Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hive Jump Impressions

Hive Jump is a game that pits one to four players against massive waves of enemies. It's one part exploration, another part platformer, but all action. The game literally throws you into a hive that you must fight your way through cave by cave. The bigger question is can you make your way out of the hive alive?

The cool thing about this game is that it's randomly generated, so every time you play the game the level changes. This makes the game even harder as you scramble to find the next cave in order to survive. As the game progresses more and more enemies appear on screen to the point where firepower alone can not stop the hordes of enemies.

Once you find the entrance to the next cave you can level up your weapons. You do this by collecting items that drop from the enemies you kill. You can also find more of this currency by entering into other rooms and finding chests. Though these rooms require more precise platforming.

At your arsenal you start off with a basic assault rifle and grenade but you can upgrade all of these with points you pick up in game. You can also use your points to purchase new weapons to fight off the horde. The first rifle you get with max upgrades is your best bet for survival. In terms of grenades you should spend your hard earned points on bounce grenades since they don't require any real accuracy other than hitting a target.

My one gripe with the game is the difficulty. Right now the game is built to be played with four players, but while playing by myself I would die constantly in the first two minutes. Though with enough practice I just learned to run as fast as I could. After I made it to the end of the first cave it got easier once I upgraded my weapons. This game is still in very early stage so a lot of this will be changed.

This is a game you should go and pick up right now. Even though it's not finished this team is working hard to create an amazing co-op shooter. Also with future updates they will be adding online co-op as well. I suggest you go straight to their site and pay for the game right now where you can get beta access!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Knight Squad Impressions

Knight Squad is a game of eight knights competing in the most hectic game on Steam to date. Choose from one of nine game modes to compete by yourself or on teams. Right now Knight Squad is a game that is still in early access but still provides lots of fun alone or with friends. Can you handle the sword stabbing madness of Knight Squad?

Single player game modes are Capture The Grail, Gladiator, Last Man Standing, and Juggernaut. Team based game modes are Crystal Rush, Team Death Match, Soccer, Domination, and Capture the Flag. Most of these game modes you are use to but Soccer, Juggernaut, Crystal Rush, and Capture the Grail are the stand out game modes for Knight Squad. Not to say the other game modes aren't fun, but these game modes are what separates Knight Squad from the other party based games.

First suggestion before you even begin to start playing this game is to get a controller. You can play with a keyboard but the movements are so awkward. It's really meant to be played with a controller in your hands. It controls well just move around with the left analog stick and attack with the A button. It's simple to learn, but playing each game mode requires different strategies.

My favorite game mode so far is Crystal Rush. This is a game where teams fight to destroy the opposing teams crystals. You do this by picking up the drill on the map which allows you to attack the opposing teams crystals. First team to destroy the other teams crystals is the winner! This is where tactics come into play. It's important to work as a team so one person can drill while another player protects the driller. You should be careful since it's also your goal to protect your own crystals as well too.

The game also features a good amount of weapons. You start off with a basic sword to stab other players. By picking up weapons you can either change what you have or increase the power of your current weapon. Each weapon can go up to max level after you pick it up three times. For instance the sword increases in length when you pick it up more than once.

There are also power-ups to pick up. These can tip a match in your favor depending on when and how you use them. A shield can take one hit keeping you alive a bit longer then you normally could. Other items like ice can freeze all the other players allowing you to rack up kills until they unfreeze themselves.

My one gripe is with no online multiplayer only local, but that is soon to change. This game is in early access so there is still plenty more content to come like online mulitplayer and more maps! I suggest picking the game up right now on Steam and support an awesome indie developer!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Interstellar Marines Impressions

Interstellar Marines is a game about teamwork. The game pits you and up to four friends against robots in different scenarios. It also features online multiplayer for up to eighteen players as well.  It's another first person shooter with an idea that's already been done, but Interstellar Marines sets itself aside from the rest with design. Everything from your helmet, to gun mechanics, and time of day affects the way a game goes. 

There are four game modes to choose from. In co-op you have Survival, Elimination, while multiplayer has it's own interesting take. Finally there is a single player mode which I don't suggest since this game is very difficult. For every game mode except for Single Player, sticking together as a team is crucial to winning. Being the lone gunner in most matches will most likely get you killed. 

Design is where the game sets itself apart from other first person shooters. In survival mode there is a big emphasis on avoiding conflict from the robotic hoards. To start off you can hear the enemies walking in other rooms and running around the level will only cause enemies to hear you. Guns of course make loud noises so you can avoid this by attaching a silencer to your weapon. Though adding a silencer messes with the damage and aim a little. This is crucial since you don't want to catch the attention of every single robot in the building. 

As a futuristic marine of course you have a helmet that tells you what's going on with the battlefield. It gives you locations of objectives, highlights friendly players, and lets you know how many bullets you have left in your clip. You can take off your helmet in order to see the world without any filter. Without your helmet on you won't be able to see any of the information it tells you. Why would you take off your helmet? Well when it rains on a certain level you can take off your helmet and see a bit further. This isn't necessary since the rain doesn't blind you to much. Also taking to much damage causes you your helmet to malfunction turning off all your indicators.

The final direction the game takes is with lighting. No matter which game mode you play levels change between darkness and light. As the map gets darker it's harder to see your enemies as well as for your enemies to see you. By turning on your flashlight you can see a little bit in front of you. When the light comes back on in the level you better hope you are not in the middle of a map. 

Multiplayer also has an interesting take. Maps are based on controlling points and killing enemies. Once you die you can no longer respawn until one of your team mates captures a point. Though a match can be over once an entire team is killed or all the points are captured. Though each map has a time limit so once the time limit is reached the team with the most points wins the game. 

Survival is the best game mode so far. You and four other friends have to turn on all the power sources on the map. The problem is that robots chase after you at great speeds and try and beat you to death. It's up to your and your team to stick together and turn on all the switches. Once you turn on all the switches make your way to the exit. The tension in this game mode is intense, and avoiding conflict is preferred then going in guns blazing. 

Though here are my few problems with the game as a whole. No matter what you do in Interstellar Marines you earn points that go towards your overall rank. Though the rank really doesn't mean anything. Second problem I had is with the robots field of view during the night in Elimination. Even before I could see where they were on the map I felt like I got picked off from a distance by them, but maybe this is on purpose since they are robots they should have night vision. 

Though with it's few flaws Interstellar Marines is well worth your money. Right now it's free to play so you should totally download it then purchase it since it is 66% off right now! This game is the perfect mix of challenge while offering a new take on realism as a futuristic marine. This game is in early access so they will have plenty more updates to come!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Earthtongue Impressions

Remember the good old days of simulation games. Earthtongue is a game about managing a world without the fear of losing. It's a game that is different for each user and can literally be played over the course of days. Whether you are looking to unlock all the challenges or just mess around with the world Earthtongue is a fun game for people of all ages.

The game simply throws you into a world where you can affect change by using intervention points. These points are used on things such as weather, fungus, and bugs. The main objective of the game is to have as much diversity in bug and plant life while increasing the biomass and nutrient density of the planet. The trick is figuring out which life plants and bugs work together well and keeping them managed properly.

This game is not about controlling the actions on screen but on making slight changes to affect the way the game goes. For instance by using wind you can help spread plant life around the world. If your plants are dying you can use rain to save them. Though every action you take costs a certain amount of intervention points and you only have a limited amount until you reach a certain amount of time.

The game takes place over thousands of years and time flies by. At the top right of the screen you can adjust how fast or how slow time moves on. This is a crucial part of the game when you are trying to get the most out of your planet. By pausing the game it can give you an upper hand so you can move bugs to other parts of the map or figure out your next move. If you want a greater challenge then set the speed of the game on high but good luck keeping up with all the changes!

Earthtongue is a great game! It's a game that is a different experience each time you play it. Whether you are going for a perfect world with tons of life or just casually experimenting the world is an enjoyable experience. I suggest buying the game off of Indie Game Stand right now!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Wrack Impressions

Wrack is a first person shooter that reminds you of the good old days of gaming. No more regenerating health or guiding your character through cut scenes. This is pure old school shooting fun. It's your job to stop an evil mastermind as well as kill tons of deadly robots. Get ready for a shooter that will have you on the edge of your seat and your palms sweaty. 

Wrack has a story and that's a lot more said than most first person shooters. It's just enough story to keep you tied from one level to another. Each level plays like an episode of a comic book. The game also does a good job of making you feel like a comic book hero with colorful backgrounds and wonderfully cell shaded characters. After each level you learn more and more about your mission and the evil villain you must stop. 

Are you really buying a first person shooter for a good story? No you are reading this review to know how the game plays. Lets just say this game is like Doom and Duke Nukem 3D had a baby and they feed it steroids. The goal of the game is to rack up massive amounts of kills in a row to increase your score. By killing more enemies in a row you generate a finishing meter which has four levels. The higher the level the more damage you can do with a final blow but this meter runs out quickly if you don't continue to kills enemies. Also the higher your finishing meter the higher your score streak goes! Though theirs a trade off of course because by trying to kill enemies as fast as possible can lead to careless mistakes like being attacked or falling to your death in lava!

Now of course you all want to know about weaponry and it's fantastic. Each weapon has it's own finishing move, and unique timer before losing your kill streak. The pistol has a large clip of bullets, shoots at a moderate rate, but to increase it's finishing meter requires good amount of accuracy. The sword is massive and does tons of damage at close range but leaves you open to attacks. If you want to watch an amazing finisher use the sword as it's finisher kills enemies on contact. It also flings energy attacks at enemies from a distance.  

Control wise you can play this whole game with a controller but I think if you plan to play this game on Hardcore you really want your mouse and keyboard. There is no run mode but the normal walking speed of this game is pretty fast so getting use to movement speed can take some time. Though to become an expert player you must perfect the art of running and strafing at the same time. This allows you to attack enemies as well as dodge attacks. 

Of course once you finish all the main parts of the game you can also create your own levels, and mods! Even if you aren't creative people have already created great content for you to enjoy. So far my favorite user created level is a recreation of the first level in Wolfenstein 3D. It's pretty amazing that people even have the time to create such amazing things. Above all this content is free!

Of course no game is perfect. A few problems I had were with trying to increase my finishing meter with certain weapons. The Pulsar was a weapon that I always passed over when it came to finishers because it required a room to be full of enemies. The Pulsar needs tons of ammo so by the time I wasted a full clip it wasn't enough enemy killed for a finisher. The stronger the weapon the harder it is to get a finisher. It just felt ridiculously hard to me that I didn't usually bother. My final problem was one enemy whose attack you couldn't see. It's a giant robot who swings his arms at the ground which looks like a ground pound, but theirs no attack animation showing it come towards you. Overtime I realized that the attack can be dodged by jumping to the side.

Verdict is that Wrack is a must own if you need a fix for an awesome arcade shooter. You'll be sweating bullets as you try to master each level, and preform devastating finishing attacks on your enemies. The game runs smoothly and puts you into the role of hero fighting robots at break neck speeds. You can purchase the game right now on Steam.