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Manifesto Adventure Game – Cute Knight

I played this game called.. “Cute knight” while looking up adventure games on greg costikyan’s blog. The demo does not even begin to cover what this game is about.

My general impression is that it’s a great game.
There’s no real story. You just wake up and you’re in a town, and you’re allowed to visit and interact with a number of locations.

You’re supposed to kind of discover yourself. And the game is very open-ended, allowing you to do just that. It’s said there are about 50 endings to the game.

The main mechanics I interacted with were exploration, work, combat, stores.

Each of these mechanics seemed to affect and be influenced by a number of stat bars, such as “DREAM” bar, current HP max HP, CHARM, etc.

Here are the notes I took on game mechanics while playing. Not really necessary to read it, but it gives the conclusion some depth.


Exploration:
In Town:
The usual – there’s a map. You can move around the town and discover what you can do in each town. These are largely different forms of work or sleep.

Some work doesn’t have a set pay, some work is volunteer, some work drains your MAX HP, some takes from your dream, etc, so you explore a bunch of activities and their relationship to your stats.

You also explore what your stats are capable of handling, and what you’re ill-suited to do.

Since this game is time based, on in game holidays and other special seasons, the game basically invites you to reexplore everything because the context has changed and there’s more you can do.

Exploring initially also helps you locate the dungeon in the slums, which basically brings you into a parallel game world. Finding the dungeon allows you to set your first in game goal,

if you’re interested, which is to earn enough money to buy the weapons and armor to gain entrance to the new parallel world. This goal is entirely based on exploration – you want to see what’s there, right?

In dungeon:

Totally standard dungeon crawling with map and random monsters.

Combat:

pretty much standard stat based menu. (fight/charm/run).
So this all ties into your stats you develop in the town game.

Work:

Work is really cool, because out of the 50 or so jobs there seem to be in the game,
you are only really meant for a few. I noticed that repetitively doing jobs
you are bad at destroys your dream bar,
“gets you depressed”. But out of the tons of jobs your’e bad at, you can develop the skills in them to turn your situation around,
I guess at the intial expense of your dream bar.
Work takes up an entire week.

“Learning” at college is much like work. It takes up a week, influences your stats, there is work that you are or are not suited for. But it drains money instead of earning it, but fundamentally that’s just influencing your stat.

Stores:

Standard shit.

BONUS MECHANIC:

your hp is always draining over time, so you are always managing how much you do between inn visits, and you are always looking for new and fun ways to sleep rather than at the inn.

sleeping at the doctor’s destroys your max hp…

SO IN CONCLUSION:

This makes explicit the RPG Stat improving game happening in parallel to the combat game, but it does nothing new. It’s like the FFX stat space or the FFXII playing stat space,

except I hated those stat spaces for being based on a single ok mechanic : Exploration. It seems like this is example of the direction an FF game should head in,

Which is to make their crappy stat games an inviting world of their own.
There is no game mechanic in the demo I played that DIDN’T work well, although it was mostly lackluster and borrowed.

4 Comments

  1. Kunal wrote:

    um, i apologize for windows notepad formatting … it didn’t paste well, i give up.

    Monday, February 5, 2007 at 11:40 pm | Permalink
  2. Charles wrote:

    I am intrigued. So did you ever explore the dungeon?

    Friday, February 9, 2007 at 10:15 pm | Permalink
  3. frank wrote:

    Link please.

    Here’s how the game is described on the website:

    “An orphan girl searches for her destiny… Train in jobs and classes to raise skills, make friends, and find romance – then use those skills to conquer the monsters in the dungeon. Design and dress your unique character to reach one of fifty storybook endings.
    A princess or a pauper? It’s all up to you!”

    Kunal buried the headline, which is that this game is clearly designed to appeal to female gamers. I love the idea of stat bars for DREAM and CHARM. Kunal, what does DREAM do?

    Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 12:02 am | Permalink
  4. Kunal wrote:

    yeah sorry,
    that post was obviously intensely hurried and unedited.
    does it show :)

    right, what does the dream bar do?
    what do the bars do? exactly?
    unknown in demo time!

    I can’t provide any deeper analysis other than that basically the game was making the stat manipulation and skills unlocking game above Final fantasy like rpgs much more explicit than FFX and FFXII did. Rather than a mini game affecting a full game, it’s more involved of a game itself and it turned out really fun..

    contact is great so far, and i’m starting NWN 1 for the first time for a study due wednesday. ah shit that’s soon!

    Saturday, February 10, 2007 at 12:40 am | Permalink

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