I'm playing Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, a real-time strategy game by Blackbird Interactive and Gearbox Software.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Monday, January 18, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
The objective: get to Mars. The crew must scramble each turn to repair rooms and counteract ship damage and other negative events. Each room can provide different bonuses, from food production to ship repair and health increases. Each crew member has a class that determines their special ability, health, stress level (higher stress makes for worse decision choices), and dice supply (replenished with food). Dice are rolled in each repair event, used to simply repair the calamity, activate the crew member’s class ability or room module ability, or undertake research projects for instant benefits. Each repair mission can have hazards that will cause crew damage, locked dice, or lost dice if specific numbers are rolled; hazards can be automatically countered with assists. Tharsis excels in crisis prioritization: there are never enough crew to do everything, and placing the right combination of crew in the right rooms in the right order produces intriguing strategy. An interesting setting and compelling strategy makes Tharsis a distinctive, albeit very challenging, survival game.
Monday, January 11, 2016
The game features both single player and multiplayer adventures where a designed character takes to the seas in search of riches. The campaign maps includes all of the important towns in the Caribbean, where different factions vie for supremacy. Each city includes a tavern where subordinate leaders can be recruited, a shipbuilder for purchasing or repairing ships, a market for trade, a mansion for missions, and a town hall to purchase and manage factories. Party members gain experience and earn upgrades through combat, which can take place both on land and in the sea. Terrestrial battles mirror those found in Mount & Blade, while naval combat is fairly traditional: movement using the wind to position cannons towards the enemy, with different types of shot available and boarding actions once crews have been diminished. Blood & Gold: Caribbean! feels and plays like a somewhat substantial modification of Mount & Blade (which it is), with all of the pluses (freeform living world) and minuses (many rough edges) that particular game engine entails.
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Monday, January 04, 2016
The game features a number of challenging modes where aircraft can be imported (using the Steam overlay) or designed from scratch in order to achieve the racing or combat objectives. A sandbox mode also allows testing of any aircraft. In the design mode, parts are attached together, including structural elements, wings, propulsion, landing gear, cockpits, and weapons. Most components can be reshaped and painted. The planes are flown in a bland island setting, with plenty of mountains to crash into. There is seemingly realistic physics involved in the game, and the relatively intuitive plane designer makes SimplePlanes an effective simulation with reduced complexity.