Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think – Dead State: Reanimated

By Alec Meer on May 19th, 2015.

I’d been wanting to check out Doublebear’s Dead State – which I’m going to loosely label ‘The Walking Dead does X-COM’ – for a while, but Wot I Thinkery fell to someone else upon its initial release. The free ‘Reanimated’ update is a fancy name for a mega-patch designed to address assorted gripes about the doomy turn-based strategy/RPG zombie survival game, and also my opportunity to finally visit the blighted town of Splendid, Texas.

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Premature Evaluation: The Magic Circle

By Marsh Davies on May 18th, 2015.

One of the things I like most about The Magic Circle is its name. It captures the illusory nature of these conjured worlds, their potential for wonder and the artistry that informs them. Celebrated sentient beard and author Alan Moore has, in his mischievous way, declared himself a magician and all art a kind of magic. Defining art as the act of creating illusions to work an effect on the mind of the audience, he claims this is as close to a shamanistic understanding of magic as we have in this century.

Each week Marsh Davies plays unfinished and broken games on Early Access and usually tries to come up with an introductory sentence which says exactly this while using imagery appropriate to the idiom of the given week’s game. But the idiom of this week’s game is being an unfinished and broken game! So, job done. It’s The Magic Circle [Steam page], a game set within a game, in which the player edits the properties of the world around him while exploring the strata of the game’s many abandoned developmental stages, unravelling the story of its creators in the process.

I have tamed Jim Rossignol’s bumhole. I’ve also made Jim Rossignol’s bumhole fireproof, which is just as well, since Jim Rossignol’s bumhole spews gouts of flame when angered. Jim Rossignol’s bumhole has a lightning rod jammed in it, too, which deactivates forcefields. With my latest effort, Jim Rossignol’s bumhole has sprouted a little propeller, allowing Jim Rossignol’s bumhole to fly about. John Walker’s angry red Weeto has many of the same properties, and it should surprise no one that Alec Meer’s huge husky third leg is shaped like a ginormous mushroom.

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Wot I Think: Chroma Squad

By Rich Stanton on May 15th, 2015.

Children are fickle creatures, and today’s craze is tomorrow’s landfill. One of my earliest memories is of mum trying to convince me that He-Man was much cooler than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and, despite there only being one of him, that he could easily take them in a fight. I stubbornly refused to accept this reasoning, my painstakingly-accumulated He-Man collection was on the scrapheap, and the poor parents had to start buying TMNT toys instead.

Now that the children of the 80s and 90s are adults, something funny but predictable has happened. Everything old is new again, reborn or rebooted to try and bring our inner child back – and so we come to Chroma Squad [official site], the greatest Power Rangers game there never was.

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Wot I & My 2 Year Old Think: DOOM Cacodemon Plush Toy

By Alec Meer on May 14th, 2015.

I’m amazed it took them two decades, to be honest, but there is now an official soft toy based on DOOM’s floaty, cyclopic head o’death the Cacodemon. What was once meant to be a chilling avatar of demonic terror is now furry, squeezable and cute as big red button. Because I am an entirely-self interested father, I bought one for my daughter Connie’s second birthday instead of getting her a sparkly Frozen dress, a Peppa Pig playset, a cordless hammer drill or whatever it is young girls are into these days. This means a) I can get her to review it for me here and b) I can claim it as a tax expense. I totally win at toddlers’ birthdays.
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Wot I Think: Galactic Civilizations III

By Adam Smith on May 14th, 2015.

Galactic Civilizations III [official site] is the long-awaited sequel to the 24th best strategy game of all time. I’ve spent a week looking to the stars and planting my flag in every planet in sight in order to understand the changes that have been made, and the improvements and failures at the heart of this behemoth. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Kerbal Space Program

By Brendan Caldwell on May 13th, 2015.

Kerbal Space Program [official site] is a game about exploration, vehicular design and physics. It involves triumph and tragedy, careful meticulous planning and improvised catastrophe. We asked Brendan to suit up and go forth, in the name of science.

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Cardboard Children – Forbidden Stars

By Robert Florence on May 12th, 2015.

Hello youse.

Forbidden Stars is the much-anticipated board game of galactic conquest set in Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K universe. It’s a game from Fantasy Flight Games, who used to do these big epic board games that shipped in what we called “coffin boxes”. Twilight Imperium III, Starcraft, Runewars, Descent First Edition – all these games came in big giant boxes, packed full of miniatures. These games launched before the current board game boom, when board gaming was still quite niche, and players were willing to plow through 40-page rulebooks before getting a game on the table.

But things changed. The audience expanded, and board games started to become more streamlined, more simple. The length of time you could expect to play a board game for started to shrink. Fantasy Flight released a Second Edition of Descent, and it was a prime example of how the industry was shifting. It was cleaned-up, stripped down, faster to run through. The rulebooks were improved and slimmed down. Descent Second Edition was a better game, probably, but it was definitely lighter. It had definitely lost a bit of that crunch.

And me? I was waiting for things to tip back a little bit in the other direction. I was waiting for the big, long, deep games to come back – with a little bit of that new-age streamlining in the mix. The perfect mix of the old ways and the new. And the wait, thankfully, is over.

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Wot I Think: Invisible, Inc.

By Quintin Smith on May 12th, 2015.

Invisible, Inc. [official site] is a game of “tactical espionage” from the creators of Mark of the Ninja, immediately understandable as XCOM meets Mission Impossible. You control a tiny team of sleuths working to rob the procedurally-generated vaults, server farms and detention centres of four high-tech corporations. In just 72 hours you’ll be taking on a fittingly impossible mission, and failure is not an option. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Magicka – Wizard Wars

By Adam Smith on May 11th, 2015.

After a year of Early Access, Magicka: Wizard Wars [official site] has finally graduated from Hogwarts. We’ve already shared our thoughts on various versions of the game but there’s still plenty to say about this maybe-a-MOBA and its complex combo-based elemental magic system. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think – Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

By Alec Meer on May 7th, 2015.

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is a standalone expansion and prequel to last year’s alterna-history shooter Wolfenstein: The New Order. It came out earlier this week.

You almost never see BJ Blazkowicz’s eyes this time. Those tired, sad eyes gave last year’s Wolfenstein: The New Order soul. Not a lot of soul in the grand scheme of things, but by the standards of games which are primarily concerned with gunning down hordes of baddies, The New Order was a big old bleeding heart. Standalone expansion/prequel The Old Blood is a perfectly decent man-shooter that’s in all other senses a step back into tradition. Maybe that’s why we don’t really see his eyes this time. They’d be too bright and cheerful. He’d be a maniac rather than a wounded soldier.

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Wot I Think: WWE 2K15

By Adam Smith on May 1st, 2015.

In these alt text captions I will provide insight into the various wrestlers pictured for non-wrestling fans. These fine fellows are members of the Wyatt Family. They are controlled by their sentient beards, which force them to fight everyone even though they are gentle men.

Professional wrestling is a ridiculous cultural phenomenon and I love it dearly. I also happen to think it’s blend of theatre, physical performance and interactive storytelling is ideally suited to gaming. It’s a weird and wonderful world that offers all manner of opportunities for interactive storytelling, from heroic fights against the odds to villainous victories and roster management.

WWE 2K15 [official site] seizes many of those opportunities, but do they wriggle out of its meaty grasp? Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Environmental Station Alpha

By John Walker on May 1st, 2015.

Environmental Station Alpha [official site] is a Metroid-alike pixel platformer that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, right up until I didn’t any more. And yet, I find myself recommending it. Here’s wot I think:

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Wot I Think: Shadowrun Chronicles – Boston Lockdown

By Alec Meer on April 30th, 2015.

How old will I have to be, and how much drek with a vague Gibson theme will there need to be, before cyberpunk stops being catnip to me? All being well I shall never tire of people with mohawks and cybernetic arms wandering through dark’n’neon future-cities with Tokyo overtones, but I worry I might have said similar about zombies or space marines many years ago. The going’s still good for now, and as such I was a moth to Shadowrun Chronicles’ flame.

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