Somehow in looking for another game to tryout here, I ended up with another demo involving RTS gameplay. Only Stranger isn't just RTS, but a mix of RTS and Action RPG gameplay. While this bastard child of Myth and Diablo might have sounded really good on paper, the developers obviously forgot to ask the magic question, "but is it fun?". Stranger has neither the quick pace of action RPGs, nor does it seem to have any of the real strategic elements of RTS's.
This demo came somewhat highly recommended, so at first I though maybe I was just missing something, but if the game becomes fun at some point down the line, I'll never know because I got tired of fighting the controls about two missions in. The game at times wants to play like Diablo, but due to the aforementioned RTS elements you have to select your hero and your units like you would in an RTS game. The problem is that once you've selected them and you click the left mouse button to try to move them somewhere or attack, you're quickly reminded that the left mouse buttion deselects all the units. In fact, the whole UI has examples of that kind of counter-intuitivness. Within the tutorial alone, the game had me accessing various menus with the y, i, j, and ~ buttons (and why the fuck have the y button open up the inventory instead of I?) as well as clicking on icons and using slider bars in what was a big mess of pointless gameplay elements. Teaching me how to melt down a crossbow to get materials to forge a sword? Fucking pointless when the game should just be focusing on teaching me the basics of its shitty controls first.
I like to see small developers trying new things, but since most of them don't have the money or manpower to design and polish a fuckton of different gameplay elements, the ideal way to go about things is to simplify the gameplay. Otherwise, the result is something like Stranger, which takes a decent starting concept (RTS/Action RPG hybrid) and proceeds to pile on more and more unfun, UI-cluttering shit. Fortunately, the game doesn't seem to have been picked up by a publisher to bring this thing to the States yet, so the chances of most people here making the mistake of picking this up are pretty slim.