Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think: Loop

Previously released on itch.io, puzzle game Loop arrives on Steam today. I’ve been creating order from chaos, to tell you wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Sunset

Ortega's front room

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.

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(I’m Not Sure) Wot I Think: Epanalepsis

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.

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Wot I Think: Technobabylon

I’d almost forgotten the feeling. I’d begun to wonder if maybe, just maybe, I was deluded in my belief that adventure games could create coherent pathways, difficult yet fun puzzles, and characters whose motivations extended beyond the need to reach the next screen. What a relief it is, then, to play sci-fi dystopia Technobabylon. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Not A Hero

If Hotline Miami had come into being during a late night session in an British pub, it would probably have emerged into the light looking quite a lot like Not a Hero [official site]. Although its action is side-on rather than topdown, the content is similar – surrealist sprees of violence involving an odd crew of protagonists and countless stereotypical gangland denizens. It’s from the makers of indie skateboarding smash hit OlliOlli and here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think – Dead State: Reanimated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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