Thursday
Apr302015

The Charnel House Trilogy Review

You find yourself in your apartment, you feel like anything and everything has gone wrong, and at the spur of the moment you have decided to take a little train ride to clear your head and meet a friend at a place called Augur Peak. You will play the part of Alex, a girl who has lost her way, but refuses to give up. In this point click adventure game you will get to play through three chapters and get to really know Alex as well as some of the twists and turns of her life.

Graphically The Charnel House Trilogy went with a more dated feel to it. You are not going to see photo realistic characters, but with this game it works.The characters gain portrait pictures when they talk, and for me I felt waves of nostalgia with how the game looked.

This game makes you feel like you opened up your favorite book from your past. You know the one, that roughed up copy with the yellowing pages that you know you've read half a million times, but for some reason reading it feels so good. That's what this game did for me, I felt like I just slipped into the game and was at ease... ... well maybe not ease, that would definitely not be the word I would use when I think about the twists and turns in the story.

The action is broken up into three different parts, and each are not overly long, the entire three chapters takes about 2 hours, but in my mind that was 2 hours would not take back. I played through the entire thing in one sitting, this allowed me to find the rhythm of the game early, and keep with it until completion.

The voice acting was excellent as well. What can I say, Owl Cave knows how to put together a solid game, the voices made me feel the emotions, confusion, deceit, and more.

I really wish I could get into some of the details about this game, but that would ruin it for you, the gamer, and this is definitely one of those games I do not want to ruin for you. Just trust me when I say if you like a little bit of horror with a splash of self-doubt wrapped up in a point-click adventure, you're going to want to get this game.This game gets a 9.3 out of 10.

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Sunday
Apr262015

Dead Synchronicity Tomorrow Comes Today Review

You wake up in a rundown trailer with no memory of who you are or how you got there. When you start to look around the world that you thought you knew is no more. Something has happened, an event called the Great Wave. This event destroyed modern society and has introduced a type of people called the dissolved.

This point-click, dark, adventure, Dead Synchronicity Tomorrow Comes Today, puts you in the shoes of a man named Michael. You are soon put on a quest to try to recover your thoughts, your past, and a slew of jobs/chores for different people to help further your own agenda.

The first thing on your list will be finding a way out of the refugee camp that you find yourself in. The thing is that since the world changed many different types of people have come to power, but one thing is for sure everyone is scared of the dissolved. 

Graphically this game grew on me. At first I felt like the characters looked a bit rough, but the more I played the more I found the look of the game to be in step with the feeling of the game. There was a rough desperation to almost everyone you encountered, and a bleak, rundown, vibe eminating from the game. I'm not saying that the game looked back but because of the rough edges, and the overall look of the game it fit perfectly.

The voice acting was well done. Just as with the art style of the game you could feel the anguish in the voices of the characters you interacted with. One of the things that games with voice acting seems to get wrong from time to time is having voice acting for characters but not for all the character's lines. This game gets it right, any and all characters you interact with are fully voice acted, and that's big in my book.

The one thing about this game that left me kicking, screaming, and yelling was the fact that when all the pieces started to fall in place the credits rolled. So the only thing I can say to this is that there better be a next chapter coming because I need to know a lot of things, most of which I can't even get into in this review in fear of spoilers, but I will tell you this, there are going to be times where it just doesn't seem like you are getting anywhere with this game, but when things pick up its well worth it. 

So here's the deal, there's a couple of bumps on the road, but if you are willing to tough through it you're going to find a game that will leave you wanting more, and in a good way. This is definitely a game to check out, and I think that those looking for a post-apocalyptic game with an interesting time paradox twist is going to enjoy this game. This game gets an 8.9 out of 10.

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Thursday
Apr232015

Gunpowder Review

You are just a kind fox who is minding his own business in the corrupted West, when a crate falls from your cart and reveals to you the story of Robin Hood. Seeing this book you decide to don a persona of avenger of the defenseless, and to make trouble for the corrupt law keeper.

To do this you are going to get to use lots of gunpowder. In this game, developed by Rogue Rocket Games, you will be drawing gunpowder, shooting cannons, blowing up powder kegs, and liberating both piggy banks and safes of their money.

I personally got to play this game on the iPad 2, and I have to say that this puzzle game, with a comic book feel to it had me hooked. There's several elements to each level that will have you retrying some of the levels to try to get that perfect score. Of course the main objective is to blow up the safe, but if you can blow up all the piggy banks, and do it as fast as you can you will notice that your score will be that much higher.

Oh I might also add that there are sometimes hidden collectibles located in the levels. I think I've found some through blowing up crates in the level, as well as blowing up cacti. So if you can make the powder kegs blow up so that it causes maximum damage, it's probably in your best interest.

There are several "chapters" in this game, each that open up with comic book panels that tell you what is occurring in your story. My one issue with the "chapters" is that it is possible to collect enough piggy banks (that's the currency for unlocking the next chapter) that you can skip an entire chapter, and the first time you see the comic panels you are completely lost. I kind of wish that if you had not seen a previous chapter's panels that they got added before the comic panels for the chapter you selected.

Now one thing I did like was the fact that more functionality was added on to the game as you went along. There are some games that introduce a new feature in part of the game, but never use it again, or it just kind of disappears. That is not the case in this game, you will notice that you will have to think faster, you might even have to restart a couple of times to make everything work (in later levels the piggy banks might be taken away if you take too long to figure out how you are going to do things). There's also an element of timing that starts to creep up through the game, and although it does get difficult, I feel the pace of the learning curve gives you a good shot at feeling semi-confident and not completely frustrated when things happen fast.

I really liked the art style of the game, it was done from an almost top down view where you can see the dimensions of the level, but your view wasn't obstructed as you try to lay down your attack plan. Speaking of which there were a couple of times where the collision with a boulder, in a level that required timing, cut off what I thought was my line of gunpowder, and I had to start from scratch.

So here's the deal, I think its safe to say that if you are a puzzle lover, and you like some story with your puzzle, you are going to want to get this game. It runs smoothly, it's entertaining, and there's definitely a challenging element to it. This game gets a 9.1 out of 10.

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Monday
Apr132015

Patrick Rothuss's Kingkiller Chronicles

Today, Zealeus talks about Patrick Rothfuss's incredible Kingkiller Chronicle - a must read for any fantasy fan!

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Friday
Apr102015

Burnstar Review

Get ready and select a character as you try to blow up level after level, avoid traps, enemies, and more. In Burnstar you get to select one of four different characters. Each of which has their own twist that can help you get through some of the levels that stand in your way. 

This game is a puzzle bomberman type of game. The reason I say that is because you are going to be using strategically placed bombs around the level to blow up boxes, ignite flammable substances, active equipment, and more. The catch is, you only have as many bombs as you have picked up in the level. So unlike bomberman, where your only limit is how many bombs you can have out at a time, this game makes you work for not only placing the bombs, but collecting them as well.

I really like the art style of this game, once again it reminds me of bomberman, but I'm talking an up-to-date Bomberman feel. Each level is well laid out, and definitely has some twists and turns in place to keep you wanting to come back to fully complete a level. You see in each level there are boxes and hidden stars. You have to blow up enough boxes, and collect enough stars to advance to the next level. There's also a time component to it, if you are looking to try to speed your way through the game.

There are a ton of levels to this game, and there is just enough variance between each level that you don't feel like you are having to rinse and repeat levels for the sake of having levels. I do like the fact that there are different characters to choose from, this adds an extra dimension to take into consideration when trying to conquer a level. 

There's a character that can freeze enemies, there's a character that can do a fast dash, there's one that can pull stars towards you, and there's also a teleporting character. I personally found that it is never a bad idea to try to use different characters from time to time, early on so when the game its more difficult you have a good feel for everyone so, just in case you get to a level that would benefit from a change of character.

There's also a co-op mode to the game that I think most will find as entertaining as the single player experience. So have no fear, this isn't something that was just slopped on at the last minute to try to add the ability to have more than one player at a time.

This is a fun game, if you like puzzles with a little danger, and strategy involved, I think you're going to like it to. Now of course with a game of this nature I highly recommend that you have a gamepad for optimal playing. So with that I'm going to have to go ahead and give this game an 8.7 out of 10.

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Wednesday
Apr012015

QuestRun Review

Get a random party, and take to the battle. You will have to survive round after round in this fast paced game. This game comes from Cuve Games, the team behind Heroes & Legends: Conquerors of Kolhar. In this currently mobile only game, you will get a chance to utilize the system used throughout the previous game, with an extra emphasis on randomizing the battles.

Graphically this game, since it is using the same gaming engine, looks the same as Conquerors of Kolhar. There are more characters for you to select, and play with, but they all really break down to the usual stereotypes. You will get to use the fighter, the paladin, magic user, and healer. Now of course there are ways to unlock better versions of each of these character types, but you will first have to take on specific scenarios.

At first I was ready to put this game down with its constant randomization of party member. I knew what I wanted to play with, and yet the game kept choosing for me, and only giving me the chance to re-roll for an entire new party. Thankfully I found out that through playing enough of the game you can basically buy your way to having the ability to select your own party. I do want to point out that this isn't a pay-to-win ploy, you will be using in game currency to do so.

Something else that you will be able to buy with said currency is helper animals. These are a new twist to the gameplay. You will be able to feed them items from your ever growing inventory and they can do a wide range of things. There is one that will heal your party, there is another that will create a potion out of any item you feed it, there's also one that if you feed it it will give a small amount of experience, and of course there's more.

There's also merchants that you can purchase to allow you to gain some items before jumping into main quests, the only time you actually get to choose your party, which can allow you an early leg up on what you will be facing. The side quests are all setup with a specific party and sometimes help animal, which makes it all that much more challenging.

Alright so here's the deal, in the end, if you put some serious time into the game you are going to find that once you have everything in its right place, there's not all that much left to do with the game. You have an overview map that will unlock as you conquer enough of the challenges or main quests, but at the end of the day the name of the game is rinse and repeat.

I know that the developers were trying to make something that you can easily get into at any time and not get lost in what the storyline was up to this point, but I feel like this game feels hollow. They were trying to go for that rogue approach, a randomized experience each time, but as I stated before since I wasn't able to immediately choose my own party, I almost stopped playing the game early on.

The thing is that this is good looking game, it definitely has something going for it, but there's just not enough for me to constantly want to come back and play the game. I've gotten to the point where some of the randomization that takes place has just taken most of the fun out of the game, and its left me with frustration. Sure there was a time where I felt like I needed to rise a bit higher to meet the challenge, but that ship ultimately set sail without me even caring in the end. This game gets a 6.2 out of 10.

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Monday
Mar232015

Woolfe - The Red Hood Diaries: Chapter 1 Review

Remember the tale of Little Red Riding Hood who went to see her grandmother, and unwittingly got into a race with a Big Bad Wolf to Grandma's House? Well this is a little bit of a different spin on things. In this first of two parts of Woolfe - The Red Hood Diaries, you will play the part of Red, an Axe-wielding, hooded girl bent on revenge for what a man by the name of B.B. Woolfe has done to her family. You will have to navigate your way through the town of Ulrica, a place where only mechanical toy soldiers prowl, and who will attack if someone past curfew is out and about.

Graphically this 2.5D game looked amazing. The drab look of the snowy city contrasted with the red of your character's hood definitely gave you the feeling of dispair in this locked up city, as well as a feeling of evil oozing just behind "the curtain". All though the enemy models were recycled for the toy soldiers, the rats, the winged creatures, and the wolves, it didn't feel over done. It all fit into place and add to the danger of the game.

Speaking of danger the second half of the game, in which you are going through a forest where some great magic has caused a huge disruption definitely gives you a ton of danger. Gone are the eaiser jumps and obstacles, and in with the spiky vines, moving platforms, and of course little room for error.

In a game that plays like a sidescroller with depth (hence the .5D part) there were a couple of times where I felt that it would have been nice to have the camera be able to follow you a little bit more into the background. Depth is something that plays a big role in certain parts and try to gauge your distance was a little bit tricky from time to time.

Now there was another portion to the game besides platforming, and climbing, and that was combat. Red is a very fragile young thing so you definitely do not want to take hits, and if you can I would highly recommend staying out of fights unless you have to. Sure as the game goes on you game some special moves to help dispatch enemies, but this is definitely not the game where you go out of your way to try to take on all comers. You will meet an early end, and let me tell you it really sucks when you've been through a section and you accidentally provoke some enemies just as you are about to get to your next checkpoint, which is always denoted by a picnic basket. If you die you have to go back to the previous basket, and there are times where you are really going to wish that you didn't have to do that particular section over again.

I'm really excited to see where the game goes next, and part of me hopes that there are some more boss fights, even though those by far were the most stressful type of combat in the game. The reason being is that there is some trial and error to each boss, and so you're definitely not going to get through on your first couple of tries, and there's a chance that you are going to get hit during a scripted sequence and really use your cool, which happened to me twice.

All in all this is definitely a game that I enjoyed playing, like I said before I want to see where this game goes next. I could definitely tell that there was definitely more to what was going on than met the eye, and now I just have to play the waiting game. I recommend that you get this game, play through it, try to find the extras hidden throughout the game, and join me in anticipation for the next and from my understanding final chapter. This game gets an 8.8 out of 10.

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