The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: SOS: SPECIAL OPERATIVE STORIES and Bubbles the Cat

WE BACK, now with 100% more EXPLOSIONS.

Apologies for the wait, it’s been a wild week getting that contract but the brunt of it is done so I can refocus back on other stuff and make time for the blog again.

We are also excited to join the publication ‘The Ugly Monster’! Should be fun I think.

Anyway, let’s go!

AH YIS.

SOS: SPECIAL OPERATIVE STORIES is an action packed shootin’ adventure created by ATTACK MOUNTAIN, creator of the series that came before this one, ‘THE GREY MAN’, and many to come after. While that title had players being an alien, this is a more familiar setting; a kid visits his reclusive grandad who recounts stories of his youth, which are way too exciting for any normal grandparent.

As advertised, SOS starts out fast and tonally sets itself square in the middle of all action films. Players run around compounds in 1982 and 1987 as The Agent, the greatest special operative of his time. Armed with only some explosives and his trusty pistol, The Agent will blow his way through both missions, mowing down soldiers thanks to the player’s aiming capabilities and quick thinking

Since we don’t care much about the state of these compounds, players will be utilizing the terrain’s inherent explosiveness to their advantage, luring soldiers in to their deaths while ensuring that they themselves don’t get blown up instantly. Anything which can’t be blown up on purpose is usually an important plot element to drive the mission forward. This highlights the fantastical Cold War-esque plots, such as taking down an entire army or rescuing a scientist against an old friend.

As one might expect from a one man army, The Agent is adept at all kinds of activities, but remains mortal; while bullets are hard to see, they aren’t hard to feel. Taking too many of them will cause the mission to fail. Granted, this is a story being retold by a retired Agent, so it wouldn’t really make sense for him to have died. Instead the game ‘retells’ the story from the last area loaded in. It lets things flow quickly to match the pacing of the game, so that they don’t waste any time getting back in to the action.

SOS: SPECIAL OPERATIVE STORIES has more than one might expect within its title. The game can last at least an hour or two depending on your own exploration and enjoyment. It can be a bit hard at times to understand where you’re going thanks to the pixel art and explosions, but that doesn’t detract from the hilariously over the top experience. If you love cheesy 80’s action movies and want to play in one, this is the perfect title to dive in to.

Look at the lil kitty.

Bubbles the Cat is a platformer created by Team Cats & Bears, an indie studio based out of the UK. Players will be following the misadventures of the titular Bubbles the cat as the feline finds themselves on a perilous journey to find its way home. All because of curiosity.

As a platformer, Bubbles the Cat falls in to the realm of the collection-scoring style in which players can collect up to three stars per level; one is for finishing the level, the second is for collecting all of the fish cracker food and the third is for completing the level within the ‘par’ time. How the player traverses the levels, however, is much more interesting; it’s an auto runner. There is only one button to push as the player, either Z or Left Click (on PC), and this allows Bubbles to jump in to the air. Running in to a wall automatically turns Bubbles around, and jumping off of walls has a similar effect. This creates way more planning than I was expecting, as without control of the horizontal movement the player has to ensure that they don’t accidentally run in to walls at inopportune times, especially if they have nothing to jump off of to turn back around. This is then built upon by the fact that Bubbles has, well, bubbles, which allows for multiple jumps in the air — the tried and true method of refreshing upon landing included. These bubbles, however, can be altered by power ups which can then make these in-air jumps much more impactful, such as explosive jumps to break through walls and the ability to actually build walls. There are more, but the wall building one stood out the most as easily the most useful yet most infuriating, for it becomes a game of not hopping too many times and accidentally getting turned around.

It’s not meant to be overly difficult, but Bubbles the Cat gives you as the player options to play the game as you want and customization for making it even more for your style. Add hats and different colours, and unlock different styles as you go to truly involve yourself in the plight of our feline friend, and see how far you can go. There are at least 125 levels and secrets galore, and thanks to it being available on mobile it can go with you anywhere. If you were wanting a platformer that altered the formula just a bit to keep things spicy, this might be it.

Linken Spheres

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