are the playful music, writing, and voice acting. It was a bit hard to follow without playing the first three games, but apparently this game runs parallel to them thanks to some time-travel shenanigans. It follows the main character Rufus who is trying to take his girlfriend Toni from the titular Deponia to Elysium, a place in the sky where they can apparently live better lives. It’s undoubtedly goofy, but in a more modern take than point-and-click games of old that deals with slightly more mature themes, complex storylines, and a even a bit of mild swearing. Still, the actual gameplay seems unfortunately stuck in the past. Even if the game occasionally tries to point you in the right direction, there’s a constant string of obscure actions that involve backtracking and a whole lot of trial and error. It brings the pacing to a halt, going back and forth trying to find something that might help. The game has its charm and isn’t ruined by the often nonsensical point-and-click elements, but you need either a sharp wit or a guide to keep the game from coming to a halt.
Deponia Doomsday is currently available for free through Twitch Prime Games until July 16th.
And here’s the current listing! It seems I was right in today bringing better games:
- Battle Chef Brigade
- Q.U.B.E. 2
- Deponia Doomsday
- Manual Samuel
- Pillars of Eternity
- Metal Slug 3
- The Last Blade
- Next Up Hero
- Twinkle Star Sprites