Posts Tagged ‘review’

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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Can you use a pocket-size PC as a games machine?

Bootleg Transformer not included

The PC is dead, long live the PC, etc. By which I mean ‘a big box that sits underneath your desk’ is an increasingly inaccurate definition of PC. The concept is heading off in all sorts of directions, from patently ridiculous laptops to transforming tablets to all-in-one giant touchscreens to surprisingly games-capable laptops to yes, big boxes under your desk but also small boxes on top of your desk. And, as I’m looking at today, teeny-tiny boxes that just about fit into the back pocket of your trousers or can slip behind your TV.

Can a $235/£188, 12x12x3cm box really work as a PC? And, more pertinently, can it possibly be any kind of games machine? Read the rest of this entry »

Diablo in Diablo III works well despite itself

Check your expectations. The Darkening Of Tristam, the free, time-limited new mini-campaign recently added to Diablo 3 [official site], is most certainly not the full-on Diablo 1 (number added merely for clarity) we hoped for. Nor is it a meaningful bolt-on for those D3 die-hards who crave another hit of over-statted loot. If, however, you are a filthy casual, it’s a refreshingly straightforward, aesthetically-tweaked way to return to an otherwise bloated game.
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Premature Evaluation – Art of War: Red Tides

Every Monday, we put Brendan in charge of a horde of early access games and force them to do battle. This week, the single-lane strategy of Art of War: Red Tides.

The evolutionary tree of the MOBA is a sprawling, mutated mess. While Warcraft got Dota, somewhere on some oozing far-off branch, Starcraft II got Desert Strike, a ‘tug of war’ custom game mode that pits commanders against one another on a single lane and automates nearly all troop movements and attacks. The only thing you do is control the flow of cash and decide what troops to send in the next wave. Imagine being in charge of the creep spawner in a normal MOBA and deciding that you don’t want these useless green lizards anymore, but some giant, furious mechs instead. You’ve got the basic idea. Art of War: Red Tides is the next slimey bud on that same evolutionary branch. It’s quite relaxing.
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Wot I Think: Sethian

Sethian [official site] came out, perhaps unwisely, in the midst of the annual November deluge. It’s a little niche – a single-screen mystery about typing commands into an alien computer to find out more about the extinct race behind the device. But the computer functions only in the local extraterrestrial tongue. As an xeno-archeologist out to save your career from ruin, it’s up to you to decipher and translate much of this language, a symbolic script that is inspired by Chinese, American Sign Language and other languages but also includes features which “have no real world counterpart.” At its heart is a central question: where did all the aliens go? Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Glittermitten Grove

Building games are supposed to be in-depth and serious. We deserve towering cranes, gleaming interplanetary landers and complex networks of conveyor belts, not cutsey fairies, sunbeams and magical fruit. Glittermitten Grove [official site], a wretched and insipid affair, rips the meaning and the strategy out of a noble genre – a cynical cash-in made from what looks like clipart, making a quick buck out of legions of creatively-minded PC gamers who long only to escape from a world that hates and fears them.

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