Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement...
Recently I was asked to take a crack at playing the demo for video game that is currently in development. The game is called Ziminair and is currently being developed by 2AM Productions. Keeping in mind this was a demo that I was playing, the game is a long ways away from being completed, but the fact they have a working demo and are looking for feedback says a lot.
The story is that the player's character (by default named Harold) wakes up in a mansion, alone, no memory of who or where he is... and from there, it's just a matter of being stranger in a strange land, full of friendly people... and talking animals. There are some elements of an apparent larger story and various mysteries, but it's very loose... the big one being that a talking dog named Dogge is a theft and his owner is missing.
That said, the folks at 2AM Productions did a hell of a job at 'world building', as nearly NPC I came across had dialog, and several with branching dialog. And this is where I get the impression the developers are wanting this game to shine, cause I got a few chuckles with some of the humor that is displayed, cause I found myself talking to pretty much every NPC I came across because some of the lines were quite clever.
Controls wise, and for the first time in years I found myself using the directional arrows to move about, which was a bit uncomfortable, being used to using the WASD keys. Q brings up the Quest Screen, I for Inventory, C for Clock... ESC the general menu, etc. Shift is the run, Spacebar to Jump and Enter is pretty much the full action / select / confirm button. For a game like this it works, particularly in the demo stage.
Graphic wise, Ziminiar is on par with a lot of RPGs one finds on Steam, it looks great for what it is. The world is colorful and you want to explore everything to try and find whatever you can by checking never cupboard, barrel and grave site you can find.
There is also an interesting 'injury' aspect, where certain choices (such as forcing up a cupboard) would cost you some Hit Points, not to mention falling from a high place takes a large chunk of HP as well. That's a dynamic I've never really seen in the number of RPG's I've played over the years.
If I have to nitpick something about the demo, it's the default text seen in the dialog boxes, which makes it rather difficult to read (Switching to a non-stylized font would be a big plus), and there are a few odd grammar flubs as well. And at the end of the game play video, you can see I apparently hit a glitch that saw me roaming the boarder of a house and then basically trapped in a room when I finally get a sword and a shield... so if there is a combat system in place, I didn't come across it while playing.
THE VERDICT: Keeping in mind this was just a demo that I was playing, I see a lot of potential. The world of Ziminiar is clearly going to be a strength of the finish game with making people want to chat with every NPC. The demo is very much worth checking out, particuarly if you want to try and discover things that I did not.
Where to get the Demo: http://gamejolt.com/