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]

Slayaway Camp Review (Cubed3)

SlayawaySky_1920x1080Developer: Blue Wizard Digital
Publisher: Blue Wizard Digital
Played on: PC
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Time Played (Steam): 3.9 hours
Played with: Mouse & Keyboard
Paid: $0 (Free giveaway)

Video games have explored countless horror film tropes over the years: abandoned hospitals, possessed toys, and ghoulish monsters, just to name a few. Such games have, for the most part, taken themselves completely seriously, sometimes to their detriment. There’s been a drought of games that capture the spirit of schlocky, B-movie slasher films like The Evil Dead and Grindhouse. Slayaway Camp aims to fill this void with an interesting combination: the typically fast-paced thrills of the genre mixed with the methodical pacing of a puzzle game.

Read the full review here [Cubed3]


Jazzpunk Review

250260_20161230193415_1Developer: Necrophone Games
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Played on: PC
Release Date: February 7, 2014
Time Played (Steam): 4.0 hours
Played With: Mouse & Keyboard
Paid: $14.55 (Multi-game bundle)

Absurdist humour is something that can be very difficult to pull off.  If you push things too far, you risk alienating your audience, with the potential exception of the “lol, so random” crowd.  If you don’t go far enough, most, if not all of the jokes will just fall flat, since (as the name implies), their humour comes from how utterly absurd they are.  Add into the mix the complexity inherent in interactive media, and you have the delicate balancing act that is Jazzpunk. Continue reading

The Games I Wish I Had Played in 2016

Well, it’s officially 2017 around the world.  The start of a new year.  Which means that everyone’s looking back on the last year and going, “Well that was a bit toss, wasn’t it?”  That is, except for the people who are taking the opportunity to look back at their fond memories from the year past, namely when it comes to video games.  There were countless fantastic games that got released last year, so many of which I desperately wanted to try out.  Unfortunately, as a university student, there are two things that I severely lack in: money and time.  As a result, it is incredibly common that I have to watch as new releases are hyped, released, and enjoyed by the masses, while waiting patiently for the day that they inevitably go on sale and I actually have the time to sit down with them.  Some of these games have been sitting in my library for months, awaiting their eventual installation.  Others are on my wishlist, hoping to one day be added to my ever-growing backlog.  Whatever the case, these are (in no particular order) the games that I wish I had gotten to in 2016.  You can also consider this to be a “To play in 2017” list, if that’s your thing.  Either way, you’ve probably all already played all of these and think I’m a pleb for not looking at them yet.

Okay.  😦 Continue reading

Volume Review

e3screen2Developer: Bithell Games
Publisher: Bithell Games
Played on: PC
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Time Played (Steam): 7.4 hours
Paid: $17.32 (Multi-game bundle)

The video gaming industry can be a fascinating place full of continuously changing focuses.  Case in point: Volume, a dystopian-themed sneak-‘em-up, comes courtesy of a studio whose last game was a platformer whose emotional story was told through an assortment of colourful rectangles.  I think it’s safe to say that there’s a bit of a shift present; iterative follow-up project, this is not.  However, that’s by no means a bad thing, and Volume serves as an excellent example of how trying new things can yield thoroughly impressive results. Continue reading