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KestrelPi

Rank Double Fine Games In Order of Likeyness

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Coming up with lots of numbers for games is hard. But putting in them in an order! That's easy, and the internet has proven that EVERYONE loves lists and must put things into a list given the opportunity. So, from favourite to least favourite, here are my rankings:

1) Psychonauts - Yup, it's still up there, but it's facing some fierce competition.

2) Hack 'n' Slash - This was tough, but I have huuuge respect for this game and enjoyed it more than I even expected.

3) Broken Age Act 1 - I suspect Act 2 is gonna nudge this up the list, but this is a very high '3rd place' right now.

4) Costume Quest 2 - A certain improvement on the first, I was so happy with how this came out.

5) Brütal Legend - I suspect it would be higher on the list if I was more into Metal. But I came out of this game liking Metal more than I did going in, and that's gotta count for something.

6) Iron Brigade - One of DF's most underrated in my opinion, a great little action game by the great Brad Muir

7) Stacking - So charming, so well realised, I don't have a real reason this isn't higher, it just didn't stay with me quite so much.

8) Costume Quest - Again, so charming, but with combat that felt a little slow and repetetive, especially in comparison with its successor.

9) The Cave - Probably the only DF game I've played enough of to comment on that just didn't hit for me. I played it two and a half times just to see if on repeat playthroughs it would start to click for me, but sadly not - which is a shame, because I think it has a lot going for it in many ways.

10) Middle Manager of Justice - Actually, y'know what? MMOJ didn't hit for me either, but it feels like a game with solid F2P mechanics so I'm not sure whether it's more to do with my general disinterest in F2P microtransactiony games than anything else. Or that it's not really the sort of game I come to DF for? I don't know!

Predictions:

* When the rest of Broken Age comes out it'll bump up to #1 or #2 on the list.

* When MASSIVE CHALICE is out of Beta it'll be in the top 4.

* Spacebase DF-9 will come in above The Cave but below Stacking.

Join me, friends. Mercilessly pit a bunch of disparate experiences against eachother as if they can all be judged on the same axis. DO IT.

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Completed:

1. Stacking - In my opinion one of the best adventure games made. Awesome setting and aesthetic. I don't understand how lukewarm the reception of it was.

2. Costume Quest 2 - Story wise considerably better than the original, I feel. Though I'm not convinced the battle mechanic was an improvement. Still quite repetitive.

3. Psychonauts - Except for the battles, this is a really good 3D adventure platformer.

4. Costume Quest - Grubbins on Ice - Much shorter and less content than CQ1, but story feels more coherent and better written. Less repetitive on the battles side as well.

5. Costume Quest - Quite repetitive battles, and worse story than 2.

Played but not completed:

1. Hack 'n' Slash - This is the most mechanically interesting game Double Fine has released!

2. Brütal Legend - The melding of the roleplaying and strategy mechanics didn't hit the sweet spot that Shiny's Sacrifice nailed.

3. Middle Manage of Justice (Android) - Haven't played more than up to the boss of the third area, but so far, it's not my cup of tea. I don't like games with waiting as a main mechanic, for progress. If I don't have anything to do in the game while I want to play because everything I need to progress is time gated, then I will quit. Also, the game type like many similar free to play touch device games doesn't feel well paced and becomes very samey. I do like the aesthetics of it though.

3. The Cave - The only Double Fine game that bored me.

Unfinished games:

1. Massive Chalice Premium Backers Beta - I'm in love!

2. Broken Age - Very good world building and story, but Act 1 lacks that puzzle solving feeling of achievement that adventure games needs. I estimate it will come in between Stacking and CQ2 or possibly even above Stacking when finished.

3. Spacebase DF-9 - I really liked this game in first and second alpha for it's potential. Haven't played more than very early into new games since then, I was waiting for more content and fewer bugs. I withhold comment on it's quality until 1.0 release. Still, it being discontinued was a huge disappointment, more because we had not been given any sign that this was coming up than for any other reason.

Amnesia Fortnight prototypes:

01. First public AF 2012 prototype Black Lake - Not much gameplay there, but so nice atmosphere!

02. First public AF 2012 prototype Autonomous - Feels like a complete, though small, game.

03. Second public AF 2014 prototype Dear Leader - Likewise.

04. First public AF 2012 prototype Hack 'n' Slash - Was very promising then, and I think it delivered now that we have the final game.

05. Second public AF 2014 prototype Mnemonic - Very atmospheric. Very writing dependent.

06. Second public AF 2014 prototype Steed - Lots of promise, rather nice mechanics though very small part of the base idea actually got incorporated in the prototype.

07. Second internal AF 2009 prototype Costume Quest - Became a franchise! I like the free camera rotation in it.

08. Third internal AF 2011 prototype Brazen - Performance makes it hard for me to judge it. Multiplayer broken when I tried.

09. First public AF 2012 prototype The White Birch - Would have needed considerable controls and gameplay polishing, it's simply not the kind of game where two weeks is enough.

10. Second public AF 2014 prototype Little Pink Best Buds - Gameplay idea didn't really work, I feel.

11. First public AF 2012 prototype Spacebase DF-9 - Promising but gameplay wise broken. Two weeks isn't enough to make systems work well.

12. First internal AF prototype Happy Song - Buggy - didn't take any input at all for me.

Not played: (in no particular order)

Leap Motion Autonomous - Would have played if I owned a Leap Motion controller

Leap Motion Dropchord - Would have played if I owned a Leap Motion controller

Android Dropchord - Not the kind of game I like to play on my tablet.

Android The Cave - I have it installed, but haven't tried it.

Trenched/Iron Brigade

Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster

Happy Action Theatre

Kinect Party

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Wow, STACKING is your #1? I have to say that I never fell in love with that game. At the risk of repeating that often heard refrain: The puzzles were too simplistic. It was just as matter of taking the right character to the right spot. I spent more time trying to figure out which character that was, through trial and error, than actually solving anything.

Of course it was BEAUTIFUL.

Also, strangely, I suffered from the same nausea playing it that I did when I played BRUTAL LEGEND. Apparently my body doesn't like the the Buddha engine? :-/ Either way, it didn't help my enjoyment of either game :(

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ThunderPeel: Yeah, the puzzles weren't very hard. But they were also a different kind of puzzles from what you usually see in unlimited inventory, item-location-item lock-and-key type matching puzzles in most classical adventure games. I found it enjoyable though hardly taxing my problem solving skill.

Have you tried Costume Quest 1&2, Trenched/Iron Brigade, The Cave, or the 3D Amnesia Fortnight games? Those are also made on the Buddha engine. So, if you feel those are fine, then it's probably not the engine so much as some particular setting. FOV is one typical thing that can give people headaches or nausea, for instance. Some games it's a worse problem than others (first person is worse than third person, for instance), but console ports tend to have bad FOVs while I've never had FOV problems in any PC-first game I've played.

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Thanks, I'll bare that in mind. I think people have mentioned the FOV thing before, but I'm not quite sure how it factors in.

I own CQ and Iron Brigade, but I haven't played them yet. I LOVED The Cave, though. For some reason I really enjoyed that one, and it didn't make me feel nauseous.

Thinking about it, I got the same nausea when I played Bioshock Infinite, so it's probably as you say: A FOV thing.

Edit: Apparently a FOV of 90+ is good for someone like me. I just checked out BI and it felt a LOT better "zooming out" the FOV.

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I'm going to start off by saying that I've really enjoyed everything Double Fine has put out and it's rare for me to consistently like what a developer does. The only other company I can think that I've been this way with is Treasure. Anyway, on to my ranking.

1. Stacking - Aesthetically, the game is so good and nesting dolls are a really unique thing to base a game around. I love that so many of them have their own ability to play around with. And as an adventure game I really like the direction it took. I feel it has a good balance of appealing to people who like puzzles and to people who would prefer not to deal with puzzles and instead enjoy the game's world, thanks to the hint system.

2. Costume Quest 2/1 - I originally ranked the first game here but now that the sequel is out, and offers more of what made the first one good, it has replaced it. Both games are just really comforting to play, because of the nostalgia they bring out from childhood memories to the innocent tone.

3. Psychonauts - I'm not into platformers as much as I use to be but there's so much beyond gameplay mechanics that brings me back to this game. Its characters, humor, and the overall world (er, worlds) are so pleasing to experience. Favorite area: Black Velvetopia.

5. Iron Brigade - I really enjoy tower defense games but so many of them play like each other so it's nice to play one that deviates from the norm. The customization is a lot of fun to play around with and being part of a good team feels really good. Plus, I love its idea of an alternate history and overall style.

6. The Cave - This game has gotten a lot of crap which I've never agreed with. As far as an adventure game goes, it's on the easy side but I think everything else it offers make up for it. I love the characters, especially the hermit towards the end of the game, and I really like the idea of these possibly bad people seeing the results of their choices play out while still having a chance for redemption at the end.

7. Brutal Legend - I like this game but I think I would have liked it much, much more as a teenager when I was really into this kind of music. I can still appreciate it but it's not something I listen to regularly anymore. But the game still offers a lot for someone not into this type of music, I think, such as its humor and imaginative world to experience. I didn't mind the RTS parts at all and it's interesting to see the game go from an open world beat'em up to strategy. I think I would have preferred if it stuck with one genre, though.

8. Once Upon A Monster - I played through this with a niece and had so much fun with it. Like a lot of people, I have many good memories of Sesame Street so it was nice being brought back into its world. I thought it made good use of the Kinect and shows that motion-controlled games can work well if done right.

9. Middle Manager of Justice - Enjoyable little game with a fun theme and characters. I like it's visual style a lot which often times made me think of older cartoons.

10. Dropchord - I've played the Leap Motion and iOS versions of this game. I enjoy the Motion version more because I'm able to react better but I'm still really bad at the game, haha. Love the music and visuals. I'd like to try out the Ouya version to see how it feels with analog sticks.

11. Happy Action Theater/Kinect Party - Fun toys to play around with and they make good use of the Kinect.

As for everything else:

Broken Age - I'm going to wait to play the rest of the game before I rank it but I really enjoyed the first part and this will probably end up being my favorite Double Fine game.

Spacebase DF-9 - Again, I'll wait for 1.0 to rank it but what is there I've enjoyed. It's a shame that development ended the way it did but in all honesty there's still enough content there for me to enjoy.

Hack N Slash - I've only played a little of the Early Access version and haven't sat down to really get into the full game. What little I've played I liked a lot.

I'm not going to rank the Amnesia Fortnight stuff but out of all of the prototypes they have released to the public I think my favorite is Little Pink Best Buds. Really unique and I'd love to see it get made into a full game.

Oh, and I haven't played My Alien Buddy on PS4 yet. I don't have the camera add-on so once I get one it will be the first thing I check out.

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I'll do a top 10. I have all of Double Fine's games (except My Alien Buddy as I don't yet own a PlayStation 4), but I haven't played through a lot of them enough to make an informed opinion.

1) Psychonauts - I'm not a fan of having to mine for arrowheads, but everything else just really clicked with me. It's still my favorite Double Fine game so far.

2) Costume Quest 2 - Yeah, I really liked this one. I love time travel stories, and this one's was fantastic. The turn based combat and QTE actions can get tiresome, but like Psychonauts, everything else just really clicked with me.

3) The Cave - The backtracking is a bit annoying, but I loved everything else. I really liked the moral choices angle and the good and bad endings. Plus it's adventure and platforming together, which are my two favorite genres.

4) Broken Age Act I - I enjoyed Act I quite a bit, although it really did feel like a taste of something bigger. I'll have to see how Act II plays before I can really tell where it will eventually rank in my list of favorites.

5) Tasha's Game - OK, so it's a free flash game, but I still love it, so I thought it deserved to be here. It had great mechanics, a funny story, and a surprisingly epic boss battle.

6) Stacking and The Lost Hobo King - It has a charming art style, and I really liked the idea of having the character gain abilities by stacking into other dolls. It's a fresh twist on the adventure genre in that the characters are the inventory.

7) Costume Quest and Grubbins on Ice - I really like this game too, but not as much as the sequel. The game's simple story really doesn't alleviate the repetitive mechanics as I felt the sequel did.

8) Host Master and the Conquest of Humor and Host Master Deux - Once again, these are free flash games, but I feel they're worthy to be on my list of favorites. They're both really funny, and are great throwbacks to the games Tim's been involved in, the first playing like Monkey Island, and the second playing like The Cave. It's really a lot of fun to find the multiple endings in both these games.

9) Middle Manager of Justice - It's one of the best games to make use of the freemium format. It doesn't fall into the typical traps of freemium games, because all of the necessary items can be earned in-game and the only items that can't are those that boost currency (which isn't necessary to gameplay). I was happy to contribute some cash for the currency boosters because this game really showed how freemium could be done right. Plus, the storyline is fantastically silly and has the humor and charm that most Double Fine games are known for. I ranked it low because it's open ended without a final story, although it's ultimately about a non-ending crusade to try to keep the street free from criminals, so it's not really a bad thing in the scheme of things. It's just that I'm personally not really a fan of never-ending games when it comes to those that have actual storylines.

10) Happy Action Theater and Kinect Party - These minigames actually are fun, and make good use of the Kinect. It's fun in Kinect Party to be able to share the pictures via Facebook too. I really like them, but they're not ranked as high as the others, since they're really just a good time diversion.

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1. Psychonauts

2. Stacking

3. Broken Age Part 1

4. The Cave

5. Brütal Legend

6. Costume Quest

Haven't played the others. This obviously excludes all the prototypes from the Amnesia Fortnights since they aren't finished games. Broken Age can definitely climb the ladder after the second part is released.

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1. Costume Quest

2. Broken Age

3. Psychonauts

4. The Cave

5. Stacking

6. Brutal Legend

7. Middle Manager of Justice

8. Iron Brigade

9. Hack 'n' Slash

10. Happy Action Theatre

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The great ones (though, each game has its own issues):

The Cave

Psychonauts

Costume Quest

The biggest disappointment from DF:

The DFA act 1

Just not good enough, for various reasons, so i didn't finish these games:

Brütal Legend

Hack & Slash

Stacking

The rest, i'm not interested in.

Later on this year (?) i would like to give Costume Quest 2 a try (although some of the costumes/media look not this convincing) but DF's DRM free subsequent exploitation hasn't started yet and i'm not in the mood to download a crack.

Looking forward to The Cave DLC, DFA act 2, the remastered version of GF, a single player/2 player coop Brazen, CQ2 and that audio game, plus maybe a surprise.

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Roughly it's something like:

1. Costume Quest: it just managed to remind me my inner child so wonderfully; I am usually very unresponsive to that feeling, but this one just made that miracle. Probably what made me fall in love with DF style in the first place

2. Stacking: Adventure games need evolution so badly and this one brings it in spades; I just love that open world feeling that modern adventures seem to have forgotten

3. Psychonauts: It's just unadulterated fun to play; I think it just missed the shock effect since I was a 3d platformer enthusiast and I love so many; anyway, even if I never got into the plot, I can understand why it's considered a classic

4. The Cave: Fantastic idea, bad execution; still had a fun time overall thanks to a solid puzzle design

5. Broken Age: Huge disappointment, it didn't manage to catch nor the old nor the modern adventure game sensitivity

6. Brutal Legend: Only DF game I tried that I didn't manage to finish; it just didn't click for me, probably I am just not invested in its culture

I still haven't played the rest, but I admit Hack 'n' Slash looks amazing and I hope to give it a shot as soon as possible

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1. Psychonauts Really liked everything, even the tedious bits...

2. Costume Quest 1/2 Realy like the story and even CQ1 on iPad is nice to play with my kids

3. Broken Age Maybe will go to nr 1 after part 2

4. The Cave Nice easygoing game you can run through and enjoy some time away.

5. Stacking Different but I keep going back

6. Dropchord When I have a little spare time I just play this on iPad, preferably with headphones

7. Massive Chalice (beta) This just in! never really went for the turnbased & strategy stuff, but Brad talked me into it through the teamstreams.

8. Brütal legend Liked it but don't really love it yet, maybe need to finish it first...

9. Hack n Slash Love the concept but need to take some time to think harder ;-)

10. Steed Kids en me keep going back to the lovely meadow and stomping Grecks. (mostly my kids...)

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