Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: indie

Still tootling around in Cozy Grove

medium-length hair and rectangle frames is so me.
Always be thinking about fishing.

I’m still stuck in and on the game, Cozy Grove, by Spry Fox. It’s something like Day 16 and things have really opened up. I finally bit the bullet and scraped up the 400,000 coins needed to upgrade Mr. Kit’s shop for a second time and have upgraded my tent (storage space) twice as well. Before I get into that, however, let me remind you that I ended the last post with a question of sorts. I had noted that I had just opened access to haircuts and didn’t know quite how it worked. I have a closet of clothes and I can switch them out whenever I want by visiting Flamey, my bonfire. Er, campfire. Would I be able to store my hair and change it at will like wigs? That’s what I thought it might be, but I also had the sinking suspicion that I might just lose my hair completely. I didn’t want that to happen because I really liked my black twisty braids, but I felt like I should try the new content. There was a cute ‘goth’ hairstyle of curls loosely tied at the nape of the neck. It seemed more Victorian or some such to me, but whatever. It was white hair and I bought it.

Me being me, the first thing I tried to do was figure out how I could change it back. I checked my closet. Nope. Storage? Nope. Mr. Kit–maybe I had to buy it back? Nope. I even tried buying the same hairstyle again, thinking it would give me my old hairstyle back. Nope. By the way, I don’t get that–why can I infinitely buy the same hairstyle? I hopped onto the Discord to ask if there was a way to get my old hairstyle back. There wasn’t. I had to hope that it would be offered on sale at the store.

This is how compulsive my brain gets sometimes. When I was told that I couldn’t get my hair back, I actually thought about restarting the game because it bothered me so much. I didn’t do it, but I did think about it off and off for the rest of the day. Then at some point it didn’t bother me any longer, but I did check out the hairstyles first things first the next day. My original haircut wasn’t there, but  there was a black hair that was long and wavy. I bought it and felt much better. The picture above is medium straight black, which is close to my real hair. Not quite as long, but it’ll do for now. I still miss the black twisty braids, but I can live with this for now.

I have to say that looking at hair/clothes every day is one of my favorite things to do in the game. It’s funny because I have no interest in that kind of thing in real life, but I’m all about it in games. Back when I played Saints Row IV by Deep Silver, I changed up my looks on the regs. I loved adding tats and making my character look as much like me as possible. As long as she was wearing sunglasses, she looked remarkably like me.

Me all busty and tatted and curvy. And a big gun.
She’s a brick…HOUSE. (She’s mighty mighty!)

Continue Reading

The Sexy Brutale: An Underrated Gem

sexy sexy brutale!
All the world is a stage.

I’m a mystery aficionado, and I have been since I gobbled up Encyclopedia Brown’s adventures as a kid. I graduated to Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, preferring the latter to the former because Trixie was a hotheaded teenager who oftentimes acted before she thought, which I could sympathize with. Nancy Drew wasn’t a real girl, but I do love Kate Beaton’s concept of Nancy Drew as a crazy woman who is making up all the mysteries in her mind (h/t Ian). I strayed into dreadful teenage romance novels (oh were they horrid), but I never gave up my true love–mysteries. I read every HerculePoirot story by Agatha Christie when I was a teen, each at least four or five times, and some up to fifty. My favorites are The Big Four and Curtain, by the way. I’ve seen all the David Suchet series, too, and he IS Hercule Poirot. I’ll have to see the Kenneth Branagh version of Murder on the Orient Express, of course, but it’s going to suck. He sucks as Poirot, and the trailer is devoid of everything that makes a Poirot story work. However, to be fair, all three previous versions of this movie are terrible (including David Suchet’s. His Catholic rant at the end destroys any credibility the movie might have). I think this is a Poirot story best left as a novel and not a movie.

When I started playing games, I wanted to find a mystery game that grabbed me the way a novel did. I played all the Poirot games. Atrocious. I played several Sherlock Holmes games. Disappointing. Lately, I played Kathy Rain, and while it started out strong, in the third act, it came crashing down around my ears. I will say even before then, I was done with adventure game logic. I like solving puzzles, but not when it’s ‘combine a twig, three pieces of twine, and a stone to make a key’. An axe, maybe, but a key? Or having to backtrack through several areas just to pick up that piece of lint you couldn’t pick up before, but knew you’d need. I tried the Blackwell series, and ten minutes in, I was following a walkthrough compulsively.

I admit it. I gave up on finding a mystery game that I actually enjoyed playing. It didn’t seem possible! The things that work in a novel just didn’t seem possible to recreate in gameplay. Then, I saw a review by Jim fucking Sterling, son. of The Sexy Brutale, and I was immediately intrigued. Now, as Jim Sterling notes, it’s difficult to talk about the game without ruining the brilliance of the conceit, so let me say if you’re looking for a good detective/murder game in which you have to prevent murders from happening, then this is the game for you. I bought it for $9.99 on Steam during the last of the endless Steam sales, and it’s normal price is $19.99. I’m not the best to ask about pricing because I usually wait for games to go on steep sale before buying them. I’d say The Sexy Brutale, developed by Cavalier Game Studios and Tequila Works, is worth $19.99, but it is a short game, and the replayability is very low. It’s definitely worth the $9.99 I paid for it. I might play again just to smooth out the rough edges, but probably not. If that’s enough to hook you at all, I’d suggest you stop reading and pick up the game. The rest of the review is behind the cut (after the Jim Sterling review).

Continue Reading