OneShot Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com OneShot RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 5 Games You Should Play Instead of Replaying Undertale https://www.gameskinny.com/j87bk/5-games-you-should-play-instead-of-replaying-undertale https://www.gameskinny.com/j87bk/5-games-you-should-play-instead-of-replaying-undertale Sat, 18 Feb 2017 20:33:18 -0500 Angelina Bonilla

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There we go, 5 games that you should be playing rather than replaying Undetale; games that are similar to the story of a young child falling down the hole, but predating it by a year or so.  This isn’t meant to be a list that bashes Undertale, but rather is a list that encourages people to broaden their horizons, all while being able to stick to something familiar. That and you never know, you may find something you like about these games more than you like about Undertale. Then again, considering Undertale’s fanbase, probably not... but a journalist can dream, can’t they?

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Art Source: Image

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OFF

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OFF is a game that’s been a strong part of the RPG Maker world for quite a while now, and I can’t help but ponder if it had some sort of influence on Undertale as a project. Tonally, they couldn’t be any further apart, but the underlying darkness in their individual narratives? That’s where the similarities tend to crop up. OFF starts off by having you put your name and becoming an entity for the Batter to follow in his quest to “purify” the world.

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You meet a vibrant cast of characters, but instead of having the option to befriend them, your only option is to murder them ruthlessly with a party full of biblical references attached to circles. It’s not as though they are without fault, however: you as a player find the villains of the tale inflicting atrocities and cruelties on their workers, making The Batter a heroic figure in the sense of liberating each world he’s in.  

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As a (creepy) aside: The way The Batter talks is a little unsettling, especially during moments where you may have to kill creatures you don't want to kill. In fact, he encourages you, the player, to “Let him do his job." 

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As time goes on, the player will notice an underlying narrative with all this, involving the Batter seemingly playing a bigger part in the overall story than he likes you to believe. Yet, you’ve been “assigned” to him to help him complete his task, which means that you’re forced to do whatever it takes to do so.

Undertale
gives you the choice to kill or not kill, making your journey harder or easier depending on the choices you make. OFF, on the other hand, doesn’t give you that option, yet it expects you to go through with it because it’s what you're assigned to do. After all, who are you to go against your assignment?

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 Download The OFF: Here

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Art Source: Here

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OneShot

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Out of all the entries on this list, OneShot has been one of the games most compared to Undertale, with some reviewers going so far as to calling it “Undertale-like”... despite the fact that the game came out in 2014, well before Undertale. What sets it apart from Undertale is the fact that there’s no combat at all, just exploration and making new friends. Your character is a child – Niiko – and the player is the guiding force behind him, some sort of deity, driving him to deliver the sun (the lightbulb he holds) to the tower in the distance. By doing so, he'll save the world.

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OneShot uses its fourth-wall-breaking moments not as much for humor or for making the player think about their actions within the world, but for the player to connect with the character Niiko. The focus of these relationships is how Niiko, a child and messianic figure, is treated by the denizens of the world and how he feels about being treated this way. This leads him to talking to you, the player, about it frequently when he gets the chance, often addressing you directly, depending on the name you put in.

Then there’s the Entity that seems to be aware of the fact that you’re the one controlling Niiko and reminds you that in this world, you only have one shot to make a difference. What you do affects everyone else.

This is only cemented by the state of the world that you’re in; it’s dying without the sun and it needs Niiko’s help to save it with your guidance. If there’s one thing that OneShot does better than Undertale, it was making me as a player feeling entirely responsible for Niiko as a character, rather than as an avatar of destruction in the case of Undertale and Chara.

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Purchase OneShot: Here

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Art Source: Here

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Always Sometimes Monsters

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When people think about doing the right thing, they often think about it in very binary terms, more often than not thanks to the binary choice system we are often presented in games. In Undertale, this binary choice is similarly presented: you can either murder people and be called an absolute monster, or you spare them and be dubbed the hero of the story. But what if there was a game that made what was considered right or good be a lot murkier?

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Welcome to Always Sometimes Monsters, a game that takes the mundane life of a down on their luck writer who has been left by their significant other, and forces them to make difficult moral choices in order to live their life as they idealistically intend to do. The choices aren’t straight forward and things aren’t always what they appear to be at first glance. You’ll often not know if what you’re doing will help or hurt your main character, but what you do know is that you’ll want a happy ending for them by the end... if that’s even achievable.

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Think of it as taking Undertale’s narrative about morality and the good and evils of the world, but adding in multiple layers of something that Undertale seems to only tackle certain aspects of: real life. Serious topics like drug addiction, murder, poverty, and more are all included. Racism, sexism, and homophobia are tackled head on, rather than in an allegorical sense. Always Sometimes Monsters tackles morality with a deft hand and it’s worth checking out if you truly love the exploration of morality in Undertale.

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Purchase Always Sometimes Monsters: Here

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The Sandman

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The Sandman is one in a series of games all created by the same person who made the RPG Maker horror hit The Crooked Man. While all the stories are connected, they do stand on their own, so someone who has never played The Crooked Man can get into The Sandman just fine.

It’s an RPG horror game based around everyone in town falling asleep and having to face nightmarish creatures in a manifestation of their flaws and sins. This is only part of what makes it worth your time; the other part is our protagonist, Sophie Grundler, can give Frisk a run for their money in ultimate forgiveness.

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As a character, Sophie is an understanding girl who knows that everyone has issues they keep bottled up, which leads her to be forgiving of people. She even tries to save their lives when they’re at risk of being killed for things that ultimately hurt her in the end. Despite all of what she’s gone through, Sophie is still willing to not give up on people, which gives a true feeling of compassion in bravery that mirrors that of Frisk in Undertale and makes this worth a look.

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Download The Sandman: Here

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Art Source: Here

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Ib

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Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s an easy concept to come up with, but not nearly as easy to put into practice. Undertale does this with its monsters actually being friendly rather than things to kill; Ib does it by making the most beautiful flower turn murderous.

Ib is a free RPG Maker game that takes place in an art gallery. Within moments of playing, you’ll find yourself in a living gallery where no matter where you go you’re under attack and need to flee for your life.

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Things with seemingly mundane natures, like a woman in a painting, jump from the wall to attack you. Ib has several moments where something that should be considered spooky for the 9-year-old protagonist, isn't actually dangerous, or even if it is it's not malicious. In Ib, we are shown that while many flowers have their thorns, not every plant is dangerous in this gallery.

Download Ib: Here

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Art Source: Here

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/d/undertale-ionic-isaac-d9ct6b9-4f192.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/d/undertale-ionic-isaac-d9ct6b9-4f192.png","type":"slide","id":"150547","description":"

Undertale, that little game from 2015 that took the gaming world by storm with its music, characters, stories and gameplay. A game that asked the gaming world many questions that many people had never asked themselves before. Questions about mercy, friendship, dreams or the ever present question in all of our minds: “Is anime real?”

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What if I were to tell you that there were games made before Undertale that covered similar themes? With that in mind, let’s just say I told you to play those games instead of replaying Undertale because you might find something you like better in those games. 

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Now, before any of you attempt to burn me at the stake for this supposed blasphemy, allow me to reassure you that I’m not bashing Undertale. Instead, I’m just using this as an opportunity to point people who love Undertale  to other games that have similar themes -- and have come before it.

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That, and redheads were actively burnt at the stake for centuries, especially thanks to their inclusion in the Malleus Maleficarm. So I think most redheads have evolved a resistance to being burnt at the stake thanks to our ancestors. Small tangential detour about humanity’s messy past aside, let’s talk about five games that you should be playing rather than replaying Undertale.

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Image Source: Here

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OneShot: A Beautiful Journey of Discovery and Guardianship https://www.gameskinny.com/wqdam/oneshot-a-beautiful-journey-of-discovery-and-guardianship https://www.gameskinny.com/wqdam/oneshot-a-beautiful-journey-of-discovery-and-guardianship Tue, 31 Jan 2017 10:00:02 -0500 Angelina Bonilla

If there is one thing we should thank RPG Maker for, it’s the fact that some of the most meaningful, out-of-the-box games ever were made in it. Such simple concepts can be incredibly transformative to gaming, and that is the case with OneShot

OneShot is a meta puzzle adventure game developed by Little Cat Feet LLC and published by Degica. Originally, it was a free RPG Maker game developed by Mathew and Nightmargin on the RPG Maker 2003 engine, and was released in 2014. The version currently available on Steam has been mostly updated with better graphics, extra scenes, and an overall smoother control scheme.

A small thing of note: there are changes from the free version to the Steam version, mostly through added scenes and moments that were not there before.  While you can get the same experience in many ways from the original free release, the full release does provide you with more material to sink your teeth into as well as a chance to support the developer, which is a noble endeavor to be sure.


The player takes on the role of a god in the story, and they must watch over a young cat person named Niiko, who relies entirely on you for help. When you leave the game and then return later, Niiko asks where you went and comments that it was dark while you were gone. It takes great lengths to show you that you are essentially Niiko’s light and his guide through this new, mysterious world. You control him as well as the things he looks at and picks up. There will be some things he’ll disagree with doing, but he’ll still talk to you about doing it, and in doing so it develops a rapport between Niiko and yourself. 

Each area has its own unique feel, with lots of variation in architecture, inhabitants, and what sort of discourse they happen to be going through when you get there. Niiko does help them out, but can only do so much while witnessing the misery of the denizens of this mysterious world.

The people of the world are colorful characters, yet muted due to the lack of light, which means the game takes a chance to show you the beautiful scenery in the dark atmosphere. It’s somber in a way, as if mournful. It's clear that the world is dying, and this is complimented by the music. 

Niiko will often interact with you while you’re gently guiding them throughout the world and you may find yourself getting attached to the little creature as time goes on. Niiko is essentially a child and you have to take on a parental and guardian role in order to get them through this troublesome time.

You see, Niiko carries the Sun and he is the Messiah -- meant to bring the Sun back to this world. This means Niiko is treated more like a messianic figure than most video game protagonists, to the point where it actually starts to bother the little cat person.

Then there’s a mysterious entity who exists only on computers in-game. After accessing these, he talks directly to you – the player, rather than Niiko – giving you orders to do things like look through your computers files or look at your desktop in order to solve the game's puzzles. Most of these entail getting an item to a certain thing and then putting it in the right place -- relatively basic puzzle adventure stuff without any real sense of difficulty. 

Wandering about aimlessly is a large focus in this game, because you’re like Niiko in the sense that you’ve never been to this world before ether and you’re looking at things with “fresh” eyes. There are some times where things aren’t completely straightforward, like having to get something from a bubble in order to clean a wash cloth. But part of this game’s appeal is in the fact that most of your puzzles have to do with how this world operates.  There often are books that heavily imply some of the things you have to do -- but they, like most other things, are scattered across the world, which means it’ll take a bit of walking to get there.

Yet, OneShot seems to know this, and gives you a quick-travel mechanic that cuts back on your walking quite a bit -- which is good, because as cute as Niiko is, he walks (and even runs) slowly. Things can still get a little on the tedious side however, since you’ll be backtracking quite a bit.

While the environments are beautiful, after a while you may want to have a change of scenery.  There is a lot of material throughout the game that makes the mysterious world a lot less mysterious. You’ll find libraries of books, pamphlets and other such things while you’re looking for certain items that you can read in order to get a better understanding of the world around you. If there’s a piece of the world seemingly missing, then there’s a chance it wasn’t revealed yet or that you may have missed it while trouncing through the world.

The game doesn’t feel obligated to tell you everything about its world – it wants you to fully experience it by exploring it by spending time with Niiko and his newly made friends.  It’s not a game that wears its heart on its sleeve, but rather expects you to get past its cleverly placed walls and figure it out for yourself.

OneShot puts you in the role of a parent, carefully watching over Niiko and helping him explore this new, dangerous world. While at times the processes can be a little arduous, OneShot is worth exploring, just for the sake of going with Niiko on this journey.

Note: A copy of this was provided by for review.

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OneShot Review: Cute, but Lacking https://www.gameskinny.com/d3ixx/oneshot-review-cute-but-lacking https://www.gameskinny.com/d3ixx/oneshot-review-cute-but-lacking Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:57:40 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

Meta games are a new concept that the gaming world is really starting to explore. These games take the person playing the game and bring them into their game world making for a new experience that when done well, is pretty fantastic. When I say that the game brings the player into the game, I'm not talking about the immersive aspect as all other games attempt to do. I mean that they make the player an actual character of the game. These games acknowledge that the person playing the game is an actual member of their world. Sometimes they make the actual player a character in the game, or they acknowledge that the player character is being controlled by some outside entity.

Undertale is probably the best game to show this concept being executed almost flawlessly. Undertale was able to tell an amazing story with unique characters that all had their own motivations that stayed consistent. It has gameplay that was engaging and decisions that felt like they mattered. On top of all of that, they built an extremely interesting world with a lore that had layers -- people are still finding new pieces of lore to this day. All of these aspects put together made for an extremely memorable game; and one that defined a new wave in gaming.

OneShot is a game that tries to use this meta aspect to tell its story. It bills itself as a "meta puzzle adventure game". In this game, you control the character, Niko. The game opens with Niko waking up in an abandoned house. From here you are able to lead Niko around the house to find a way out. It's here that we find a television remote and are introduced to the inventory system.

Throughout the game, you will pick up various items to interact with different objects you may find in the game's world. In this inventory menu, you will also be able to combine different items you have found to create new items. All of these items will be used to solve the various puzzles you will come across throughout the game.

After figuring out how the inventory system works, you are able to take the equipped television remote to the window of the bedroom where Niko woke up to find out the password for a computer found in the same room. Successfully logging into the computer allows for the player to be introduced to the overarching goal for the game. You are told that the world you are in isn't worth saving but if you still want to try, you must guide Niko to return back home. The game then tells you through a computer pop-up box that you only have one shot.

This is where we are introduced to the whole meta aspect of the game.

From here you are introduced to the next puzzle which opens up the basement of the abandoned house for Niko to find a light bulb. Upon picking up the light bulb, it lights up. This allows for a dim light to illuminate the house Niko is in. With this light, Niko finds a door with a strange slot in it. Niko places the light bulb into the slot and is transported to another world.

Upon waking up in this new world, Niko exits the abandoned train car that he is transported to and finds a whole new world just outside. It's a pretty barren place (hence the reason the place is called The Barrens) but after some wandering, Niko comes across a robot who proclaims that Niko must be the messiah sent to replace the sun in the tower in the center of the world. Niko is able to question the robot further to find out more about the world he is in, but most importantly Niko is told that he is able to speak directly with the god of this world, you. That's you as in the person playing the game.

After having this discussion with the robot, you are told that you must find your way to the center city where the entrance to the tower is to replace the sun. This is accomplished by solving different puzzles to make your way through the three different sections of the world; The Barrens, The Glen, and The Refuge. From here it's just completing puzzles until you and Niko make it to the tower to replace the sun.

Throughout the game, you come across different things that help build the world of the game. One of the biggest pieces we come across is the fact that robots are all over the world but many of them are not what the game calls "tamed." Through inferring, taming is the process of making robots more human-like. Tamed robots have their own personality and can make their own decisions. Throughout the game, you will come across robots that aren't able to do something because they haven't been tamed. They always say it's because there wasn't enough time. This honestly leads to one of my biggest gripes with the game.

It just felt like there was a piece of the story I was missing.

There are a lot of interesting threads in the game that weave together to tell you the back story of the world you are traveling through. Each zone of the world has it's own unique culture and feel. On top of that, they all have their own lore. This is all cool, but it never really amounted to anything for me. All of these pieces of information you come across feel like they are building up to some amazing reveal but in the end, that reveal never comes. I never found an option to help tame the robots or even make them a big consideration for the endgame.

On top of this, it seems like everybody in the world you come across has just made peace with the fact that the world is going to end. This is made clearest in the Refuge. On multiple occasions, I ran across people who said that even if the sun was replaced, the world was still doomed. Looking back at it, I feel like this is to help make the big decision at the end of the game feel a little bit more impactful, but to me, it just felt like there was a piece of the story I was missing.

Let's talk about the meta aspect of the game for a bit because I feel that this is one of the better parts of the game. As I said earlier, you learn that you are the god of this world. To help reinforce that, you and Niko will come across different computer terminals that will place a file of some kind on your computer that you must find and use to help complete the puzzle you're working on. I thought this was a really cool aspect. In most situations, it was cool to be actually part of the game's world. There was one occasion that I felt tore this to shreds.

Let me say before you read on, this is one of the last things you do in the game and if you intend on playing this, you will be spoiled on a few things. This is your warning.

One of the later puzzles leaves a note on your desktop telling you to open an application that you find in your documents folder. Upon opening it, you are greeted with a single white clover in on a black background. After opening the application, you are told to open back up the game. When the game loads back up, Niko wakes up to find a clover in his pocket. This is the puzzle I spent the most time with and the puzzle that made me the most frustrated. At this point, Niko is in a black room that just has a bed and a computer terminal. Talking to the terminal closes the game and no matter which direction you walk, you will circle back around to the bed and computer.

I tried everything I could think of to complete this puzzle. I equipped the clover and tried to interact with anything. Unfortunately, the only things you can interact with are the bed and the computer. Attempting to interact with the bed does nothing and trying to interact with the terminal just closes the game again. I spent a good hour and a half trying to figure out this puzzle. I ended up having to go into the game's Steam forums to find out how to pass it. This all leads into my next point which is the lack of direction you get from this game.

From the very beginning of the game, you really aren't told anything. On a couple of occasions, you'll find an item glimmering from something, but from here, you have no idea what to do with it. A lot of the game is just trial and error. To the game's credit, once you came across the thing an item needed to be used on, it was pretty clear what you needed to progress. But, there were many occasions where something would be a multi-part puzzle that felt like it was needlessly extended. One example of this is early in the game where you have to power up a generator. You find all of the parts that you need to build the battery. From here you place the newly built battery into the machine, but oh-no! The battery needs to be charged. From here you have to find the items to charge the battery. You build a new apparatus to charge it and finally charge the battery to progress. It just ended up feeling tedious.

The moments I struggled the most with were when I felt like I was wandering around not knowing what to do. In all of the areas of the game, I spent a lot of my time just wandering around hoping that I would stumble into the next thing I needed to progress through the game. This wouldn't be a problem if there was something to do while wandering, but there just isn't. There is a fast traveling aspect to the game, but I found that I used it very rarely. If there was some way to subtly guide the player along on their journey, that would be much better.

If this game was rated on aesthetic alone, it'd be getting a ten out of ten.

I feel that the best aspect of this game is it's look. This game is absolutely gorgeous. The pixel art is some of the best I've seen in a while. On top of this, there are moments where we get to see some hand drawn art that is outright fantastic. During the game, Niko will tell you that he's feeling tired and ask if he can lay down for a bit. When Niko goes to sleep, the game closes. Upon booting back up the game, you find that you are watching Niko's dream. All of the dream sequences have some hand drawn art that is absolutely fantastic.

On top of this, all of the characters' designs are phenomenal. I think my favorite group of characters are the ones you find in the Refuge. If this game was rated on aesthetic alone, it'd be getting a ten out of ten.

At the beginning of this review, I said that I felt that Undertale mastered the concept of the meta game. It executed its story in a masterful way with unique characters that felt like they had a life outside of the events of the game and was able to bring the player into the story in a fantastic way. I mentioned this because it feels like OneShot is trying to capture that same feeling.

Unfortunately, I just don't feel like it is able to deliver on that. I think it was on the right track. With the great aesthetic, interesting interactions with the player, some intriguing meta mechanics, and cute moments, it had some of the right parts to the formula. But, because of the lack of a sense of direction, characters that felt like they were there just to aid you in your mission and had no outside lives, and a story that felt incomplete, it just isn't able to stack up.

I feel like it would be better if you were able to go back into the game and exploring it again to open up new paths and new pieces of the story. Unfortunately, OneShot means that you only have one shot to play the game. After you make the final decision, the game is over and you can't go back.

As of now, OneShot has its moments, but ultimately falls short in being something that you'll want to go back to and explore over and over again.

Release Date: December 8th, 2016

Price: $9.99

Platform Reviewed On: PC

Copy provided by the developer

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