Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Assessing frustration in Cosmic Express playtests

Cosmic Express

While out at GDC I spent a bit of time chatting to Alan Hazelden about Cosmic Express [official site], his train-themed logic puzzler. I was playing the preview build of the game at the time and was curious to know a bit more about how you go about sorting the levels for a difficulty curve and how you interpret good and bad kinds of frustration when playtesting a puzzle game.

It was an interesting chat, punctuated by the arrival of a little dog partway through, so I’m going to just pull out a few of the observations which inform the difficulty curve discussion. It’s nice to have it as an accompaniment to yesterday’s the review. Read the rest of this entry »

Hands On with cyberpunk action shooter Ruiner

I’ve had my hands on a short demo of Ruiner [official site], the top-down twin-stick action-adventure hyphen-described cyber-thriller from oh-so-naughty publishers Devolver. Not a lot of it, mind, but enough for me to form a few impressions to share. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Iron Seed?

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

I didn’t play any of the Star Control games when they first came out so when I first discovered the second in the series, years after release, it reminded me of Iron Seed. For most people, the situation was probably reversed, 1994’s Iron Seed being vaguely reminiscent of 1992’s Star Control 2. For me, Iron Seed was part of the same family that contained Captain Blood though: weird, trippy sci-fi that blew my tiny mind.

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Steam Charts: NieR hit

Alec is away this week. I fear that if he can’t find a wifi signal on his travels he might resort to haruspicy to try and find the truths contained within the weekly Steam charts. These round-ups of the ten games with the most cumulative sales over the past week are his obsession and his curse.

This week: while the cat’s away…

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Wot I Think: Nier Automata

Nier: Automata [official site] is unpredictable, from beginning to end(s).

What begins as a robot-smashing action game with gargantuan bosses soon becomes an open world RPG, then a bullet hell circus nightmare with confetti and corpses, and then something else entirely. To describe all of the things that Automata encompasses, even in vague terms, would be to spoil its greatest asset: surprise. For that reason, I’ve avoiding the specifics of almost any of the wonderful and horrible things that happen. This is important.

Let’s stick with the basics then. Automata, at its best, fuses Platinum’s mastery of stylish action to a framework that works as both a tour and deconstruction of various genres, and a story both stranger and more interesting than it first appears. It’s awesome. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Cosmic Express

Cosmic Express

Here it is! The space game review you’ve all been waiting for on this, Monday the twentieth of March, 2017: Cosmic Express!

Cosmic Express [official site] is an adorable-but-also-rock-solid puzzle game from Alan Hazelden. He’s working with Ben Davis who was his collaborator on RPS favourite, A Good Snowman…, and with Tyu of the Klondike collective. The result is a really satisfying puzzle game where you lay the track for a train in order to transport little alien blobs to their destinations. Read the rest of this entry »