The Dink Network

Day of the Carcass

In this game, you play as a brother and sister team. From the COTPATD project.
May 28th, 2010
Score : 9.1 exceptional
Peasant They/Them Australia
First of all, the main reason people won't like this is because they don't understand how it works. It is imperative that one reads the readme file included. Then start playing. I personally thought the introduction sequence was the best I have seen for a while. It's worth downloading just to see it.

In this mod, you play as a girl called Nadine who is in a party with her brother (sort of like Dink's Friendly Double by Redink). They are the children of Dink, who is called off to see the king. The children however, collect meat and mushrooms in the forest, then fight spiders. It is quite clear that there is something afoot, and they both save the world etc.
The dialogue is filled with funny jokes and humour throughout, and I think it's the first time since "The Quest for Cheese" or "Cloud Castle 2" that I laughed whilst playing.

The control system borrows from Lyna's story for Nadine (with several modifications), and of course works very well here as well. Nadine has the option of several magic arrows that she can shoot. These take energy out of a mana bar which slowly replenishes over time. David is also a spellcaster and can use some quite useful spells which really enrich game play. If you don't want David to attack, you can "phase shift" him, which basically means that he turns transparent and freezes so as to prevent damage. David's controls are quite extensive, and will take a while to get used to if you don't want him to get killed all the time.
I personally think there should have been a tutorial at the beginning of the game taking the player through all of the controls and how to best use them, such as burning trees and freezing water.

The graphics are quite well done. David's graphics are Dink's recoloured (inverted), and the full list of graphics can be found in the credits listing. The mapping is well done, and the attention to detail is high. Lots of secret burnable trees too.

The soundtrack is fair though limited; It starts off with Robert Miles' "Fable" from his 1996 album Dreamland. And an Enya song is chosen for the forest. When fighting spiders, the Lufia II battle theme plays. In Dink's house, "More than a feeling" by Boston plays. I personally hate that song, and would have given it a higher score had it not been included.
The rest of the music is standard Dink fare.
I'd say the soundtrack is this games weakest element.

When David is attacking, Nadine can be hurt by his attacks and quickly die. The author claims that you should get out of his way, but I found when fighting spiders, they spray little white webs all over the ground which Nadine can get stuck in. I would try to "phase shift" David to stop him attacking, then die from a spider bite. I think the spider's webs should not cause Nadine to get stuck, but merely slow her down.

I found the readme file to be poorly laid out, and controls should have been in a separate section from the storyline. The file size is really large, and the graphics should have been compressed with the fastfile. A tutorial would have been useful at the start of the game, as nobody reads readme files, and David's controls are esoteric.

The rather steep learning curve compared to other mods may put people off but who cares? This is a barrel of fun.

The only other problem to note is that it does not always work correctly in Beuc's GNU FreeDink. It may be fixed in later builds.
February 27th, 2010
Score : 7.0 good
Day of the carcass... The dmod with the real snazzy trailer. Is the demo as awesome as that trailer? No. But it's not disappointing either.

First off, this dmod has rather ridiculous system requirements. I imagine it's because it has several quick loops running at the same time, but I couldn't play this game without it being very choppy, on a laptop that can run TES IV: Oblivion satisfiably. If you were planning to play this on a 15-year old cabin computer while waiting for it to stop raining outside, that probably won't be much fun.

On a good computer, the gameplay is intriguing. The player's sidekick, David, has a sword and several special/magic attacks that, after getting familiar with the keys to make him unleash them, were pretty fun. David can also dodge attacks made by enemies, which is really cool... Right up to the last fight, where he never seemed to get a hit in because he was constantly dodging projectiles. I wish there was a way to toggle his dodging off, along with a fully working co-op mode, one huge fun factor in other games that has always been missing from Dink Smallwood. But something like that would be very difficult to implement in v1.08, so I can't penalize poor Erwin too much for lacking it. =)

The player character herself, Nadine, uses a bow. She also has a few magic bow attacks, and has a chance to do a critical strike, a piercing strike, or both at the same time, which work similar to the power shots in original Dink. Nadine was a low point, in my opinion, since you rarely have enough time to pull the bow all the way back (before the monsters get close enough to strike you or David kills them), so I was constantly relying on critical strikes to be able to do any damage. Critical strike with piercing strike together, or Nadine's special attack (which does both as well as combines all her magics to it), on the other hand, were overpowered, easily doing hundreds of points of damage, whereas her regular attack could barely scratch monsters for 5 points. Later on, when fighting spiders that could freeze and slay David quickly, I found myself leaving the game running on a monsterless screen, go fetch coffee while waiting for Nadine's mana bar to fill up, come back, enter the screen and slaughter all the spiders at once with Nadine's special attack. This is not good gameplay.

The mana bar, which acts somewhat like a second magic bar, is another new addition. The bar replenishes itself, thankfully, but it fills up depressingly slowly, so mana potions and such would be a welcome addition.

I've been ranting solely about the gameplay so far, because that is the big focus in this demo. The game itself is very short, the vast majority of which is spent learning the new keys and gameplay. The story still manages to get quite interesting, and the mapping and scripting is excellent. The music, sounds and dialogue are also good, but not quite as much as those.

It's a promising, very ambitious and already impressive demo, but still needs a lot of improving before it can get really good. If the full version ever comes out in 2020, it will be a hit.
January 1st, 2010
Score : 6.6 fair
Peasant He/Him Romania
28 mb for a demo That's big.
I installed it and immediately played it. The party concept is quite interesting and I can say the same thing about the story. Combat is interesting but David is clearly overpowered due to his speed of attacks. He can easily get killed later on by some spiders and the fact that I cannot heal him rendered me impossible to finish the demo. Mana recharging takes way too much time. The graphics were quite nice, I really liked the targeting arrow! That's kind of all I can say.
The familiar voice made me curious to find out what will happen in the full version, so I'm definetly going to play it. I just hope that all the problems mentioned before get fixed.