Redout Review (GameSpew)

517710_20170714234901_1.pngDeveloper: 34BigThings SRL
Publisher: 34BigThings SRL
Played on: PC
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Time Played (Steam): 8.2 hours
Played with: Xbox 360 Controller
Paid: $0 (Key provided for review)

How do I describe Redout?

Then again, perhaps a more accurate question is, “How do I describe Redout without drowning this review in more buzzwords than the average E3 press conference?” The thing is: doing so would require me to pour hours and hours of time and energy into a single paragraph instead of just playing more Redout. Not exactly ideal. With that in mind, allow me to indulge.

Redout is one of the most delightfully high-octane, edge-of-my-seat racing games in recent memory. It’s a thrilling adrenaline rush of an experience that caused more emotional outbursts from me than a House of Cards season finale. It’s a finely-tuned joyride that’s been polished and balanced until it shines in a cornucopia of flashy colours.

What I’m saying is that Redout is really freaking good.

Read the full review here [GameSpew]

Riff Racer Review

madhatter2

Song: Mad Hatter by Melanie Martinez

Developer: FOAM Entertainment
Publisher: FOAM Entertainment
Played on: PC
Release Date: May 12, 2016
Time Played (Steam): 2.1 hours
Paid: $5.89 (Multi-game bundle)

Game developers around the world, a word of advice for you.  If you want me to be instantly interested in your game, do the following:

  1. Make it a music/rhythm game.
  2. Allow me to import my own music into the game.

That’s it.  It’s that easy.  I find that there’s something incredibly satisfying about mashing keys to a tight drumbeat, playful piano, or heavy-hitting bass drop.  Games that effectively synchronize with their music can give even the simplest of actions a visceral thrill.  Add to that the ability to import your own music, and you have an effectively infinite game.  This is the reason that I was (and still am) totally hooked on Audiosurf.  In my opinion, it’s the perfect blend of simplicity of design and exciting gameplay, and I’ve spent many hours playing the game with my music library.  It’s an amazing game for turning the lights low, shutting your brain off, and spending a few minutes or hours jamming to your favourite tunes.  It has very quickly become the standard that I judge many other music/rhythm games by, particularly when they try to use similar gameplay mechanics.  Not to say that Audiosurf was the originator of some or any of those mechanics, but it’s the one that I’ve spent the most time with.

So, enter Riff Racer.  A game that in many ways feels like a spiritual successor to Audiosurf.  It’s got the neon-coated tracks generated from your music library (or music included with the game).  The goal of the game is to steer your vehicle down the track while collecting certain items and avoiding others.  However, whereas Audiosurf was designed around simple block collection and avoidance, Riff Racer’s main mechanic is in the title: racing.  You’re expected to hurtle down the track as quickly as possible, going off jumps, drifting around corners, and hitting boost pads to increase your score.  You can even race against the ghosts of other players and buy new vehicles with the in-game currency you earn. Continue reading