Friday, January 29, 2016
Monday, January 25, 2016
Crypt of the NecroDancer
You can get Crypt of the NecroDancer at http://store.steampowered.com/app/247080/
Crypt of the NecroDancer is a rhythm-based roguelite where you maintain a multiplier by keeping your actions on the beat. This structure encourages you to rely on instinct and act quickly and is quite effective at creating flow - at least, it is when you know what you're doing. To keep your multiplier, you have to make split-second decisions accounting for a decent amount of complexity and variety in monster movement and attack patterns. Memorizing which color slime moves which way and so on presents a fairly steep learning curve. If you can stick with it long enough to internalize the rules, and if you enjoy the soundtrack, you're in for a good ride.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Why it's wrong to kill the player character in The Hand of Fate.
You can get The Hand of Fate at https://www.gog.com/game/legend_of_kyrandia_hand_of_fate
Monday, January 18, 2016
A Dark Room
You can play A Dark Room at http://adarkroom.doublespeakgames.com/
A Dark Room is a text-based idle game from before those were everywhere, and for my money it's still the best one. Unusually for an idle game, it has an actual story with an actual ending. It presents a very coherent experience - the sparse visuals and writing, the mechanics that make sense on the surface but are really dark if you think through their implications, and the environmental storytelling of the post-apocalyptic setting that you explore in roguelike sections that spice up the gameplay all come together to create a compelling atmosphere.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Monday, January 11, 2016
Galactic Arms Race
You can get Galactic Arms Race at http://store.steampowered.com/app/249610
Galactic Arms Race is a 2D space sim featuring procedurally generated weapons. It's a neat idea, but it doesn't really deliver - most guns have very pretty effects but are not actually useful in combat. Dodging enemy fire and leading targets in frenetic space battles is always fun, but here it's wrapped in a generic quest system of the "Kill ten space pirates" variety and an overly complicated yet still shallow upgrade system. I'd rather play either a pure spacefighting game or a space sim where the rest of the experience has more depth and polish.
Friday, January 8, 2016
A rant about why bigger game worlds aren't necessarily better.
- xkcd: Hoverboard https://xkcd.com/1608/
- A Valley Without Wind https://arcengames.com/a-valley-without-wind-1-2/
- SteamWorld Dig http://imageform.se/game/steamworld-dig/
Monday, January 4, 2016
You can get 10,000,000 at http://eightyeightgames.com/100000000-2/
10,000,000 is a match-3 game with infinite runner and RPG elements - obstacles and enemies must be overcome by matching the right kinds of tiles, and other tiles grant resources that can be used to purchase upgrades between runs. The game's best moments are when everything flows smoothly - you're chaining tile matches, blasting through obstacles, and racking up huge point bonuses. But even when things stop flowing, it's not frustrating - that's your chance to spend those resources and make the next run that much better. Notably, 10,000,000 has an actual ending - rather than trying to hook the player for as long as possible until the gameplay becomes dull and the player drifts off, as other games of this sort often do, 10,000,000 lasts just the right length of time to be satisfying throughout