Ski Safari 2 Review


Many might remember taking to the slopes on your iOS device a couple of years ago, and having one hell of a good time trying to out run the avalanches and of course trying to hitch rides on the backs of penguins, yetis, eagles, and of course snow mobiles. Well it turns out there is a sequel, and one that I think you'll be very interested in.

Now this is the type of game where the slopes are going to be randomized so you're not going to be able to master the course if you play over and over again, but in my opinion that is one fo the best features about the game. There are definitely going to be times where you're just not feeling the way that you're skiing the the course and end up dying really early, have no fear you're not going to have to ski that exact way ever again.

So this time Ski Safari 2 centers around three different locations, a snowy location, a prehistoric location, and a western themed location. In each one you will find a version of the penguin, the yeti, the eagle, and the snow mobile, however you're going to find that each location has their own special rides that you will get to interact with as well so there's definitely a further diversity of fun to be had.

In each of these locations there's going to be 30 goals to accomplish and accomplishing said goals can give you bonuses and more. Some of the bonuses, as was the case in the first game is how you start the game. When you first play the game you're going to be sliding down the hills in your bed, but play enough then you'll start with skiing on a penguin, and as you might have figured out the animals/vehicles that you can ride start to open up as you accomplish more of the goals.

Now the way you unlock each of these locations is through coins, you can collect them through in-game play as well as completing those goals. So to be honest there's not a WHOLE lot of grind to open up new areas, but you're not going to be able to play all of them right off the bat.

One of the features that I really like about this version of the game versus the original is that you can perform tricks while in the the air, be it on your skis or riding on the back of something. There's also these photo opportunities that make for some fun trick attempts to see what kind of pictures you can come up with.

Overall this game is solid, this is a very polished game that I think anyone who is looking for a game to put a little bit of time into at a time, but ends up playing a couple more times than first anticipated will enjoy. There's enough subtle variety in the locales and sure most of the goals are the same from location to location, but to achieve them each time definitely brought a smile to my face. Seriously this is game that you should add to your collection on your iOS device. This game gets a 9.3 out of 10.

Home | Reviews | Apple


Synchrom Review

The object of Synchrom is match colors in a rhythmic pattern, sounds easy right? Well that's where you would be dead wrong. You will have to take on different stages in different modes with different modifiers activated to truly unlock this game, and the rhythm portion of the game could leave you very close to death.

It is interesting to see a game that really only uses three different colors, red, blue, and green. Sure there are times where the game likes to have a little fun at your expense by applying different types of filters to the screen, but as long as you keep calm and pay attention to what color you are currently pulsing at you should have a fighting chance. 

I'm not going to lie this game throws you into the deep in almost immediately after finishing off the tutorial, and to be honest with you, its probably the best possible thing the developers of this game could have done. sure its brutal, but when you are literally forced to sink or swim there's some seriously amazing stuff that you'll find you can do in this game. There's also going to be plenty of restarts involved with this game, but for some reason I just couldn't get enough of it, and kept coming back. 

So here's the basic breakdown you are going to find that you can by one of two artistic circles that you can find at the left and right bottom portion of the screen, you are going to use the mouse to click on one or the other and as long as you hold the mouse button down that's going to be your selected circle. Now what's going to happen is its going to change colors and at the beat it is going to shoot that colored shot at the center of the screen, you just HAVE TO make sure that you match the color to what its going to hit on the screen. Oh and to make things just that much more interesting there are going to be times where some of the colors that you see on the screen swirling around the middle object are going to shoot and if you get hit by the projectile you will die.

As I mentioned before there are a couple of game modes per level, one that gives you standard run through the stages of increasing difficulty which of course is hard as balls to do to be begin with. Then you also have like the AMPED up version of that stage run, just in case you didn't think you had enough challenge in your life. The final mode is an infinite mode, you're just trying to last as long as you can, it's also the mode that you'll be using to unlock pieces of more advanced starting "circles". 

Oh and just in case you were curious you do have a finite amount of lives in any mode, you do have to beat the first mode to unlock the others, and if you decide to shoot the wrong color too many times all hell breaks loose and if you are not extremely careful you might find yourself completely destroyed within seconds.

As I've stated several times to this point this game takes some skill and a lot of practice. There's things to dodge, shots to line up, and of course rhythms and beats that you have to be aware of. If you can master these things you are going to find something amazingly special, and something that I think you'll want to come back to. Sometimes the games that don't have the photo-realistic graphics but look polished and have a strong game mechanic are the better games out there, and this is one of those games. This game easily deserves the 9.2 out of 10.

Home | Reviews | PC


The Howler Review

In this air current and physics based game you will have to navigate safely through level upon level completing tasks while on the clock. In this 2D game you will spend most of your time in a hot air balloon where you will have to master the different speeds of the air currents while taking into consideration that air can blow in both directions.

Graphically The Howler definitely has that aged look to it. I don't mean that it looks dated it just looks more like a steam-punk Victorian age type of feel. One of the things I like about the art style in this game is that it gives you the look of a city or area of the city while not overly cluttering up the screen. 

This game is basically played with just a couple of buttons and/or your voice. I know that sounds a bit crazy, but if you have a good enough mic you can issues increases and decreases in altitude by the level of your voice. Do you want to go higher, get louder, you want to descend, well just get quieter. I wouldn't recommend being silent that might cause a not so fun crash, but hey you never know until you try it.

One of the things that really impressed me with The Howler was the fact that if you had the tutorial text on you could easily pick up this game and be able to play it. Now I know that there are games that put you through the tutorial once and then disable, but in this game it doesn't and that's not a problem. Instead of constantly taking the player out of the game by throwing up dialogue boxes that you have to click ok or next on they put the text into the background of the game and once you start moving around it just vanishes.

Now there is a slight downside to this game and that is it DEFINITELY feels like a port of a tablet or phone game. The resolution for the game can't be changed so you'll be faced with playing in a small box on your screen. The other thing is that as easy as the controls are for some reason the mouse button just doesn't seem to translate as well as say a tap and hold on a touchscreen, maybe that's just me, but I think it makes a difference.

So if you are looking for a challenging puzzle game to play with some interesting yet simple controls you are going to want to pick up this game. I'm not going to lie there are definitely some of the levels where it took me more tries than it should have, but that sense of accomplishment when you do gain enough speed to negate the wind going the opposite direction, or the precision flying/floating required to navigate treacherous locations is pretty astounding. So with that I'm giving this game a 7.5 out of 10.

Home | Reviews | PC


Galactic Inheritors Review

Take to the stars as one of five different races as you try to conquer the galaxy. You will be able to do so through diplomacy, conquest, research, and more. Will you be the last race standing or will you pay the ultimate price and see your race wiped from existence.

Galactic Inheritors is a 4X strategy game by Crispon Games and Argonauts Interactive. The races you will get to choose from all have their advantages and disadvantages, but if you learn how to master them you can definitely put yourself in the lead for how you want to play the game.

I'm going to be honest with you, I've been putting this review off for a while, and the reason is that there's some much to this game, but for some reason there are parts that just don't translate to me. Here's the deal, if you are going to pick up this game you HAVE TO go through ALL the tutorials, if you do not you will not be able to do almost anything but the very basic stuff in the game and you will see your empire destroyed not too far into the game.

The amazing thing about this game is that it has a lot of depth and modifiers that can change the game for you or against you, the problem is that for some reason for all of this amazing backbone, the actual gameplay grated on me. I felt like I was playing a intricate board game on the PC that didn't really get much polish. The reason I say this is that the combat in the game, the movement in the game, and just the overall feel is very underwhelming.

When you move your ship from galaxy to galaxy it just poofs from the start point and then appears at the next point. When you attack, which by the way there's some crazy intense diplomacy that you have to get through before you can do so, the battles are very lackluster. The same goes for when you are attacking a colony, which in a very interesting decision apparently there's only one suitable planet in each galaxy which I personally would have liked a bit of a choice for each. 

Now I mentioned diplomacy, and this is one of the things YOU HAVE TO do the tutorial on, it is not easy, and if you try to just do a trial and error approach you're going to get yourself even further lost, believe me, that's what happened. 

Space exploration is another thing that I still can't understand, so you take a scout ship to a new location, it explores the system and then it reveals that there's a planet and the paths to other systems. The next turn you will have to look at the system again to reveal what the planet has for bonuses. There's also a finite distance you can go with your ships, which I still can't figure out, but I'm sure that it was told in one of the tutorials that I must have missed.

Speaking of ships, this is both an interesting move and a frustrating one. Outside of scouts and colony ships your race doesn't actually manufacture the ships that you'll be using in the game, thanks to a tutorial I found out that you have to basically out source to one of three vendors to create ships, but in an interesting twist, you have to research the technology to open up more ship options. So the vendors are as advanced as you are. This of course is really odd because other opponents could be contracting them for much bigger and better ships at the same time. Now I will tell you this, once you decide on a vendor stick with them, you gain points that you can then use to customize your ship.

Alright so in conclusion this game definitely is a unique experience that if you are willing to really dive in and learn through MANY mistakes your going to find a game that is different and stands apart from the rest. For me personally I think that it stands a bit too far away from the rest, and there are definitely quite a few things to the game that just didn't wow me at all. So if you are looking for a different 4X game check this game out, otherwise there's other 4X games out there to enjoy. This game, for me, gets a 6.1 out of 10.

Home | Reviews | PC


Gunpowder Review

You are going to play the part of the hero that steals from the rich corrupt leader of the town and give back to the poor. To do this you will have to get creative, become a hero of the people, and of course lay out a lot of gunpowder, explosive barrels, and more. The object of the game is to blow up the safe in each of the over 100 levels, but there's also bonuses for blowing up boxes, piggy banks, and basically anything else you think could suffer from an explosion.

Graphically I think that Gunpowder made a flawless transition over to the PC. It looks great, there doesn't seem to be any loss from the iPad version, and I think that the increase in play area actually greatly helped me play the game. I could see the paths I needed to run gunpowder better, and I also was able to avoid the collision with the rocks or other objects that were laid out in the levels.

Now that isn't to say that the game lost some of its difficulty, there's still a ton of perfect timing that has to go on, but I did feel less frustrated when I thought I had everything laid out how I wanted it to only to discover that there was a small break in my gunpowder line.

The one thing that I wish was added to the PC version was some voice over for the comic panels, that would have been a nice addition and also give the game a little bit of extra freshness. That being said the dialogue that was written was good, and definitely told the story the way it should be. Speaking of story, just like the first game there is a way to skip over an entire chapter if you collected enough piggy banks, and once again you can have some confusion as you lose some of what is going on if you were to skip over a previous chapter completely.

Now in the end I think that this is definitely something that people need to get. If you didn't get a chance to play the iOS version, or perhaps you don't own an iOS device, this is your chance to play this very polished game by Rogue Rocket Games. This game gets a 9.3 out of 10.

Home | Reviews | PC


Traverser Review

The world has frozen over, and yet humanity has found a way to survive, they have gone deep underground and must survive with limited oxygen and a ruling company that controls the city. You will be taking on the role of Val and young girl whose father is a brilliant scientist for the company. You are on your way to take your exam to become a working member of the company, and with that the game beings.

I loved the look of this game, Traverser, you could feel the age of the buildings and the environment. You could see the upside and the downside of the city. Those are actual parts of the city, there's a topside (upside) and a belowside (downside). In the downside, that's where you will see the poverty and the shelters, and perhaps some of the secrets that should be left hidden. 

You will have to move through the different parts of the city, through a sewer, through a factory, and through a mansion. You are going to quickly find out that there's more to this rebellion group that seems to be just a rumor floating around the topside part of the city. 

Armed with a gravity glove you will have to pick up objects, throw objects, and solve puzzles. You'll also have to sneak, climb, run, and balance high on wires. There are secrets everywhere, so don't be afraid to go looking for them. They could be on rooftops, hidden in the sewer, or perhaps lying on a shelf, forgotten by most.

This game definitely had its slightly frustrating parts, one of the big ones is that the camera is fixed and there were times I wish I could have moved the camera around a little bit to better get a feel for the depth. You see this is a fully 3D game that is set in a 3/4 camera view, and there's no rotating of the camera, you can control the height of what you are holding with your glove by using the mouse scroll wheel, but sometimes even then its hard to gauge exactly where the item is in relations to the area that you are in.

Now of course you know me, I've got to have voice acting, and this game comes through with flying colors. I enjoyed all the different voices that you get to listen to, and the best part were that they were all believable. You have a very strange scientist, you have the president of the company, your father, and so much more, each had emotion and were different, which of course drew me further into the game.

All in all I believe this game took me roughly three and a half hours, most of which I enjoyed thoroughly. Sure there were a couple of puzzles that I wanted to scream at, but at the end of the game I was kind of sad that I couldn't play further. There's definitely a learning curve to this game but if you can figure out the ins and outs you are going to find a very solid game. So with that I give this game a 9.0 out of 10.

Home | Reviews | PC


Karmaflow: The Rock Opera Videogame


Karmaflow: The Rock Opera Videogame is an adventure/puzzle game developed and published by Basecamp Games.  We've seen plenty of puzzle games here on Altered Confusion, right?  Right!  What separates Karmaflow from the rest, though, is the MUSIC.  The ROCKING MUSIC.

When I first heard about Karmaflow, what got my attention was pleathora of musical talent from my favorite musical genre, symphonic metal lending their skills.  With musical artists from acts such as Tristania, Amaranthe, Epica, Delain, and Dragonforce (yes, of THAT Guitar Hero fame), why wouldn't I give it a whirl?

In Karmaflow, you control the Karmakeeper in an over the shoulder viewpoint.  In typical PC fashion, you use the mouse to move the camera with WASD to move.  I was told there's also controller support, but my knockoff Logitech controller is sketchy at best so I usually forego it unless necessary (I'm looking at you, The Last Remnant & Vindictus).  The game starts you off with the basics of being able to move, jump, and spring, and to be able to explore the beautiful landscape.  That's one of the first things that caught my attention.  I love the landscape and just looking at your surroundings.  It melds very well with the gorgeous voices you'll hear throughout the game.  I definitely spent a decent amount of time slowly wondering around, checking out the fun and unique scenery.

As you explore, you'll find orange objects, indicating they have Karma.  You'll also find dark (kind of a blue/purple) objects indicating they don't have Karma.  At its core, you're taking Karma from one object and infusing others with Karma to help you get further in the game.  For example, infusing a tree stump with Karma may cause its roots to grow, allowing you to get to a higher elevation.  Of course, as with most puzzle games, the puzzles aren't always that simplistic and do become more complicated as you play, but nothing too crazy.

As I mentioned earlier, what drew me in was the music, and it mostly delivers.  The best part of the game is when you interact with the NPCs who tell the story of the land.  You'll typically go from regular game music to ROCKING OUT WITH SCREAMING VOCALS!!!  Most people know me as the guy who just skips the story, but the immersion with singing definitely keeps me paying attention.  The only caveat is that while you're exploring, the ambient music can be rather mundane at time.  But for the most part, it's definitely epic.  Heck, there's even Karmaflow In Concert!

Karmaflow is truly an "exploration" puzzle game - death isn't of any real consequence here.  This is a Rock Opera that happens to be built around a puzzle.  The developers obviously (and rightly so) wanted to make the music front and center, and they don't detract from the music by frustrating players with complicated gameplay like some puzzle games.  If you want to ROCK OUT in your puzzle game, this is definitely one to check out!

Home | Reviews | PC