Some camels and blokes from Aussie RPG Broken Roads

April 8 - 14

Section: 

IMAGE(https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/pictures/pictures/picture-13445.jpg)   Felix “A bloke is not a camel” Threepaper

Welcome folks, and happy “41st Anniversary of the disappearance of the Statue of Liberty” week!

On 8 April 1983, David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. It’s OK, though: he made it reappear again. The trick was performed in front of a live audience of 20 people, sitting on a stage 200 feet in front of the Statue of Liberty, and was shown live on TV. Many in the TV audience thought that he had used trick photography for the illusion, but he actually just moved the stage, very slowly, under cover of loud music and flashing lights. You may all celebrate by playing a game with haptic feedback.

This week, a bunch of indies take the stage.

Bendy: Secrets of the Machine is a surprise further instalment to Bendy and the Ink Machine that has arrived with very little announcement or hype. As such, there are very few details on it, except it’s a new level, full of first-person, action horror puzzling, like the previous games.

Let's! Revolution! has mechanics similar to the biggest game of the Windows 95 era: Minesweeper. The gameplay is about flipping tiles based on guessing what’s next to other tiles, but the animations and story around it are much more vivid, with a colourful, crisp art style that looks similar to Steven Universe. The tile maps are smaller, but there’s also some combat skills and roguelite features to spruce things up. It looks like a great game to play on the go—will it absorb as many millions of hours of players’ time as Minesweeper did?

The Kindeman Remedy is a SAW-type game where you are an evil doctor working in a jail doing horrible experiments on people. It looks grim, grimy, and not to my tastes. Why do I laugh at a follower getting yeeted off a mountain in Skyrim but turn my nose up at this? It’s the difference between the violence of a Looney Tunes cartoon and torture porn. Games like this just bum me out.

Paper Plane Arena - Lost Places is about flying a little paper plane around various 3D levels and popping balloons. Unlike paper planes made in meatspace, this paper plane has unlimited lift and thrust, so it’s more about relaxation than challenge as you drift through the maps.

Botany Manor comes out on GamePass this week. It’s like a cross between Myst and Stardew Valley. You explore the abandoned house and grounds of a botanist, and find environmental clues to work out how to grow various plants and solve puzzles. The music and scenery is very calming. It’s cosy puzzle-solving without the tension or scares of an escape room.

Broken Roads is an Aussie-made, post-Apocalyptic RPG that’s very much inspired by Fallout 1 and 2. Firstly, it looks like a high-res upgrade of those games, with its UI, isometric presentation, and Mad Max aesthetic. The basic setup is also similar: You create a character, choosing your stats, skills, and perks, and head out into the Australian wasteland to find various settlements and factions. Along the way there’ll be loot, new companions, turn-based combat, and difficult choices. The dialogue also has alignment mechanics similar to Pathfinder: Kingmaker, where you can choose the attitude of your response to shape your moral compass. There’s also an open world quality, as you can explore the overworld freely to get to the mapped-out locations.

My GOTW is Broken Roads. Frankly, ‘Aussie Fallout’ is enough to sell me, even though I have no idea how deep the RPG systems go. Individually, they’re nothing revolutionary, but the whole package looks nicely done. If you enjoyed the recent Wasteland games, this one’s for you.

GWJ Word of the Week

RPG: Short for “role-playing game”. The roots of RPGs came from developers who wanted to replicate the mechanics of tabletop role playing games. As such, the common features of these games involved creating characters with various attribute scores and equipment and taking them out into a world where the player can make their own choices about how to resolve situations they come across. Throw in some levelling-up mechanics, and the overall effect is to provide a sense of character progression and that your character is having an impact on the world. Player choice and impact is an important part of why people play RPGs. Some of the earliest RPGs were adaptations of Dungeons & Dragons campaigns but the genre has long since expanded into multiple subgenres, from single-player experiences to massively multiplayer games. Features from RPGs have also been included in many other game genres, so nowadays every action game with skill trees or gear stats calls itself an RPG.

Here's the list, in release-date AND alphabetical order!

PC

  • 04-08

  • 100 KILLS CHALLENGE: ORIGINS
  • Atan
  • Banbard
  • Black hole Escape
  • Black Trail
  • DEAD MAN'S HAND: Card Roulette Action
  • Doodle Streets: London 1950's
  • Eastern Eternal Spell Cards
  • Function Ball
  • JTAC Beats
  • My First Horse: Adventures on Seahorse Island
  • Please Leave Me Alone, I Need to Poop
  • Refactoro: Chaotic Farm
  • SEARCH ALL - HEARTS-+
  • Sheba: A New Dawn
  • Spirit City: Lofi Sessions
  • Summoneer
  • Wash Sim
  • Water Festa
  • Witchy Woes
  • 04-09

  • Botany Manor
  • Children of the Sun
  • Detective Secrets Solitaire. The Curse of the Village
  • EMULATED: OpsRunner
  • Fatal Countdown - immoral List of Desires
  • Gigantic: Rampage Edition
  • Glimmer Chain
  • Last Hope Bunker: Zombie Survival
  • Math Pixels
  • My Head On Your Body
  • SEARCH ALL - ALIENS
  • Slime Mayhem
  • Speakeasy (Team 3 Studios)
  • Turbo Kid
  • Whale Captain
  • Yellow Taxi Goes Vroom
  • 04-10

  • Boundless Paths
  • Broken Roads
  • Deep Under
  • Dying from Hunger: A Thousand Mile Journey in the Late Ming Dynasty
  • Ereban: Shadow Legacy
  • Inkbound
  • Koe
  • Lil Doll House
  • MAKIBISHI COMIC Remaster
  • The Cursed Legacy
  • Yet Another Fantasy Title
  • 04-11

  • Case Files: Behind Closed Doors
  • Cirrus Business
  • Deep in The Fear
  • Die Again
  • Ghost Hunter
  • Glorious Savior
  • Goons: Legends & Mayhem
  • Halver
  • Lotus Lantern: Rescue Mother
  • PathBlasters
  • Prehistoric Gal
  • Redemption of Li Wei
  • Revival: Recolonization
  • School Paranormal Laboratory
  • Story Of Eve 2
  • Time Avarice
  • Urban Entrepreneur
  • 04-12

  • Age of Fear 5: The Day of the Rat
  • Anomaly Collapse
  • Arthas 2
  • Color Splash: Rodents
  • Combat Dungeon
  • Cryptrio
  • DeResolution
  • Dungeon Full Dive
  • Enter The Lost Chamber
  • Heart and Core
  • INSPIRE
  • Jack Holmes : Master of Puppets
  • Kings And Goblins
  • Lands of Avaronia
  • Lever Simulator - Multiplayer
  • Living Metal
  • Massira
  • Mow That Lawn
  • Mr. Scientist
  • NewMe NuMe LuMe: Alien Wars
  • Nightmare Collection: Telephone Call
  • Ominous
  • Paper Plane Arena - Lost Places
  • Phenom
  • Recycle it!
  • Reminiscence in the Rain
  • Run Run Bird!
  • SokoPenguin
  • Stickman Killing Zombie
  • The Shadow Cat
  • Timewinder
  • Tinkerlands: A Shipwrecked Adventure
  • Void Wizard
  • WOWOWOW KORONE BOX
  • 04-13

  • Helbreath Nemesis
  • Steel Symphony
  • The Lost Key
  • 04-14

  • Bendy: Secrets of the Machine
  • Ivorfall
  • Journey to the West Pocket Edition
  • POWERNAUT DECAY
  • Sacred Safar
  • Unreal Trail: In the name of the Strongest, 30 Hunters Forced to Evolve

Xbox Series X

  • 04-09

  • Botany Manor
  • Gigantic: Rampage Edition
  • 04-10

  • Broken Roads
  • House Flipper 2
  • Jorel's Brother and The Most Important Game of the Galaxy: Complete Edition
  • SokoFrog
  • 04-11

  • Die Again
  • Let's! Revolution!
  • Loretta
  • The Kindeman Remedy
  • 04-12

  • Glorious Savior
  • Outer Terror

Xbox One

  • 04-09

  • Botany Manor
  • Gigantic: Rampage Edition
  • 04-10

  • Broken Roads
  • Die Again
  • SokoFrog
  • 04-11

  • Ato
  • Let's! Revolution!
  • Loretta
  • The Kindeman Remedy
  • 04-12

  • Glorious Savior

PlayStation 5

  • 04-09

  • Gigantic: Rampage Edition
  • 04-10

  • Broken Roads
  • House Flipper 2
  • SokoFrog
  • 04-11

  • Let's! Revolution!
  • Loretta
  • The Kindeman Remedy
  • 04-12

  • Outer Terror

PlayStation 4

  • 04-09

  • Gigantic: Rampage Edition
  • 04-10

  • Broken Roads
  • SokoFrog
  • 04-11

  • Let's! Revolution!
  • Loretta
  • The Kindeman Remedy
  • 04-12

  • Outer Terror

Nintendo Switch

  • 04-09

  • Botany Manor
  • Mars Assault: 3D Shooter
  • 04-10

  • AEW: Fight Forever - Hayter's Gunna Game
  • Bakery Simulator
  • Jorel's Brother and The Most Important Game of the Galaxy: Complete Edition
  • SokoFrog
  • 04-11

  • Ato
  • Cirrus Business
  • Cleaning Queens 2: Sparkling Palace
  • Die Again
  • Escape Game The Deserted House
  • Football Cup 2024
  • Hatsumira -from the future undying-
  • Hero's Hour
  • Kankoku Tetsudou Unten Ryokou Uijeongbu Kei Tetsudou Hen
  • Legacy of the Wizard
  • Let's! Revolution!
  • Loretta
  • Mimi the cat: Mimi's Scratcher
  • Minitsuku! Sa ga Tsuku! Shougakkou o Juken Quiz
  • Moonglow Bay
  • Motorcycle Extreme Driver: Moto Racing Simulator
  • Murder on the Spaceship Altair
  • Nihonshi San Hint Quiz Atashi wa Dare Deshou?
  • Oxytone
  • Slave Zero X
  • Sophia the Traveler
  • Steel Sand Mars Chronicles - Survival Simulator
  • Steins;Gate 15th Anniversary Double Pack
  • The Kindeman Remedy
  • Utakata no Uchronia
  • 04-12

  • Color Road
  • Cryptrio
  • Exploration Adventures
  • Farmyard Haven
  • King Krieg Survivors
  • nBlocks - Unblock Your Creativity
  • Outer Terror
  • 04-13

  • Overdelivery - Delivery Simulator

Comments

Broken Roads does look good and very early Fallout.

I tried the original Fallout in demo form many, many years ago. I was horrified that the combat was some archaic and bizarre system where you and the enemy took it in turns to move or attack. I thought it was a relic of a past gaming age. Little did I know that I’d come to thoroughly enjoy turn based games as is evidenced by the fact that I’m playing Marvel’s Midnight Suns at the moment.

I knew Broken Roads would benefit from the Aussie bias and get GOTW! Seriously, that game's been on my radar for a while, and I'm excited to see how it turns out.

The other interesting one this week is Children of the Sun, which got some buzz during the Next Fest. It's a puzzle-shooter game in which you are trying to kill all enemies on the map with a single bullet that ricochets from one target to the next.

Children of the Sun has to come to PlayStation. I’m sure it will.

I just realised that Broken Roads releases on the same day the Fallout TV series starts.

I'm surprised that Children of the Sun is PC-only ... it's not like Devolver Digital to do 'sclusy deals.

My impression is that there is often a delay between PC and console release and some don’t make it, like Katana Zero (sob.)

The huge majority of PC games don't end up on console. You only have to look at the list of releases each week and how much longer the PC list always is.

I was talking about Devolver published games specifically but I perhaps should have made that clear.

Happy to report that I played some Broken Roads for a few hours yesterday.

Some drive-by thoughts:

It's got that thing that RPGs often have in dialogue, where you can press a button to learn more about certain keywords etc, except it's for all the Aussie slang being used. Press Square to learn the meaning of 'legend in your own lunchbox'.

Combat is rare but there can be difficulty spikes because there isn't much tactics to it. Cover is rare and not that useful, and you often start clumped up while the enemy goes first -- with grenades. If you are outnumbered, look out.

The moral compass/dialogue choice system is quite complex. You get different perks depending on whether you either go deep on one of the 4 'philosophies' on the compass, or a wide spread between them. I've RPed my character to be mostly "utilitarian", which resulted in one of the most annoying perks: 'Don't Die on Me', where you take damage instead of an adjacent party member. I don't want to be the tank!

Anyhoo, I'm digging it. It's got a lot of charm and vibes, but the production values sit a little below Wasteland but above the buggy Russian Fallout clone from a few years back.

I like the idea of having a ‘learn more’ option for Aussie slang. As someone with Aussie friends I know there are some delightful turns of phrase out there. The combat sounds extremely nerve wracking.

It might be a game to try if/when it arrives on PS Plus (I’ve also heard it’s quite short, which isn’t always a problem but in a game like Broken Roads I want to have plenty of time to get to know and live with the characters.)