BREATH OF DEATH VII / Zeboyd Games / PC
Breath of Death VII plays and feels an awful lot like an RPG Maker project. It has a game engine that's roughly on par with that of Dragon Warrior II on the NES. As such, it'd be a ridiculous proposition to try to charge money for it ... UNLESS you charged a mere dollar for it. In which case, your market competiton is now stuff like Ninja Fruit Slice, Can You Jump A Wizard, and the McDouble, and your six-hour primitive RPG now looks like it has a world of depth by comparison.
Though it's very linear and very simplistic, BoD VII gets by by offering you several things. One is a humorous genre-parody style with lots of little references for hardcore old-school gamers. Another is a battle system that actually has a fair amount of depth, with significant choices offered at level-up junctures that potentially diverge each character into significantly different "build" types. The final is pure courtesy toward the gamer - an extremely zippy battle system, restoring health fully and reviving the dead after each battle automatically, and putting a fixed amount of "random encounters" in each area which allows you to walk about unmolested once cleared.
Though I thought the game was alright, it lost me at about 3 hours of the estimated 5 or 6 to complete. The early going is super-easy, but around the 2 hour mark the dungeons jag upward significantly in difficulty, to the point where the only feasible strategy for getting through new areas is to hover around a save point (or the exit) and use the manual "fight" command to continually execute battles and run out the random encounters so you can walk through freely. This is tedious in and of itself, but then it leaves you with these huge, bland, mazelike dungeons to meander through where literally nothing interesting at all is going on.
Still, I can't say it's a bad game, and again the asking price is less than a cup of coffee anywhere but at a little mom-and-pop donut shop. The aesthetics are about as plain and simple as it gets (the game was made in three months), but the music is actually decent and the boss battle theme is memorable.
* Gameplay Video