Wot I Think: Mysterium

Books and syringe boxes both open. Obviously.

Mysterium [official site] is one of my favourite board games. It’s somewhere between Dixit and Cluedo in that you’re a psychic trying to find a murder’s culprit, location and weapon but the only clues you have to go on are these wonderfully illustrated cards given to you by the “ghost” player which form your psychic visions. The game now has an official online version so I’ve been checking it out to see how it translates.

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Have You Played… RetroArch?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Hey, you know all those old console cartridges you have all the originals of and painstakingly took ROM backups up yourself? Turns out there’s a way to use ’em. Who knew?
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Steam Charts: Normal Parameters

Cor blimey, it’s only the weekly Steam Charts! As always, these are based on the accumulated sales on Steam over the previous week, not what’s doing best for itself at this exact moment in time.

A nice number one this week, but a rather old-fashioned top ten otherwise – with one unexpected aberration.

N.B. there is NO VENGABUS this week. Repeat NO VENGA BUS. It’ll return when it is most needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Pit People

Every Monday we send Brendan on a cartoonish quest to kill or capture an early access game and force it to battle in the fighting pits. This week, the comic antics of Pit People [official site].

Oh thank god, it’s funny. Having missed Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater, previous games from The Behemoth, I didn’t know what kind of comedy to expect. When I heard the South Parky voice of this game’s antagonistic narrator (the same voice actor from their previous game), I feared the worst – second-hand dick jokes, gateway satire, walking talking poops. I was relieved to feel my first lol, the result of a character’s quick, unexpected death and the narrator’s flamboyant disregard. It’s also a decent strategy game, which isn’t a genre I’d usually associate with giant purple bears bleeding onto the surface of the earth. But there you go.
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Smite Tactics strategy card game puts gods on a grid

Smite Tactics

While out at Hi-Rez Expo 2017 I spent a bit of time with the studio’s turn-based strategy card game, Smite Tactics [official site]. I’ve also been tinkering around with it since I came home – a couple of PvP games here, a campaign mission there… I feel like I’ve played enough to give you an overview of what it is and how it’s different from other games in that genre like Duelyst, but it’s also in that really rough-and-ready state that betrays its closed beta status. It’s very much a work in progress, but let’s have a look at how it’s shaping up.

So first up let’s look at what Tactics actually is. There’s a card-collection and deck building aspect you’ll likely be familiar with if you’ve spent time online with Hearthstone or offline with Magic: The Gathering (to pick two big names out of the air). Then there’s the miniatures-on-a-grid battle side of things which has roots in turn based strategy gaming like Final Fantasy Tactics.

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Hidden Folks is bursting with life and completely daft

I spotted Where’s Wally-alike Hidden Folks [official site] while judging the first round of the IGFs, and asked the developers if I could preview it back then. Instead they sent over a newer and ever-evolving build of the game which I’ve been playing on and off for the last month, and I am completely charmed. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… La Mulana?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

While Lara Croft is shooting a bear in the face, Nathan Drake is hanging out the back of a plane, and Indiana Jones is squabbling with his dad, the heroes of La Mulana are doing the real work: taking notes, reading patterns, drawing maps. Whether you’d prefer to call it a Metroidvania or an exploration-based puzzler, La Mulana [official site] is the smartest game in its class.

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