Thursday, March 28, 2019

Warparty Gameplay Review

I'm playing Warparty, a real-time strategy game by Warcave and Crazy Monkey Studios.

The game features three campaigns, one for each of the slightly different stone-age factions, skirmishes against the AI on only eight maps, a survival mode, and online multiplayer. Worker units are used to collect food and crystal, used to recruit new units, build structures, or perform upgrades. Power is used primarily to cast a limited variety of spells (and, in the case of one faction, to recruit units). Wild dinosaurs can be hunted for food, or recruited by one of the factions. Faction-wide upgrades are given with battle experience, while settlement and unit upgrades can be researched with crystal. The skirmish AI provides an actual challenge (without cheating), as it is very efficient at collecting resources and will attack vulnerable positions. Warparty is a solid real-time strategy game that only really differentiates itself thanks to its setting, though it does feature above-average skirmish AI.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Production Line Gameplay Review

I'm playing Production Line, a car factory management simulation by Positech Games.

The game features varied map dimensions (plus a simple level editor) with sandbox (AI competition that will research new components), scenario (with objectives), and freeplay modes. Cars are made by progressing through production slots in a specific order; each station takes a different amount of time to complete, so minimizing waits will maximize efficiency and profits. Many research options are available: new car components, car body designs, and individualized production slots (to break up a single process into multiple steps) give you a ton of strategic options. In addition, parts and power can be produced in-house to increase profits, in addition to late-game marketing and varying your builds. While the basics of factory construction are the same every time, the sheer amount of research options and semi-random order in which AI competitors start using specific parts (so they are “expected” to be included in your vehicles) make the focus of each playthrough slightly different. Production Line is a satisfying management title with steadily increasing difficulty and complexity.

Monday, March 04, 2019

DiRT Rally 2.0 Gameplay Review

I'm playing DiRT Rally 2.0, a racing simulation by Codemasters.

The game features career modes for both rally and rallycross, plus daily and weekly online challenges. These community events use money earned in the career mode to purchase additional vehicles, so new players are prevented from participating in any events that do not use the lone car unlocked from the outset. Money can also be used to upgrade cars and hire additional staff to improve repair times. Custom events and championships can be created using any track and vehicle without unlocking them. DiRT Rally 2.0 has a fine selection of vehicles across multiple classes, and features six locations for rally and eight rallycross tracks. Each location has six tracks (plus their mirrors), which is less content than the procedurally generated (but overall lower quality) rally courses from DiRT 4. The handling is improved, and tracks become worn during the course of a rally (though my novice driving ability can’t feel a tangible difference). More tire options are available, but the damage model is still very forgiving. DiRT Rally 2.0 is definitely geared towards experienced players, and if you prefer better handling over the randomized tracks of DiRT 4, this may be the better simulation for you.