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Anito: Defend a Land Enraged is the first offering from [Anino Entertainment]. It's the first game completely developed in the Philippines, and made it to the 2004 Independent Gaming Festival as a finalist. It won the IGF award for Innovation in Audio.

Anito bills itself as an Adventure/RPG. It uses an isometric view with a blend of 2D and 3D graphics, making it look similar to Diablo. The inventory system and puzzles, though, make the gameplay more reminiscent of point-and-click adventure games. The control scheme is one of the weak points of the game -- it's non-intuitive, and the quick reference diagram provided with the game is necessary until you get used to the controls. (At IGF pavilion, I saw many people get confused trying to play the demo of Anito that was just left there...) The game uses WSAD for movement and the mouse for actions. This can be annoying since it means you have to move right next to objects and people in order to interact with them, but can't just walk over to them automatically. The game forces you to switch to combat stance in order to fight; this means that the view is centered on your mouse, which is rather disorienting and makes it hard to target things. (I never really got used to it; someone more experienced with FPS might have more luck.)

The game is set in Maroka, a land inspired by Spanish colonial Philippines. It's at least a refreshing change in pace, and all the authentic items and equipment are lovingly described. Especially the food. You need to eat food periodically or else you'll get the "starving" status, which means your chakra energy won't regenerate.

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Last edited June 19, 2004 1:57 (diff)