On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 2

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Verdict: Steampunktastic!

In a Nutshell: This is an action/adventure meets RPG, third-person perspective game with turn-based combat about evil gods, robots that ravage tree-based produce, and those that would stop the nefarious ways of both.

(from the game’s website)

“Whether you’re a fan of the first installment or new to the series, you’ll be able to pick up and play Episode Two as a standalone experience. This time, armed with a new gardening implement and witty repartee, you rejoin Gabe and Tycho in searching for more clues and another place to live.

Explore new areas, combat bigger, badder and stranger enemies, solve even more puzzles and move one step closer to unraveling the mystery hidden deep in the sinister heart of New Arcadia.

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Would I play this again? possibly
Would I recommend this game? yes
Was the story good? yes
Was the music good? yes
Were the graphics good? yes
Was this game difficult? no
Was this game frustrating? no
Was this game offensive? not necessarily, but make sure you read about the M rating if you are concerned
Was this game worth your time/money? yes
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Playing the game

In On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 2, the player starts by creating a character from available clothing, faces, body shapes, etc (or carrying their character over from Episode 1). You, the player, then join up with the Penny Arcade characters of Tycho and Gabe on the continuing hunt for the robot that stomped your home. Clicking on the environment will move you and your party around. You can interact with some objects in the environment and, when pointing at an object or character, the cursor will change to a black Startling Developments Detective Agency logo to let you know when you can.

The Startling Developments Detective Agency is a clever in-game menu where you can access the map, check your inventory, see what’s left in the various side quests, and equip available outfits that provide bonuses. This is also where you can look at unlocked items like parts of the sound track and concept art. You will still have access to the agency and it’s contents even after completing a game.

During your adventure you’ll have a chance to interact with a variety of characters and clicking on characters will start a conversation. All conversations are menu driven and will either further your current quest(s) with information or a task that needs to be completed, or allow you to start a new side quest.

There are many dark and nefarious beings in New Arcadia who would stop you from successfully completing your quests (and from living). Battles are turn-based as each side gets a chance to smite the other. During your party’s turn, you have the options of using an item (attack, restoring health, power-ups and downs), attacking, or fleeing. Waiting for a little while longer will allow use of special attacks and team-ups which pack a bigger punch, depending on the enemy. Special attacks require fun and simple mini-games of accuracy and timing. How well you do with the mini-game determines how powerful a blow the special attack deals.

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What the game gets right

Episode 2 starts off right by reminding you what happened last time in New Arcadia. The story picks up without further delay and is still well-rounded and humorous. The graphical style and art are still very good and make me like Steampunk all over again.

The gameplay is still simple and intuitive. The new special attacks are cool and the mini-games for the special attacks play better than in the last episode (my space bar was REALLY getting put through its paces in the last one).

What the game gets wrong

I love side quests because I’m always hoping they will give me a more in-depth look at the world in which the game exists and not just fill up some time requirement of the game. So it was with Episode 2 . . . until the majority of the quest-givers die?! Even though all things must die (c’est la vie) this startling development was a little irritating.

The final battle was kinda fun but it just . . . ended . . . leaving a small hollow space where the sweet, savory flavor of victory should have appeared. I really like the tension of trying to get that last final hit before my party’s extremely reduced life force finally gives way, requiring me to try again. To win in this episode requires you to figure out the sequence, instead of strategy, which was honestly a bit of a let down. I actually had more fun with the furnace robot battle earlier in this episode.

Sum it up

Even though I didn’t exactly like some of the events, this does leave the slate cleaned up for the next episode and is a nice rounding up of the story thus far. Parts of the game still got me to laugh out loud, especially the girlish screams of Tycho and Gabe and the crazy things that show up in New Arcadia. I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.

Head on over to Greenhouse and pick up the demo then come on back and let me know what you think of it.

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OTRSPD Title
On the Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 2

Developer: Hothead Games


New Arcadia is STILL in peril! Another day, another dark god and its minions to destroy. Roll for initiative!">
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