Kratzen
Stories for 2017 – 04.

The Froge Anniversary

A crude drawing of a frog's face.

I have spent the last year writing over 600,000 words. I cannot say how I did it; I can say though that it took me a long journey to do such a thing. I have become a better person. This article chronicles the rise of the most famous Froge.

A Month with Kratzen

Kratzen logo: a white crosshair on a black background.

Kratzen happens to be an experiment, like all that I do. For though it is an experiment that provides great opportunity, I must look at the good it does me, and see if it's worth keeping. Is it? It’s articles like these which find out.

“Lost Constellation” Review

A crude drawing of a cat’s face.

Having played this game for ninety minutes, I have rarely felt so empty. I want to like it. The practicality is I cannot. Its issues are fundamental and it is not engaging at all. I expected something and got, oddly and sadly, nothing.

“Infinity Inc.” Review

A glass representation of a DNA helix from “Infinity Inc.”.

After a long and silly absence, here’s a short and silly review. It’s about a gun. The gun clones you. Does this sound interesting to you? Well, at least it looks nice. Not nice as in the last review nice, but decent. And that’s all that matters.

“Packing Up” Review

A hideous painting of a toucan on a branch, from “Packing Up”.

One asks the question if a good world is good enough. Whether the aesthetics of a game makes up for the game itself. As art evolves, we realise there is more to games than base desires such as dopamine-drugging fun. But is this art?

“Princess Nom Nom” Review

A two – legged creature that looks like an onion with smiling teeth and cute eyes, from “Princess Nom Nom”.

If you ever wanted to play a clicker game, but only one that lasts for ten minutes, here you go! It’s also real cute, but in the artificial way. Want completely average work? Want a force – feeding birthing fetish? I’m not judging.

“GOTY: 420BLAZEIT” Review

The Doge meme with Shrek ears.

A heartwarming and authoritative work on the distribution of automatic weaponry, an intelligent look at cannabis throughout history, and how memes affect international politics to create new shifts in the geopolitical theater.

How to License your Indie Game

Santa Claus, standing in for Richard Stallman.

Rather than make an ironic and depreciating joke about the Weed Day, as was my original plan if I didn’t have an appointment, I have written an article just as fun: an introduction to licensing! Blame the law, not me.

“Hitogotchi” Review

The happy frog icon from “Hitogotchi”.

This is not so much an edgy subversion of our conflicting desires to be loved and feared, as it is a short little experiment that does much ado about nothing before ending on a sweet note that’s just good enough to share.

“Electra” Review

A robot from “Scribblenauts”, with dead, grey eyes, and a hinged jaw.

There are many things in life that are too short to simply be let go, for they are touches, light taps, of something so much greater. This is one of those things. I would not call it a revolution, no. I call it good, and good is good.

“A Good Gardener” Review

A screenshot from “A Good Gardener”, showcasing spears growing among grass.

There’s a special collection on my Itch account devoted to odd ducks, and though this isn’t too odd, it’s one still remarkable. I would have liked it to turn out better, but we live in a world where potential is cheap and quality is rare.

“Momodora” Review

Human girl Isadora, protagonist of “Momodora”, with light cast on her face, looking apprehensive.

Looks like it’s time to earn some downvotes and publish another unpopular review. Meet Momodora, an unsung classic in the indie scene. This time it deserves to be unsung, if only because it’s not fun and also mediocre. Good reasons, eh?

“Raft” Review

Some water from “Rollercoaster Tycoon”.

It’s nice to have an easy target from time to time. Meet Raft, the newest indie survivial game featuring crafting. I wouldn’t make fun of it if it had an original bone in its body. You can probably guess it doesn’t.

“First Kiss at a Spooky Soiree” Review

Jam, an anthropomorphic female humanoid cat, from “First Kiss at a Spooky Soiree”.

It sure is nice to live out my fantasy of kissing a cat. Yes, it’s one of those visual novels, where you don’t lay with your brood, but kiss them precisely once and the rest is fluff. It’s quite gay and also cute, but nothing more.

“Sort the Court” Review

The king from “Sort the Court” staring downward neutrally.

Heavy lies the head under the crown, except for when it’s as light as this. We have subjects who are easy to please and a king that’s happy sitting in one place. None of this makes for a challenge, but… heartening, in some small way.

“Karate Basketball” Review

A player from “Karate Basketball” performing a mid – air kick.

Reader: please look at the title. Please look at it. Do you enjoy the title? If you do, you will enjoy this game. It features dunking and kicking and is overall very fun but not much else. In essence, the perfect multiplayer game.

Contradictions of Jim

An exaggerated thumbs – up from a beefy white glove.

Though Jim Sterling is one of the industry’s harshest critics, he misplaces some of what he says. Using today’s video as a means of discussion, I bring up the world I’d like to live in, and compare it to the world that Jim wants to create.

“The Difference Between Us” Review

A blushing depiction of the Pinkie Pie character, a cartoon pony, as shown in “The Difference Between Us”.

I like to keep my stars close to my cold hard heart, but there are some novels so full of glee I have to relent. This is one of those reads you would never expect to turn out good. But it does. And it’s as brilliant as I am.

“Don’t Bite Me Bro!” Review

A zombie’s face from “Minecraft”.

For the first litmus test of what Kratzen considers “a bad game,” we have brought out none other than a bad game, one with zombies and the mindless killing of. It’s blocky and bloody, but none of this makes it any exciting.

“Gun Godz” Review

A shotgun rat from “Gun Godz”.

Rounding off the mediocre week is another mediocre game. We are going to start as we mean to go on, eh? Would you like to play DOOM in a different skin and with rap music? Here you go, and go we do.

“Daisy Chain” Review

Tabitha Thyme from “Daisy Chain,” a purple rabbit with long hair.

If anybody wants a bootleg Phoenix Wright with rabbits, but with less intrigue, humour, or anything really, now’s your chance. To shoot the messenger, it’s average. To give the artist credit, at least it isn’t malicious.

“Night in the Woods: Longest Night” Review

The mouth and whiskers of the “Night in the Woods” logo.

The sidequest to the game that ended up mattering, this little campfire simulator, less a game and more the developers cutting their teeth, is acceptable. It’s somewhat cool, like the stars, but not as hot as the fire, hardy – har.

“Pistolchet” Review

The disassembled pistol from “Pistolchet”.

Here’s my view of life: sometimes you’re a gun, other times you’re throwing a gun. Once in a blue moon you play a game that involves playing a magic bouncing pistol that makes men explode. It’s a dumb game. But nobody should tell it.

“Idra and the Little Fish” Review

The eyes and cute fangs of Idra, from “Idra and the Little Fish”.

You are a little fish, guiding the blind Idra through cutesy dialogue and fantastic environments. The flaw in this idea is that there’s not enough good stuff to go around. It’s got a unique twist. It lends it dignity. But it lacks fundamental design.

“Streets of Rogue” Review

Two gang members from “Streets of Rogue” lying dead on concrete.

Streets of Rogue isn’t malicious: it’s just ignorant. It’s ignorant of what fun is, ignorant of the player, and ignorant of what a roguelike should be. A roguelike is an opportunity to try new ideas. It should not be busywork with good intentions.

“ULTRA ADHD” Review

A crudely-drawn smiling businessman from “ULTRA ADHD” wearing a tie, hanging from a noose.

When the developer gets bored of their game, two things happen. It either rots in a hard drive somewhere, or they ship out what’s left. That’s what ULTRA ADHD is: a slightly schiznophrenic undistilled design document.

Kratzen Manifesto

Kratzen logo: a white crosshair on a black background.

What good is a magazine that doesn’t want to be read? Kratzen is one of the few publications which respects the reader’s time, and respects their principles. Our manifesto is a small sampler of what to expect with us.