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Sparklepop

I'll sparkle your pop.

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Joined 03/24/2013
Wisp 414

9 Posts

"A Dystopian Document Thriller."

The above words are used to describe the game Papers, Please by Lucas Pope. This game is currently in beta mode and I cannot wait for the full version release.

In Papers, Please, you have "won" the labor lottery and now have to work as border control for the fictional Communist country of Arstotzka. It is your job to allow people entry into the country for meager wages to support your family of 5.

With ever changing immigration laws and your pay being based on each person seen, you have to try to get through as many people as possible without making any mistakes. Each mistake made (after an inital "learning" period) docks your pay and that's not good when your wife is dying from illness and cold (general consensus seems to be to let the mother-in-law die).

While Papers, Please isn't the hardest of games, it certainly does become a challenge to keep processing people quickly while keeping mistakes to a minimum. At the end of the beta, there were over half a dozen different things to check and with each case being different, it can be super easy to let people through that you shouldn't. On at least one occasion, I let through a man when their passport clearly said that they should be a woman.

The full version of the game is said to have 30+ days, taking on a Don't Starve type gameplay where the goal is to see how many days you and your family can survive.

The graphics are bleak and the soundtrack is catchy but repetitive, letting the gameplay be the main focus of Papers, Please.


When this game first popped up on Steam Greenlight, I had my doubts about it. But after completing the beta, I found myself wishing that it wasn't so short!

With a rumored price tag of $10 USD and a release date of Summer 2013, this is a game I can't wait to own.

Related Links:

Beta: http://dukope.com/
Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=138290904&searchtext=Papers%2C+Please

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Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals was a pretty decent game. It is a surreal Sci-fi point and click adventure puzzle game.

Taking me around three and a half hours to complete, it is definitely a game that can be completed in one sitting and gave me something fun to do while my power was out.

Even from the main menu, the graphics are absolutely beautiful. The opening scene is that of Nikopol's apartment and I was impressed by the amount of detail from cracked plaster to the artist's paintings. It gives you the impression that Nikopol knows what it means to be a starving artist.

When starting the game, you get a dynamic cursor that allows you to interact with the environment around you, picking up some objects while simply reading others or getting a back story. You have to be very through and at times, I felt like I was combing a beach, having to run my cursor back and forth across every surface if I was missing something.

You get right into the action of the puzzles, although sometimes the puzzles felt a bit out of place, like the puzzle was there just to be there and those had a rather pointless feel to it. But other puzzles were strong in the storyline and there were quite a few puzzles where you really have to sit and thing about what you're doing. While some puzzles were incredibly frustrating, it's a small triumph to beat them.

There were several timed "missions" in the game, and usually you don't know it's timed until you die. Expect to die a few times until you get the hang of what you're supposed to be doing. There are no directional arrows and very few hints and until you get every step right, you'll become familiar with the fade to red death screen.

The game is definitely immersive, with good voice acting (mostly) and music that sometimes adds to the suspense of the game.

The few things I found lacking for the game wasn't enough to make a poor game, for me.

There were times I felt like I was supposed to know the story or that I was missing out on something. After looking up the game, I found out that the game is even better if you play it in conjunction with reading the graphic novel Cave of the Immortals by Enik Bilal (on which the game is based).

The save function was also a bit hard to find (hint, main menu and far to the right) and I would have rather enjoyed a quick save of some sort.

All in all, not a bad game at all. If you enjoy tricky puzzle games with a good story, this is definitely a game to try.

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Evoland (Shiro Games) is currently in my list of games that I must get everyone to play. Especially if you are one of the 20 to 30 something year olds that grew up with gaming.

Reminding me somewhat of DLC Quest, Evoland is a game that builds up from just the basics. You start out in a world that reminds me of an old Gameboy, unlocking chests to upgrade everything around you. The first thing you unlock is directional movement and it continues from there. In Evoland, you unlock just about everything, from game scrolling to color and sound (eventually HD 3D graphics and 16-bit music) and in doing so it pays homage to quite a few different games, including The Legend of Zelda , Final Fantasy and Diablo. If you played any of these games, you're sure to catch some of the references.

The story line is simple and sweet, echoing games where you are the one hero that can save the world. You do so with 3 weapons (a sword, bombs, and eventually a bow), all of which aren't always available. As you explore the world, you'll come across several puzzles which reward you wish chests. The chests include game upgrades, stars, or cards, all of which you can collect for special achievements. Keep in mind, this game isn't always easy. And you should expect to die (especially until you unlock save points) and at times, you'll get overwhelmed. The end boss fight can take several times to master but the mechanics are simple enough that you'll learn them within a few attempts.

The game play was surprisingly smooth, feeling like I was literally back in one of the old console games with stop/hit motions. The controls were stupidly simple and easy to learn, in a way that you could focus completely on the game play and beautiful graphics, rather than worrying about what keys to press and when.

The game is a little on the short side and I would have loved to see a longer more drawn out story. It only took me about 5 hours from start to finish, including having to backtrack once because I got lost (you also have to unlock your minimap!)

If you don't enjoy turn based RPGs, then there are several points where you will get frustrated with this game. There are quite a few zones that have "Surprise!" turn style combat. I personally, don't like that sort of game play and found myself running away more often than not.

I wouldn't recommend this game if you don't have any gaming roots that link back to the aforementioned games or 80s and 90s gaming in general, but if you have played these games, the nostalgia is great and this is definitely worth the play through. But keep in mind, this game isn't overly long. It took me about 5 hours from start to finish, so if the price to game time ratio is a deal breaker, wait for it to go on sale, but this is a game you have to try.

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In the days of everything having issues with just about everything having some sort of DRM, the Devs of Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED) have announced that they will not be going the DRM route with their up and coming title.

They have stated that, "We are trying to get rid of DRM. If someone wants to pirate a game, eventually he will.”

I don't really have a problem with DRM, since I purchase and play most of my PC titles through Steam. I do however, have a problem with DRM becomes a hindered by it and lessens my gaming experience. (Most notably, EA with requiring Origin, as my computer seems to hate it).

Full (very short) article can be found here: http://uk.gamespot.com/news/witcher-3-drm-free-6406393

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I was actually really excited to get The Journey Down (SkyGobblin) because I really love both Indie games and point and click adventures.

Rarely will you hear me complain about a game, but this is one that I just couldn't get in to.

In The Journey Down, you're Jamaican mon (see what I did there?), that runs a fuel and charter company with your brother. Times have been hard so when a lady comes in looking for a certain book, you are sure to find some books to sell her and eventually sell her a flight out of dodge. It seems like they were trying to go with a mystery adventure here, but if they were, it was severely lacking in some places.

As with just about any point and click puzzle game, you encounter a variety of obstacles, from having to find rungs for a ladder to fixing a wench so you can pull up the anchor on your airplane. The puzzles are simple but amusing and sometimes you have to think outside the box to get past a particular part.

I'd have to say that the worst part was the dialog that takes up the majority of the game. It wasn't so much that the scripting was bad, as it felt like the accents of some of the characters were really forced, thus making it hard to listen to. The voice of the sophisticated sailor was the worst, as he honestly sounded as if he was reading instead of speaking. And with this being a story based game, I wish the developers would have thought this through a little more.

There were quite a few times were the game made me smirk a little and at some points, even chuckle. There were a few parts where the main character says something that is so off the wall ridiculous that you have to laugh.

I'd say the main redeeming quality is the graphics. They are done beautifully and are very colorful, so it's fairly easy on the eyes.

The developers are currently working on The Journey Down: Chapter 2, While I'm unsure as if I will get this one, they have really high hopes for this game. If you want to give it a whirl, it can be found fairly cheap on Steam and they offer up a free version at http://www.skygoblin.com/the-journey-down/ -- And I would definitely suggest trying out the free version before purchasing the full.

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This is one of my favorite games ever and if you haven't played it yet, read no further, get it, and give it a play through.

Bastion (Supergiant Games) can be played on just about everything, from Xbox/PC to Google Chrome and I wish more people have played this game. There are so many things to say about it, where do I even start? From the beginning, I suppose.

Upon starting the game, you wake up in your bed as "The Kid" in the aftermath of the Calamity that has ripped your world apart. And it's up to you to create a world where you and the people you meet along the way can start a new life.

The entire play-through is narrated by a man named Rucks who will help to guide you. It may seem like having your every action narrated would be more of a hindrance than help, but it is done so in a way that adds so much to feeling of Bastion (and it doesn't help that the voice over actor has a voice like lemonade on a hot summer's day, lol). The game tells such a beautiful story, full of hope and perseverance. I probably would have played this game even if it didn't include such awesome everything else. ("It's frightening to think how much the human voice has done to distance Bastion from the crowd." - Edge [9/10])

One of the biggest points for this game, at least for me, is how Supergiant Games knew that a well placed song or melody can add volumes of depth and emotion to a game or a cut scene. The music selected for Bastion is spot on, managing to evoke a range of emotions and serve in pulling you deeper and deeper into the world of Caelondia (the city in which the game takes place). If you can get your hands on a copy of the game that includes the soundtrack, I highly recommend it (it really is worth the few extra bucks).

Combined with all this are absolutely beautiful graphics, detailed and very colorful. Had Bastion not been done in it's cartoon-y style, being so colorful would have been an eyesore. But the way they managed to pull it off, every "zone" is something out of a fairytale,

With 2 different difficulties to play on with an arsenal full of weapons, you can really play this RPG in a way that best suits you (don't forget the Proving Grounds to try out each of your weapons and hone your skill!).

Give it a try and you won't believe that this game only took 2 years to complete with only 7 people working on it (yes, 7, that's not a typo)! I already can't wait for the new title from Supergiant Games, Transistor, set to release in 2014.

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This is yet another one of my favorite unsung hero of a game.

Beat Hazard (Cold Beam Games) is an awesome experience powered by your music. After a quick setup of importing all of your sound files (it's super easy to do, just point Beat Hazard to the appropriate directories), you are ready to delve into a world that reminds me of Asteroid on LSD.

You play as a little fighter jet running your way though a psychedelic colored space, pew pewing at everything from giant balls of space rock to space worms to other little fighter jets. But the awesome thing that makes this game come alive is the fact that it is powered by your music. The waves of enemies and the how they move is all up to the particular song that you've got playing at that moment. As you zip around collecting boosters (including bombs, a giant death ray, and a reflective shield), avoiding debris and bullets, and shooting things from the sky, you rack up points. The more points you get, the more specialties you can unlock (everything from extra bombs to pumping up the volume).

With 4 different modes to chose from including online play (I loooove to rack up more points than my friends), there are 47 different achievements for you to try to unlock.

And besides, who doesn't like pwning spaceships to rock music or games that have a photosensitive seizure warning on the opening screen?!

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