PEGBRJE: Duck In Town — A Rising Knight and Akuto: Showdown
Duck In Town — A Rising Knight is a quirky narrative adventure made by Papaya Games, an indie duo based out of Spain. Players will follow Duckson, Son of Duck as they both return to Duck’s home turf of Town so that Duckson can realize his dream of becoming the greatest Knight ever. If only he could figure out exactly how.
In tradition of older titles, players will explore a fixed location within Town by meeting with the locals and attempting to discover just how one can become a Knight. The front door itself is a narrative puzzle, as players are told to give an answer to a bizarre question before they can even get in the front door. This effectively sets the tone, for every character has an issue or need that they are hoping to solve, but may not exactly come out and tell Duckson what that issue is; it’s up to the players to discover what exactly they can be given in order to receive items to continue the train of item giving. Not everything is just discussion; there are some mini-games that are needed as well. From participating in a quacking contest to beating high scores in an arcade game, these few shake ups don’t really alter the title’s general feeling, but do allow for a bit of pace change.
Where Duck In Town shines is in its dialogue, for nearly everything is tongue-in-cheek conversations about, well, everything. There are pop culture references by the dozens, with a special mention of the loveable duck that is looking for grapes. There’s metahumor about how the guard is able to somehow teleport, but in reality he says he’s just that fast, or how this is all for fun and doesn’t always require logic in order to pull off. Characters all have their own quirks and reasons for their speech patterns, with the more fun definitely being Duck, for his constant Spanglish or just at times, just complete Spanish. Pictures of animals are actually just photos instead of modelled to fit the aesthetic of the game for the continued cheekiness, and everyone really hates pigeons due to the great war of the past.
With all of this, one might be surprised when I say that it isn’t necessarily a long title; some segments can elongate the title due to their trickiness, but in general Duck In Town is roughly 1–2 hours tops. Fans of older 3D titles will be familiar with the fixed camera style as they run around Town full of ducks, while others may be completely turned off by this choice. Only way to find out is to dive in and give it a try, especially if you’re a fan of silly puns, witty writing and love fetching things.
Akuto: Showdown, previously known as Akuto: Mad World, is a fast-paced arena brawler made by Hut 90, an indie studio based out of the United States. Within, players are certifiable weapons of destruction, able to kill another with a simple swing of a sword or a shot of a gun (that sounds way less difficult) as they attempt to fight through numerous different scenarios and areas.
Notice: As stated on the FAQ of the Itch.io page, this is NOT the latest build of the game, nor will it be. The final version requires Steam to function properly, so the title is there; this is version 0.7. As such, many of the gifs are not completely indicative of the experience, and is why I don’t have one of them here as my picture when I normally would.
The core gameplay is pure aggression, as players will select the colour of their avatar and enter with only a sword and a pistol. Each attack from either will instantly kill an opponent, so timing is key to success, especially since if both attack at the same time, the attacks are ‘parried’ by each other which causes both the player and their enemy to recoil slightly. If one wishes to avoid getting up close, bullets are available but limited, so make sure each shot counts instead of spraying and praying. If the bullet projectile doesn’t cut it, the sword is also an effective throwing weapon as well, but this is an extremely dangerous tactic; it can’t come back. The sword is not a boomerang, so players will either need to pick their sword out of the wall they threw it at or find a sword spanner to grab a new one. Dodging is mostly for positioning and speed as there is no way to dash away from enemies; dodging also doesn’t let players attack, so fumbling a dodge can lead straight in to a bullet that can’t be dodge thanks to the cooldown. Dodging is also effective at avoiding the hazardous environments, from spike traps to angry cubes, so being on high alert of not just the enemy is important.
The gameplay is straight forward to allow for the set pieces and the game modes to shine through, with a half-dozen locations to visit with varying levels of verticality and possibility. Gamemode wise, there is the standard versus mode that players can fight against their friends (or bots) to see who can be the champion. If feeling a bit more solo, the Single player mode is a dungeon crawler of sorts, which has players explore a location of fixed rooms, each locking the player within until every enemy is defeated within said room. Survival is just as it sounds, with the player (and friends) needing to avoid death for as long as possible against a flurry of possible enemies. Finally is a mode unto itself, the mini games; these contain a few hilarious changes to the formula of murder, such as playing soccer in a 2v2 arena by attacking the ball.
This breadth of different ways of playing and approach is what makes Akuto: Showdown stick out amongst the many others. Not only does it contain the standard multiplayer arena with a few changes to the rules, but it also allows for single player and funky mini-games to spice up the game night. The low-poly graphics ensure that players can focus on the action, and while there were some hiccups along the way (single player spawned me in to my death 4 times woops) it definitely has the charm and fun to be easily accessible and available for all. If you love arena brawlers with some levels of map motion and mini-game possibilities, then this title might definitely be fore you. I would recommend, however, that if you are not sold to look in to the Steam version for the fully updated and ready experience to see if that would be more your style.
Duck in Town - A Rising Knight
Duck, Duckson's father, takes him to Town, capital of the Duck Kingdom and home of the Duck King. Duckson wants to…