Paper RPG and The Impossible Dungeon

Ah, Team Shuriken.  The guys behind the infamous Temple of Dogolrak.  I receive more bitching about their games than I get about Silver Dollar these days.  It all began a few months ago when I released the list of search engine terms that have led people to this very site.  If you need a reminder, here are just the search terms that people have done for Temple of Dogolrak, along with Trailer Park King and Don’t Die Dateless, Dummy.

  • trailer park king 2,043 (#1 search term)
  • temple of dogolrak 2,011 (#2 search term)
  • don’t die dateless dummy 1,059 (#4 search term)
  • trailer park king review 266 (# 6 search term)
  • dont die dateless dummy 247 (#7 search term)
  • trailer park king game 246 (#8 search term)
  • don’t die dateless, dummy! 180 (#10 search term)

And those are just the top 10.  Once you start getting lower than that, you really do get lower.  Some other prime searches include the following:

  • trailer park king nudity 106
  • trailer park king porn 103
  • trailer park king nude 17
  • is there nudity in trailer park king 15
  • temple of dogolrak sex 14
  • trailer park king nudity? 14
  • does trailer park king have nudity 11
  • xbox indie games with nudity 11
  • don’t die dateless dummy porn 7
  • temple of dogolrak porn 7
  • xbox live indie games with nudity 7
  • trailer park king girls boobs 5
  • are there any xbox indie games with nudity 5

And that’s just the stuff that gets multiple searches.  On my most popular day ever at this blog (January 16, 2012), these were some of the random searches.

  • best xbox indie game tits
  • trailer park king has nudity?
  • xbox indie game that has nudity
  • trailer park king girls
  • indie porn games xbox
  • temple of dogolrak hentai pics (Hentai means “Perversion” in Japanese, kinda)
  • can you fuck in temple of dogolrak
  • temple of dogolrak hentai
  • xbox hentai
  • dogolrak nude code
  • how do you see porn in trailer park king

You get the picture.  In short, three out of five searches that land people on this site center around those three games.  Also, damn, I’m embarrassed for you guys.

And while I think Sean Doherty (the Trailer Park King dude) gets a free pass on the hostility because his games actually make an effort to be games, there’s unquestionably resentment towards Team Shuriken.  Although I’ve found them to be fairly nice guys, I admit that I did think their marketplace pictures of Dogolrak were extremely misleading compared to the actual graphics of their game.  Having said that, don’t blame developers for taking advantage of the hopeless pocket-pool crowd.  They sort of have it coming, because about ten seconds of research on Google would let them know that nudity and sexual intercourse are no-nos on XBLIG.  Another ten seconds and they would learn that jerking off too much causes your palm to turn purple.

Over/under on the percentage of readers that just looked at their palm?  What, 30%?

It’s not like Team Shuriken relies completely on boobies.  Over the last month, they’ve released two new games to the marketplace that don’t tease titties at all.

Well, mostly.

Both games still use the same engine and play mechanics as the previous game.  First up is Paper RPG.  It uses sketch drawings to tell a very short story of a knight trying to save the kingdom.  How short?  Oh, about three to five minutes, depending on how many mistakes you make.

Like any “choose your own adventure” game, luck is everything in Paper RPG.  There’s no visual indications of what choices will advance the story and which ones will lead to death.  This is especially problematic in game #2 of this review, The Impossible Dungeon.  Here there is nothing in the way of graphics, aside from a useless map.  Everything is text driven.  In this one, you can lead yourself down certain paths where no matter which of three to four options you choose, none of them will lead to anything but death.  So moving the story forward is 100% luck, based on nothing.

It's like Russian Roulette, only some wisenheimer loaded every chamber.

And if you die, you get to start over again.  Sure, there’s the occasional checkpoint, but that’s not much help.  You still have to read the same fucking dialog again and again.  Who would ever confuse this for entertainment?  Neither game is fun.  Or anything vaguely resembling fun.  If you were terminal with cancer in the middle of a nuclear holocaust having just watched your puppy eat its own leg off and bleed to death all over your mother (thus drowning her) and the only thing that could be offered to you for any comfort was these games, you would think it was a final “fuck you” from God himself.  And you would be right.

I will admit that I liked the art style in Paper RPG.  The main character has a Spy vs. Spy like charm about it.  If Team Shuriken was willing to put forth some effort, they might be able to use this character in a platforming game and find modest success.  But I’m guessing they’re not willing to put in the effort.  Prove me wrong, guys.  I would love to be able to tell people that you’re not the worst thing that can happen to a gamer.  Right now, you’re neck-and-neck with hand amputation.  Which, ironically you caused, because they also proved that jerking off to anime porn causes cancer of the hands.  It’s distinguishable by yellow freckles on your lower palm.

Make it 40%.

Paper RPG and The Impossible Dungeon were developed by Team Shuriken

80 Microsoft Points apiece always bet on the black spy in the making of this review.

I’m giving away 1600 Microsoft Points as part of a new feature called “Kairi Katch-Up Thursdays” and you buttholes aren’t participating enough.  1600 MSP!  That’s 16 XBLIGs!  Read how you can win it.

Video footage courtesy of Aaron the Splazer

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

17 Responses to Paper RPG and The Impossible Dungeon

  1. I had no idea Team Shuriken were behind The Impossible Dungeon. I agree that they always seem like nice guys, though I disagree with many of their expressed opinions, but dear god The Impossible Dungeon is awful. Trial and error? Walls of text? Fanfic-like dialogue? It’s not pretty.

    Come on, Shuriken fellas! I know you’re capable of more.

  2. CJ says:

    They ARE more capable. But they realized capability != sales on XBLIG. Tits do. Hence the tits.

    Those are some smart guys.

  3. Team Shuriken says:

    We’ll be back in about a week with a game we put the most time into since we released Tokyo 2029 AD years ago and karnn age a year before that. (if we go through peer review as expected)

    We were trying for faster dev cycle with paper rpg, TiD and Space pirates adventures, but we realize those were done too quick. We’ll try to focus on more interesting games in the future, weather that means having better graphics and/or more fleshed out gameplay.

    I’ve been working on Dream Divers since the summer (part time) and this is my return to gaming (the booklike games were more artist work, my programming involvment was minimal). BTW, our artists are awesome and you might call it selling out when a game is made with little gameplay but emphasis on anime graphics, but for an artist making booklike games with little gameplay is the coolest thing since they can focus on what they like to do (draw) and not worry too much about side effects on gameplay or other things.

    I hope you like Dream Divers ! I feel like it combines the anime chicks feel that so many gamers like with fun gameplay. It’s simpler programmatically and in concept then karnn age and tokyo 2029, but a lot more thought was put into making the art fun and cohesive (karnn age’s main problem), and the gameplay fun and focused (tokyo 2029 main problem). Also, hoping to prove water levels don’t HAVE to suck !

    Also, after much much thoughts, we’re giving the 1$ price point a real chance by releasing Dream Divers for 1$, please prove all my theorycrafting wrong by buying tons of copies !

    • I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with different development cycles. All developers make duff games; learning from it is the important thing, and it sounds like you’re doing that.

    • Kairi Vice says:

      Seriously, a platformer starring the Paper RPG knight, using the same graphics style, would be something that I think would be interesting to try. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. Bluebones’ Curse was about 15 minutes long, which is to me the perfect length for an arthousey type of indie platform game. The character had actual personality and you might be on to something with it.

      • Team Shuriken says:

        yes, it is a good idea !

        i had a passing idea the other day of making a game with paper knight (or any kind of paper hero) on an arena, where a hand would draw enemies that would land into the game…

        something inspired on this video :

        probably not happening soon though because we’ll focus on converting our games for iphone and maybe android too. If dream divers mega flop then we might do that but i think we’re onto something much better with dream divers.

        • Kairi Vice says:

          Team Shuriken, since I seem to have your ear, I do want to try and hammer a point home: the biggest flaw in your text games is the lack of checkpoints. Imagine reading one sentence in a book, then starting over and reading the first sentence again before reading sentence 2. Then starting the process over again before going to sentence three. And every random once in a while, just starting over from the beginning without going a sentence further.

          You would have to be fucking insane to believe anything remotely pleasurable or entertaining could be had from reading a book like that. You offer no clues at all towards what is the correct choice, so you leave it up to random chance that the player has to start over. It’s just not a fun set-up. You’re making video games, things designed to entertain. I have nothing against the style of games you make. But you really have to be a lot more forgiving with the whole “starting over from scratch” thing. In Impossible Dungeon, I ended up in this round room with three possible choices which direction to go, and each choice had another 4 choices. 1 out of those 12 choices would result in me not dying.

          Nobody would read their favorite author ever that way. Come up with a better system. I wanted to see where the story in Impossible Dungeon was heading, but I didn’t want to see it that bad.

          • Team Shuriken says:

            makes sense, i’ll discuss with the artist who also writes the story and see with him if it would make sense to have multiple save points instead of just one. we don’t want manual saves or instant rewind after death as it becomes too pointless and there is no weight to decisions.

            Funny you say no one would read their favorite author that way, the concept of those games is based on the old ‘choose your own path books’. the rules said you had to start over when you died, though most people would cheat and just backtrack. in something like TiD where it is very text intensive, allowing backtracking after death would make sense i think. In a game like dogolrak where the screens are consumed very fast (little text), it starts to not make as much sense especially with how much content (images) need to be produced.

            multiples save points (maybe 4 save points instead of 1) should make something like Paper RPG and Temple of dogolrak a lot less frustrating, while a backtracking system could make sense in something like TiD

            • Kairi Vice says:

              You know what? Who cares if it makes the game too easy. Too easy is always, ALWAYS, preferable to being too hard.

              And as you said it yourself, most people with those Choose Your Own Adventure books cheated and backtracked. Why? Because it’s not fun the other way. It’s tedious.

              • Team Shuriken says:

                With dogolrak and instant backtracking, i’m pretty sure there would have been 100 times more complaints about the game being too short. something like TiD doesn’t have this problem because it has enough text.

                the solution might be to add more text or make the story longer… We’ll try to make Avalis Dungeon 3 less tedious.

    • LOL @ the air meter in Dream Divers!

      PS – if it doesn’t have any thongs I’m not getting it

  4. Tim Roast says:

    The Impossible Dungeon has rubbish cover art.

  5. Team Shuriken says:

    Wow, so peer review went real quick and is already done for Dream Divers !

    Expect to see the game on marketplace in a few hours 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Kairi Vice says:

      Usually I try to avoid reviewing games by the same developer too close together. XBLIG devs fight and claw for attention and, even when I’m productive, I can only do so many games at once. My unwritten rule is “one month’s buffer between games from the same dev.”

      I’m wondering if Mr. Alan C with the Tea would care to take a whack at this one at IndieOcean and I’ll plug the hell out of his review for it.

      • Team Shuriken says:

        unlucky you picked the worst ones that i didn’t want or need attention drawn too :-/

        Doesn’t really matter though it’s all about gamer reaction and the majority of xblig fans don’t really look for reviews before downloading. I gotta say i was curious to see your reaction though since it’s our best game so far IMO. And i’m sure you would’ve found a clever way to go on a rant about the sexiness or hentainess as you call it of the characters (this time unlike temple of dogolrak, there’s a lot of sexy images, not just the boxart. And the game is lots of fun)

        • Kairi Vice says:

          Well, it’s true that you did not request a review on this, so I’ll play Deep Divers this weekend. Best of luck with it. I’m sure if it’s “sexy” whatever that means, that it will drive search terms.

          • Team Shuriken says:

            nice 🙂

            i should be careful what i wish for though as there’s no way to trust someone who doesn’t like sonic !!!!!

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