October 14, 2022

Back Again Gaming

Tags: Games, Video Games

Since the last gaming post 6 months ago, I have cut down a little on game playing, but still played a few…

Radio Commander (5hrs): A tactical wargame where you only have a map and radio to command your Vietnam war soldiers. You find out what is happening via radio reports and issue orders the same way. Adds an element of confusion to what is happening - have I updated the map with the latest positions? Guaranteed that you will make a mistake at least once and called down artillery on your own men. This is a brilliant idea, but just doesn’t feel compelling. Maybe it is too slow? Maybe you are too detached from the action? Worth a try, but I stopped half way.

Jurassic World Evolution (5hrs): Manage escape artist dinosaurs at an tourist park in this pretty city builder. Seems heavily tied into the recent films, which I haven’t seen. Has the nice idea of needing the player to complete missions for various departments - with any ignored departments sabotaging the park in revenge (where is HR when you need them!). Ok game, but way too fiddly for me. You are always in-motion - clicking something, or just repositioning the camera after it has flown off somewhere (again!). I prefer a slower, more thoughtful builder.

Sunless Skies (12hrs): I have a love/hate relationship with this story/trading/roguelike game with some legacy mechanics (so many mechanics for such sparse gameplay!). A sequel to Sunless Skies, it sees you traversing a dangerous map in a steampunk sky world in a flying steam engine. Better than its predecessor, but still problematic as it is so slow! I played for 12 hours and the vast majority of that time was just getting between stops. I got an hour or two of story, another hour of action, but the rest was nothing happening as I travelled. I only kept going because the story and non-travel gameplay is very good - but not good enough. This game did not respect my time and I have better things to do.

Hammerting (3rs): This game feels a little undercooked. As a crafting based colony survival game (a genre I generally do not enjoy), it would need to work hard to gain my favour. Short review - it didn’t. In just a couple of hours it crashed twice and the tutorial didn’t tell me much so I could never really get going when it was working. It also suffered from the common problem with this type of game: it is incredibly fiddly.

The Battle of Polytopia (3hrs): Cute casual 4X game. Played 4 times in 3 hours. Not super deep, but gives a quick hit of gaming goodness. Probably played enough now, but a decent little game.

Vermintide (3hrs): Online cooperative FPS set in the medieval grimdark Warhammer Fantasy setting where you battle hordes of Skaven (rat people). I had decent fun bashing rats over the head with my hammer. However, everything about this game is built for online play with 3 friends, and since it came out in 2015, there are now no other players. Literally the lobby was empty every time I turned it on. Nice game, but so lonely.

Legends of Runeterra (too many hrs, Riot doesn’t tell you): Free-to-play collectable card battler from the makers of League of Legends (Riot Games) and reusing that IP. Has a nice offline single player mode, so no need to fight against real people and all the work of following a meta which that entails. While the game uses many of the modern innovations of computer-bases CCGs, the single player version suffers from some RNG problems. In an online game, if your cards just don’t roll out out, too bad (next time design the deck better). Here (in single-player) you play predesigned decks so when atrocious luck screws you and wastes 10 minutes it is not your fault, but the designers. Otherwise a good game, and the monetization seems particularly gentle, so worth a look.