Being a games journalist isn’t all fun and games, despite what most people may think. In fact, most of the time there’s a large bullseye right on your forehead. You wouldn’t believe some of the crap that come out of people’s mouths (or fingertips) because you gave a particular game a “7/10″ instead of an “8/10″. Today I was thrown for a loop when I received a “thank you” email from a fan diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. His story ended up being so inspirational that I decided to donate $25.00 to the “National Multiple Sclerosis Society“. It’s admittedly not much, but the best I can do with a mortgage and a house of five (nine if you count animals).
Arcen Games has a habit of coming up with off-the-wall ideas that make me consider video games in a different light, “The Last Federation” being no exception. It’s somewhat like a 4x game, but you won’t have your own race and your own planets to maintain. Instead, you are the last remnants of a race gone nearly extinct. You’ll be jumping from planet to planet interacting with the other races in the universe, trying to curry their favor in order to make them part of a “Federation”. Uniting the races under this Federation, being the primary goal, is a lot harder than it sounds. Before I go any further, I’d like to quickly thank Erik Johnson from Arcen Games for providing me with a free press copy.
You know those game trailers that leave you in a state of shock, as if you just watched something so outrageous that you couldn’t be that it was true? Well, I’m pleased to report that this very thing happened to me after watching the trailer for “FootLOL: Epic Fail League”, a cutesy but not so cutesy soccer (European football) game. Meteor strikes, airplanes bombing the field…it was “Mutant League Football” all over again and I just had to have more. Along those lines, I’d like to thank Anastasia Skachko from HeroCraft, Ltd. for providing me with a free press copy.
I rarely get the chance to play dexterity-based tabletop games, which is a real shame. I find this fact surprisingly odd, seeing as how I’ve played many games in the strategy, simulation, worker placement, casual, and adventure genres. Yet, my play time with dexterity-based games seem to be sporadic at best. “Flick Wars”, a game hitting Kickstarter on April 17, 2014, is unlike anything I’ve played up to this point. I mean, I’ve played my fair share of “Jenga”, but this is vastly different. Using “flicking skills”, players will be tasked with maneuvering their units in such a way that destroys enemy units. The last player left standing, wins the game! Before we take a quick look at what this game has to offer, I’d like to thank Andrew Tullsen from Print & Play Productions for providing me with a prototype copy. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final components, making everything featured in this article subject to change.
Okay, so I’m a bit behind in my reviews…what do you expect from an “army of one”? Now I see why IGN and PC Gamer have a staff…too many games and not enough hands to play them. Normally I don’t review games nowadays unless I’ve received a review copy (due to time constraints, etc.), but in this case I figured I’d make an exception. My Diablo III review is a bit outdated and a lot has changed with the game as a whole since its posting. We’re here today to take a quick look at what the first expansion (“Reaper of Souls”) has to offer and why you should seriously consider digging this game out of mothballs to give it another chance.
I’ve gone on record a number of times praising this lovely “little” gem and it still remains to be one of my favorite games of all time. As if it were some sort of holiday where the gifts just keep on coming, the developers have released a free expansion that will take you for a wild ride. The Advanced Edition makes things a bit harder, even on the easy difficulty level, but adds a number of new (and welcome) features. Luckily, you can choose to toggle these features on or off before starting a new game.
I had a blast playing “Family Business” during the International TableTop Day event at Game Masters…though I admit, it helped to have some patient teachers. “Family Business” is an elimination game, through and through. You’ll receive a mob of gangsters and it’ll be your job to make sure that your family is the last one standing. To do that, you’ll have to avoid being placed on the hit list…it’s tougher than it sounds. Before we take a quick look at the game, I’d like to offer a special thank you to Jason, Charity, Barry, Joseph, and Kaleem (participants in the above-mentioned event) for taking the time to bring this game to my attention.
There’s nothing like a good dungeon crawler to get the adrenaline pumping and in this case, “Quest of Dungeons” doesn’t disappoint. Similar to games like “Dungeons of Dredmor”, you’ll be tasked with clearing out enemies and leveling up your character in a turn-based creepy-esque environment. Your ultimate goal will be to find and defeat the evil lord who has (somehow) stolen all the light and trapped it inside a magical lantern…we can’t allow that, now can we? Before we get started with the review, I’d like to thank David Amador, the game’s sole creator, for providing me with a press copy.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t do anything special for International TableTop Day, which was held on April 5, 2014. So, I did the only thing a respectable (ha!) games journalist would do…grab my camera and head down to Game Masters, a local gaming / hobby shop located in Pittsburgh. I’m not much of a people person and I had never before gone to an event of this scale, but I was determined to walk away with a story to write about. It turned out that I was gifted with much more…the feeling of comradery. We were all there for a reason: we enjoy tabletop gaming. It was great to meet such fine people and I hope to run into all of them again in the future.
My time with “Imagine Earth’s” demo has been a joy…though it’s admittedly been a year since I’ve last touched it. With this game’s recent addition to Steam’s Early Access library (available May, 2014) and launch on Indiegogo, I figured now would be a good time to dive back in and see what’s new. As I expected, “Imagine Earth” doesn’t disappoint. It’s still the same game (part puzzle, part city/world sim), but I can’t help but be entranced by its depth and new features.
Seriously, who doesn’t love a cute bunny or three? Being an animal lover myself, I can’t just walk out of a pet store without first visiting these furry little bundles of joy. “All Bunnies Eat Carrots“, a card game currently seeking your help on Kickstarter, features more bunnies than you’ll know what to do with. It’s a two to four player family-friendly game that tasks players with collecting bunnies and seeing to their needs. Each bunny has its own needs and point values, giving the game a strategic spin. The first player to see to the needs of three bunnies effectively ends the game and all players will proceed to compare point values to see who wins…it all sounds both easy and fun to boot!
It’s been a while since I’ve loaded this little baby up and I can’t believe I had almost forgotten how much fun it could be. Released in late 2006, “Sid Meier’s Railroads” puts you in charge of your very own railway company. I’m not going to bother reviewing it due to its age and time constraints, but I will say that it’s still worth playing today if you enjoy business sims. It also helps if you’ve religiously watched “Thomas the Tank Engine” as a child.
I’ve been so engrossed with the “Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game” that I almost let this one slip by. This would have been bad, seeing as how I can recite almost every “Star Trek” episode by heart, whether it be “Enterprise”, “TOS, “TNG”, “DS9″, or “Voyager” (come to Quark’s, Quark’s is fun, come right now, don’t walk – run!). Yeah, I’m kind of a nerd that way. At any rate, I was extremely surprised to learn just how similar these two products are…that is, “Star Trek: Attack Wing” and the aforementioned “Star Wars” game. I almost didn’t have to look at the manual…almost. With that being said, let’s take a quick look at what comes in the box and how the game is played before I share my final thoughts on the matter.
Konnichiwa, fellow travelers! We’re here today to take a quick look at “Tokaido”, a game I recently picked up on a whim. It looked pretty enough based on the pictures I browsed and promised to be family-friendly to boot. The premise is simple enough: each player takes on the role of a traveler who is making their way across the “East Sea Road”, a famous and popular road (of the “Edo” period) located in Japan. Players will be able to visit a variety of different places with the intent on earning the most victory points by the game’s end. The kicker is that there’s no going backwards…think “Candy Land” but with a Japanese theme and juiced up on steroids. After spending some time with the game, I discovered that it delivers all of the above and more.
“Hive” is probably one of my favorite board games to play…it’s simple, elegant, but still maintains a strategic depth that I can get behind. It’s sort of like “Chess”, minus the board and with bug pieces instead of your classic medieval characters. When I discovered the video game adaptation on Steam’s “coming soon” list, I jumped at the chance to review it. To that end, I’d like to quickly thank the folks at BlueLine Game Studios for providing me with a free press copy. It’s important to note that the below review is reflective of the PC version (the XBox version released in 2013).
It’s been well over ten years since I’ve last played this little gem. It’s not because I didn’t want to, mind you, but because my newer PCs tended to not be compatible with the game. I finally discovered a process via the wonderful world of Internets that allowed me to run “Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance” on a 64-bit machine. I’m not going to bother reviewing the game at this point…chances are that if you haven’t played it by now, you never will. As such, this article will serve as a house for all of the gameplay videos I intend to publish in the near future. Follow me won’t you, and revel in this wonderful nostalgia!