The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: Furries & Scalies & Bears OH MY!: Ultimate Edition and Eye of Ra

This article ends with a bang. Wink.

Wasn’t expecting that joke to be floating in here. I’ll take it.

Furries & Scalies & Bears OH MY!: Ultimate Edition is the penultimate edition of the visual novel and adventure game created by Steg Game Dev, a solo indie dev based out of the United States. Players will assume the role of Oz, a shut-in engineer who accidentally finds themselves in a strange new world with their friend Dorothy. One moment they are out together hiking, the next there is a talking foxdragon child. Time to find out how they got here, if they can get back, and most importantly; who of these individuals can be dated.

As visual novels go, Furries & Scalies & Bears OH MY! sticks to the formula to keep players comfortable. After establishing a bit more information about their new location, Oz can wander the town and interact with the locals. Viewing the map, players can see the different places of the town that certain people reside. Upon going to that location, Oz can then select which individual they would like to talk with.

It is a nice feature for the game to be so open about who exactly one can talk with. This allows for players to follow the routes of characters they are interested in. Many visual novels resort to having players go to a region in the hopes of talking to one person, only to find them not there.

After a set amount of conversations — usually one to start, more as the game progresses — the day ends and a canonical conversation occurs to further the overarching plot of the game. Even without the personal character stories, there are quite a few main plot threads to follow, revolving around Oz and Dorothy’s appearance, the existence of humans in general, and mysterious creatures lurking in the dark.

Where Furries & Scalies & Bears OH MY! forges its own path is in its sincerity to what it loves. Each character has their own struggles and hobbies that they keep. They all feel interwoven in to the community at large. Many of the conversations discuss this sense of belonging, as one of the core themes is how each individual should feel as if they belong and enjoy where they live while respecting others. When certain individuals express discomfort, Oz respects their space regardless while many of the others are open and understanding to their situation. They all feel like people that want to be included, regardless of their differences. Even as one that isn’t a member of the furry community, it is hard to see these characters as anything less than people trying to live their lives as best they can and help each other out.

Thanks to its large cast, there is something for everyone within Furries & Scalies & Bears OH MY!: Ultimate Edition. The general aesthetic might not be for everyone, but that shouldn’t stop the enjoyment of watching a plot unfold and characters grow. If you like visual novels and furries, this might be a good one to try out and see how it goes for you.

Time to go to work. Firing my laser.

Eye of Ra is an immersive space adventure game created by BEARCABIN, an indie developer based out of Canada. Players will assume the position of a technician aboard the space station Eye of Ra. After a mysterious event known as ‘Apep’ occurred, all of the asteroids in the solar system have had their trajectories altered, confusing scientists and endangering the citizens of the Solar Union. To counter this issue, we humans did what we do best; built a giant freaking laser to deal with it.

It is up to the player to watch the stars and receive directives via email on the next satellite that needs to be dealt with. Each mission is broken in to events which take part at different times throughout the future years. This allows players to focus on their current objective rather than worrying about too much at once. Once an email arrives, you will be tasked with monitoring the asteroid in question through the Eye, a massive telescope with fantastic capabilities.

If the directive is to fire and destroy the asteroid, players will power up Ra with solar energy, and fire when it reaches 100%. In this mode, rotation becomes slower as all of the power is being directed to this cannon, meaning that aim can be millimeters off if not prepared. The cannon can also overcharge on solar, which can shut the entire ship down to avoid overloading the station. If this occurs, the mission is most likely to fail. This only happens if the solar energy reaches 110%, so there is leeway to ensure that the mission ends successfully.

Where Eye of Ra truly shines is in its immersive gameplay and atmosphere. The entire UI feels more like a workplace console than it does a video game, with the player needing to open different window tabs to operate the station. A command terminal can be used to control the entire station through command lines. This gives a sense that we are actually working in a technician-centric position. The Eye’s default controls are simplistic to the point of being limiting, but allow for different prompts to direct the eye and complete the mission. Even the mailbox is straight out of Windows XP, giving some lovely nostalgia while also acknowledging that many organizations still operate on older operating systems.

This all helps to paint a lovely picture of a member of the Solar Union, attempting to keep the citizens safe from these asteroids while also just performing a job. There’s no glamour or excitement apart from the emails, as we stare out in to the darkness of space to pass the time. It’s gorgeous in its emptiness, giving that odd sense of detachment from the events that are occurring even though failure means the death of thousands. The player doesn’t see their failures or successes outside of the debris of the asteroid through the Eye, and little thank you notes in the emails as the laser makes the news.

This fantastic atmosphere and story telling is what makes Eye of Ra so compelling to complete. Each event gives a new window in to this futuristic society where we have conquered the stars to the point of building a giant laser to destroy asteroids. The solar system seems so small from our viewpoint, yet is brimming with life and hopes that can only be glimpsed at through emails and lenses. Add on a somber yet beautiful soundtrack that serenades from the background and you’ve got yourself a space game that has all the joy of a game, with all of the responsibility of a job. It’s kind of brilliant.

If this game sounds like your fancy, give it a try. It isn’t long, but it will be well worth the time.

Do note that event two is a bit awkward. I failed it once, read the comments on the itch.io page, and found that the coordinates didn’t go to the correct location and instead zero’ed out to 90 in either direction. Not completely game breaking, but it is a pain. I felt almost like I was working with faulty software at times, but even then that still reminds me of work. So really, the immersion is still there.

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Fandom | Gaming | TV + Movies | Sci-Fi + Fantasy | Other Indecent Pursuits

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Jacob Vorstenbosch

Jacob Vorstenbosch

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.

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