Tuesday, October 28, 2014

ScreenCheat Impressions

I grew up loving classic first person shooters. Doom, Quake, and Goldeneye are some of my favorites. It was my pleasure to get a chance to sit down and play ScreenCheat. It's a first person shooter for one to four players, but the twist is that you can't see the enemies on your screen. The way you find other players is by looking at the other players screen. The great part is it has local and online multiplayer. It takes a good eye to manage your character while watching three other player screens, but hey we all did in Goldeneye... right?

First thing you might be asking is how the online works if the other players aren't there. For each player that is in the game it splits the screen into that many squares. I suggest playing the game with at least three to four people. Two player games seem to drag out a bit and a lot of the excitement of the game comes from managing multiple screens at the same time. The online experience was perfect.  I had no issues with lag which is key in a game like this.

Finding a random online game is another thing I suggest you avoid. The magic this game provides is bringing the coach experience you had as a kid back to life. I invited a few other friends to play with me online and that's when the game got interesting. Nothing is better then swinging at my friend Steve with a Candelabra.

The weapons are also what makes this game fun! Rather then just pick up weapons, you choose between a variety of weapons each time you re-spawn. A lot of standard weapons you use are run of the mill items, but the few stand outs are Chefolet Pulse Cannon, and the Hobby Horse. If you really want you can even limit matches to a single weapon.

My favorite game mode so far is Capture the Fun. It's a twist on capture the flag in which you pick up a piñata. The trick is to be the first person to hold the piñata until you reach 80 points. The best part of this game mode is the piñata also acts as a weapon. Nothing makes your weekend like beating your friends into submission with a piñata!

My one issue with the game is the amount of flexibility you have with changing the match settings. I would love to see future updates for the game that would allow people to share their own custom game modes or having a random weapon option for each time you re-spawn. The crazier the options for this game the better! Though this issue doesn't really make the game bad, but it's just something that could be added later to increase the replay value.

In all, ScreenCheat is the game everyone should be picking up if they have friends that come over or play games with online. In fact just go ahead and by the four pack right now and stop listening to your friends giving excuses for not playing this game with you. Online or offline this game brings back the best mechanics of old school first person shooters (cheating!). You should go ahead and purchase the game on Steam, Humble Store, or GoG.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Glitchspace Impressions

I've never had delusions that I could program.  I know enough to know that I am crappy at it.  The part that I understand is that it is all based on logic.  A lot of IF/THEN and TRUE/FALSE statements are involved.  That's where Glitchspace fascinates me.

I have only spent a little over an hour learning what Glitchspace is all about, but I am already in deep.  The game is in early access (alpha) and I am not sure what it will end up being, but what is there right now is intriguing.  The game looks fantastic with sharp, but simple graphics.  It took a page from Mirror's Edge not only in visual style, but also drawing your attention with red objects in an otherwise colorless environment.

It's a relatively slow paced, thinking game.  For you logic wizards and smarty-pants types it will go a bit faster.  Nothing I have encountered in my time is very hard to figure out, but it does involve some thinking.  It has a lot of "that's pretty awesome" moments when you do figure it out and the puzzles could potentially get very complex if the developer wanted.  The basic gameplay loop involves simple platforming in which the plaqyer manipulates various values on objects, via a visual interface, to change how they act or react to your actions.  You also have a "gun" that manipulates objects in predefined ways.  Some combination of this "programming" and shooting probably exists in the game, such as changing what an object does when you shoot it, but in my time with the game I had not encountered that.   


The game does feature Oculus Rift support, but unfortunately I do not have access to an Oculus unit.  I imagine that this would be a very cool use of the tech and my childhood nerd wouldn't stop conjuring up images of the Nintendo Power Glove used in conjunction.  Granted, the Power Glove was super low tech and wouldn't function as I am imagining, but you get the idea.  If, in virtual reality (via Oculus) you could manipulate the puzzles in this game with your actual hand, I would be first in line to buy it all.  The thought gives me shivers.

As it stands, I am not sure what this game will be.  It has my attention.  I will most definitely check back when the game is further along.  This game is interesting and given more time could be something amazing.

You can check it out on Steam Early Access for Windows, Mac, and Linux for $9.99.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lethal League Impressions

Lethal League is a game that I have been meaning to play for the past few weeks. With everything coming together for our Indies Need Booze announcement coming November 4th I thought I would take the time out this week to talk about Lethal League. Just to start Lethal League is a fighting game for one to four players locally or online. The twist is instead of beating each other to death you hit a ball to destroy your enemies.

 Now I love fighting games and what makes this game so great is the fact that it's simple. Literally there are only three buttons to master, jump, hit, and bunt. The fact that I can plug in a game pad and play this game also makes my life a whole lot easier since player with a controller. After a few rounds I got the hang of the controllers which of course are easy to learn but hard to master.

Now for me to really judge how good the game is I can't really judge this game by it's online experience. I had to enlist Lucy my partner in crime to play two player with me. Now we didn't try out free for all since this was literally a co-op experience we wanted out of the game. Let me tell you playing the game like this was nothing but a blast.

Now the game only gets crazier the longer the round gets. Each time you hit the ball it increases in speed. At a certain point it gets so fast that you can't even follow the movements of it unless you have a really good eye for fast moving objects. Literally this led to Lucy and I mashing the hit button until we got lucky enough to hit it back at the opposing team.

Also to try out my luck I also attempted to play the game online as well just for kicks and giggles. For starters you can search for free for all games or one on one games. Though my only gripe is I wish I could play team games online and not just off. Even though I am not the greatest at the game it was a ton of fun to play. Even after losing a lot of matches the game was still a ton of fun! Games didn't drop out for me or experience any horrible lag.

The characters are also charming in their own rights. A Boy with a bat named Raptor, a robot with a skateboard named Twitch, a funny head shaped character named Candy Man, a giant hammer purple haired girl named Sonata, and finally a cyborg crocodile named Latch. Each character has it's on unique abilities which leads to exciting matches. Latch has the most interesting ability where he eats the ball and spits it out on command! The good news is special abilities can't be abused during matches since you have to hit the ball four times in a row in order to even use your special.

Even by myself Lethal league is a blast. It's simple enough to learn but impossible to master. The speed and pace of the game make it a perfect for playing with friends. You can purchase the game right now on Steam or even on the Humble Store. It's a must have purchase for anyone who enjoys fighting or party games!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

'The Mims Beginning' Release Narrated Gameplay Preview

The Mims Beginning is a game I've been closely following for a long while. Despite my aversion to most strategy games, something about the world of Mims captured my attention and maintained interest through regular updates. The Mims is an exciting combination of an art style reminiscent of Dr Seuss and quirky game mechanics, like an odor system that determines the type of enemies you must fend off. 

Developer Squatting Penguin have recently released a gameplay video containing developer commentary, describing design choices and mechanics of the game. Be warned, even though the narration is understandable it does require some concentration. 

According to an email sent by Squatting Penguins, the game will be available on Steam Early Access "very soon." If you're as excited to play Mims Beginning as us, you can talk to the developers in their Steam group, or you could stare at screenshots in awe on the game's website.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kickstart it! Elegy for a Dead World.

I am a big supporter of Kickstarter projects. It's given so many developers the opportunity to go full time and quit their day jobs. I hope that by highlighting all the good projects out there that we can make some dreams come true.

Now to be honest, I do have a bias, since I do know the people over at Dejobaan games. Though with that out way, we should talk about why you should pledge to this game. Originally Elegy for a Dead World started off as a week long project between Dejobaan Games and Popcannibal. What they ended up creating was a game called Elegy for a Dead World, about creating your own unique stories and sharing them with the world.

Though it's not a completely open ended story you are writing. The game is more about intrpreting what you see on the screen. What one person might see as a stone statue, someone might consider to be the ancient race of stone people. Think more mad libs, but with poetic justice added, and some stunning artwork! The game takes places over three worlds, but can enjoyed many times over by creating different story lines each time!

What I am looking forward to with this project are the extremes people will take their interpretation of their surroundings. Sometimes, the greatest ideas in the gaming industry are created by someone experiencing the game, rather then the developer themselves.

Though Dejobaan and Popcanninbal really need your help! Only seven days left to raise a total of $48,000. As you all know it's not about how much you pledge, but the fact that you did to make Elegy for a Dead World a reality!