Posts Tagged ‘review’

Premature Evaluation: Bot Colony

Every week we send Brendan to investigate the seedy underworld of early access. This time, interrogating the robots of Bot Colony [official site].

Bot Colony, according to its own boast, is “the first video game featuring intelligent conversation as its key gameplay feature”. You speak into a microphone and ask questions of the robot characters, or give them commands. You might remember Chris attempting to put books on shelves using this voice recognition feature. You might also remember him failing miserably. Well, it’s been some time since then and we thought we’d give it another shot in this video special. Read on and watch my own doomed attempt to communicate with mankind’s newest mistake. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee [official site], the crowdfunded colourful 3D platformer, is essentially a sequel to Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie just wearing different pyjamas. Where Nuts & Bolts took the franchise in a slightly different direction, Yooka-Laylee is an unapologetic return to the N64 formula of cheeky humour, bright playgrounds and collectibles coming out the wazoo. Playing it is like discovering there’s an episode of a favourite TV show you somehow missed at the time. Here’s Wot I Think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Learning electronics with Bomb Squad Academy

If there’s one thing I’m sick of, it means I’ve had some sort of head injury and forgotten the many, many, copious things I’m also sick of. But amongst their number is the cavalcade of recent games that feel the need to try to trick me into learning computer programming. You know, I’m good thanks. I’m 40 this year, my brain has pretty much established over multiple attempts that it just isn’t willing to let in computer programming, along with French, the difference between “affect” and “effect” [not to mention “defuse” and “diffuse” -ed.], and the HTML for embedding an email address. You program the games, I’ll play them. Ta.

Anyway, so there’s a nice new puzzle game out called Bomb Squad Academy [official site], a game about defusing bombs against the clock, and – WAIT A SECOND! This game’s teaching me electronics! Why I oughtta… Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Excellent physics-puzzler Snake Pass

Smarter than half a dozen BioShocks despite looking a bit like it fell from a lost GameCube promotional disc, Snake Pass [official site] is an animal physics game without the slapstick comedy that often entails. (Tail, like a snake has).

I’m not sure if it’s best referred to as a platformer or a puzzle game. The main activity in Snake Pass is progressing from one platform to another, but where historically (hiss, like a snake) platformers involve high-speed bounding from place to place, this is about slow-speed slithering, climbing and clenching. You’re a snake, see. Snakes don’t jump, apart from in that bit in David Attenborough when one of them snatches a hummingbird out of the air or something.

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Wot I Think: Thimbleweed Park

In Thimbleweed Park [official site], few things are what they appear to be. The game, which reunites Ron Gilbert with his Maniac Mansion co-designer Gary Winnick, is a point and click comedy-mystery that looks like a relic from the past. Or, more accurately, like memories of the past; it has handsome lighting and a level of visual detail that actually fills in the blanks that memory often papers over.

Attractive as it is, should such pixels please your eye, it’s the quality of the story and the puzzles that really count. On one of those fronts, Thimbleweed eventually finds a way to go above and beyond anything I expected from it, but the combination of broad jokes and mystery-thriller sometimes creates confusion and frustration in both the narrative and the puzzling along the road.

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Premature Evaluation: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Every week we dump Brendan out the back of a plane and into the hotbed of gunfire that veterans know only as ‘early access’. This week, the competitive murderfields of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds [official site].

I’m halfway across the river when the net starts closing in. A huge electric field looms up behind me, sparkling and fizzing and nipping at my heels as I swim for my life. Having just dodged a player driving by in his jeep, I was now going to die of wounds slowly inflicted over time by the game itself, simply for not being in the right place. I kicked and swam, even as the electric field overtook me and my screen started to slowly bleed. If I didn’t reach the safe zone soon – marked by a white circle on the mini-map, I’d be dead. Oh well, I figured, there are less interesting ways to go.
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Wot I Think: Beat Cop

It’s time to walk the streets (well, street) of mid-80s New York as a down-on-his-luck patrol officer, handing out parking tickets, and er, handing out some more parking tickets. But! But handing out parking tickets while people all around you shout racist and sexist stuff, because it’s set in the ’80s! It’s Beat Cop [official site]. Something something Senator, something something diamonds, something something parking tickets. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »