Deathbulge: Battle of the Bands is a good game whose small development team has big talent. The music alone is worth the price of admission. Deathbulge: Battle of the Bands is an enjoyable, if challenging, 12-15 hour (closer to 20 if you do all the sidequests) romp for those willing to invest in thoroughly learning and experimenting with the play mechanics. Deathbulge: Battle of the Bands is not for everyone, but if it sounds like your jam, you will love it.
Crimson Tactics wants to be a sweeping epic but is instead a cumbersome slog. Even the most patient and forgiving gamers who can look past slow pacing, terribly written dialogue, and myriad other issues will not see much potential. Crimson Tactics is an unbearably dull, poorly designed, and unfinished game that fails to deliver on any of its promises. I’m glad to be done with this game and have no intention of looking at its sequels, DLC, or any subsequent content.
It’s difficult for me to say this, especially with so many positive elements in the game, but I found Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit to be mediocre. It doesn’t do anything inherently wrong, but there is nothing very memorable about it either. My lasting impression is that the game played it too safe and colored too neatly inside the lines. Clearly, a lot of love, effort, and resources went into creating this game. I wanted to adore it, but I have no interest in playing any future games in a hypothetical Crowns and Pawns series. I suppose players looking for a classically-styled point-and-click game will definitely get something out of it, but it’s not a game I would recommend buying unless it’s on sale.
Pinku Kult: Hex Mortis is a taut game that took me about 7 hours to complete and left me wanting more. Those 7 hours were all substance with no padding to artificially lengthen the game. The game respected my time rather than waste it under the pretense of “longer game = better value.” I liken Pinku Kult: Hex Mortis to a game like Trace Memory. While Trace Memory was only about 3-5 hours long, it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I ever had with a Nintendo DS game. Aside from my misgivings with the writing, the only other caveat I have with Pinku Kult: Hex Mortis is that its macabre style and occult themes may not suit every person’s tastes. Personally, I was into it and would totally buy a Pinku Kult tote bag to keep my instrument cables and other bass-related accessories in for if/when my new band ever starts playing out in preparation for our own World Domination tour.