The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: ‘Legend of the Lost Dragons’ and ‘Little Cells’

Starting page 42 off small

Cold can’t bother me if I have FIRE.

Legend of the Lost Dragons is a retro adventure created by Alex Seletyn, an indie developer based out of the United States. Players will follow a young dragon on their quest to recover relics of old so they can become a hero and challenge the three fiends that have stolen all the dragon eggs.

Starting with only the ability to move, players will scour the lands to find these golden relics and upgrade their dragon’s abilities. These new powers are directly related to how the player explores each region, for many of the areas are inaccessible without them. For example, one of the first relics is the ability to breathe fire, which not only destroys enemies but also clears away many types of barriers (plant-based) and lights up torches for vision.

There is no ‘set’ order for how the relics are found — more on that later — but there is a slight guiding hand since many of the regions cannot be explored without certain abilities. Exploring the lands will eventually cause the player to cross paths with one of the three fiends. Then a boss battle ensues that will test previous experiences and hopefully allow the dragon to retrieve the egg.

The reason there is no direct route nor obvious path is that Legend of the Lost Dragons is a randomly generated map. Each death will cause the player to respawn in the same location, but with different openings on the sides and different map layouts to uncover. This means that some runs will have the player finding the relics almost immediately. Others will need a bit more finesse and exploration. The puzzle layouts will change as well, meaning that there is no way to ‘speedrun’ through previous knowledge. Instead, those previous runs will help give an understanding of how the puzzles interact with the player, learning what the jump button does in certain scenarios and how different enemies react to each movement.

With a soundtrack that slaps and a cute artstyle, Legend of the Lost Dragons really does encapsulate that retro style of adventure that many remember fondly. Sure there can be a few odd moments here and there — not being able to rotate on the spot is a bit of a pain when trying to hit moving enemies — but those came inherently with the retro aesthetic. If you enjoyed those games and are looking for a newer installment with a boat-load of content, this is a perfect game to dive in to.

Look at these cells GO

Little Cells is a fast-paced puzzle game crafted by Fully Bugged games, a global indie studio comprised of developers making games in their spare time. This project involves the player trying to keep all the cells happy by matching them up.

When cells spawn, it is up to the player to ‘throw’ them at like colours so that they will disappear and be resolved. It’s mechanic is like games in which matching colours will destroy them, rather than the match-3 style of lining them up.

Clicking on the cell will ‘grab’ it, then it can be thrown at any time. The longer it is held, however, the larger it grows. This may not sound like much of a problem, but if the cell hits the wrong colour, it will immediately become grey and ‘unusable’ while also spawning a third colour as a separate cell. If a cell does not match with another colour after some time, it will begin to pulse. Eventually it will become a ‘dark cell’ which will infect any colour it touches with its darkness. This will also dim the lights on the game, to show how the dark cells are effecting the rest of the organism. Allow for too many to appear, and the screen will go black to signify a game over.

Since only three colours naturally spawn, players will be spending the majority of each round trying to line up the cells as fast as possible to ensure that nothing goes awry. The grey ones do not last too long, but it adds more time for them to become dark which can easily stress players out. Once so many have been removed, however, the player can find solace as the organism is saved and they can move on to the next round.

It’s a simple yet effective design, continually scaling upwards without having to introduce too many new mechanics for it to remain exciting. It’s all about getting as many points as possible to show off to your friends later, or perhaps you just want to see how far you can go. Regardless of your intentions, it feels like a throwback to the flash games of old, which I can never say no to. If this sounds like your speed, then you’ve got a great game to grab.

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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.