The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: ‘Affinity’ and ‘Meditation 5’

Minimalistic Relaxation

If I told you this was a banana, would you believe me.

Affinity is a minimalistic puzzle game created by Bold Brush Games, an indie studio started by Nathan Grimes. Players will be given a grouping of shapes and hope they can figure out just how they interlock.

Each level of affinity begins the same, with a set of jumbled pieces that vaguely look like an object. One singular piece acts as an ‘anchor’ of sorts, being unable to move and serves as a great starting point once it is found amongst the mess.

The pieces can not be rotated, and it is up to the player to figure out what orientation they need to be in for the puzzle to be completed. Once a piece is attached to another in its correct way, regardless of where it is on the board, those two pieces will now move together as they are treated as one. That keeps things simple instead of accidentally breaking the puzzle halfway with a miss-click.

Once a puzzle is finally complete, its image will be revealed to all through a soft touch up of the lines, and many of them will have you groaning at how silly you were thinking it was something else. Half the battle is just trying to figure it out, but once it clicks the puzzles come quickly. It’s casual and relaxing, perfect for a rainy day.

Do be aware that if you download it through the client, it weirdly requests ~5.6 GB of space; this game is 70 MB at most. I recommend downloading it directly from the website instead as I think this is just an error on the client’s part.

Meditation 5 is a relaxation and meditation game created by Thunder Perfect Witchcraft, an indie duo specializing in 2D games. Using Taoist philosophies, players will attempt to relax themselves through sheer concentration; only to find that nothing gets easier as they go.

Using a controller, players will dive in to a blank white world that spawns red squares. These squares will grow in size at varying rates, and the only thing that stops them is the targets controlled by the left and right joysticks.

The left and right bumpers can be pressed to then shrink the squares once the target is on top of them, but they’ll continue growing until players can get them small enough that they disappear. The bumpers can be pressed repeatedly if one so wishes, but holding them down does the same effect and is much less taxing, and trust me; that will become important the longer the game goes.

The longer a square exists on screen, regardless of its size, the darker in colour it becomes. The darker the square, the more points it is worth which can be a great gamble if players are aiming for the highest of scores. If the square stays too long however, it freezes in place and becomes black, emitting a hissing noise and causing the screen to become a shade darker.

These black squares are worth less and do not recover in size, but their presence will cause the player to fail if too many black squares are on the screen for too long. This creates that sense of urgency that puts players in to this strange pattern state, constantly on edge yet somehow relaxed as they move both joysticks back and forth as they determine which to remove first and slowly clear the screen.

It’s definitely not what I expected from a meditation game, using that flow state of concentration to bring you in to this strange ‘lull’ state of being aware of everything, yet also drifting in a space where everything outside of the game does not exist. It can take some getting used to, unfortunately, as those that are not proficient with their controller will find this quite difficult to get in to that groove before the game ends. Once you get comfortable, you’ll be squashing squares in no time.




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Jacob ._.'

Just a Game Dev who decided to take on the monumental task of giving an overview of all 59 pages in the bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. We keep going.