The Cerebral Bundle – Impressions Part 1

We checked out the games in the Cerebral Bundle, the fourth bundle from Bundle in a Box.. here are our impressions!

First up: Dédale De Luxe, a tile-based maze puzzle game by Sergey Mohov, and one of the two bundle exclusives.

Dédale - Early level

The object of the game is to guide a butterfly through the maze, covering every tile without backtracking.  The tiles are piano keys, and as you advance through the game, the mazes become more complex, with special tiles added new challenges, such as transparent tiles which need to be tapped twice to be cleared.  The first level were rather easy to complete, but once the transparent tiles appeared, the game got a little more difficult!

There are seven worlds, with fifteen levels each.. each world also includes a Dédale-O-Matic mode, which provides you with endless procedurally-generated mazes.  On the first level, these were rather satisfying to race through!  After completing the first two worlds, I had unlocked Time Trial and Vortex modes.

Dédale - Time Trial


In Time Trial, spent keys drop away, while Vortex mode sets the maze rotating.  Vortex mode also has players click each tile to avoid unwanted moves due to the rotation.  I couldn’t manage this mode today, as the spinning sensation made me feel a little unwell, but I quite liked the Time Trial version.  Dédale has great music too.. it’s really soothing, both the ambient music and the piano key sounds as you move around the maze.

The second exclusive game in the Cerebral Bundle is Necrotic Drift, a graphical text adventure / horror game by Robb Sherwin.

necrotic drift

Necrotic Drift follows the story of Duffy, a role-playing fan who works in a game store, in a town that starts to get overrun with zombies.

Duffy starts off in the video store, trying to pick a movie with his housemates while the clerk tries to hurry the group out of the store.. a scruffy, scabby denizen of the streets (zombie!) wanders in and throttles the clerk.  I tried throwing the DVD I was holding; it wasn’t a suitable weapon, of course, so I shot the zombie.. the group then headed for the car where another zombie lurked, till I shot him too.

Chapter 2 sees the group at their horrible, run-down home, planning to watch their movies.  I had an interesting bug here: I took a seat on the couch, went to answer the door, and then my instruction to sit on the couch was deemed redundant.  I was still sitting on the couch.. rubber arms?  The same happened again after I picked a fight with one of the housemates.. I pinned him up against the wall, and then when I went to leave the room, I couldn’t because I was still sitting on the couch.  Rubber arms indeed 🙂

Conversations are handled by the player choosing from a set of options, rather than relying on the commands used elsewhere.  Players are scored on how well they do in each session, with more points awarded for conversation and exploration.  The story is fairly interesting, with great descriptions and dialogue, so it’s keeping me engaged with the game pretty well.

In Stout GamesDinner Date, you play as the subconsciousness of a man called Julian Luxemburg, who is waiting for his date to begin.

Dinner Date

The player controls different movements by keypress, such as looking at the clock, or at Julian’s hands or the table, while Julian mumbles about his worries that his date won’t turn up, whether he should drink some wine while he’s waiting, and so on.  If you just want to watch, the game will play itself out without keypresses too.

David S. Gallant‘s I Get This Call Every Day appeared in the news a short while ago, after the developer was fired from his day job at a call centre, for writing this game.  It’s a not-particularly-fun game about working in a call centre.. IGTCED shows how frustrating it can be to deal with members of the public.  It’s a no-win scenario too.. be as polite as you can with the customer, without breaking policy and he still ends the call swearing at you; be sarcastic and he demands to speak to your boss, who fires you for having to deal with the call; let the customer off without answering the security questions properly, and your boss fires you for that.

But hey, it’d still be a no-win scenario if you got all the information out of the customer and did as he asked.. as it wouldn’t be long before the boss is complaining that you’re on the phone too long!

The next game was point and click adventure Reversion – The Meeting, by 3f Interactive.

Reversion - Hideout

This is actually Chapter 2 of the full story, and as I haven’t played Chapter 1, I felt a bit lost as to who the characters are or what’s happened so far.  Chapter 1: The Escape appears to be available for free download on the developer’s website!

I found the dialogue rather stilted, especially the first conversation, but at least it’s voiced.  The world is colourful and easy to explore, there’s plenty of interaction points and objects to find and use, and some puzzles to figure out early on.  I found one thing annoying, though.. the man with no memory’s habit of tapping his toes or shrieking “Boring!” when I wasn’t going fast enough.  I hate being rushed!

Games still to check out and report back on: retro-tastique RPG Phantasmaburbia by Banov, CBE Software’s sci-fi epic J.U.L.I.A., and dark point-and-click thriller Cognition, Episode 1: The Hangman, by Phoenix Online Studios, as well as undead-ridden innovative puzzler Vampires! by CBE Software.

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