As I sat down to right this review I took a moment to gaze lovingly at my PC. It’s a beast I’ve slowly built up over time, adding better and better components so that it can run the latest games on the highest settings. The amount of money I’ve sunk into it is…probably stupid. With all of its processing grunt and graphical horsepower, though, what am I doing with it? Playing pinball. Yup. All this powerful tech, and I’m caught up playing pinball.
On paper, Raid: World War II sounds like a good idea: four players work together to attack German forces while snagging any Nazi gold they come across, their secret work sanctioned by the army who will quietly ignore any missing loot provided the squad does some serious damage along the way. Toss in comedic scenes FMV of Hitler in a rage and the legend that is John Cleese and you have something that shouldn’t fail. Right? Wrong.
Oh, adventure games! As a colossal part of my childhood, their modern resurgence has done my heart good. Suddenly we’re back to the days of witty dialogue, fun puzzles and mad stories complete with modern graphics. The downside of this comeback, though, is that it also shows how little adventure games have really come over the years. Darkestville Castle is a prime example of this, a point and click title that has the witty dialogue, fun puzzles and mad stories complete with modern graphics, but that doesn’t ultimately feel any different from something like Monkey Island released all those years ago.
The Alienware name has always split opinions, with many viewing the company as overpriced while others see them as creating luxury products that are worth the extra money. Regardless of where you stand on the brand I think we can generally agree that they make solid machines, and I’ve gotten to review a few of them. I’m back again, this time with a chunky gaming laptop sporting an equally chunky asking price.
Lobotomy is not a small game by any means, dominating the table its placed upon after its lengthy and somewhat tiring setup process. Nor is it an easy game to enjoy at times. It’s fiddly with a myriad of individually simple rules that as a whole can be difficult to remember and constantly send you flicking through the poorly laid out rulebook. It would be easy to dismiss Lobotomy right there, but I’ve enjoyed fiddly games before. In fact one of the earliest board game reviews I did was on Arkham Horror, an intricate mess of mechanics, rules and dice rolling that takes ages to setup and that loves to make you reach for the rulebook. So I persevered. Was it worth it? Kind of.
Divinity: Original Sin was something of a surprise hit, the RPG managing to once again prove triple A developers wrong by crafting a game on a budget that went on to sell extremely well. It just goes to show that if you don’t try to please everyone, gear your product toward a certain market and be sensible with your budget you can create something amazing that turns a profit. Now Larian are back with a sequel, and man is it all kinds of awesome. Best RPG since The Witcher 3? Best RPG since The Witcher 3.
Catch the Moon does not waste time with its theme; you build a ponderous tower of ladders in order to catch the moon. It’s a simple, lofty goal, a hint of story in an abstract game you can learn in a minute and then giggle about for many happy hours. Grabbing my attention-span challenged niece, age 9, I sat her down and taught her the whole game in just a couple of minutes. Just a few minutes after that she was hooked.