art, artwork, concept art, daily painting, free games, game art, game reviews, retro games, sprites, windows, wip

Daily Painting No.37 (Ken’s Shark Monster) (Pass 1) + Ken’s Labyrinth 3d mini Review

ken's labyrinth shark monster redesign

A shark monster (at least that’s what I THINK the sprite is) design inspired by a monster sprite in a early 90’s game called Ken’s Labyrinth. This is the first pass. Minor things need to be fixed or redefined with the anatomy. Feel free to critique. After I fix it, I will try some variations, and detail and color the one I think it best. I have no clue how much time I spent on this, I kept getting distracted. The original sprite is Copyright Ken Silverman. The original sprite is below on the left. It has a strange crotch animation in the game, oh the horror.

ken's labyrinth shark monster redesign

I finally finished Ken’s Lab. I must admit that nostalgia is deceptive. Ken’s lab is a 3d first person shooter similar to Wolfenstine 3d. It was made for DOS in 1993. Instead for shooting Nazi’s: you shoot bats, heads with ear wings, crudely drawn sprites representing space pirates, and of course naked pink people with shark heads.  The first episode (The first ten levels) was primitive yet strangely compelling, The art isn’t half bad, the music is short yet catchy, the monsters are awkward but interesting, and the level design is interesting. In short, the first episode is a blast.

The game rears it’s ugly head at the beginning of the second episode. Cash to buy upgrades are everywhere and it easily breaks the game. By level 16, I was so overpowered that I didn’t even have to aim because the heat seeking rockets did it for me. It also introduces your dog companion that follows you everywhere. Most of the time the dog gets in the way of your shots while the enemy’s bullets go right though the dog and injure you.

In the third episode, it feels like the creator of the levels just gave up and put random junk in, and hoped no one would notice. It is so random. And don’t get me started on the invisibility capes that litter the final levels, it’s almost like god mode for the rest of the game. The bosses are super easy, just horde on the invisibility capes before you engage in battle, run into the boss and hold the shooting button down.

One the plus side it had some interesting concepts that where not in many shooters before like, healing yourself with water fountains, fan blades, pool balls that tried to crush you, invisible walls, bouncing projectiles, item shops, weapon upgrades, and pink nude people with shark heads.  Ken’s Lab is still close to my nostalgia filled heart. Also I still think level 19’s music is addictive.

I would still recommend checking it out, as the full version is free. You can download it at the official site here : http://www.advsys.net/ken/klab.htm. Make sure you download the windows port. Avoid playing it in Dosbox.

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boring, dark, digital painting, fan art, game reviews, horror, indie game, pc game, sketchbook pro, video game

Home Review: Is this horror indie game the next Amnesia? Or does it fall victim to it’s own craftiness?

Home indie horror game review. Artwork by Maugryph
Home indie horror game review. Artwork by Maugryph

Home has a great story, in fact the story changes depending on which objects you pick up, pathways you take, and which assumptions you make throughout the game. The game play itself is minimal, focusing solely on narrative and is much more like Dear Esther then Resident Evil. Aesthetically the game resembles a old Commodore 64 game with sound effects to match, and due to this it is very difficult to feel frightened or be in suspense. The game is terribly short and can be completed in less then a hour. Granted you could replay it a second time to see how different actions effect the story but unfortunately the story remains relatively the same throughout. Home is more interactive fiction then game, and is different enough to least check out. I would only recommend purchasing it when it goes on sale.

Steam Store: http://store.steampowered.com/app/215670/Platform:Windows

The artwork is based on a promotion screenshot of the game. SPOILERS: Unfortunately this is exciting as this game gets. Painted in Sketchbook Pro.

adventure games, fan art, game reviews, indie game, reviews, steam, video game art, video games, windows

“Trauma” Game Review – New tier for adventures? Or just a photo gallery?

moon like spheres trauma artwork moon spheres
Get ready to move moon like spheres for 2 hours.

As stated in earlier posts, starting today I will write some short reviews with accompanying artwork. This artwork would focus on what the game is all about. It’s basically just a excuse for me to draw more and to make me feel like I haven’t wasted all my money on that money pit called Steam.

Saying that Trauma is a unique game is a understatement, part Riven mixed in with a hidden object hunt and a touch of Instagram thrown in for good measure. It is a point and click adventure game with no bothersome things like a inventory or brain bending puzzles. In fact Trauma might be the easiest and shortest adventure game I have played so far. Clocking in at a mere 30 minutes first play and about 2 hours to complete everything.

In Trauma you play as a woman who is recovering from a car accident. Confined in the hospital she has these strange dreams. You navigate these dreams while trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

There are four small ‘zones’ in the game, each zone is composed of a bunch of photographs you navigate through via Google maps style in your quest to find hidden endings and Polaroid snap shots. This photo atheistic is the best aspect of the game and feels utterly original. The main weakness of the game is the puzzles and how you solve them in the game. The puzzle solutions themselves are practically handed to you by the narrator, there is no feeling of accomplishment as the game does everything but automatically solve it for you. The game guides you like a dog on a leash.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy playing though Trauma,  the visual style is fantastic, but the hand holding and short length detracts from the experience.

… Oh and be prepared to move spheres for 2 hours.

The game can be purchased with Steam: “http://store.steampowered.com/app/98100/