By Jeff Neuenschwander / September 11th, 2015
Impressions based on August 17th Early Access Update.
Scarecrow Arts is an interesting little company that works on a wide number of projects — these being story boarding, 2D animation, compositing and special effects, video production, music and sound design, and motion graphics. Seriously, before this game, they did work for Gemmy Industries, Varidesk, and Walmart Canada.
So, with a background like that, it makes perfect sense that they create a video game.
Their opus is The Story Goes On, an arcade-like dungeon crawler that is currently in Early Access on Steam. When they released as an Early Access game, they were hoping for a two to three-month flip to a full release. So far, it’s tough to say if they’ll release it this month (which is three months after Early Access release), but there have been a lot of positive changes since it first came forth.
However, if they are still hoping for a full release this month, I hope that they delay just a little longer.
There’s a key flaw that has hampered my playing of the game: the ability to move the cursor in-game with my laptop’s touchpad. Now, I can move it when I’m not moving. But when I move, the cursor gets stuck. This wouldn’t by as big an issue if the game wasn’t programmed in a way where the character is pointed toward the cursor.
However, once I started playing the game with a mouse, it worked fine. The cursor could move around easily with no negative effects. This allowed me to move around in any direction and still face the bosses in the game.
The game also has controller support. Unfortunately, I don’t have a controller that plugs into my computer. So, hopefully, it works.
|A comparison of an early Forest screenshot with the Forest’s current, more three-dimensional look.|
Other than the control, I’m enjoying the game. Gameplay features you going around a maze known as The Odyssey that is randomized each time you start the game. In order to progress to new rooms, you have to defeat all the enemies on screen. Boss fights will also happen along the way, with major bosses behind a keyed-off room while mini-bosses will randomly show up, starting in Floor 2. Be careful, though; there are no checkpoints, so one death sends you back to the beginning.
I’m also enjoying the artwork in the game. It has this sort of cartoon style to it that I like. You can see it right away when you select your character for your playthrough with characters that have large heads with big eyes compared to the rest of their body.
|It’s like night and day looking at the older Aiden.|
Initially, you’ll be given one character to start, Aiden. However, you’ll be able to unlock additional characters as you go along. As a matter of fact, a new change in the last update allowed for you to find and unlock playable characters Foster and Sprout inside the maze. Scarecrow Arts hopes to have four playable characters when the game fully releases.
Some interesting things were added in this update. First and foremost is the addition of a sixth floor known as Frozen Fire. The game will have at least two more levels added either prior to or when it is fully released (assuming I’m reading the Early Access blurb on the store page correctly). In addition, the walls are now more three-dimensional, which you can see more easily in the larger rooms as exits go by. And entrances to mini-boss rooms have been changed so that you get similar warning about them as you would against a main boss.
If there’s one thing that I have an issue with — other than the controls — it would have to be with the music. For the most part, I like the music. But when you start the game, you get a jarring change in timbre as it goes from a more electronic style in the game’s theme to a piano (granted, probably a MIDI piano sound, but still a piano). This is an odd change right at the beginning every time you hit Start. Hopefully, this is just a placeholder for the actual level music that will be switched out by the time the full release happens.
Overall, The Store Goes On looks like it will be a solid arcade-style game when it fully releases. You can check it out now as a Steam Early Access title for $4.99. However, if you are like me and have a laptop, but no mouse or game controller, I’d suggest waiting until either you procure one of those or until Scarecrow Arts patches the game so that you can play with just the laptop touchpad.
This copy of The Story Goes On was provided by the publisher for purposes of review.
ActionAdventurearcadeDungeon CrawlerKiss LtdScarecrow ArtsThe Story Goes On