The Dink Network

Malachi the Jerk

October 5th, 2014
Score : 9.3 exceptional
King He/Him United States bloop
A mother ducking wizard 
Malachi the Jerk is a really great revenge tale.

Throughout the journey, there is a really nice attention to detail. Most characters will say different things depending on when you talk to them. Playing as a different character affects the text color used when picking up gold. The escape menu, and nothing-to-talk-to/no-magic quips are customized extensively. And just about every map screen looks gorgeous.

There are also a lot of elements that show a high-level of craftsmanship.

For example, instead of being told 'evil man killed your father, go get revenge!', Malachi's antics directly affect the player. He steals your gold and your light sword. He freezes you and prevents you from moving. He blocks your path. I felt very annoyed by Malachi, which seems quite intentional.

There are also a couple really great bits. Dink has to deliver a bed to another character, and there's a great cutscene of him pushing the bed down a hallway. And there is a Bonca named Grardlegar that Dink is destined to battle (it's a screenlock, after all). The game actually allows for three different 'solutions' to this battle, with each one feeling honest and poignant.

Malachi isn't perfect; there's one exceedingly long fetch quest in the middle of the game that drags on for a bit too long. The transitions between grass/desert/darklands are a bit jarring. Some of the dialog sections go on for a bit too long (such as some of the shell speeches, which you are encouraged to talk to in order to unlock a secret-ish area). Sometimes you have to try-try-try-again to proceed (such as with a tricky dungeon passageway that denies entry many times before it lets you in).

But, overall, it is definitely worth your time.

(Disclaimer: I played version 1.2, for about 4 hours over about 2 months, and cheated to defeat the final arena bosses. I used the walkthrough to find some of the loaves, and I used a hex editor to figure out how to reach the final secret area.)