Posts Tagged ‘review’

How I (almost) learned to love Freestyle Football

For years now, I’ve been looking for an arcade football game that has some of the best qualities of SWOS combined with an RPG-lite career structure. A niche desire maybe, but for a while New Star Soccer happily occupied that niche. Now that the series has moved to mobile, I’m left with an empty hole and I recently turned to Freestyle Football [Steam page] to fill it. It’s a free to play multiplayer football game with anime style characters.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Wot I Think: Rain World

A trickle of wholesome GIFs has been tantalising us with post-apocalyptic platformer Rain World [official site] and its adorable protagonist the slugcat for some time now. It’s out tomorrow and I have been hopping and swimming and munching my way through its dripping, humid world of predator and prey over the past week to tell you wot I think. First: I am certain it’s going to become a cult hit with a crowd of hardcore, mystery-loving obsessives behind it. But secondly, it has also left me with the impression of a badly missed opportunity. Equal parts astounding and hands-tearing-out-your-hair frustrating, this adventure, like the slugcat itself, is a bit of a mix. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Future Unfolding

Future Unfolding

Future Unfolding [official site] is a game about discovery and delight. It’s a dreamlike world which encourages you to play with the environment as you feel out how to make progress through the foresty wilderness. At its best it lets you learn how to progress without feeling like you’re being taught or led. But I also noted times when that feeling of exploration and play fell away and I ended up hugging the walls of an area, combing the trees for a missed pathway or point of interaction. So I cannot give an unequivocal recommendation, but as the game benefits so much from players going in knowing as little as possible I’m hoping this introduction gives you a sense of whether you might enjoy it.

The full WIT is after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Survival meets adventure in Kôna

Survival-meets-adventure Kôna [official site] feels like a game that admirably comes in the wake of Campo Santo’s wilderness wonder Firewatch. But it’s worth noting the Kickstarter for the game launched years before Firewatch released. Still, I suspect lessons have been learned and added in the last year, and they’re very welcome, as this proves to be a fascinating game. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Afghanistan 11

Let’s see if I can get through this without using the W word. Afghanistan 11 is a w****** (history-steeped military strategy game with influential terrain and plausible, reality-derived unit relationships) but it would be a tragedy if w******* (habitual users of history-steeped military strategy games with influential terrain and plausible, reality-derived unit relationships) were the only people who ever stumbled into its quicksand. The W word, especially when used in close proximity to hexy screenshots, tends to imply threadbare themes and moribund mechanics. It doesn’t generally suggest a game with the irresistible momentum of Civ, or the colourful intricacy of Tropico. A game like the quietly brilliant Afghanistan 11. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Oxygen Not Included

Every week we warp Brendan into the gaseous caverns of early access to see if he can find precious games worth playing in the gloom. This time, the subterranean space colonisation of Oxygen Not Included [official site]

Everything is covered in piss. When I branded my new space colony ‘Yellow Water Station’ I did so because I was prompted to come up with a suitable name for a settlement on the interstellar frontier. But all I could think of was how weird it is that astronauts drink their own recycled and purified urine. ‘Yellow Water Station’ was my puerile attempt at humour. I didn’t expect the new underground village I was building to accept its new moniker with such enthusiasm. Now everything is covered in piss, poisonous red gas is building up in the sleeping quarters, and there’s a dead body at the bottom of one of the aquifers.
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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 »