Legend of keepers: Another day at the lair

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legends of keepers is a rouguelite dungeon defender by Goblinz Studio. You play as a boss hired by The Dungeon company tasked with keeping would be adventures away from the treasure at the end of the dungeon. you do this by hiring monsters, setting traps, and casting spells to weaken and eventually defeat those that try to take your treasure.

you start each level going room to room adding obstacles. you start off with four type of rooms. first is monster rooms were you can place up to three monsters to combat the adventurers. then you have trap room were a single trap is placed.  spell rom that do nothing during the prep phase but allow you to use spells that can damage or add status effects to the heroes. finally you have the boss room were you will face off with the hero’s if you didn’t manage to kill or scare them off. at the end of every successful round you are given a choice if three rewards as well as a bit of the games three main resources.

the resources you can get are blood tears and gold. you get blood from killing heroes, tears from scaring them out of your dungeon as well as a sum of gold for finishing the level. these resources are important because they are use to buy and upgrade your defenses. other rewards you can get can be new monsters, artifacts that give you passive buffs, even upgrades to your boss monster.

I love the style of the game. despite being done in pixel art the art is detailed there is an amazing level of detail. libraries are filled with books and debris. water on the floors reflects what ever is above it. chandelier and bodies sway when the heroes or your monsters cast spells. I also love the mix of fantasy with office politics. tutorials and game over screens are presented by a cyclops H.R person. you can occasionally get an event were vampire tax collectors come to collect but can be bribed with blood. this gives the game a fun unique flair that I really enjoy.

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from reflections in water to a frozen ship in the background the detail is beyond cool

the game has a mechanic similar to Darkest Dungeon. were you must on occasion let your minions rest. taking them out of commission while they recover. unlike darkest dungeon however if you keep pushing you minions past the breaking point they don’t die but do get burnt out and are unable to join the fight for far longer then if you had let them rest. despite the consequences not being as dire it still requires a balancing act to make sure your not caught without decent defenses.

now there are a few minor issues that while not deal breaking are worth mentioning. like how when you lose you get kicked to the main menu rather then just being allowed to go straight to a new playthrough. another example is that events will warn you if you don’t have the resources that would be used in the event. however if you have spent all your resources to the point that you wouldn’t be able to do any events you cant just skip those events. you have to activate an event then leave it.

in spite of those minor issues the overall experience is fun with a unique style that you can try on gamejolt here. while it not fully released yet its a fun time and worth a fallow so you can keep up with the games updates.

quick review: knives in

Knives out is an action game by IFTed and pathiratk done as a school project. the idea is simple a knife is spinning on the screen, you hit space to throw a knife, and you must try to hit all the targets on the screen. as the level progress new obstacles are added to keep things fresh. these include tougher targets that require multiple knives to take down to button that you have to hit to open up targets in other parts of the level. this adds a bit of nice variety.

there are a few issues with the game. it does feel like the knives lag behind at times witch is annoying. especially if you are trying to do each level while using as few knives as possible. I also ran into an problem where since targets don’t despawn when they are hit but do fall to the bottom of the screen. this lead to an issue were i would hit a target and they would fall onto or in front of another target. making it impossible to hit. how ever the game does allow you to skip and restart levels. so you can work around these issue.

overall a short but solid game. I’m always surprised and impressed by the fun games that can be made by a couple of people for school projects or game jams . if you want to try knives in it can be found HERE.

Pawnbarian: chess meets deck building

Pawnbarian is a turn based deck building game by j4nw. you play as a barbarian making his way through levels and fighting monsters. you move and fight using a deck of card with chess pieces on them. what type of chess piece it is determines how you can move and who you can attack. you are dealt three at the beginning of each round and each piece works mostly like how they do in normal chess. this is a really interesting design to me. you really have to think about what you are doing or else you be stuck in the middle of several enemies with no way out.

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at the end of each round you get money based on how many turns it took to finish. with this money you can buy more health or upgrade to the cards you have. upgrades can be things like gaining temporary health when you play a card to adding splash damage that hits enemies when ever you move. you are limited in that you can only upgrade four random card each round and as you upgrade them they get more expensive.

all of this information if explained both through the art style and tips that are displayed on the right of the screen as you mouse over things. its actually very cool how you can gather a lot of info just with visual clues. for example as enemies move and get with in range of you squares with red spikes appear on the floor. these squares will damage you if you end your turn if you are standing on them. you can tell how much damage you will receive by hoe many spikes there are. starting with one and increasing until skulls appear for damage that will out right kill you.

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over all Pawnbarian is a solid game with a well done concept and art style. if i had to complain about any thing is that since this is a basically a demo for the steam version it is a bit short. and the difficulty spikes way high in the last two levels. that being said the full game is set to come out sometime in 2020. so if you the concept sound interesting you can play it on new grounds here. and if you enjoy it you can follow the game on steam.

Loadout: A personal take

you know I have been going through a lot of old favorite game recently. mostly for a bit of nostalgia and to relive some good times. a few of them I had forgotten about that I used to play over and over again and have been endless fun. one game however I never got a chance to retry despite really wanting to was loadout. for those who do not know loadout is a free-to-play third person shooter developed by Edge of reality for steam and PS4.

I personally loved this game for many reasons. the first was its commitment to being over the top gratuitous fun. the character a grotesque Caricatures that can withstand cartoonish levels of damage top the point where you end up looking like the aftermath of the Itchy and scratchy show. just looking at the trailer and you’ll see what ridiculous things tend to happen. characters can lose limbs, have holes blow in their chest, have there head reduced to a brain and eyeballs and still keep fighting.

despite the insane violence the game always managed to never take itself to seriously. you can give your character  ridiculous outfits (or no outfit in the case of the male characters) and run around twerking over your latest victim. I cant think of many games that commit to that level of unapologetic excess. after all when you run around in a speedo flipping the bird and blowing people away its hard not to laugh at how absurd everything is. it was kind of a breath of fresh air to know I could join a game and just goof around with no worry that I was gonna be yelled at for not playing liked my life depended on it.

on the mechanical side of the game is it weapon customization. which is yet another thing the developers refused to do halfway. you could make almost anything you can imagine. you wanna fire a rocket machine gun that set your enemies on fire? go ahead. you wanna make a healing sniper rifle? sure thing bud. hell you wanna make a auto shotgun that shoots lighting at the speed of a minigun? knock yourself out. what was really nice about the customization was that you can try everything before you unlocked the parts. this made sure you found a combination you enjoy before you unlock the parts.

on the subject of unlocks and its sad that I have to say this but. THANK YOU LOADOUT FOR LETTING ME JUST BUY WHAT I WANT. it one of those things that I have come to appreciate in recent years. I miss the fact that some games just allowed you get just what you want. no loot boxes, no season pass, no RNG, no bullshit just get what you want and move on. loadout and a few other games I’ve been playing recently do this and it just kind of made me realize how utterly burnt out I am on loot boxes. even games I like that do loot boxes in a reasonably fashion are just frustrating by comparison.

Sadly as much as I wish otherwise the game shut down in may 2018. from what I could find on the matter it was a combination of many factors. Edge of reality closed its door in 2017 due to financial trouble and left the game in the hand of the developers who were not doing much better at the time. combine that with the inability of the team to comply with the UK’s General Data Protection Regulations and the servers had to be finally shut down.

honestly I don’t really know how much more I can say about Loadout. it was an amazingly fun game that I loved and was in many ways the antithesis of a lot of trends in gaming today. going back and watching old videos on the game really showed what a unique experience it was. not only that but the developers really cared about the game and even at the end tried to do what was best for the game and its players. nowhere was this shown more then in this thread were the developer answer question and just talked to member of the community. I hope that some day the dev can make another game with the passion they brought to this game.

if you’ve read this far I want to say thank you for indulging this break from my normal content. I have been wanting to do something like this for a while. a more personal take on a game I love. to be honest I wanted to say more but then id never be finished. so anyway thanks for your time and I hope to have more soon.

Archero: Mobile rouge-like???

archero is a action game by Habby where you play an archer making there way through various rooms, shooting monster and leveling up. first thing you notice about the game is that it uses a simple control scheme. you move with the single joystick and the only way to fire arrows is to stand still. this make each room almost like a puzzle. were can you stop to take shots, should you move to avoid enemies or wait and let them come to you etc. this combined with some random event level generation make every play through a bit different.

as you progress through levels you gain currency that also works as experience and as you gain enough you level up and get to choose a perk. you get a choice of three and can range from buffs to your stats like attack speed and health up to shields and arrows that bounce off the walls or have status effects. since all of these stack and can be obtain multiple times it can lead to some wild combos. however That being said most items are surprisingly well balanced. after all you may be firing out a ton of arrows that  burn, poison, freeze, and ricochet between enemies but when you are trying kill a enemy around a wall and you cant get line of sight on while several others are spraying projectiles every few seconds its a very really possibility that you might get hit with a  stray bullet and fail.

in between runs you have two options to upgrade your archer including items gained randomly through play and a random upgrade system both of which require currency and materials from obtained by playing the levels. As of writing this I haven’t got many items or upgrades but the few I have while small do add up. small boosts to health or damage might not seem like much but when you barely make it out of a room after getting blind sided by a skeleton throwing bombs you’ll be happy you upgraded your armor.

all this being said the are a few issues that I feel should be kept in mind. first off the game is very repetitive. you go in one direction fight the same enemies and while there is variations in lay out of rooms you do get a sense when they will throw stuff at you. even random event that occasionally happen give you the same options with little variation. so this game is much better in small bursts rather then long play session.

the second thing worth mentioning is it has a lot of the usual monetization methods mobile games use. it has an energy system that gives you only five tries before you have to wait. it has a special paid currency (gems) that you can either purchase or hope to get through random chance while playing that can give you benefits like revives and such. all of this and it still has advertisements. now I understand why mobile game dev do this but I also know a lot of people (myself included) don’t care for it much.

the final thing that I feel is worth mentioning is that while the game can be played offline some things cant be accessed if you are not connected to the internet. for example I was in my car waiting to pick some one up and I was playing the game. I had a really good run and almost got to level thirty when I got blindsided by an enemy and died. now I was given the option to spend gems to revive. I had enough and decided to do so. however when I tried to use them I got a message saying there was a connection error. since you only have ten seconds to get a revive I lost not only my chance to use a revive but all the progress I made up to that point. needless to say I was not very happy with that.

all that being said the game is fun in short bursts and is a novel concept and a rough-like feel that i enjoy. if this game sounds like something you would enjoy you can try it free on the google play store

Rising storm 2 Vietnam : PTSD the game

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Rising storm 2 Vietnam is a the latest first person shooter made by tripwire interactive. you play as the various factions in the Vietnam war trying to capture or defend their objective. At the beginning of each round the defending team makes it way to the first point and set up there defense and try to hold the point while the other team advances. Having to fall back to the next point if you fail. Each team has a set amount of times that players can respawn represented by the reinforcement bar on top of the screen. The ultimate goal being to either take/keep the objectives till the time runs out or to kill enough of the enemy team to deplete all their reserves.

One thing that set this game apart from most fps is the ridiculous attention to detail. When you enter a game you pick from two armies Then you can pick from the various classes. These range from an unlimited pool of basic units which have the most options as far as weapons and equipment or you can choose to pick one of the limited special classes which while not having the same variety do have access to special weapons and items not available to any other. for example the united states and Australia both have access to playable aircraft and flamethrowers. while the north and south Vietnamese have RPGs and plant able traps. this asymmetric design forces you to think though how you approach your objective and also make you to work with weapons you may not be used to but are simply what’s available to your chosen faction.

not only that but each weapon act as you would imagine they would. machineguns can be fired from the hip but at a major drop in accuracy and will over heat if you fire for too long. guns require you to consider bullet drop and recoil to be able to hit anything. flamethrowers are powerful weapons that can clear out objectives but are also like painting a giant target on your back for enemy snipers. this detail extends to some of the special abilities that some classes has as well. American and Australian forces need radioman units so that squad leaders can call in artillery support and Vietnamese can only spawn close to objective if a squad leader has built a spawn tunnel. so while I might not be a military or history expert every thing just feels authentic and well put together. you can really tell tripwire went to great lengths to show their homework.

another thing that this game does well is making an intense gameplay experience. it is vary possible to get killed instantly and have no idea where it came from. there is no radar or minimap to show where the enemy is so all you have to go on is hostiles spotted by your teammates and the muzzle flash of the enemies weapons. you also have to be carful of friendly fire since in the chaos of the moment it can be hard to tell whose who. you will be caught in situation were your pined with no way back to your squad and just have to hold out as long as you can and hope for rescue. other times your on you last legs defending the final point and barely scrape a victory by the skin of your teeth. All of this lead to a fun experience and I can honestly say I’ve never felt that much genuine tension in a multiplayer game before.

now all that being said this game is not with out complaints. the games difficulty while fun to me is something that can be vary off putting to those who are used to more arcade style games. this is especially true if you end up getting killed over and over again with no real way to retaliate because a sniper on the hill keeps picking yo off.  this is not help by the controls at all. if your use to things like call of duty or other more arcade style shooters your gonna want to look through the controls. this is because a ton of small thing have there own separate buttons or specific contextual thing that are needed to happen  to activate them. for example…

  • crouching, going prone, and leaning all have there own buttons
  • engaging bayonets, bipods and other weapon specific actions is its own button
  • setting a bipod on cover to shoot requires you to activate the bipod and lay prone or stand next to wall or window.
  • zeroing the distance on sniper scopes is its own button.
  • calling in airstrikes requires a radio man and a squad leader to coordinate together to mark the target and call in the planes
  • that’s not even getting to aircraft which have there own set of controls

that is just a few that come to mind as of writing. now a lot of these things are this way to add to the realistic nature of the game and some people (myself included) love that level of complexity. new players however or players unfamiliar with this type of game might have a tough time figuring it out without help. also while not really the fault of the game one thing that does deserve mention is that your team can be an major factor in your enjoyment of the game. mostly because the game punishes you  for not being coordinated with your squad. also since kills don’t really mater as much in this game it can be vary irritating to lose a game cause your team was to focused on killing instead of capturing the objective.

finally I personally have one complaint with the game and it is that despite having huge maps the game restricts how much you can play in especially as the match progresses and you get to the final few objectives. I believe this is to prevent people from getting lost or maybe to prevent people getting sniped from spawn but it just feels lame to slowly crawl you way around map, stealthily get past the enemy, find a great spot to set up a machine gun and then learn its just out of the playable area. in the end though that’s how the devs felt it should work and its a minor nit pick in for me.

All that being said overall I do love Rising storm 2 Vietnam. it is a vary niche title and it takes a lot of time to get good but if your into that kind of experience then I highly recommend it. now at $24.99 it is the most expensive game I’ve reviewed so far but if anything I have said sounds fun to you I recommend at least getting it on sale and giving it a try.

warframe: ninjas in space

warframewarframe is a third person shooter/mmo where you play as the Tenno a race of warriors who pilot biomechanical suits called warframes as they fight the grineer a fascist race of grotesque cloned beings trying to take over the universe. the game starts with your tenno waking up from cryosleep and then being confronted by the grinner headed by Captain Vor. Surrounded and outmatch your helpless as he places a device on your leg later revealed to be a device that would give vor complete control of you. the next few missions are you trying to remove the device all while learning the mechanics of the game. eventualy you remove the device and the game opens up and allows you to explore and begin exploring the solar system.

missions can range from  assassination, to espionage  with many different ways to go about them. whether you want to go stealth or gun blazing they’re all equally viable options.  there is also incredible level of customization which includes…..

  • the warframes themselves each with their own skills strengths and weaknesses. (with a total of 28 options in total to pick)
  • a massive amount of weapons ranging from bows, throwing knives and melee  to machine guns and grenade launchers.
  • mods collected in missions can be added to any of the above to further customize their stats.
  • mods can then be improved by destroying other unwanted mods to level up the one you choose effectively doubling its power in some cases

once everything is to your liking you can go to a mission. just go to the navigation menu pick any planet you have unlocked and choose which mission want and going from there. The combat is fast paced and fluid. you can wait to take out enemies from afar or run in with a sword and chop up enemies. all of which can be done seamlessly  and are incredibly satisfying. as well as going on missions yourself you can also go with a group which does help if you get stuck on a mission.

as fun as the game play is in between missions there is a lot of grinding. whether you’re trying to build a weapon or build a new warframe if you don’t wish to pay money (which from what i’ve seen in several videos on the subject is not worth it) there is a long process to obtain anything the steps of which are…

  • use the in game currency to get a blueprint for the item you want
  • play missions on a area that has the potential to give you the parts you need for the item (and there are item you can only get in some areas)
  • then go to the foundry and select the item then wait for it to build (which can be twelve or more hours but can be sped up )

however some of the grind is lessened by the games trade system and if you enjoy the gameplay there is more than enough content to keep you going while you wait.

overall there is a ton of fun gameplay to be enjoyed if you don’t mind a bit of a grind to get the things you need. I definitely recommend you give it a shot if you want a new fast paced shooter to play.