Grotesque Tactics is a highly addictive tactical RPG combining elements of popular Western and Asian console RPGs.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (269 reviews) - 60% of the 269 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 15, 2010

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Reviews

“This game is an explosion of humor with a knowing wink in all the right places.”
80% – GAMING XP
“The humor is quite refreshing in this normally dead-serious fantasy and tactic genre, and the sophisticated quick combat scenarios are without a doubt sublime.”
81% – DemoNews
“With much blood, sweat and tears and even more humor the player is drawn into the world of the Kingdom of Glory and captured within it.”
80% – Spieletester.com
“Grotesque Tactics is a textbook example indie-gem. [it] has virtues of many blockbuster games: charm, wit and originality.”
75% – Gamestar

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About This Game

Grotesque Tactics is a story driven, satirical RPG with a strategic combat system. A party of 10 anti-heroes are fighting in a grotesque world that combines the features and clichés of Western and Asian Strategy RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics, Heroes of Might & Magic and Fire Emblem.
Grotesque Tactics weaves a humorous storyline and plenty of amusing dialogue, poking fun at some of the most successful RPGs, such as Oblivion, Gothic and Lord of the Rings.
To protect the kingdom from the merciless cult "The Dark Church" which has murdered all of the kingdom’s heroes and knights, you will have to hire dubious soldiers and rescue jealous maidens who will follow you into combat as your groupies.

Features

  • Turn based tactical battles with humorous animations not seen in any RPG
  • Distinctive party members such as the arrogant Holy Avatar, the blood thirsty Vampire Solitaire, the sweet but hot-tempered Angel Angelina and many more
  • Gorgeous village landscapes and dark, sinister dungeons
  • Scantily dressed maidens to be freed from the grasp of merciless monsters
  • Enormous, highly detailed and very angry end bosses
  • Classical RPG elements: quests, treasures, trade, leveling up and out¬fitting a party of unique heroes
  • Enjoyable multiple choice dialogues and conversation puzzles in the style of classic adventure games, such as Monkey Island or Maniac Mansion
*In chess, a Grotesque is a problem or endgame study which features a particularly unlikely initial position, especially one in which White fights with a very small force against a much larger black army. Grotesques are generally intended to be humorous.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows® XP / Vista™ / Windows® 7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz CPU
    • Memory: 1GB
    • Graphics: Direct X 9.0c compatible with shader model 2.0 (nVidia GeForce 5/FX/ATI Radeon 9500 Series/ATI X700 or better)
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 700MB
    • Sound: Sound card with DirectX 9.0c support
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (269 reviews)
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196 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 18
This game, while somewhat unpolished, is a good treat for turn-based strategy fans like me.

The story and characters are silly and get pretty engrossing once you've warmed up to the game. The combat is fun and rewards planning. This game was a fun challenge all the way through.

The game doesn't hold your hand beyond the mere basics, but that made things a lot more satisfying once I figured out how everything works and started devouring quest after quest.

The only few negative points I can bring up are the art and how this game could have crossed the threshold from "Pretty Fun" to "Strongly Recommended" if not "Must Have" with just a bit of polishing. The 2d character art looks like something out of a teenager-otaku's animu sketchbook more than a professional videogame. In fact, it was quite a turn-off at first, but I'm glad I let it slide because I hardly noticed it once I got about three-to-four quests deep and started appreciating the game more for its gameplay.

The humor, for what the game is mostly promoted with, is rather hit-and-miss. Probably because of the translation. One particular joke, even if it was intentionally bad, was just too bad that I wanted my 32 seconds of life back.

As for the writing - it wasn't too bad. The story is bland as oatmeal mixed with tap water and a dash of salt in the middle of Ohio, but it was the character interactions that was just good enough to keep me invested in the game (Other than the gameplay itself). However, I've spotted at least one typo, and it was of the "Semi-divine's Humble Self"'s name. How can you possibly mispell one of the main character's name/third-person referential name?

Speaking of which, the game is a bit buggy. There is a game-mechanic that allows you to freely roam over the map until you get close to an enemy, then you're characters are stuck into the grid when battles begin. Once the enemies have been defeated, you go back to free roam mode. Or so you should. At least twice I was stuck in battle-mode after I cleared the entire map of enemies. Luckily, this problem didn't prevent me from leaving the map and continuing the game. However, this change from free-roam to rigid-battle layout system bugged out once that made the game unplayable and I had to restart again from an earlier save. I was crossing a ford when forced into a battle, but because my characters where so bunched up, one character couldn't reach an open square to end his turn on, thus stuck in an eternal turn.

Also, this game crashed twice on me. Maybe because it's an older game on much newer software.

However, my biggest irk with this game, rather than the writing and bugs, was the sound design. Particularly the sound design on a few particular stages. There are things on the map that make noises, and no matter where you go on the map, you hear them. For example, there is a fool who constantly jumps in and out of the gallows, and it makes an irritating noise each time he does it. And it doesn't matter if you are on the other side of the map -- It. Never. Stops. It's even worse on the graveyard level where you come across a skeleton swinging about in a cage on rusty chains. You here the chains squeak and groan and clatter mercilessly over the other audio -- And it. Never. Stops. I just gave up and nearly muted the sound in the latter case.

In all, this game has a heart that shines through its unpolished and amatuerish exterior. It was fun to play, and I "somewhat" recommend it to other fans of turn-based RPG fun.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
86 of 96 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
AT A GLANCE
(Full review follows below)

  • Game Name: Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes
  • Original Release: 2010
  • Genre Tags: RPG; Strategy; Turn-Based; Parody
  • My Overall Grade: B
  • Estimated Playtime (Campaign): 10-20 hours
  • Multiplayer Aspect: None
  • Recommended To: Established fans of the genre; Casual gamers

REVIEW
There aren't many grid-style movement, tactical, turn-based RPGs like this. There is a good handful, but by no means are there many compared to other similar genres. This is a pretty great game if you are a huge fan of the genre in search of new games to try. If you aren't that big of a fan of the genre, then this may not be a good game for you. The thing is: this game is technically a parody RPG, and lacks depth in many areas. However, ironically, it still winds up being a pretty good game in the genre it is trying to parody, even though it is simple and minimalistic.

You need to go into the game understanding it's supposed to be simple and whimsical, and then you can enjoy it for what it is.

Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes doesn't have very much depth in the departments of tactics or RPG elements, which many other games in the genre do have. Each character is a set "class" and only learns 2 "spells." And there is only really one set of weapons/armor for each character that you acquire through the game. The story is linear and there are no choices. And since all the characters have a set class with set abilities, it takes a lot of the tactical aspects of party formation out of the game; but you still have to plan your actions on the battle-grid accordingly. So there are still some tactical decisions to be made, just far less than is typical in the genre. But even with this lack of depth, the game is still charming in its own right.

The characters and narrative progression are purposefully cliché and it works out in a charming way. And the graphics and soundscape are fitting with the game; nothing jaw dropping but nothing jarring. The result is an overall presentation that is sarcastically atmospheric and endearingly casual.

So even though this game is just a "parody," and therefor is simplistic compared to others in the genre— it is a welcome addition to a small list of games to a true fan of an amazing genre. The game is just fun, simply, especially to a fan of the genre itching for a novel experience.

Follow my curation page to see more of my recommendations!
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130 of 185 people (70%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
Grotesque Tactics, developed by an indie German studio by the name of Silent Dreams in a joint venture with Headup Games, is a turn-based strategy game in the same vein as Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre, or any of the other hundreds of games with "Tactics" tacked on to the title. But let me clear the air here: unlike the aforementioned games, Grotesque Tactics is bad. Not "bad" as in Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing bad, but more like "all I wanted for Christmas was a Nintendo 3DS but all I got was a Nokia N-Gage" type of bad. You know, the type of disappointment you get when you are hyped up on all the good things, but are let down on every level.

The plot is nothing to write home about. There are no plot twists, no overly-emotional scenes, nothing. Just you and your party against an evil empire. You play Drake, a drop-out from the Glory Military Academy. By a stroke of luck, the very fact that you were the only dropout in the history of the academy has saved you from death in battle at the hands of the Dark Church (the aforementioned evil empire). Being mopey and emo (and yes, the game makes use of "emo" way too much), Drake finds the courage to fight back against the Dark Church with the help of the Semidivine Holy Avatar, the stereotypical "I'm better than you, and women love me" beefcake of the game. Together, you and Holy scour the world rescuing maidens, recruiting party members, and completing side-quests. Like I said before, it's nothing to write home about.

On that note, I should mention the writing. I'm guessing Silent Dreams hired a 16-year old high-school dropout to translate the game for them, because even though the game has had an extensive grammar overhaul for the English version, the writing would make even a first-year college student cringe in terror. Grammar and spelling mistakes abound, and any hint of humor the game wanted to convey has been lost due to the horrid translation. For example, Candy, one of the three maidens you rescue and recruit, constantly says "Hihihihihi" instead of "Hehehehehe" or *giggles*. The only thing that would make that worse is if Navi from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was put in the game and constantly said "HEY! LISTEN!" every ten seconds. But even then I would have fond flashbacks to my time playing an infinitely-better game. Grotesque Tactics just makes me want to punch babies.

And then there's the humor. I'd like it to be known that humor is NOT universal; it is purely subjective. Unfortunately, the game is billed as a parody of other great games. If anything, Grotesque Tactics is a parody of computer game designing. There is a difference between parodying a game and simply referencing a game, and Grotesque Tactics references the hell out of other games. The humor is extremely in-your-face, much like playing an interactive version of the Meet The Spartans movie. While it's not as ham-fisted as UnEpic, at least UnEpic is a good game.

The entire cast is a tragedy upon game design. The main character is an emo who isn't really emo all that much except in certain combat situations, the supporting character is the stereotypical knight-in-shining-armor with sunglasses, the rogue is a goblin who joins you because you killed his buddies, and various other travesties. Oh, and if any reader of this review is black and you want to see how German game developers portray black people, play this game. The only way the token black dude could get more stereotypical is if he had fried chicken in one hand and purple drank in the other. Yes, this is what Silent Dreams considers a parody. Sad, is it not?

From the moment you boot up the game, you can already tell you're in for a world of hurt. The pre-game loading screen features Holy Avatar and the three maidens, but the whole thing looks like it was made in Poser. Then the game starts and the Poser-like art is replaced by anime character portraits. Holy is pretty much the ♥♥♥♥♥♥ of the group, while the three maidens and other female characters are in various states of undress. Let's not forget that while you are rescuing said maidens to recruit them, they are screaming about getting their clothes torn off. The character interaction, combined with the almost-ecchi artwork makes me believe that this game is the lead designer's attempt at a VERY bad self-insert fanfiction rather than a clever satire of RPGs.

And finally we come to the meat and potatos of the game: the gameplay. As I've said before, it's a clone of the various Tactics games you see or have seen on the market. Turned-based strategy on a battlefield with positioning. Nothing new, so let's move into what makes Grotesque Tactics stand out from the crowd (other than the sad attempt at German humor).

The really big thing about the game is the Obsession system. The game flat-out tells you in the tutorial that this is a limit break (I'm guessing Silent Dreams' thought process was "LOLOLOLOL! I MADE A FINAL FANTASY 7 REFERENCE! LAUGH, PEONS! LOLOLOLOL!"). Each character has their own way of increasing their Obsession, from hitting stuff (Drake) to getting hit (EVERY SINGLE PARTY MEMBER). Each Obsession does their own unique thing, but more often than not it involves the obsessed party member attacking another party member. West goes berserk, attacking anything in range (friendly or not), the maidens and the angel simply attack a party member, the goblin rogue blinds everyone in a radius (again, no thoughts to friendly fire) and warps to Holy, and Drake buffs nearby party members' attack rating but at the cost of halving his attack rating a few turns afterwards. Drake is obviously the most benefitial of the party, but that's not saying much considering everyone else is geared toward screwing you over.

Inside combat, you control all characters in order based on their agility. Outside of combat, however, you can only control Drake while the others automatically follow him. This works out fine, except for one major game-breaking bug that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me: Afflictions aren't removed once combat is over. In the battle leading up to getting the mage party member, West went berserk due to his Obsession. I ended combat right next to a treasure chest in a narrow 1x1 area in the forest with West blocking the only exit in or out. Since he was technically still berserk, he refused to move, and I cant move through party members. Needless to say, I was stuck and had to reload the entire damn mission. Have I told you yet how much I hate this game?

And lastly, I come to the deal breaker: the camera. Or, rather, the automatic camera panning. Any time there is dialogue or a character is moving, the camera will pan to that character. This isn't such a big deal if the damn thing would actually CENTER on said character. Instead, it trails behind a moving character. Trying to manually compensate for this means your camera goes out of whack and ends up 50 feet in some random direction. Again, this wouldn't be such a big deal if we could turn automatic camera panning off, or if movement outside of combat wasn't in real time. Alas, no on both accounts. This will, more often than not, lead to clicking the wrong square or giving you a fit of nauseua.
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42 of 50 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2015
Pros:

+Cliché moments and references to movies and games.
+A lot of humor and adult references (if you know what I mean, wink wink).
+Tactical RPG (similarity to those of Final Fantasy Tactics, XCOM, Silent Storm, etc.).
+Bright and colorful – rather detailed on some locations with the general environment.
+The storyline fits the game and does so perfectly with the supported humor and complaining from your fellow party members (humorous complaining – if that makes any sense).
+Custom Keybinds.
+Music fits nicely with the game.
+Graphics in my opinion are okay. I believe they could have polished it up more, but it wasn’t bad where I would quit a game on graphics alone.


Cons:

-UI could use some polish.
-Controls at times may feel wonky when moving the character at the same time when moving the camera (The game tries to pull you towards the hero when you’re trying to scout ahead of your movements).
-A linear storyline
-Not a lot of RPG elements (not a lot of spells, certain amount of armor/weapons, no manual stat gains – done automatically).



The game is supposed to be a fun, goofy experience about a hero that is to save the kingdom from an evil sect. Sounds like your typical storyline for a RPG, right? Well… it is! I believe you could call it a parody to other TRPGs out there and they’re doing it in their own fun way (which I approve). The bantering between certain party members and towards you is comical (I’ve had my outbursts of laughs, not going to lie).

The game isn’t to be taken seriously. If you are jumping into to this game and hoping for a serious TRPG, well, you might be disappointed and rant with a negative review on why this isn’t your cup of Joe. If you come in here knowing that this is a parody to other TRPGs, have a sense of humor, wanting to find humor in a title, then this game should fill your shoes.

The battles aren’t rememberable, but they do the job. At times you may even question the actions of your party members and throw a rant at your monitor, but that is perfectly normal. I’ve had my fair share with the ditzes and a directional figure. I’ve also had the occasional crash, but it didn’t happen till after a 5 hour or longer gameplay session; I’m assuming a very slow memory leak…? If you save often then this issue won’t be an issue – besides, who doesn’t save often on a RPG anyways?

Overall, this was a nice game to stumble onto and I find the humor and cliché moments very well done. I don’t see a lot of TRPGs and if you’re trying to find one yourself, I would recommend buying this one when you can!
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70 of 100 people (70%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: January 10, 2014
I wanted to like this game. I really did. The over the top parody involving a self-loathing hero, a self-adoring tag-along who thinks he is a stereotypical babe magnet and is in fact a stereotypical babe magnet, and a plethora of stereotypical babes sounds like a real winner. Trouble is, this parody tries to push every aspect of the game and genre only to feel as if it is a parody of itself when jokes fall flat or are taken far enough to no longer be funny. Meanwhile the gameplay is hindered by poor camera positioning and a system where battles drag on well beyond the point of enjoyment.

The general ideas and foundation of the game are solid enough, but the execution leaves me underwhelmed. If you are not a strategy RPG fan, this game really has nothing to offer. Otherwise, it comes down to a matter of personal taste.
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45 of 60 people (75%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.9 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: December 22, 2013
If you want a fun story and don't care much about strategy or buggy graphics and awkard controls, this game is for you.

However, if you like strategy games (as I do) stay away. The combat is heavily (and I mean heavily) based on luck, and can be frustrating to anyone who expects a strategy game to be based on strategy and tactics.
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24 of 28 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
29.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 30, 2014
Definitelly not as bad/buggy/dump as i expect. I regret 1$ fo McPixel more than 5$ for this. For sure not for everyone, but if you have sense of german/sexist/"politically not correct" humour you can find it funny.
+funny
+special abilities of your heroes (with good chaining they are able kill each other even in battle "for sure you are going to win")

-buggy (according to the forums im really fortunate that game crashed only once and 2-3 times i got stuck in combat mode)
-unbalanced (final battles are insanely tough comparing to regular ones)
-cant keep pace whole the time
-default camera is evil (or is it game design?)
-more loot, better RPG elemnts would be nice
-start of each battle/pathfinding - all members of your group have avatar on the map, turn-based battle begins when someone of your group stands on field in area of sight of enemy, BUT during first round only heroes who have been seen can make their turns. so, thankfully to "good pathfindig/game mechanics" you can start battle with your healer and rogue agains 4-5 enemies, which means instant death for both of them.
average small game, satirical turn-based RPG.Dont expect too much and you will enjoy it.
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29 of 37 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
21.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx81HN2IV1k&list=UU7_-PLIhjsEBwIQXqKxmNpA

Grotesque Tactics is a turn-based strategy parody, that pokes fun
of other standard RPG games. The music is done very well, and keeps the
pace and atmosphere of the game. Each character represents some form
of a classic hero; be it the warrior, archer, or mage, but does an
excellent job of augmenting the comedic aspects of each one.

The controls and interface are sleek and well done, and I found
the gear progresses with the player in a very balanced way. Tactically,
the game is good for a novice turn based strategist, but the story
appeals to everyone.

One unique twist is the obsession meter, which when filled, the
hero reacts in an unexpected way that may cause damage to anyone. The
combat is simple, but the dialogue is entertaining and intriguing.

The characters and story parody other RPG's in an entertaining
manner, and I enjoyed playing this game. I never felt my time was wasted,
and I can easily recommend this game.

This is a summary of what I talk about in the video, I am a YT'er not a Blogger
Thanks for your viewership and support for more videos check click here.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SocioPyscho
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23 of 27 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
28.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 29, 2015
This game has plenty about it to love. I can tell that Silent Dreams really put a lot of care into developing this game. It is a humorous game for sure. The characters personalities are both realistic and mildly absurd at the same time. The art style may be somewhat cutesy in places but the backgrounds really set the apropriate moods for each stage. I thought that the artwork was truly beautiful. It may not be the most challenging game in the world but some parts were hard enough to take multiple trys, revising my strategy each time. The story was like a fractured fairy tale with dark humor that made the game a reason I will always be a fan of the people at Silent Dreams.
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22 of 28 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 15, 2014
Really a fun game if you are a fan of tactics, RPGs, and some satirical humor. His Semidivine Humble Self encourages you to give it a try! Total game time is about 10-12 hours.
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Recently Posted
Hoofit
0.2 hrs
Posted: September 15
Avoid this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Taebrythn
15.4 hrs
Posted: August 13
currently i am still playing this game and you might wonder why i would give it a thumbs down. well that is because it has some pretty bad bugs and still 2 years later never fixed. so one of the major issues is the camera. holy crap that thing flies all over the place its pretty annoying. never understood why it couldn't focus on the units that were moving instead of going crazy like it was on meth.


so i encountered this bug during my playtime which made drake walk south no matter where i clicked. he would walk through the buildings loop around then finally go to his marker. so i figured hey maybe it will fix when i leave station wish. nope instead it gets worse. drake now can't move. this bug has been reported a few times and today it was never fixed. reloading my save did not work. the only thing that worked was quiting and loading the game again. so after all that it finally worked and i could play a little longer.

so now i was just returning after finishing a battle and game crash. my first one. so yes i had 0 issues starting it and my computer is a pile of junk.

ok so now that bugs and annoyances are out of they way. is this game worth it at current price. at this moment i say no. this is something only worth it if on deep discount or bundle. the bugs are way too common to validate a full price. now as for the gameplay and story. i actually laughed at the story and the little jokes. west is funny when you first meet him saying oh hell no i'm not going to the front because i'm a black man.

the jokes you need to be open to because they really are silly and sometimes stupid jokes. if you can't laugh at them then maybe you are too serious. for example west goes on a vietnam freak out, there is a scooby doo reference, etc.

the story doesn't bother me. in fact i laugh at some of the jokes. remember humor is subjective so what i find funny you might not. my main reason why my review is negative is more on the bugs then the story.

edit 1 I want to add there are 2 more bugs and one function that should exist in all games with a barter system.

Ok so first but is when selling sometimes it refuses to even take it. sometimes it even will ignore you completely. so this is where there should of been an option to sell more then one thing. you have no idea how annoying it is to sell those vials. you can't just right/left click it to sell it. you have to drag each one and that is if the store even takes it. so yes very annoying.

so after my crash yesterday i played and finished the cemetary and when you finish a battle you should be able to move normally but i was stuck in the title moving scene until i finished the level. now this isn't a gamebreaking bug but sure is annoying.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Phruler
9.2 hrs
Posted: July 16
Good game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
danly
0.1 hrs
Posted: May 29
Doesn't even launch.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Danger Of Death
16.6 hrs
Posted: May 18
Diverting turn-based fair. Deserves a solid 7/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
IdespiseWrecklessbiggetyYank911
0.7 hrs
Posted: May 17
I tried, I didn't like much. That might work for those who enjoy this kind of game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wedge
0.3 hrs
Posted: April 1
God help me, I don’t know why I bought this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Reap
13.9 hrs
Pre-Release Review
Posted: February 17
Great game. Genuinely funny and very witty dialogue.

Nice combat system and intuitive. A bit slow in places and rough here and there but good effort.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kevsterooni
1.0 hrs
Posted: February 5
I bought the complete pack. First all I would get was a black screen, now I only get to play while I'm on the Internet. Normally I wouldn't make a review before reaching better than the second level, but if I'm writing this while I'm still level 1. This "game" is best played with straws on your fingers!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny