Category Archives: Games

Carcassonne [Mobile Game Review]

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Reviews made simple.

Carcassonne is a tile based board game for two to five playres designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede back in 2000. It won multiple awards including the Spiel des Jahres which is German for Game of the Year. It is named after the medieval fortified town of Carcassonne in southern France, famed for its city walls. The game has spawned many expansions and spin-offs as well as several PC, console and mobile versions. It’s the mobile version, available on the android play store that I’m reviewing today.

If you have never played the original form of the game, I highly recommend it. It’s extremely enjoyable, tactical and most importantly re-playable. Being a tile based game, in which you literally build the world around you piece by piece and turn by turn, means that each game is different. It’s a great.

unnamedIf you have played Carcassonne before then you’ll already know this and will be delighted in hearing that this mobile version keeps all that you love about the game. It’s a faithful adaption that loses none of it’s charm. In fact, this mobile version is quicker, smoother and easier than the board game. It can never quite have the same feeling as sitting around a table with your friends and playing though, however it is a fun version to have available while on the go.

I bought the game for 10p while it was on sale, an absolute bargain! Normally it’s priced around £3.99 though, which depending on your opinion on pricing for mobile games is either too high or a reasonable price. Comparing any price to 10p seems expensive though, so I’ll leave that for you to judge. I will say that it’s cheaper than the physical version and almost as good. If that sways you one way or the other.

Just like the original board game, this game comes with multiple expansions packs available. The basic game comes with an expansion back as ‘standard’, The River. Other expansions include Inns and Cathedrals, The Festival, Crop Circles, Double Base Tile Set, The River 2 and Traders and Builders. Each pack adds more to the game or an extra twist, ideally you would like to play with them all.

Much like with the board game, however these expansion packs are a lot cheaper than the board game variety. Prices vary, roughly between one or two pounds. You can buy all of the packs in a bundle for £4.99 though. If you don’t want to pay the extra, you don’t have to. They aren’t ultimately necessary for the enjoyment of the game. I play, much like on the table top version, just with the basic pack which is perfectly fine for me and my friends.

Verdict: Thumbs Up

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This Is The Police [Game Review]

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Simple, spoiler free reviews.

This Is The Police is a story driven strategy game developed by Weappy Studio. It was released in August 2016 for Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux. The game is set in the fictional city of Freeburg in the late 1980’s. You play as Police Chief Jack Boyd who is being forced into early retirement by the mayor for his final one hundred and eighty days on the force.

this-is-the-police_screenshot3Okay, let’s start with the positives. The basic game play (pictured) is fundamentally fun. The basics of sending out your officers to crime scenes, investigating cases with your detectives. Hiring and firing, allowing staff time off and generally trying to keep them happy while still being successful. Officers political opinions come into play later on, adding another challenge when sending them out to work as a team. Balancing the major and the mafia to keep them both happy so you don’t have your budget cut or end up dead. This is all interesting stuff and while rather simple is again, enjoyable.

Unfortunately there are 180 days to play through and not enough changes to keep it interesting. The middle part of this game is quite sluggish in the middle. The overarching story keeps moving along, but those are mostly cut scenes, and it’s not enough to cover the fact that you are doing the same task over and over.

If you’re successful in keeping the major happy, he’ll keep increasing your police budget and staffing allowances. Meaning you can answer most calls no problem. The game play needed something extra on top to keep it going. Instead it becomes slow and stops being as enjoyable to play quite quickly.

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Reigns [Game Review]

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Reviews made simple.

As you sit on the throne, cursed to live out the role of each of your successors for eternity, you must survive the seemingly never-ending requests of your people while maintaining balance in the kingdom. But choose wisely, because your decisions will affect four aspects of your lands: the church, the people, the army and the treasury. Each decision you make could have long lasting consequences…

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Papers Please [Game Review]

Congratulations! The October labour lottery is complete and your name was pulled. For immediate placement, report to the Ministry of Admission at Grestin Border Checkpoint. A Class-8 dwelling apartment will be provided for you and your family in East Grestin.

Papers, Please is a 2013 video game created by indie developer Lucas Pope. It was developed and published under his pseudonym 3909. Released intentionally for Microsoft Windows and OS X in 2013 a Linux version followed in February 2014 as well as a port for the PlayStation Vita in August 2014. Continue reading

Bridge Constructor [Game Review]

Bridge Constructor is a bridge building (no way!) puzzle game released in 2013 for PC and mobile by Headup Games. I played the PC version available from Steam, this version also includes SlopeMania, a fully sized add-on to the original game, bringing more levels, features, a new setting and much more.

To become an ‘appraised bridge engineer and architect’ in Bridge Constructor you can choose between three main types of materials available for construction: wood, concrete, and cables. The wood is the cheapest material, but it’s also the weakest. Concrete is very powerful and it can’t be damaged, but you can only place it in certain points and are expensive. Cables are very useful as they can be stretched over long distances, but they aren’t very strong. Use the appropriate materials and stay within budget to build the perfect bridge. Stress tests then reveal whether the bridge you build can withstand the daily stress of continual use from cars and trucks.

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Cities: Skylines [Game Review]

Cities: Skylines is an open ended city building simulator released in March 2015 by Colossal Order. It is available on Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux while an XBox One port is also planned. In the game start with a plot of land next to an interchange exit from a nearby motorway. The player proceeds to add roads and residential, industrial, and commercial zones. Providing basic services like power, water, and sewage. As the city grows, the player will unlock new city improvements including schools, fire stations, police stations, health care facilities amongst other things.

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FTL: Faster Than Light [Review]

Released in September 2012 FTL: Faster Than Light is a space ship simulator created by indie developer Subset Games. In the game, the player controls the crew of a spacecraft belonging to the Galactic Federation, it is holding critical information that desperately needs to be delivered to the allied fleet. As the ‘Captain’ you must guide the spacecraft over eight sectors, facing procedurally generated events making every play through slightly different. While fighting against rebels and other hostile forces you can recruit new crew members and upgrade your ship.

It’s a kind of choose your own adventure. The decisions you make will have consequences and they’re not always good. For example, if you decide to go down to a prison planet to help stop a riot. There’s a good chance you might lose a crew member or two. You also get to decide what kind of Captain you are. Will you be a a heroic and selfless captain who will always do the right thing? Or perhaps you’ll be more of a dick rogue who only does what’s best for yourself and your crew, leaving innocent people to die just because helping them is inconvenient. These sorts of decisions don’t have any really long term impact unfortunately, but moral choices are always fun to think about.

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