This Strange Realm Of Mine

This Strange Realm Of Mine

Best described as a first person afterlife game, [i]This Strange Realm Of Mine[/i] feels discomforting. The sound and art, blending video game and poetry. It’s all wonderfully invasive upon the senses, and I suppose that was the artistic intent of the game. Wait, afterlife simulator? What the heck? That’s right. The game begins with you making a character, and then being told you died. How did you die? Not important. What is important is that you find yourself in Limbo. Not the biblical one, or at least not as far as I could tell, but one where your spirit comes as a crossroads. Inside Limbo, you’ll find a guide who leads you through several adventures. Completing each one leads you back to Limbo. Ok, that’s weird. But let’s say I’m interested, now what? Well good question. This is a linear game, that has you performing acts in first person. And while you’ll utilize a gun in a lot of the game there is quite a bit of variety apart from shooting things. And all of it is wrapped in poetry and metaphors. It’s quirky but it lacks any of the ‘high art’ that sometime plagues these games. Often, philosophical indie games tend to focus on the art and less on the game. TSROM feels like a good balance point between the two. Well if it’s a game, tell me about the gamey parts.  The game is made on Unity3d and that’s neither to it’s benefit or detriment. I felt the physics were very “default” but there were enough restrictions on movement I couldn’t initiate common Unity glitches. The graphics...
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...