Archive for the ‘PC’ category

Anodyne Review

February 18, 2013


Anodyne is Link’s nightmare realized; born in a borrowed bed, crying out its first time into a world that is eerily familiar and yet drastically off kilter. Anodyne feels like a rag doll effigy of our old pal Link, a doppelganger left in a crib where a real child once laid its beautiful innocent little head. Link’s not here of course, but the spirit of your poor relationship with your mother and your poor social skills are rattling their ghost bones around some dark corner of this world.

This 8-bit homage to Hyrule’s little hero is really about you, the player. But though Anodyne is strangely dark, it is also genuinely charming, and its humor smooths out the sharp edges of its bizarre storytelling and psycho-analysis.


For Your Consideration

December 10, 2012


While everyone is putting together their end of the year awards, I hope that you’ll consider the games I am about to mention for inclusion in your lists. They certainly have been a delight to play, but I won’t give you any more of a pitch than a simple mention here.

I could blather on about how X-Com blends what made the original series so great with some new play mechanics and some tactically minded gameplay that it deserves an award, or I could yammer on about how Faster Than Light captures what it might be like to be the Captain of a ship filled with RED SHIRTS, or how Mugen Souls playfully dances on the edge of sexism without actually being sexist, or how Torchlight II adds to the gameplay of the Xbox Live Arcade and PC hits by adding multiplayer and over land maps, or how Dishonored channels the spirit of game mechanics from the like Deus Ex and Thief successfully, or how Hotline Miami makes murder a guilty pleasure…. but I won’t.

So while you handing out all those awards to the usual suspects ( the Call of Duty’s, Battlefield 3′s, Madden’s and Borderlands’ of the world) please consider some kind of award for all these games. Thank you.

FTL: Faster Than Light – Quick Take

September 20, 2012

I wonder what this would look like on fire…

If you haven’t downloaded FTL: Faster Than Light yet you probably should do so for a number of reasons. First and foremost it’s a fun little game, and secondly because it’s $9 on Steam right now. The game lets you take control of your own little space ship and sends you on random adventures with a small crew. It’s lightly rogue-like in that you are trying to explore as much as you can before death breaches your airlocks or turns you into a pile of ashes.

I have only played it for a few hours and I have to say that skipping the tutorial is probably the worst thing you can do. There are all these little things that you need to learn about your ship and how the game functions. For example if you don’t bother with the tutorial, you probably won’t know how to install a new weapon, how to open airlocks, how you can use your crew to put our fires and make repairs during battles, or the fact that shooting lasers (pew pew) doesn’t do squat against the systems inside the enemy crafts you’ll be fighting because it can’t breach the hull.

But even the tutorial is not going to prepare you for the randomness that is going to throw something at you that you ultimately can’t handle. Don’t get too attached to that ship or your crew because chances are they will all be dead in a handful of hyper jumps.

Anyway if you haven’t taken a run at the game yet I encourage you to check it out. I’ll be writing about the game here and there as I attempt to figure out how to survive in the deeper pockets of these randomly generated universes…

New Cube World Video Released

September 18, 2012

A new Cube World video shows off some new features that have been added to this in-development game that is best described as Zelda meets Minecraft. New features include gliders, sprinting, some new attacks that can stun enemies, new monsters and items, a glimpse at what dungeons will look like, and rare zones.

Enjoy the video and check out Wollay’s Blog to see more of the game. I can’t wait for this to be released!

Aaron Bishop’s Challenge: Finishing Lords of Uberdark

March 28, 2012

Aaron Bishop, the creator of Egoboo and SoulFu, might actually finish a game on his own. Now before fans of his previous games get torches and pitchforks, let’s have a moment of honesty: as lofty and as wonderful as both those games could have been, Bishop ultimately abandoned both of them and left them for the community to continue developing. Egoboo benefited greatly from the community’s hard work and they ultimately created a game that was fleshed out and much more playable. That’s the truth of the matter.

But this time out, I think Aaron Bishop is going to actually finish his latest game, Lords of Uberdark. In case you haven’t heard of it, it is a 3-D voxel-based mining and building game for the PC that uses a unique painted art style to make the world and its objects look smoother. It’s like Minecraft with a facelift… In August of 2011 Bishop successfully raised over $20,000 to develop the game and has been toiling away ever since. There’s an entire YouTube channel dedicated to the game here, and from what I have seen Bishop is putting a lot of effort into finishing the game. He is obviously obligated to deliver a completed product because he took $20,000 in funding,  and because he’s selling early access to the game for $15 a pop via PayPal (with the promise of a final product at the end of the development cycle, of course). So there’s a strong financial obligation this time around.

But I think more than the money, Bishop has finally reached a level of skill where he is able to create the kind of games he could have only imagined in the past. Certainly Egoboo and SoulFu helped him get to this point. So while it might sound like I’m bad mouthing Bishop and his work, I am actually excited to see him going at it again and his alpha builds continue to be impressive. He’s currently at Alpha 42 and the game is shaping up to be a serious offering when it is done.

I want you to know more about it, and if you think it’s good enough to let him know so he is encouraged and motivated. I want Lords of Uberdark to be the first and best finished game Aaron Bishop makes in his career as an indie game developer…

WWE WrestleFest Coming to Steam

March 25, 2012

WWE WrestleFest is coming to Steam this summer, according to the “coming soon” section of the Steam Store. The product page for the game promises various current and classic superstars (John Cena, The Rock, Randy Orton, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Rey Mysterio and “Macho Man” Randy Savage) various arenas (Raw, SmackDown, WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and Saturday Night’s Main Event) a number of games modes (Royal Rumble, Steel Cage, Gauntlet, Tag Team and more), the single player campaign mode (Road To WrestleMania) which lets you go after win five different WWE championships, and multiplayer mode.

What we do not know is how the control scheme will be different from the iOS version of the game, which is currently available on the Apple App Store. The other thing we would guess this game will contain is Steam Achievements and the usual level of Steam integration.

The game is being developed by SEED, and will be released English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish sometime this summer. Find out more at Steam

Daily Diversion: Wizorb – Steam Edition

March 20, 2012

Tribute Games’ Wizorb is available on Steam now and it’s pretty cheap. If you haven’t played the game, it combines 8-bot graphics, a dash of role-playing and Breakout-style gameplay to create an interesting and unique gameplay experience. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game like it. Wizorb has been out for quite a while and it’s available on multiple platforms if Steam isn’t your thing. You can get it on iOS devices, on the Mac, Linux and Window. I haven’t tried the iOS version of the game but I’d imagine it works very well with the whole Breakout style of play.

The basic premise of the game is that you can turn into a wand, which serves as your paddle to hit balls back and forth and to break objects and hit enemies at the top of the screen. This in turns gives you items and money that you can use to buy things such as extra lives or bottle of mana to use special attacks like fireballs on the play field.

The game plays out in stages and as thing progress you are given more difficult maps to compete. The enemies that populate the screen can’t hurt you – the only thing that makes you lose a life is letting the ball get past you.

Wizorb is a smart and streamlined design that is a lot of fun to play, and because it’s so damn cheap on Steam it’s really worth picking up if you fancy some Breakout with a heaping helping of fantasy thrown into the mix.

The game is $2.69 for about 36 more hours, so get it on the cheap while you can at Steam.

Fortune Summoners: Secrets of the Elemental Stone Review

March 15, 2012
Magic School Murder Girls Unite!

Magic School Murder Girls Unite!


Publisher: Carpe Fulgar

Developer: Lizsoft Game Studios

Platform:  Windows PC

Spiffy: Mad doujin role-playing mixed with fighting game elements in an extremely challenging world.

Iffy: Challenge might be too much for some players, solo moments can be soul crushing, objectives are often unclear or understated.


Carpe Fulgar’s third JRPG import, Fortune Summoners: Secrets of the Elemental Stone, is equal parts frustration and fun that may give Demon’s Souls fans more than a few flashbacks. The game combines doujin-style, 2-D action role-playing game elements with an odd fighting game control scheme that makes button mashing an unforgivable sin punishable by death at the hands of even the lowliest of RPG enemies. Death by slime, bat, or other seemingly harmless denizens of the world is a sad and common occurrence – even as you try to adhere to the disciplines the game requires such as patience and timing. Yet, for the RPG masochists or the faithful and patient players among us, this kind of game can be pure unadulterated bliss.


Why Let Go?

March 10, 2012

Pool of Radiance credits.

Maybe it’s odd but I just don’t have the heart to throw away the manuals to my AD&D Gold Box Games or the strategy guides that I paid for many years ago. They are all here after 20+ years filling the bottom of a musty old steamer trunk in my office. Once in awhile I’ll dig through those aging tomes and read the silly journal entries or look at all the notes and annotations I made within their pages.


Daily Distraction: The Love Letter

March 3, 2012
The Love Letter Kongregate


The Love Letter is such a clever little game, despite the fact that it’s over quickly once you figure out what you are supposed to do. The basic premise is simple enough: a secret admirer has slipped a note into your locker with a heart on it that says you must read it alone before the second period bell.. You realize that the second period bell is set to go off in five minutes! Your locker placement is random, and apparently you’re an ultra popular guy so reading this letter alone won’t be easy.

Whenever one of the multitudes of students sees you in the maze-like hall they acknowledge you.

“Yo,” “Sup,” “Hi,” they say and start following you around.

As you try to get away from them more people acknowledge you and soon you’re like the Pied Piper leading a stream of these little creeps behind you. The trick is to lead them all somewhere and quickly ditch them. The maze-like structure of the school’s hallway reminds me of a Pac-Man maze, but there’s no power pellets or fruit to collect and there’s no way to get these people off your back short of leading them on a merry chase.

You can check the game out on Kongregate.


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