Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality
PEGBRJE: ‘Bestiary (Unspeakable)’ and ‘A Hole New World’
Bestiary (Unspeakable) is a cataloguing simulation created by Jeverage, a solo indie dev in Canada. Players are a classification expert, specializing in strange and new animals. It just so happens that there are a ton of those out there right now.
Attached to each file is a picture of a randomly generated creature. It is up to the player to come up with its name, diet, and characteristics. Once submitted, another appears, and the cycle begins again.
That is it. That is all that it is meant to be. There is no worry about naming it something stupid, no reason to become paranoid that someone will arrive to lambast the decision to put ‘smol boi’ in the characteristics section. It is a fully self-driven, self-regulated affair.
I struggled a little on what to write here, even wondering if I should put this in the software since it doesn’t feel like a game in the traditional sense. Yet at the same time, it doesn’t really belong anywhere but in the games’ section. You make your own fun with this one, so have fun with it.
A Hole New World is a platforming adventure game created by MadGearGames, an indie studio in Spain. Players are transported to a magical realm split in two, where the Upside Down world is invading the other. As the Potion Master, players will fight to collect all of the orbs so that the evil overlord cannot prevail.
Armed initially with just a standard fighting potion, players will platform across five different worlds in order to reach the ultimate evil. Each world is flavoured after the orb that inhabits it, with the final boss using that orb’s power.
The world itself is split in two, with falling down holes in the floor resulting not in death but transportation in to the ‘upside down’ world. This area of the map is inverted to the player, as one might expect, and can vary in importance depending on the world. It’s a neat twist on ‘holes’ so that players can instead focus on the platforming they’ll be doing rather than the floor that they could be falling on to.
That doesn’t mean that the platforming is necessarily easier, as hazards abound — the world is being invaded after all. The flipping between inversions can be a bit disorienting at first, especially if players had spent a long time in one world only to be forced in to the other.
Thankfully each boss’s defeat assists in traversing the world, as the Potion Master absorbs the orb and gains a new potion to use. These new potions alter how players attack their enemies but also how they approach terrain, as they can destroy certain blocks or give new movement-based abilities upon their unlocking. It helps to build upon the world, giving new options while also testing the player’s ability to make quick decisions.
I’m not usually a fan of this type of game, as evidence by my constantly saying so across this bundle, yet something caused me to get dragged down the hole that is this game. It strikes a balance of being just difficult enough to need some practice while simple enough that a non-platforming fan can get in to it.
The artwork and soundtrack also don’t hurt, as they are beautifully colourful and rich.
If you’re a fan of retro arcade adventures that also contain all the polish that the indie community has gained over the years, give this one a look.
Links in a Chain
BESTIARY is a game about frantically meticulously cataloguing strange creatures discovered in a new world. The only…