Play Die Reload
Double Fine has certainly produced an interesting title here. Headlander is quite different to most of what’s available in the gaming industry currently and retains Double Fine's characteristic quirkiness that they had seemed to have lost in some of their more recent endeavors.
SteamWorld Heist is very thematic; there is a strong western vibe to the entire game. It’s like western meets steampunk meets space travel. I just recently watched an old western movie on television and there were parallels between the two. The characters do not actually speak; there are text boxes that appear whenever a character speaks. Even though no actual words are spoken a "beep" and "boop" sound accompanies the speech boxes which is adorable and kind of endearing. Although all of the characters speak in a very stereotypically western way, it isn’t offensive or overdone at all. The game developers seemed to know how far to take the western theme without it becoming too much.
Brigador is an effort from Stellar Jockey and Gausswerks that offers a retro style, real-time strategy combat experience. You are on the Human colony of Solo Nobre and your purpose is to cause destruction in the wake of the rise of a dictatorship on the colony, and aiding the rebelling faction.
Before I get into this review, I have something of a disclaimer. The scale of this game is far too colossal for me to have managed enough playtime to do a complete appraisal, so this review is based off my initial impressions and will be devoid of any substantial speculation as to what the game ‘might’ hold later down the line. It clearly has more content that I have not yet broached. However, as I have no idea where that content may lead and may not have any idea for maybe 30-100 hours more gameplay, I will not try and fill in the blanks.
A game comes around every now and then that sits you down and gently breaks it to you with a smooth mellow voice that it will be taking up your every waking minute for the next two weeks. At first you disagree and may even fight back with exclamations of needing to do this or that life chore but eventually you succumb just as the game knew you would. The game then gives you a cup of tea and pats your head.
That game for me this month is RimWorld.
“Earth may be dying” - with this opening salvo, you begin your journey in Offworld Trading Company. Mars has become the new frontier, and you must compete to establish your place on this new planet by collecting resources and turning those resources into much needed products like electronics and steel to sell to growing colonies that rely on your goods to thrive. But you aren’t the only one attempting to establish yourself and make a profit. Other companies have different visions of what the future will be, some are ruthless scavengers and some are scientific visionaries, while others aren’t human at all.
Last Horizon is an extremely simple, well executed game from indie developer Pixeljam. The game features a very clear, basic objective. You are a rocket setting off from a dead planet and you must find your way 'home' to a new and living planet. Along the way you must land on other planets to collect resources to terraform your new home and to replenish your supplies of fuel and oxygen.
This nifty little title from Whalebox Studio offers a relatively generic but fun experience for the player. You find your character crashed in a mysterious land and you are tasked with gathering resources and trying to locate your co-pilot, who has landed elsewhere.
These resources lead to the creation of a number of weapons and survival materials and then onto the creation of Goliaths, which are the main combat feature of the game and generally make the player able to traverse the land with greater ease.
Mr. Nibbles Forever is an animated platformer with a hamster protagonist that you have to attempt to keep alive. That is really the best description that can be given for this game.
There is no story; there isn’t even a prologue of some sort at the beginning of the game to give any information about your hamster character. Nor is there any reasoning given for why this hamster is risking life and limb or what his end destination is. While a game does not necessarily require an in depth story to be entertaining, in this case some form of story is needed as an enticement to keep playing.
Misfits Attic's game, Duskers, provides a unique and interesting experience. You are placed in command of a small fleet of salvage drones who make their home in the vast and empty chasm of space. The universe appears derelict and lifeless and you do not know why.
With the initial objective of navigating your spaceship to derelict ships floating in the void and investigating their remains for salvage, fuel and other useful bits and pieces, you set out on your first mission and begin to gather the things you need to survive. The wider aim of the game is to piece together how the universe became the way it is as you travel through the desolate cosmos.
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