Wednesday
Jun062018

One Deck Dungeon Gameplay

Interested in a table top dice game brough to life on the PC?  Then check out One Deck Dungeon, a fun indie game!  Zealeus give a gameplay review in the video below.

Thursday
Feb152018

Typoman Review

When IndieBox was pumping out a new Indie title each month, and delivering it to my doorstep, this game, Typoman, was in one of the boxes. I've got to be honest, I had no idea what this game was, and sadly it sat next to other games that didn't immediately scream at me to play them. 

I have to say that I was beyond wrong for thinking that way when it came to this game. This game was a very pleasant surprise. You play as a hero, those letters h, e, r, o literally makes up your body. You are tasked with fighting through a world in ruin. It appears that you are one of the very few left alive, and those that are alive will stop at nothing to stop you. The use of color, or I should say that dingy/dull color scheme fits perfectly with the feel of the game.

This game is both a platformer and a puzzle game. Now I know what you're thinking when I say puzzle game mixed with a platformer, you're probably thinking, okay I've got to do slide-block puzzles or something of that nature. The thing is that this puzzle aspect is utilized by the power of words. You will find throughout the game letters, or systems where you will be given a list of letters that you'll get to rearrange and create words with. Sometimes those words will create an effect in the world that can help or hinder you. There are also times where the game will credit you for making the word, but it will have no effect on the game. So here's a bit more of a twist with the word puzzle aspect... You're not the only one who can use the letters to create an effect, your enemies can as well. So you'll have to act fast when negative words invade the world.

This game lasted around 2 hours for me, and to be honest, I enjoyed every minute of it. Actually, I was a little sad to see the game end, I wanted to continue to live through this character and try to rescue the world it is navigating through. So I think it is easy to say that at the end of the day if this sounds like something you want to take for a spin, know that this one gets the Altered Confusion stamp of approval.

Sunday
Feb112018

The Metronomicon Review

I was once that guy who had to have all the rhythm games to convince myself that I actually had rhythm. Well the days of the plastic instruments and dance pads are in my review mirror, but here comes this game, The Metronomicon, that just gives me a nostalgic rush. The thing is that this game has a bit of a twist. Now I know that the next statement, the mention of the genre, will have some of you scratching your heads, but I swear the developer actually made this work almost to complete perfection. This game is a RPG/Rhythm game. I used the slash because this game is equal in both parts. There's a heavy emphasis on getting the rhythm parts down pat, but there's also a lot of love and attention given to the RPG aspects of the game.

You will battle through song stages and as you take on the game you will unlock new characters, have the chance to gain new items that will power up your characters. You will of course be leveling up your characters as you go through the game, and there are going to be special challenges for those who are looking to truly show off their skills. 

Graphically, I love the lay out that the game has. You'll be controlling up to 4 characters at a time, each will have 3 levels of skills that can be unleashed depending on how long you can hold the rhythm in their section. Once their skill has been deployed there will be a cool down time and you'll have to take on other characters sections. The thing is that you're going to have to find that beat and rhythm that allows you to take down the enemies, or the challenge you have in front of you. If you miss too many notes you're going to die, if you're being sloppy there's a chance that the song will end and you will not have completed the objective for the level.

This game definitely isn't for everyone, and there is some tweaking that you'll have to do to get the beats to line up with when visually the keys are supposed to hit, but once you have that set, you are in for a challenging good fun. 

There's also the fact that there's a levels of difficulty, so if you are one of those gamers who think that EASY is something that you can't even acknowledge, know this, there's medium and hard that I'm sure will have some of you having nightmares, depending on the songs. Then again maybe that's just me trying to take on some of my favorite more challenging songs with a ramped up difficulty.

This game deserves a spot on your gaming list, and I HIGHLY recommend that you play with a gamepad, however I have heard that you might actually be able to play with other gaming devices, but I have yet to try it. This game gets that Altered Confusion stamp of approval.

 

If you want to hear from the developer on this game, Charlie was lucky enough to get an interview with him.

Tuesday
May232017

Overwatch - paying for friends and ranking?

I've recently started playing Overwatch, so this recent article on Kotaku about utilizing Fiverr.com to pay people to play with you piqued my interest.  The idea is paying someone - top results are usually younger females who tend to be heals - such as here, to play with you.  After looking at a few services, you usually get 3-5 OW games for $5, with increasing monetary payments yielding more matches and added perks such as voice chat.  That gives roughly an hour or so of gameplay.  The usual trend, based on comments, is a perky las who is helpful and improves their teammates gameplay.  Which makes sense since it's in their best interest to get good reviews so others give a Fiverr.

Now, why do I care about this?  Well, in all my years of gaming - many of those online - I never knew this was a thing!  I kinda' feel like I was living under a rock, the whole PewDiePie incident not withstanding.  Overall, I think think this is a nifty idea.  Gives people a chance to make some money playing a game they enjoy, and other gamers get to also enjoy their gaming experience by playing with veteran players.  Plus, it's really not that expensive.  Everyone wins!

I started looking more into Overwatch coop play and came across rank boost at boostards.com.  Without diving too much into the system: In Overwatch Competitive Play, players earn Skill Rating (SR) depending on both their win/loss and how well they do in matches.  A lot more information can be found here.  At Boostards - and other websites - they will sell you a SR boost for $$$.  When initially looking, I thought it'd be a matter of cooping with a pro and increasing your SR.  No big deal.  And while you can order that (for a 60% surcharge), their main offering is to actually log in on your account and play to the purchased SR.  And that is where I draw the line.

It's one thing if you play with somebody to improve your SR.  It's called playing on a team, and we naturally want to surround ourselves with the best.  But to pay someone to actually play on your account to improve your ranking is completely unethical and against the spirit of competitive gameplay.  Looking at their website:

Boostards provides “boosting” services for Overwatch players who feel like they are stuck at a certain skill rating in the game to climb out of elo hell and into a place where they can realize their true potential. Luck can be a huge factor in the Overwatch competitive environment and what we aim to do is to take the luck factor out of the game, improve the gaming experience for players having a bad time, and offer a bit of help to those who need it.

That's just a load of crap.  Let's say a player is at Platinum Level SR 2800 and they want to be Diamond Level SR 3000 - and then can never get above SR 2850 on their own, what do we really think is going to happen after their boost?  1) They'll drop right back down to Platinum & 2) Diamond competition teams will now be handicapped when they are teamed with somebody who hasn't actually earned the right to play in Diamond, thus creating a negative gameplay experience for 5 other players.  Good job!  As far as "luck" goes, everyone is competing on the same playing field.  Over time, that "luck" would level out.  if you're really good enough to play Diamond, then you don't need someone to boost you to unlock your potential.  If you really have Diamond potential, then play the game!

Now, how much does thie cost?  Let's say you're SR 1500 - Silver Level - so you've at least played and won some competition matches.  To get a Top 500 boost from SR 1500 would cost you $1647.18.  Even going from one tier to the next - Silver (SR 1500) to Gold (2000 SR) is $75.   Yikes!  And make no mistake about it.  If a player gets such a significant boost in SR that they're not capable of on their own, they will be facerolled in competitions.

Tuesday
Apr042017

Battle for Candora Review

Humanity is on the verge of being enslaved by an alien race. They have taken most of humanity over with the power of sugar. Thankfully, there are a few brave souls that venture out to a planet named Candora in hopes of obtaining a cure that will defeat the aliens and their diabolical plot. There is one issue though, you see the aliens found out what you're trying to do and have turned the inhabitants against you. Can you survive and save humanity?

Battle for Candora is a free-to-play collectable card iOS game. In this game you will be working with a deck of 28 cards (8 heroes and 20 food cards) to battle level upon level of challenges and enemies. Even though the number of cards seems to be a smaller number, believe me you're not going to get through the entire deck. You will be able to hold up to 3 cards at a time in your hand. There are 3 positions that you can place character cards (attack position, and 2 support positions). Only the front position will be able to attack unless a special circumstance takes place.

So lets breakdown the core of the game. There is basically 5 phases that you're going to go through, and you can skip any phase that you want to, the thing is that these phases are either going to save your ass, or be the death of you. The confinement of having to do the phases in a specific order make it very difficult to capitalize on moments where you could perhaps squeak out a victory, so you're going to spend a good amount of time guessing on what is going to happen during your phases as well as hoping that your lead character gets a "Blitz", which is something you need to allow for an additional character to swap places and then attack.

There are MANY levels where dumb luck is going to be the only thing that will get you through the level, and to be honest there are some times where I feel that the AI has an advantage to easily defeat anything I put out there. So I have to pray that all the cards fall just the right way. Now I'm not saying that I don't appreciate a challenge, but there are levels where the outcome feels completely out of my hands.

As you go from stage/battle to stage/battle you're going to see that there is a main objective and then bonus objectives. If you complete all three you get the 3 star rating for that level. If you miss one you can of course always go back and try again. Now if you're not into getting the perfect score on each level there's another reason to go back through the levels, and that is the fact that as you kill enemies you can open up reward chest that will either have just gems, or gems with character points.

The character points are used to upgrade your different character cards. They can help with HP and Attack Power, and as you can guess both of these stats are EXTREMELY important to get through the game. Another important thing that you'll need to have to get through the game is the building of new weapons. Now I'm still a little bit haze how to get some of the blueprints, even though I'm pretty sure I've got the parts for several weapons, but if you can complete the blueprints the weapons you unlock will make your character much stronger and add some effects that will come in handy during tougher battles.

Now I mentioned gems, and those gems are used at 100 gem intervals to open up reward chest that will contain items, characters, etc. These of course will once again allow you to further customize your deck for the best possible outcome. Speaking of decks, I mentioned that it is made up of 28 cards, 8 characters, and 20 food cards, but I haven't told you want food cards are yet. Well these are cards that have either healthy food, or sugary food. Both of these options have bonuses for a character, or something bad for an enemy. The way you find out is that you'll notice that the cards have a give and a throw text to them. The throw is for what will happen if you give it to the enemy. The sugary cards, when applied to one of your characters, is going to give you a really good boost for a round, but you're going to be stunned for the next round as you'll suffer a sugar rush. There's also one more thing that you need to know about the food cards, there are a couple of categories that the food falls into and if you have more of one type than the rest you're going to get a bonus to the deck. My favorite is getting more of the cards with the coconut on them so attacks don't cost energy.

Overall this is a very interesting game, there are definitely some quirks to it that stop me from trying to play it often, but I do find myself wondering over to the game ever so often to at least get some extra gems and hope to unlock some extra goodies. I really wish that there was some balancing in some of the levels that feel like maybe the rules are misinterpretted, and I do wish that there was a way to use the phases in a more flexible manner. There is a bit of a push for in-app purchases when it comes to booster packs, specific cards, or the Gauntlet mode for the game (a mode that allows you to go after more booster packs), but I feel that this game can easily be played without feeling like you're getting smashed over the head with "hey you should really spend some money." This game, as it stands right now is a solid 7.8 out of 10.

Tuesday
Mar212017

Adam Wolfe Season 1 Review

Delve into the underbelly of San Francisco, where what you thought you knew might not really be all that the world has or is hiding. In Adam Wolfe you will be put into the shoes of Adam Wolfe, a private investigator of the paranormal variety. It is through this first season, or four chapters of the game, that you'll take on cases, all of which will get you one step closer to finding your sister that mysteriously vanished. The thing is that the path is fraught with danger, and one wrong step, or one moment of letting your guard down could mean the end of you, and perhaps many others.

This is an interesting game that mixes the point click adventure genre with puzzles, hidden objects, and replaying crime scenes through the manipulation of time. You will of course be taking on different pieces of an over-arching quest to find your sister, but in each chapter there is a new aspect, a new roadblock that will be put in front of you. The interesting thing, is that yes, it is frustrating to see these obstacles, but they feel natural in the flow of the game. Too many games put the obstacles to try to make the player spend more time in the game, but this game the obstacles seem logical, they seem to fit right into the story and allow the player to stay immersed in the game.

There are a couple of things about this game that really work for me. The first, of course, is the voice acting, there's nothing quite like actually getting to hear the voices and being pulled further into the game because of it. There is a lot of dialogue and text going on, and it is refreshing to actually have the characters speak so as to allow for the player to not have to read, and possibly re-read for context. The other AMAZING thing is that you can pick up items when you are in an area, EVEN if you don't need them at the current place and time. Sure, there might be items added to a location later in a chapter or the game, but for the most part you might have something that has no significance, but later on you don't have ton continuously backtrack to find what you need. This once again enhances the player's ability to continue to be immersed and get lost in the flow of the game.

As stated previously there are 4 chapters, and at the end there HAS to be more to come. At the end of each of these chapters you are left with a cliffhanger which make you want to just dive right into the next game. This is a well crafted game/series. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in puzzles, mystery, and adventure. This game gets an 9.0 out of 10.

Saturday
Mar042017

Mascot Dunk Review

 

Time your jumps, stick the landings, and then bring it all home with a powerful dunk. That is as simple as it seems in Mascot Dunk for iOS. The thing is that it really isn't that simple. The game does take only one finger to play as you'll be timing your tapping on the screen, but the thing is that as you advance through the game, you're going to try to achieve the high score all in one shot, the speed changes as well as the placement and size of the trampolines. 

If you play the game long enough, you'll start to unlock additional fun dunks with time. You'll also gain coins through your playthroughs. If you get enough coins you can unlock a random mascot to give you more of a personalized feel. When you unlock a mascot you can change the colors for that specific character to add enough more personalization to it. I do wish that each mascot had a signature dunk that would distinguish one from another, sadly each mascot is just a skin change and the same set of dunks. Speaking of dunks you're going to be unlocking them with time, however that doesn't mean that you have any control over what dunk you're going to be attempting on each basket, that is randomly selected for you as well.

This game suffers that same issue that many free to play games suffer and that is the desire to get you to watch ads. The biggest problem is that at the end of a playthrough you're allowed to restart where you left off once by watching an ad, however, if you decide to try again from scratch by going back to the main menu there's a very good chance you're going to be hit by an ad anyways. I'm all for having ads, if it rewards the player, but pulling a fast one and placing an ad in a place that the player isn't expecting is only going to serve pissing off the gamer.

In the end this game is fun, definitely has some challenge to it, with a free-to-play tag it definitely is worth a look. The problem for this game ends up being the fact that there really isn't all that much customize control for the player and the shiny look and feel will fade and when that's over I'm not sure how many players will continue to stick around. This game gets a 7.9 out of 10.