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This is a very lovely game. The endearing visual style and superb sound design come together to create a unique, intoxicating atmosphere. The threatening post-apocalyptic context could have been more meaningful with a non-zero difficulty level, but it's still a thoroughly enjoyable, if short, road trip.
Domina is a shining beacon of PC indie gaming. It very much feels like a labor of love for one guy, which it in fact is. Bignic, the developer took a basic concept but had a unique vision which translates beautifully on the screen. Between the idiosyncratic events and names, the amazing soundtrack which he composed himself, to the amazingly tuned spectacle fighting simulator he managed to create, it is an inspiration and a triumph for those who just want to go and make a weird game of their own.
While it's too focused on war and troops to feel like a full 4X, treated as a lavish wargame it measures favorably. A massive number of unit types, lots to research and satisfyingly durable troops makes the combat tactically interesting but there is no diplomacy, culture or any sort of flavor.
If you dig in and look, you can find a wealth of games, both old and new, trying to be the next Portal. Games like The Spectrum Retreat try for a little more, which makes it all the more devastating when they miss the mark so completely. With a by the numbers story and simplistic puzzles that frustrate rather than fascinate, there’s nothing here worth recommending. This game is competent but unremarkable, and that’s really the nicest thing you can say.
Moonlighter sells itself as a rogue-lite action RPG with shop management mechanics and some of the most beautiful pixel art around. It’s a frustrating game to review because it both succeeds and fails in many places making it difficult to prioritize what works and what fails.
Inked is a lovely looking game with an interesting narrative idea. However, the story within the story is bland and generic. The game is much too long and if you are playing on a mouse and keyboard, you are in for a tough time. That being said, you might find it an interesting game about how to cope with trauma and the relationship between creation and the creator.
Superb combat, a lengthy single player campaign and most of the old Mechwarrior charm makes for an excellent turn-based experience. The surrounding story and meta is sludgy but adequate. Multiplayer works and is a blast but quickly loses its appeal without any progression or tracking. Could have been so much more, but what's here is a great turn-based game.
While the selling point is focused on hard choices, the unrelenting grimness of the setting and need for survival makes them more obvious than difficult. Luckily all the other components (city builder, presentation, etc.) are quite good and the game is enjoyable even if it doesn't quite hit the feels as it intends.
Considering that Orwell is merely about reading, and then dragging and dropping information, it’s one of the most intense experiences you will have playing a game. You are going to think about Orwell’s implications about fake news, data, and social media long after finishing the game.
Surviving Mars, is competent but dried up fairly quickly. The systems in place work well and it accomplishes all it wants to do effectively. It has a good natural difficulty and good variation between plays. For those who are comforted by grid lined paper, this is probably a cathartic managerial experience. I am not in that group however. Like the planet itself, the whole experience felt a bit one note and bare. To me, there needed to be something else, another angle or facet to the game to give it the life that it desperately needed.
SYMMETRY is latest survival game to entice me with its pretty art style and allure of simulated suffering in a frozen wasteland. It has a unique charm and an alluring story. Unfortunately, it is too short and lacks content. Forget the $11.99 price tag for a moment. There is absolutely zero bang for your buck here. In terms of production quality, it’s an incredibly professional looking game. However, it feels like the tutorial level of a much larger story.
The combat requires thought and is engaging if you like the puzzly vibe created by Banner Saga (which this game copies well beyond the level of homage). But the massive amounts of nonsensical text you're forced to read leech out any fun the gorgeous graphics and brilliant soundtrack create.
The CCG market is saturated and Fable Fortunes does not do enough to set itself apart. There was the intention of narrative and flair with the morality quest system, but this falls face first back down the well of good ideas. Fable Fortunes is a perfectly fine card game, but there are far better alternatives.
Novel mechanics that allow for dynamic storytelling are what make this game. That strength lies in the small choices that you make instead of an overarching plot or theme. The kinds of armor and clothes you wear around town, what skills you choose, how you interact with local merchants all changes how the world reacts to you, to an extent greater than I’ve experienced before. In many ways, how you chose to live from day to day has more impact than the dialogue choices.