Reviews & Articles

PreviewFairytale Fights

September 29, 2013
Not suitable for children
by: GrizzMagoo available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

After a few turns around the Anime Fest, it was time for me to make my way past the booth babes at the Playlogic table and wrap my fingers around the controls of Fairytale Fights. Set to ship Oct. 27, Fairytale Fights is not the sweetsy-peetsy, E-rated title you might be conjuring in your head.

ReviewWallace & Gromit Episode 3: Muzzled!

September 24, 2013
No animals were harmed in the making of this game
by: drewmcgee available on: PC
TellTale Games has impressed me yet again with the third installment of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventure. This time, in Wallace & Gromit Episode 3: Muzzled!, the ingenious inventor and his trusty canine partner are up against the cunning wits of a swindler named Monty Muzzle. The backdrop for the game is, as always, West Wallaby Street.

ReviewTrainz Simulator 2009 — World Builder Edition

September 20, 2013
Chugga, chugga, choo, choo, baby!
by: Scorpogee available on: PC
For the rest of us who admire the work of train hobbyists but can’t afford to spend a ton of money or don’t have the space available for that track layout, there’s Trainz Simulator 2009 — World Builder Edition. Developer Auran, who runs Planet Auran for Trainz enthusiasts, has developed a pretty formidable simulation for those who want to ride the tracks or produce their own layouts on the computer.

ReviewFor the Glory: A Europa Universalis Game

September 11, 2013
Proving that even simulated world conquest is impossible!
by: CentCMD available on: PC
Alexander the Great and I have many things in common. We have nine letters in our first names, we like world travel and we have a weird desire to conquer stuff. As for the latter, I play videogames. When For the Glory: A Europe Universalis Game gave me the opportunity to play out my Alexander-inspired fantasies and conquer the world from the comfort of my PC, I was more than thrilled. All those years of studying politics seemed to finally be worth the tuition money.

ReviewGish

September 8, 2013
Clever and fun to play with minor flaws
by: Psychphan available on: PC
The wonderful thing about the indie gaming community is the simple fact there are several little gems, regardless of genre. Some are even hiding in plain sight on digital distribution sites. One of those gems belongs to the platforming genre, and that gem is Gish. It is a fun game to play — period.

ReviewAssassin's Creed: Brotherhood

September 3, 2013
No disappointments in this installment
by: BlueMark available on: Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is quite possibly the best installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. There is simply nothing in the game that can disappoint anyone.

ReviewThe Wizard's Pen

August 23, 2013
by: Sylvene available on: PC
The one thing I have to wonder about casual games is how addictive they make them, and also marvel at the production values many companies throw into the making of them. Wizard's Pen is a hidden object game from PopCap Games and it's another winner from the moment you start the game, with beautiful graphics and good but repetitive sound.

You begin by entering your chosen name and the game begins the story, addressing you by name. You are apprenticed to a great wizard who's gone missing, leaving behind a blank ...

Cake Mania

August 14, 2013
by: Alladania available on: PC
I preface this review with a confession. I don’t cook. (Okay, maybe a little, but not really.) That being said, I love playing Cake Mania. Luckily, no actual cooking knowledge is required.

ReviewBeat Hazard

July 15, 2013
Combining a love of music and gaming
by: Jcoffey available on: PC

I love music. I think everyone does, really; it’s pretty much everywhere you go. Chances are, if you’re walking down the street, you’re going to hear music from somewhere. Sometimes, it’s even in your head. Along with music, I also love gaming. For me, the two are generally separated. Aside from a few amazing exceptions, I’ve found no real way to combine my love of music and passion for gaming.

Then I played Beat Hazard.

ReviewAmerican McGee's Alice

July 3, 2013
by: Dotcher available on: PC
As an action game presented in the third-person perspective, American McGee's Alice/i> has immediate appeal to those looking to take a break from the real world's stresses and frustrations, without the graphic violence of the first person shooters ...

ReviewAnodyne

June 18, 2013
An awesome adventure game
by: Psychphan available on: PC

It’s somewhat amazing that in the year 2013, pixelated graphics and high-definition polygons exist side by side. What’s even more amazing is that games are not being assessed just on the art style alone, it’s how well everything is pulled together and succeeds in helping the game obtain greatness. So allow me to introduce you to an indie game that will eventually be a household name: Anodyne.

ReviewUnepic

June 4, 2013
An excellent parody of loved RPGs and then some
by: Psychphan available on: PC

There’s something to be said about “irony.” And as a trope, it’s one of the hardest to master. Perhaps that is, in itself, ironic — or not. So what’s the point of this quick English 101 lesson that far too many individuals improperly use? It’s rather simple: It’s the basis for the game Unepic.

PreviewUnderrail

June 1, 2013
Possible cult classic in the making
by: Asterix available on: PC

Set in a dystopian and post-apocalyptic future, Underrail puts you in a role of a new inhabitant of a vault like underground city. The universe is reflected in a unique blend of isometric two-dimensional world where the player fights to figure out his or her purpose.

ReviewMutant Mudds

May 4, 2013
Unique play on perspective
by: Psychphan available on: PC, Nintendo 3DS

I’m not too sure if there is a good reason why individuals like optical illusions. Life is full of these illusions. Some are fun, such as the stereograms and the flat holograms while others are more serious such as side mirrors of cars. So what’s the point of mentioning all of this? It’s the basis for an indie game known as Mutant Mudds.

ReviewSaints Row: The Third

April 13, 2013
Oddly fun murder simulator
by: Psychphan available on: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

When it comes to what games to play, I like playing the hero. So I’m not sure why have I enjoyed Saints Row: The Third.

ReviewHinterland

March 8, 2013
Can grow your own town while fighting monsters?
by: Psychphan available on: PC

Back in 2008, I had my hands dipped in several indie games. While this exposed me to games I may have missed on my radar, I had no money to indulge in them past the demo. This brings the review to one game that I completely forgot about: Hinterland.

ReviewWizardry 8

March 2, 2013
An actual dungeon crawler that crawls through the dirt to kill
by: Psychphan available on: PC

I have a soft spot for dungeon crawlers. I cannot really explain it. I think it has to do with my personality: I’m very curious and, if it isn’t in a drawer or nailed down, chances are I’ll pick it up and riffle through it for a bit. Oh yes, this typically isn’t a good idea as people do not want their private spaces violated and I’m no different. Thankfully, the genre allows me to express this trait without the legal or interpersonal issues becoming apparent. Welcome to one of my favorite games from college: Wizardry 8.

ReviewPuzzle Bots

February 14, 2013
A short, witty and accessible adventure game
by: Psychphan available on: PC

Back in the summer of 2010, I was fortunate enough to attend that year’s E3. While there, one of the highlights was that I got to meet Erin Robinson. She is one of the few indie developers who actively tries to keep the adventure game genre alive. What was special about that year was that she was talking about her game, Puzzle Bots, and meeting folks at the Indiecade booth. Fast forward a couple of years and it has only been recently that I got my hands on that said game.

ReviewLone Survivor

February 5, 2013
A pixelated hauntingly good time
by: Psychphan available on: PC

Horror is a challenging concept to do well. Many games (and movies) go for the thrills simply because it is easier than taking the time to craft a chilling universe. There are a multitude of methods of doing so, some with greater effect than others. I don’t pretend to be an expert on horror as I can’t stand the movie genre. Ironically, the video game genre of horror intrigues me. It doesn’t help that I don’t like blood and guts. So I go for the psychological version. I have currently gotten my hands on one of the most intriguing and truest psychological horror games in recent years: Lone Survivor on PC.

ReviewDark Scavenger

November 30, 2012
One of the oddest games you’ve never even heard of
by: Psychphan available on: PC

I love the indie gaming community because developers tend to feel free to experiment with gameplay and narrative. Sometimes things are a bit disjointed. Of course, this is to be expected considering that the majority of developers lack the budget to make their games shine like the majority of console games. So this makes Dark Scavenger the entire game cooler to me.

ReviewTribes: Ascend

November 7, 2012
Fast-paced and fast explosions
by: josephsmits available on: PC

Shazbot is a word in the Tribes universe that implies displeasure, usually if used repeatedly, at losing a match within Tribes: Ascend. I’m not sure if I’ve caused many folks to have to use the keystroke to cause their avatar to say that, but really I’ve had too much fun playing Tribes: Ascend to have it really matter. I normally chuckle when I hear it and get ready for another round win or lose.

ReviewEscape Goat

October 15, 2012
This could actually be a true story ...
by: Psychphan available on: PC, Xbox Live Arcade

Believe it or not, I’ve raised a fair amount of different animals. I’ve taken care of goats, llamas, chickens, sheep, dogs and parrots. While that may sound like bragging, the point is that I know a bit about animals (and I love them, too). Goats are by far, the most interesting and intense.

ReviewMunchies' Lunch

October 5, 2012
Cute game based on real-life struggle
by: Asterix available on: PC

When was the last time you played a game that was inspired by real-life events? Munchies’ Lunch is a cute family logic game whose story figuratively honors the struggle and tenacity of one family to leave a country (in this case former Yugoslavia) torn by civil war. Munchies’ Lunch starts with a family that is separated in a fantasy land ruled by the evil Hungries. The main protagonist of the game is Mrs. Munchie, a mother, who with her two kids needs to traverse the game’s dangerous land to reunite her family.

ReviewPenny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 3

September 17, 2012
Penny Arcade crew in traditional RPG
by: Psychphan available on: PC

It has been a few years since the last Penny Arcade Adventures game was released. And it was a fun, though short, game. There was talk of a third game, though it quickly became accepted that it was stuck in developmental purgatory due to the developer Hot Head Games becoming absorbed in their own personal projects (among other unknown factors). So it was a pleasant surprise to see the third installment, Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 3, on Steam for $5. So was it worth the wait?

ReviewLaserCat

September 12, 2012
An exploration platforming quiz show
by: Psychphan available on: PC, Xbox Live Arcade

LaserCat follows a feline who happens to be made out of a laser. Anyway, his best friend Owl gets kidnapped by an evil toad and hides 30 keys throughout his master’s castle for LaserCat to find. So like any good kitty, he goes off to save his friend.

ReviewA Farewell to Dragons

July 15, 2012
A pleasant surprise in shorter play sessions
by: sara_pickell available on: PC
So I sat down for A Farewell to Dragons, expecting it not to be a first-choice game for me — a hardcore Bethesda/Bioware fan — but it wound up being a pleasant surprise in its own way. What I found was not the riveting storyline that would string me along in an epic of binge playing. Instead, I found myself sitting for shorter play sessions, taking the story at my own achingly slow pace and seeing a bit of the world around me. Especially early on when you could watch hunters wander through the woods and fight any bandits they came across.

ReviewSpecial Enquiry Detail: Engaged to Kill

July 11, 2012
Engaged to thrill
by: Alladania available on: PC
The official name on the splash screen is Engaged to Kill — which is pretty appropriate. This is a hidden-object game that wrapped in a police procedural. A lot of hidden-object games hang their scenes together by the loosest of threads. This game actually makes sense within the overall story. It’s a refreshing change.

PreviewDead Rising 2

July 6, 2012
So many zombies, so little time
by: brubinow @ E3 2010 available on: Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3
Zombies really are the best videogame enemies, aren’t they? They can be bashed, sliced, shot and blown up — all without the slightest twinge of guilt. No one knows this better than Capcom, who presented the sequel to their ultraviolent zombie game, Dead Rising 2.

ReviewLegend of Grimrock

July 2, 2012
Old-school concept, new-school flare
by: Psychphan available on: PC

I have a soft spot for first-person dungeon crawlers. And it shows in my back catalogue of reviews. I think it has to do with immersion, which is a big part of the reason the shooter genre has embraced it. The role-playing genre, on the other hand, has moved away from it in favor of third-person camera angles, which allow for more dynamic presentation. It’s also far more practical. It’s challenging to create a world from the first-person perspective because every little detail has to be just right. This is the tone that needs to be kept in mind with the Legend of Grimrock, an indie first-person RPG.

ReviewSins of a Solar Empire

June 30, 2012
Moving beyond MOO.
by: Scorpogee available on: PC
My first memories strategy space gaming are from Masters of Orion, one of the best 4X games ever. This is arguably the granddaddy of all space strategy games that followed. Following in its ion trails, we have Sins of a Solar Empire, an ambitious RT4X game, developed by Ironclad and published by Stardock. If you're a space strategy junkie then this is a must have game. Its expansive detail, and easy pace, combined with stunning graphics screams play me. The gameplay is deep and expansive yet the hours will go by fast as you build your empire from a single planet to a mighty empire.