Impressions: Prismatica Is As Cheerful As Games Can Be

As is my wont of an early morning, I like to look through the new puzzle games appearing on Steam, in search of treats to share with you, my bestest internet friends. I’m not sure my pre-8am brain was quite ready for the extraordinary cheerfulness that occupies every moment of Prismatica [official site]. Ostensibly a game about rotating overlapping hexagons to move coloured tiles around, its real impact comes from the joyful bursts of colour and sound. Oh, such ludicrous joy.

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Race Around The Clock: Remembering Street Rod

A lot of our ideas about the 1950s and early ’60s come from the era’s nostalgic revival years later. Grease, Happy Days, and American Graffiti give us our stereotypical image of the period’s cool cats, but those are all from the 1970s. They represent a fictionalised version of the time that was unrecognisable to people who lived through it – even the word “greaser” wasn’t contemporary, but comes from S. E. Hinton’s 1967 novel The Outsiders. In their day the kids with quiffs would have been called juvenile delinquents or hoods.

I didn’t have a car when I was a teenager but I did have a Commodore 64, and it was as temperamental, arcane, and hard to get working as anyone’s first used car would be. A hand-me-down from my stepbrother, it came with a pile of dubious floppy disks, plus a few cassettes that rarely worked, and one of those floppies had Street Rod on it.

Street Rod is a game made in 1989 and set in 1963 but nostalgic for the 1950s. It’s also, by dint of its marriage of street racing with plot, mundane car maintenance, and the time limit of a single summer, a more progressive and interesting forebear to the modern Need For Speed.

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The Talos Principle’s Road To Gehenna Opens In Two Weeks

A return to lasersHere’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a few months (except I’d forgotten about *actively* looking forward to it and was more excited-but-put-it-on-the-back-burner-until-reminder-emails-arrived). The Talos Principle‘s [official site] expansion, Road to Gehenna, is out on 23 July.

That’s soon!

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Chaos Reborn: Singleplayer Campaign Impressions

Slow and steady wins the race. No wild promises, but plenty of apparently practical plans for the future, has long been X-COM creator Julian Gollop’s approach with his Kickstarted comeback, Chaos Reborn [official site] (currently on Steam Early Access). While it sadly doesn’t seem to attract quite the same adulation/scrutiny as other returning 90s devs’ crowdfunded career reboots, what it has done is reliably get on with things, meeting its initial promises one-by-one. So here we are with the first components of its singleplayer mode – perhaps the strategic wizard-battler’s biggest break with its multiplayer-only, Spectrum ZX past. On the one hand, that’s probably what X-COM fans want more than anything (other than a true blue X-COM follow-up, of course). On the other hand, what is chess without a human opponent? All depends on structure – how can a series of disconnected, turn-based battles with random spells be made into a meaningful campaign?

Important note – I’ve chosen not to resummarise Chaos Reborn yet again, so please read this or this if you’re entirely unfamiliar with it.

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Consortium: The Tower Prophecy Trailer Falls On London

I haven’t played Consortium [official site], but I’ve read enough to know I should. Consortium was an RPG which favored social interaction over combat, a story that could turn out a dozen different ways, and an ambitious attempt to create a lot of the things people say they want.

So maybe you also want a follow-up, set in a new place, with new characters, but expanding on the same ideas. That’s what Consortium: The Tower Prophecy [official site] aims to be, and there’s a teaser trailer below.

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Wot I Think: TIMEframe

There will one day be a game that brilliantly applies the time-loop concept. It’s not TIMEframe [official site], but that’s okay. This is a very pleasant, very brief little pocket of experiences that very nearly works very well. Here’s wot I think:

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Fight! Arc’s Battle Fantasia -Revised Edition- Released

Those terrible teases at Arc System Works are continuing to tweak my nose by releasing everything but what I want: the gorgeous Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN. Ah well, more fighting games from that lot coming to PC is good all the same.

Overnight they released Battle Fantasia -Revised Edition- [official site], a tarted-up version of their 2.5D fantasy man-puncher from 2007. Unfortunately, it sounds like it has a problem or two.

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