High Strangeness is a hybrid of 8 and 16 bit games - a 12 bit adventure. The game's core ability is to switch between 8 and 16 bit worlds and the player uses their generational differences to solve puzzles and explore the universe.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (14 reviews) - 78% of the 14 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 6, 2015

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About This Game

High Strangeness is a hybrid of 8 and 16 bit games - a 12 bit adventure. The inspiration of the game comes from many Action-Adventure and RPG games such as Legend of Zelda, Chrono Trigger, and Secret of Mana. The game's core ability is to switch between 8 and 16 bit worlds and the player uses their generational differences to solve puzzles and explore the universe. Throughout the game your pixel art perspective of the world will be infused with visions of watercolor illustrations that shed some light on your mysterious surroundings. The chiptune soundtrack by Dino Lionetti and Rich Vreeland backs up the aesthetic of the world and sets the mood for strange happenings.

High Strangeness is about a young man named Boyd, who explores a series of sci-fi / paranormal inspired happenings. He soon finds himself on a quest to discover the secrets of a mysterious item, after unwittingly being dragged into a foreign world filled with the evil and mysterious Shadow Men. Although hesitant at first, our hero eventually realizes his role in a cosmic battle for peace throughout all universes.

Get the High Strangeness Soundtracks!
High Strangeness OSV by Cheap Dinosaurs
High Strangeness EP by Disasterpeace

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows Vista SP2
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E4500 2.20GHz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4600+, 2.4GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4650 1GB
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 - 64bit
    • Processor: Intel Pentium D 805 2.66GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.6.8 SnowLeopard
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86GHz
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 9400M 256MB
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.9.4 Mavericks
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 9400M 256MB
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (14 reviews)
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12 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
23 of 24 people (96%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 10, 2015
I've been following this game since I played a demo of it at PAX East a year or two ago and really liked the general concept. You are some rando guy thrust into some weird world on a quest to save the planet from bad guys is the main gist of it. This has been a story done many times and this game kind of pays homage to the outlandish quests of teenage "heroes" out to save the world. Only difference is our protagonist, who's style is a bit of a throwback to the 90's including big hair and a red bandana isn't too thrilled about his life being upended and having to locate crystal skulls with his talking cat. A reluctant unwilling bystander might be a better term for his involvement.

What's unique about this game and it's main feature is the mechanic to switch between 8 and 16-bit graphics as you traverse this strange land on your unwilling adventure. If you're anything like me you'd mostly want to play in 16 bit and while you generally are able to change at will there are puzzles you'll have to switch to 8-bit to solve. Each graphics does have it's own advantages though. You can only run in 16-bit and while I haven't yet found a boss in which fighting in 8-bit would be an advantage you can sometimes cross certain obstacles in the 8 bit world that you wouldn't be able to in 16 bit. Also a few of the less obvious enemies such as the hidden rock monsters are also better visible in the 8-bit world. The puzzles do a good job in utilizing your arsenal of weapons just as much as the graphics changes.

Another mechanic that adds an extra layer of challenge early on is your stamina gauge. Running doesn't expel any stamina but every time you swing your trusty flashlight at enemies or use one of your other abilities you get a little more tired. So you can't really button mash attack and every hit counts. If you miss landing one of your hits you might find that you expended too much energy and have to retreat a bit for it to refill. You'll be able to upgrade your abilities early on so it shouldn't be too much of an issue for long.

I've only clocked about an hour and half in this game so far but it's pretty good. The controls are simple enough. Though I do play with a gamepad I can't speak to the keyboard settings, especially if playing in 8-bit as enemies aren't going to stand still and wait for you to hit them it might be a little frustrating at first. Also if you're a fan of RPGs it's worth mentioning that there is some clever references to old school SNES games throughout the game.
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
27.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 6, 2015
This game starts with a good premise: Zeldalike with a mechanic wherein switching from 8bit to 16bit is meaningful, oh, and by the way we're going to be chortling over some cheesy dialogue and oblique fourth-wall breaking references. A simple, fun time to be had by all.

And then you actually try to play the game. They're combining your standard, basic, fully acceptable combo system with a stamina bar with the lasting power of Bazooka Joe bubblegum. What this means is generally you pull off your combo and feel good about yourself for the half-second before the enemy comes out of his stunlock and while you're still animation-locked, hits you.

But that's alright, you say to yourself. You -should- feel inadequate when first starting the game, and besides! We just got handed Not Bombs and Not Arrows! Early on! The game devs are allowing complex strategi--

Oh, right, the stamina bar. Your 'stun' CD might give you enough time to get in a single blow, and even if you're close enough, you won't have enough stamina to complete the combo. The actual best combat strategy I've found thus far hinges on literally just dropping the Fireworks and having the enemies run into them. The Flashlight is actually a gigantic liability.

And then the art starts happening. I appreciate some fine human being poured themselves into the art for the peculiar 'cutscenes', I just don't understand how pencil crayon art fits into the pixel-retro look. Speaking of the more normal cutscenes--they don't activate invincibility, which means that I laid a bomb, the boss died, and then I died while /frozen for cutscene purposes/. Which meant I had to fight the boss again.

Which, I might note, wasn't a big deal, because I had adopted the perfect strategy of Pretend I'm Bomberman. Which I recommend, incidentally, because the AOE stun has an animation lock roughly the length of the stun it does, and even upgraded, the CD seems to do garbage damage and the flashlight, as explained before, is a liability and a half.

The plot, incidentally, boils down to 'these skulls are super important and magical you have no idea'. Which would be great, if they hadn't, honest to god, made me sit there for two five minute panoramas explaining how incredibly important they were, separated by about ten minutes of RPGMaker 2003-style stealth game.

I'd compare this to Evoland in the same way I'd compare Pixels to Wreck-It Ralph. Skip this one, do not look back, lest ye suffer the fate of Lot's wife: Trapped in an endless chain of embarassingly pretentious plot exposition cutscenes, alternating with mediocre gameplay and feeble attempts to remind you of Secret of Evermore.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 3, 2015
I'd like to start this by saying I absolutely love the concept of this game. The idea of changing between 8-bits and 16-bits graphical/physics/mechanical style is one I'd thought about before and has a lot of potential. Is it well implemented though? The answer is: not really.

The changes aren't very logical and sometimes are put there just for the sake of saying something changes. It varies from being able to read something only in 8-bit dimension and being able to run only in 16-bit to a pathway or platform only showing up in a specific dimension.

The gameplay clearly takes inspiration from The Legend of Zelda series but even though it manages to have some entertaining puzzles, the game is absurdly linear, basically having you walking from room to room pushing blocks and turning switches or having a "hub" room that connects several rooms with a puzzle each. There's no open world and the game is sort of divided in stages. The limits between the screens aren't always clear and sometimes you'll find yourself walking towards a path just to bump your head into an invisible wall.

The bosses try to provide some puzzling aspect but the truth is they'll die by mediocre hacking n' slashing in less then 5 seconds.

The dialogue is sometimes funny with some pop culture references and sometimes it's just awful. I've found quite a few spelling and grammar mistakes and I'm not even a native speaker.

Some may find the artstyle sort of generic but overall I found it pretty cool, the story is told through some psychedelic type of artworks. And although pretty basic the storytelling is sort of enjoyable.

Overall I'd say High Strangeness had a lot of potential but manages to poorly execute its ideas, it felt like a school project that needed to be finished last minute. so what was handed is just a draft of the original project. The last temple in particular is absolutely ridiculously short and brainless. The last boss is the high point of the game, even though it feels like a mediocre boss straight from Zelda.

I got some enjoyment from it, but the fact is: there are way too many games of the same price that are easier to recommend.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 25, 2015
The shortness of the title works well in ensuring HIgh Strangeness never wears out its welcome, and its core mechanic of switching between two beloved eras of video gaming works so well I’m left surprised it’s not been used before. It’s a good balm for nostalgia, letting us enjoy a lot of things we remember fondly while, at the same time, banishing all that endless grind we like to pretend didn’t exist. If you remember those days fondly, or if you’re curious as to why the older generation keep harping on about it like it was the Mecca of game design, put an afternoon aside and lob CDs at cloaked ghosts for a spell. There’s worse ways to spend a day.

Full Review // http://www.honestgamers.com/12560/pc/high-strangeness/review.html
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2015
Great game with a fun story - worth the price.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: May 26, 2015
I got the awesome privilege to play High Strangeness pre-release and I LOVE this game. Incredibly innovative with a fascinating storyline (and a developer that can almost predict your reaction), I have to call this one of the best indie games I've played this year so far. Here's my (long!) visit through the brilliance of High Strangeness. I'll be playing this one again.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 7, 2015
Fun little game, interesting idea for a story. A bit too short, not much replay value. Tends to lean on the easier side of difficulty. Enemies and bosses die easily, and most of the puzzles won't give you any pause. Not worth $10, but worth picking up if you can get it for under $5.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2015
Great game, a lot of nostalgia surronding after play this one. Great story/suspense plot, gameplay are great (zelda style), the graphics and sound fits 100% and bring you back to the 8-16bits Era.
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11 of 33 people (33%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 8, 2015
This game is totally worth it! Very few games really capture the magic of both 8-bit and 16-bit worlds and this nails it. Also that damn cat needs to watch his attitude.
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Recently Posted
Herr Foxley
4.1 hrs
Posted: September 24
You know some of those old games like Silver Surfer for NES that were notoriously horrendous to play, yet were infamous for having excellent music that far outstripped the quality of the game it was written for?

Well, I wouldn't call High Strangeness horrendous. But playing it does feel like an exercise in boredom and pointlessness. It's a cynical attempt at mimicking the feeling of games like Secret of Evermore, mixed with the whole generic "retro 8-bit" aesthetic that's all the rage with the kids these days, yessiree. The story and characters are, appropriately enough, completely two dimensional. Exposition is awkward, amateurish. Combat generally requires you to mash the attack button, and bosses die within seconds with fairly little effort.

Even at a laughably short 4 hours, it felt laborious to play through, and I had to take multiple breaks numbering days or weeks before I finally beat it. The dungeons and the story exposition was seriously that boring. I've played the first 4 hours of actual good games in a single sitting before.

I'd seriously recommend just skipping the game and checking out the soundtrack. It's fantastic. And without it, High Strangeness would have been an unsalvageable mess rather than just a disappointment.
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SlugMan(I'm In the Drug Club)
4.8 hrs
Posted: May 21
1. Too Short
2. The cats voice gets worse
3. Would become supreme leader of creepy shadow cultists from the hood again
4. Nothing can satiate my lust for power, except those pesky crystal skulls
5. I could've beaten those enemies right before the jail compound, no problem, easy
6. Why can't you marry the chick from the record store....
7. Plot twist that no one expected VERY SURPRISING, VERY ORIGINAL (mars does actually contain life, thx jacob)
8. Sumerian Epics, Watercolors, and something about pink floyd
9. Too many cut scenes, not enough secrets, a little too linear

How i got here


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7.3 hrs
Posted: January 15
All-in-all a cute game that's good for some hours of fun. Worth buying on sale. You play as Boyd, a young dude, who together with his cat must switch back and forth between the 12-bit and 8-bit world to collect crystal skulls and save the universe from sinister forces.

Gameplay is reminiscent of old school Zelda (like NES Legend of Zelda and SNES Link to the Past) and includes combat and puzzles.
As others have commented, it's a relatively short game and the difficulty level isn't very challenging. Once you get used to game mechanics and get a power up or two you'll breeze through the bad guys, and the boss battles (other than the final boss) don't require any particular strategy. The story is intentionally silly and the details of your quest and its ramifications are crazy overblown. In addition to the fun 8-bit/12-bit deal you also get some watercolor artwork cut scenes which are sort of random, but I thought they were nice looking and maybe add to the game's charm.

A favorite part: the achievement you get for powering up your equipment is called "Falled Out." A least favorite part: the meow sounds the game makes whenever your cat talks (yes, there's a talking cat!).
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