Doctor Kvorak’s Obliteration Game (PC) Review

Developer/Publisher: Freekstorm || Overall: 8.0/10

What were you doing seven years ago?  If I remember correctly, I was probably in the middle of watching every Star Trek series on Netflix.  There’s some stuff I was doing on Squackle back then, like posting Jokes and posting some chats I was having on Chatroulette, apparently.  In the mean time, developer Freekstorm had an idea for a space-themed puzzle game that had a game show feel to it and spent the next seven years making it, and eventually releasing in late July 2017.  In the meantime, Squackle still exists and I’ve seen every episode of Star Trek — quite an accomplishment for both of us, I suppose.

Doctor Kvorak’s Obliteration Game took seven years to make.  Seven years is a long time to spend on one game, one concept, and a special kind of motivation was required to get it to release day.  This title seethes “passion project” through and through, and with a little research into the title I was able to find some history on its development, including presentations given by its developers, which gives you a nice insight into how the game came into existence.

Filled with puns, and occasionally written in verse, Doctor Kvorak’s game show he runs, making you choose what to do with the universe.

The theme is what kept my interest throughout — a game show taking place in space, hosted by an all-powerful being known as Doctor Kvorak.  “Liberate or Obliterate” is the tagline of the “game show” as you decide the fate of a planet Doctor Kvorak chooses; often times populated by worthless-sounding beings.   You participate as the character Greeboo from the Planet Noo, and later on, eventually find his “friends” whom you will also control.  While Greeboo is just a vessel for you, the player, the real characters of the game are Doctor Kvorak himself and a hen in an astronaut suit named Eggloot.  The titular character Doctor Kvorak is the antagonist, and sounds like some sort of weird German stereotype added with a Japanese stereotype; subtitles are really required to understand every word he’s saying.  Eggloot is not necessarily a protagonist but antagonizes the antagonist, as they go back and forth with strange writing that all rhymes.  Much of the “story” hits on the same points over and over:  Doctor Kvorak is an evil omnipotent being, and Eggloot is the thorn in his side.  There’s not much in the way of story progression, because you’re going through about fifteen levels of the same formula, but it is all funny/entertaining in the context of the game.

The script is oddly clever at times, and a lot of effort went into the rhyming.  There wasn’t a whole lot of lazy rhymes as far as I could tell, so it really kept up the “charm” in a fairy tale sort of way despite all of the space shit going on.  They slip in and out of the verse dialogue, so it isn’t kept up the entire time, which prevents the rhyming from getting old.  Another interesting thing that happens is Doctor Kvorak talks right into the camera most of the time, towards the player, rather than at Greeboo, who is acknowledged separately.  It gives it a strange “breaking the fourth wall” aspect here as if you are an observer rather than a participant, even though you are controlling a character.

Despite the interesting theme, the gameplay itself is basic.  The puzzles are pretty easy, most are solved with little trouble.   Slow-moving characters draw out the length of game despite the easy puzzles, so the easy-to-figure-out steps take like five minutes to execute rather than one or two.  The puzzle variety is a mix of switches, moving boxes, swapping things around, platforming, and avoiding death.  A large part of the challenge is also in collecting items; there are 50 collectible items (for what purpose I’m not sure) and also 10 pieces of the planet you are trying to save — which seems to be the only actually important thing to collect.  Once you find your friends, you will switch off between the characters to work your way through more elaborate puzzles.  They also each have their own unique set of power-ups that are used in that pursuit.

Most of the puzzles are compartmentalized, meaning you don’t want to go too far ahead before you collect or solve the puzzle for the thing you just saw.  Though, there are times where you’ll loop back around, depending on the level design.  It also seems like you can complete puzzles in ways that aren’t necessarily intended, and I’m not entirely sure that was meant to be.  For example, you can “climb” up a box by pushing it and jumping it at the right angle and velocity, allowing you to access higher platforms.  There’s usually some sort of other puzzle piece that allows you to do this a lot easier after doing some other task.  Another example is how you can use a bunch of boxes to block a laser gun and get an item, when what they really wanted you to do was simply find the switch and turn the laser gun off.  It seems too accidental to be intentional, otherwise more puzzles could be completed “in an unintended way.”  There is also optional VR support, and that seems to add something to the formula, but I don’t have that equipment so I can’t try it.

Character animation is not great, but oddly charming since they are “aliens.”  There are some physics-based animations that are triggered when you fall from a high ledge, or somehow trip.  Cosmetics are a curious addition, and you collect a lot of them.  Most of the outfits are made for Greeboo, it seems, but they serve no real game purpose other than mixing up what you are looking at on the screen.  Otherwise, the puzzle elements look okay and achieve a certain style, almost reminding me of American Gladiators or one of those other ridiculous-looking physical challenge game shows, except… taking place in space.

The game runs smooth at the default settings.  I had increased the sliders to the maximum at one point but couldn’t tell much difference except for in the shadows.  I encountered only one crash after I had increased everything to max; when I launched again the settings were back to default, so I left it there.  Otherwise, there haven’t been many other technical issues.

The soundtrack is a notably positive part of the game.  The music mostly goes with the theme and they’re pretty catchy tunes, which is important since you’ll hear them over and over.  It is hard to pick out how many songs there actually are, but there appear to be 17 according to Steam.  They may slowly get put into the rotation as you get further in levels, so it is hard to tell just how many songs I was hearing at any given time.  Since each level was taking me on average thirty minutes to complete, I felt like I was hearing the same songs.

Unfortunately, the theme of “Liberate or Obliterate” is predetermined.  You have to save every planet to eventually progress to the next set of levels.  It would have been more fun to have some sort of long-term consequence depending on how diligent you were in collecting all of the planet pieces.  Instead you’ll have to replay an entire level and do it right when you miss even just one piece of a world.  The “overworld” is split into three segments, with about six levels on each platform.  They also included a level creator which was sort of hard to futz around with, and wasn’t as intuitive as it needed to be to make it worth using.  Seemed like it may have been some sort of default level-maker included within Unity, but I couldn’t be sure since I’m not experienced with the inner workings of the engine.  There weren’t any other Community maps available, or maybe the feature wasn’t working at all since I couldn’t see anything available.

Overall, the game is not awful, and if I was 12 or 13 this might have been a lot of fun if I was playing it as an entry-level puzzle game.  The puzzle elements are light (perhaps the VR support had something to do with that, I’m not sure), the theme is fun, the characters are “unique” and there is some replayability if you so desired to do speed runs.  The novelty of the title doesn’t really wear off, but the puzzles might be too easy for older players to keep their interest.

Doctor Kvorak’s Obliteration Game is available on Steam.

 

Bad Submission #22920

Submitted using the Anti-Barney the Dinosaur Song submission form.

This form was submitted:  May 08 2004 / 22:36:19

name = the killer
email =
use_email = no
song = tic tac toe 3 in a row barney got shot by a ji i joe moma called the doctor and said oops! barneys dead shot in the head  squirting out red! YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

 

#22501: Para -> davepoobond

Para: ::jingles a baggy of teeth at him::

davepoobond: woowwee

Para: Heh

davepoobond: that was unexpected to see ya IM me

Para: Got my wisdom teeth removed.

Para: Heh

davepoobond: that’s funny

davepoobond: is your mouth all numb

Para: Nah, had em removed friday.

Para: Now I’m just in pain. 😀

davepoobond: heh

davepoobond: how many did you have?

Para: 4

davepoobond: i had 6

davepoobond: 4 on the top 2 on the bottom

davepoobond: stupid doctor made the joke saying i have extra wisdom

davepoobond: i wonder how many times a day those nurses have to hear that jackass say that same joke

Para: Lol, now that sucks.

Para: Mine were just huge.

Para: The bottom ones were twice as large as the top.

davepoobond: interesting

Para: Looks like you could have pulled em out of a small cow.

Para: Had to cut of part of my jaw bone to get one out.

davepoobond: ow

Para: It had pinched some bone.

Para: I have the jaw bone too. 😀

Para: Did you keep yours?

davepoobond: i dont know

davepoobond: i dont think they let me keep them

davepoobond: or my mom didn’t want to

davepoobond: something like that

davepoobond: they said the 2nd set at the top just crumbled when they took them out

davepoobond: i think i actually lost them

Para: Actually they aren’t supposed to let you keep them.

Para: They are a biohazard.

davepoobond: then i probably don’t have them

Para: I’m persistant though.

davepoobond: or never did

Para: Plus they usually have to cut impacted ones up to get them out.

Para: So I have 2 teeth in 5 different pieces.

Para: But I can glue em back.

davepoobond: heh

davepoobond: never know when you’ll need biohazard material, i guess

Para: Lol, they aren’t anymore.

Para: I washed em.

Para: I can understand why they would be.

davepoobond: people might eat them, they can’t take the chance

Para: It takes awhile to clean them, it would take them too long to clean them… so they would have to hand them to you bloody and with gum tissue hanging off.

Para: So I had a little gruesome bloody baggy off teeth for a bit.

Para: Creeped the hell out of my mom.

Para: I’m standing over the bathroom sink, about 4 hours after the surgery, a little dopey… and using a nail brush to scrap it all off.

Para: Which it didn’t work.

Para: So I had to boil them.

Para: She refused to come into the kitchen

davepoobond: ew

Para: Lol

Para: What, they are just teeth.

davepoobond: well you’re boiling them and scraping them

Para: Had to, rather do that then have rotten human flesh smell.

davepoobond: you could’ve always sucked it all off

Para: Can’t suck… can’t use a straw for a week.

davepoobond: meh

Para: Lol

Para: I don’t know why that seems to freak people out.

davepoobond: it doesn’t really

davepoobond: its just kind of nasty

Para: *shrugs*

Para: I had little options

davepoobond: the thought of seeing gum hanging off teeth dripping with blood

davepoobond: kind of unsettling

 

Joke #21636

Two doctors opened an office in a small town.

They put up a sign reading:

“Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Psychiatry and Proctology.”

The town council was not too happy with the sign, so the doctors changed it to: “Hysterias and Posteriors.”

This was not acceptable either, so in an effort to satisfy the council, they changed the sign to: “Schizoids and Hemorrhoids.”

No go! Next they tried “Catatonics and Colonics” Thumbs down again.

Then came, “Manic-Depressives and Anal-Retentives.”

But is was still not good! So they tried:

“Minds and Behinds”

“Analysis and Anal Cysts”

“Nuts and Butts”

“Freaks and Cheeks”

“Loons and Moons”

“Lost Souls and Butt Holes”

None worked.

Almost at their wits’ end, the doctors finally came up with a title they thought might be accepted by the council:

“Dr Smith and Dr Jones, Odds and Ends.”

APPROVED.

 

Get My Doctor On the Line

Parody of “Baby One More Time,” by Britney Spears.

There’s more than 1 way to “blow up”…

Oh baby baby
How was I supposed to grow?
Into this size 9 here..
Oh baby baby
The doc should have let me know..
And now my shirt’s too tight,yeah..
He asked me how many cc’s
of silicone that I could hold..

Now-

My Double D’s are killing me..
I must confess sometimes I leak..
My shirt’s see through you can see my spine,
Give me a dime..
Get my doctor on the line!

Oh baby baby-
I wheeze when I squeeze,it true.
I can feel the bones behind them..
Oh baby baby-
Can you cut each one in two..
Or maybe I could cram them..
Before-going on MTV..
Are they big enough for my new show..?

Because-

My Double D’s are killing me..(filling me)
I must confess sometimes I leak,(sometimes I leak)
My shirt’s see through,you can see my spine-
Give me a dime..
Get my doctor on the line!

Oh baby baby-
You know I’m suppose to blow
your money on my tight brassieres..
Oh baby baby
I shouldn’t have had the hose..
Go and fill them through my right ear..
You promised me an average c-
But these basketballs are hitting my nose..

And-

My Double D’s are killing me (spilling free)
I must confess sometimes I leak (sometimes I leak)
My shirt’s see through,you can see my spine-
Give me a dime..
Get my doctor on the line!

 

Joke #21321

A blonde goes to the doctor and she tells him that she lives in a neighborhood that is surrounded with dogs and they bark all night and she can’t get a wink of sleep. The doctor gives her the strongest pills he has and tells her to come back in a week.

She comes back in one week and she looks even worse.

Then the blonde said “Once I actually caught the dog it was like hell to get him to take the pill!”

 

Joke #21241: Parachute Situation

You are one of *two* people on a malfunctioning airplane with only one parachute. How would you react?

Pessimist: you refuse the parachute because you might die on the jump anyway.

Optimist: you refuse the parachute because people have survived crashes just like this before.

Procrastinator: you play a game of Monopoly for the parachute.

Bureaucrat: you order them to conduct a feasibility study on parachute use in multi-engine aircraft under code red conditions.

Lawyer: you charge one parachute for helping them sue the airline.

Doctor: you tell them you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make your next appointment.

Sales executive: you sell them the parachute at top retail rates and get the names of their friends and relatives who might like one too.

Internal Revenue Service agent: you confiscate the parachute along with their luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.

Engineer: you make them another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.

Scientist: you give them the parachute and ask them to send you a report on how well it worked.

Mathematician: you refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it will work in all cases.

Philosopher: you ask how they know the parachute actually exists.

English major: you explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.

Computer Science: you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.

Economist: you plot a demand curve by asking them, at regular intervals, how much they would pay for a parachute.

Psychoanalyst: you ask them what the shape of a parachute reminds them of.

Dramatist: you tie them down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute.

Artist: you hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.

Environmentalist: you refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.

Sports Fan: you start betting on how long it will take to crash.

Auto Mechanic: as long as you are looking at the plane engine, it works fine.

Surgeon General: you issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to your health.

Association of Tobacco Growers representative: you explain very patiently that despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies have shown that jumping out of a plane is NOT harmful to your health.

 

Ridiculous Spam Mail #21036

I am a 40 year old male. I take viagra. I can admit it. I think it is the best thing since sliced bread!!!

Why go through the embaressment of going to a Doctors office? Why hand the prescription to that cute little woman behind the order
counter? All the employees working there know why you are there.We can fill your prescription on line, quietly and confidentially.

And we will take care of everything. I promise you it WORKS!!! You will feel like a kid again!!!All you do is take it 30 minutes before the time you are planning an intimate moment with your partner, and then BAM, you are READY! You are more confident, self assured, relaxed.It takes no effort to maintain an erection. I love it, and you will too!