In Yamatai Queen Himiko has tasked you with building the capital of Yamatai, making it the jewel of the archipelago. You’re going to be doing this by creating supply lines of boats carrying various resources, constructing buildings and hiring specialists to help you out. Despite having a mere 8-page rulebook there’s a lot going on in this brightly colored mess, and like so many other games the ultimate goal is simple; be the person with the most prestige points by the end.
When Firaxis brought back the venerable XCOM series from the dead nobody could have predicted how damn good it would be, its turned-based tactical mayhem creating a palpable sense of tension. It was difficult, too, demanding that you contemplate every move or else lose your soldiers forever. XCOM 2 had a rough launch, but it still managed to improve on Enemy Unknown, refining various parts of the core gameplay. Unsurprisingly several companies have attempted to leap onto the bandwagon. Shock Tactics happens to be the latest game trying to capture the magic of yelling at virtual soldiers because they missed a 90% chance to hit. It’s also not that good.
The chances are that at some point you’ve been watching a mindless reality TV show or yet another horrible program about a daft subject and come to the conclusion that if you were in charge of the network you could do so much better than this drivel. Well, The Networks seeks to give you that opportunity. You’ll pick from such shows as Found, Breaking Worse and Agents of S.H.A.M.P.O.O., hire amazing stars like Serial Award Winner, Cult Sci-fi Actor and that Comedian Your Parents Like and air ads for potatoes, yachts and other junk to earn piles of cash. It’s all in the name of getting the viewers and proving to everyone that you could, in fact, do it better than those suit-wearing pillocks.
These days it’s hard to shake the feeling that videogames on Kickstarter are primarily fueled by tapping into people’s nostalgia, playing on their childhood memories and their desires for the good old days when you could really see the pixels. Thimbleweed Park doesn’t so much aim for the nostalgia center of your brain as it does strap a rocket to its butt and proceed to blow straight through it, offering up a point and click experience so retro that it honestly could have come straight from the golden era of the genre. Only it’s constant references and a few little tweaks oust it as something published in 2017.
In Tsuro you’ll be manning the helm of a Red Seal ship, intent on charting the unknown waters in the name of the Emperor who has decreed that from the edges of the seas to the mountain peaks belongs to him and him alone. Yet rumors persist of monsters lurking over the horizon, their huge forms hanging above the waves and swiftly moving under the surface. They also happen to destroy any boat they come close to. They are the daikaiju, and they’re here to make your life miserable.
The Mass Effect franchise is important to me, perhaps even more so than my own nieces. Given the choice between Mass Effect 2 and my nieces I’d be clutching that box to my heart faster than you could call social services. Sure, like most people I was left somewhat aghast at how the third game wrapped up the entire story, and to this day I’ve still only played Mass Effect 3 twice, despite it having numerous great moments leading up to that controversial finish. However, I’ve played Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 about a dozen times each, equalling hundreds of hours spent saving the galaxy and hanging out with a crew of characters that have become ingrained in my mind. A new entry in this beloved series, then, is one hell of an exciting prospect for me and to legions of fans everywhere. It has been five years since Bioware capped the original trilogy and there’s a lot of expectation for this fresh take. Have they screwed it up? A little bit, yup.
There are many joys to be found in life; the pleasure of eating your favorite food, the smell of fresh countryside air, the laughter of friends and the creation of a deadly disease designed to wipe out every person on the face of the planet. That’s where Plague Inc. The Board Games comes in, created by the very same people who developed the videogame. So, how well does the goal of killing every human translate to cardboard?