Overall Score 30%
Linda is a small game from India that costs just one euro to register.
Linda, and her professor comrade, have decided to enter the Death Hanging Arena to pilfer treasure and re-distribute it among the friends of the Mother-Galaxy. The professor was quickly beheaded and Linda was captured. I'll let the language of the manual take over from here... While a captive on Zelora, vile experiments transformed her flesh into something far more and far less than human. During the experiments done in their genetics lab using advanced biotechnology Linda resurrected as a humanoid battle machine!!!
The game is a MS-DOS game in the classic sense. No sound cards here, the PC speaker is used to make bleeps that ascend and descend like those old games from the eighties. The graphics are very brightly coloured, very blocky and have very few frames of animation.
Starting the game results in three or four screens that appear with an arpeggio of sound. Things swish, and often flicker. The whole effect is like something on a very old home computer. The loading screen has some nice fire breathing dragons on it, and most of the pixel artwork is quite well drawn considering the obvious palette limitations. I could not take screenshots and in fact Linda managed to crash trash destroy Windows XP, which is quite an impressive feat but not something the programmers should be be proud of.
The game is a side view platformer. As Linda you can walk, jump and even fly around the levels avoiding moving monsters and picking up various items including treasures. The moving enemies can be dispatched with a shot by pressing Ctrl, and in emergencies you can take to the skies by pressing Alt to turn on your jet pack. Pressing the spell key makes nice sparkles appear.
The controls are not very responsive and the main character is large for the display. A lot of the time I got stuck or trapped in the scenery, and sometimes I was instantly killed without knowing why. It wasn't really clear what to do or where to go or even what can be stood on, what is deadly, what can be picked up, or why. I was often placed on large scrolling platform with dead ends at each side and no visible escape. Exotic and interesting items appeared in my inventory but it was not clear if or how these could be used. The instructions are nothing more than a list of keys.
Like any game, Linda has potential, but much more work could be done on making the game more user friendly. The plot, and list of enemies, seem to indicate a lot of depth but I found the game inaccessable to the point of being unplayable. The Longevity score is a guess because I cannot play the game for a long enough period.
It is not very clear what one gets for registering the game. The limits of the game are confusing. The 400k demo may be a better way for readers to judge Linda, and if you want to make a donation to the Indian game developer community, PayPal a euro to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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