Monday, August 18, 2014

Clockwork Empires Early Access Alpha Gameplay Preview

I'm playing the early access alpha of Clockwork Empires, a colony management game by Gaslamp Games.

This early version of the game allows you to assign work crews and designate tasks (gather resources, construct buildings, run a factory) that will be automatically undertaken by your colonists; a potentially detailed supply chain keeps your new colony afloat. Native fishpeople will attack on occasion; further supernatural forces are to be added before release. Clockwork Empires has a while to go, as it needs to add many promised features (detailed colonist memories, cults, violence, objectives, native factions, multiplayer, combat, monsters, vehicles) before its release next year.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Victory at Sea Gameplay Review

I'm playing Victory at Sea, a naval real-time strategy game by Evil Twin Artworks and Mongoose Publishing.

Featuring three campaigns set around the world during World War II and six historical battles, Victory at Sea also has custom battles where you can choose the ships in your fleet (destroyers, corvettes, submarines, cruisers, battleships, carriers, and torpedo boats). Ships can either be given generic move and attack orders or controlled directly; weapons have specific ranges and orientations that must be accounted for. Aiming is very imprecise and the AI doesn’t adhere to naval tactics and simply rushes towards the opposition. There is location-specific damage, but not until a ship is almost destroyed. The shortcomings with the AI and aiming mechanics make Victory at Sea hard to recommend.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Orbital Gear Gameplay Review

I'm playing Orbital Gear, a multiplayer side-scrolling shooter by Night Node.

Lacking bots (an issue for an indie game with typically low online population levels) and only a handful of maps, deathmatch and a team-based orbital warfare mode are available. The game features a nice selection of weapons, although most are low-fire, high-damage area-of-effect items. One utility (mines, turret, shield, or speed boost) can also be equipped. The planet-based maps work well and provide a nice hook, as players fling themselves around each level using gravity. A fast pace keeps the kill count high and the action ramped up during each match. Despite the lack of single player modes, Orbital Gear offers distinctive, brisk gameplay.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Epigenesis Gameplay Review

I'm playing Epigenesis, a first-person action sports game by Dead Shark Triplepunch.

Featuring five-on-five contests, the goal is to jump across platforms and throw the ball into the goal. A single player mode is available against bots, although this is simply a practice mode as the bots aren’t great teammates and rarely exhibit competent movement across each of the game’s five maps. You also can’t issue orders to the bots, and their incompetence can prove to be frustrating. The game’s floaty physics involves a lot of jumping and missing platforms; tumbling downwards towards a respawn is a very common feature (it’s analogous to a kill), especially since shooting an enemy will accelerate them rather than causing damage. Scoring a goal earns a seed that can be planted on the map; each plant comes with an active ability and passive buff for the team. Pickups (like grappling hooks and speed boosts) are also scattered across each map. Epigenesis is a fairly innovative game with a fast pace best enjoyed online.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Elite: Dangerous Beta Gameplay Preview

I'm playing the beta of Elite: Dangerous, a space adventure game by Frontier Developments.

Currently, the game features fifty-five expansive star systems to explore by yourself or with others (plus NPCs, of course). Combat or trading missions can be undertaken, and a galaxy map shows the flow of goods across the stars. Money earned through trade, missions, or bounties can be spent upgrading your ship or purchasing a new one. Elite: Dangerous is scheduled for release by the end of 2014.