Sunday, 26 June 2016

Her Story - Most original Indie game this decade REDUX - Win a copy!

I'm rereleasing this post to the wild as I have a code to give away for the PC version of Her Story. Leave a comment on this post and I'll pop you in a draw for the Steam Code. Draw on 1st July 
Note that the game is currently on Sale in Steam for £2.49

Thanks to the fine folks at The MMO Show, I discovered a great new Indie Game called Her Story.

I grabbed it for my Ipad, as I don't have much in the way of mobile games, though it is available for PC too on Steam for £4.99.

The game, from Sam Barlow, mind behind Silent Hill:Shattered Memories, is basically a detective game using real video, a series of police interviews with a woman who's husband has disappeared. Using keywords, the player has to go through snippets of video and piece together what has happened.

Without spoiling the story, this is so much more than a murder mystery and the most original game I have seen in years. I highly recommend it!

Edit: Having now pretty much finished the game, I can recommend even more highly. The acting talent of the interviewee and her nuanced body language adds another layer to a startlingly well written game and expect to be thinking about this game long after you finish it.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Space Run Galaxy review from Passtech Games

Space Run Galaxy, PassTech Games, PC, £14.99, Website

At time of publishing, the game is available on Steam for £12.74.

This is the sequel to 2014's Space Run from one-man French studio, Pass Tech games. It has been described as a cross between a tower defence game and Space Invaders and I think that's a fairly accurate description.

The player works as a freight runner, partaking in various missions to carry goods from planet to planet for various employees. The ship is made up of hex nodes, with a central power core in the centre leaving the others free to carry cargo and build on equipment such as guns, shields and repair modules. 

These are purchased during each run using currency gained from shooting enemies and asteroids. Your initial amount of currency will only buy so much so the player needs to be tactical. Working your way through a level facing aliens, pirates and asteroids, the aim is to survive the run without losing your cargo (or your power core, which spells Game Over if destroyed)

Each run is similar to the game FTL but plays in realtime instead of being turn based. In between runs you can buy access to additional modules from local mechanics, trade materials that you obtain through runs and obtain different ships of various hex shapes that provide different builds.

It's also possible to have runs as a multiplayer experience though I've not yet tried this.

The game has some 30 achievements on Steam and ton of missions to go through. Space Run is a lot of fun and can be challenging even for the most seasoned tactician.

The basis for this review first appeared on the British Fantasy Society website

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Neverwinter Anniversary Event

I've been away from Neverwinter for far too long. There was a time when it was my number two MMO, after LOTRO and I spent a lot of time there. I created my own content, I played the mobile crafting version of the game when I wasn't logged in to the main game and I loved it.

The story content was great and each zone flowed to the next, group content was easy to get into and user generated content in the Foundry added an extra layer to the already well polished veneer.

Then came the events, always well done with one small drawback that seems the same in events in every example of MMO's, they are grindy as hell. I threw myself into the Winter festival a couple of years ago and all I remember of it was a LOT of ice fishing. There was a particular pet I was after and I eventually got it but that burnt me out and I've barely set foot in the game since, until now.

I recently got a notification of the game's Three-Year Anniversary and naturally there is an accompanying in-game event and this called to me. Now it seems odd that the exact type of content that drove me from the game has drawn me back, but here I am.

As I really had no memory of how to play my game, I selected one of my lower level alts to jump back in on and try to learn the game from scratch. Elbereth, Level 21 Hunter Ranger was back in action!

Within a couple of hours, she was up to level 24, I'd figured out what was junk in my bags and cleared some space and ran a couple of simple quests to get used to combat again before looking for the Anniversary content.

The one thing I like about Neverwinter's event content is that it tends to be all in one place (unlike LOTRO where it's all over the starter zones) and this event is no different. Elminster, the infamous Wizard I read about as a teenager was in Protectors Enclave, the start hub and he had quests to hand out!

There's a mixture of simple quests, like find an NPC in a particular zone, or retrieve an item then there's a grouped skirmish that can completed daily. My first experience of this was great, the grouping simple as it ever was and easy enough that I didn't get yelled at or booted for not pulling my weight or not knowing what the hell I was doing!

As with all such events, there are rewards to be had. A new companion in the form of a travelling minstrel (Seen juggling juggling behind Elminster above), a couple of lovely looking thrones (also pictured above, presumably for housing, that I've not yet looked into), a few cosmetic cloaks and armour pieces and a lovely new mount, the Jubilee Parade Horse.

One thing I like about Nevwerwinter is that you can view exactly what the items look like so you're not just grinding without seeing the end goal. That mount is 3000 Anniversary coins, of which I barely earned 150 on my first day so not sure I'll be grinding for that!

All in all, Neverwinter is still a beautiful game and if the gameplay can keep me engaged, I may try to level Elbereth to cap and see where that takes me.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Back again!

So life has taken a crazy side turn and time has become an incredibly precious commodity. Earlier in the year I decided it was time to start some kind of gainful employment, having spent the last few years  taking care of my little one and a little part time work for an online company beginning with G. I decided to return to something that interested me during my time running restaurants and employing foreign students, Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

I jumped online earlier in the year, signed up for a 50 hour course and breezed through it, despite some health issues. A few weeks ago I discovered a great platform to offer my services using Skype, linking tutors with students on a one to one basis. In the space of just three weeks, I have accrued over a dozen regular students and have been teaching back to back every day!

Despite my lack of formal experience, these lovely people have flocked to my profile and signed up. I don't know if it's a general lack tutors available, or lack of native English speakers teaching, but whatever the reason it's awesome, and exhausting!

So today, for the first time in three weeks I have mostly a free day so I actually got to play some games and thought it would be a good time to try and push myself to blog again. I may even create a blog relating to teaching English, at least to advertise my services, if nothing else!

Long story short, I've played some games and it's been great! After a week of daily customer support where They suggest one thing by email on a daily basis, I finally got Total War Warhammer to work on my system. This is the first game I've bought on release day in years ( and may be the last, given my experience) and have been frothing at the bit to play so today I was over to moon to finally get to try it. And it's great! The feel of Total War that we know and love is there but given the polish of Warhammer, taking me back to my teens of playing the tabletop war game (and my late thirties, when I played for a short time with it with my nephew). I've started out with a Greenskin army (I still have my Orc and goblin figures in the attic) and had great fun with it.

I also grabbed the recent Humble Bundle and played some of Steve Jackson's Sorcery, adapted from the choose your own adventure books of the early 80's that set me on the path to RPGs. When I saw the image of the armoured sergeant from Shamutanti Hills, my heart jumped straight into my mouth, so powerful was the memory.

I've also been sent a review copy of tower builder, space transport sim, Space Run Galaxy, sequel to Space Run. It's very interesting and I hope to spent a fair bit of time with the game before putting a review out there. I've also been offered a copy of The Technomancer, so watch this space for more on that.