Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
I'm playing Space Run Galaxy, a ship design tower defense game by Passtech Games and Focus Home Interactive.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The objective is to become the most powerful family in medieval Europe. Creating a new game can be done quickly or using a large number of customization options; multiplayer requires manually distributing a saved game file to the other players. The interface is absolutely atrocious: it is difficult to find units, select armies, see building queues, give orders, and identify idle buildings or units. With a potentially large kingdom to manage, having an inadequate interface kills the game. Three resources are produced at villages, which can be placed at plentiful locations on each of the regions of the game world. It is far too easy to have an abundance of resources, eliminating any interesting decisions involved in where to found new villages and what to build in those towns. The research tree is linear and uninteresting, as are the diplomatic options. Children can be assigned to concentrate on jobs throughout the kingdom (I’ll have my baby help with research!). The inaccessible, frustrating interface of Feudalism, along with a general lack of polish, overshadows any minor highlights the game has to offer.
Monday, June 20, 2016
Friday, June 17, 2016
A spiritual successor to Armageddon Empires, the game features a campaign of skirmish games set on pre-scripted maps, where new cards are added to the player’s deck after each round. Skirmish games against the AI on randomly generated maps are also available, in addition to online multiplayer that is limited to 1v1. There are two slightly different factions in the game, and card decks can be customized for each. There are only a couple of generic starter decks, but making a new one is easy enough. The objective is to capture the enemy base. First, the two sides roll for initiative: whoever goes first gets more action points, so resources can be spent to increase the odds of moving first. Action points are used for recruiting units, moving units, creating armies, building stuff, and drawing cards. Resources are used to recruit units (heroes, units, facilities, and aircraft) and build structures (collectors gather resources while outposts extend supply and allow for unit recruitment). Map terrain can affect movement and combat odds. Units have varied abilities, while facilities grant passive bonuses and aircraft can scout and attack within a large radius from their base. Combat can be automatically resolved, or performed on a square battlefield, where units can use special abilities while attacking the enemy. While slightly improved since the beta, the AI still lacks aggression when they could cripple another side’s economy. Once one side gains a resource advantage, they can afford to win more initiative rolls, giving them more action points to recruit more units and gather more resources, creating an avalanche towards victory. That said, Last Days of Old Earth is still an engaging turn-based strategy game with a variety of minor shortcomings.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016
I'm playing Captain Forever Remix, a spaceship building roguelike arcade shooter by Pixelsaurus Games.
Friday, June 10, 2016
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
The game features online asynchronous multiplayer and skirmishes against the AI. Games are very quick (under ten minutes), and involve playing unit cards to take over the enemy base. The interface could be improved: cards are needlessly cramped together (which blocks important information) and it would be nice to see which tiles are currently supplied at a glance. Each card has different placement rules (whether they can be put in supply or not, and in which direction), attack directions, and support directions. A card immediately attacks if they are supported by another unit that is in the correct direction (except for artillery). These relatively simple rules still allow for varied strategies, coupled with the luck of drawing the right combination of cards at the right time. Still, improvements in the interface would make The Battle for Sector 219 a more accessible game.
Monday, June 06, 2016
Given free to owners of Worlds of Magic, the single-player game has several options for new games, including fairly robust sorcerer customization. The interface is improved in several places, but icons for resource locations has been replaced by a terrible surveyor tool, some map features lack tool-tips, and allies confusingly have red icons underneath their units. Early game exploration gives way to founding cities, which collect resources (gold, food, and mana) produced by citizens that are shared within the kingdom. New cities must be defended against powerful roaming neutral armies, which places a constant emphasis on recruiting units. Units with a variety of special skills are available, while heros can be equipped with items. Spell points are used to research new spells, improve mana income, or increase per-turn spell casting. Vague diplomatic options return: AI players will not tell you what it takes for them to accept a proposal. While the AI players are adept at the game, the turn-based combat lacks innovation. While it is slightly improved over Worlds of Magic, Planar Conquest still has several other issues and remains behind other fantasy 4X games.