About time for another ACTUAL Impressions post. Again, these are games that are either unfinished (such as games in Steam’s Early Access program) or that I simply did not want to cover for my ACTUAL Review series.
This Is the Police 2
This is easily one of the most cinematic games I have ever played. In fact, during my few hours of “gameplay” I would say the experience is more akin to watching a movie than playing a video game, and not in a good way.
Upon first opening the game, the player is presented with a short tutorial of the game’s tactical mechanics. These felt fine and I was quite excited to jump into the experience only to then be subjected to a 40-minute cutscene sequence that I honestly grew tired of after 10 or so minutes. Perhaps it was because I felt disconnected to the story due to never playing the first game, but even then, a 40-minute cutscene is just way too long for a game like this. Even after I got to the actual gameplay, I still had to sit through a cutscene every in-game day. The game at least provides the option to skip these cutscenes, but more work should have gone into spacing them out or even incorporating them into the gameplay seamlessly, rather than interrupting the player every 15 minutes or so.
Unfortunately, the amount of effort that went into the game’s storyline comes at the cost of some rather average gameplay. Responding to calls grows boring, managing gear and staff is tedious, and the tactical elements are not really that spectacular either. It felt like the game was playing itself for the most part, with only the tactical sections requiring actual strategy to get through. Take the investigative sections for example. The evidence-gathering is limited to clicking on an officer and assigning him/her to gathering evidence. After a couple days of doing so, the player is then able to look at the evidence gathered and try to determine the culprit. It really comes down to just reading through a few pages of evidence and picking the suspect that aligns with this evidence. It was rather disappointing to see just how uninvolved I was throughout the game.
I would not recommend This Is the Police 2 to the average gamer. The story obviously takes center-stage here and puts the gameplay elements on the back burner. If you are a fan of the first game’s storyline and would like to see it continued, then by all means check it out, but otherwise it really is just not worth the time.
At first glance, this game looks like garbage. “Horrible execution of a bad concept”, as my friend described it. However, upon actually playing the game, I cannot help but respect the effort that goes into it.
The game plays just as one would expect given its title. Each player controls a colorful bunny and hops around a large minesweeper board, working together to solve it. Minesweeper on its own is already a decent game, but it becomes much more involved here. Players can dance, kick each other around, play a game of soccer, and even just outright ignore the objective and go exploring. What is surprising though is the fact that the developers are constantly updating the game, with updates coming out almost daily. For a game that is being sold at just $3, I got to say that I respect the effort that the devs are putting into it.
Even so, there are a few technical issues. Players can get stuck in the map, the game does a poor job at capturing the mouse cursor, and the map generation can be buggy at times. However, at the rate the developers are releasing patches, it would not be surprising to see these issues fixed sooner rather than later.
This is by no means a game that will keep one occupied for maybe more than an hour at a time, but it earns my recommendation regardless. It is definitely a crude game, but provided you have some friends to play it with, it can be a fun experience. In fact, I would say the crudeness of the game lends to its enjoyment.
Meeple Station is a space station simulator that is currently in pre-alpha with a Kickstarter coming out in about a week. In its current state, the game is sorely lacking in content, but the mechanics are rather solid.
The core of what one would expect from a space station simulator is all here. This includes mining, building, researching, trading, etc. The player cannot move workers directly, but is able to assign orders that get picked up on automatically by any available worker. For example, clicking on a mass of ore will assign every available miner to go out into space to mine it. Materials gained from mining are then able to be refined into a number of different items to be used when building. The player is also able to gain materials through the game’s trading system, which comes in the form of merchant ships that dock at a specified airlock every minute or so. Although there is not a whole lot to these mechanics, at least they are functional.
In fact, I hardly ran into any technical issues despite the game’s pre-alpha status. A notable issue that I did run into was engineers getting stuck after blocking off their own path. I had to be careful when building objects in tight areas, as once an object is built, that tile can no longer be traversed. This actually got one of my engineers stuck in a corner of the space station and I was unable to free him until I destroyed the transformer that he had just built. A minor issue, but one that definitely needs to be addressed before release.
I would not recommend the game in its current state, but that is largely due to the fact that the content is so limited, so take that recommendation with a grain of salt. Considering that the game is not even available to most, I would definitely hold off until at least the Kickstarter is up, as I imagine the devs will ramp up the amount of content as the Kickstarter progresses. Hopefully there will be a decent amount of stuff to do by the time the game releases.
I was provided review copies of the games featured here. Read more about how I do my game reviews/impressions here.