An Ode to Plague Road (GameSpew)

PlagueRoadTitle.pngDeveloper: Arcade Distillery
Publisher: Arcade Distillery
Played on: PC
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Time Played (Steam): 2.3 hours
Played with: Steam Controller
Paid: $0 (Key provided for review)

Come and sit down; I’ve a tale to tell,
Of a game whose mechanics were boring as hell.

It was quite the looker; the work put in showed,
Yet no joy was present while travelling Plague Road.

The menus seemed like those for mobile devices,
As though the game had an identity crisis.
It seemed to be built to be played on the go,
Where perhaps the repetitiveness wouldn’t show.

Instead, it was ported, so haphazardly,
To Vita, PlayStation 4, and also PC.
I found all too quick did monotony creep,
And before long, the game had me falling asleep.

Read the full article here [GameSpew]

Demon-Slaying Tower Defence ‘Hell Warders’ Proves First Impressions Aren’t Everything (GameSpew)

coverDeveloper: Ares Games
Publisher: Ares Games
Played on: PC
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Time Played (Steam): 3.7 hours
Played with: Mouse & Keyboard
Paid: $0 (Key provided for review)

Hell Warders made an awful first impression.

Upon loading it up, I was quickly greeted with clipping assets, overflowing lists that disappeared off-screen, a non-functioning character creator, and various spelling and grammar errors in pieces of menu and help text. Oh, I also couldn’t play the game; there were no multiplayer games available for me to join, and the “Create Game” function seemed to be broken.

The second attempt didn’t fare much better. After some of the more egregious issues (namely, the character creator problems and the ability to actually start a game) were sorted out, I was greeted with something that felt tiresome and monotonous more than anything. Enemies spawned in from multiple directions, leaving me quickly overwhelmed and resigned to defeat. It appeared it was going to be a bad time all around.

Thankfully, subsequent patches proved this to not be the case.

Read the full article here [GameSpew]

 

Block’hood: The Environmentally-Conscious City Builder (GameSpew)

416210_20170529225518_1.pngDeveloper: Plethora-Project LLC
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Played on: PC
Release Date: May 10, 2017
Time Played (Steam): 5.3 hours
Played with: Mouse & Keyboard
Paid: $0 (Key provided for review)

I found Block’hood to be deeply unsettling.

Now, that’s something of an odd emotion to feel when playing a cheery, colourful city-builder, no? With its intricately detailed cities (known as “‘Hoods”) that can consist of dozens of structures carefully stacked on one another, it seems like a lovingly optimistic view of the future. Catwalks criss-cross between constructs, providing elevated walkways to navigate the vertical landscape. Glasses clink in bars, internet cafes emit bleeps and whirs, and clothing stores sell the trendiest fashions to citizens. It’s a veritable utopia.

Suddenly, things collapse. Businesses fall into disrepair. Apartments cave in and lose all sense of life. Protesters line the streets as black clouds swirl in the sky. The veil is lifted, and the weight of everything you’ve done comes crashing down with the city you worked so hard to build. The clothes in those stores were manufactured in sweatshops around the corner, which in turn received their supplies from pollution-producing cotton fields. The internet cafes distributed electronics that were made with plastic, and therefore, oil. The apartments were constructed on the graves of trees, driving out assorted wildlife in the process.

Read the full article here [GameSpew]