Nate Crowley


38 games reviewed
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Unscored - Fallout 76
Dec 13, 2018

Fallout 76 feels like an atavistic reprisal of a late-2000s MMO.

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Unscored - Anno 1800
Apr 17, 2018

Anno 1800 could have been any one of a hundred shades of mediocre, and I would have had a much lighter, breezier time talking about it. But whether I end up adding it to my list of perennial must-plays, or retiring it in despair at the whimsical capering of Captain Bumeggs, it’s an undisputed heavyweight, and an experience I’d recommend to anyone.

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Aug 5, 2019

Don’t make the mistake I nearly made and disregard it: if you enjoy the tactical and strategic game styles it draws from, you’ll find a game that doesn’t go out of its way to innovate on either front, but one that performs a bloody lovely duet.

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Unscored - Imperator: Rome
Apr 25, 2019

Plutarch said of Alexander the Great: “when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer.” If anything, my experience of Imperator: Rome has left me feeling the exact opposite: I want to weep, as I know I will never find the time to conquer everything this game has to offer.

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Unscored - Rise of Industry
May 9, 2019

This just wasn’t for me. Ultimately, there’s only so excited I can get by the prospect of being (let’s all say it in Chod’s awed whisper) an entrepreneur. Maybe I’m just becoming more prone to escapism as I age, but there’s just not much of a thrill for me in getting really, really efficient at flogging grape juice and tables to people.

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Unscored - Borderlands 3
Sep 16, 2019

While the game itself isn’t the most stellar company, there’s no denying why it, like its predecessors, will be incredibly successful – because it provides a superb environment for hanging out with your pals.

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After finishing with Druidstone, I found it interesting to think how much less of a game it might have been if its developers had gone through with early plans to make levels procedurally generated. While a more random, improvisational version of Druidstone might have appealed to my appetite for turn-based tactical games, and might – in fairness – have been more replayable, I suspect I would have enjoyed it less, and gotten bored before the end.

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May 16, 2019

This is the game Surviving Mars should have been in the first place.

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May 30, 2019

Vambrace has the art, sound and story direction of a top-flight RPG, bolted onto a badly designed roguelite.

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Jul 31, 2019

Brilliant though it is, [Oxygen Not Included] is an ordeal. It’s satisfying, but it’s stressful. I’d even go so far as to say – and here I risk invoking the scorn of the Legion of Geniuses, who wait in the darkness beyond the comment section – it’s a little bit too hard.

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Sep 11, 2019

It’s not my favourite play of all time by any means, and I may never come back to it after my fascination fades. Even so, if I’m asked to come up with an example of a genuinely unique experience that shows what games are capable of in 2019, this is the block my internal Wilmot will bring forward from the tangled stacks of my memory.

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Unscored - Planet Zoo
Nov 5, 2019

Planet Zoo is a game where you can build your own zoo. It’s buggy, intermittently opaque, frequently saccharine, and – barring an eleventh hour miracle – it’s my undisputed game of the year. Because here’s the thing: it’s a game where you can build your own zoo. And by thunder, it delivers on that promise.

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Given the scarcity of successors, then, I see no reason why Microsoft shouldn’t just keep making this game bigger and bigger and bigger, lumping all the bits together every few years and slapping it down with nicer animations, until it’s got ten thousand missions and includes “Dudley” as a civilisation because they ran out of ideas. That would be fine by me. Long live the (Age of) King(s)

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Nov 18, 2019

I’ve not been a professional games reviewer for that long, and I’m not ashamed to admit I was frightened by the prospect of offering my opinion, publically, on a work of this size and importance. Truly, this is a Monday to hate more than any other.

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Frog Detective 2 is a game you can hold in your head all at once, and cherish. I think it’s great.

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Feb 11, 2020

Off-Peak deserved to be something less arbitrary than a point and click. Or it deserved a player with better taste than me.

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Unscored - ARK: Genesis
Mar 5, 2020

Genesis strolled down the street of things that made ARK magic despite its faults, and smugly posted a cat turd through every letterbox.

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Mar 6, 2020

Here is a completely unhyped, completely straightforward expansion – in the old-school sense of the term – that adds a few strong new systems to the game, as well as a whole bunch of new variables to feed into its various narrative generation mechanics. And thanks to the endlessly repeatable, emergence-focused creature that RimWorld is, it’s enough to completely refresh your sense of compulsion, even if you felt you’d done it all to death with RimWorld 1.0.

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Unscored - Resident Evil 3
Mar 31, 2020

I liked it! More than I expected to like it. But at the same time, after six hours of it, I’ve had enough.

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Unscored - Stela
Apr 3, 2020

It took me the best part of a month to come back to Stela in order to finish this review. I’m glad I did, as it still had some astonishing sights left to show me. But it was a close call.

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