A while back, I picked up the New Reality Games Studio Pack for around $5. Normally, I’d look at a bundle that size – more than 20 games, plus access to future titles from the publisher – and think “shovelware”. However, one of the included games was City of Chains, which I’ve heard is really good for an RPGMaker game, so since the bundle was less than the asking price of the single game I was interested in, I figured I’d give it a shot. If nothing else, I could collect the trading cards and make most of my money back.
Invasion: Brain Craving kind of feels like shovelware.
For some reason, you’re limited to names that are no more than 6 characters. Ok. Fine. The screenshots above are the entire intro – no tutorial whatsoever despite there being a screenshot showing tutorial text on the Steam page. Well, I can bumble through I’m sure. I manage to pick up a med kit, a knife, a can of beans and a can opener right off the bat. I’m sure I’ll figure out how to access my inventory when I need to, and I probably equipped that knife. I mean, no one walks around in a zombie apocalypse with a knife in their pocket, right?
This is the entirety of the combat screen. You can’t move. You can run away. You can attack (dude, if I can hit that zombie from here, that’s a HUGE kitchen knife), defend, or use an inventory item. The technique option seems to not do anything; if it’s something you learn later, I feel like it should be greyed out until you can use it.
Kill one zombie. Go outside. Scavenge and find a whole lot of nothing. Run into my first pack of zombies and die quickly.
Here’s how I see it: a game needs a reason to exist, a reason why you might choose to play it over another similar game. Maybe it’s story. Maybe it’s artwork. Maybe it’s sound design (the music here is actually pleasant enough, but nothing amazing). Maybe it’s compelling game play. Invasion: Brain Craving excels at none of these things. The only customization you get at the start of the game is naming your character, and even that was unsatisfying for me. This game isn’t worth a dollar, and it’s not worth your time.