Tag Archives: mechanics

Happy Birthdays: Someone Still Makes ‘Em Like They Used To

Do you remember the “god game” genre? Distinct from the few management sims we still have today, which tend to focus on financial and ministerial affairs, the god game, popular throughout the late ’90s and early ’00s, put you in the power of a supreme being with literally world-altering powers.

It’s a genre we don’t really see a lot of these days, with most strategy gamers tending to gravitate towards experiences with more board game-like mechanics such as Civilization and its numerous imitators, or the aformentioned fiscal frolics such as Cities Skylines, Two Point Hospital and the like.

Releasing a new god game is a brave step, then, but Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada has never been about taking the easy option. And so it was that his company Toybox came to bring us Happy Birthdays, an expanded, rebalanced and enhanced version of the earlier Birthdays: The Beginning, and a game in which you get to play God on your own little cube-shaped world.

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The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 27 – Death to the JRPG!

Ohayou gozaimasu, listener-san, and welcome once again to The MoeGamer Podcast, featuring both my fruity, succulent baritone and my good friend Chris Caskie of MrGilderPixels.

The MoeGamer Podcast is available in several places. You can subscribe to my channel on YouTube to stay up to date with both the video versions of the podcast and my weekly videos (including the Atari A to Z retro gaming series); you can follow on Soundcloud for the audio-only version of the podcast; you can subscribe via RSS to get the audio-only version of the podcast in your favourite podcast app; or you can subscribe via iTunes. Please do at least one of these if you can; it really helps us out!

Or you can hit the jump to watch or listen to today’s episode right here on MoeGamer.

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Lapis x Labyrinth: Dango, Dango, Dango, Dango, Dango Daikazoku

Genre blends can make for some interesting experiences, and over the years developers have tried all sorts of things.

We’ve had racing games with RPG elements, dating sims with strategy games attached, first-person shooters combined with adventure games… at this point most things have been tried, you might think.

What about dungeon crawler, platform game, action RPG, shoot ’em up and pachinko? I bet I have your attention now, hmm? Let’s look at Lapis x Labyrinth from Nippon Ichi Software — one of the company’s best games for a long time, and a title which looks distressingly set to pass by an awful lot of people unnoticed.

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NES Essentials: Wrecking Crew

Wrecking Crew is one of Nintendo mascot Mario’s more underappreciated adventures — and a fairly underappreciated entry in the NES’ overall library, in fact.

First released for Famicom in June of 1985 and subsequently as one of the 17 launch titles for the Western Nintendo Entertainment System, Wrecking Crew is something of a departure from what you might typically expect from a Mario game — even outside of the main Super Mario Bros. series.

It’s a puzzle game with a strong emphasis on strategic thinking and forward planning rather than fast action or precise platforming, and it’s actually been one of my favourite games in the NES’ library since I first encountered it via the Wii’s Virtual Console service. Let’s take a closer look.

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NES Essentials: City Connection

City Connection by Jaleco is by no means a classic of the NES age; it tends to be either forgotten or greeted with a resounding “meh”, if it ever comes up at all.

The game’s recent addition to the Nintendo Switch Online NES app reminded me that I’ve always been rather fond of it, though, and there’s a few interesting things about it, too!

Strap in and let’s take a look, then.

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Puzzler Essentials: Money Puzzle Exchanger

If there’s one thing the Neo Geo is good at, it’s… well, it’s fighting games, but if there’s more than one thing the Neo Geo is good at, puzzle games are definitely in the mix too.

Money Puzzle Exchanger is a 1997 release from Japanese developer Face that began its life on the Neo Geo MVS system before later being ported to Game Boy and PlayStation. These days, it’s pretty easy to get hold of in its initial incarnation thanks to it being part of Hamster’s Arcade Archives series, whose various releases have found their way to numerous platforms over the last few years.

And that’s fortunate, because Money Puzzle Exchanger is a great game that is well worth your time and… well, money.

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Delving Into Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest – #1

One of the games in Konami’s Castlevania Anniversary Collection that I was most interested to dig into was Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest.

I say this with the full knowledge that it has a bit of a reputation as being one of the least well-regarded Castlevania titles out there — but that was, in part, why I was curious to check it out for myself.

The other reasons I was keen to explore it was that the very concept and ambition of it intrigued me — and it’s one of the few early-era Castlevania titles that I’ve never, ever played before at all. So let’s take a first look!

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