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Found 16 results

  1. 10 Tons LTD is known for releasing quirky physics based puzzle games such as Tennis in the Face, Baseball Riot, and King Oddball. But their newest release, while a bit quirky, relies more on a vast vocabulary than a knowledge of angles and velocity. Spellspire is word game with RPG elements that will test your brain and your reflexes. You play the part of a wizard that must make their way up 100 floors of a tower, defeating progressively harder enemies as you go. To attack enemies, you must form words from the 10-letter pool you are given at the start of each floor. Words increase in damage the more letters you use. So, a 3-letter word inflicts the minimum amount while using all 10 letters will cause a devastating blow. This means that you will want to save the longer words for the more powerful enemies on the stage. Game play is simple – form words, attack monsters, clear the floor and earn gold. You can then use that gold to buy new gear and upgrade it in the shop. Robes, hats, wands as well as basic health and attack. These upgrades will help you defeat the more powerful enemies and the bosses that reside on each 10th floor. Wands can also be imbued with special abilities such as poison, ice, etc which will have different effects on enemies, so make sure to check out their weaknesses in the Monsterpedia. The health comes into play because if you don’t destroy a foe before the onscreen timer runs out, they will attack you. As straight forward as the game is, the controls on consoles can get in the way of themselves very easily. You use the right stick to move the cursor over the letter you want, then click on it with the A button. Once you have formed your word, you use the right trigger to attack. The word will flash if you have formed a usable word, so you don’t have to waste time worrying if you have input a bad word. There are also about 111,000 words in the dictionary – including many swear and slang words, so you have a lot of material to work with. But when you are rushing against the clock it is very easy to click the wrong tile. The game was originally a mobile title, and the tile selection was done with tapping the screen, so there would be less chance of mistakes. There is a fair amount of content in this game if you are into word games. Each time you play a floor, the letter pool is changed, so you get a new experience. Also, once you beat a floor it is changed to a challenge level. The monsters become faster and you must complete it while maintaining set criteria. If you complete the challenge you will earn a star. Clearing floors, as well as earning stars will unlock new equipment for you to buy in the store with the gold you have earned. The graphics are cartoony, which is fine for this type of game. The enemies are well varied and interesting to look at, even though you will be spending most of your time focusing on the lower right hand corner of the screen where the letter tiles are. The music is upbeat and fits well with the genre. Long gaming sessions may find you lowering the volume, but your brain will probably start to yell at you for missing easy 3-letter words first and you will want to take a break. No matter what platform you play on, you should be able to find Spellspire. You can grab it on iOS and Android for free – in app purchases may apply - so you can play on the go, or grab it on XB1, PS4, or Steam for $ 9.99. 7/10
  2. As a kid growing up in the 70's and 80's I think I was exposed to some of the greatest movies and games that were ever released. The proof I have of that is that today Hollywood is remaking most of the films, and the game industry is paying homage to the games and the movies on a regular basis. The latest title to do this is Tango Fiesta by Spilt Milk Studio, a top down twin stick shooter that recalls the days of Smash TV and the co-op play of Gauntlet. The game is set in a world where the events of almost every 80's adventure movie actually happened to a man named John Strong, it is up to you to prevail against the forces of evil. Commando, Predator, Die Hard, Robo Cop, Running Man, and more are referenced. You even get to play as characters modeled after the heroes of those iconic flicks. There are 6 different characters to choose from as you start out your adventure. There are 2 seperate game modes to pick from Arcade and Story Mode, each playable with up to 4 players local co-op. The modes are basically thee same, Story takes you through the 5 worlds in order while Arcade mixes things up a bit. Each world consists of 3 different levels and a boss. In each of the levels you must complete a specific objective - either destroy some buildings, helicopters or shut down communications towers. The other main difference is that in Story mode you are able to pick a primary, secondary and throwable weapon - arcade you are limited to primary and throwable ( your secondary is automatically chosen for you ). The weapons locker in the game is a bit limited at the start of play, but as you play through the game you will unlock a more powerful arsenal. Using each hero, getting a specific number of kills, killing off bosses will all increase your fire power. But this increased popwer doesn't come cheap. Each new weapon will have to be purchased with gold that is recovered from enemies that are killed in game. With several weapons costing over $100k, and only getting $200 for most kills, there is a bit of grinding involved on getting some of the best guns. Game play is pretty straight forward. At the start of each level you are shown the objectives you need to clear before you are dropped into the level. It is then up to you if you want to just run to them, clear them out and move on, or spend time destroying lots of enemies that will keep re-spawning. For the most part you won't have to worry about health or ammunition, as you will see certain enemies with little flags above them saying that they will drop the different resources. But unfortunately they don't always drop what you need, or anything at all. This doesn't usually present a problem until the later worlds when you start to become swamped with enemies. Tango Fiesta can be played solo, but it is exponentially better the more friends you have playing with you. Not only does it make it easier to clear the higher worlds, but it is just a lot more fun slaying throngs of foes with your buddies. But bringing friends along for the ride will present a few problems as well. Friendly fire is on, so you have to make sure you knkow where you are shooting at all times. Not only that, but you all play on the same screen, so if someone falls behind, they will fall off the screen. This can be a bit disorienting for them, so you will have to make sure that everyone keeps up. And with some characters markedly slower than others, this can take a little extra team work. Unfortunately you will have to gather your friends in your game room to play because the title lacks online multiplayer support. No matter if you are looking for a game to play with your friends for a while, or something to pick up to relive the glory days of 80's action flicks, Tango Fiesta will scratch that itch. It is available now on XB1, PS4, and Steam. The title has a sticker price of $9.99. 7/10
  3. If there’s one thing I love about video games, it is the storytelling. Almost all games that I play or have played involve it in some way or another. Whether it is the massive story arches and connectivity of the Mass Effect series, or the small side quests that lead to relatively nothing in the Elder Scrolls, I love the quest for quests. And when given this game, I can tell you, I was excited. A Far Cry style open world FPS-RPG from a sniper’s perspective, what an awesome sounding game! (CI Games) And what an awesome let down. After a 40GB install, I expected the game to load and run smoothly, yet it surprisingly took multiple minutes(close to 7 min. every time) to load. And then, it still wasn’t at full quality I expected of a 2017 release, even at Ultra settings. Disappointing, but they may fix this in future patches. (reddit) The story line of the game is lackluster as well, about an inconceivable mission gone awry when two Marine snipers(who are brothers) are sent to a mission alone(which, as a writer for a military based site-this notion bothered me), and predictably, one brother is kidnapped and made rogue by a terrorist group, from which you must rescue him. Sniping up the terrorist chain of command until you can find him. A saving grace of the game is the customization aspects and their effect on gameplay. Manufacture ammo, and customize your weapons, and see how they change the way you maneuver and where you take your shots. I noticed, with one rifle, I would take much more conservative shots, and with another I’d play a lot more aggressive. It depended on what rifle and attachments I used. (n4g.com) My final opinion of the game is that, as a FPS, this game is pretty good, the sniping mechanics of wind and distance, as well as the ability to customize and manufacture weapons, ammo, and add-ons is very enjoyable. Yet, the story and the graphics could be better. They left too much for my mind to criticize while playing the game. I would recommend this to a person who likes sniping and/or open world games, and doesn’t really care about it being a cookie-cutter story.
  4. Last year GameStop announced that they were going to enter the game publishing arena. They were doing this through GameTrust - a PR firm that would help developers get their titles to market. The newest title to roll out under this label is Deformers, a game that was developed by Ready at Dawn. It is hard to put Deformers into a category, because the game contains 2 different genres. There is a soccer game ( Form Ball ), so it could be placed in sports - but it also has Death Match and Team Death Match modes, so it can also be added to action. For ease we will put it under the broader category of party games. In the game you play as a blob and will pick one of several skill sets. They will increase your speed, endurance, shooting skill, etc. Unfortunately there is very little diffence in preformance no matter which skill you pick. So it is down to the game mode you decide on. Form Ball is effectively soccer. You and your teammates try to outscore the other team by getting more goals. Youo can rush into the ball and "kick" it, or you can pick it up and carry it to the enemy goal. You can also just ignore the ball and take out your opponents to gain extra XP and make it a bit easier to score. Team Death Match and Death Match just remove the ball and place you on different maps where the only objective is to vanquish the enemy. They do add in special attacks that you can grab if you are quicker than your foe. As you complete games you level up, earn XP, earn coins and gain the ability to purchase new Deformers and accessories. These "upgrades" are purely cosmetic. You can buy new skins for your blob, but that will not improve their skills, the only thing that will do that is to play the game and improve your skills at the game. But you will have to deal will some frustrating hurdles along the way. When you start up the game for the first time, you are greeted with the game choices, there is no tutorial, no local multiplayer mode where you can learn the controls. You have to jump into an online game to even see how the game plays, let alone figure out the controls. The 2nd hurdle is finding an online game. The title gives you the choice of searching for a game of a specific type or just any Deformers game. Even searching for any game it can take 10 - 15 minutes to find a match depending on the day and time. Even then there may only be 1 or 2 other people in the lobby. I played on the XB1, so things may be different on other platforms. The graphics in Deformers are good. The arenas are well rendered and vary well between areas. If you play several games back to back you will probably end up playing the same map as there is not a large library. The skins for the blobs are cute and really make the game interesting. There is a wide variety of goofy animals to unlock, and accessories to add on to them. The graphics do take an odd turn if you play online splitscreen. The screen is split horizontally 50/50, but if you play 2 players, each screen takes up about 70% of the top or bottom of the screen (1st player top left, 2nd player bottom right) . This means that the screens overlap a little in the middle and there are black bars in opposite corners. It makes for a very awkward playing experience. The music goes well with the game, but doesn't stand out. Deformers is out now on XB1, PS4, and Steam. You can pick it up for $29.99. 5/10
  5. Artifex Mundi, the company that has been bringing their hidden object PC games to consoles, has released another one of their titles to the XB1. Lost Grimoires - Stolen Kingdom, is the latest of their catalogue to make the migration to the console world, and it is a title in a series that has not yet been seen there. The story starts out with you returning home after being away for many years. Your father disappeared, your mother passed away, and you were raised by a family friend, the kingdoms alchemist. He trained you as his apprentice for years so that one day you may take his place in helping out the kingdom. But once you return home you quickly realize that the kingdom is not the peaceful place it was when you left. The gameplay is similar to the previous titles from the developer. You must find objects in hidden object puzzles and complete mini games to advance the story. One thing that sets this title apart from others is your alchemy abilities. You will have to find objects and transmute them to create spells. To transmute items you will have to play a mini game where you place the elements in the proper position of a ring puzzle. But this game is lacking a few items that we have seen in previous titles. Stolen Kingdom features a main story that can be played in either casual or expert mode. Missing this time around is an epilogue. There is also no alternative to the hidden object puzzles. This cuts down on the variety and the re-play value. Since there is no change in the hidden object items or placement, when you play through on the higher difficulty, you can breeze through it fairly quickly. This means that you can get throughboth difficulties in under 4 hours. The graphics are beautiful. There are multiple locations that show you all different aspects of the kingdom from the simple town square to the opulent throne room. The music plays well with the scenery and helps to heighten the suspense where needed in the story. Lost Grimoires - Stolen Kingdom is out now on XB1 and has been available on PC for a while. You can pick it up on your prefered platform for $9.99. 7/10
  6. As a teen I used to spend hours in the arcade pumping quarters into Gauntlet. This was an amazing 4 player co-op dungeon crawler where you had to battle enemies and share supplies. It always made the game more interesting when someone joined the game and would grab all the health potions and food - even if they didn't need it. That type of game play is directly reflected in the new game from Powerhoof. Crawl pits "co-op" players against each other for honor, money, glory, and the chance to escape but there is a hitch - only one player is actually alive. You start the game in a room with all four players alive - either you and 3 friends, or you and computer controlled bots - where you must battle to the death. The suvivor will continue the quest to defeat the main boss. Those that met an early death need not dispair, you are not out of the game yet. You become a spirit capable of possessing traps and summoning monsters to kill the hero. If you are able to kill the hero, you regain your humanity, become the hero and try to complete the quest. The last hero takes your place as a spirit and the cycle comtinues. While in hero form you will have access to a blacksmith where you can buy weapons, potions and new moves provided you have the gold. The ghosts can earn wrath, which is used in between floors to upgrade the monsters you summon. The monsters will evolve and take on more powerful forms as you progress. To get to the final boss, the hero must be level 10 to open the portal. You only gain XP when you are playing as the hero. If you reach the portal and are not level 10 you will have to find stairs to the next level. If you are level 10 and decide to go after the boss, the 3 spirits can posess the boss to impeade your progress. If you fail against the boss, you will be transported back into the dungeon. You have a total of 3 tries against the boss before the game will end automatically. The controls scheme is fairly simple. No matter which form you are in you have 2 attacks, so there isn't a difficulty curve to learn. One nice thing they have built in is that your character will get tired if you constantly attack, so you can't spam the attack button to win all your fights. You will have to move around during battles to avoid getting killed by your 3 foes. Graphics for the game are 100% old school. When you first fire up the game you are greeted with a screen that tells you to Insert Coin. Do not let the look of the game deter you from playing, there is a lot of fun to be had in this title. The background music is a mix of upbeat adventuring tunes and creepy music that sets the tone for the dungeon. This game can be played solo. You start out as the hero and you face off against 3 computer controlled bots. When you starrt out you can even select their difficulties. So you can play against a team of easy opponents, hard foes, or even mix it up to vary the experience. Where this game really shines is when you have 3 othere friends jump in with you to play. The trash talking and competition is off the charts. Unfortunately the game only supports local multiplayer, so if your friends aren't close by you, theree is a chance you will miss out on some of the best gameplay the title has to offer. Crawl is available now on XB1, PS4, and Steam. You can pic it up on the platform of your choice for $14.99. 8/10
  7. Downward Spiral: Prologue Downward Spiral is a VR Specific Game which can be purchased from Steam and found at http://store.steampowered.com/app/574940/ Developed and Published by 3rd Eye Studios Oy LTD. ABOUT THIS GAME (Direct information from Steam Game Link) Downward Spiral: Prologue is inspired by 70’s sci-fi movies and modern TV series; it’s the most immersive journey in VR, has distinct style, intense deathmatch, gunpowder smelling action in zero gravity and mystery you have never experienced before. It’s the first game released using new innovative way of moving freely in VR space without players suffering from motion sickness. Built by award winning industry veterans. Features: -3 game modes: Solo, Co-Op and Deathmatch -Intense Deathmatch in zero gravity for up to 8 players -15-30 minutes long Journey mode, the most immersive journey ever, especially in online in co-op -New Innovative way to move freely in VR without suffering motion sickness -Play with or without room-scale -Music by lead singer and composer of HIM, Ville Valo. Downward Spiral: Prologue is the first installment of very ambitious Downward Spiral Anthology Series. Every game will have different main characters, story and setting but are knitted together with the unsettling backstory which will open episode after episode. Initial Thoughts From RealHorsePlay! Downward Spiral: Prologue is an anti-gravity VR experience. This game does a great job at making you feel like you're in space with both it's design, and the way you have to get around. It's different having to control yourself by pushing off of walls/rails around you, but I enjoy it. Being able to explore an abandoned space station, finding very little here and there, left me curious. I wanted to keep playing and to discover what it was that had happened. Overall, I had a great time with what I was able to play and would go deeper into the game if I could! My only personal issue is that my body is not used to the movement that you have to do in this game. When your brain knows it's standing, but the eyes make it think that it's moving, can feel a little weird at first. I think this is a great game! Check out RealHorsePlay on Social Media YT - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjwryqmZtOCVHDXjTidBYYw Twitter - https://twitter.com/RealHorsePlay Once again - You can find this awesome game over at http://store.steampowered.com/app/574940/ If you have a VR Set - We recommend this game as one you should own! Be sure to check out the developer's website over at http://www.3rdeyestudios.fi/ for any up dates or new releases!
  8. Artifex Mundi has once again reached into their vast library of hidden object puzzle games and released one on consoles. Dark Arcana : The Carnival is no ordinary trip to the circus, but when was the last time you had a normal day? You arrive at a traveling carnival to speak with a fellow police office standing next to a young girl. Her mother was kidnapped while they were visiting the carnival and it is up to you to save her and discover what is really going on under the big top. But as soon as you walk into the venue something seems very out of place, but exactly what is not obvious right away. Once again you are treated to a story filled with twists and turns as you work your way through this point and click adventure. Not only will you have to deal with hidden object puzzles but there are also a wide variety of puzzle and mini ga,es that you will have to deal with to unravel the mystery. Like previous games you can skip puzzles that are too difficult for you, and there is an option to the hidden object games. This time it is a card matching game called Monte Carlo, where to clear hidden objects you must match like adjacent cards with specially marked cards. The graphics in the game are on par with the rest of the catalogue of games. Each location is skillfully depicted and is an interesting mix of mystery and macabre. The music and sound effects escalate the level of suspense throughout the game. The hidden object layouts are well done and will cause you to have a keen eye, but not pull your hair out looking for obscure named items. No matter your skill level you will get several hours worth of game play out of this title. There is the main story and an epilogue to complete. If you are going to 100% the game, it will require at least 2 play throughs of the main story and 1 of the epilogue. Considering the sticker price of the game is $9.99, you will more than get your money out of it. 7/10
  9. In this weeks First Impression the Slightly Original guys talk about Indomitus Games' 5 Minutes Rage. A 1980's style beat'em up/sports game with giant freaking robots! One of the most fun Couch Coop games we have played in a very long time. Available on for Windows through Steam. Beta Sign up located on link below. BETA SIGN UP: http://www.indomitusgames.com/5-minutes-rage
  10. Headup Games has recently published a Studio Fizbin game on consoles that has been available on PC for a while now. The Inner World is a family friendly puzzle game that is strong on story, contains thoughtful puzzles, and will keep you laughing no matter your age. It is one of those games that you can play with your children and not have to worry about something popping up that shouldn't. The Inner World is the story of Robert, a young orphan who is taken in by Conroy, the leader of the land of Asposia. Asposia is a land that resides within the hollowed out center of another world. Robert isn't like the other citizens of Asposia, but there is nothing wrong with being a bit different. While Conroy is busy giving a speech you a polishing his most valued possesion - a fosfos medallion. Unfortunately, you accidentally drop the necklace down the garbage shoot. Being the ever faithful child / servent you fling yourself down the chute to save the necklace for your mentor. What follows next is a great adventure where nothing less than the fate of your world hangs in the balance. You will meet new friends, uncover the true history of Asposia, and discover your origins. The game is essentially a point and click adventure, but there is so much more to it than that. The conversations that you have with other characters will open up other branching topics that will move the story along. It may also be the only way to get hidden achievements. The puzzles in the game range from easy to figure out to head scratchers. Gameplay is simple. You control Robert for most of the game, and have him collect items, and use them to further his quest. Fairly often you will have to combine several objects to try and get you out of a bind. The great thing is that the game calls you out if you are just trying to toss things together. I can't count the times when I was stuck I heard " That's just a random guess isn't it?" or similiar phrase after multiple failed attempts at combining things. It makes sure there is humor even when you might start to be getting frustrated with the game. I have to say I loved the dialogue in this game. Let's all admit that when there is text to read, or someone talking in a game 9 times out of 10 after a while we skip through it an hope we are not missing a vital plot point - we have all done it. This game I was right there through all the conversations. Many of them had me laughing, and there were even a few that had me raising an eye brow at the dark humor that was slipped in. Jokes that would go over a younger players head, but were clearly there for the seasoned gamer. The graphics are also stunning. The art is hand drawn and the attention to detail shows. While there isn't a lot of action in the game, the cut scenes are very well done and the overall feel of the game is highly polished. The Inner World is now out on XB1 and PS4 for $14.99. If you are a PC gamer you can grab it on Steam for the same price. 10/10
  11. an·ox·e·mi·a (ān'ŏk-sē'mē-ə) n. An absence of oxygen in arterial blood This is just one of the ways that you can die in the new game just released by Badland Games that bears the name of the affliction. Anoxemia is a story driven exploration game that will have you questioning the game world around you. You play as Dr Bailey an underwater explorer whose job it is to gather plant specimens. You are not alone in your quest, you are accompanied by an operations drone named ATMA. ATMA will help you through the use of sonar and as your only light source in the ocean depths. After something happens to the erest of your crew you must complete your mission with only the help of of ATMA. Your mission is not just a walk on the ocean floor though. Besides trying to find the sea grasses, you will also have to find more oxygen for your suit as well as power for the drone. There are also upgrades scattered across the ocean floor. Unfortunately you are not alone in the big blue ocean. There are large mines and underwater munitions leftover from the war that will hamper your progress. You also have to avoid acidic waters and other toxic environments as they will sap you of your energy. The game controls are on point. This is good because there are many times when you will have to manuever between multiple obstacles that can kill you and precision is key. There is a slight amount of learning to be had, but after a few deaths you will understand how things interact with each other in the environment. The graphics in the game are dark, but that is because they are trying to replicate what it is like deep below the surface of the ocean. I don't have have a problem with the in game graphics, while a bit dark, they play very well with the environment and the story. What I do take issue with is all of the promotional graphics that were released before the game came out on XB1. For some reason there were no in game screenshots released for this game, and that can be a bit misleading if you haven't seen the game on other platforms or the developers website. Anoxemia is out now on XB1, Steam and PS4 for $7.99. If you are looking for an interesting, story driven adventure game this is one to add to your wish list. The levels will keep you on your toes and it is a journey worth taking. 7/10
  12. Headup Games has released a new adventure, puzzle, platformer that will have you chasing after bad guys and searching for your friends. Toby - The Secret Mine tells the story of young Toby, one of the last remaining residents of his village. He must venture out into the dark, unforgiving world and rescue his 26 friends. You set out across the bleak landscape in search of your friends trapped in cages. Along the way you will have to solve puzzles to alter the landscape to allow you to pass and disarm deadly traps. But not all of your friends are sitting out in the open. You will have to poke into the darkness to try and see in the enemies have hidden any of the village residents there. The puzzles will make you rely on most of your senses. Besides the typical reflexes, you will have to have a keen eye to spy triggers for deadly traps, and be listening for strange creaking noises that might mean a loose floor board that can be broken. As you progress through the levels you will have to build on the the skills you have learned to solve more complex problems. Game graphics are, for the most part, dark and eerie. They convey the sense that you are on an overwhelming quest, that you are under prepared for in trying to save the village residents. Tihe stark palette really helps set the tone. The 1st half of the game most of the foreground is all black, so you get very accustomed to it, but suddenly you get thrust into a snow world that is blindingly white and it takes a little bit to adjust. The game music helps add to the spooky atmosphere. This game is a puzzle platformer at heart. For the most it is not really difficult, it will just take some trial and error. And those errors, while frustrating, will rack up a pretty impressive death count for most players. To be honest I wandered into several traps just to watch poor Toby bite the dust. But then again, Toby went into the beyond many times just because of my lack of skills at times. Death has little impact on your game progress. If you die you are transported back to the start of the last puzzle you have not completed. This makes it easier to push through the puzzles until you finally figure them out. Toby - The Secret Mine is out now on XB1, PS4, Wii U and Steam for $9.99. You can even grab it on Android or iOS.
  13. Pocket Kingdom is a charmingly retro puzzle-platformer that creates a deep and mystical world concerning sky habitats and slumbering gods, then fills that intriguing world with a variety of frustrating puzzles and lasers. Thanks a lot, slumbering Gods. In any retro-style game, the music is an absolute essential and needs to be considered first. It is obviously in the 8-bit, nostalgia fueled style of so many other games of its kind, but the overall tone is not one of easy-going adventure, but perhaps instead a dark, somewhat confusing journey. There are upbeat moments, crescendos that build towards relief, yet are then quickly replaced by the slightly claustrophobic tones that seem to subtly tell the player that he is trapped. And trapped he is; you are completely shipwrecked on a mysterious island created by a slumbering God. Others have crashed here and given up, seemingly making whatever life for themselves they can. The importance of the people other than as tutorial advice or guides is insignificant at best, but their presence helps to curtail the feeling of loneliness; without them, it’d be you, a strange Mario-man with a bunch of tools and a ubiquitous Wizard who seems to always get to a level before you. The puzzles are inventive; obviously, any game of this genre that wishes to stand out needs to possess this quality. However, they are a cut above other platformer puzzle games I’ve experienced. There’s the standard mechanic of using blocks to block lasers that inhibit your passage, but there’s also a surprising mechanic of using inverted gravity. In one puzzle, I had to reverse my gravity and then the gravity of one of a multitude of boxes, no less than 5 times to be able to solve the puzzle. The main character also possesses a Rocket Launcher to shove blocks and a Hookshot to… hook blocks. This allows you to manipulate the blocks and do some really interesting solutions to the puzzles. The entire experience feels this way, innovative and very interesting, but the limited application of these cool ideas starts to frustrate the player. That’s the key problem with Pocket Kingdom - it is incredibly frustrating. The puzzles are fun and they are engaging but, when the difficulty ramps up, it’s just too hard. I repeated one level about 40 times before I figured out the solution – there was very little satisfaction, only a crushing realization of the last hour wasted. Too many times I would finally discover the solution, yet be left with an incredibly disappointing feeling that the solution I found wasn’t right. It honestly felt like I had broken the game somehow; my solving the puzzle didn’t seem tied to a systematic application of learned knowledge and skills, but more a random variety of actions attempted in desperation until, finally, one of them solves the puzzle and I can get that damn key. The path of the game is also slightly confusing – it is clear that there is an end goal in mind, but the map that allows you to explore and go to each puzzle is quite open – it at first seems as though there are innumerable options and ways to win the game, but time and time again I kept coming up against an arbitrary barrier. “Oh, you need THIS tool to pass, check a few rooms west” or, after working my way through 3 rooms and finding a giant red demon who seems will help me, he says I need to buy him a key. He opens a portal to… the shop… that just has the key lying there. I go to buy it, turns out I need 3 coins. “Coins? What Coins? There’s currency?” I say to myself in confusion. Yup, guess I need to go to the rooms on my map that look… kind of like coins? Oh yeah, look, I did it, I get a coin! Guess I do this two more times until the red demon will open my arbitrary barrier. While I understand the desire to deviate from the ever-present linear puzzle path - solving one puzzle, then on to the next until finally the ending - but this somewhat pseudo-open worldness just seems half-baked. While Pocket Kingdom is absolutely gorgeous, sounds amazing and utilizes some really interesting mechanics, at the end of the day I am left feeling frustrated and confused. + Beautiful sound design and retro feel. + Innovative and interesting game mechanics designed to challenge the player. - Too much frustration, rather than real challenge. - The non-linear world feels forced and confusing.
  14. When it comes to advertisement the video game industry seems to be leading in terms of garnering hype for certain AAA titles that are undeserving. In the last few years though there has been a trend where the hype train is so powerful that you are convinced that this game being advertised is the greatest game that has ever been made. I know what you're thinking, how could that be a bad thing? How many times have you gotten that game and played it and felt utterly disappointed? There are a few games that stand out that I won't name *cough* No Man's Sky *cough* that has all the makings of a standout hit. An outstanding reveal at a major video game conference, the backing of a major publisher, stunning visuals (in the demo), and a story that seems to be expertly written. What happens when the game comes out and you play it for the first time? The honeymoon phase is something that we have all experienced when it comes to a hyped game. You get it and you start playing and your excitement for the game overshadows any bugs or problems you initially encounter. You are convinced though everything that you have read about the game that it is the best game you have ever played. Once that wears off you start to nitpick certain things about the game then you come to the realization that this is not what was promised. This is not what was advertised and more importantly you realize that you have been fooled. The problem is that the marketing is so well done, the conference presentations so perfect that we all rush to pre order and line up for midnight releases with the thought that we will get our hands on something incredible. By the time we realize what has happened we have already spent our money and the developers have turned a profit. Sure there have been class action lawsuits in the past but this trend doesn't seem to be slowing down or stopping. Have developers and publishers let us down in order to make money on false promises? Is this something that they willing and intentionally do?
  15. Good News Everyone! This weekend if you download Elite: Dangerous Arena from Steam or the Frontier store you can get it for free! The best part? Once you download it, its yours forever! This version of Elite: Dangerous features just the CQC Arena portion of the game where you test your skills against other Commanders in space combat. Four agile, combat-honed space ships. Choose from the fast and aggressive Federal and Imperial Fighters, the damage-dealing Eagle or the heavyweight Sidewinder. Multiple tactical options with custom loadouts unlocked by ranking up. Four Arenas: Elevate’s towering view, Cluster Compound’s mining facility, Asteria Point’s cavernous space station and Ice Field’s frozen asteroid belt. Eight-player Free for All, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag game modes. Realistic, agile starship handling powered by Elite Dangerous’ advanced simulation technology.
  16. Attention Rocket League Players! Psyonix has announced that two classic vehicles from the original Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle-Cars are coming to Rocket League as DLC on Xbox, PlayStation, and Steam PC. Aftershock and Marauder will be available as a timed exclusive if you purchase the Rocket League Collector's Edition which will release on June 24 in Europe and July 5 in North America. Both vehicles will have their original look but with updated graphics and will also come with six decals. They will be released for everyone else on July 18. Both cars can be purchased individually for $1.99 USD after that time.
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