Monstrously compulsive fantasy-themed idle game
I like to think I am strong. I am not strong. I am weak.
I have fallen for another idle, aka clicker game. I thought I had fallen through the black hole that was infinite money generation game AdVenture Capitalist and come out the other side wiser, armoured and immune against such manipulation of my lizard brain. Then, while researching games for this week’s Unknown Pleasures, I came across Realm Grinder. Yeah, yeah, clue’s in the name.
It fuses that same, insidiously compulsive concept – make numbers get bigger, for ever and ever, in part by furiously clicking on the screen and in the main by automatic accumulation over time – with trace elements of a town management game and a fantasy RPG skin. It has me. Pray for me.
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There’s always a risk in putting out a feature-incomplete early alpha. Will it leave potential purchasers coming away with the impression that it doesn’t yet meet their hopes, or will it inspire people to imagine where it could go? That’s the gamble developers Mighty Morgan are taking with Police Stories [Steam page] – a top-down police tactics shooter that wants you to think, albeit for a split second, before you shoot. Read the rest of this entry »
Game of pontoon?
Browsing Itch.io the other day, as is my wont, I couldn’t help but be reminded about Raft [Itch.io site]. Brendan previously spotted it, and I forgot to grab it then. Proving rather popular on the platform since its launch in December, the shots immediately reminded me of my old love, Salt. But this is even more specific than that stripped down of survival sims. This is stripped to a single raft, endlessly bobbing through the sea. And I’ve loved it! Read the rest of this entry »
Getting stuffed on a free lunch
Free to play is obviously an effective model on mobile, as despised as it may be. ‘Free’ games don’t get world-famous Hollywood stars to appear in their commercials if they’re not raking it in. It’s clearly here to stay while companies get millions and millions of dollars from it. And, of course, no one is obliged to play them. (My opinions get a lot more specific when such pay-to-play aspects are hardwired into games aimed at kids, but that’s another day’s discussion.) However, there’s another aspect to these games that I don’t think gets talked about so much: that bizarre tension of playing one, hearing the ticking countdown of when it’ll stop being fun and start wanting your cash.
That’s very much the case with Tiles & Tales [official site], a nice, simple puzzle-RPG that is so clearly intended for mobile that the PC version is in portrait. That outrageously lazy porting aside, it hasn’t gone through the transition that many such games make for their Steam release, and has remained “free”. Albeit with the option to start spending ridiculous amounts of money from the off. It’s just… you don’t need to. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »