After a week of heavy drinking, heavy eating and heavy sightseeing in Amsterdam and at Oktoberfest, my mind has been a bit fuzzy. Fortunately, good ol’ EIC Justin Lacey had already prepared for this and sought out a wonderful game to be featured on this week’s Cheap and Dirty Gamer. In fact, Baron’s Gate is of higher quality than most the games I usually find. Could that be a sign that my time as curator of Cheap and Dirty Gamer is coming to a close? I sure hope not but in today’s cutthroat gaming journalism environment, no one’s future is guaranteed.*
Anyway, Baron’s Gate is a game about a tiny little warrior that must fight his way through hordes of monsters on his quest to do what gaming protagonists tend to do. Instead of being the usual sword wielding, brawny man-child that stars in similar games, our hero is equipped with a bow and arrows. This allows him to safely shoot enemies from a distance as opposed to stupidly rushing headlong into battle like an imbecile. Apparently, he’s much smarter than conventional heroes.
The game is played from a side-scrolling perspective which is one of many perspectives I enjoy. Controls are pretty standard with you moving, jumping and opening doors/chests with WASD and aiming the bow with your mouse. Holding the mouse button allows you to pull the string back farther as a taut string equates to a far flying arrow. It can also result in bloody finger trips, so you gotta be careful.
For the most part, it plays quite well though the movement controls aren’t quite as fluid as they could be. That being said, hitting enemies with the bow feels really good as the impact feels pretty beefy. I realize that archery is more about finesse, but there’s nothing wrong with putting a little extra juice into it.
I continue to be impressed by games like this, not just because of their entertainment value but because of a certain attention to detail. It pays to put thought into the sound, gameplay and aesthetics as the demographic for browser games has raised their standards considerably. So go play Baron’s Gate, then practice your archery, you never know when the Hunger Games may become a reality…
*Don’t worry, Justin assured me that my job is not on the cutting room floor. He said it’d be too difficult to find someone with the kind of street smarts I have.
Cheap and Dirty Gamer – Being cheap used to be an insult, but with the economy in the dumps it’s now a survival skill. Being dirty also used to be an insult, but that changed after Christina Aguilera’s song came out. Not all gamers have the funds to play full priced games, but that doesn’t mean that gaming quality has to suffer. There are good free and cheap games everywhere, games specifically made for the sexy survivors among us.