Rock of Ages 2: Bigger and Boulder

Rock of Ages 2: Bigger and Boulder

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of playing a game called Rock of Ages. I had owned it for a very long time but had never played beyond a few levels because I had found it fun but I wanted to commit to it. When I did complete the game, which was very fun, I was surprised to find that a sequel was being released shortly. Fast forward to the end of August, and it’s finally here! If you’re familiar with the first game and looking for the short review here it is: go play this game. It’s everything the first one is, but better. For those wanting a bit more, read on!   Rock of Ages 2 (and the original) are games where you roll a giant boulder into the door of your opponents castle, trying to break it down. These rocks take time to carve, and so you’ll spend the time between by building structures to protect your door. Things like giant walls, cannons and hot air balloon bears. Yes, bears suspended from balloons are a thing and give a short glimpse into how weird the game can be. All the art assets are using classic works of art, cut into “paper dolls” so they can be animated. The levels are all inspired by various forms of artwork from Dali to Van Gogh and while you roll around classic pieces of music play along side. The entire thing feels like a Monty Python animation and it helps since the game has a very similar sense of humor.   To keep things fresh, the game also has...
Little Inferno

Little Inferno

Little Inferno, from the guys who made “World of Goo”, is another game set in a world dominated by industry. But instead of going up against this indomitable machine, you face a deadlier foe: lethargy. You see in this game, you burn things. In fact, you burn everything. Burning things gives you money, which you use to order new things to burn. Combining different things gives you greater rewards, and that’s the trick: finding the best combination of things to burn. All while this is happening, you’re getting letters from a friend who as a way of finding out more about the world that is beyond the fireplace. That’s where the simple game mechanics give way to excellent storytelling.   The world is on the verge of apocalypse. Ever present snow threatens to freeze everything solid, leaving no survivors. It’s a poignant issue, especially comparing now to when the game was released. The notes you get hint that a long period of time is passing, a theme the game plays heavily upon. The game isn’t long (a casual estimate would be 3ish hours) but after reading all the notes left for me and seeing the end of the game, it feels longer. A difficult separation to describe, but one used to great effect.   Something I don’t see online, and I’ve searched quite a bit after beating the game, is what the game means. The narrative is simple enough to follow, but after beating the game I felt like there was more implied than what was given. Theories that passed through my mind were “am I in purgatory or...
Fatherhood and Gaming

Fatherhood and Gaming

Image from Google Search   Something many look at going forward in life is becoming a parent. It’s not for everyone, but for those who DO want to (or find themselves falling into the lifestyle) many things take a backseat. Mostly hobbies. But as gamers, this isn’t an end to our habits, instead it simply changes them. We begin with these little bundles that don’t require much because they sleep so often but every few hours wake us up. During the times we can’t get back to sleep, a few (centuries) rounds of Civilization fills the gap. Eventually, the little bundles sleep through the night and we find ourselves capable of staying up for spans of time we only really did in our college/high school years. A few hours of Madden, Counterstrike or Total War bridges us from the living room to the bed room.   Eventually growing into toddlers (I’m keenly aware of this one, since that’s where my own daughter is at right now) they gain great amounts of interest in every part of our lives. Sitting them on our laps and allowing them to hold a controller (unplugged of course) and you have their attention for a while. My nephew was actually capable of playing shooters and minecraft after watching his Dad and he was only three. Now he’s turning seven and can’t wait to show me the new games he has when I come over. One day, he’ll even beat all the adults regularly enough to make us all rage quit.   The point is, and this isn’t a long post because it doesn’t need...
Last Inua

Last Inua

I’m a sucker for games that are culturally diverse. I don’t mean high fantasy games with a Tolkien-esqe tapestry of races but rather games that focus on specific times, places and real world cultures. Bioshock (the entire series), Contrast, Papo and Yo as well as everything made by Team ACE. These unique takes on the video game landscape doesn’t give insight into the nature of the people making these games but they have the same otherworldly appeal as the alien landscapes of Morrowind. That’s why I was super excited when I heard about Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) because living in Canada the Inuit are a bit of Canadian representation.   Last Inua is not Never Alone. Seeing the game in an Indiebundle and jumping on it without checking first (I presumed there weren’t many Inuit video games) I’m still pleasantly surprised by this little indie gem. It has competent platforming, excellent visuals and a pretty good story. It has a really great mechanic swapping between characters. Each platforms differently than the other, meaning you have to think about which character you’re currently controlling. While some parts are a little more difficult than they appear, it’s a short beautifully drawn story that is worth your...