Iji & Not Tetris 2
A unique platformer with an excellent story
Developed by: Daniel Remar
Graphics: It appears to have been done with Paint, but looks quite good. Daniel Remars style is very distinctive.
Sound: The music varies from chip music to a very sad piano piece. The end theme also matches Iji very well.
Entertainment: Very high, no matter what way you play it.
Replayability: Very, very high. Multiple story endings, difficulties, and a vast amount of unlockable content make this game worth playing many times.
The indie gaming community is flooded with platforming games, and many of them are extremely similar. But when one stands above the proud, it is always something that is unique or very well done. Iji happens to be both. An action platformer, Iji has very heavy RPG elements, a large array of interesting weapons, and a finely tuned story that is one of the most honest that I’ve ever found within any game.
Unlike almost every action game you’ll ever play, the combat in Iji is almost entirely optional, while simultaneously being the single most important element within the game. It seems a bit paradoxical, but let me explain. Iji lets you play the game however you wish, with the price of changing the protagonist’s personality, and ultimately the ending of the game. If you focus on combat Iji will become a ruthless killer; she becomes the opposite if you focus on doing no harm. This is emphasized in a very effective way; if you make Iji kill a foe, the first few times she will apologize and weep. Essentially, what you do in a fight determines the story in a simple, yet very effective method.
The combat in Iji is very important in another way as well. It is very entertaining, and has its own distinctive style that makes it stand out from so many other action platformers. Unlike so many of them, it isn’t extremely fast paced. You have to be very deliberate in your actions, because your character is not amazingly fast. She’s laden down by the weight of her weapon, and you have to consider before every action. Do you duck beneath a table and run past the foe before they see you? Or should you jump in front of them and reflect their missile, gaining EXP yet retaining your pacifist rating? Or do you focus on your cracking skill, so you can weaken or defeat your foes and develop new weapons? Or do you utilize all of your skills to get by peacefully?
Iji is a game that competes with many commercial offerings, but some people may be annoyed by its slower combat. Yet it is an experience that is definitely worth playing, if it is for the great story of unique gameplay. Iji is a masterpiece among platforming games.
Not Tetris 2
Not just your usual Tetris clone
Graphics: Simple and similar to the original Gameboy.
Sound: The same old songs, and a couple of bleeps.
Entertainment: Addicting, but not recommended for long play sessions.
Ah, Tetris. One of the most beloved puzzle games ever created, it has spawned dozens of clones. Making a copy of it almost seems to be a right of passage for young programmers to cut their teeth with. Not Tetris manages to stand out from the crowd, using the mighty magic of… physics.
It really is as simple as that. The blocks drop, the player rotates them freely — occasionally fighting against their momentum — and when a row fills enough the blocks are neatly erased, leaving block slices behind. A fairly addictive setup, although it does feel quite different than the Tetris that most people love.
And that’s about it. Not Tetris is a fun game, but I can’t say it is for everybody. Puzzle addicts will like the fresh take on the classic game, but Not Tetris cannot compete with its namesake. But if you like Tetris, and have time on your hands, I’d say this game is for you.