Casual Fridays – Choice of Games and Hosted Games Extravaganza Part 2

When a company puts out games that are enjoyable, accessible, and entertaining then you want to take a good hard look at everything that company has to offer.  This week, we’re giving you part two of the in depth scoop on the Choice of Games Library!  I’m sorry that this is really late, my phone went and died on me and it took me a while to get it back from the shop and then the other standard excuses started to follow.

A knife on top of a map of an island on top of a wooden desk.

You should probably catch up on the previous reviews we have on Choice of the Dragon, and Choice of the Broadsides.  Then you can go back and check out Part 1 to see what I’ve already said about some of the Choice of Games … games.  I hate saying that, it’s awkward, but it is what it is.

Also, the games pretty much play the same.  They are all choose your own adventure type games with stats that the system keeps track of.  Unless something is of particular interest mechanically I’m not really going to talk about how the game play is.  It’s a radio option and a Next Button.

 

Marine Raider published by hostedgames.org

In Marine Raider you play the leader of a team of marines who have been tasked with infiltrating a Japanese scouting post during World War II.  This is perhaps the best game out of all the ones published by hostedgames.org that maintains the same kind of inclusive spirit that a lot of the Choice of Games have.  You can choose your gender, or even just make it lieutenant and while it’s a bit of a factor in the game, your gender doesn’t give or take away anything.

The story itself is one of discovery, problem solving, and escape.  It’s thrilling and I found myself pausing with every single decision wondering how it would affect me and the soldiers under my command.  It’s a short game, but you really do get a feel for who you’ve got under your command and the weight of what you’re doing.  Now, would I loved to have this game go on longer, absolutely.  However, that doesn’t take away that this game is probably one of the most well conceived and well executed out of all the games not done by Choice of Games.

Recommended:  You’re darned correct there soldier.  Now move out!

Imprisoned published by hostedgames.org

You’ve been imprisoned and you have to find a way to escape, well somewhat escape.  There are a couple ways to go about making your exit from this dungeon, which I won’t spoil, but some of them are rather unpleasant.  I’d like to say more about this game, but that’s all there really is to it.  You’ve got an interesting character creation section, not that it’s a huge difference from the other games of this style but instead of giving you a dualistic choice — like are you strong or charming — the game asks you how good you are at various things, and once you’ve used up that value you can’t go back to it.

What I dislike about the game is that there really isn’t all that much to do during the course of the game.  You spend a lot of time sitting in your cell doing push-ups, eating and sleeping.  The game gets a Trigger Warning for the “interrogation scenes,” which you can’t really avoid.

Recommended?: If you don’t mind the idea of unavoidable torture, and  interminable boredom then you should play it.  If not, I’d avoid it.

Popcorn, Soda … Murder published by hostedgames.org

There’s been a murder in the movie theatre while you enjoy yourself on a Sunday afternoon.  As the great detective you are, you’ll have to investigate what’s going on and discover who the murderer is.  It’s a pretty quick game, you have only a couple of environments to do your sleuthing and you really need to pay attention to what’s going on in order to figure out who did the crime.

The problem is that sometimes the information is a little … too obtuse.  The other problem with the limited range of locations to explore is that you don’t have to go far to start the “Let’s play map the dialogue” game, and considering if you make a mistake it starts you back at the beginning the mapping game is a pretty easy thing to do.

Recommended?: Yes, this isn’t that bad a game at all, it’s just kind of frustrating.  I’d play all the others ones first, but I wouldn’t tell you to avoid this one.

The Nightmare Maze published by hostedgames.org

I don’t know if I have played any game with a more indifferent beginning, an exciting middle, and a more disappointing finish than The Nightmare Maze.  The premise is that you play a 19th century Bostonian, a shout out to the peoples on Boston there I guess, who is plagued by nightmares.  Those nightmares are filled with lots of bizarre imagery, which is really rather juicy and fun to play.  I know I got so caught up in that I didn’t mind having to redo the game again, and again, and again as I tried to figure out what path would be the one that would take me to the best ending.

Then I got there and was left with a feeling of The Hell?  That was it?  It’s one in a series of games where you’re trying to save your wife who from what you can tell is just suffering from having to sleep in the same bed as someone who has nightmares?  Sure it alludes to something more but when the series is called the Waking Cassandra series it makes you wonder.

Recommended?:  If you can handle the imagery go for it, just ignore the ending.

 

There you have it.  The whole Choice of Games and HostedGames.org catalog in easy to digest packets.

Do you have a game that you’d like to see done with this engine?

Do you have a game that you’d like to see reviewed?

Let us know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Casual Fridays – Choice of Games and Hosted Games Extravaganza Part 2”

  1. I thought you’d forgotten about these. I’m glad to be wrong about that.

    :-(E> -> :-)E>

    Good to see Marine Raider get the props it deserves. Nothing like being a highly successful USMC Raider lieutenant, fresh from Annapolis, who wields a flamethrower* and had better be called Ma’am.
    [7/7; 8/7 only seems possible if you're a Hollywood marine. However, I've only ever been able to specifically account for six of my seven commendations--perhaps one for making it back alive?]

    *Not that much fire-time (intended), weighs 70 pounds, and it makes you an even bigger target (shoot the flamethrower!) than you already were (shoot the officer!). But you succeed anyway, because you’re Just. That. Good.

    I never really got much out of Nightmare Maze (I think I had an ableism issue, but it’s been a while. I should probably give it another check) or PSM; the murder-mystery thing didn’t really do it for me.

    And as for Imprisoned, the torture is problematic–no argument there–and the situation does get boring. The character generation idea was fairly good. It needs a bit of tweaking but could be a valid alternative to the “+1 $STAT” CoG used in Vampire.

    Which reminds me that CoR & CoV have been upgraded; CoR got its sequel and CoV discarded the historical-personages angle in favor of an additional scene post-Vicksburg. Might be worth revisiting them, though the additional scene in CoV needs a trigger warning.

    [TW: racism, violence]
    It’s a KKK lynching. Not good.

    1. Minor correction: CoV seems to have retained the attempts to feed on Jackson and Leveau. Davis is gone, though.

  2. I also agree that Marine Raider is the best in the Hosted Games section, and I’m usually not someone who likes military settings. I was very pleasantly surprised that the choice of gender neutrality is available, so I think that might have skwered my opinion a bit. But really, it’s worthy of every praise it gets.

    I hope I don’t look like I’m shamelesly self-promoting (even though I am) but since it’s related… I’m currently writing a game in ChoiceScript under the title ‘Samurai: A Warrior’s Path’. A demo/preview link is available in the forum topic under that name. I really hope to get it in Hosted Games by the end of November (need to remind myself to work faster).

    I must say that writing in ChoiceScript is largely a breeze so don’t be intimidated if you want to try your hand at it.

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