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Multiplayer Game Reviews

March 28, 2011

Aleph One

Filed under: Action & Shooter, Free, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsHeath @ 05:15

Excuse me Sir!

Aleph One

Were you a Mac-gamer 12 years ago? Are you interested in playing the spiritual ancestor of the Halo Series? Then it’s time, dear friend, to download and enjoy Aleph One and play through all the Marathon Games that you can eat.

How This Works:

So you don’t just download the game Marathon. You have to download the Aleph One runtime and then download the files for each game you want to play. Don’t worry, this is 100% legal. Bungie released the source code for it a long time ago, so you’re good. This also means there are tons of user-created maps and scenarios.

There are installers for Mac, Windows and Linux. So, everyone gets their fair try. Trust me, it’s a good time.

Gameplay

You are the last defender of the space station ‘Marathon’. Aliens are trying to take over, but you, and your guns and wits, are standing between them. You relive the battles that have happened in the past by logging into computers and seeing what the A.I. has to say. Seriously, the plot is what makes this a great great game.

Why yes, sports fan, those are double shotguns.

You have to figure out mazes, shoot aliens and flip switches and stuff. On top of that, the music is, in the words of my girlfriend ‘tripping me out’. This game is a sensory delight. You will look up from your screen and realize you have just lost hours of your life, and you couldn’t be happier.

Technical

There’s no jump. Get used to it. You’ll be happier in the long run. This makes certain levels very frustrating. Every Marathon player has been at that point where they’re staring at a hole in the wall, within striking distance of the end, and you would be totally fine if you had a jump but no.

You have a motion detector, a map and a comprehensive readout of ammo and guns. Despite this, the aliens will kill you. Do not despair. Oh yeah, it doesn’t save after every level (there aren’t really levels, only transport points) so even if you finish a level, you still have to save.

Multiplayer

The single player was great, the Multiplayer was epic. Even today it sets the standard for quality online interactions. Seriously, this is LAN party material if I ever saw it. I used to play it before school. God my life was sad.

Final Verdict

Really? Do I really have to give a final verdict for one of the best games that has ever been released? Judge for yourself.

Aleph One

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Multiplayer:★★★★★ 
Shoot aliens. Be confused by the A.I.

Game: Aleph One | Developer: Bungie

March 13, 2011

Corporation Inc

Filed under: Free, Linux, Macintosh, Simulation, WindowsHeath @ 05:48

Excelsior

Corporation Inc.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a button pushing company from the ground to a multi-level, money earning machine. You do this by hiring, upgrading and not-sucking.

Gameplay

If you’ve played SimTower, this will seem familiar. However, there are some crucial differences. First, you place offices that are blank slates. Each office has 4 slots, each slot holds an employee. You click a certain employee from the menu and place him at a desk.

Your basic employee is a worker. A worker presses a button. At the base level, every time he presses a button, you get a dollar in revenue. Now, you can hire a supervisor who walks around, smacking workers in the head. After that the worker works harder. Now, if you want to leverage that money, then you can hire some accountants. Each one earns 5% more per push of each worker.

workworkworkworkworkwork

Would you imagine that getting hit on the head would improve moral? No, it doesn’t. You have to worry about your workers’ happiness. For every 20 employees, you get a cat. Cats improve happiness. You can also buy HR employees that do something or something.

You’ll also need to hire janitors and researchers. Janitors clean during the night so your employees don’t get mad. Researchers, well, research. The game technically ends when you have completed the tech tree. So, yeah, invest in reasearchers.

Technical

Beyond the placing of employees this is a pretty complex game. You can upgrade office space. On top of that you have to worry about transportation (you can install a firepole or a skyhook or even a vacuum tube). Unlike SimTower there isn’t a limited # of elevator shafts so go crazy. Seriously you can have tubes right next to each other. You can’t see anything though so I wouldn’t recommend that.

In the end, this game is all about balance. You can even show off your towers to other people. You know what I found out from that? All towers look alike and are boring.

Final Verdict

Great game. It has a pause button and you can change time so this really feels like you are god. Enjoy it because it makes businessing seem like it is really easy.

Corporation Inc

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
{GAME COMMENT}

Game: Corporation Inc | Developer: JCooney

March 8, 2011

Uncharted Waters Online

I'm looking for a quest!

Uncharted Waters

If you are from East Asia, then you have probably heard of and lost your life to this game. If you are from the West, you have probably been waiting to dedicate your life to sailing around in a boat.

Gameplay

Uncharted Waters takes place during the Age of Exploration; when real men sewed jewels into their frocks, women were earthy and children had grease on their faces. In this game you can adventure, be a soldier or trade.

Although it’s boat based, there are sea-areas, land-areas and towns. You can also choose to be English, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese or Venician. You also get to choose whether they are adventurer, merchant or a soldier. These classes aren’t binding, but it’s going to be a hassle if you want to change them.

Like in Civilization, each nation has its own perks, I won’t go into them, but there is a fair amount of similarity between the real life versions and the on-line versions.

Better luck next time sucker!

You click where you want to move. Double clicking turns your ship in a certain direction. Like all good MMORPG’s there is an area where you can accept quests. Once you finish them, you report back and collect your reward. If you’re too far away, you can get a female to report back for you, which is suh-weeeeeet.

Technical

This game was first released in 1995 (the normal version) and has been On-line since 2005 in Asia. It is only this year that us stinking Americans had access to it. Honestly, you can’t tell that we’re half a decade behind. The arena is sprawling, and, although you can take quests and stuff, you’re on your own for most of it.

It’s smooth and the controls are super easy. Seriously, I am almost always stymied by basic controls, and I had no problem here. It’s not too bad to look at either.

Multiplayer

Yes, there is PVP. PVP is awesome. Seriously, it’s boat battles. You can outfit your boat to ram other people.

You can also trade, and there is a chat client that is pretty slick. You don’t really need to be on a team or be part of an alliance to make it in this game. Like a rake in the ages of yor, you can stake your claim in the open ocean, feel the wind in your hair and bask in the ethereal glow of pixelated piratical bliss.

Uncharted Waters Online

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★☆ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Multiplayer:★★★★★ 
Boat MMORPG in the time of the Renaissance.

Game: Uncharted Waters Online | Developer: KOEI

February 11, 2011

Civilization V

Filed under: Linux, Macintosh, Paid, Strategy, WindowsHeath @ 05:08

Go West!

Civilization V

I assume that if you are reading this, you were like me and spent the better part of you childhood hunched in front of the computer, basking in the blue glow while your armies poured onto your rivals’ continents. Yes, Civ II was a glorious game. Civilization V, the most recent iteration, is not quite as glorious, but is still awesome.

Gameplay

In the Civilization games you pilot your rag tag group of settlers into a full fledged, well, civilization. You build cities, research science and, if the mood strikes you, go all Genghis Khan on your enemies.

Civ V has really diverged from its predecessors. For the first part, it is done in hexagons now, rather than squares. You really have to think out your movements and it is way, way more costly to ‘go around’ a unit. On top of that, or maybe, because of that, you are only allowed 1 unit per hex. So, in the past, you could just pile all your armies onto one square and blast into places. No longer. This obviously aids the defense. On top of that, you can now get ranged units (that are actually useful).

Pew Pew Pew!

If you remember religion, from Civ IV, that’s no longer there. You have to deal with your city states, which is kind of annoying. In fact, the biggest difference between this version of Civilization and the others is that war and warmaking plays a significantly lesser role than nearly every other aspect of the game.

There is no longer technology trading. You actually have to deal with your opponents.

Technical

This game takes way less time to complete than the previous versions. Why? You aren’t moving as many units around. Unfortunately, this makes the learning curve slightly higher than for other games. In fact, it may even be harder for previous Civ players to get the hang of the new one.

Multiplayer

Because the movement of units is not really as important, the AI is very centered. I’ve only played 1 multiplayer game, and it was WAY more fun than against AI (unfortunately). You have to co-operate or you’re simply not going to get anywhere. Note that a United Nations win is, without a doubt, impossible if you are playing against real people.

Final Verdict

This game takes up a ton of space, both physically on your computer and emotionally in your head, but it is well worth it. Enjoy taking over the world.

Civilization V

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Multiplayer:★★★★★ 
Take over the world!!!!

Game: Civilization V | Developer: Firaxis

February 9, 2011

Mud and Blood 2

Filed under: Free, Linux, Macintosh, Simulation, Strategy, WindowsHeath @ 06:24

Beginning of the Battle

Mud and Blood 2

If that isn’t one of the best names I have ever heard for a video game, then it at least has to be in the top 10. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to hold the Nazi advance. You are going to get overrun. Be prepared.

Gameplay

Although there are lots of actions tied to keystrokes, this is primarily done with your mouse. The first thing that happens is you create a character. You start off as a Second Lieutenant. The more and better you play, the higher in rank you go. The higher in rank you go, the better your starting choices are. When you start, you get a ragtag crew.

You start with some soldiers. Each soldier has a weapon, health and moral. Most soldiers have guns, but you can purchase guys with bazookas and can even get a rocket launcher. No joke, it is awesome.

The more Nazis you kill, and the longer you stay alive, you get Tactical Points. Tactical points can be exchanged for any number of things. You can call in for reinforcements, which is nice because then you can kill more Nazis. You can call in an engineer, which will build things for you. On top of that, you can buy certain maneuvers or upgrade your guys’ weapons.

End of a Battle. The Horror.

Technical

The game ends when you are overrun by 10 Nazis. Note that if a motorcycle with a sidecar passes by, that’s worth two. Also, there’s no pause button. So, once you deploy, you’re committed to playing for a while.

This can get gruesome. If a grenadier lands one in your trench, you will be seeing blood, guts and bones. Your guys will lose moral, and you’re pretty much screwed. For a while you’ll be thinking that you’re doing fine, and then all of a sudden your line is crawling with Nazis.

The Mise en scene impressed me greatly. It’s bleak. On top of that is the depth of the game. You follow the career of your character. The small decisions you make on the battlefield will affect the things you can do later on.

Final Verdict

This game is not for the faint of heart. Seriously, it’s called ‘Mud and Blood’. It is an emotional and temporal commitment. However, if you are looking for an intense, browser-based WWII wargame, then this is the game for you.

Blood and Mud 2

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Don’t let the Nazis take over your position.

Game: Blood and Mud 2 | Developer: Blood and Mud 2

February 3, 2011

Endeavor

Where to now?

Endeavor

Sometimes it seems like the platformer is a limited medium. You jump around in a 2D environment and you either have to blast enemies while conserving ammo, or you solve problems. Endeavor challenges that notion.

Gameplay

There is nothing special about the controls. Arrow keys move and climb. X jumps. Remain calm. You’ll notice that there is a blue bar at the top of the screen. You’ll also notice that whenever you jump, that blue bar shrinks. Well, that thing represents your endurance. You can only jump so many times before you run out of steam. Your endurance (as well as jump height) can be increased by running into sweet little flowers.

Quite honestly, all you can really do in this game is wander around until you have exhausted your limits. There are certain places that you can’t escape without leveling up enough, and there are certain spots where, if you screw up, you fall to the bottom of the screen. Brutal.

Thanks a lot buddy.

All told, you are a mountain dwarf who is searching for treasure after your father has died. Along the way you will run into others of your species, who rarely help you. This is a journey you must make on your own.

Technical

This game obviously has a retro-styling to it. However, with many games that use the 8-bit background, you are not slapped in the face by it. Often times, you feel contained by it. Not so in this case. The sense of scope that is achieved by this game is simply astounding. And sometimes you have to sit back, after jumping and climbing mountains and revel in how far you’ve piloted your little guy.

You all know I am a fan of developers who can build ‘big’ games with simple engines. This is a paradigm.

Final Verdict

Great game. It is casual, but you will find yourself hooked right from the get-go. You’ll want to get over that pass. You’ll want to meet the next surly dwarf. You’ll revel in the muted pastels. Enjoy.

Endeavor

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★☆ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
A dwarf copes with the loss of his father. By searching for treasure.

Game: Endeavor | Developer: Zillix

January 30, 2011

Weewar

Filed under: Free, Linux, Macintosh, StrategyHeath @ 05:38

A game.

Weewar

Fact: Hex-tile games are for nerds with neckbeards who live in their mom’s basements and come out every weekend to move thingies around for fun.

Actually, that’s a myth. Weewars is a fun, user-friendly game that you can play with little time commitment during the week. It’s not that bad to look at either.

Gameplay

You move your guys around by clicking on them and then clicking on the place where you want them to move. Then, to confirm, you click them again. Any bad guys you can blast appear in red. I honestly don’t understand how combat works at this point. Combat is, however, animated. And the terrain you are standing on affects this.

You get money by occupying bases. From those bases you also build units. You win when you occupy all of your opponents bases. Cool.

A SKULL!

Technical

There’s a lobby where you can choose your games. Yes, there is a ranking system which is based off of your wins/losses as well as how many games you have played. The thing that is really great about this game is that there are very few things that you can screw up.

Also, the game’s introduction does a pretty great job of explaining everything.

Multiplayer

The multiplayer is very well thought out. You choose your opponent and get to work. There is a 24 hour time limit for moves and when it is your turn you get an e-mail.

There is a chat client in the interface, so it’s pretty easy to communicate/heckle your opponent. I’ve found the community to be pretty chill and literate all told, so you don’t have to worry about deciphering the puberty-induced psychotic ramblings of unloved 12-year-olds.

Final Verdict

Great/casual game. You can gave a good time literally dedicating 3 minutes of your day to it. Spend your day mulling over strategy, only to have it blow up in your face when you log back in.

Weewar

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Multiplayer:★★★★★ 
Hex-strategy game that’s not for nerds.

Game: WeeWar | Developer: EA2D

January 23, 2011

Steambirds: Survival

Filed under: Android, Free, Linux, Macintosh, Strategy, WindowsHeath @ 05:31

Run!

Steambirds: Survival

The original Steambirds is a prime contender for ‘best flash game of 2010′. The creators heard our pleas to make the game bigger. And they did.

Gameplay

The basic functions of the game are the same. You click and drag where you want your plane to go during 1 turn. You can control speed and direction. The same ’special’ weapons are available from the last game. However the similarities end there.

For starters, there are no ‘levels’ like the last time. Instead you start with a plane which has a preset amount of special weapons, and you have to survive for as long as possible, hence the name. Trust me, you want to take out the bad guys as quickly as you can, because the waves aren’t determined by how many are remaining, it’s at a preset schedule.

The planes that come in waves are random, and you start off with 3-4 allies that usually take out the first two planes (this is very useful because you probably wouldn’t stand a chance).

GL!

Technical

One thing that’s cool, if not unbelievable, is that every enemy plane that goes down leaves behind a special weapon. While in the previous version, it was worth it to save your specials for just the right moment, in survival, it is in your interest to you use your specials often.

With each feat that you accomplish you get copper. You then trade in copper to get new planes. At some point you have to start using planes multiple times in order to make enough to upgrade. This gets kind of annoying, but you really start to learn how to use the different planes and their weapons.

Final Verdict

All told, I think this was a pretty great ‘upgrade’ of the new game. Although I wish you were allowed to control multiple allies, and I wish you could get into some serious battles. Also, there’s a multiplayer version for the Android OS, but I haven’t tried that out yet. That would be seriously swell.

Steambirds Survival

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay: ★★★★★ 

Technical: ★★★★★ 

/xrrgroup]
Survive wave after wave of badguy airplanes.

Game: Steambirds: Survival | Developer: Radial Games

January 20, 2011

Vindictus

Filed under: Adventure & RPG, Free, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsHeath @ 05:13

Hey pretty momma

Vindictus

There is a Celtic legend that a mysterious goddess will reveal paradise to a warrior that defeats an enemy of the state. This is one of the most adult games that I have ever played. It is a brutal MMORPG that relies on ingenuity, ruthlessness and teamwork to be a complete and free game.

Gameplay

If you are a fan of side scrolling ‘hack and slash’ video games, you will feel very at home here. Everything is a weapon. See a tree limb? Beat the crap out of your enemy with it. Seriously, you can combo with it. Done with meleeing? You can pick your enemy up and toss them. Or, use them as a shield.

The physics of this game (based off of Valve software’s Source engine) are simply incredible. You can interact with literally anything that you can see. Do not trust rocks or logs.

At this current point in time, you have a limited character set. But, there is a great deal of customization in those sets. Quite honestly, some people get all riled up about their characters. I am not one of those people.

I won’t go too deep into gameplay, because there is a group tutorial. Yes, you have to go through it as a group. Once that’s done, you can detail your character, and it’s off to adventures.

You take longboats (Celtic theme again) to different locals. The decks of the boats are the ‘waiting rooms’ where you can do messaging and stuff like that.

At the end of each battle, you get BP. If you take certain ‘Oathes of Honor’ you can get ever more. For the record, you are battling enemies of your country, NPCs.

Technical

Take THAT Phillip Pullman!

I’ve mentioned it before, but the attention to detail and the immersive quality of the environment are beyond incredible. There are stray dogs in the opening village. You get a sense of the economy of each area that you visit.

The controls are simple, mouse and WASD. You can cast certain spells. Everything around you is game. You can pick up parts of a column and beat someone senseless with it!

There’s a crafting system, which is really what you use the loot for. So, instead of finding the nearest shop after a battle, you go, hmmm, what can I make out of all this crap that I just got from a giant spider?

Multiplayer

There are certain levels that, quite simply, can only be beaten through teamwork. Not because there are so many bad guys, but because there are actions that can only be undertaken with 2 or more people. Off of the top of my head, I remember having to make a net and subdue a polar bear. Only possible with 3 guys.

Final Verdict

Excellent, excellent game. If you are looking for a new MMORPG, this is it. Seriously the immersive environment is second to none and you will not get bored.

Vindictus

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Multiplayer:☆☆☆☆☆ 
Find paradise in this Celtic-themed MMORPG.

Game: Vindictus | Developer: Nexcon

January 14, 2011

Oolite

Filed under: Adventure & RPG, Free, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsHeath @ 09:09

Don't. Crash.

Oolite

If there is no way to win, are you really playing a game? Oolite is a open source space sim game where you fly around being a productive member of society. Or being a pirate. Your choice.

Gameplay

Okay so a little background. This game is an open source version of the 1984 game Elite. So, the graphics are a bit clunky. But don’t let that deter you. This game has an intense level of depth.

The first thing you’re going to need to do is get used to the controls. This is a bit tricky. The up and down arrow keys are inverted. The left right control your roll. Read that again. It’s not strafe. It’s not yaw. It’s roll. W and S control your speed.

Don’t run into anything. If you run into anything, you’ll die. You’ve been warned.

Now you’re going to want to get used to the HUD. It is also in 3D. I’ve found that getting an object into the up/down part of your crosshairs and then pitching your way until it gets into your screen is the way to go. If you’re motion-sick at this point, just take some deep breaths and get some water.

This is a pirate attack. It is a lot more exciting than it looks.

That’s all I’m going to tell you, because it gets complicated from there. You’re going to want to learn how to dock, because that’s how you’ll get missions, buy equipment and get commodities.

Technical

One of the major drawbacks of space exploration games is that they are often clunky or take up a massive amount of space (heh). Well this game sacrifices graphics for complexity. Each step is a new learning curve. First you learn how to dock. Then you learn how to fire lasers. Then missiles. And so on and so forth.

It is a huge game. You can even explore the inside of your ship. If you were a fan of the show ‘Firefly’ then you are definitely going to like this.

I mentioned earlier that the graphics are kind of bad. Well, you can change this. There are tons of 3rd party mods all over the place. Your processor and imagination is the limit.

Final Verdict

This is one that I didn’t think I was going to like. I’m not a fan of space games. However, learning the new control system and traversing the wild black yonder was pretty cool. I wish that the developers would take this even further. But that’s just a pipe dream. A dream about pipes.

Oolite

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Space Adventures! Pew! Pew! Pew!

Game: Oolite | Developer: Open Source, Yo

December 12, 2010

Company of Heroes Online

Filed under: Free, Linux, Macintosh, Strategy, WindowsHeath @ 05:56

Company of Heroes Online

Once More Into the Breach!

I loooooove free stuff. That’s why I write about flash games. I loooove getting awesome games for free, which is why I am practically jumping for joy because of ‘Company of Heroes Online.’ It’s a MMO with the same graphics as the other games. For free.

Gameplay

This is pretty much the same game as the single player games, but you are playing against real live people. You choose between an Axis or Ally team, each of which has its own commander, which you train.

The total gameplay is far beyond the scope of this article, and one of the things that is special about this game is how complex it is. You have to worry about buildings, resources and items. Your men get tired and need to recharge.

You can train different types of commanders each of which has their own ability. Some can call in artillery attacks and stuff like that.

The cool part about this is that you can level up. Yup. A RTS MMO that is based around leveling up and learning new skills and buying new items. Equip these items to your guys to give them abilities.

Get those Nazis!

Technical

This game is a technical masterpiece. Seriously. The original Company of Heroes was released in 2006 and it is widely considered to be one of the best RTS games of all time. Now add the element of a tech tree and multiplayer battles and this game is from another planet.

Although the game is tough to learn, the training missions are in depth. You’ll learn about controlling squads and stuff like that. Seriously, you’ll be able to control armour divisions. ARMOUR DIVISIONS!

The one thing is that you need about 30 gigs of space to install this bad boy. Yeah, this is 2010, but that is still a lot of money.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer is just crazy.  You win when you destroy the other guys’ buildings or reduce their side points to zero. You can play with teams of 4 players, meaning an 8 player mega-battle.

Yes, there is single player mode. BUT, the only way to get better items is to level up by playing multiplayer. Genius.

Final Verdict

Are you kidding me? Remember when you were 12 and you were like, man I want to play that game but it costs too much. Well now you can reach back in time, and show yourself that life is awesome and you can get a 100% free and complete real time strategy game FOR FREE.

Company of Heroes Online

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Multiplayer:★★★★★ 
Re-play WWII in the comfort and safety of your own home.

Game: Company of Heroes | Developer: Relic

December 9, 2010

Bloons Tower Defense 4: Expansion

Filed under: Free, Linux, Macintosh, Puzzle & Casual, WindowsHeath @ 05:09

Sweet Sandy Swirl!

Bloons 4X

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year. A year since we started exchanging money we earned on a banana plantation to buy monkeys who hurl darts at balloons.

Gameplay

There are no gameplay changes to this expansion. Once again you choose a track and a difficulty level and then it starts. You have a selection between all sorts of ‘towers.’ In this game, the towers are monkeys. The gang at NinjaKiwi is all about the monkeys for one reason or another.

What I like about the Bloons Towers Defenses is that it comes in waves when you decide you want them. Tower Defense games are a thinking man’s game, so you need to have time to collect your thoughts and react to the different types of balloon.

That’s right. There are different types of balloons that you have to pop. The general idea is that these are recursive. That means that there are balloons within balloons within balloons. This is menacing, trust me.

For each balloon, you get a dollar. You can also build banana plantations which give you more money on the successful completion of a level.

Can you solve the mystery of the temple?

This is by far the most accessible Tower Defense game out there. The expansion pack includes some pretty cool levels that add different elements to the gameplay. For example, in the second level it looks like all you have to deal with is a series of pipes. However, there are breaks in each of the pipes. And there’s like a 30% chance that a balloon is going to slip through. This makes standard strategies rather difficult.

I wish they had added some more towers, but it’s still the same batch as Bloons 4. I still like to go with the goo blasters and then try to upgrade to the Super Monkey as quickly as possible. But I’m just a simple man with simple pleasures.

Final Verdict

If you were a fan, like I was, of Bloons 4, and you beat it and got really bored, then you should definitely spend some time with this. Your old tricks won’t work. Tim to rethink your strategy.

Bloons Tower Defense 4 Expansion

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Same story. New maps.

Game: Bloons 4 | Developer: Ninja Kiwi

December 5, 2010

Ministry of War

Filed under: Free, Linux, Macintosh, Other, Strategy, WindowsHeath @ 05:27

Sweet Castle

This is one of those browser based MMORPGS that takes place in real time. This one excels in a few key areas, and really brings some good stuff to the table.

Gameplay

You get to choose between 4 civilizations, Chinese, Persians, Romans and Egyptians. Each has its strengths. So choose wisely.

The introduction is great. Probably the best of these on-line browser games actually. Take that for what it’s worth. But seriously, you get money, fame and fortune for doing what Darius says. So do it.

Like most of these games you build houses and buildings and stuff. However, the best comparison that can be made is that this game is like an on-line Age of Empires. There are 5 separate ages that you must progress through, which is accomplished by building certain buildings doing certain things.

You also get Glory (an actual thing) by accomplishing tasks. Like many of these games, you get a souped up character, called a Hero. Protect this dude. You do this by building a barracks and then building guys who hang out with your hero who will kill people for you.

Protect the Village

Technical

Hands down what makes this game top notch is its graphics and its interface. It’s always a treat when a free flash game has awesome graphics. It’s like you’re playing a real video game.

The menus are very intuitive. Usually I have to keep a wiki open in another tab to keep track of what I’m supposed to be doing. Not in this game. No sir. There’s no lag, I haven’t run into anything I would consider a ‘bug.’ I tend to abandon games because I get tired of inputing numbers and not having anything fun to look at.

Multiplayer

As with just about all of these games, mastering the multiplayer is how you stay alive. There are guilds. You guys pool your resources in order to field even bigger and better army.

Spying and plundering is actively encouraged. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Final Verdict

Be careful. You could lose an entire year to this thing. Time is our most precious resource. That and water. Actually, children are our most precious resource. Also, this is a great game.

Ministry of War

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Multiplayer:★★★★★ 
It’s like Age of Empires. On the Internet. 10 years later.

Game: Ministry of War | Developer: Snail Games

December 2, 2010

Boomstick

Filed under: Action & Shooter, Free, Linux, Macintosh, WindowsHeath @ 05:05

Oopsie Doodle!

Boomstick

Yes, dear reader, that is an Armies of Darkness reference. This is a 3PS, with a twist. Yeah, you get to blast aliens, don’t worry.

Gameplay

In most shooters, you are trying not to die. Well, in this one, you are trying not to run out of ammo. As the title implies, you are blasting things with a shotgun. This means that each time you shoot you lose about 10 ammos. When you kill an alien, they drop 10.

The trick is that your blasts carry through each of your prey, so it is very possible to get solid combos. In fact, the only way to get anywhere is to get sweet combos.

Blammo!

The level clears once you have killed a certain # of aliens. So, in the early levels, it is worth it to take your time and plan your shots. Later on, the aliens will actually try to kill you.

Technical

Very well thought out game. You only have to worry about back and forth with your movement keys and then aiming with your mouse. The background is black, so it’s pretty simple to blast the glowing aliens.

This is one of those ‘beauty in simplicity’ games, and is easily one of my favorites. No upgrades. It’s the same thing over and over.

The pacing of this is wonderful too. There isn’t one of those instances where the levels go from easy to really hard almost instantly. The intensity builds slowly and then all of a sudden the aliens will actually kill you. It gets ‘real’.

Final Verdict

I won’t quite say this is a game changer, but the fact that accuracy is the limiting factor makes this one of my favorite games.

Boomstick

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
{GAME COMMENT}

Game: Boomstick | Developer: Abduction Studios

November 29, 2010

MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction

Watch out for that Missile!

MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction

I am not usually a fan of playing ‘remixes’ of old classics. MAD is an exception. In short, you’re about to experience a slick ‘Missile Command’ upgrade with awesome graphics, music and a new upgrade system.

Gameplay

This is Missile Command. I am not going to tell you how to play it. In fact, there is a comprehensive tutorial that lasts all of two steps. That’s the mark of a great game. It is simple to explain.

As you blow up missiles, you get resources. These, naturally, can be spent on upgrades. What sort of upgrades? You ask. Well, see those buildings that surround you? They each have a special talent. Some provide extra firepower. Others provide time slowing capabilities.

On top of that, you can spend resources to upgrade your missile refresh rate or increase your shields. Spend your resources wisely. Things get hairy fast. Like your Mom.

Technical

HUD!

The aesthetics have been drastically improved. First, I left the music on. It is awesome and really adds to the dystopian feel. It is orchestral with weird choral stuff over top of it. Yeah, it gets repeditive, but that is the whole point of this game. You have to get really good at doing the same thing over and over.

The graphics are swell too. The missiles are well rendered, and your buldings are really cool looking. Your HUD is very grungy but clean at the same time. That’s basically what the future is going to be like, basically.

Very clean, very pleasing to the eye. There’s no background in the sky, so all you have to worry about is blasting missiles out of the sky.

Final Verdict

There’s something about Missile Command. Old school games truly tested your skill. How? You got one simple task, and your job was to perform it perfectly. Many have called Missile Command ‘the perfect game’ because you must plan ahead by conserving ammo, but it also relies on your dexterity.

MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction

 ★★★★★ 

Gameplay:★★★★★ 
Technical:★★★★★ 
Missile Command 2.0

Game: Mutually Assured Destruction | Developer: Kongregate

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