After a long time of complications and the waiting game, the results of Mysterious August is finally here! A quick recap of the contest’s theme:

To our dearest members of this community, you have been chosen to perform a task that not many can accomplish. “What is it?” you must be wondering. You have been given the task to create a game that is about solving a mystery. What kind of mystery is it? Well now, that wouldn’t be fun if I give you one! There’s no mystery in that at all! Surprise me.

Now that’s out of the way, here’s the list of winners that stood out with their own unique perks and creativity!

FORCED RECALL

The First Place award goes to Forced Recall. It’s an entry by a mysterious, 1 post entity named, Jihaus.  Here’s a quick summary of the game:

A shipment of valuable goods belonging to the mega corporation, Solarcorp, left a secure base and traveled to its destination unmolested. Once there, the contents are found inexplicably gone without a trace.

Shortly after, a half-dead witness contacts the company, claiming that this was a heist, and that he was part of it. Driven mad by shock and pain, he is unable to give the information he claims to have. The agents of Solarcorp, feeling their time limited, decide to enlist the services of two memory divers, said to be the best in the business.

Their goal is to dive into the man’s fractured mindscape in an attempt to help him remember his role in the seemingly impossible heist, so that they can persecute and punish the thieves – and perhaps find out if there’s more to the heist than it seems.

For someone who used RPGMaker VXAce for the first time, he created a memorable and fun game splashed with creative puzzles and intriguing plot. One of the reasons this entry stands out is that it follows the concept of an animatic, where there’s two different art styles to show the disconnection between the two worlds. Another is that it creatively used the contest’s rule of at least having  20 minutes worth of gameplay, Forced Recall used that rule as its premise.

Using quirky puzzles, unique humor and playing as Godzilla  good writing,  Forced Recall is a must play. You can download it over here.



IN SEARCH OF CLUES

In Search of Clues is a collaborative effort between Indrah and Fomar0153. The game is a prequel to the previous contest winner for the Arum contest, In Search of Dragons.

The character-driven plot and banter was done well that one couldn’t help but laugh at some of the scenarios. Aside from that, the gameplay is actually decent as well. It has some unique puzzles like a quicksand, with “Climate Control” being as an excuse. Aside from that, the mapping is absolutely gorgeous in this game and completely helps accent the setting. The simplicity of the game and humor definitely helps In Search of Clues to be one of the most polished games created for the contest.

SAYAKO

Sayako is a collaborative game between Elements and EvilEagles. Unlike most of the entries which focuses on Humor or Detective Mystery, the game takes a plunge to the Horror genre and does it quite well.

Sayako is a game heavily rooted in the exploration and horror genres, and the first entry in a planned trilogy, but by no means an incomplete story by itself. It tells the the story of two teenagers who nearly 6 months after the loss of a close friend, find themselves trapped in a looping nightmare related to her and the events sorrounding her demise. In a last ditch attempt to salvage their sanity, they decide to head for the location those dreams hint to visit. The hospital where said friend, Sayako Noguchi perished.

What makes this game stand out is that despite the timeframe is it boasts with Custom Graphics created by EvilEagles. Being well made and atmospheric, it definitely helps accent the setting they have for this game which is a must for any Horror game. The music is extremely fitting and the Gameplay of Sayako would definitely keep you on your toes.

If by anything, the only weak point about this game is the amount of infodump writing that was presented because of deadline rush. But despite that, it’s impressive that it was even a full game. It’s definitely one of the better entries despite this weakness. The game is currently being remade, and the download has been taken down, for the meantime, you can look over the gamepage it currently has over here.

Now that the winners are announced, here are the personal Judge Favorites of the entries that didn’t make it to the Top 3.

PAINTED RED

Painted Red is a surreal, adventure mystery game by Espon. One of the few entries that has customized materials that helps them stand out of the rest. A quick summary of the game:

All I remember is a flower…
Nothing too special, just your average everyday flower.

The rest just feels like a blur…
What is it about this flower that is so significant?

I planted some flower seeds.
Today is the day the flower blooms.

Maybe today I can finally make sense of it all.
To finally remember…

This game stands out as it focuses on an otherworldly feeling and unnerving series of events that comes with it which makes it extremely appealing. Despite being a series of fetch quests, it shows Adelyn’s relationship with the characters which would eventually lead to the question of the semblance of the flower to her past.

While this game is charming, borrowing zelda elements, and an interesting setting, the game falls short on the core theme of the contest which hindered its chance to be one of the Top 3. The core mystery wasn’t solved and you were left with more questions, giving an opening to a possible sequel. Despite this, the game is something that everyone should play and would enjoy if given the chance. You can download it over here.

CHILD’S LIGHT

Child’s Light is a game by Mr. Big T that features fresh art style, original soundtrack, and a very interesting story. A quick summary of the game:

For generations your village has been protected by an ancient fairy named Light. Your mother is the Protector of the Light and your father, a brilliant engineer who’s done many things that have served the Light. However when Light goes missing and your parents are arrested as prime suspects it’s up to you to clear your parents’ name and to find out what happened to the Light.

Despite it’s very simplistic summary, the plot of Child’s Light is actually pretty well done, especially for a Detective Mystery Game. It has a perfect balance of searching for clues and minigames to aid you in your quest to free your parents. It features different endings for guessing wrong or only solving a part of the bigger picture.

It’s extremely impressive on how Mr. Big T managed to balance that where many of the entries failed on. The choice of failing your investigation because of carelessness and not being guided throughout the entire game. The puzzles weren’t annoying at all and solvable by learning the characters.

Unfortunately the very same minigames, like that small scene with Stacy, can cause game crashing bugs. But these are all minor concerns now as Mr. Big T updated the game, just not in time for the judging process. It was the only thing that bogged this down the Top 3 from being a possible winner. It’s definitely a game that I would recommend if you want a good Detective Mystery Game. You can download it over here.

And that concludes the winners of the Mysterious August Entries! If you want to play the other entries, they can be found over here. There were a lot of good entries such as Happy Birthday and Fields of Eden to name a few.

Thank you for reading!
The Stock background art used in the banner is by FairieGoodMother.

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