Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Drive!Drive!Drive! Gameplay Review

I'm playing Drive!Drive!Drive!, an arcade racing game by different cloth and Choice Provisions.

The game features an array of events in the campaign mode with different victory conditions (position-only, points-based, object collection, and time trial). Progressing through the campaign unlocks new cars with slightly different stats. In addition, there is online multiplayer and the ability to create custom layouts and share them with others. The crux of the gameplay is managing several different one-lap races on mirrored tracks simultaneously. Because the AI drivers are terrible, you must switch between races to keep all of your drivers up from in each race. Controls are typical for an arcade racing game, with boost gained from drifting, jumping, and smashing other vehicles; the game is designed for a gamepad (there is no mouse support whatsoever, even for menus). The novel concept of Drive!Drive!Drive! is enough to make it stand out as an arcade racing title.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Shattered Throne Gameplay Review

I'm playing Shattered Throne, a turn-based strategy game by Checkmark Games.

The game features a linear campaign with heavily unbalanced scenarios (significantly more enemy units) and no difficulty settings, though the missions are fairly open-ended. Asynchronous online multiplayer can use Steam notifications for new turns. A skirmish mode is also available, but only with a couple of maps; thankfully, the map editor is easy to use and includes Steam workshop integration. Each turn, every unit can move then attack; successive attacks on the same unit increase damage. Mana gained from defeated units can be used to grant map-wide powers. Units include melee, ranged, healing, and mounted options with varied special abilities. Units are purchased at castles from funds earned by capturing villages. Terrain comes with different movement costs and attack/defense bonuses. The AI can surround vulnerable units and capture key structures, but not consistently, and it definitely benefits from a higher quantity of reinforcements common in the campaign. Shattered Throne is a good foundation for a turn-based strategy game, but it needs more content for long-term enjoyment.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Citalis Gameplay Review

I'm playing Citalis, a city management simulation by Matt Hooper and Sometimes You.

Several game modes are available with slightly different victory conditions. Housing, businesses, parks, and reservoirs are placed in districts; commercial structures can be upgraded to increase capacity or daily profit margins. Crime increases when parks and reservoirs are not sufficient. Tedious clicking is required to collect money from businesses (until automated collection can be purchased); this can become frustrating in the game’s isometric perspective, and a method to quickly cycle through structures of the same type would be appreciated. There is not much strategy in Citalis: simply place more businesses when you can afford them, complimented by water reservoirs, parks, and the occasional housing project. Citalis features shallow, repetitive gameplay coupled with a frustratingly limited user interface.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Kopanito All-Stars Soccer Gameplay Review

I'm playing Kopanito All-Stars Soccer, an arcade sports game by Merixgames.

The game features online play and a host of offline modes for cooperative and competitive play: friendlies, custom tournaments, regional cups, and full-season leagues. A typical control scheme supports passes, shots, and slide tackles; shots can be manually shaped. As an arcade sports title, games have a fast pace, with powerful slide tackles the primary means to catch up and steal the ball. In addition, randomized super moves (a ball magnet, teleportation, super shot, and wind-driven goal defense) increase scoring. The AI opponents play well at a range of difficulty settings, though friendly players don’t push up the field enough (making cooperative play much more desirable). Kopanito All-Stars Soccer is an enjoyable, accessible arcade sports title.