Free Points: OFF by Mortis Ghost

OFF is actually the game that originally inspired me to have a “cool free games” sort of section on this site, so it’s no surprised I’m posting it early! This one’s a real treat for fans of more existential games like OneShot and Undertale, and just a really interesting gem of a free game.

Free Points is a series of weekly free game recommendations. The games may range from the most surreal of Alt Games to the most traditional of platformers; the only requirements for a Free Points game is that they’re free (real free, not free to play!) and very much worth your time.

What Is OFF?

Title: OFF
Release Date: 2008
Price: Free!
Developer: Mortis Ghost
Languages: French
Fan Translations: English, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish
Length: ~5 Hours
Platform: PC (DRM free)
Genre: RPG
Themes: Horror, Pixel Art, RPG Maker, Surreal
Content Warnings: Mild horror/blood, disturbing themes, existential crises
Supplemental: A YouTube Playlist of my playthrough of OFF, and an incomplete video walkthrough of mine

OFF is a mildly horror-themed RPG (tending more to the surreal and intellectual horror, rather than visceral gore and jumpscares) created by Mortis Ghost. It’s a game that makes a very strong and layered impression with its distinct and occasionally discordant visual and musical themes.

In the English-speaking world OFF first gained popularity through Starman.net, an Earthbound fan site due to its similarity to that series. The Batter’s choice of weapons and the game’s propensity toward getting Meta (and even letting the player name themselves) evokes some strong Earthbound vibes.

OFF gameplay clip
Combat in OFF

Why Play OFF?

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Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium: Valentine’s Day Disaster Event 2018 Mini Guide

This is a “mini-guide” for Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium, with only the Valentine’s Day Event (2018) information, split out to be faster & easier to load on mobile devices. Feel free to Add To Homescreen for easy access! See the complete guide for a more comprehensive set of information or to post a comment, or visit the Addendum below for other relevant posts.

If you enjoy my guides, please consider contributing to my Patreon to help me make even more, higher-quality guides & articles! With enough funds I can reduce or even remove ads as well!

If you have complaints about this event, email wanglei1@cmcm.com, the Cheetah Mobile PR person responsible for abyssrium

A Valentine’s Warning

So this event is basically the shark-jumping moment for AbyssRium. This event is exploitative beyond anything AbyssRium fans have seen before. This seems to be the point where Cheetah Mobile has completely consumed the original dev team’s intent and wants to milk us for every single penny by destroying the core game unless you pay.

I posted a comprehensive list outlining 19 problems with this event on reddit. I am not in the mood to repeat it here, but suffice it to say, the devs think you are both an idiot and gullible. Song of the Moon was disabled for candy gaining, wait times and an illegal (in Japan and China anyway) gachapon were introduced, they wanted to delete all of our stored candies at the end of the event too. And that’s just half of it at most. It’s all garbo.

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Free Points: Yume Nikki

Yume Nikki is a game you’ve probably at least heard of, and quite possibly even played a game at least in part inspired by it. In fact I debated on whether this was “too mainstream” to kick off my series of free game recommendations, but it’s hard to talk free games without acknowledging Yume Nikki, so let’s start with one of the best.

Free Points is a series of weekly free game recommendations. The games may range from the most surreal of Alt Games to the most traditional of platformers; the only requirements for a Free Points game is that they’re free (real free, not free to play!) and very much worth your time.

What Is Yume Nikki?

Title: Yume Nikki
Release Date: June 26, 2004
Price: Free!
Developer: Kikiyama
Languages: Japanese, English
Length: ~6 Hours
Platform: PC (Steam, DRM free via Uboachan (sorry, it’s a .RAR))
Genre: Exploration
Themes: Horror, Pixel Art, Walking Sim, RPG Maker, Surreal
Content Warnings: Horror, pixel depictions of death & suicide
Supplemental: A YouTube Playlist of my explorations in Yume Nikki

Yume Nikki is an RPG Maker game, but it’s certainly not an RPG. Rather, the engine was used (quite effectively) to make a series of dream worlds that the protagonist, Madotsuki (窓付き), will explore.  Worlds vary from the macabre to the beautiful, from the dingy to the stunningly surreal.

Kyukyu, rubbing the banister as always

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Free Points: Weekly Free Games Worth Playing

Free Points is a new weekly (ish) series of articles showcasing free games that are worth a play. They can be from any genre from surreal Alt Games to traditional Platformers, and distributed in any format from HTML5 to Flash, and from Homebrew to downloadable games to Steam. The only requirement is that they’re free and worth your time.

Free Points is intended to raise awareness of the treasure trove of gaming that can be experienced by anyone (platform permitting) with absolutely no budget restrictions. From Newgrounds to Itch.io, these games are extremely accessible and open in a way that just warms your heart.

Free Points games are really free: no F2P/Freemium. In rare cases, games with ads but no In App Purchases may be showcased if their ads are not obtrusive to gameplay; such games will be clearly labeled. In other cases a game will not have ads but the host’s site may (such as Newgrounds and other Flash game sites).

You can subscribe to keep up to date on Free Points, or leaf through the covered games below.

Format

Free Points is a condensed micro-review that’s mostly informational in nature. Posts are focused on why you should play it and how to do so rather than going into intricate detail to critique. (For critique, we’ve got Finer Points and Reviews).

Feel free to share your thoughts on the game in the Comments section after every post! Recommendations for future games to cover are also always welcome.

Free Points Archives

Yume Nikki

Nested

Free Games Showcased on YouTube

Free Points is a sort of offshoot of my YouTube channel, on which I frequently showcase free games. I’ve created a playlist of all the free games I’ve covered there. I cover a crazy amount of games on YouTube, so it’s got quite a few more games than the website does for now.

You can also see my Steam Curator list.

YouTube’s “Not suitable for most advertisers”: How To Appeal Demonetized Videos

Has Youtube marked your seemingly squeaky-clean video as “Not suitable for most advertisers“? What’s that even mean? Well, here’s how to appeal your Demonetized YouTube videos and how to best avoid getting them flagged in the first place.

If you’re here, you’re probably already aware, but YouTube recently started flagging certain videos as “Not Suitable For Most Advertisers”. This process is entirely automatic and is a process run on all YouTube videos automatically akin to Content ID. Here I’ll share the best information I’ve found on how this process works and how to work with it.

Note that YouTube’s process for this is highly variable and opaque; I meant to publish this weeks ago but only recently am I confident that the methods outlined here actually seem to work. Expect variation in your specific circumstances.

Tap Into YouTube is a series of articles from the perspective of a gaming YouTuber, covering both the use of YouTube and how to effectively work with YouTubers to promote your game.

What Does “Not Suitable For Most Advertisers” Mean?

When you get the yellow dollar sign symbol a video is “demonetized” or in youtube’s vernacular “Not Suitable For Most Advertisers”. Despite some conspiracy theories this does not mean YouTube is “skimming” your ad money; when demonetizing videos no ads are shown, meaning YouTube gets no ad money either. YouTube gets no inherent benefit from a demonetized video.

Despite the “limited or no” advertising, as far as I can tell no or effectively no advertisers actually put videos on “unsuitable” videos. You should consider a flagged video effectively demonetized entirely. It’s possible this will change in the future if advertisers choose to opt in to this class of video.

Find Demonetized Videos

If you had a backlog of videos before the “Not suitable for most advertisers” stuff started, you might have videos demonetized without knowing. There is a search filter you can use to find them immediately; this is where you’ll want to start your quest to re-monetize as many as you can. 

However, I’ve noticed that in some rare cases videos (unlisted ones in my case) did not show in that search filter, and recently re-monetized videos may still show in that view until monetization is turned off then back on for that video.

Demonetized Youtube Videos
The infamous Yellow Dollar Sign icon is the telltale sign you’ve been Demonetized

How To Get a Video Re-Monetized

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Finer Points: How To Make Loot Boxes and Gachapon Not Suck

Loot Boxes and Gachapon are all the rage these days; both the literal and figurative meanings of ‘rage’ in fact. While I frankly despise the practice and think they should absolutely never be in any game in almost any form, there’s a hell of a lot of ways they could be better and as a designer, it bugs me that even free Gachapons are usually done terribly.

How can we make such an inherently abusive and exploitative mechanic better? Here’s all the considerations.

Update 2018-02-19: Added “Speed It Up”, a section on how even a “good” gacha can waste your time.

Finer Points is a series of Game Design/Game UX articles by Sir TapTap focusing on very specific gameplay elements and the major impact on a player’s experience they can have.

It’s Gotta Be Free

Here’s the thing. Monetization influences game design. This is why Mobile games have a bad rap; most of them are F2P, and that heavily influences game design.

You simply cannot objectively and ethically design a gambling system when exploiting the player will earn you more money. Even if you did, you would be designing a game you couldn’t profit from. The only way to ethically include a luck-based system for earning items is if it has absolutely no tie-in to your monetization model. This is simply non-negotiable.

“But wait, I’m not one of those bad designers—” you sputter before I gently place my index finger on your lips with a gently “shush”. Granblue Fantasy’s designers no doubt thought they were “one of the good ones” as well.

The issue with bias is you’re not always aware you’re doing it.

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Lutie RPG Clicker – Guardians Guide, Stats, & Walkthrough

Lutie RPG Clicker is an extremely cute but rather byzantine RPG Clicker game with very high quality art. It’s a bit hard to keep track of which Guardians have which skills in the game itself, so I decided to make a guide starting with a searchable table of Guardians so you know which ones have the Skills you’d like to upgrade.

As always with my guides, feel free to post in the comments if you have any questions or info to give. I’ll expand this guide if I get more important information of if lots of people want more. I’m a fair ways into Lutie RPG Clicker myself (stage 1,000) so ask anything you like.

Lutie RPG Clicker is the story of an angel in the middle of a great war after Ragnarok. The story is unlocked as you progress the game, though the latest bits of the story are still only in Korean. It plays a fair deal like Politicats and Star Tap, a bit more complicated twist on the usual prestige-focused Idle Game template.

Game Info

Title: Lutie RPG Clicker
Platform: Android, iOS
Release date: November 2016
Developer: BlueSkyGames
Price: Free with IAP and optional Ads
Genre: RPG Idle/Clicker
Length: Long (Months)
Gambling element: Yes (Minor-Moderate invasiveness random elements)

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New Year’s Gift (2018) Mini-Guide

This is a “mini guide” for Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium, with only the New Year’s Gift Event (2018) information, split out to be faster & easier to load on mobile devices. Feel free to add to your homescreen for easy access!
See the main guide for a more comprehensive set of information.

If you enjoy my guides, please consider contributing to my Patreon to help me make even more, higher-quality guides & articles! With enough funds I can reduce or even remove ads as well!

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