Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Path to Luma Review — Fighting pollution is fun…until it isn’t

Game Experience: Medium

Game Value: Medium

Quiche’s Recommendation: Give it a go!

In The Path to Luma, your mission is to clean. You bounce from planet to planet, reviving each polluted and dying world into a renewable green one. It’s a refreshing premise considering many games these days are about destroying and killing.

Of course, back here on Earth, fighting pollution is not necessarily fighting pollution. It’s fighting those people who create pollution, which often includes entire governments. It often results in destroying livelihoods and entire towns in some cases. But hey, you’re creating a healthy world…for those who can afford to live in it.

path to luma mobile video game

Harness the power of the wind and sun.

In Phosphor Games’s The Path to Luma, you’re not fighting anyone. In this F2P for iOS, each planet is a puzzle. You help our hero, Sam, solve each world’s riddle to bring it back to life.  There are solar sticks to move around to power doors and generators to create clean energy. Batteries have to be charged which powers levers that literally twist entire planets into green ones. Windmills need to be lined up with wind. And so on.

Concept is spectacular. Graphics and animation are superb, down to the battery rolling off our stick-figure hero’s back and his scarf. I love the scarf. I want a scarf.

path to luma mobile video game

Cool scarf, Sam!

Actually, there’s not a lot to dislike about The Path to Luma.

But why isn’t it fun?

I’ve cleaned up six worlds, and I’m done. I’m onto another F2P.

First of all, moving levers and turning planets isn’t that easy to do. On some planets, you have to keep your solar stick under sunlight while turning a lever on a different continent. It’s not too tricky, but it’s not the simple Angry Bird action. Several areas require very nimble fingers to keep that there while moving this here without rotating the entire planet. Okay for the first few planets, but then tedious.

path to luma mobile video game

Moving things around is fun…for the first few worlds.

Also, each planet offers a new challenge, and it doesn’t require heavy brain power, but it does require some. You have to study the planet, see where everything is, and perhaps some trial and error before solving it. Again, fun to do sometimes, but then, once again, we enter into tedious-ville – a lot of it because you can’t see everything at once. To compare with Angry Bird again, you can’t see everything from a “birds-eye” perspective and so you’re often wondering which lever is which instead of trying to solve the puzzle. It might even be a better game if it was 2D.

The game is fascinating and just about everything is well though-out. It just wasn’t too fun for me after a few rounds. But again, there’s nothing wrong with a game about fighting pollution.

Blind Edge on Indiegogo — Hack, Slash, Crowd-Fund!

A remote station on a moon in a far away galaxy. It gets attacked by creatures everyone thought were harmless. And no one knows why they’re pissed off. No one knows. (Could it be just the fact that there are weird aliens invading their home?) Folks are brought in to find out why. Really smart folks, but they need protection. That’s where you, an elite member of the Defense Force, enter the scene. Your job: keep guys safe, kick alien butt.

Sounds like an intriguing premise for cult-classic Sci-Fi flick. It’s not, but it still sounds awesome. Babel Games’s Blind Edge is a “hack slash RPG for Android and PC” and it’s trying to go-go on Indiegogo. Current at $34, it needs to raise $6000 by end of September.

Its main selling point is its fusion gameplay. Part hack-slash and part RPG, it compares itself to scrolling masterpieces like Castlevania and Megaman. The RPG is the development of your character, which can be one of three classes: Striker, Juggernaut, and Engineer. Each is what it sounds like. Still not sure what they are? Think Thief, Fighter and Wizard, in that order. The game allows you to switch between classes at any point, which actually takes some of the fun and challenge out of it. I prefer to just pick one class and stick with it, and then play the game over again with a different class using different strategies.

As with all crowd-funding games, more money means more promises. For example, $30,000 will result in an open world. Wow! An open world in a scroller. Definitely something to look out for.

Overall, it’s a fascinating premise and story, and so far the gaming looks good enough – hopefully we’ll see the game made. If not, someone should take this idea and make it into a movie.

Check out Blind Edge and then give them your money.

Skywind – ‘Rekindle’ Trailer – A Noble Quest treks forward

It’s good to have a cause. A noble quest to which to devote your life. The folks at TESRenewal Project have one of the noblest quests – to merge “the amazing worlds of The Elder Scrolls video games into more modern game engines”. Okay, perhaps not the Holy Grail, but still a noble endeavor.

The Skywind Rekindle Trailer shows TES fans what they’ve been questing. We see five new worlds and several creatures. The worlds are West Gash, Azura’s Coast, Ascadian Isles, Bitter Coast, Molag Amur, Sheogorad, and Red Mountain. There’s a strong mushroom theme, which is never unwelcome, and most of the worlds are dark and dreary, perhaps foreshadowing the challenges that lie ahead for the adventurer.

The creatures are Guar and its baby, Guar Pup. A Guar is like a prehistoric lizard. Cute but could mess you up. The Kwama Forager is a big grub-bug. Yummy and juicy, if it doesn’t eat you first. The Ash Shalk is a large critter that’ll put holes in your body.

The work-in-progress looks great. No doubt the developers’ quest will be a rewarding one at the end. No date yet on release, but they’re working on it. If you have money, give it to them here: https://www.patreon.com/SquallyDaBeanz?ty=h

Overfall on Kickstarter — Where no procedurally-generated RPG has gone before?

Exploration is in our blood. We want to see what’s “over there” with the hopes that what’s there is better than what’s here. A new land, a new planet, or perhaps simply a new restaurant on the other side of town, we want to discover new things. That’s why we love exploration games. And why we especially love procedurally-generated exploration games, or as I call them, PEGs.

The big upcoming PEG right now is No Man’s Sky. That game will rock, even though the latest trailer disappointed a bit.

And then there’s Pera Games’s Overfall, currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter ($65K goal ending September 18). Doesn’t have the same hype as No Man’s Sky, but still looks pretty awesome.

It’s a PEG all right, but it’s also an RPG. And a complex one at that. Different races, new worlds, different ways to interact with NPCs and the world. A couple of the more interesting selling points:

How you react to a situation will affect who your characters become. For example, save chickens and you become an animal-friend.

overall video game

Saving chickens is good for your karma.

Complex tactics using each multi-character combos. How complex? Check out this scenario:

  • 1-) We use Quickstep to get our Monk into melee range. Quickstep also applies the Rewind buff to him, meaning he’ll return to where he started at the end of the turn.
  • 2-) A blast of Hurricane pulls the scattered Orcs towards the Monk and applies the Dazed debuff to every Orc he pulled.
  • 3-) After a quick melee attack, the Monk teleports back out of harm’s way thanks to the Rewind buff, leaving the Orcs wide open for the Wizard to attack. The best part? Not only are they all now within range of his area-of-effect Lightning Orb attack, but it does extra damage to targets with the Dazed condition!
overfall video game

Complex tactics, big payoff.

Of course, neither of these are completely new to the RPG genre. And actually, the biggest value proposition of Overfall is the exploration and the world that changes every time you play the game.

How exactly the worlds will change will be interesting to see. There’s a ton of water with islands placed almost equidistant of each other. Will the “change” be simply the placement of these same islands? If you remember the random maps on a game like Age of Empires or Civilization or Tropico, each new map generally has the same resources but placed in different areas. Still fun, but does get repetitive. Will it be like this or will each land within the world be a little different somehow? Will there be surprises each time we play the game?

Regardless, Overfall looks intriguing and fund-worthy. Let’s Kickstart it!

Madden Mobile 16 – The Start of a Glorious New Season!

Today is a great day! Madden Mobile 16 is out – the start of another glorious season of Madden Mobile. New season means everyone starts over, but those with a season score of 100% from last season starts out better. I received my gifts, opened all 11 of my special bonus packs, and am set to roll. Below is the team that will get me going on Madden Mobile 16. It’s not exactly the team that got me to Top 100 last season, but part of the fun of a new season is building your new team.

More to come, including top new plays, new challenges and new tips for success. Stay tuned and get Mad for Madden!

Offense

madden mobile 16 video game

QB: Bryan Hoyer

HB: Ryan Mathews

FLEX/FB: James White

WR: Randall Cobb

WR: David Nelson

TE: Jermichael Finley

Flex/WR/TE: Lee Smith

LT: Demar Dotson

LG: David Decastro

C: B.J. Finney

RG: Carl Nicks

RT: Cody Booth

 

Defense

madden mobile 16 video game

CB: Demetri Goodson

CB: Chimdi Chekwa

S: Rafael Bush

S: Tom Nelson

Nickel: Peyton Thompson

Dime: Crezdon Butler

LB: Junior Galette

MLB: Emmanuel Acho

MLB: Terence Garvin

LB: Jason Ankrah

DE: Adrian Clayborn

DT: Gabe Wright

DT: Darius Kilgo

DE: Owa Odighizuwa

 

Special Teams

madden mobile 16 video game

K: John Potter

KR: Dez Bryant

P: Adam Poolesh

PR: De’Anthony Thomas

 

 

Until Dawn Choices Interactive Trailer — Yes, we are the slasher-flick idiots!

If you’re in the shower and you hear creepy sounds, won’t you want to put some clothes on? If the five seconds it takes to put on a pair of shorts gets me killed, I’d be okay with that. I’d rather die with a little bit of dignity than butt naked.

The live-action trailer for the upcoming choose-your-adventure horror game, Until Dawn, shows some cliché horror-film moments. Girl in the shower, she hears slasher-killer sounds, she wraps a towel and does one of three things depending on what the gamer has her do. In the trailer, the choices are defend, explore, and go back. It does not include, “put on some clothes so you die with dignity”. Is the slasher-flick genre still targeted at pubescent males?

Until Dawn seems like a cool game, but why make this lame live-action trailer?

In any case, the game’s value proposition is that you tell the characters what to do and they do them to either their peril or survival. Butterfly effect, small choices-big repercussions, etc. But this trailer gives us nothing of that cool stuff. It’s just an annoying, not-scary horror scene.

When you watch a lame slasher flick, half the fun is laughing at the idiocy of these characters who stick their necks out windows or reach into a dark hole or something. You blame the characters for being idiots, and then you blame the movie’s writer and director for treating the viewer like idiots. Here, you can only blame yourself. Yes, you the gamer is the idiot. At least that’s the impression I get from this questionable live-action trailer. Again, why make this lame trailer for such a cool-looking game?

It’s fun to watch lame slasher flicks at a party, but games like Until Dawn are best played alone in a dark room.

Perhaps the point of the trailer is to capture some of that slasher-flick fun, but the way to sell this game is to distance itself from lame slasher flicks, not rub against it. But it’s always fun to laugh at people, and yourself, and that’s worth the price of admission, or in this case, a console game.

The PS4 game is out August 25, 2015.

 

The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land Trailer — Stay Human!

Who’s the best “The Walking Dead” character? Dead, alive, undead…? That debate will go on and on. Glenn’s at the top of my list. Neck and neck is Carol. And then of course, there’s Daryl Dixon. The quiet and awkward, tough but soft manly-man who kills biters with a crossbow.

Daryl’s the center of the up-coming mobile game, The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land. The iOS zombie apocalypse app looks to be more than just a tie-in game to the new season. The trailer has some brain-tingling stuff.

There’s 3rd person hack-and-slash squad action. There’s also some town building sim. No doubt there will be the usual F2P essentials like weapons, equipment and other things that can be acquired quicker with real cash.

For a mobile game, definitely looks like it’ll earn space on your iPhone. We shall see, and hopefully it’ll replace the disappointment all of us fans had after the end of last season.

The game is out in October, iOS only.

Hellblade Gameplay Video — More of that pulsating bag, less of everything else

Some gameplay videos make me not want to buy a game. The new Hellblade “walkthrough” from Gamescom 2015 is one of those videos.

The first two minutes of the 6.5-minute video is intriguing. The opening cinematic introduces us to Senua and the psychological or demonic forces she’s to deal with. There’s a bag of what could be a human head, but it’s moving. I’ve seen horror movies like that – movies that nearly had me soiling my pants. When Senua peers at us when she hears something sinister, I’m expecting some of that crazy jumpy stuff.

But then….

We get into the gameplay. About two minutes of really lame one-on-one sword fighting. It’s supposed to be training, I guess, but even though, it’s repetitive and random. Keep pushing buttons until your foe is vanquished.

After that, we have running around. Run here, run there, check out the nice scenery, run some more.

And then more repetitive fighting against humanoid demons or monsters that look like they were taken straight out of Silent Hill. Not much to get excited about.

The creepy factor is there, though, and hopefully more of that will come out by the time the game’s released in 2016. The hack-and-slash adventure will be on Windows and PS4.

Technomancer Gamescom 2015 Trailer — Mad Max and Seafood on Mars

As if colonizing an inhospitable planet wasn’t difficult enough, Technomancer asks you to survive in a post-apocalyptic inhospitable planet. It’s Mars. Yes, the planet with…nothing. Lots of sand and CO2, or that’s how we know it. But in the world of Technomancer, Mars is colonized, and it’s become a Mad Max kind of lovely. Desert, disease, and lots of bad thugs enslaving its inhabitants.

And of course, where there are slaves, there is a savior. Enter Zachariah.

The new trailer shows our hero with lots of power. He’s got techno-ninja abilities and a Jedi sensibility. The RPG features 3 combat styles featuring melee and techno-magic.

The trailer-stealer is not the Technomancer, however. The creatures are fascinating! Very seafood. At :55 there are flying stingrays. And then at :59, there’s a walking clam. Yummy!

Oh, and then there’s a guy without a nose. Nose-less dude is the last thing you see in the trailer. Makes me wonder what other missing body parts we’ll see…or not see…in Technomancer.

It’s coming soon to PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Techno ON!