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Found 18 results

  1. Occasionally, I see a game that looks really cool and I think “Hey that will be a fun game to review”, even if I am not 100% sure how the game will work. SUPERBEAT : XONiC by PM Studios, INC is the latest game to catch my eye and say play me. It is a rhythm game that utilizes the basic controller instead of a plastic guitar or a dance mat – and when I say it uses your controller, I mean it uses almost every button on there. You play the part of a DJ and it is up to you to add in key sounds to each song and keep the beat. As the notes come toward the screen, you have to try and match where it lands with the correct button, control stick or D-pad input. String enough notes together and you will be racking up the points with a huge combo. Miss a note and your combo drops to 0 and your score will suffer. When you first fire up the game you will go through a short tutorial that explains all the controls. Once completed, you will move on to the easiest of the difficulties 4 Trax. This denotes that the incoming notes can only land in 4 spots – 2 on each side. Once you complete that playlist you will unlock 6 Trax, then 6 Trax FX. 6 Trax adds another area on each side, and 6 Trax FX adds even more notes to hit. There is even a Freestyle mode if you want to just take it easy for a while. There are dozens of songs for you to play. And the music is really the star of this game. Songs bridge every genre that you can think of, but most seem to be Japanese artists, so don’t expect any Top 40 tunes on the play lists. One thing that I found a bit disappointing was that the beat you provide for the songs doesn’t seem to fit in well with the music. You start with a snare drum, but as you progress through the game you earn new key sounds like a dog barking and other odd tones. This tends to detract from the music. The graphics can be very mesmerizing. The backgrounds are psychedelic and will have you wondering if someone slipped something into your drink when you weren’t looking. You will delight in the varying waves of color that fill the screen behind the waves of notes that you have to grab. This is not a game for casual gamers. It takes some serious hand – eye co-ordination to get the high level combos needed for good rankings. While you can control the speed of the notes, juggling the controls and trying to hit notes that are flying at you on both sides of the screen. Luckily, the more you play the easier it gets, but the beginning frustration may turn some players off. SUPERBEAT : XONiC is out now on XB1 and will fill the void in your collection for rhythm games. You can add it to your games for $39.99. 6/10
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. C I Games recently released the 3rd game in their Sniper Ghost Warrior series, aptly named Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. Now before I get too deep into this review I have to lay a few cards on the table. The first is that I have not played either of the first two games in the series. The second is that I was taught to shoot by a Marine Corps Sniper who served in Vietnam, then rotated back to the states to become a Scout Sniper instructor. While I am not a complete expert on ballistics, I do know my way around a weapon. So with that out of the way - let's begin. The game begins with a prologue mission, which serves to set up some back story for our main character, John North and act as a basic tutorial. You are introduced to different types of movement, weapons, attacks, ammunition, and the equipment you have at your disposal. The mission centers on John and his brother Robert, another sniper, when they are sent on a classified mission to scout and clear an enemy base. But things don't always go as planned. Fast forward a bit and our story continues. John is now in Georgia - the country, not the state - and he is on assignment to help out the locals and destabalize the seperatists. This assignment takes on a lot of different roles. Your missions will vary from intellegence gathering, hostage rescue, termination of most wanted targets, and creating general chaos. The regions that you operate in also contain dozens of points of interest for you to explore. These points contain different smaller missions for you to complete. Some may require you to save civilians, some have you track down needed supplies, while others simply serve as fast travel points around the area. Regardless, they add some depth and more time that you can spend in the world. These side missions will also help you increase your skill, gather supplies so that you can craft resources and help you explore the landscapes. Most of your traveling is designed to be done in your car. Your exit your safe house, hop in your ride, drive to your mission, park and go through the objectives. Once complete, you exfiltrate the area, return to your vehicle and drive back to the safe house to get your next set of orders. Unfortunately, things tend to go pear shaped when you really don't want them too. Many times once you complete a mission and return to where you stashed your ride it has vanished. This means you are left to run back to a fast travel location or in some cases all the way back to your safehouse since you are not able to grab any of the other cars that are in the world. You can work straight through the story and be done with the game or take your time doing the optional side missions and hunting the most wanted targets as you like. This offers a bit of variety in the flow of the game. It will also allow you to travel between the different regions of the game, explore more, earn and find more of the weapons of the trade. One of the most crucial aspects of the game is the shooting mechanics. It is after all a sniping game. Most of the weapons you use you will have to take distance, elevation and wind speed into account prior to your shot. Only a few high powered / high tech sniper rifles are immune from these factors. You will also have to take enemy armor into your calculations. At 100 yards you may be able to get away with a headshot against an enemy wearing a helmet, but at 400 + yards that same shot will require armor piercing rounds to ensure a killshot. It is nice to see kinectics and ballistics taken into account. The other interesting aspect is that each round fired through a silenced weapon will degrade the attached silencer until it is destroyed. The only way to counter this is to repair it in between missions when you are at your safe house, or carry repair kits with you. The amount of noise you make can influence if the enemy hears you, but this seems to vary a lot. I have been crouched and had an enemy on the far side of an objective take notice of me and one that was less than half his distance to me pay no attention to me. I have also been able to run full speed up to enemies over 30-40 meters and they didn't bat an eye before I was able to "stealth" kill them. If you are spotted, you can usually go prone and simply vanish. If things do go sideways with your mission and a fire fight breaks out, if you are able to move your position, and don't return fire for a minute or so the AI figures you have bugged out and they continue their regular patrol patterns. Graphics in the game are really good. There is a good diversity of enemy types and they are rendered well. Environments are set up beautifully, and there are a few very interesting destinations used as set pieces. The slow motion kill shots are well done, but can get a bit repeatative if you are only going for head shots, and let's face it - we are all trying to pop them like ripe melons for the extra points. The music is upbeat, regional tunes that go well with the setting. The sound effects also help to enhance the game astetic whether it is the howling of the wind, or the howling of the wolves, you will begin to feel like a lone sniper on a mission where survival is solely up to your skills. As fun and interesting as this title is, it does suffer a few setbacks. The 1st is one that you will see right off. Really long load times when you start up the game - like start up the game and go make a sandwich long. These usually only happen at the start of each session, but they are very frustrating. Next, as I mentioned, there is a good chance your vechile will not be where you left it. Also multiple times as I played I encountered the same bug. I would shoot someone, the game would go into the slow motion kill shot and stop just before bullet impact and I was taken back to the moment right before I pulled the trigger. This means you have to re-adjust and try the same shot 3 to 4 times. You can also clear objectives, get an in game notification they are cleared and then get shot my a random enemy that has been re-spawned. The story is interesting, if not predictable, but will give you many hours of engaging gameplay. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is out now on XB1, PS4, PC, and Wii U. You can pick it up now with a season pass that includes extra content for $59.99. I reviewed the game on XB1. 7/10
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. I will admit that for the first few years I was playing on Xbox I didn't pay attention to those achievements that popped up on the bottom of my screen. Sure, I knew they meant I just completed some task, but I wasn't out chasing that little ding and trying to get every game I played to 100%. But then a few people I gamed with commented about my low gamerscore, so I decided to see what I could do to improve it. It turns out if you have the time, and a little extra money, you can jump your gamerscore by about 20,000 points in a single weekend. You read that right, 20 K, and the best part is you don't even have to be that good of a player to do it. I have completed all the titles within, and many can attest to my mediocre gaming skill set. In order for you to get the maximum score in the shortest amount of time it will help if you have an Xbox One and an Xbox 360, or at least access to one. You can grab most of the 360 titles used on disc with some searching brick and mortar stores, or just order them from the internet. Once you are done with them you can add them to your collection, trade them back in, resell them to other achievement hunters, or trade them to a friend who needs a boost. The Xbox One games are available digitally, and once you buy them, they are yours forever, so you will want to check the weekly Xbox sales for these titles as you will probably only play the game once. Also before you start playing, if you are going to try and boost your score quickly, you should also check out achievement hunting websites like TrueAchievements.com or XboxAchievements.com - these sites will show you what achievements are in each game, and how to grab them quickly. Now for the Xbox 360 Titles : 10 K, about 18 hours Avatar - The Last Airbender : 5 - 10 minutes to complete Backyard Football 2010 : 2 hours to complete Backyard Sports - Rookie Rush : 2 hours to complete Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons : 2-3 hours to complete College Hoops 2K6 : 2 hours to complete Contrast : 2 hours to complete Forza Horizon 2 - The Fast & the Furious : 2 hours to complete Major Legue Baseball 2K6 : 2 hours to complete NBA 2K6 : 2 hours to complete NHL 2K6 : 2 hours to complete Xbox One Games : 13 K, about 21 hours #IDARB : 2 hours to complete Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition : Under 1 hour to complete Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons : 2-3 hours to complete Contrast : 2 hours to complete Cubot : under 1 hour to complete Contrast : 2 hours to complete Energy Cycle : under 1 hour to complete Forza Horizon 2 - The Fast & the Furious : 2 hours to complete NBA 2K17 - The Prelude : 1 hour to complete Pneuma - Breath of Life : 2-3 hours to complete The Bunker : 2 hours to complete The Little Acre : 2 hours to complete Three Fourths Home : 2 hours to complete This is by no means a complete list of easy achievement games, but it does contain many of the quickest ones. As an added bonus, the games that are on the list also have good stories, are fun to play, and don't require a lot of grinding. You can also complete each title in one sitting without much difficulty. If you are looking for games that you can complete easily but will take up a bit more time, I can add a list of those as well.
  9. Like some Xbox players, I have been trying to find a reason to really love my Kinect. When I first got my 360 I was thinking it was going to be great, but more and more I was disappointed by the games that utilized it. It was a gimmick for than anything. And the system integration has been sketchy at best. It has become more of a quicker way to turn my system off as I am cleaning up for the night, than a gaming tool. I will occassionally use it record some of my semi-par game play, but that is about it. Very few companies even pay attention to the Kinect these days, which is why I keep an eye out for new releases from Virtual Air Guitar Company. Their games draw you into the game with camera and allow you control the action with the motion sensors. Their newest release is no different. Air Guitar Warrior for Kinect lets you live out your rock god fantasies while never leaving the comfort of your home. As the title suggests you will pick up you invisible axe and battle waves of enemies. Your skill and technique will directly impact your performance, but don't fret, you don't have to actually be able to play to do well. There are four distinctly different attacks that depend on your hand placement on the neck of the "guitar" and how fast you strum. Hand placement decides on if you are playing lead or rhythm and your strumming speed will vary between fast and slow. The catch is that each part has a limited amount of ammo, so you can't just constantly use strong attacks, or attacks that are weaker but have a larger damage radius. You will have to vary your attacks if you want to clear levels with 100% efficency and your health in tact. The game is at heart a side scrolling shooter. You will mount anything from a dinosaur to a viking ship or and eagle and enemies start to attack as the hard rocking original soundtrack plays in the background. You will play along and shoot foes down before they have a chance to get close enough to attack you. You don't earn points through out each level, but at the end of the level you are shown the number of each type of enemy you dispatched and give you a level completion percentage. You will also gain XP which levels up you character. The game is divided into albums, each of which has 5 tracks. There are 4 levels and one final album boss. Once you complete all 10 albums, you can replay them on a higher difficulty. As you progress through the campaign you will also unlock new guitars that have different firing abilities. Some are tied to the albums that you playing, others just look really cool. Either way, the new weapons add to the replay value of the game as you can try to best all the levels with each one. The kinect integration into the game is pretty much seemless. You will appear on screen in all of your rocking glory. The strumming and hand positions are picked up without an issue. Navigating the menu between albums can be a little clunky at times, but works with the kinect or you can just flick your controller once or twice. Also since you are playing guitar and not moving around, the kinect only really needs to pick up your upper torso so the game doesn't require you to have a large space cleared. An added bonus of this game is that if you wear any sort of fitness tracking device on the wrist of your strumming hand you will rack up a nice little workout when you play. Air Guitar Warrior for Kinect is a fun game for all of those that like to rock out on their imaginary guitars when nobody is looking. It can also double as a light exercise program. You can grab it at the Xbox store for $19.99. The title is a little pricey, but I have to admit that it is a fun game to just pick up and play for 5 - 10 minutes when you need to unwind. But you may also find yourself jamming out for an hour and stopping only when your body says you need to take a break. 8/10
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Indie game developer SigTrap Games has released a new flying shooter along with game publisher Merge Games LTD. Sublevel Zero Redux puts you in the shoes of the last pilot standing as you take control of a lone gunship and try to save the world. As you take over the last gunship, you will pilot your way through procedurally generated levels. The pressure is on for you to destroy the enemies, collect parts and nanites to craft more powerful weapons, and of course destroy the reactor at the end of each level and move on. Which guns, missles and hull will you pair together to make your ultimate death machine? The object of the game is fairly simple - destroy your enemies while you fly through tunnels of a large spaceship. The execution is where the game stands out from the other games in the genre. Not only are you able to fly forward, backwards, left and right, but using the d-pad will allow you to increase or decrease you altitude. Tap left or right on the pad and you will roll 45 degrees in that direction. You have full range of motion in this shooter and you will need it. Dodging fast charging enemies will require you to learn how to deftly move your ship. And since the weapons you start with are not the most accurate, you will have to try and get in close to make sure your bullets find their mark. Having 6 degrees of freedom also means that you will be using almost every button and trigger on your controller to make the most of the control scheme. The graphics in the game may seem a bit simple at first, but as you progress through the levels the simple tunnels you are flying through give way to beautiful caverns. Since the game is procedurally generated, there are no save points or extra lives, each play through is very unique. It also gives the game a high replay value. Don't think if you complete the 4 levels that you see listed that you are done, that is just the start of this adventure. Sublevel Zero Redux is out now on XB1, PS4 and Steam for $19.99. There is also a limited edition physical copy available on PS4 if you like to have the disc in your collection. 7/10 Review originally posted here
  14. Deck 13 has released a new platformer for XB1 that shows that size does matter. Shift Happens is the story of 2 blobs that must make there way through challenging environments in order to survive. You can take on this challenge solo, controlling both characters yourself - one at a time - or have a friend hop on the couch with you and tackle them together. In Shift Happens - be careful when saying the title fast, people may stare at you - you control Bismo and Plom, 2 blob like creatures that have the ability to change size. When you start out, they can shift size independently of each other, but a strange lab accident soon links their transformations. This means that you will have to coordinate their size to clear puzzles and advance through the levels. There are 49 levels spread out among 4 very unique areas, plus several Bonus Levels for you to conquer. In each level you will not only have to reach the end, but you will have to try and collect all 75 coins that are strewn about. Most are in plain sight, but some will require you to solve extra puzzles or find hidden areas. Some levels also contain a bonus item that you must work together with your teammate to return to its proper location. If all of this isn't enough to keep you busy for a while, they have also tossed in Timed versions of the levels for you to try your hand at. The graphics are bright, sharp and fun. Bismo and Plom are strangely cute characters that will remind you of a less defined, liquid, gingerbread man. Switching their sizes is a fun animation to watch, and one that you will see a lot in the game as you progress through the levels. The levels are very well designed and a nice mix between platforming and puzzle solving. You will really have to have the characters work as a team in order to complete each level. While this is a fun game to work through on your own, the title really shines once you hook up that 2nd controller and play with a friend. Trying to work together, figuring out who will be what size and how to progress adds another level to this game. Solo, you can figure it out - but when you have to have 2 brains working together, in sync, there will surely be a battle for control. It is like a video game version of the 3 legged race - only those that get a rhythm down will win. Shift Happens is out now for XB1 and you can add it to your collection for $14.99. This is a fun game to play and really shows its greatness when you play locally with a friend. It can tax your mind and your friendship with the puzzles it holds. 8/10 Original Post : Here
  15. 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.
  16. Lienzo has released a new game in the adventure, platformer, Metrovania genre. Hunter's Legacy is the story of Ikki, the greatest huntress of Un'amak. Her village lives in peace and harmony with nature until one day when and evil warlock steals the Fang of Alliance. This sets your world into turmoil and you must retrieve it. Armed with your dual swords and bow you must journey through the land in search of your treasure. Ikki must battle to find the warlock in hopes of bringing balance back to your world. As you search for your foe, you will have to fight mini bosses, collect new attacks, upgrade your weapons and health. Each new attack will allow you to open up new areas to further your adventure. Power up to destroy once impenaturable obstacles, and jump to new heights. The game follows the basic formula of many adventure games. Chase the big bad, he escapes and you have to scour the land, battle smaller bosses so you can gather the tools to continue your original chase. Gameplay is also very typical - even though you are the Worlds Greatest Huntress, you are very unequipped for your battle. Unfortunately the quest to power up is underwhelming. Even though you travel through multiple areas, most feel very similar. You will encounter the same enemies across several areas. One of the most interesting areas is the Snowy Volcano. Here you will encounter ice that you will slide on, and will freeze you if you spend to long on it. You will not freeze to the point of not beinig able to move, but you will start taking environmental damage. Not far away you will encounter hot zones that will raise your temp until you start taking heat damage. You must make sure that you have enough health to traverse these areas and take care of the enemies you encounter. Most parts of the game are not that difficult, but these environmental hazards ratchet up the difficulty. The mini bosses also drastically up the ante, but this isn't because of their attack or health, it's because of game design. The first mini boss you encounter will briefly hang from the ceiling and you must shoot it's support with your bow. Once it falls you can temporarily damage it. The first few attacks are easy because you have a tower to climb that gets you close to the enemy. Once they are destroyed you must shoot from ground level and this is where things get dicey. You have to be at the precise angle in order to hit your target, but to do that the enemy is almost entirely off screen. This makes for an extended battle that really shouldn't be that hard. The graphics in the game bring back memories of older adventure games in the genre. Enemies are well designed and look sharp across the game. The soundtrack contains whimsical tracks of pan flute music to accompany you on your journey. There are a few tracks that include a rhymic clicking that made me try and figure out why my clock was so loud. Hunter's Legacy is out now for XB1, and can be added to your collection for $6.99. If you pine for old school MetroidVania games, this is a good title to keep you busy for a few hours.
  17. We learned today that Path of Exile is coming to XBOX one in 2017. This has to be great news to fans of the series. In a release today, Grinding Gear Games announced the following: "Grinding Gear Games announced today that their hit online ARPG, Path of Exile, will be coming exclusively to Xbox One in 2017. The Xbox One version of Path of Exile will contain all five previous expansions and the new content that will be launching for the PC version this year in the upcoming giant 3.0.0 expansion, including the long-awaited Act V. Here is a nice trailer for you as well below!" About Path of Exile Path of Exile is an online Action RPG set in the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. It is designed around a strong online item economy, deep character customization, and unlimited replayability. Path of Exile is completely free and does not sell items or consumables that provide competitive advantage over other players. Since release in 2013, it has received five large expansions. Path of Exile Key Features Include: Download and play for free, but never pay-to-win A dark and deep action RPG Unlimited character combinations with the game’s gigantic skill tree Combine skill gems to create unique combat strategies Explore a dark and gritty world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective Explore randomly generated levels for nearly infinite replayability Craft weapons, magic items, and even end-game maps to become more powerful Cooperate or compete with thousands of other Exiles in a persistent online world Ascend online ladders in every game mode
  18. Blowfish Studios has released a new real time strategy game that will throw you right into the thick of intense battles. SiegeCraft Commander places you in the middle of a war between the honorable Knights of Freemoi and the wild Tribal Lizards. Pick your side and conquer your enemy before they over run your forces. The game offers an interesting play style. After you choose your side, your Keep is placed on the map, which appears to be on a gaming table. Your Keep is your main base of operations, but in order to win, you have to expand. To build your base you must fire something a kin to a cannon ball with yournext building. Once that ball lands it will build your new building and a wall connected to your previous building. This means that you have to be aware of how you are building your base. Walls cannot be built across trees, water, and of course other walls. The side you pick to fight for will determine what types of buildings you have at your disposal. Outposts, garrisons, barracks, libraries, war camps, totems and hatcheries are just a few of the parts you can add to your base. But you have to be careful because when a buildinig is destroyed - all other buildings that extend from it suffer the same fate. Each building has a specific purpose - the garrison leads to the barracks which will supply you with ground troops. The armory will give you access to siege weapons. If you are attached to a gold source, you can build even more powerful units such as airships that can soar over your enemies defenses. I have been playing the game on Xbox One, and the controls can be a bit tricky. Even though the controls are straight forward, they take a bit of finesse to master. You use the left stick to both aim and select the power used to shoot your new building. Even with an Elite Controller, getting the exact angle you want, and the right power level can be a bit tricky. Since the controls don't lock into all the possible positions, there is a lot of twitching involved. Trying to get mid power shots consistently can be a bit difficult. The stick also controls the movement of the board, and which of your assets is selected - the center item is the one that you have control over. If you are rushing in battle you can easily choose the wrong tower. The game sports a single player campaign in which you can pick either side and play through. Each side has a different story to play through and will keep you engaged for a fair amount of time. What really drives this title is the multiplayer game. You can play with up to 3 other players in either local or online multiplayer. This in where you will spent most of your time, and will have a chance to sharpen your skills beyond basic tactics. Graphics in SiegeCraft are very nicely done. It is really fun to watch a dragon swoop down and snatch a cow, or seeing a mad cow explode against a tower. The tower designs are nice, and vary well between the 2 factions. The game also features a beautiful sweeping soundtrack to accompany you on your quest. Siegecraft - Commander will be out on Xbox One 17 January. If you are a fan of real time strategy games I would recommend picking up this title. Just be prepared to tame the finicky controls.
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