EightyEight Games 10,000,000 was a surprisingly lovely and silly combination of match-3 and endless running gaming, and entirely won us over. It’s sequel, You Must Build A Boat [official site], is out any moment now, and here’s wot I think:
RPS Feature You Ought To Buy This Game
RPS Feature Shapely
It’s a bold move when your options screen requires a working understanding of your game mechanics. Bold, and daft. But I’m going to forgive Color Assembler this enormity purely because its ataraxic atmosphere lulls me back into a state of imperturbable calm. I’m even forgiving how bloody confusing it is.
RPS Feature Chop Logic
Each week Marsh Davies slices open Early Access like the soft belly of a hapless Yakuza goon and roots around inside for any stories he can find. This week he’s playing Ronin – a game about infiltrating 2D-cutaway buildings and dicing their occupants up via a sharp-as-hell turnbased combat system.
“Tip: this is not Gunpoint,” says a little message on the screen. It’s not wrong. While playing Gunpoint, for example, I never punched my monitor so hard that it flickered to a blank white for several seconds, during which I fearfully grovelled in apology to the gods. Ronin is heavily inspired by Gunpoint, however – a fact which, to forestall the needlessly defensive cries of “Clone!”, seems to delight Gunpoint’s creator, my good chum Tom Francis. And regardless of its origins, Ronin now plays really quite differently (not least because of the tantrum-inducing lack of a manual save system). You can still leap across moonlit rooftops in elegant parabolas, scuttle up the sides of skyscrapers and sling yourself through their plate glass windows, but, once inside, the player’s purpose is less about open-ended stealth puzzling than it is strategic slaughter.
RPS Feature Hots stuff
Heroes of the Storm [official site], which launches out of open beta today, is Blizzard’s take on the MOBA – and if the very mention of the ‘M’-word made you want to heave your monitor out the window then it may just be a game you should play.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas are popular in direct proportion to the degree with which they are hated by people who don’t play them – and there are very good reasons for both of these things. Blizzard have made a game that seeks to make peace with each side. I think, if given time by either party, it would succeed, even if these impulses sometimes leave the game in conflict with itself. I, personally, bloody love it.
RPS Feature Roguelitelike
Oh happy day! There is no roguelite I’ve played more of, nor enjoyed more, than Pixel Dungeon. But until now its modern versions being confined to my portable telephone has precluded declaring said delight in the hallowed halls of PC gaming. But what’s this popping up, unannounced, in the Steam new releases? It’s Pixel Dungeon, rebuilt and perfected for returning to my desktop computing machine! Here’s wot I think:
RPS Feature More 'Disdain', really
Obviously Hatred [official site] has engineered itself, with the support of a jejune voluntary army, a degree of infamy. A drearily tasteless and cheap (in all senses of the word) promotional campaign dared a mostly uninterested world to care that it was to feature a lone gunman slaughtering hundreds of innocent civilians. They got a bit of attention from the credulous, but not much, and now the finished isometric shooter appears with little noise. Despite all that, I’m not here to review the clumsily engineered politics behind its development, but the game itself. Here’s wot I think:
RPS Feature Separating the Wiedźmin from the Wiedźbois
Goodness, is that the time? And, more importantly, the date? Well, yes. In my defence, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] isn’t the kind of game you can rush, in any way whatsoever. It’s the RPG that CD Projekt has been working on for ten years now – the first two games in retrospect simply being necessary baby-steps steps on the road to this, the Witcher game of their dreams. It’s a flawed masterpiece, but make no mistake, it absolutely is a masterpiece – one of the best RPGs ever created, and a true tribute to Sapkowski’s stories. Here’s Wot (Else) I Think.
RPS Feature Inaction
Well here’s a remarkable thing – it’s been long enough since the sheer horror of the 90s FMV (Full Motion Video) adventure for the whole thing to finally feel nostalgic. But has someone finally made a game to go with it? Canadian team Zandel Media have tried with Missing: An Interactive Thriller’s first ‘episode’ [official site]. Here’s wot I think:
RPS Feature Playing both sides
To commemorate the digital release of classic Lucasarts games X-Wing and TIE Fighter [Steam or GOG for the best versions here and here], we commissioned Rob Zacny to take a trip down memory lane and into the laser-singed spaces between the stars. He came back with extensive thoughts as to the quality of the games, and their place in Star Wars lore and legend.
RPS Feature Snowden 'em up
NEON STRUCT is a first-person stealth game from the makers of the excellent Eldritch. You play as a federal agent who falls foul of high-level conspiracy when an apparently routine mission goes wrong. It’s out now.
It might have lacked much of what made later stages of Ion Storm’s game so beloved, but first level Liberty Island was also the freeform Deus Ex promise writ largest: a wide-open playground for action and most especially evasion. While what followed introduced more ways to kill, people to talk to, secrets to find and decisions to agonise over, it downscaled the sandbox, live by your wits promise. What if Deus Ex had been like Liberty Island throughout?
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RPS Feature Running rings around me
RPS Feature House and home
I like Sunset [official site] for its sense of place, for its lighting, for its drip feed of story, for the emphasis on subtle change and human scale in an event games tend to deal with via guns and power fantasies and super tech. But when it comes to the relationship building which lies at the centre of the game Sunset can stumble. Here’s Wot I Think.
RPS Feature Down Dooby Down
Most of all, I’m not sure wot I think of Epanalepsis. I’ve played it through three times now. I still have very little idea what it’s about, both in terms of its cloaked narrative, and its reason for being. And yet I find myself looking at it somewhat fondly.