The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: Kalling Kingdom and Micron

Hello!

Apologies for not posting yesterday. I took a day off after something came up. Anyway…

Oh hello there little town.

Kalling Kingdom is a fantasy management simulation created by Elega Corporation, an indie studio based out of the US. Players will build their own medieval town, a make economic and domestic decisions that can alter the prosperity of the town at a moment’s notice.

As with all management-related games — especially town-centered ones — Kalling Kingdom has a lot going on. It can be a bit overwhelming. This is a turn-based simulation, meaning that income is only calculated when a turn is rolled over. Players will start with $500K and build different establishments that give different amounts of money per turn.

Each establishment needs a varying number of workers to operate it. These workers are ‘recruited’ by offering them a starting bonus — they are basically bribed in to working for the player. Once employed, they will start generating income through taxes (and the business’ commodities) while the player worries about maintenance.

Where things get a bit unpredictable is in the expenses. There are two ways money can fluctuate. The player can alter how much money is put towards the maintenance and military, which can put them at risk of danger either from invasion or infrastructure failure. There is also the changing of seasons, which can cause income to fall drastically.

To offset this is the ‘second’ expense, investing in markets. It works like a simplified stock system with only one ‘market’. Players will invest money and hopefully sell it back at a profit, or watch as their hopes dwindle as the market crashes. This is meant to help get through the difficult times, but some times they happen so often they destroy the town regardless. Some towns aren’t meant to last, I suppose.

While still in a rough state, Kalling Kingdom lays the groundwork for a solid management simulation that focuses heavily on economics. It has only a few buildings, but the possibilities for change can be dangerous if not planned for. If you like seeing a management sim grow into something greater, this might be a good game to try out and see how it goes.

Pong for the educated.

Micron is a puzzle game created by Apparition Games, an indie studio based out of Canada. Players will deflect a continuous stream of bullets in the hopes of breaking through the barricade and hitting the target. Thankfully, these bullets bounce.

The core of Micron centers around the player’s ability to place flat surfaces on the board in order to redirect the bullets in a new direction. These surfaces are diagonal in origin, so the bullets go in a perpendicular direction. Once placed, they cannot be removed. That means the player will need to ensure that the panels don’t block off the bullets in an attempt to solve the puzzle.

This leads to the second aspect of these panels; they are double sided, allowing bullets to bounce off either side. As one might imagine, the amount of bouncing possible can become endless as long as players plan their placements accordingly.

The levels don’t make it easy, as they introduce new mechanics like multi-coloured balls and laser fields. Tack on that the panels are in short supply, and Micron is complete.

What helps Micron stand out is its colourful atmosphere thanks to the neon and rhythm-esque style. The music and bullets are in sync, and each bounce causes a new instrument to be added. It can be a bit chaotic at times, with the music de-syncing a little, but it can add to the fun.

That’s what this game is; just fun. It’s simple, it’s clean, and the puzzle possibilities are endless. If you love neon puzzles about redirection, try this out.

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