Friday, August 01, 2014

Mount Your Friends Gameplay Review

I'm playing Mount Your Friends, a physics-based competitive climbing game by Stegersaurus Software.

Beyond the primary game mode of climbing others to insurmountable heights, the game also includes vertical climbing, object collection, speed, and distance game modes to change up things. Mount Your Friends supports single player and multiplayer modes, either on the computer or online. Four buttons are used, one for each limb, and directional keys (or a stick) to move the selected appendage. Arms and legs will automatically stick to other objects, resulting in easier manipulation. The physics are predictable and plausible. Ultimately, Mount Your Friends is a  silly but well-designed physics-based game with replay value thanks to lots of game modes with others.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lantern Forge Gameplay Review

I'm playing Lantern Forge, a sandbox survival game by Hearthfire Studios.

A procedurally-generated map can be explored for resources and enemies; experience gained over time (especially through combat) can be used to upgrade character stats and earn new abilities. The control scheme relies on left-clicking for both movement and interaction, a very clumsy and inefficient method. Movement also brings about pathfinding issues, with the character becoming stuck on objects if the waypoint is positioned in most locations. Tools also don’t last for very long, requiring constant re-crafting of items, and it’s difficult to find key ingredients in the game world. The crafting grid does show possible items based on things in the inventory, which is handy. Eating food and sleeping is required to keep the character in tip-top shape. Homes, farms, and animals can also be managed. The game also features a  very minor penalty for death. An incredibly awkward control scheme, pathfinding issues, tool limitations, and specific crafting requirements limit the potential of Lantern Forge.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Outpost Gameplay Review

I'm playing Outpost, a colony survival management game by Highland Gaming.

Stranded in the arctic, the commander must lead his team of engineers and survive the dangerous nights in the Great White North. Supplies must be carried to the power core, where they are used to power radios (to call in mining equipment and make money for upgrades), heaters, the infirmary, and the canteen. Wildlife can be killed for food, medicine, and supplies as well. The interface doesn’t allow quick access to the engineers (either through a master list or box-selecting), a notable hinderance as the game moves at a quick pace. The commander can be controlled directly, using the WASD keys to move and the mouse to aim and shoot. Outpost is very difficult, with multiple things to manage (engineers, power, monsters) simultaneously. Outpost offers an intriguing mix of management and survival in an overly challenging environment.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

World’s Fastest Pizza Gameplay Review

I'm playing World’s Fastest Pizza, a top-down delivery action game by Oscar Britain.

The goal is to deliver pizza as fast as possible. Only given one life, which may be ended by gunfire, great white sharks, or a number of other calamities, the fast pace of the game and randomized delivery locations on the handful of maps keeps the action intense. Powerups allow for higher movement speed or slowing down time, and additional items can be purchased using money earned from successful deliveries. For $2, the frantic pace and silly gameplay of World’s Fastest Pizza has an acceptable taste.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ground Pounders Gameplay Review

I'm playing Ground Pounders, a turn-based strategy game by Kerberos Productions.

Featuring two campaigns concerning two of the races from the Sword of the Stars universe, the game also features a skirmish mode against the AI on ten maps, comprehensive tutorials, and asynchronous multiplayer where Steam will let you know when it’s your turn. The interface is designed with mobile devices in mind (lacking tool-tips and displaying at a fixed, windowed resolution). Cards drawn from a custom deck can grant improved or special abilities during gameplay. Action takes place over several phases: units are placed, cards are discarded, supply lines are determined, units are given improved attack ratings by distributing ice rolls, and, finally, movement and combat. Infantry, armored, artillery, and air units can have special attributes, like engineering or transportation. Ground Pounders uses supplies, unit control zones, terrain modifiers, fog of war, reaction fire, and support fire during each scenario. Detailed combat results are somewhat randomized, and the AI is good at picking out favorable combat matchups. Ground Pounders is a mix of some advanced strategy features with approachable sensibilities that would have benefited from more varied, or randomized, scenario design.