In Meg Syverud’s action-packed fantasy Daughter of the Lilies, three mercenaries-for-hire find themselves with much more than they bargained for when they hire Thistle, a mysterious but immensely talented mage, who for unknown reasons can never show her face.
All Thistle wants is to keep a low profile, help people, and stay out of trouble, something that repeatedly proves much more difficult than she’d like. Things only get more complicated when she joins a quarrelsome band of adventurers: the stoic and long-suffering orc Orrig; Lyra, a boisterous elven archer; and Brent, a (mostly) human fighter with a tragic past and heavily scrutinized parentage. Though a tight-knit group, our heroes keep finding themselves in a world of trouble in the form of demons, cannibals, and infernal (or perhaps divine) otherworldly forces. Plus, perhaps most troubling of all, Brent is falling in love with Thistle.
Daughter of the Lilies is a gorgeous take on epic fantasy, with all the lush worldbuilding and none of the usual rules. Syverud’s writing and art, along with beautiful color work by Jessica Weaver, bring together elements of magic, horror, religion, romance, and human drama to create a richly detailed story while maintaining a tight, character-driven narrative.
At its core, Daughter of the Lilies is about learning to be kind to yourself. It deals with topics of anxiety, abuse, neglect, prejudice, and self-loathing, while also exemplifying the myriad ways in which love redeems and empowers us. Best of all, Thistle is unlike any other fantasy protagonist you’ve ever seen, and despite the fact that we’ve yet to see her face, you can be sure she will captivate you all the same.
Daughter of the Lilies is currently four chapters long and updates Tuesdays and Thursdays.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Thursday, March 10th, 2016||No Comments »|
We know how most stories are supposed to start. A child is given a choice to leave their home in favor of a fantastical journey that will forever change them. This is known as the “call to adventure.”
In Sarah Jolley’s The Property of Hate, that call is made by a sardonic carnival barker with a television set for a head. Still with me? Good.
The Property of Hate, like many adventure stories, features a vibrant and imaginative world full of wondrous creatures and characters. But unlike most adventure stories, our protagonist, a child known only as “The Hero,” has no idea what she’s doing there or why. Blithely following her guide (the aforementioned TV-headed man named RGB) into a realm where existence is literally dictated by thought and imagination, The Hero soon comes to realize that she is trapped in a place where ideas can actually kill you. On top of all this, it appears that this magical world is on the verge of collapsing, with The Hero trapped inside.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Monday, February 1st, 2016||No Comments »|
The first thing that impressed me about Journal was its art style. Not knowing much about it, I picked it up anyway for that reason alone. I didn’t have any high expectations because indie games like this, while innovative in ways, can sometimes slope too far on the amateurish side. Games with two dimensional characters who wrestle around with “deep” plots are a dime a dozen these days, and I find myself appreciating them more than actually enjoying them, like slogging through a well-written but boring book.
I assumed Journal would be like this as it has all those components: a single narrator grappling with issues, a unique art style, text driven, etc. But there’s nothing amateurish about Journal. Most games that give you “good or bad” choices have obvious paths you’re expected to take, but here that’s not the case. In fact, the game hurls tough issues at you that tackle your conscience in ways you’d never imagine. And that’s the true gem of Journal.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Friday, July 24th, 2015||No Comments »|
In contrast to previous platformer review DAGDROM, Elliot Quest is not nearly so forgiving. It looks like a beautifully traditional game, evoking comparisons to Legend of Zelda straight off the bat in its story of a boy adventuring in the woods…and yet, something more ominous lurks. “Not yet,” says a voice. “I need more time.”
It takes a little adventuring and exploring–something the game encourages and rewards, refraining from giving you a set quest order to limit your gameplay–but Elliot Quest is about a boy who discovers he can’t die and is possessed by a demon. Elliot Quest opens into a large world, its scenes littered with 8-bit flair that still sparks interest despite, let’s face it, massive pixel fatigue since every game in the past two years seems to have relied on pixel art. Enemies range from easily dispatched balls of goop to more formidable dragons. There is a long and well-done story in Elliot Quest, but the game prefers to let its players discover it on their own through gameplay and exploration rather than text, which is an interesting way of delivering a slightly complicated tale. Still, whether you prefer story-driven games or not, Elliot Quest is a fun, challenging platformer littered with monsters and puzzles.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Friday, May 1st, 2015||No Comments »|