Good grief I suck at this game! I can’t count how many times I’ve died or simply been annihilated by a much better player. But I want to get better. I want to keep playing and keep learning, and that’s rare in a multiplayer game. Underneath the chaos of 5v5 objective-based combat there’s a first-person shooter that places skill first, testing your speed, accuracy and spatial awareness. For some reason, LawBreakers is getting overlooked and thus low player counts are common, and that’s a genuine shame because there’s something bloody good to be found here.
Fictorum is the kind of game that’s fun for about an hour. The very first time you hurl a fireball at a house and watch it explode into a dozen chunky pieces brings out the inner child who laughs with glee at such wanton destruction. Once that initial thrill is gone, though, it becomes very clear that Fictorum is in need of a lot of work.
You don’t gently put Scythe down on a table like a baby that must be coddled. Oh no, instead you thump it down with authority, the sizable box dominating the space and demanding that all present pay attention to its beautiful artwork! And then you open the lid revealing decks of cards, wooden pieces, plastic miniatures and a variety of tokens, as well as a substantial board and a bunch of other stuff. It’s a veritable feast of components. Despite its size and somewhat daunting visage, however, Scythe is actually quite easy to learn; every turn you choose one of four quadrants on your player board and perform one, two or none of the actions there. Simple. Well, kind of.
Y’know, reviewing Community Inc. has proved harder than I first imagined. Every time I find a problem or issue or little niggle the developers are already promising to fix it in the next patch, or indeed already have fixed it by the time this review is ready to go, leaving me to once again sigh and edit the damn thing. Of course, this is to the developer’s credit; they’re incredibly active on the Steam forums and have been taking on board all the various bits of feedback. People mentioned, for example, that they didn’t like how farmers wouldn’t collect crops without being manually told to do so and the developers quickly added that to the list of upcoming changes. EDIT: Wait, they’ve actually changed it in an update as I wrote this.
I’m not sure what has sparked this resurgence of point and click adventure games other than the very real nostalgia fad that companies are cashing in on like mad, but as someone who grew up playing the genre I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, even one I found in my bed after a Saturday night bender. Sure, it amuses me that we’ve somehow reverted back to using pixellated graphics and text-only stories despite spending so much time and effort getting away from them, but when it’s as enjoyable as The Darkside Detective it’s kind of hard to care.
My love of sci-fi mingles with my enjoyment of ruining people’s lives through ineffectual planning and general stupidity in Aven Colony, which takes the joys of constructing a city and then throws a thin science fiction theme at it in the vague hopes it’ll stick. Coming from a small team of just five people I wanted to be very clear about my feelings before we even jump in; it’s a good game, and such a small team should be damn proud to have built it from the ground up. They’ve got a bloody good future ahead of them.
Damn but do I love me a good headset! Don’t get me wrong, I adore my speaker system, but there’s something awesome about slipping on a headset and tuning the outside world out, revelling in the sense of isolation that padded ear cups can provide. Not to mention a good pair of cans can help you appreciate one of the most under-appreciated aspects of videogames – the sound design.