PEGBRJE: All You Can Eat and Chess Mix
Rock and Rolls.
All You Can Eat is an interactive comic game made by gamechuck, an indie studio out of Croatia. Players follow a ‘modern’ hero in the nineties who decided to quit his job and live within an all-you-can-eat diner. Unfortunately, loopholes aside his time within the diner is coming to an end as the eatery appears to be closing. What can save it?
Unlike many titles within the bundle, All You Can Eat has blended the point and click interactivity with a living comic book series. As players make decision by clicking on objects or talk to an individual, the game scrolls to the right and creates the scenes along the way to simulate the feeling of reading a 3-panel comic. Even repeated answers will still give a new panel rather than rewinding back to keep the consistent flow of the narrative going. It honestly feels like the comics I used to read in the newspaper as a kid with the consistent black-line artstyle and the comedic timing of a third-panel punchline almost every time. Yet thanks to the interactivity of the game, players actually feel they have agency over the comic as it is being created. After finishing my first run, I noticed that even the itch.io page had panels that I hadn’t even seen in my run, meaning players are able to interact with different objects in varying ways to give a conclusion fitting for how they feel the story is going.
Once completed, All You Can Eat offers the player the ability to print off their version of the game and create a comic book out of it, cementing the opinion that this is a massive loveletter to the 3 panel comic books of old. It goes beyond what a normal comic can do by giving players the ability to control many aspects of the strip while still creating something out of their time. It’s use of puns and humour might not stick with everyone, but the idea that it brings forth is a fantastic way of evolving an old media into the modern era. If you like old comics or just want to read something silly about the nineties, this is definitely one to grab.
Chess Mix is a turn-based strategy game made by Keith Burgun Games, a solo indie studio founded by… well, Keith Burgun. Shocking. Anyway, this game allows for players to delve into the true lives of the chess board, in which Horsey will inform that the game of Chess has gotten quite a bit of it wrong; the real reason they are on the board is to party.
Upon starting Chess Mix, players will be attempting to ensure that the party on each board is so cool that it blows everything else out of the water. The metric for this is the glorious ‘Cool Meter’, a measurement of how ‘poppin’ the party is. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but there are dozens of different ways to acquire points. Generally, these are acquired via collecting items on the board such as the chips that help get the party fed or through items to enhance the coolness factors such as those sweet sunglasses or dip. Thing is, those items need to be collected, and unfortunately our version of chess got one thing right: how the pieces move. Meaning the bishop can only go diagonal, knights have to do the L, and the pawns move aimlessly forward. Since this is a tactics game, each move pushes time forward, slowly winding down to the end of the night, so figuring out where to move certain pieces is crucial for success. Thankfully, these pieces have more than a few tricks up their sleeves.
Each named piece on a board has special abilities to help keep the party going. From shirley temples to telling a quick joke, each of these abilities can help gain coolness for the part in varying ways. Some will spread chips around, or soda (which lowers the cooldown on abilities) for others to pick up and gain more cool. Some have the ability to force everyone to dance to the left, repositioning the dance floor to help acquire other items, or leave those shirley temples on the ground to swap places. Every piece has a way to contribute to the party, it’s all about how players use them to create a fantastic night. Even those pawns have a place in the party; if they reach the end of the board, they can invite other pieces to the party to replace. On their passive journey they can also collect items to add to the cool factor, or be assigned one of the three stations at the party to help assist, either as a DJ, chip supplier or fridge raider. All of these factors are used to ensure that the party can be as fantastic as possible to acquire those sweet star reviews.
With a fun soundtrack to back up the wacky style of gameplay, Chess Mix is actually one wild strategy game. It takes a bit to get used to, and more strategy than I was expecting, but utilizing it all to get a sweet party is never a bad idea. It’s also available on mobile for all of you wanting something on the go which is a nice touch. If raving chess pieces is what you’ve been looking for, look no further.
All You Can Eat
Take control of a modern hero of our times, a man so lazy he decided to quit his job and just spend his life inside an…