I’ve had the misfortune to be involved in a few fires in my times, most of them started by me because of reasons, and during all of them I never once considered grabbing a handful of dice and hurling them at the flames to put them out. Not once. And yet here’s Hotshots clearly showing me that true firefighters use dice to combat the spreading flames. Man, firefighters are freaking hardcore, aren’t they?
Yup, you and up to three other folk (though the game lists a 2-player minimum you can easily play solo) take on the roles of firefighters attempting to combat a raging forest fire that is threatening to consume huge swaths of the land. It’s a theme I’ve never seen before, so Fireside Games have to be commended for coming up with something unique. Now just watch as someone in the comments proves me wrong.
Noria is a deceptive game, its lovely artwork which features a massive floating mountain hanging high in the sky producing a myriad of thoughts about what its theme could be, but a wheel-building game of politics wasn’t quite what sprung to mind when I first saw it, I have to admit. But that’s what we’ve got.
So, the game’s big selling point is the sizable, plastic three-tiered wheel on which three cardboard rings sit and can be rotated. Into these rings, you’ll be inserting little cardboard discs that control the various actions you can take throughout the game, with each ring being spun around to the next segment at the end of your turn and thus changing what you’ll be able to do on the next turn.
Having done very well so far with their Cloud line-up the folk over at HyperX have decided to have a stab at creating a wireless headset so that you can happily amble around your house oblivious to the cries of your attention-starved family while listening to music. Good times. Or at least, that was what I initially thought but as it turns out the Cloud Flight, which retails for around £120, isn’t very good for ignoring those people in your life that you feel obligated to be around. It is, however, rather good at gaming.
A small development team with a vision and a huge game four years in the making that began its life on Kickstarter, Kingdom Come: Deliverance has come a long way since it first appeared in the public eye. It’s an RPG set in 1403 in the kingdom of Bohemia and places its emphasis on strong storytelling and realistic mechanics, including hunger and a compelling swordplay system. But for all of its brilliance there are a lot of flaws to fight through, too, so let’s have a chat about this wonderful, beautiful, hugely flawed beast. There’s a lot to get through.
In the dead of night, I’m wading through a deep swamp that’s hindering my movement, feeling far too vulnerable for my own good. To the right of me I can hear the echo of rifle fire as several players duke it out for dominance, but as a solo player I have to be more careful. Ignoring the gunfire and steadily weaving through the myriad of beasts lurking in the darkness I make my way to the final clue which reveals the location of my quarry; a giant arachnid that’s far too realistic for my liking. And that’s when I freeze, the nearby ambient noises having changed and alerted me to the sound of other players who are also hunting the beast. Two of them emerge from the treeline, the probable victors of the gunfight I heard earlier. They’re unbearably close to me, and for me, it’s the tensest moment I’ve felt in a video game in a long, long time. A 2-on-1 fight won’t go well for me, not with these rifles, but at the same time, the temptation to take out the competition is strong. I take aim and…
Man, I’m just not sure how I feel about Battalion 1944 after many, many hours in its virtual battlefields full of madly bouncing soldiers careening through the air while they carefully take aim, a truly stunning recreation of what the Second World War was actually like. Yes, what they teach you in school is simply untrue; the Allies won the war purely through an incredible tactical innovation where their snipers would leap into the air and around corners, gunning down all that opposed them.
Ah, the detective, a classic figure from books and movies alike, the man or woman capable of solving the greatest of mysteries via a series of incredible deductions and, in the case of Benedict Cumberwhatshisnname’s Sherlock Holmes, plentiful insults because everyone else is stupid. Small Detective looks to take the basic premise of something like Cluedo and shoves it into a tiny box. Good things really do come in small packages