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Incline Strangeland - new adventure game from Wormwood Studios

HoboForEternity

sunset tequila
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Disco Elysium
AAemQ9AABW2Z.jpg
 

HoboForEternity

sunset tequila
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Finally finished it. The easiest thing to praise objectively is absolutely the art and armosphere. Just hauntingly gorgeous and bizzare.

Subjectively, it hits home to me. the themes are pretty clear and somewhat cliche but the details are obscured in ambiguity, which makes it easier for me to identify the stranger to myself, making this strange journey quite personal experience to me. Almost a mirror of my own journey the past few years. The methaphors are very sharp, and well written at the same time easy to identify and relate with. At least for me.


Maybe it's the timing, but the ending really speaks to me, i spent the past few years trudging my ugly pool of mud, but recently found some little lights i can hold onto. The good ending is almost like it was made for me. This is the kind of story thats better if you kind of self insert, maybe you've been in your own strangeland, haunted by the reflections in the mirror.

Thanks for the game. It truly end up being such a personal piece of media for me, thus unforgettable. i will write a review probably will take few weeks since i am lazy.
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
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Thanks -- I think that is right. For some players, it will feel artificial, for some it will feel uncannily real. For that latter category, some will be upset (we got one absolutely livid email from a reviewer who found it triggering) and some will be moved. I'm glad to hear that you've found some lights lately. And I look forward to reading your full review.

In the meanwhile, I should say that we now have native Linux builds for those few who are interested.
 

HoboForEternity

sunset tequila
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Thanks -- I think that is right. For some players, it will feel artificial, for some it will feel uncannily real. For that latter category, some will be upset (we got one absolutely livid email from a reviewer who found it triggering) and some will be moved. I'm glad to hear that you've found some lights lately. And I look forward to reading your full review.

In the meanwhile, I should say that we now have native Linux builds for those few who are interested.
One thing that annoy me was the phone number puzzle. I am not a native english speaker, while i mostly can hear English without text, i still rely more on subtitles because reading comes easier for me than hearing so i find phonetic/puns based puzzles hard to figure out sometimes.

I do love how the hint just calls you an idiot and straight up tell the answer lol.

But otherwise the rest of the puzzles are logical and can be fun.
 

fork

Dumbfuck!
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Oct 20, 2020
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Seriously, your compassionate, serious attitude towards everything, especially critical customers, is frankly quite off-putting. Maybe your Jew-self can't help itself, but I still thought letting you know would be the right thing to do.
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
Developer
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I deeply appreciate your feedback, in particular accounting for my religion. I hope you find our future attitude more rewarding, but if not, you shouldn’t feel obliged to spend more of your good time on our bad responses. Many thanks!

:smug:
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
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Chicago, IL, Kwa
I feel bad that I haven’t played this yet.

To be honest I’ve definitely had the time to play it by now so I think I’m purposefully putting it off for a number of reasons:
1)I suspect I will really enjoy it, and I’m definitely the sort of person who intentionally tries to delay gratification.
2)It seems heavy. This isn’t a criticism, it’s just relatively rare for me to seek out games with dark, disturbing themes. Games are one of my primary media for escapism and I have a hard time pulling the trigger on “escapist” things that might make me feel sad.
3) My grandmother also died of complications from Alzheimer’s and I’m worried I’ll go into the game too influenced by knowing that your similar situation was the genesis of the project.

I will play it soon though. And then I’ll leave an honest review. And regardless of my opinion of the game I will always respect your compassionate and serious attitude towards your customers.
 

TheWorld

Educated
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Apr 11, 2017
Messages
44
I finished this game yesterday. It took me a couple of evenings, and I really enjoyed it. The art style is beautiful, the writing is strong, and the puzzles easy but fun. While I have seen similar themes and situations in games like sanitarium... who cares? The different ideas, and how they were mixed, kept everything interesting. I actually liked how the past of the main character is kept very vague, because it allowed me to connect more with the themes.

My only criticism is that I didn't enjoy the final "le chuck style confrontation", where you get pummeled around from scene to scene. It was short anyway and didn't detract from my overall enjoyment.
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
Developer
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It was a deliberate homage. I have always thought it the best adventure game finale but it turns out that is not a universal opinion (to put it mildly).

Glad you guys liked the rest!
 

TheWorld

Educated
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Apr 11, 2017
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It was a deliberate homage. I have always thought it the best adventure game finale but it turns out that is not a universal opinion (to put it mildly).

Glad you guys liked the rest!

I think most people will agree with you. I'm not a fan of waiting for the bad guy to punch me if I missed \ wanna check better something in another location. But yeah, minor thing. As I wrote I really liked the other puzzles, like the telephone number, the work orders, calling the valkyrie... I haven't played Primordia in a few years, even though I have fond memories of it, but I think I enjoyed this on the same level. I plan another playthrough of both to be sure ;)
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
Developer
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Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it. If you give it another go, you might check out the commentary/annotations. I think they provide a substantially different experience which might make the replay more interesting.
 

Ivan

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Jun 22, 2013
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6,453
I had a great time with my second run through the game. Listening to the commentary made me feel/see the different components more strongly. I was able to hear the music differently, notice the little details in the environment, and think about the puzzles in a historical sense (I immediately saw the Monkey Island 2 connection only until it was mentioned). Thanks for sharing the personal stories and learnings that helped shape this project. As I said before, I picked up on the hopeful resilience The Stranger carries right away and I too appreciate that this was a story of reconciliation. I do wonder, did you ever consider withholding/offering the player "bad"/ "defeatist" endings (e.g. jump, knife)? The commentary makes their inclusion sound like it may have been tacked on, perhaps requested by testers?

tangential thoughts:
-I love the small detail of The Woman caressing The Stranger's temple in the finale + The Scribe shuffling his feet, wiggling his toes
-I felt the music more in my second run, it lends the game this DRENCHED feel that I really enjoyed.
-world design: again, I reiterate that the "simple" hub structure was very well done. economical, logical, and it was great to see how it transformed as the game progressed (the only thing that looked "off" to me was how the left side exit from Eitri's room in DEADLAND didn't really look like it led to the Black Dog/Feral Man room. Was this intentional? I recall the STRANGELAND room pretty clearly had a more readable route

I don't recall my Primorida playthrough but this definitely encourages me to give that another playthrough. This however was a project that I will remember as one of my favorite traditional point and clicks. I think it's due to its wonderful pacing and structure.


edit: the close-up of the Dark thing in DEADLAND...BRAVO. One of the most wonderfully horrifying images I've seen.

Purchasing a copy for my primo since I saw he had wishlisted it :)
 
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MRY

Wormwood Studios
Developer
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II do wonder, did you ever consider withholding/offering the player "bad"/ "defeatist" endings (e.g. jump, knife)? The commentary makes their inclusion sound like it may have been tacked on, perhaps requested by testers?
No, all along I felt that there needed to be a choice at the end because the option to resign oneself (one way or another) has to be in there.

-I love the small detail of The Woman caressing The Stranger's temple in the finale + The Scribe shuffling his feet, wiggling his toes
Yes, the work that went into the finale looking good was pretty absurd. We started with three sprites standing there talking, and needless to say, it was terrible. The temple stroke was either my idea or Dualnames's, I can't remember. The Scribe feet was just something that Vic put in; at the risk of sounding like an even more ludicrous Tarantino, I've always thought that was probably the coolest detail in a sprite. Getting the perspective, anatomy, and animation right on feet in that position is no joke!

the only thing that looked "off" to me was how the left side exit from Eitri's room in DEADLAND didn't really look like it led to the Black Dog/Feral Man room. Was this intentional? I recall the STRANGELAND room pretty clearly had a more readable route
No, not intentional. The way Vic did the Deadland rooms in general, the exits were not super clear. The "tent" room to the Shooting Gallery was so unclear Dualnames had to add first a purple glow (insufficient) and then an arrow sign.

the close-up of the Dark thing in DEADLAND...BRAVO. One of the most wonderfully horrifying images I've seen.
Yeah, all Vic. At first it felt too much, and then when I saw it in game, it was perfect.
 

agentorange

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Codex 2012
it's not about twists, really. it's about the presentation of the game and how PC and NPCs behave, that japanese productions like SH2 and many others cultivated almost to perfection, making dream like scenarios seem "real". u would have been well advised to study them before attempting a game of this kind. u could still add ur own western and personal perspective, building upon the concept.

anyone who is familiar with those games probably notices that u made a lot of "beginner mistakes" in Strangeland.
absolute last thing the world needs is yet another Silent Hill knockoff. every horror mod for the last 20 years and 9 out of 10 indie horror games are more than enough (and every single one of them would have been better off without the overbearing and obvious influence of said game, to the point where when I see references to or obvious influence of Silent Hill it makes me think the mod or game is amateurish). maybe you should recommend he also play and ape off of Earthbound to really fill out the list of games that have been exhaustively mined for inspiration by indie developers.
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
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Alpan

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Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Calling Strangeland the best-looking game in the Wadjet Eye catalogue was the easiest value judgment/comparison I ever made about a game, but I had no idea that it was AGS that was holding the other games' visuals back all this time. You're right: if there is such an award, James should get it.
 

Maxie

Guest
MRY is shilling these two videos in the Steam news section, so I shall do so here as well



 

baud

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RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Kingmaker
I'm partial to this one too



E7mNWPnVkAMkgOn
 

Ed123

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banal
Serpent in the Staglands Wasteland 2
I forgot to mention, I was reading an /h/ (or maybe /aco/) thread last week and someone mentioned they wished more hentai characters were written like Strangeland. Sorry for not passing it along earlier.
 
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