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Average User Score: tbdFeb 4, 2015"Memories are just a part of our earthly bodies - they are meant to be thrown away when you are reborn. We no longer belong to that world, so"Memories are just a part of our earthly bodies - they are meant to be thrown away when you are reborn. We no longer belong to that world, so we must learn to purge our lingering attachment to it."
If this sentence (a dialogue from the game) intrigues you, you might want to check out Train of Afterlife. This is more of a "visual novel" than a game, although you do have the option of selecting one of thirteen tarot cards (that reveal more of your past) on each of the game's "days." It's quiet and thoughtful, and offers some of the developer's thoughts on life and death, but it can be completed in less than half an hour. That said, Train of Afterlife offers several different endings depending on the choices you make while playing, and collecting all the endings will open up something called "Wing's Path" which lets you effectively complete the game's story. For completists, this will be an attraction, but for casual players, one journey on this train will be enough. Either way, the normal (current) price of $12.99 US is far too much. The visual style, story, and mechanics are minimal at best, but the trip is interesting the first time through (clicking to select destination seats can be tedious over time, but without it, there'd be very little interaction). It's not quite the "horror" filled psychological game it's suggested to be, but it's worth a look for those who enjoy the genre.
Recommended, but in a bundle or at a cheaper price point.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1Feb 4, 2015This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Breach and Clear is a turn-based strategy game in which you control four members of a squad of your own design. While there is no over-arching story, the game offers plenty of scenarios and challenges to overcome.
There's quite a bit of content: three types of gameplay ("Terrorist Hunt," "Bomb Defusal," and "Escape Plan") across 35 settings (in seven campaign scenarios). That's 105 levels in the core game. On top of that, there's a lot of replay value here, especially if you care about earning achievements, acquiring different gear, or improving your mission rating.
I've read that this is an import from iOS and Android. In no way does B&C feel like it; it feels as if it was designed from the start for the PC. This, of course, is a very good thing.
Many details, whether aesthetic (such as first-person perspective views using the first four number keys), or mechanical (such as the ability to drag and move paths that have already been placed) are welcome.
Offers seven different, specialized squads to play, as well as dozens of weapons that open up as you progress. Also offers several personnel types (Medic, Intelligence, Weapons Sergeant, et al), each with their own perks and preferences.
Thoughtful (and occasionally complex) level design, coupled with a clever mix of random and strategic mob placement, offer serious challenges and extend the playability of the game. I spent nearly two hours, failed attempt after failed attempt, trying to take out Gus Frin-erm a cartel's meth lab; when I finally succeeded, it felt *good.*
There is the option of Permadeath (yay!), and even a "Memorial" area where you can view your fallen heroes. Nice touch.
The tutorial is so bare-bones that the game has an unfair reputation for being shallow, when it's simply that players are never taught correctly about the deeper features and functions available to them.
The number of stars (the game's rating system, from one to four stars) you get is, for the most part, entirely time-based. That is to say, losing team members obviously makes your rating go down, but it will also drop to a one star rating if you go past a certain time limit, no matter how well you did on the actual mission (even if everyone survives with health intact). This seems, to me, to be a bit unfair. Give me two stars at least for completing it with everyone alive.
In the last campaign of the "Terrorist Hunt" mode (in Columbia), my soldiers simply refused to open doors, often walking right up to them but not bothering to swing it open (maybe they were busy setting up the Livestream). In any case, changing the rules this late in the game wasted valuable turns staring at the door's presumable lovely wood grain instead of killing whoever stood behind it (although this was inconsistent, even on the same map...some doors they'd open, others they wouldn't, so this was more likely a glitch than a design decision).
Enemy AI can be wonky. If mobs are facing the opposite direction, they may not even notice you. I had my whole squad throw open a door and walk past an apparently deaf cartel member only two tiles away. Also, Snipers can often see through walls and high obstacles, but this mainly just affects corners.
There is no real story to speak of. That's fine, but it would have been nice to have some kind of feeling of accomplishment at the finish line. "A winner is you," or "Conglaturation!" Anything would have been nice, particularly because some campaigns promise a big finish and never follow through. For example, in the Columbian campaign, [spoiler] you are told you're chasing a major drug lord throughout his compound; the game leads you to believe there will be a massive shootout on the roof, complete with a helicopter waiting to take him away, only when you get there - no drug lord, no helicopter.[/END SPOILER]
In "Bomb Defusal" mode, terrorists can suddenly appear behind you, coming through the door you've just breached! What the heck is that?
You can't sell an item you already own unless you have enough money to buy another one. Makes no sense to me either, but apparently it does to one of the developers, so there it is.
A few of the 64 Steam-specific achievements are just plain broken, and support is, from the forums on Steam and the developer's own website, most likely not coming.
The Bottom Line:
It may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm really only nitpicking. This is a solid effort that provides a lot of hours of fun. There's nothing here that a patch couldn't fix (not that I'm expecting one; it seems as if the devs have long since given up on supporting this). It's just that Breach and Clear is so close to being a really special, great game that it feels like a bit of a shame that the developers didn't feel the need to take better care of it after the birthing process. As it stands, though, B&C is a very, very good game, but one which requires some time, online research, and experimentation to truly see its depth. Recommended.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.2Feb 4, 2015I got this in a bundle recently, having never heard of it before. But, I like "artistic" games; I've enjoyed such works as 9.03m so I decidedI got this in a bundle recently, having never heard of it before. But, I like "artistic" games; I've enjoyed such works as 9.03m so I decided to try it. My total play time, from beginning to end, was a half hour. Plot aside (there is one, but it's not very well fleshed out), the execution of this game fails on every level. Optimization is poor, response is sluggish, interactive items only work when it's time in the "story" for them to work, character models look at least ten years old, voice acting is mediocre, and even the subtitles are poor (for example, "lose" is misspelled as "loose"...twice). One "stealth" section of the game is laughably (and worse, frustratingly) bad, and all of these things get in the way of what should have been an interesting and meaningful experience about alcoholism and depression.
It's hard to believe this is a 2014 release. "4PM is a high production value, cinematic experience aimed at people interested in interactive story-telling," the game's press release reads. Yes, all those things would be true --if it were 2004. It's not, and this game is far too many years too late to be worth the effort of muddling through it. What a shame.… Expand
Average User Score: tbdFeb 4, 2015I have been actively following Wickland's development since purchasing it in August of 2014. Initially, I was impressed with the game play andI have been actively following Wickland's development since purchasing it in August of 2014. Initially, I was impressed with the game play and atmosphere, but the lack of players in this classic-style arena FPS (combined with a lack of single-player mode) meant that there really wasn't a game to play. Thankfully, the developers have been working hard to remedy that situation and, with the addition of bots, I can now confidently and enthusiastically change my rating to "Recommended!"
Wickland's new bots are very well designed and thoughtfully implemented. The "Explore" option that previously let the player wander around their map of choice (without playing) still exists, but has been renamed "Practice." Selecting this option still allows the player to explore, but pressing [ESC] lets you add bots one at a time , up to 64 bots (!). Joining an actual game, even if there is nobody else playing, will automatically add three bots to your map, making Wickland, finally, the game it should have been from the start - a "multiplayer" experience whether others are playing or not. In another nice touch, as new players join the game, they each will replace a bot, meaning there will always be at least three other competitors (and more if more players join).
As for the bots themselves: there is no gradient learning curve here; they are all pretty much the same in terms of difficulty (which I'd place at a 6 or 7 out of 10) and style (which is basically to jump back and forth in front of the player, although they will occasionally retreat while firing at you). In another nice touch, bots will attack each other, although it appears that they will always choose you over another bot if you're in their line of "sight." If you consider yourself to be not that great of a player, the bots should increase your skills quite a bit.
Wickland's four included maps (as of this writing) are tight, fun to play, and (hopefully) a sign of other things to come. The idea of changing players into different creatures is pretty original and should be a draw for fans of arena FPS games. While it is still a beta game, what's here is done very well, and I appreciate the already pretty robust graphics option screen (I'm playing on a three-year old bigbox computer, and matches run smoothly). The controls are responsive and accurate, and I experienced no lag.
Now to address complaints of Wickland having a "dumb score system" and "bad target system": Wickland is based on 1990's arena shooters (and is particularly reminiscent of Quake 3 and UT). That means a kill is worth a point, and it's all about wearing down a player's hit points. This makes game play less tactical and strategic, but more fast paced and frantic. If you're looking for another Arma game, pass this by. However, if you're looking for something fast and furious, Wickland is the game; there is nothing out there like it at the moment (and that includes Quake Live).
I have been waiting for half a year to write this next sentence, and I happily write it now with a massive grin on my face: Wickland is a blast to play, and a must-buy for fans of the genre.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.7Feb 4, 2015First things first: I love the King's Bounty series. I own all the games on that other, DRM-free site, and two games over here. I haveFirst things first: I love the King's Bounty series. I own all the games on that other, DRM-free site, and two games over here. I have hundreds of hours put into them, collectively. When I read a positive, recent review of this game, I thought I'd give it a try. I lasted only 12 minutes. During that time, I was nagged to log in and share things over Facebook NINE TIMES. In TWELVE MINUTES. Kill something? Share it on FB! Find a component? Share it on FB! Your wizard cast a spell? Why not share it on FB? Your warrior had an itch on his groin during combat and used the elven healer's pointy left ear to scratch it? Hey, I have an idea - you could share it on FB!
At one point, I was actually informed of a feature that could ONLY be unlocked if I logged into FB. That was enough for me.
Seriously. Ten times. In twelve minutes. It's like the first time I discovered my father's box of Playboy magazines, only not nearly as pleasant. Not recommended.… Expand
Average User Score: 2.4Feb 4, 2015Uriel's Chasm isn't a game so much as it is an experience. Unfortunately, if you're not of the age group to recognize that, or if you don'tUriel's Chasm isn't a game so much as it is an experience. Unfortunately, if you're not of the age group to recognize that, or if you don't know this before you press "play," you'll give it five minutes, declare it the most horrible game ever made, and move on.
I'm going to flirt with madness here and tell you it's [expletive deleted] BRILLIANT. From the lack of a pause key or an options menu, to the midi-based music, to the absolutely brutal gameplay, to the lack of pyrotechnics, to the anticlimactic area "wins," to the interlaced, grainy FMV (that's "full motion video" for those of you who weren't around before its existence)...all I can say is just...wow. For those who didn't experience computer gaming back in the early 1990s (just as CD-ROM drives were hitting the market), Uriel's Chasm very accurately replicates the exact experience of that era. Games were frequently nonsensical; they often changed screens abruptly, they didn't hold your hand, they didn't provide tutorials, and they most certainly didn't have giant arrows or yellow question marks to point you in the right direction.
As an actual game, once you get into it, Uriel's Chasm is challenging, unsettling and even a bit disturbing. Part of the purpose of this game (other than to take you back in time in a very real way) is to discover each new section and how to play on your own, so I won't spoil those moments for you here. What I will say, is that it very accurately represents what were three out of the four main styles of gameplay back in those days (the fourth being faux-3D shooters such as Catacombs 3D, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, et al), but skewed through Uriel's Chasm's own twisted lens.
Game play is brutal and unforgiving, but that's kind of the point. The controls are extremely responsive, if not initially intuitive. It runs smoothly even on my three year-old big box computer, and there is a solid logic or pattern to each area (even the seemingly unbeatable final level).
I came to Uriel's Chasm as an active Presbyterian Elder, curious about the Biblical aspects of the game, but that quickly became a non-event, as the experience took over. Nevertheless, there is some usage of Christian iconography that may be disturbing to some players (such as spinning crucifixes that fire bullets). Play time is pretty short but, as this is more about the experience than the actual game, that doesn't bother me. With all sincerity, and without any sarcasm, I tell you this : Uriel's Chasm is art. Most people won't agree with me. Most people won't get it. Most people won't like it. I do. I do, and I absolutely recommend it to anyone who remembers what gaming was like back then and wants to relive the experience, those who are into hardcore gaming, or to those who are curious about it. All others should, as evidenced by the multitudes of negative reviews, pass it by.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.2Feb 4, 2015This game made me blind in my left eye. No joke.
I discovered OMG Zombies! on the PSP, which only has a screen size of 4.3 inches. I am 47This game made me blind in my left eye. No joke.
I discovered OMG Zombies! on the PSP, which only has a screen size of 4.3 inches. I am 47 years old, which means my eyes don't work as well as they used to. I should have known better. This game is so addictive that I literally spent somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to ten hours playing it. Continuous. I finished the game, deleted my save, finished the game, deleted my save, and kept right on playing. As a result, I had a massive headache, and the inner lining of my left eye separated, as the ophthalmologist put it, "like peeling off a sticker." My eye filled with thousands of tiny, black dots (which were actually quite beautiful and which, I later was told, was blood inside the eye). It required laser surgery to repair, and I was told to avoid using the eye and not to lift anything. Two weeks later, it separated again (because I was being foolish and started using the PSP again). I told you all of that in order to tell you this: I regret nothing.
OMG Zombies (which I've just found on Steam in a bundle that did not interest me, but which I had to purchase just in order to share my opinion of the game) is one of those games that offers amazingly simple mechanics, but creative, open-ended strategy (okay, strategy-lite). You are in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, you only have three bullets (to start), and you need to completely clear the area of dozens --sometimes, hundreds-- of zombies. Sounds impossible, and it would be were it not for the fact that there are many different types of zombies, and each type behaves differently. Some explode, some shoot rounds off upon dying, some dissolve into pools of acidic goo that, in turn, dissolve any zombie that steps into said pool. Clearing each area awards a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum medal and, with it, different monetary bonuses that allow you to upgrade the zombies, yourself, or the environment (such as exploding barrels). As the levels progress, zombies gain hit points (requiring more damage to kill), and different combinations of zombie type, as well as environmental hazards, appear. You can replay each area to try to gain a higher award.
Let me tell you this: There are few things more satisfying than selecting one specific zombie, firing off a round, and watching it set off a chain reaction that decimates every (un)living thing on the screen. So powerful was the need to do this, that I kept resetting after completion to see if I could handicap myself. How far could I get in the game without purchasing a single powerup (pretty far, as it turns out, although killing every zombie in the area is all but impossible)? Could I successfully complete the game upgrading only soldier zombies? What if I played the game while only upgrading my weapon?
Digital crack, I say. Blind in one eye. BLIND in one eye!! And still, I played.
The Steam version adds three more zombie types (the Mortar, Runner, and Zapper), and the graphic novel story presentation, which offers some beautiful artwork, has been expanded. All of that said, the Steam version unfortunately suffers in its execution (no pun intended). The design of the PSP version is one of the most elegant and sleek I've seen; it's intuitive, and virtually everything you need to see is on one screen. On Steam, it's clunky, waaaay oversized, and confusing. Not only that, but the display resolutions are extremely odd (640x362, 1024x580, and 1920x1088, to name a few), resulting in a level select screen that you can't completely see, no matter the resolution, no matter if the game is fullscreen or windowed. On the PSP, it was easy to tell what upgrades did; here, it's difficult and unintuitive, and that's coming from someone who's played it before (have I mentioned I've played this before?). (EDIT: I've discovered that you can click and drag the level select screen. Maybe a mouseover tooltip would be appropriate for the next patch?)
Still, confusing layout aside, this is a must purchase if this kind of quick-to-pick-up-but-hard-to-put-down game play is your thing (and I suspect you already know if it is). The price is right and, as I said at the start of this review, it's currently bundled for much less. Either way, I'm playing.
Until I lose both my eyes.
(Just a quick note to give the dev peace of mind: My eye is almost completely healed now. :) No lawsuit is pending, and you have my eternal gratitude for creating such a great game.
You b*st*rd.)… Expand
Average User Score: tbdFeb 4, 2015Dark Gates simulates old-school board games like "DeathMaze." It's a minimalist idea, to be sure, but one that it does very well. The playerDark Gates simulates old-school board games like "DeathMaze." It's a minimalist idea, to be sure, but one that it does very well. The player selects 6 characters to form a party (many are multi-class and can use both melee and ranged weapons, as well as offensive and defensive magic). Once they breach the front entrance of the labyrinth (there's a back story that explains its existence, but it's typical fare), movement tiles are revealed in a similar fashion to "Dungeon Quest" in order to simulate the Fog of War. There are doors that may or may not be trapped, events to find, chests to open, and, of course, encounters. Each game is randomly generated.
Party members can be replaced or swapped at will, and they can be upgraded as their exp increases. The usual stat increases are here, but there are also Masteries that can be raised (such as the bonus they get to their melee weapon) and Skills (such as a bonus to successfully navigating Traps).
This may not be the popular opinion, but I actually like this game. I've been playing the DRM-free version for the last six months (as I write this review, Dark Gates has been on Steam less than a week), and I appreciate that it feels like an old-school board game. I don't even have a problem with hitting Enter (a common complaint is that the mouse is not used, although it should be noted that the game does claim full gamepad support), because rolling dice would take just as long, if not longer. It's not supposed to be Skyrim; it's a board game. The description even states that it "tries to capture classic tabletop RPG experience," and it easily achieves this goal. Does it have amazing hi-rez ultra smooth graphics with Oculus support? No, but why would it? The graphics are perfectly serviceable for what it is.
Look, it's a simple game with simple rules. It might be too slow-moving for some, and I'll admit that the sound gets old very quickly. But, in my opinion, the very things that irritate some players are what make the game work for me. Gameplay isn't overly convoluted, which makes it easy to pick up and play in 5 minute increments or for an hour. The Fog of War keeps things interesting, as does the opportunity to try to settle encounters either through force or diplomatically (by Negotiating or Bribing). Different monsters have different abilities to keep things tense (for example, spiders cast webs over random party members, making them unable to fight). That said, I do believe that $10 US is too much for what this game is. I'd recommend it, but at a price half that, as it really feels more like an iOS game than something designed for PC.
Dark Gates is a lite, board game-inspired time waster. There is nothing particularly deep or strategic about it; this isn't an RTS by any means. Those players who are looking for something simple to pass the time will enjoy it. All others should steer clear. For me, it's a fun and interesting diversion when I don't want to think too hard or button mash (and speaking of button mashing, previous reviews state that the game doesn't tell you what the controls are, which really baffles me. The keys are listed on every. single. screen. That's not an exaggeration; every time the screen changes, the keys that are usable on that screen are displayed as icons, without fail (you can also see this in the screen shots). I'm at a loss as to how one could even miss them, and they've been that way for months.).
Recommended, but make sure you know what you're getting before pulling the trigger.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.7Nov 2, 2013By now, everyone knows: "Lilly Looking Through" is charming, beautifully animated, and very fluid. The music has an ethereal quality thatBy now, everyone knows: "Lilly Looking Through" is charming, beautifully animated, and very fluid. The music has an ethereal quality that doesn't distract. In a nice touch, as you put on or remove the time-changing goggles the music changes too, depending on which "time" you're in.
As is typical for the genre, there are times when the game becomes not quite a pixel hunt, but "let's mouseover the entire screen to see what I've missed (or what's changed)." Unfortunately, there are also times when you click on things without a clear understanding of what your actual goal is. When you do make a successful attempt, Lilly's actions may actually surprise you, as she does something you may not have been trying to get her to do in the first place. In other words, there is one solution to each screen, and only one. Most of the puzzles make sense (if only in hindsight), but it does mean that if you're not on the developer's wavelength, too bad. The game does not save after you complete a puzzle, but only after you complete a screen. If you leave partway through a screen, you'll have to repeat your puzzle solutions up to that point on that particular screen (which should take less than a minute, as you've already done it once).
There is only one game at a time, which means that if other people in your house want to play as well, they'll either have to play your game or wait until you've finished. Frankly, as this is being marketed as a family game, I don't understand the lack of multiple player slots at all.
All that said, I did find myself enchanted by the game for the first hour. An hour later, however, I found myself finished, frustrated, and a bit stunned at the overall lack of purpose. My total time played was 2:33, but that includes a 15 minute period where I literally kept trying different combinations of switches on one screen simply because I had missed seeing an important lever and had no idea what else to do. If I had noticed it earlier, I would have had around 2:18 for my total playtime. It's also important to note that much of the game's running time is simply you sitting back as a several-second animation plays out every time you click on something. You cannot cancel an animation, even if it's the twentieth time you've seen it (and with some of the trial-and-error puzzles, you will be sitting back and waiting a lot).
The irony here is that the first Kickstarter stretch goal allowed them to actually make the game longer, so I'm at a bit of a loss. Every Indie game is a labor of love (I would hope), but this one feels so much more so, and so special (even to the point of being developed and voiced by a family) that it really does pain me that I can't recommend it at full price. Yes, it's obvious a lot of work went into it. Yes, I hate myself a little. However, how do we learn, grow, and improve, if not from our mistakes? How will we ever know about those mistakes if people constantly bury the truth in favor of praise for our hard work? I'd rather have a constructive criticism than an insincere "attaboy" any day. With that in mind, take a deep breath, 'cause here we go.
Not only is "Lilly..." short, but the puzzles tend to feel repetitive, particularly with four consecutive color-matching puzzles on the last four screens (the final screen also combines that same color gimmick with mechanics from an earlier "cross the pond puzzle). I stopped having fun after the second color puzzle, but when I realized that final screen was yet another one (the fourth in a row), I actually began to resent the game. This color-matching idea is milked so often, it leaves me wondering if these were the stretch goal additions.
And then...the "ending." Which is to say, there isn't one. While avoiding spoilers, I'll say that it literally is a cliffhanger; that is, it would be if we cared about the characters. How can we though, without any reason to? Lilly and the little boy are cute, but there's nothing else to them. I understand minimalist storytelling but, for me, it doesn't work. I've chased a red piece of cloth (and the boy) across ten screens, only to have it be replaced at the end by something so completely random, open-ended, and esoteric that I'm left thinking there was absolutely no point in my playing; no reward for my work, no reason for the red piece of cloth to have existed at all. It's such a thoughtless MacGuffin that it feels like a bit of a slap in the face.
I sincerely hate writing this but, as a gaming experience, "Lilly Looking Through" gets two stars out of five. The game's length, repetitiveness, and ending completely undermined the joy I felt the first hour of play. That said, the love, creativity (for the most part) and passion is there for great things in the future, and I really do hope "Lilly..." finds a solid enough market that Geeta Games can keep growing and producing games.… Expand