The Dink Network

I, Kara Gu

From the COTPATD project.
December 10th, 2007
Score : 9.7 exceptional
Peasant Male Australia
I, Kara Gu is very much an original DMOD. The focus of the author seemed to be on the gameplay, which has been clearly more carefully considered than any other DMOD.

The DMOD has a new hero(ine) who uses magic missiles that function a little different to normal. Thanks to this, IKG starts its story on new ground and avoids the problem of most DMODs that try to add new pieces to the already contradictory character and world of Dink.

There are only a few cutscenes and dialog, which I think complements the game's emphasis on speed and adrenaline.

IKG adds new levels of complexity to Dink. Two, that is, and both very small:
- there are two types of elemental monsters and the heroine is capable of swapping between her element.
- she is capable of shooting weak or strong missiles depending on how long her magic has been charging.
The latter doesn't make too much of a difference, as most of the time the weak missiles are more than satisfactory and often superior. The former, although small, adds a great deal to the standard fighting system that is far too simple.

However, the difficulty is not quite tweaked right. A big problem is that it takes a little while to get used to the new things in the gameplay. So, at first it's too hard. Then when you figure out the best way to go about your destruction, most enemies can be killed pretty easily. Except for one; the hardest enemy in the game... the slimer. Because they are fast and have small hitboxes, that don't get hit as much by the strong missiles. They also have a reasonable amount of health, so they are therefore capable of surviving multiple attacks. Combine this with their speed, and it's pretty hard not to get hit. Now factor in only small health pickups are ever dropped by enemies, the regularity of slimers and their non-trivial touch damage, and you end up with the equation you = screwed. Not even mentioning the annoying slime they leave about that hurts you. In contrast to how easy all other enemies are when you figure out the right strategies, something is wrong.

There are some other small issues. For one, missiles always do the same damage. Secondly, for about half the enemies, staying as their elemental type was either fairly irrelevant (unless you needed health) or actually a superior strategy. Thirdly, as a result of the dependency on hellfire type magic (i.e. magic that does not self-destruct immediately when it hits something) the difficulty of the game is quite dependent on the speed of your computer. Perhaps on slower computers slimers are not so tough. Finally, the difficulty of enemies and areas is not consistent and does not follow a linear progression.

Although gameplay was the most tweaked area of IKG, due to its action-orientation the sound is perhaps the most important component in considering its playability. The midis are excellent; however, they lack variety which means they soon fail to induce energy and atmosphere after the first time hearing them.

The first time I played this I thought it was the most quality DMOD ever made. The music, sound effects and special effects are excellent. The second time as I sought after another ending I started to see the flaws. However, it is still perhaps of the highest quality seen in a DMOD, and is definitely one of the few DMODs that are must-play.