What would you do to save your friend? That is the question asked in Gomo, where a greedy alien kidnaps your dog and demands that you retrieve a mystical crystal artifact within two hours, or else. What this mysterious red crystal does, I never found out. All I know is that it is imbued with some sort of power. But that doesn't matter; some extraterrestrial jerk has your dog, and that makes things personal.
The game stars Gomo, a stubby-legged, long-armed sack boy, in a 2D point-and-click adventure that takes him from his small home in the hillside to underground caverns, grassy fields, and even beyond the world itself. You move through the world by solving puzzles as they appear. Puzzles are straightforward and are not difficult to solve. It's doubtful you will ever remain stumped in Gomo. Most puzzles require you to find an item--usually stored inside Gomo's sack-like body via a zipper on his back--and combine it with another, such as unlocking a nearby door with a key only a short distance away, or pulling a lever to activate a switch. Most items used to solve puzzles are tossed aside after their usefulness is spent.
The puzzles are uninspired, and several don't even make logical sense. For example, one puzzle has you shear a sheep to reveal a passcode to a door, while another has a picture which drops a can of herbicide. One puzzle is directly lifted from BioShock's hacking minigame, and two others are those slide puzzles that bitter people give children on Halloween instead of candy. You can deactivate easy mode in the menu, but all that does is remove the ethereal glow around items when you hover over objects you can interact with, which turns the game into a basic click hunt. The puzzle sequences at the end are just momentary pauses in what is otherwise a simple game. I would say a straightforward game, but Gomo is anything but.
The alien in the introduction sequence gives Gomo a command to find a shiny red crystal in exchange for his dog. But there isn't much of a clear path, and Gomo just meanders forward, flipping switches and using machines to open doors as he passes. He rides mine carts and uses the crystal (once found) to activate a hamster-powered device; he rides in a hot-air balloon, and, apparently, nukes the future. I'll admit I'm a little confused by that one.
The protagonist himself, with misshapen eyes, and who scurries along on stubby legs while using his long arms to lift himself onto steps, is adorable. His hand-drawn world is rife with little details that make each scene interesting, unless you find yourself quickly growing tired of the game's color palette, which is mostly varying shades of brown. The game is often humorous, tossing in some slapstick comedy as well as throwing in brief pop-culture references. You cannot make the game screen any larger than a small square surrounded by thick black borders, though that is perhaps a remnant of its history as a flash game. Beyond that complaint, Gomo the game isn't all that bad; it's just not very compelling.
The game is a short ride, and can easily be finished in a sitting. I cleared it in less than an hour and a half. You have the choice to play through it again and hunt down special pieces of paper that unlock three bonus minigames, but it wouldn't be worth your time. They are basically Whac-A-Mole games except that you wallop the dognapping alien instead of rodents. Gomo is a short, stylistic adventure that has some interesting features, but ultimately its brevity and lack of challenge keep its charms from being lasting ones.
Just ahead of the full NPD results, Sony said that PS4 was the "top-selling next-gen platform for both hardware and software in November." However, Microsoft countered with the claim that for the same month, the Xbox One was "the fastest selling console on the market in the U.S."
After nine days of availability, the Xbox One sold a total of 909,132 consoles. Sony did not reveal specific sales numbers for the US in November, however the NPD report notes that, "PlayStation 4 sales included an additional week within the November data month compared to Xbox One. When looking at sales on an average per-week basis, Xbox One led PS4. Keep in mind, however, that supply typically becomes constrained in the second week after launch.”
The report continues: "PlayStation 4 led U.S. hardware sales for the month, and marked the highest first month sales of a hardware platform on record... Xbox One was the second highest selling platform for the month, which marked the largest launch for a Microsoft console."
Although both consoles currently say that they've sold over 2 million each, Sony and Microsoft are selling as many units as are made available. Overall sales numbers currently equal the number of consoles produced.
For Nintendo, the 3DS continues to show growth with sales "increasing by 15% year-to-date through November.”
For the industry overall, the monthly sales report supplied by the NPD states that, though software sales were down for November, the overall industry is up 7%. Here's a full breakdown:
And a few additional notes:
And, as always, there are no specific sales numbers, but here the top 10 best-selling games for November:
The NPD reports, "Driven by continued success of Grand Theft Auto V as well as strong sales of NBA 2K14, year-to-date through November 2013, Take 2 Interactive led software sales as the top publisher.”
Noticeably missing from the list of top games are the late-October and early November titles Super Mario 3D World, Batman: Arkham Origins, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
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