Monday, October 31, 2016
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The game features randomly generated maps in different biomes with no overall objective, other than survival and expansion. While the interface allows for multiple ways of finding information (like building queues), being able to queue up multiple projects on the same module would be helpful. In addition, being able to search for resources on the map would be a welcome feature. Overseers perform as managers, working in a building or picking available tasks (like chopping trees, foraging for food, or mining surface rocks) on a specific daily schedule; laborers are attached to an overseer and will automatically assist. Each colonist has extensive memories of past events that dictate their levels of happiness, despair, anger, and fear, which in turn affect their ability to work. Colonists will also level up at specific skills they routinely perform, making them better at their job. Raw resources are collected from the landscape, grown in farms, or mined. These are processed in different buildings on various pieces of equipment; the building layouts are custom designed by the player, allowing for different plans based on current needs and giving a more varied look to the colony. Multi-step production in Clockwork Empires is interesting, although the steps and equipment required for make a specific good may not be intuitive. Other factions in the area may be friendly or hostile; trade can be initiated to secure goods that are not plentiful at your location, and enemy factions can invade your colony. Strange beasts roam the landscape and terrorize the colonists, and cults may form when citizen behaviors warrant them. While the early game is fairly repetitive (the same initial structures are used every time) and some aspects of the user interface could be improved, Clockwork Empires is a very compelling management game thanks to its distinctive theme, detailed citizens, customized building layouts, multi-step item production, and hostile environment.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The game features multiple game modes that focus on cooperative play; the default mode involves collecting crests to unlock doors, filling blood machines (which reduce precious health), and retreating back to the elevator. Each level consists of randomly arranged rooms, and mission success results in useful permanent upgrades. There are only five weapons in the game but they cover all of the necessary types (pistol, shotgun, submachine gun, railgun, nailgun). It takes time to pick items (health and ammunition, mostly) up, a process that also may spawn more enemies. Weapon mods and totems may also be collected for in-game upgrades. The enemies are repetitive but plentiful and may spawn from anywhere. Unloved is a fast-paced, old-school shooter full of action with replay value thanks to its level layout randomization and online cooperative play.
Friday, October 14, 2016
The game features a thirteen-scenario campaign that features highly scripted missions with low replay value. The scenarios are fairly challenging (the game lacks difficulty settings) and are played in reverse: after each mission, you must choose which attribute point to lose for the next mission. It’s a simple premise that becomes the defining feature of the game.There are no skirmish missions or multiplayer modes. Units consist of melee, ranged, mounted, and other units that can have special abilities: cavalry can charge, mages can summon elementals, scouts can teleport, and guards can push. In addition, you can turn back time during a match, which allows units to attack (or use their abilities) more than once in succession. The AI benefits from lots of units spawning from predetermined locations. Time travel serves as a good hook in what is otherwise a fairly basic turn-based strategy game with low replay value.
Thursday, October 06, 2016
Tuesday, October 04, 2016
The game features only a couple of maps and some bare tutorials; Unclaimed World would benefit greatly from randomly generated sandbox levels. The interface contains a lot of information, and the game struggles to show it in an efficient manner. The production list needs a search function (on top of the filters already present), though the task list is useful and clicking on an item clearly shows the components needed to produce it. Unclaimed World has very deep, multi-tiered production chains, but designating tasks could be easier: a square area must be defined first, then an order given (scout, gather, examine, attack, hunt), rather than simply saying to collect needed items from any location. Citizens will undertake tasks automatically, however. Goods can be traded with other towns, and additional technologies can be unlocked by a vote. Citizens need food, security, and shelter, and will leave the settlement if their desires are not met. While the mechanics of Unclaimed World are quite detailed, the feature set and general approachability could be improved.