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Category Archives: Games

Kerbal Space Program

We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

Kerbal_Space_Program_High_Res_Logo

Kerbal Space Program is a brilliant spaceship builder created by the guys at Squad. It was initially released to the public in 2011 and it was brought to my attention not long after that by a couple of friends. Although the game isn’t even out of alpha yet it has been steadily receiving updates and has been what I would consider a pretty compete game for quite a while. Up until this most recent 0.22 update it has only existed as a sandbox game; you have a huge array of possible parts and you just put them together however you want and see if your creation will fly/make orbit/land on the Mun depending on how ambitious you are. As well as rockets you can also build satellites, construct space stations in orbit and try your hand at space-planes.

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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Games, Review

 

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Don’ta 2

DOTA2

After about 2 years of beta testing Dota 2 has finally been released to the masses. For those that don’t know Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) [1] with a long and complex history that I won’t go into here [2]. The beta testing phase of the game wasn’t as closed as other games, with passes seemingly being handed out left, right and centre however I didn’t bother with trying to play it during beta. Now that it’s been given a full release I decided to give it a go and see what all the fuss was about.

Gameplay consists of two teams of 5 trying to destroy each others bases. The map contains 3 avenues of attack called lanes that are defended by turrets and NPC units for each team. Each player picks a powerful hero unit to control from a list of 46, and the aim is to break through the enemy defences with your NPC helpers finally reaching the opposing team’s base. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Games, Review

 

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MMOs Part 1

I’ve always been interested by MMOs, but every time one had come along that looked amazing enough to get me to saddle up ready for an adventure I was always stopped by the first unreasonably large boss, and its name was always Price. But now, armed with my free-to-play sword and my shield of micro-transactions I’ve been able to finally slay the Price demon and begin my quest proper [1].

Champions Online ★★★★☆

Champions Online was the first MMO I played and I got into it because its transition from subscription to free-to-play was advertised heavily on Steam. The main theme of the game is superheroes, and being a huge comic book fan I thought it’d be a good way to get into MMOs and so I gave it a go, and 50+ hours later I’ve not looked back. Rather than having different races like other MMOs, Champions has 10 different classes of powers you can specialise in (with another 12 available for paying members) and along with your costume there is an insane amount of customisation that you can get lost in before you’ve even started playing. You can really go to town on your character and give them the exact look and feel you want. The game itself has a unique visual style that works very well with the comic book inspired theme and the different regions of the game world are detailed and unique. There are lots of missions to do and lots of areas to explore (although some are only available to higher level players), however I have heard that there are only just enough missions to progress, so that eventually you have to do all of them. So far I’ve always had a good surplus of missions but maybe when I get towards the higher levels I’ll find that they start to run out. The only downside to the game is that it can feel quite grindy at times, but I think that’s something you just have to accept with most MMOs. If you’re a fan of comic book superheroes then Champions Online is well worth a try. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Games, Review

 

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iPad Board Games 1

Over the past year I’ve gotten back into board gaming, having been attending/hosting semi-regular games nights with friends and buying new games for our group to play. However there has always been a hurdle stopping me going game crazy: price. I’m reluctant to spend £25 or over on a game I may end up not liking, for me it’s too much of a risk, but luckily my iPad has offered up an alternative to just buying and hoping. Apps represent a relatively inexpensive way of trying out board games; for less than £5 I get an indication of whether it’s worth me buying the physical version, and a version of said game that I can play on the go. The apps reviewed here will mainly be games I’ve played before or am considering buying the physical versions of, and yes, I realise some of them are not technically board games.

NB: The titles of each app reviewed are links to the app page on iTunes.

Yggdrasil (£3.99) ★★★★☆

If you’ve read my Yggdrasil review then you’ll know that after just a few plays it became my favourite board game, and when I heard that an iOS app was being made I got very excited. I didn’t buy it immediately after it was released as I didn’t know whether it was worth having an iPad version of a game I already own, but I’m glad I finally decided to. Game play wise its the same as the board game, there’s had to be no adjustment of the mechanics or rules in the transition to an app. The app automatically scores your game, something our group has never done when playing before. At first I didn’t think much to the scoring – you either win or you don’t – but as soon as I saw my first victory score the competitive part of my brain kicked in and I knew I had to beat it on my next play. I’m no longer just playing to win, I’m playing to win in the best possible way. With the app I’ve found myself much more willing to play a solo game than I am with the board game, which I think is mainly down to it being a lot less of a hassle to set up for a quick game. The app is not as polished as the Carcassonne one, not all the images are Retina Display quality which, while being a bit annoying, is something you don’t really notice when you’re playing, and there are a few bits of the UI I would do differently. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Games, Review

 

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Carcassonne

Carcassonne has the two features that I think makes a great game: the rules for play are very simple, and there is a lot of strategy involved. Learning the game takes less than a minute, but mastering it can take a lot longer.

Each turn you draw a tile at random and join it somewhere (as long as it fits) to the tiles already down, constructing cities, roads and fields in the process. You can then place one of your meeples on the tile you picked as either a Farmer (in a field), a Knight (in a city), a Thief (on a road) or a Monk (in a cloister), depending on what the tile allows. When placing a new meeple it is not allowed to be part of a city/farm/road that someone else is on – however, once the meeple is placed they can be joined up by subsequent tile placements by you or someone else. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Games, Review

 

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Team Fortress 2

For those of you that don’t know, Team Fortress 2 is a first person shooter that was released in 2007 by the video game creating Gods that are Valve. I initially played TF2 when I got the Orange Box for PS3, but had always wanted to get the PC version due to the PS3 one receiving no updates and most of my friends were playing it through Steam on the PC. In 2009 I finally had a computer good enough to play it and so parted with £6.99 for a second copy. Given the chance I would have paid a lot more for it as it holds the record of “Most Hours I’ve Spent on a Single Game”, which is currently around the 200 hour mark.

More Content Than you Can Shake a Hat At

Despite the game coming out 4 years ago new content has been continually produced by Valve (they show no sign of slowing either as there are some more big updates to come this year as well), and the players themselves thanks to the introduction of the Steam Workshop and Mann Co store. The game initially shipped with 9 playable classes, 31 weapons, 6 maps and 3 game modes. As of writing this the game had gone through 294 updates and now features 9 game modes, 50 official maps, over 170 unique weapons, “Meet the Team” animated shorts for 8 of the 9 classes, over 10 comics, 214 hats and 405 achievements. I’m struggling to think of another game that has not only been maintained by the developers for that long, but also expanded on with so much new content, all at no extra cost to the players. That’s right. Every single update has been free, and last year the game itself became free-to-play, making all the content available to everyone without having to part with a single penny. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Games, Review

 

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Yggdrasil

I purchased Yggdrasil a couple of months ago after hearing good things about it on Board Game Geek. It is a 6 (or 8 with the two expansions cards) player co-op board game themed around Ragnarök, the end of the world in Norse mythology. Almost all of the board games our group plays involve competition between players so I thought it might be fun for put down our knives and give our backs a rest by trying a co-op game.

The game has each player taking on the role of one of a selection of Norse Gods, and by working together stop Ragnarök, which has taken the form of 6 villains from Norse mythology advancing on Asgard. On each persons turn a card is chosen at random that determines which enemy is advancing. There are 7 steps along the track and each enemy advances one step at a time (there are cards to increase the difficulty by introducing multiple steps and multiple enemies stepping forward at once). Once the enemy has advanced, and applied whatever unique effect they have to make it more difficult for the Gods, the player gets to take actions out of a possible 9. The 9 different actions relate to the 9 realms:

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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Games, Review

 

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