Leo’s Fortune from Tilting Point is a critically acclaimed platform adventure game making its way from mobile to Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC in 1080p and follows the story of Leo who is hunting down the thief that stole his gold.
In this remastered version it has 24 levels across 5 chapters – 4 levels per chapter plus an unlockable bonus level which you need to collect some shiny gold gears for and a hardcore difficulty mode where you get 1 life for the entire game, with the aim to complete all the levels without dying once. As each level is only a few minutes long this isn’t perhaps the challenge it might seem like but it will still take some mastering to manage it.
ZombiU as it was known in 2012 is a first-person survival horror game, a WiiU exclusive launch title from Ubisoft Montpellier that made extensive use of the gamepad for inventory management and scanning purposes as well as a multiplayer mode, the latter of which was cut for this renamed and retooled version “Zombi”.
So what has changed? As I said the Game Pad integration is gone instead pressing back on the controller makes the character kneel and open his back pack up so you can see if you’re being (or about to be) attacked by a zombie, the map is now displayed on the bottom right hand corner of the screen, holding left bumper brings up the prepper pad which scans environments, field of view increased, general movement and control improvements and finally two new mêlée weapons, a shovel which has a longer reach and a nail bat, both of which also do more damage than the standard cricket bat.
Quest of Dungeons by Upfall Studios is turn-based rogue like dungeon crawler in which a dark lord has stolen the light and your job is to defeat him choosing from 5 characters with different classes and abilities, releasing on Xbox One and previously launched on PC, iOS and Android.
It is an addictive and very fun game which requires some tactical movement and decision-making is perfect for long or short sessions. It’s really easy to get into and lose time on, I found myself getting attached to my character because of the permadeath and being one wrong turn away from starting again.
Spanish developer A Crowd of Monsters releases their second Xbox One title (also available on PC) following the release of Funk of Titans back in January and the two couldn’t be anymore different. Moving away from the bright light-hearted tone of Funk of Titans is the complete polar opposite Blues and Bullets, an episodic noir fiction style investigation game about a retired police officer who runs a diner being dragged out of retirement to investigate the case of a missing child.
For this review as its episodic I’ll give an overview of the gameplay mechanics based on the first episode which I doubt will change much then talk about each specific episode as they release, without spoilers! When a new episode releases I’ll update this post.
The first thing you’ll notice is the distinctive look which is based on classic American comics and noir fiction and it looks great with splashes of red and other colours too. It’s an impressively styled game that I think was a very good choice and represents this dark and corrupt city of Santa Esperanza you’re getting into very well. When I call it a dark and corrupt city [no spoilers], in Episode 1 this becomes clear quite quickly with what to expect from the game going forwards. (more…)
Screamride (Xbox One)
Developed by Frontier developments who made Xbox One launch title Zoo Tycoon, Screamride is a fun game about rollercoasters, riding them, building them and destroying them with impressive physics and destruction mechanics I had a lot of fun with.
The campaign has 3 modes to it: screamrider, destruction and builder with different goals on each level with 6 “series” each of which have multiple levels within them for each gameplay type. I feel like it suffered a bit between being a premium digital title and low-cost retail game but whatever it was it’s certainly fun. (more…)
Submerged is a third-person combat-free exploration game set in a mysterious open world flooded city, made by Australian studio Uppercut Games, whose earlier work included the Bioshock franchise for 2k and the Epoch franchise on mobile. You control a girl called Miku, who has brought her injured brother to the city with the hope of patching him up and leaving for pastures new.
You arrive in a small fishing boat which you explore the city by sailing around in, collecting rudder upgrades, hidden objects, landmarks, wildlife and for the story progression, supply drops which are around hotel roofs, collecting these will help you get your brother back to full health. (more…)
Made by developer “The Astronauts” formerly of People Can Fly (Bulletstorm), The Vanishing of Ethan Carter prides itself on no hand holding, tutorials or action segments instead focusing on first-person exploration with a horror vibe, super natural elements and puzzle solving on occasion.
The protagonist is detective Paul Prospero who has come to Red Creek Valley after being summoned by a kid called Ethan Carter to investigate the strange going ons in the area. Paul has super natural abilities, as he finds clues and evidence he is able to visualise what happened in the form of flashbacks.
These flashbacks are triggered by finding certain events, very early on you find a train carriage, a persons legs and soon after a body by investing the carriage you find an item is missing and a vision appears that gives you an idea of where the item is. Once you find and return the item it to where it should be and moved the train, going over to the dead body and interacting with it will spawn some memories which you have to organise in the correct chronological order, once you’ve done that the scene will play and show you what happened.
Alongside the exploration this puzzle solving is a core part of the game that’s fun and interesting, it promotes exploring and once you get going in the game and know what you’re doing it flowed well between sections. (more…)
The Fall is a 2D sci-fi puzzle-solving action game set on what appears to be an abandoned space station of some sort, it looks like The Swapper which came to Xbox One recently although The Fall balances up the “puzzles” with more action scenes, giving you control of a weapon and its more about exploring the environments and connecting the dots between the different moments using your items to progress and not being a heavy puzzle focused title.
You play as ARID, an artificial intelligence which has been activated by your crash landing on this unknown place somewhere in space. The landing has left your suits functions impaired and you must get to a medical bay to help the injured human inside your suit.
From Riptide GP2 developer Vector Unit comes Beach Buggy Racing a free-to-play mobile game brought to consoles as a premium product, stripping out all the free-to-play aspects, rebalancing the game, adding more content and other features such as split-screen multiplayer for $10 on Xbox One and Playstation 4.
My only concerns were how its economy would transition to console and I’m very pleased to report that Vector Unit have done a fine job on that aspect, the economy is fair with players needing to complete levels to earn money and upgrade their buggies, you can’t really see its mobile roots at all, that is how well its been handled [I should note here there are no micro transactions here at all]. Racing, namely winning races earns decent payouts over a large career mode consisting of 9 events across different HP engines which requires you to upgrade your vehicles to keep progressing has no excessive grinding or anything else to get the best out of it. (more…)
The Swapper by Finnish developer Facepalm Games is an atmospheric puzzle game set deep in space, originally released in May 2013 on Steam, in August 2014 on Playstation 4, Playstation 3 and PSVita and now in June 2015 it finally comes to Xbox One!
As you land on a seemingly abandoned space station you soon find a mysterious device called “The Swapper” which allows the user to create clones of themselves (up to 4) and swap themselves between these clones and by using both of these different types of abilities you can fully explore the station. Game progress comes in the form of orbs, you get to certain doors and it will tell you how many orbs you need to collect to pass through.
Sparkle Unleashed by Finnish developer 10tons brings the classic match 3 orb game as seen in other titles such as Zuma and Luxor to Xbox One and Playstation 4 with a 108 level campaign mode, multiple difficulties and a survival mode too.
The campaign as I mentioned has 108 levels and the difficulty increases as you go through with the first bunch containing just regular orbs and as you progress it adds up to two layers of chains to some orbs, more colours (black/purple) and also the rock orbs which require breaking other orbs around them to destroy.
As well as the differences in orbs the levels also scale up in difficulty by increasing the speed of the orbs as they go around the track, adding in a second track which means you keep an eye on both and more twisting levels which are more difficult to fire at. There is some repetition in the levels but I thought the many ways in which the gameplay was mixed up meant that levels were rarely same even if the background itself was so its not a problem. (more…)
Ultratron by Puppy Games is a retro-futuristic inspired robot blasting twin-stick shooter with collecting money and power ups to bolster your humanoid battle droid then take him into the arena and shoot your way to higher scores. It takes after such games as Robotron 2084 and is a really fun game which is easy to get into.
It uses the standard twin-stick set-up with right thumbstick for shoot and left thumbstick for moving the robot around, if you have any smart bombs blow them up with the right trigger and right bumper is a speed boost if you’ve bought the ability. When you complete a level your multiplier increases to a maximum of 5 which is lost if you get hit, the multiplier boosts your score and the cash you can pick up, different enemies drop different amounts. There are also various power ups to collect which you get from shooting a spider droid which occasionally darts across the screen. (more…)
Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1 & 2 (Xbox One):
I didn’t write about my experience with Season 1 so I will put both of them together. My first exposure to Telltale’s style of more recent games with Game of Thrones and I’ve enjoyed that a lot, going back to The Walking Dead I can really see where the style came from and how it evolved between the two seasons and then on to Game of Thrones.
The more important thing I guess is the story here and despite not knowing much about the series whether through comic books, TV shows or anything else I really like how its done, the story moves on quickly and the pacing is excellent. It’s important to have something interesting happen every episode to make people want to play the next one much like in a TV series but with such bite sized chunks of content its impressive how well they manage to do that.
My least favourite episode was the 500 Days one from the end of Season 1 which was used to bridge the gap as it felt unfocused but both seasons are great and well worth playing, I enjoy the choices you have to make and then seeing the consequences for those choices as you move forwards, with all the different options at the end of Season 2 I’m not sure where they will take it really but it ends on a great cliffhanger. (more…)
I really enjoyed Interstellar, I thought it was great and possibly even one of my favourite films, it was so good that I actually bought the Blu-ray with the art book which is unusual for me! Thats how much I liked it tough and I was always disappointed there wasn’t some of proper story focused planet space exploration game to go with it (anyone who mentions the iOS game will be blacklisted!).
Enter Lifeless Planet: Premier Edition, which I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced for Xbox One at E3 2014 . It really scratched that itch of exploration and discovery for me, it’s not an action game with big explosions or an RPG with a deep level of progression its an adventure platformer which allows you to experience what it would be like to seek life on another planet, before finding an abandoned Russian town on it that is.
The Wolfenstein series made a hugely triumphant return last May when Machine Games début effort was an incredibly well received and sold good numbers, it was great to see a classic franchise return in such a way that kept aspects of the “retro” design where it made sense whilst also feeling modern and relevant, it was a game I greatly enjoyed and immediately raised Machine Games to a top-tier developer status in my eyes.
A year on and they have been busy plugging away on a standalone two-part prequel The Old Blood and spoiler alert, its pretty awesome.
Dual-wielding is where its at