The Obsolete Gamer Show: Nima Fakhara (1979 Revolution: Black Friday)


Remember Kix cereal? Kids love it and moms will too? The idea was the cereal was really good but it was good for you. We often applaud a game when it’s well made, fun to play, but allso teaches you something you most likely would not have learned on your own.

In the story driven game, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday you play as a photographer during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. A period I certainly didn’t know much about before this interview, but our guest who composed the music for this game did.

Nima Fakhara was born in Tehran, Iran and has composed for film, television and videos games. For this game he used traditional Persian instruments to insure an authentic feeling within the game.

In our interview we talk about how players have received the game so far which is currently out on Steam and how he feels the game represented the events that unfolded during that time. We also cover his love of music and his journey from Tehran to Los Angeles.

You can purchase 1979 Revolution now on Steam

You can check on more from Nima Fakhrara on his Official Website

Catlateral Damage

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Catlateral Damage

Goat Simulator with a Cat?

Perhaps not, but this indie game caught my eye when I saw it. First it is called, Catlateral Damage which is awesome in itself. What it is, is a first person mischievous cat simulator. Just like that damn goat, your mission is to knock over your owners belonging making a mess on the floor, just like real life am I right?

Catlateral Damage

You have 2 minutes to achieve this and just like the Table Flipping Game, the fun is in the knowledge that you are messing up someone else’s stuff. So the Dev is going to be adding more to the game so there will be different rooms and more stuff to knock off and the game is Greenlit and will support Occulus Rift.

Catlateral Damage Catlateral Damage Catlateral Damage

  • Visit the Greelight page & leave gameplay suggestions & feedback HERE
  • Play in a Unity supported browser HERE or Download the Alpha HERE

 

Thanks to PressHeartToContinue for the video review.

6 Great Flappy Bird Clones

6 Great Flappy Bird Clones

Flappy Bird was the King of mobile gaming, but now the king is dead. Here are some Flappy Bird inspired Games that will fill that void in your life.

Maverick Bird (Web)

This Flash game was written by Terry Cavanagh the Indie Game legend behind VVVVVV, Don’t Look Back and Super Hexagon. It has great music and visual and is like Super Hexagon it’s super difficult.

maverickbird

 

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Link: http://terrycavanaghgames.com/maverickbird/

FLAPTHULHU (iOS/Windows)

This is a bit of a cheat as it isn’t out yet, but it looks amazing and is by Paul ‘madgarden’ Pridham. He has previously worked on Punch Quest, Sword of Fargoal (iOS) and forthcoming Death Road to Canada.

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Link: Coming Soon

Flappy Doge (Web)

flappy-dog

If there one Internet meme even bigger (and possibly more annoying) than Flappy Bird, it’s Doge. Such Game, wow.

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Link: http://www.dogetek.co/game/

Quack (ZX81)

quack!

If you require any proof of Flappy Bird simple gameplay, how about this conversation which is available for the 30 years old Sinclair ZX81 which boasts a whopping 1k memory.

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Link: http://www.bobs-stuff.co.uk/quack.html 

Flappo Bird (Atari 2600)

Flappo Bird (Atari 2600)

If the ZX81 is too British and Obscure for you, how about this flipscreen version for the Atari 2600 instead.

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Link: http://tacsgames.itch.io/flappo-bird

CrappyFly (Windows)

crappy fly

Finally there is this. I’ve only added the Windows only game because I made it for FlappyJam, which is a Game Jam for creating even more Flappy Bird clones to support game developer Dong Nguyen. They are now over 150 games and the jam doesn’t finish until February 24th

 

Link: http://glenmcnamee.itch.io/crappyfly

You can find even more clones at the FlappyJam.

Snakes of Avalon

snakes of avalon
Let’s start with the easy bits. Snakes of Avalon is a freeware adventure game that comes with a traditional point-and-click interface and is the creation of Igor Hardy and Alex van der Wijst, who apparently employed the musical talents of Thomas Regin and the acting of Drew Wellman. It also is quite an excellent offering that happens to take place in a single room. Well, sort of, as this is where Snakes of Avalon stops being your average AGS game.
snakes of avalon

It is, you see, set in a bar named Avalon starring a hopelessly drunk, obviously unshaven, very confused and quite alcoholic character in what can only be described as a trippy (near) murder mystery. Actually, make that a deeply surreal (near) murder mystery, sporting a variety of all powerful hallucinations, ugly babies, beer, sinister wives, tons of toilet humour, a perpetually occupied toilet, dirty glasses, at least one time-machine, living posters, love, murder, obscure movie references, a Lucasarts logo and a majestic, yet sadly stuffed, talking moose. As you might imagine such an intoxicated design makes sure the game feels much bigger than your average one-room offering. Or is it actually bigger than that? Better play it and find out.

snakes of avalon

Space and even time in Snakes of Avalon is a most relative thing after all, and the protagonist’s warped perception of everything makes sure the game is actually much longer and quite a bit more challenging than its excellent and confined location would imply. As for the puzzles themselves, well, they are at times taxing, enjoyable and -impressively- make sense in the demented game world.

Oh, and the thing does look delightfully odd too, with its deeply cartoon-like art, smart animation, brilliant cut-scenes and lovely background art, though admittedly the music is what will really blow you away. Provided you enjoy your Jazz, that is. And if you prefer listening to it from a dear old scratched record than say one of those mp3 thingies, you’ll be in musical heaven.

John Getty: Exato Game Studios

exato game studios logo

Name: John Getty

Company: Exato Game Studios

Profession: Executive Producer & Lead Game Designer

Favorite Classic Game: Final Fantasy Tactics

Quote: “It’s all about the game.” – Ernie Calhoun, Video Game High School

Bio: As an entrepreneur and gamer by nature, I always wanted to create video games. It started very early in middle school as I modded games like Starcraft and Command and Conquer: Red Alert, then dabbled a little in RPG Maker and flash. When I got to college, I met a good friend who shared a similar interest and with very little deliberation (we were both very excited), we started Exato Game Studios.

guncraft

Project: Guncraft

Project Info: Guncraft is a voxel-based first person shooter that boasts fully destructible environments, the ability to construct individual blocks or full structures in a single click, tons of killstreak rewards such as helicopters, tanks, jetpacks, bunker buster missiles, drones, and turrets, and a fully featured map creation tool that also features a voxel map importing function (using the Substrate C# engine). Play traditional modes like Deathmatch and CTF, or totally unique modes like Lava Survival, Siege Mode, and the coop-enabled Onslaught Mode. On top of that, there are standalone servers, peer hosted servers, clan support and friends lists, in and out of game chat, leaderboards, and much, much more.

A Valley Without Wind

A Valley Without Wind
Arcen Games, the creators of the amazing AI War, have never been afraid to try radical new ideas and wildly innovate while offering deep gameplay and unique visuals. Their latest offering though, the brilliantly named A Valley Without Wind, does indeed surpass anything they have dared to dream, and even more impressively actually create, so far. Now, the best way to describe AVWWwould be as the spaced-out spawn of MidwinterTerraria and Lords of Midnight after a chemically altered night everyone is trying to forget everything about, but I simply can’t see how anyone besides me would be able to comprehend a description of this sort.
That’s why I’ve wisely come up with an alternate description too: it is a procedurally generated, side-scrolling, 2D arcade adventure, with strong exploration, RPG and strategic elements, that is sort of infinite. Is this better? Does it make sense? Well, I sure hope so, for I have only entered the still-in-BETA world of AVWW for a couple of hours and am incredibly impressed. I’m also pretty certain that it’s only by playing AVWW that one can properly understand and  fully appreciate the thing, but here’s another try:

A Valley Without Wind

Did the picture help at all? Right. Better provide you with the developer’s description then:
Environ has been shattered in the wake of an unknown cataclysm, with only small pockets of humanity left in its wake… What will you do in this strange new world? 
The creators of AI War bring you a procedurally-generated 2D side-scrolling adventure of limitless proportions. Survive and explore a vast persistent world filled with dangerous creatures, powerful magic, and ancient technology. Do so while helping other survivors establish settlements, gathering resources to craft, fending off evil invaders, and more.

Intrigued? Excellent. On to the news bits then, as you too can now have a taste of A Valley Without Wind by downloading a pretty fantastic AVWW demo. What’s more and for a mere $10 (that’s a hefty 50% discount on the launch price, that is) you can also pre-order the game and gain instant access to its current version, which, incidentally, is getting constant updates. As for me, well, I’ll be playing said BETA and will soon let you know all about my slightly more coherent thoughts on AVWWAVWW is available both for Mac and PC. You can purchase the full version for $14.99.

Fracuum

fracuum
Like a psychedelic version of the Atari 2600 Adventure on steroids, Fracuum is a brilliantly designed and utterly mind-bending maze game. It has you navigating a complex and expertly designed labyrinth that feels quite a bit like a zoomable fractal, while avoiding baddies and collecting points and power-ups. Play it and have your mind messed with.

Gemini Rue: A Noir review

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Gemini Rue

You should have heard of Gemini Rue by Wadjet Eye Games by now. It is, after all, the indie, AGS-authored, point-and-click adventure that has actually (well, finally) made it to a more mainstream gaming audience, earning glowing reviews left and right. Then again, being of a more indie persuasion, you, precious reader, might remember Boryokudan Rue by  Joshua Nuernberger, the dystopian, neo-noir sci-fi adventure with a thing for both action and mystery that won the 2010 IGF Student Showcase award; well, they are both the same game, though publisher Wadjet Eye have added a full voice-over and helped with polishing things over.
Gemini-Rue
Gemini Rue titleGemini Rue title
The result is a truly impressive game, that, interestingly, has one of the best plots I’ve recently seen. Oh, and lots and lots of beautifully rendered 2D rain. Anyway. The two playable characters of Gemini Rue, Azriel and the aloof Delta-Six, star in a mature adventure that sits somewhere between Blade Runner, Rise of the Dragon and Beneath a Steel Sky. The pace of the realistic sci-fi plot is excellent and the storytelling itself quite remarkable, as Gemini Rue follows Azriel, the rogue police officer with a dark past and Delta-Six, the inmate at the Center 7 facility who has had his memory wiped, in a mostly dark story taking place in a beautifully noir setting.
Azriel’s attempts to locate his brother take him to the dark city of Pittsburg on the unnaturally rainy planet of Barracus, where the Boryokudan, an organization not unlike the mafia, are running things and engaging in a most destructive, yet apparently exotic, drug trade. Delta-Six, on the other hand, spends his days in the aforementioned rehabilitation facility, where he attempts to discover his true allies and his true identity while trying to escape. As you should have guessed, those seemingly disconnected stories collide in the dramatic and definitely climactic final part of the game, that leads to a pretty brilliant finale. Mind you, these are not happy Sierra characters in a fairy-tale land and they most definitely are not people you’d invite over for tea and biscuits.
Gemini-Rue
The game setting, the game world if you prefer, feels both big and interesting. It’s a labour of love that you’ll love to explore, especially if you care for its decidedly retro aesthetic. What’s more, it’s mostly evenly split between the gritty, rainy planet Barracus and the sterile Center 7 facility. A deep visual contrast, that helps highlight the differences between the two playable characters and the situations they are in.
The characters in Gemini Rue, though not all of them extensively developed, are for the most part well-written and believable, with the two leads being by far the best and more elaborately developed. Gemini Rue does after all  focus on them protagonists, and has them face a dark setting, more than a few, uhm, unhappy scenes, betrayal, death, and their dark pasts. This, you see, could also be described as a game about identity; also as a game that treats amnesia as punishment.
The Gemini Rue controls follow, for the most part, a pretty standard point-and-click system, but do sport a few intriguing new mechanics and additions. You, beside fiddling with your traditional inventory, get to shoot stuff in a tactical-arcade manner, control two characters, use a handy phone/digital organizer thing, access terminals and even physically manipulate other characters. The puzzles themselves are mostly easy, yet highly entertaining, very well implemented, and feel perfectly integrated into the plot, and, before everyone starts screaming against the shooting sequences, let me just remind you that combat systems appeared in quite a few Sierra games too. What’s more, the action sequences work, fit nicely into the setting, help change the game’s pace, and are perfect for the sluggish reflexes of the average adventurer.
Gemini-Rue
I did really enjoy playing through said shoot-outs, (almost) as much as I enjoyed playing through the game without a walkthrough and getting only mildly -and, importantly, very briefly- stuck; never in a truly old-fashioned hair-pulling way mind. There’s nothing in there that can’t be solved with a bit more exploration and some thinking, whereas the only part I disliked was a pretty tedious mechanical little puzzle that was both generic and not that well explained. Oh, and this is wisely sized game too -should take you anything from 6 to 8 hours on the first playthrough- without any boring and/or filler parts. The fact that Wadjet Eye have implemented a fantastic in-game commentary makes a second playthrough necessary…
As this review is finally coming to its conclusion, I know I just have to mention the visual retro glory of Gemini Rue with its deeply atmospheric VGA graphics, the impressive character portraits, the weather effects, the tons of top-quality animation, the successful framing of each room, and the lively yet hand-painted backgrounds. The sound consists of some lovely ambient effects, mostly rain apparently, a very impressive -in most cases- voice over, and some atmospheric, subtle and slightly bleak music, that sadly doesn’t play throughout the game. All in all, Gemini Rue is a brilliant mix of old and new on every level, that manages to be entertaining and even (mildly) thought-provoking. If this were released sometime during the nineties it would now be considered a major classic.

Verdict: One of the very best commercial indie adventures I have ever played. It’s beautiful, gripping, seamlessly combines the old with the new and I would thus describe it as an absolute must-buy for adventure gamers of all persuasions. Get it here. Now, please

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Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy

Buccaneer - The Pursuit of Infamy - Indie Game - PC - Gameplay Screenshot
Sid Meier’s Pirates!was a game that deeply impressed my little underage self, as it was one of those preciously few digital offerings that actually made me daydream and fantasize about being a pirate drinking milk and eating hamburgers somewhere in the Caribbean of yore. As for them serving wenches, well, I couldn’t care less really. I was only 9. Besides, I even thought that fiddling with the map was far more exciting than courting a governor’s daughter. Pah, kids.

Anyway, what I particularly and truly liked about Pirates! -even more so about its excellent 2004 remake- were them glorious ship to ship battles, and happily that’s what indie developers Stickman Studios have evolved into a full, action-packed game. Joy!

Buccaneer - The Pursuit of Infamy - Indie Game - PC - Gameplay Screenshot

Said game is none other than Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy (official website, Steam page), a game impressively developed by a team of only two, apparently extremely talented and hardworking, individuals. Now, besides being a feat of sheer will and dedication itself, Buccaneer also happens to be the game that even momentarily allowed me to once again live the digital thrills of bloody sea battle and, well, imagine things of a heroic nature. What’s more it is easily the best pirate game I’ve come across since 2004. Despite, as already mentioned, being a pure action game. A pure combat focused action game to be precise, that besides battling, only spices things up by letting the player select missions, buy new ships, upgrade older ones and rudimentary manage his/her crew’s morale.

Buccaneer - The Pursuit of Infamy - Indie Game - PC - Gameplay Screenshot

What truly matters though is the simple fact that the basic combat mechanic is absolutely brilliant, simple, fun and makes for a fluid and addictive gameplay experience. Oh, and if you have to know, the player gets to commandeer his/her ship using the WASD keys while moving the camera with the mouse and using the left and right mouse buttons to shoot the cannons on the respective side of the ship.

On the other hand, not everything is perfect. Land bombardment for example is quite frustrating, as aiming at particular buildings is nigh on impossible, while sometimes the battle area is a bit too small for proper maneuvering. Then again, when you got those fantastic graphics, the tons of available -and surprisingly varied- missions, some excellent and highly amusing multiplayer options, a fine selection of Steam achievements, an amazing sounding ocean (!) and a convincing atmosphere, you just can’t complain. Buccaneer is quite fantastic.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSpmYcwJFGo[/youtube]

Verdict: Three parrots, five cannonballs, one monkey and half a bottle of rum, meaning you should definitely give this excellent indie pirate game a try. I’d suggest you bought one or two copies of the thing too.

Kondtantinos or Gnome is a classic and indie gaming writer. You can see his wonderful blog by following this link – Gnomes Lair.

Chains

Chains - Gameplay Screenshot

Chainsis beautiful. That much is instantly obvious. After all, were it not for its visual appeal I’d have probably ignored it in this modern sea of small casual indie games, the Internet seems to have become. I would of course have been wrong.

Chains, you see, might on the surface seem like another game that uses the rather tired idea of making things disappear by matching them with, err, things of the same colour, but it really has way more than that to offer. It sports a brilliant and very versatile physics engine, that, combined with the excellent level design, make for a rather excellent and quite unique game. Not to mention an addictive one too. And wait till you see them graphics in motion while listening to that utterly brilliant electro soundtrack…

Chains - Gameplay Screenshot

Only negative thing about this lovely indie offering is its size. Weighing in at twenty levels, the whole thing will be over in a few hours, though admittedly it is infinitely replayable. Oh, and the levels are so varied, they could almost be from different games. From different genres even, as one has you frantically clicking around in typical arcade fashion, while another has you thinking in a most tactical manner or solving flow (you’ll see) puzzles.

What’s more, great care has also been given to the overall production of Chains, what with its three difficulty levels, player profiles, detailed stats, hints and even colorblind option.

Chains - Gameplay Screenshot

To grab a (dirt-cheap) copy or try the demo visit the official Chains: The Puzzle Game website.
Verdict: An absolutely excellent indie game. Hypnotic, short, sexy and definitely more enjoyable than drinking expensive wine in the cold (?). Play it!

Space War Commander

Space War Commander - Amiga
You’d be excused if -by looking at the above screenshot, that is- you were expecting some sort of retro review, and you would also, quite happily, be very wrong. That, you see, is the beauty of indie games: developers and artists that simply create the stuff they like, without trying to appeal to everyone and without having to suffer armies of useless managers telling them what is supposed to be popular (as if any creative person ever really cared about such trivial matters). That is also why Space War Commanderis such a unique game with such unique 16-bit retro style graphics.

Come to think about it, the only thing not unique about Space War Commander (hence SWC) is its name. It’s definitely apt mind, though as far from imaginative as computer game names get. You actually get to assume the role of a commander in what can only be described as a space war. Then again, gamers never really cared for names, did they? It’s the way a game plays that matters or, well, should matter, and SWC plays a great game indeed.

Space War Commander - Amiga

SWC could best be described as an RTS version of a board game with intuitive controls, simple rules, simple sounds and Amiga-like graphics. And don’t expect something at the frantic pace of Command and Conquer or Dune 2. This is a much slower -you can even pause the game completely to issue orders- and way deeper affair, that does away with base building and focuses on resource gathering and -mainly- tactical movement. All you seemingly have to do is buy some ships, group them into fleets if you so wish, left click to select and right-click to move them around, make sure you have a steady influx of resources by conquering planets or even trading (nothing more complicated than another movement selection), and make sure you beat each level before your base explodes. Should a ship or a fleet contact the enemy it will automatically attack it and give you the tactically handy option of disengaging parts of your fleet for repairs, and, well, that’s all there is to it really.

Getting to grips with SWC is thus incredibly easy. Mastering it is wholly different matter, as the aforementioned depth comes into play. Think of SWC’s gameplay as chess with a bit of chance thrown in and you won’t be far off. Each ship has its own unique strengths and weakness and each map its unique tactical necessities, sometimes even making the whole experience feel like an elaborate puzzle game. An excellent, tough and addictive puzzle game to be precise, that would definitely benefit from some multiplayer options.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLjT9ZGyWuU[/youtube]

After all, the only thing SWC really lacks is the chance to pit yourself against another human player in some lovely multiplayer carnage. That and a bit more variety , though all in all it admittedly is a great indie strategy game that will appeal to most PC gamers of the thinking while gaming persuasion. Oh, and it can easily be played in 15 minute chunks too!

Verdict: Simple, deep, addictive, smart and -dare I say- sexy as an Amiga game. You really have to at least try it. Really.

Trine

Trine
Trine

Trine review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“Symphony of the Night + The Lost Vikings + Out of This World = fun!”

Overall Score:

8 out of 10

Overview:

Trine is a fantasy action puzzle platformer game that consists of three soul-bound characters that got trapped that way at the beginning of the game through magic making their way through each map in stages. You switch characters depending on which one you want to use, in the style of The Lost Vikings, only that all three characters take up the same place, rather than like in The Lost Vikings each being an independent character that you control once at a time.

The three characters are a mage, a rogue archer, and a warrior.

The mage can move objects around through magic and summon magic cubes/planks, which you can use to use to jump higher or drop on enemies.

The rogue archer is basically the most powerful character in the game. She can fire a ton of arrows that although they don’t do as much damage as the warrior, you can eventually fire multiple numbers of them and you can dispatch enemies safely at a distance. The best ability she has is firing a grappling arrow, sort of like the grappling hook gun that Batman has, which you can use to climb up, slide down, rock back and forth, swing, and all sorts of crazy acrobatics. She can light torches by firing flame arrows at them. For me, she’s basically the main character to use.

The warrior is supposed to be the main fighter, although the rogue archer is superior in my eyes. He mainly mashes things, whether parts of the terrain or boxes or enemies. He can also pick stuff up and move it around and he has a shield which absorbs most damage, so long as you angle it properly. He can also light torches, simply by chopping them with his sword.

There are 3 stats in this game, health, mana/energy, and XP.

Health is pretty self explanatory, with some enemies dropping hearts which can heal you. You can also heal by going to a checkpoint, if your health is lower than the minimum that difficulty setting designates as the minimum.

Mana/energy gets used up any time the mage does anything, or to do special attacks for the other two characters. The rogue archer mainly uses the energy to fire lit arrows when you pick up that power. The warrior uses energy to perform special attacks. You replentish mana/energy by going to the next checkpoint or by picking up blue vials which some enemies drop, which this is the most common drop in the game.

The last stat is XP. You pick this up in green vials that are scattered throughout the map (mainly in hard to reach places) and by killing enemies. When you get enough XP all three characters level up and you get a certain amount of character points which you use to purchase new powers or improve old ones.

The final thing to mention regarding general gameplay is that there are different treasures/loot hidden throughout the maps. Each one can boost your powers by a set amount or add a completely different kind of power to the character. For example, I picked up an item which lets my mage swim under water for unlimited amounts of time.

The game gets told as a fairy tale story, and it’s really well done in that sense.

As of the time of this writing, this game is only available on PC. You can play the demo here from Steam.

This is an indie title by Frozenbyte. It has gained a lot of acclaim/awards from other gaming sites. Overall, it’s a great, although short game.

Fun Factor:

This game is a lot of fun, especially the first time through. There are many different approaches and solutions towards getting through an area or fighting enemies and to me that makes for an intelligent game, which most games are not these days, especially a platformer game. The atmosphere and way the game got made keeps you playing. The first time I played the game I was dead tired and started playing it at 11 PM. I went to bed that day at 5 AM.

For the first playthrough I give the game a Fun Factor score of 9 out of 10. For the repeat plays, I give it a score of 6 out of 10, maybe even 7 if it’s been a while.

Difficulty Versatility:

There are different difficulties but they are mostly the same. The only difference I found in game play is that the amount of health that you get when a character dies and resurrects at the checkpoints is lowered the harder you set it. I got really good at this game real fast so I would recommend playing it right from the start at the max difficulty. Most of the game is pretty easy to me, but some parts are tricky. Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 6 out of 10.

Value:

When I got this game it was $5 (when I announced the sale last time). At that cost, the game is an amazing value.

When it’s not on sale, this game usually goes for about $20. At the time of this writing, you can get it for that much through ebgames.com in DVD and also as the downloaded version. You can get it for the same price through Steam.

You can also get it from Impulse here, which is one of our sponsors.

Trine
$19.99

For $20, considering it took me 5-6 hours to beat the game the first time, it’s not so much a great value. At that cost, I’d give Value a score of 4 out of 10. At a cost of $10, I’d give it a 6 out of 10. At $5, I’d give Value a score of 8 out of 10.

Replayability:

This is a pretty short game. I’ve played it twice so far and the game was predictable the entire 2nd playthrough. I have a good memory and since I just played it back to back, I will probably revisit this game in a year or two. I’d give replayability a 4 out of 10, mainly because it’s such a well made game and the action is well done.

Sound:

The voice acting for the game is great. I enjoy when they argue with each other, regarding the path they are taking for solving the main plot. It’s comical. The mage is a shy dork, the rogue archer is a hot sexy lady, and the warrior is a dumb jock.

The sound effects are well done too. The arrows sound real. The smashing of the warrior’s sword or the impact on his shield sound amazing. Sound gets a score of 8 out of 10. I would have given it a higher score, if it had more voice acting.

Music:

The music for the game is beautiful. It goes well with the atmostphere and the fairy tale setting. The music sometimes reminds me of a Tim Burton kind of fairy tale movie. Danny Elfman would be proud! It is written by Ari Pulkkinen. I wish it were available for download. The music from Trine gets a score of 10 out of 10. It’s simply beautiful.

Graphics:

The game looks beautiful. It reminds me sort of the style that the first Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen had, only from the point of view of a side-scrolling platformer instead of the top down and not pixelated at all. They look well drawn and the game is simply beautiful. For what this game is, the Graphics deserve a score of 10 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

The game runs rock solid even while alt-tabbing the living hell out of it. Nothing to complain here. It loads up quickly as well each time. Stability/Reliability gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls are simple and fluid. Standard WASD + mouse combo work like a charm for Trine. Once you’ve played the game for a while, you will be able to use each character almost as if it’s second nature to you. It doesn’t take long to get used to the controls. Eventually you will find yourself just drilling everything with the rogue archer and the enemies won’t stand a chance. Controls get a score of 10 out of 10.

Performance:

The game runs perfectly on most gaming machines, even some obsolete ones. I never saw lag, not even once during any part of this game. The levels load up quickly as well. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10.

My history with this game:

This was one of over 300 games I bought during the Steam holiday sale. Although the game is short I enjoyed playing it as much nearly as when I played Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the first time. I would recommend it to people who like that game a lot, who are PC gamers.

Bejeweled

Bejeweled screenshot
Bejeweled screenshot

Bejeweled review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:

“Another classic puzzle game for the masses.”

Overall Score:
8 out of 10

Overview:

This is a pure, straight up puzzle game.

The point of the game consists of getting 3 or more of one jewel type connected in a row or column and then the game eliminates it. When that happens more jewels drop in taking up the same amount of space from the top of the screen. The more jewels you make disappear at a time, the more points you get.

There are two game modes, one that is the normal mode and the time mode.

Under the normal mode, you have unlimited time and you have to fill up the bottom bar in order to go to the next stage/level. I find this one to be more laid back and strategic.

Time mode gets pretty hectic. You are still trying to get as many in a row/column as possible but the bar at the bottom is going down constantly. You still have to fill the bar up to move on to the next level, which will make the game harder as the time bar will go down faster.

The point to leveling up is that the higher the level, the higher the score multiplier is for any combos you do. In other words, you will get more points per jewel that disappears.

Fun Factor:

This is a simple game yet it’s very entertaining. I prefer the normal (stategic) game mode the most as opposed to the hectic time mode. This game will keep you interested and it’s a great way to wake up and put your thinking cap on. The game might seem simple but there are subtle strategies for you to learn once you’ve played a bunch of games in a row.

This game keeps my interest as far as puzzle games go and I’m sure you will feel the same. Fun Factor gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Difficulty Versatility:

The more you play the game, the harder it gets. It might not necessarily seem like it but you will find yourself more limited with initial combos once the new level spawns. Overall, if you find the game too easy, you can simply play it in time mode, which is much harder.

You start each game at level 1 and there is no way to artificially manipulate this, so you will go through the same difficulty curve every time. The higher the level you go higher then chance you have of dying simply from running out of moves. Once that happens, it’s game over and there is no continue.

I give Difficulty Versatility a score of 7 out of 10.

Value:

You can opt out to play the game online for free from the Popcap games website or you can buy the game for a few dollars.

The version that I played/own I got through Steam for $1-2 when it was on sale and I bought a huge package of PopCap Games. The link to the version I reviewed is the following (through Steam):

http://store.steampowered.com/app/3350/

You can play the free version through this link:

PopCap Games for Free

They sell Bejeweled there and it’s sequels as well. Most sell for $8-12, for PC and handheld systems/phones.

Considering the replayability value of the game, it’s worth at least getting the basic game or even playing the free ones through a web browser. Since the game is basically free or within the price of a budget title, the game gets a Value score of 10 out of 10.

Replayability:

This game is VERY addictive. Considering I was going to replay Civilization 4 for the billionth time to submit a review and I’ve been just playing this game over and over, I would say it’s VERY replayable (addictive).

Other than to be a great time killer, for me the replayability comes into trying to one up my old high scores.

The game helps me think about my strategies within the game and real life problems while I play it, so it’s relaxing and that keeps me playing often.

Replayability gets a score of 1o out of 10.

Sound:

The sounds are simple but they are enough for this game. The best sound effect is the robotic voice of the announcer which makes it sound like an old video game. Sound gets a score of 5 out of 10.

Music:

The music for the version I played, Bejeweled Deluxe sounds like classic amiga mod music and a lot like the music of other games that also use MOD files such as Uplink. It has a very oldskool feel and I always love that. There is one song for each game mode and it loops over and over but that keeps me focused. You can always lower the volume if it bothers you and play an external mp3 file if you want by alt-tabbing.

I enjoy the songs in the game. I think Music deserves a score of 8 out of 10. Some people might want more than 2 songs for the whole game.

Graphics:

The graphics are pretty spartan but this game is designed to run on any computer and not require a lot of money in hardware invested. The graphics look like enhanced c64 or Amiga graphics. I don’t expect a game like this to go all out on graphics as people will play it for it’s puzzle aspect, not to look at eye candy. Graphics get a score of 5 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

The game has never crashed after 30 hours of gameplay. I would declare it’s pretty rock solid. I’ve never seen the logic of the game get stuck in any game either. Stability/Reliability get a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

Controls don’t get simpler than this game. You just left click on what jewel you want to shift and left click on the destination. The jewel will either move up, left, right, or down (not diagonal moves allowed). Once that happens, the game calculates what stuff disappears and you keep playing. It can’t get any simpler than that. Anybody can pretty much play this game. Controls get a score of 10 out of 10.

Performance:

Any version of this game run perfect on any computer, phone, hand held, etc. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10.

My history with this game:

I got this and a bunch of other games through the Steam sale they had in December 2009. Although I know you can play the games for free on the website, since I find them very entertaining, I didn’t mind paying for them and getting the versions that had the enhanced music/graphics.

These are the kinds of games I’ve been playing whenever I take a break from playing a big game.

Nation Red

Nation Red poster
Nation Red poster

Nation Red review by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:

“Smash TV + zombies = fun”

 

 

Overall Score:

8 out of 10

 

Overview:

While everybody knows Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, Nation Red offers arcade zombie killing action for the single player masses. The game consist of you being a woman trapped in a zombie infected quarantine area, with endless (depending on the game mode) hordes of zombies coming to eat your sweet flesh.

There are different game modes, the campaign which involves playing a series of missions (which is basically like training/tutorial mode for me) and the free play mode and its variations. That’s basically the game mode I recommend playing as it offers an online ladder high score table in the style of old arcade games to see who is the champ.

You basically run around in a limited area blasting away at the damned with a variety of pistols, SMGs, and rifles and assorted weapons. There is an XP bar next to your score that shows you how far you are proportionately to level up and earn an upgrade. You can set the game to give you a finite upgrade path but a level cap or make it have unlimited leveling for your avatar but the upgrades will come at you randomly. I find that more challenging and funner, every time. Upgrades vary from self regeneration, faster fire rates, higher DPS in different combinations, damage reduction, special attacks, special ally summons, booster item drop modifications (drop rate, quality of spawns, variations on what items will do), and so on.

Not only is there now still the Free play mode which has been slightly altered but they added Barricade survival mode which also has a ladder high score table.

Fun Factor:

If you enjoy shooting endless hordes of flesh eaters with the constant stress of being under siege then this is your game. The developers update this game at least once a month, usually making it into a different game because of rule/item changes so this keeps the game fresh. The game has a sheer level of destruction that will bring a smile to any pyro’s face. They keep adding new guns every month and that is a sweet pleasure. I give Red Faction a Fun Factor score of 8 out of 10 with variations to that based on how the latest build changed the game.

Difficulty Versatility:

The game starts out pretty simple with the difficulty upscaling itself every 5-7 minutes in a linear path. Since the game gets updated often, the game becomes easier/harder depending on the build that month. You really don’t have control over this so that hurts versatility but it modifies the difficulty factor. I would say the Difficulty Versatility for this game is a 6 out of 10 because of the variation on the game rules but your lack of control as to what the developers do to the game.

Value:

I got this game via Steam for $10, although it’s sometimes on sale on there ranging from 3-7 dollars as well. For the amount of classic arcade fun the game provides, it’s worth getting at that price definitely. As for Value, Nation Red gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Replayability:

Because of the rate of build updates this game gets and the fact that it’s fun in general to blow away those freaking zombies, this is a game that you can come back to over and over again. I have played the game in some builds to the point where it took 50 real life minutes for me to finally die and I mainly die because I get braindead. However, that’s not the case anymore and they stepped up the difficulty/score generation rate, so it still makes me want to come back to it after 6 months of ownership. I give Replayability a score of 8 out of 10.

Sound:

The sounds for the guns are great, although the sounds for the zombies are kind of generic. The explosions sometimes sound kind of muffled so in general Sound gets a score of 7 out of 10.

Music:

The music the game comes with will drive you insane eventually because it loops relatively fast and it’s never ending. What I do is turn it off and put on a fun playlist that will keep my energy high and won’t let me get bored of hearing the same 1-2 minute loop of the same thing over and over and over and over and over. Yeah, you get it. Music gets a 4 out of 10.

Graphics:

The game looks rather gloomy as it has this nasty yellow dirt look to it but that’s fine because there is carnage all over the screen within a few minutes of playing. Eventually, most of the screen will be red covered in zombie residue. The graphics look decent for a game put out by a small studio. I give Graphics a score of 7 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

The game never really crashes as the engine is solid. The game never refuses to launch, even if you force it to while it was downloading an update for it. It’s stable as a mountain, so Stability/Reliability get a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

Simple controls keep you focused on the game. You move around with WASD and shoot stuff with the left mouse button. You use grenades with the right and press E to do a body roll. ESC pauses the game any time you want and you activate the level up option (which pauses the game too) by hitting space. You can force lock the weapon you’re holding by using F. There’s really no need to remap the controls as the default really work already. I give controls a score of 10 out of 10. Get ready to put in some wear and tear on your mouse though. =P

Performance:

This game runs rather well on most gaming PCs although occasionally the game engine will hickup and you will experience a slight lag, although the game is single player offline. Because of that glitch, the game loses points although it can run on most machines. Performance gets a 7 out of 10 until they fix that bug in the game engine.

My history with this game:

I got sick of playing Left 4 Dead so I thought I’d give the Nation Red demo a try. After half an hour I had already bought the game because the game can be pretty addictive at times. For the price, you really can’t go wrong. I recommended it to various people and they all have fun playing it so far, so you might want to give the demo via Steam a try, just for shits and giggles.