Northgard

Preview Posted 25|May by
Northgard

Winter is... well, you know

I play a lot of board games and one of my favourite genres is the 'dudes on a map area conquest' game. As the rise of board games becomes ever prevalent computer games are taking a lot of cues from them and Northgard is no exception to this, with its reliance on having players conquer areas by sending out explorers that allow them to expand. This feels very akin to games like Clash of Cultures and Eclipse, where players lay down tiles to build the play area as they explore into neighbouring territories.
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The Surge

Review Posted 23|May by
The Surge

Dark futures

Imagine a dystopian future where we've ruined the planet to the point we need to take drastic action to prevent the extinction of the human race. That action comes in the form of rockets being blasted in to the stratosphere to do... something... That something goes horribly wrong in The Surge, the latest game from the makers of Lords of The Fallen, Deck 13 Interactive.
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Serial Cleaner

Preview Posted 15|May by
Serial Cleaner

More exciting than the title suggests

One of the most iconic scenes in cinema is the exchange between Vincent and Jules and the fixer, Winston Wolfe in Pulp Fiction. Winston's sole job is to clean up the messes left behind by those under gang boss Marsellus Wallace's employ. This scene is a very short one in the film, but it is memorable as it illustrates how ones actions can lead to serious consequences, which can result in a lot of mess. The developers of Serial Cleaner have made a game about the cleaning up of mistakes made by others and I managed to get some playtime with it at PAX East 2017.
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Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom

Review Posted 10|May by
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom

A half-baked new RPG

I took a break from playing Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom because I was finding myself to be increasingly infuriated by it. When I eventually returned I realised that I had to admit to myself that I just didn't like almost every aspect of the game.

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The Disney Afternoon Collection

Review Posted 5|May by
The Disney Afternoon Collection

You know you're a '90s kid if...

I didn't own a NES when I was growing up. Like many of my contemporaries in the UK during the late 80s/early 90s I owned a Sega Master System. I won it in a Rice Krispies competition where I had to eat a vast quantity of the cereal and then complete a tie breaker question. I loved my Master System and although I didn't have many games for it, I still have extremely fond memories. It may not have had the depth of games that its rival the NES had, but the quality was still there.
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TumbleSeed

Review Posted 2|May by
TumbleSeed

A mountainous learning curve

My first hour with TumbleSeed didn't go well.

I'm all for difficult games - they can be a lesson in bringing players to the brink of quitting before giving them the elation of progressing. Dark Souls, Trials and even Flappy Bird managed to turn anger into determination which lead to addiction.
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PAX East 2017: Pylon: Rogue

Preview Posted 25|Apr by
PAX East 2017: Pylon: Rogue

The title of Pylon: Rogue gives the impression that this is a game about a maniacal electrical pylon that is terrorising the countryside. Sadly this isn't the case. Perhaps there is a title in the works that is about that very thing. But, no, Pylon: Rogue is actually an action adventure game that boasts four different character classes and has the perennial one life and very limited health.
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Persona 5

Review Posted 24|Apr by
Persona 5

Almost a revolution

Persona 5 has left me feeling very conflicted. On the one hand, there is an awful lot to like about the game - it is incredibly stylish and I have found the characters and story far more engaging than the game's predecessor.

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PAX East 2017: Loot Rascals

First Look Posted 20|Apr by
PAX East 2017: Loot Rascals

Rogue-like hex-based card-wielding fun

There's a podcast I listen to called Checkpoints. It is similar to my own show, The Sausage Factory in that it is interview-based and questions members of the games industry about them and their careers. One of the standard questions asked in Checkpoints is 'what is the funniest game you have ever played'? or words to that effect. Up until recently my answer has been the standard Monkey Island, but now, having played Loot Rascals at PAX East 2017, my answer has shifted.
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The Silver Case

Review Posted 13|Apr by
The Silver Case

Suda51's directorial debut gets re-opened

Sometimes a game should be remastered not because it was a good game, but because it is a historical curiosity, The Silver Case is such a game.

Set in a crime-riddled area of Japan, The Silver Case follows the investigation of a series of murders from the perspective of two characters. Primarily the story is told through text with striking 2D artwork to support the grim tone of the story.
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PAX East 2017: The Metronomicon

Preview Posted 10|Apr by
PAX East 2017: The Metronomicon

Party like it's 1399

Speaking as a long time Dungeon/Game Master of pen and paper RPGs I have often wondered if a combat encounter would be spruced up by having the players compete against the monsters via a dance-off. Thankfully these thoughts are fleeting as I realise that if I were to introduce such a mechanic into my games, my players would likely give me a 0.0 score and flounce off in fully choreographed formation.
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PAX East 2017: Pathologic

Preview Posted 6|Apr by
PAX East 2017: Pathologic

A stroll into darkness

The word 'insanity' and variants thereof is used a great deal. But few people really know what it means to be insane in the true sense of the word. It's akin to losing a limb as the brain is no longer working as one is used to.

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Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Review Posted 4|Apr by
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

A slightly broken open world

I have extremely fond memories of the original Ghost Recon released on the first Xbox in 2001. Xbox Live was a new service with only a handful of games playable online, most of which were not particularly good. Ghost Recon provided something that other games had so far failed to deliver: real depth and strategy.
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Mass Effect: Andromeda

Review Posted 3|Apr by
Mass Effect: Andromeda

Is it all bad?

I think it's probably fair to say that Mass Effect: Andromeda has had a shaky launch. You probably saw all of the gifs and clips doing the rounds on social media of the game's immediate problems. From awful facial animations to embarrassing voice acting, Andromeda was showing all the signs of a game that was rushed to launch, a travesty when you consider that it's reported to have been in development for five years.
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The Signal from Tölva

Preview Posted 31|Mar by
The Signal from Tölva

Sir, You are Being Hunted (on an alien planet)

Questions; that's been the theme that's kept cropping up in my recent gaming. So many games I have played ask questions of the player that are never really answered. At least not during the short time I get to experience them.

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