I’m not the world’s greatest rally driving fan (Ed: Or sports fan, for that matter, but whatever), so it should come as very little surprise to any of our regular readers that I had absolutely no idea who Sébastien Loeb is. The last rally driver I was peripherally aware of was Colin McRae, and I had no idea that he had left for the great rally track in the sky. My ill knowledge has changed a lot with the introduction of Sébastien Loeb Rally EVO, one of the most technical racing games I’ve played (which says a lot about how many I play). So while I strap into my rally suit and go alert my co-driver, how about you mosey over to the track and I’ll meet you there?
The Banner Saga (official site) was originally released for PC on Steam at the beginning of 2014, and the game was so incredibly well received that the developer, Stoic, has released a console version of this tactical role-playing game based in Nordic mythology. I’m going to approach this review with the assumption that you’ve not played the PC version, so let’s get all Nordic up in here and find out what the game is all about.
If you’re not mainly a PC gamer, you might not be aware of Don’t Starve, a ridiculously successful indie minecrafty roguelike that came out in 2013. Its main claims to fame were the Burtony-Goreyesque graphics and the fact that you were dropped into the game with nary a clue about what to do, and then you just went ahead and did it anyway. Oh, and you die a lot. Do you like games where you die a lot? Unlike many roguelikes, it’s acutally more Rogue-ish than usual, and I’ll explain why.
Who among you are old enough to remember the arcade game Robotron 2084? Or Smash TV? Or any one of those old top down, dual-stick shooter games that spawned an entire genre. If you do, you’re going to have a massive dose of nostalgia in the form of Ultratron, from the same guys who brought you that other nostalgia-fest, Titan Attacks. Let’s get our guns loaded and our transistors blazing. Or was it the other way around?
No one should have any excuse for not knowing Erwin Schroedinger’s famous thought-experiment about the cat that was both alive and dead at the same time, as a metaphor for quantum states. For those of you who forgot, in short, there’s a cat in a sealed box with a vial of poison, a detector, and a radioactive isotope. If the isotope decays, the detector detects it, breaks the vial, poison is released and the cat dies. If it doesn’t decay, the cat is alive and well. Without opening the box, how do you know if the cat is alive or dead? You don’t…until you open the box and observe the cat, it is both dead and alive at the same time. Don’t worry, though. No real cats were harmed in this experiment. Does all this have much relevance to the review? Why yes. Yes it does. Read on to find out why.
What happens when you mix Terraria (or Minecraft, if that’s your poison) with a strategy game, a tower defense game, and a healthy predilection for soup? You get PixelJunk Nom Nom Galaxy, a new game from the masters of addictive gaming, Q-Games and Double-11. Let me show you just how addictive making soup can be. Trust me: it’s more fun that it sounds.
OlliOlli is a 2D sidescrolling skateboarding game where you have to perform skateboard tricks for sick and gnarly scores. The name of the game, obviously, comes from the name of the skateboarding trick, the Ollie, and you have to make your way across various bits of urban jungle in search of the best scores and the grooviest moves. I don my helmet and kneepads, grab my board, and prepare to gleam the cube.
If you haven’t yet heard of Shovel Knight, then you’ve probably no interest in gaming’s glorious 8-bit past. Shovel Knight was created as a homage to the wonder of 8-bit console gaming (with a few minor tweaks). He’s quite literally that: a knight armed with naught but a humble shovel to dig his way out of trouble. I take my vorpal
sword shovel in hand, and off I trundle to seek the manxome foes.
Back in 2010, developers Press Play released a game called Max and the Magic Marker. The game invited players to draw and create parts of the levels to solve puzzles and complete the game. The sequel to the game has just landed on PC and Xbox360 (after having a bit of time to itself on the Xbox One). I accompany Max on his adventure to see what The Curse of Brotherhood actually is.
Hands up anyone who remembers playing Microprose’s Master of Magic way back in the mid-1980s. That few of you, huh? Ok, hands up those of you who regularly enjoy games such as Civilization. Ah, much better! Who would enjoy playing Civilization, but with magical spells, and set across a number of realms instead of a single map? Sceptical? Read on and let me tell you about Warlock 2, a new 4X game and the sequel to the original Warlock: Master of the Arcane.