3D Pool: Billiards & Snooker

3D Pool: Billiards & Snooker

It’s pool, what should I know? The game is pool, in the most basic sense of the word. Sound is there, although I wouldn’t say the balls have any real difference in sound which is a shame because different velocities should sound different. The four game modes are 8 ball, 9 ball, 10 ball and snooker and they’re fine, but I would have liked the ability to customize my game with things like calling my shots or using last pocket. The graphics are as basic as the rest of the game. Shadows are nice but everything else is just sort of there. The music and voice acting are reptetive and minimal. The controls are easy enough to master but are not re-bindable. In terms of variety, there are a few tables (reskins), a few different ball sets (also reskins) and 10 opponents of varying capabilities. Oh and you can play local multiplayer. Sounds like you don’t like it very much It’s not that I don’t like the game. It’s enjoyable, and for the cost you get what you pay for: a basic iteration of pool. The problem is with games like Pool Nation or even Sport Bar VR, I can’t think of a good reason to pick this game up unless it’s just to spend an hour or so playing pool and never touching it again. So what should they have done instead? In my humble opinion, trading cards and achievements at a minimum. That would have made the price tag a little easier to handle. Unlockable balls, tables, cues and foes would have been a great addition. A better audio system would...
Mini Metro

Mini Metro

Mini metro is one of those games, if you haven’t played it you probably own it. Either through bundles or steam sales, the game has a huge audience and on the surface it’s understandable why one might overlook it. Any single screenshot looks plain with wide light swaths cut through by a few colorful lines. But what those things represent is so much more and adds up to something very much worth your time. In Mini Metro, you’ll start with three stations that need to be connected. Each station is represented by a shape, most commonly a square, circle, or triangle but also diamonds and stars. Passengers are darker icons that need to be delivered to other stations, as shown by [b]their[/b] shapes (they use the same shapes as the stations).   You connect your stations by drawing a line between them. The various colors represent a ‘track’, a path the train will follow. So you decide which stations connect and how. If a passenger wants to get to a station that isn’t directly on their line, they will be dropped off at a connecting station and transfer to another line.   The challenge comes when new stations pop up. If you don’t have a line free, you’ll need to attach it to an existing line, which places a greater strain for trains on that track. It’s an additional stop, an additional spot to pick people up from or deliver them to and it means passengers have a longer wait.   Every seven days you get an upgrade, usually in the form of a new train and a choice...
Hack n’ Slash

Hack n’ Slash

There is a lot to like about Hack n’ Slash. The game feels like a great Zelda clone at first, but once you get the ability not just to hack values but the actual code behind entities in the game, it all goes out of control like a flaming wreck. I’m not going to give the game a full review because I don’t think I can but I will list what I liked and what I didn’t like about this game.   First, I loved the presentation. The storybook artwork was delightful (and also felt entirely out of place in the more tech oriented hacking theme) and the music was fantastic, especially the 56k opera. I enjoyed the feel of the game, movement and value hacking felt natural. The game itself is short, which is somewhat understandable given the nature of the game. Most of all I love the heart of the story. Your character, your friend and the foe all felt like new takes on classic tropes.   However, I disliked the fact that mechanically, the game was all over the place. Time travel, hacking values, hacking code, inventory items that had little purpose. If there was a lot hidden in the game, I could forgive all these things as tools you need but after looking at what others had done, it’s all largely unneeded. I’m all for depth in a game but it felt like none of this added to the complexity, it only was more stuff. And the nature of hacking the code behind stuff was horrible, speaking as a coder. Everything should be largely safe...
Sine Mora

Sine Mora

The child of so many arcade games, Sine Mora piqued my interest upon release. I enjoyed it so much I bought copies for friends since it was so cheap. And now, I can finally say I’ve beaten it. If you’re looking for a good side scrolling shoot-em-up game, then look no further than Sine Mora.   Like other games in the genre, you sit on the left, the game auto-scrolls and everything is set in a horizontal perspective. What sets Sine Mora apart is that it still has the challenge of the arcade by giving you very strict time limits on how long you have to accomplish tasks. To add to your timer, you defeat foes and if they hit you (and remember, this is a bullet-hell type shoot-em-up game, so there are LOTS of particles going on at all times) your time goes down.   The story is fine, although I can’t say that I was playing it to find out what happened next. The cast of furries (which seems to be a theme this week) is fine, the voice acting is excellent as the developers made up languages for the game (Correction: they use hungarian. Apologies for that inaccuracy). I’m sure that made localization much easier. The bosses are gigantic and the variety in game types is exactly what you’d expect (story, arcade, time trials, boss battles and so on). Honestly the game is fantastic and requires little introduction. If you like the genre, you’ll certainly enjoy Sine Mora and if you don’t, it won’t change your...
Stories: The Path of Destinies

Stories: The Path of Destinies

Two of my favourite games are Bastion and Way of the Samurai. Bastion is this great game with a narrator describing everything you’re doing all while you run around shooting and dodging. Way of the Samurai is this great hack and slash game, where the story changes based on your decisions in dramatic ways resulting in one of a number of different endings. If the two games got together and had a baby, it would be something like Stories: The Path of Destinies.   Mechanically it’s partially a role playing game. You’ll equip your character and learn skills as you progress through the game. The combat is action based with there being no ‘best’ way to fight but with plenty of options allowing you to choose how you’d prefer to fight. The enemies of the game come in a variety of forms, giving you a very tactical choice in how you progress through combat. Levels are linear, but with many branching paths that won’t be initially available, requiring you to forge new gear before you can open the gateways to those sections. All of this is stretched over the frame of a storyteller, recounting your tale. The narrator does all the voices for all the characters, feeling like the bits of the movie “The Princess Bride” when the grandfather reads for the characters. These are the Bastion traits of the game.   The game is short, much like Way of the Samurai. A single play might only be an hour long, but upon beating a particular path you will start over and make new decisions. Each subsequent play through...