Well I'll admit it kinda sucks that the game ended on basic cult deals.
Less of a bang than some of the rest of the game.
But yeah! Cookies! It's available for free on itch.io and it's honestly a pretty fun celebration of a very particular brand of shock/B/lost-era horror.
It really does tackle each of the concepts the tapes at the end summarize and it was pretty decent at it.
Can't pretend it says a WHOLE LOT, it mostly revels in the fun of such grotesque horrors or off kilter mixing of themes. Sometimes reveling is enough.
A stretch would say it pokes at police, it has some graffiti and postage that criticizes some modern american pushes towards the status quo (I recall a poster with pig police stomping on protestors in which the police attempt to twist it as patriotic to stomp out protests, you know like real life), and it has some fun making jokes about Q anon red pill people. But it's not really saying much more than "Fuck all that! Anyways, B horror movies! Hell yeah!" and that's okay :) I just thought it was worth mentioning because I usually play games that emphasize saying something.
This one revels. That's good too :)
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Having a real normal one playing through Cookies, that's for sure.
Boss fights include, a gimp yakuza, a Q anon red pill head, some cannibal rednecks, a sn*ff film murderer- like yeah it's been pretty "normal" in this one.
Fun little expedition for me since I don't really play games with a lot of shocking nonsense in em.
Also not a "perfectly stable" playthrough- it's a free game and it's honestly a lot more interesting and entertaining without being "too much" in the shock (despite being full of it) than I expected- so no real complaints.
But there's things like "Don't kill the sn*ff people too quickly or it bugs out and soft locks"
"Don't use the wrong weapon on the boss or NPC or it'll bug out and softlock"
"Don't back away while talking to the cult people or it'll bug out and softlock"
But in between that there's like a lot of entertainingly deranged stuff. I joined a death cult, failed to die, met their god, and their god killed the cult as retribution for me being cool enough to survive eating rat poison?
I'd argue good different.
So, I'll say this was a pretty good experience.
I won't mince words, it wasn't my cup of tea sometimes.
It got so 'bad' that I've called it a walking sim (derogatory).
I really really don't think that's fair of me in the slightest because this is a good adventure game with some really REALLY good moments and themes, but there's a reason for me saying as much and I won't take it back entirely.
No shame to the devs, they told an incredible tale and I only spotted half of it, but man, the gameplay loop of "explore the exact same town which is comprised of like 7 screens with 2 elevations in the most tedious game of fill-out-the-checklist" wasn't greeeaaaaaat.
I started the game and was in love with things- I adore the style- I adore the characters. Both of those points never changed- even at the final moment I was happy as hell to be in dialogue- but GETTING to dialogue became a grind for... some reason.
I've said it before in previous games, I hate exploring the same area 15 times to see like 4 new things happen and a lot of repeats.
The loop in NitW is a LOT of "the same area 15 times, the same walk, the same jumps, the same minor platforming, the same tunnel- oh but today I talked to these guys!"
The gist being I was thinking I'd play the HECK out of this- do Gregg's route and the like, but after completing it once? Nah. I'm just not down to wander the same roads but this time with even less new dialogue to reward my effort.
Whiny point made, I'll move on lol.
So the good because I'm not making my finale post for NitW me groaning and nothing else:
What a fun damned story! With (painfully) relatable problems! And a LOT of variety to the character's, their problems, and how they handle them!
This was SICK for that.
I loved damn near every conversation I had this entire game.
I love that as the game closes I feel so much more hope than ever existed in the game before.
I love some of the damn world views- both optimistic and sorrowful- that came out!
Angus and his belief in people, his entire pattern-finder talk, a world that doesn't care and people who do- I teared up at that.
Bea's view that care is sometimes out of your control, like a weight you can't deny is somehow both beautiful and sad as hell!
Mae's internal conflicts and how she addresses them is fantastic!
And lord Bea better have meant it when she said she'd help Mae get help beyond the local doctor, geez to that hands-off approach.
Loved chatting with Selmers, loved the setting of a small town that's actually falling into itself and the struggles that brings- so many background character's talking about work trouble.
Lori and her horror, the pet rats which infest the whole damn town (nice), Bruce- the poor dude-
The fact that I was CERTAIN the city council type people were part of the cult but they weren't- that threw me for a loop.
Or the cult in general, I was genuinely convinced early as hell in the game that they were not as menacing as they appeared. Just felt like more evidence would pile up and it would all be a misunderstanding. And they got me when they tried to defend themselves "Oh we won't kill you, you're worth it!"
But turns out their just a bunch of murderous self-righteous fuck-heads! Got me! >:O
So the short of it, NitW was a great story to experience with character's I'll definitely dwell on if only for their outlooks and motivations to push forward in life.
Buuut, didn't have the most fun exploring the same town every day.
Each mini-game, even the extremely minor interaction ones where Mae's hand comes up and you touch a thing, were desperately needed to keep my eyes from glazing over in between dialogue.
I LOVED when I got to talk, I HATED the "getting" to the talking after like day 3 and there are a lot of days in this. Way more than I assumed.
While I waited on this to upload for the sake of posterity, I went and beat the two mini-games they include in the extra's menu from before NitW released- those were nice. Will probably upload a couple photo sets just because.
It was really interesting to see some of the carry over ideas from these games to the main piece! Like Angus's pattern finder line, or the astronomer saying it's nice to be something (which maybe also made me tear up).
Good fuckin' game. Will probably spend the evening readin' the wiki and watchin' a video or two of what I skipped out on, because actually playing through again is... less appealing to this idiot.
And now that the game's done I'm just emotional about these friends and want to give them all a hug and hope they have the best futures despite this crazy fucked up world ;-;
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