The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: ‘Hero-ing Addict’ and ‘Danger Zone Friends’

Narrative time.

Well… Got me there.

Hero-ing Addict is an action-adventure game created for the UCSC Fall 2020 Game Jam by Ethan’s Byproducts, a solo indie dev. Players will take on the role as the titular ‘Hero’, ready to jump in to the Valley of Heroes and become the greatest Hero that ever hero’ed.

Armed with a magic sword, the Hero will dive right in to hacking and slashing their way through colourful enemies — well, at least attempting to hack and slash through them, for their colour is more important than normal.

The magic sword with a lengthy name (I can’t remember it’s name) has the ability to alter its colour every so often, but if the colour does not match the monster then the sword does no damage. The colour choices appear to be random, as if the sword is telling the player that it is the true hero, which can lead to some pauses while the player waits.

To alleviate this, however, is the colour ‘gun’ that players are given. Using the mouse wheel, players can cycle between the three primary colours and fire off one of them with the right click of the mouse. While this seems arbitrary or only useful for puzzles, all enemies can have their colour changed by the gun as well — meaning that anyone that wants to get in a few swipes before a colour change can do so. This can be quite tricky to get the hang of at first, as checking the wheel for the gun while avoiding getting hit and attacking feels like having eyes in all parts of the screen. Over time, however, there is no stopping the colours flying.

What gives Hero-ing Addict its flair is its delivery, from the hilarious MS-Paint adventures in its aesthetic to the over-the-top dialogue that our Hero gives. Everyone he meets is boggled by how self-important and fantastical he talks, and many question what he’s even doing here.

You’ll have lots of people to find as well, as while the world is somewhat small it is densely packed with many routes to follow that have people or special pyramids to collect.

Even at its shorter run time, if you love witty dialogue and can figure out the combat quick enough, this is definitely worth giving a shot.

I’m sorry, what is happening here.

Danger Zone Friends is a JRPG created by Alexandra Higgins, a solo indie dev in the USA, with assistance from Rob ‘Robby’ Robertson’s voice. Players will be following two roommates in Agnes and Lulu who are in need of cheese; without it, their eggs can never be complete. Even if that means finding themselves in… the DANGER ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE.

It isn’t as if they were aiming for this perilous journey, but unfortunately for Agnes and Lulu there are no other routes in order to reach the grocery store.

Once within, players will find the JRPG elements almost immediately, as both Agnes and Lulu are ‘both wizards’ and can fight against the strange enemies that appear. They’ll be able to attack, use items or their special abilities, or guard and wait out the attacks of their enemies just as one might expect from a turn based JRPG.

There are many fights that involve players attempting to handle an enemy’s unique ability, from being eaten alive to stopping other people from hurting themselves — keep an eye out for any fancy words or phrases. The party order can be altered outside of combat, as players will wander the halls of the DANGER ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE to look for items and hidden pathways, hopefully avoiding those pesky random encounters as well.

Where many will find Danger Zone Friends to be at its peak is in its writing and narrative, as both Agnes and Lulu will bicker about everything they find just like one would expect roommates to do. The DANGER ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE is full of strange places, and how Agnes and Lulu react to them helps to keep the mood light as they argue over how eggs are made or where all this cheese came from.

There are dozens of characters to interact with, such as the Astrodon, also known as the Great State Dinosaur of Maryland. The only truly ‘voiced’ character, they are a looming presence witnessed many times, including to remind you to save often.

For the record, do save often. It is very easy to slip up and immediately find yourself back at your last save.

Danger Zone Friends is a great example of what good fun character dynamics can be while running through absurd realities. There’s a lot less eye rolling and a lot more “just accept it, we need cheese” which makes for both Agnes and Lulu to feel more enjoyable as characters, especially when they run in to so many strange encounters.

The JRPG aspects won’t appeal to many, but I’d recommend it for those that love a good chaotic plot that has way too much cheddar and DANGER ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE.

Also, a dinosaur. Seriously, it’s hard to pass on that.

Links to Dinosaurs.



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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.