It's really weird that it took me so long to sit down and play all of .flow. It might've been because one of my first exposures to Yume Nikki fangames was the wonderful but Large game Yume 2kki. I did play .flow once or twice at various times, but never got very far in either session. I was always worried about how difficult the maps were to navigate since the nexus only have four doors. I worried there were long interconnected worlds that I'd get lost in only for a chaser to wake me up.
I am happy to say .flow is designed in a wonderful way. I find the worlds mostly easy to navigate. Rainbow Maze almost made me quit as I found it rather headache inducing, but luckily I managed to find most everything I needed because I spent so long trying to find every place in it. I checked the wiki only to find that I'd done everything there was to do there.
Anyway, .flow is pretty gory and gross at times so be aware. I really liked that the lolrust (the dev) did not shy away from it, and it really inspired me in my own game dev endevours. It is also one of the few RPG Maker games that managed to make me scream haha. Corrupted Schoolhouse.
The concepts in it are really good and exploring Sabitsuki's/Rust's consciousness leaves a lot of questions. Who is Smile and why (redacted)? Who is Rust? Why the fuck am I being attacked by fetuses? What/who are the cleaners? These questions were fun to discover even if they don't have concrete answers. 11.21.23
I found Swollen to Bursting Until I am Disappearing on Purpose while scrolling through the RPG Maker tag on Tumblr. While I didn't promptly forget about it, it faded to the back of my mind as it wasn't completely finished when I laid my eyes on it. I saw the release trailer, but it faded to the back of my mind again. Finally, my friend Kail sang its praises and I decided to run it on my Steam Deck while skipping classes.
I really liked Swollen to Bursting though I think it has an esoteric quality to it. It has aspects of Yume Nikki fangames, elements of ps2 era games such as Chulip, and it has a lot of bizarre elements that I really enjoyed such as a cow you mix for effects or a party of rats witnessing a murder. The bizarre elements did appeal to me, but I was mostly focused on bits of the characters I could understand. As you milk effects, you can use these effects to solve puzzles or make some parts of the game easier, and more things about the protagonist are revealed to you over time.
I really enjoyed Husband. I wish we knew more about him. There's a readme file (that I actually didn't see for a bit because I wasn't played in a desktop environment) that gives you some details on the characters. It made some things more satisfactory while I wish I'd learned about certain aspects of these characters in game itself.
All in all, I really did like Swollen to Bursting. Just a warning, the game may not work on slower computers as it is really pushing RPG Maker to its limits. I am really curious as to what causes it to chug at times. Perhaps it's the 2.5D plugin? It's the first RPG Maker game I've played that uses the 2.5D plugin. I'd really like to play more. 11.21.2023