Tag Archives: Steam

Kingdoms and Castles (Game Review)

I absolutely love city builders, so when I got the opportunity to play this game I was quite excited to try it out. I went in blind, not knowing anything about the game, and had a good time playing it.

Pros:

Beautiful voxel graphics and good music. Graphics in this title are top-tier, I have no complaints with this style and thought that it fit the genre quite well. The music is good too, nothing fantastic, but it works well for this game.

The advisers. The advisers in the castle are constantly giving you advice on what to do or, in my case, what was going wrong. These advisers are useful if you are just getting into the game, as they give you an idea of what you should be doing. They can be quite annoying, but if something needs to be built, changed, etc. in your kingdom, then they will absolutely let you know. The military adviser even lets you know when a raid is coming, giving you some time to prepare.

The controls. The controls and the camera in general are really nice. It’s easy to see the kingdom at a glance and find out what’s going on. When vikings or a dragon appear, a visual indicator pops up with the option to jump the camera to it, useful when you need to find out where the raid is coming from.

Optimization and flow of gameplay. The game runs really well. Even with a huge city and people running about the game never really faltered. I only ran into issues when it rains, but even then I never dropped below 40 fps. On the topic of gameplay flow, I am very happy with the inclusion of speed controls. I find them to be a necessity in this type of game, and having them already mapped to the number keys made it even better.

Kingdoms and Castles (1)

Cons:

The early game. The early game is brutal. There is so much going on at any given time early on that it is pretty hard to keep up. Constantly having advisers telling me that we need more food, that we need more homes, that the vikings are coming to kill us, and all of that was very overwhelming. While I was busy attending to the needs of my people, I made the mistake of not building enough defenses and ended up having half of my town razed by the vikings. This happened a few times before I was actually ready for viking raids. If you manage to make it through the early game, it does get easier, but until then it’s just a matter of hoping that you don’t get attacked at an inconvenient time.

The late game. Once you’ve managed to make it through the early game, the mid-game is just a clown fiesta of constantly having to rebuild buildings that burned down to vikings and/or dragons. However, once you’re past this phase, the game simply becomes easy. Viking attacks are dealt with quickly and buildings don’t need to be replaced as often. This stark contrast between the early game and late game was surprising. The difficulty definitely needs to be balanced out a bit. There’s never a middleground.

Generals and soldiers. The whole generals and soldiers mechanic sounds nice and all, but they end up being absolutely useless. They have to be manually controlled to move towards the enemy and barely do anything once there. Their sole purpose in my kingdom was to slow down the enemy so my archers and ballista towers could take care of them. I just stopped producing them after a certain point because it simply was a waste of time.

Lack of content. There simply isn’t enough content to keep this game interesting for more than a few hours. I could only see myself playing this in short bursts of maybe three hours at a time, as that is all the time it takes to get a decent kingdom and castle setup. Past that point it’s just mindless building until the map is covered. More buildings, different types of raids, or even more random events would have been nice.

Kingdoms and Castles (3)

Overall I can say I recommend the game, especially if you’re looking for a few hours of city building fun every now and then. It doesn’t take more than a few hours to max out a kingdom’s potential, but those few hours are enjoyable. I can see myself coming back to this in the future to maybe try out a new kingdom layout or challenge myself with a harder difficulty. You can buy Kingdoms and Castles here on Steam.

4- Pretty k

Tabletop Simulator (Game Review)

Tabletop Simulator, the game where I’m able to flip the table in rage when I lose at playing a card game I created.

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The game in which I spent most of my time

Tabletop Simulator is basically a physics simulator specializing in the playing of board and card games. I’ve already played countless games (mostly chess) against my friends, and I can really vouch for the amount of fun had. We all had a blast playing the variety of games provided out of the box and the countless games provided by the Steam Workshop.

The game provides countless different customization options, both visual and mechanical. For instance, I’m able to disable the gravity and play checkers like I would up in space (which was quite entertaining, might I add). The table and background can also be changed. I can even have a custom table, with a custom image.

Yes, this is an in-game tablet that actually works
Yes, this is an in-game tablet that actually works

Each individual game piece can be maneuvered and modified with ease. The size, color, material, etc. The amount of customization given to the player is quite astounding. The actual controls of the game are quite simple. There’s keys that can rotate pieces and flip them (handy when dealing with cards). Decks can be shuffled and dice can be played with a simple shake of the mouse. The controls are very intuitive.

The game does feature Workshop integration, a fantastic feature especially for a game like this. With such integration, we were able to play Eels and Escalators, Uno, Sorry!, 3-man chess, etc. I’d go so far as to say that this feature is the game’s best feature, well, aside from the fact that you can flip the entire table in rage if you were to lose, which is also a key feature.

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This, ladies and gentlemen, is Eels and Escalators

One of the largest features I haven’t explored yet would be the fact that the game provides an “RPG kit”, so you’re able to build and play your own RPGs. There are even some on the workshop, which is quite the amazing feat for what seems to just be a simple game. One could make quite the D&D experience with such a kit.

The most glaring downside to the game would be the fact that if you don’t have friends to play the game with, there really is not a whole lot of fun to be had. Sure, you can play with some Internet stranger, but it’s nowhere near as fun as playing with your buds.

Anyone remember this game? So much fun as a kid!
Anyone remember this game? So much fun as a kid!

Overall, Tabletop Simulator is what I would consider a “must-have” game on Steam. There’s really nothing else like it and the amount of fun that can be had with friends is limitless, especially with the inclusion of Workshop support. Now, back to creating my own card game!

5- Highly k

Sakura Spirit (Game Review)

Sakura Spirit is as close to an eroge you’ll ever get on Steam. The day when H-games are allowed on Steam is not yet upon us, and while this game may not have H-scenes (sorry guys!), it is still a short, enjoyable experience nevertheless.

Emphasis on short. The game doesn’t take that long to beat, and it is very limited in terms of interactivity. But hey, this is a visual novel, after all. Oh and about that interactivity? Yeah, there’s only one choice. Even with just one choice, I still managed to enjoy the game (Sakurano Maeko best girl).

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In regards to the game’s story, I can’t really say much. There’s a very basic story put in place, but most of the game leans heavily towards the fanservice side. Now, that’s not necessarily too bad, but if you’re expecting some sort of KEY-quality story, then this would not be the VN for you.

The art is fantastic, although the excessive glare on the girls’ bodies kept me wondering if they were made of plastic or not. As for music, it’s alright, nothing too spectacular.

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Overall, I’d have to say that Sakura Spirit’s sole selling point is the amount of fanservice included.For a game on Steam, that’s fantastic. There aren’t many like it, if any at all. I hope this leads to more eroge-ish titles in the future. I’m still awaiting the day when I can play the uncensored version of Kanon, or maybe even Shuffle! on Steam. Anyways, be on the lookout for future Sekai Project releases.

3- Moderately k

Astebreed (First Impressions)

Astebreed is a great shmup game and is my first experience with the whole “2.5D” perspective on a game of this genre.

For being an indie title, the game brings a lot to the table in terms of quality. The music and graphics surely do not disappoint, for one (as for the voice acting, I wouldn’t know because I don’t know the difference between good and bad Japanese voice acting). The perspective changing mechanic is fantastic, and probably the biggest pro from me. Oh, and you’re piloting a mech. What more could you want?

Mechs aside, it is a shmup (shoot ’em up) game, so if you’re a fan of the genre, you should know what to expect from a game of the genre. Shmup games don’t really differ much gameplay-wise, but they each have their merits. Astebreed, overall, is a great shmup that pretty much nails everything. Not much to complain about here folks.

Croixleur Sigma (First Impressions)

To sum it up, Croixleur Sigma is basically a moe hack and slash game featuring endless hack and slash action.

From what I’ve played, the game seems incredibly repetitive, only to be played in short bursts, to maintain the fun factor. Everything else, gameplay-wise that is, is rather solid. You’re tasked with beating up all the baddies on screen, in an arena-like setting. I found the “endless” mode to be the most enjoyable, as it pits you against an endless onslaught of enemies. However, in endless mode, I usually ended up running in circles with a huge pack of enemies following close behind, never really getting too far. Oh, and the game’s camera? Probably one of the most adjustable/maneuverable cameras I’ve seen in a game, ever.

Replayability? Sure, the game’s got that, although for a game like this to be played for longer than 20-30 minutes in a single sitting… I’d rather not. Oh, and if you’re not used to hearing Japanese voices over and over, then you better get used to it, this is a Japanese game after all.

Tango Fiesta (First Impressions)

Tango Fiesta is a decent top-down shooter, best played with friends. It’s still in early access and it shows.

At the time of this writing the game is currently on it’s ninth patch. There’s still some issues that need to be smoothed out. For one, it took me quite a bit of time to get the multiplayer working, a solid ten minutes tinkering around before a friend and I could actually play.

The other issue that I noticed was how enemy’s drops can land in walls, some becoming unobtainable, which is rather annoying, but there’s so many drops on screen that it doesn’t even matter at times. Also, the “number of enemies left” count at the top of the screen is inaccurate when in multiplayer. The host’s is accurate, whereas the other connected players are not seeing the right number (I was seeing 4 and he was seeing 38).

Aside from its technical flaws, the game is fairly enjoyable, which should only get better over time (again, early access). It’s certainly not a game that sticks with you, but it’s fun for a day or two.

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 (First Impressions)

Fantastic RTS. Just five minutes in the game was enough for me to determine that. Even if I failed my first mission, I had a blast doing so.

Having never played a Men of War game before, I went into Assault Squad 2 with vague expectations. After a short play session, I scolded myself for never playing a Men of War title before, of which I have plenty in my Steam library. I had a fantastic time with Assault Squad 2, it’s a very well-rounded RTS. Not too complex, but not simple either. The AI actually posed a challenge, unlike some of the strategy games I’ve played as of late. I wasn’t able to try out the multiplayer portion of the game, but I can imagine a lot of fun being had there as well.

Overall, highly recommended RTS, especially for those looking for one set in WWII.