River City

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Livestream - River City

Saving the people of River City from themselves with the help of an angel as you master the ways of the druid, wizard, warrior, and cleric

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Mar 21, 2023
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Livestream of the ZZT world "River City" by jojoisjo (2000). Originally streamed on March 17th, 2023
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A patron suggested game nominated because "it looked interesting". And they were right!

River City does a good job exemplifying the kind of ZZT worlds that focused on creating a huge world to explore with a grand story. That is, the world is too big for how little there is to do, and the story wants to be taken more seriously that it reasonably can be. It wants to do everything, and struggles to do much of anything, but I can't help but respect it for trying.

Not that the game was bad! The pacing made it come off as tedious, as it was frequently unclear where to go next. However, when things were actually moving along, the game had plenty of charm.

Summoned by an angel to save the people of River City from destroying each other in war, your character is tasked with mastering the skills of typical RPG classes: Druid, Wizard, Warrior, and Cleric. Players travel to different corners of the game's world, fighting enemies and performing tasks to prove one's abilities, culminating with fulfilling a prophecy that marks you as that group's chosen one, with the subtle help of your angel friend of course.

A lot of the trouble comes from the game being a fairly open world with no restrictions on where to go, but requiring a specific order of events to make actual progress. If the game was capable of being non-linear with regards to which guild(?) you master when, I think there'd be something to it. Instead, there was quite a bit of backtracking and digging through the editor to figure out what to do next.

But it had some great visuals. Each group's leader is presented in a dedicated art board, and on occassion the overworld itself contains giant monsters that need to be defeated through creative means.

Overall, a cute game that definitely has room for improvement, but one that was still worth spending some time in as-is.

Plus, there's a surprising amount of poetry to be found in the game!

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