The Light of Our World – OneShot

You awake in a strange bed, the doors are locked and you have no idea where you are. Your only escape is solving puzzles and unlocking the door to adventure. Once you leave your house, you’ll be thrown into a world of puzzle solving, storytelling, and most important of all, talking robots. In OneShot you journey as a “God” speaking to a character named Niko. Your goal is to get Niko to the top of a tower and rebirth the sun to bring light to the planet once more. The game is a story-driven puzzle game that requires you to complete multiple tasks while combining items in order to solve puzzles.

The game overall is pretty simple. The controls are easy to understand right away since it’s just the arrow keys and then a few buttons for operating your menu. The game gives you hints if you are stuck, but sometimes the hints aren’t exactly what you want. For example, in the first room, you get a message saying “it’s too dark in here” so you need to stand by the window to get more light.

The game is recommended to be played in a windowed format, but I personally would recommend playing it in full-screen, there are a few mechanics that take place that I feel are better experienced in full-screen mode. On the other hand, there are a few instances in the game where windowed may be needed (hint, hint). I would also recommend playing it with headphones, as the background music in the game sets the mood for the specific part you are at.

The game is a nice, deep puzzle game that really makes you have to think right from the start. It brings you in and makes it seem like you can’t leave until the job is done. It pulls you in right from the start and doesn’t want to let you go. But the game itself is intriguing enough to make you not want to leave either.

The graphics are a  beautiful pixelated look, but it plays it off well. You can tell that the creators wanted you to focus more on the story than the graphics. But they still could have used a little touching up, the area seems somewhat bland, even for the dark world they live in. Besides for the actual atmosphere, cute little-pixelated characters show up with text. For example, if Niko feels happy, you’ll see an adorable, happy Niko in the corner. For me, it really helped to connect with Niko. Especially since it allowed me to connect with him more, which is important in the game.

In my opinion, the game is amazing. It gives you a story that is well-driven, but also allows you to free-roam and discover things on your own. It could use a more direct approach to some of the puzzles given, but then I feel the game would be a bit too easy to complete. As for the rest of the game, there isn’t really much else I would, or feel should, be changed.

If you feel like picking this game up you need only understand one thing. You only have OneShot.

Pick up this fantastic game here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/420530/OneShot/

Come Over to my Fist! – Gang Beasts Review

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Ready to take some anger out on some unsuspecting friends? Do you need a physics engine that makes very little sense with destructibles that break when you look at them funny? Well look no further! Gang Beasts has everything you need to get you started on clunky, awkward fighting as you beat the living snot out of someone and throw them, wait that didn’t work, throw them over– crap! He didn’t go over, hold on…. Throw them over the side of a building!

Gang Beasts is a multiplayer fighting game that you can play with your friends at home or online. You start out with a fairly impressive selection of player skins, although they don’t affect the gameplay a great deal, they are still fun to play. However, if it is your first time playing, get ready to start scratching your head if you either didn’t figure out the controls or don’t have anyone there to tell you how to use them. The controls and the character movement is so awkward that you need to get good with the controls in a big hurry, as those people you are playing with already have a gigantic advantage that is very hard to get over.

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However, that’s not to say you won’t still have fun playing. Even as you are getting the snot kicked out of you, there are several fun and creative ways to die throughout the large number of levels. Not to mention the fun little glitches you find along the way can be a lot of fun to look at. Even if you haven’t mastered the controls, the opponents you are facing can make some serious mistakes that you can all have a good little chuckle at. If you have the right group of people to play with, this game can be a great deal of fun.

No matter how fun the game can be, though, the controls and the game itself has its shortcomings that cannot be overlooked. Saying that the physics engine can be a problem is a serious understatement. You could be fighting someone for around ten seconds in one place and your platform could fall out from under you, killing you and whoever was on it with you when it happened. Then there are game glitches such as the same level repeating over and over again as you put the maps on random.

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When it comes to the overall experience, there isn’t a whole lot to look at here. It has no story mode, not that it really needs it, but it also doesn’t have a whole lot of content. There is a versus mode, a co-op mode, and there is also soccer (or the Football that is not American) mode. Beyond that, there is not a great deal to go off of. Once you are done playing through two random free-for-all matches with friends two or three times, you will probably be getting a headache with the game controls, and no, that is not an exaggeration, you will get a headache. There is probably a good two hours of gameplay overall.

The best method of playing when you first start out will definitely be the co-op mode, but as said before, you still need the right group of people to play with before you venture into this territory. Learning the controls is top priority, or you’re going to be losing, and losing a lot. It is a quirky game that will leave you flabbergasted in the wake of what it has in store for you, for better or worse. It can be a lot of fun to watch your friends make idiots out of themselves with one of the weirdest physics engines ever created, and it can be a gas surprising yourself with what you can do with it. If you have a group of friends to play with, this game is fairly well recommended. If not then it may be best to hold out on buying it until you get a few of the game’s flaws sorted out for yourself, either by walkthroughs or playing the game at someone else’s expense.

Another Addicting Jailbreak – The Escapists 2

Immediately, not sooner or later, I was drawn in. The Team17 logo that shot across my screen assembled itself into from panes of material and shattered only to reveal the start of your captivating experience. The title of the game,‘Escapists 2’, makes its appearance. I’m excited, I haven’t even pressed a button yet, and already my imagination is lit up with different imagery. Prisoners squeeze through the cracks of the game title, emphasizing the name of the game. Quick, they’re escaping! Sirens and flashing neon flood the screen. On queue, the men in blue arrive in full force ready to detain all the convicts they think will get away. The chase has begun.  As for spot on intros…. nailed it.

The Escapists 2

The Escapists 2

The splash screen, and introduction to the theme of the game got me amped. I was ready to go, and when I got to the initial game play screen where I could select options like play versus, play game, my characters, criminal record, and leaderboards, I didn’t hesitate. I clicked ‘PLAY GAME’, and was ready to go. Unexpectedly, I got a lovely note from my warden. He even offered me a place to learn how to escape. I mean, I got this in the bag if the wardens on my side. So I figured I’d make like Andy Dufresne and escape this tin box. I mean, how often do you look at a man’s shoes?

Welcome Prisoner

Welcome Prisoner

Interestingly enough, I wrote the last paragraph before continuing with the tutorial. I mean why not write your initial thoughts down while through the progression of trying something? I’d rather have that genuine feel too each and every word then well thought out after-the-fact. I made a Shawshank Redemption prior, and how spot on I was. Sipping on the beach, enjoy the sand and sunshine. You won’t understand how great this tutorial is until you try it yourself, it even makes you feel rushed like you would in a real prison escape. Guards chasing you while you’re trying to read what to do. I’m sure you can’t actually get caught in the tutorial, but it definitely gives you the vibe that it’s over for you. I won’t ruin the end for you, but the tutorial is worth it just for the story line. This initial prison gives you just enough information to stomp out the learning curve, and get you onto the track of escaping. Tutorial… nailed it.

After figuring out the basics of the game, I headed back to the character screen. I wanted the prisoner to be a representation of me in pixel form. I got to work. I killed Clive, and that’s why I’m a prisoner to begin with, but I also needed a spot for me. After renaming my character too ‘Johnny’, I was disappointed with the face selection options. Apparently I could only have a round ball head or an oval egg head, and skin tones seemed lacking as well. I felt like there could have been a larger range here. There were only three options, however those options were satisfactory. The hair options were great, tons of them. However, I also felt like they could have had a better selection of hairstyles if you were able to select a hairstyle and then choose the color of that hairstyle. Instead they give you some basic options that you can choose from, and their hair color variations. This is true for the beard, hat, and eye wear options as well. For character creation, I was a little disappointed however it wasn’t terrible. In the end, I still made a pretty bad-ass mockup of me. They call me Mr. Johnny.

Mr. Johnny

Mr. Johnny

It was time to get the ball rolling for real! So I moved on to my first real prison, and I was loaded up with all kinds of information beforehand. Apparently the warden had a lot of escape attempts and successes before so they built a new more ‘secure’ prison. This warden is probably a walk in the park, so breaking out is probably going to be easy. Plus, with these epic glasses I got on, I’ll have everyone begging to be my friend. Center Perks 2.0, I’m going to show you who the boss is.

First Prison

First Prison

I was excited to play after reading about the prison and what not, but I was slowed down by the prison customization screen. I thought it was awesome that I was able to update every single guard, and every single prisoner to have a look that I deemed necessary or a name of my choosing. Well, and that is how my entire family got locked up with me. Don’t worry family, I’m going to break us all out! However, I’m still disappointed with the character creation screens here because they’re exactly the same when I created my character. I’m liking them a little bit more because I still get mostly the desired effect, however I feel as if more work could of went into this. Into gameplay!

Boom, I’m in the first prison straight off the bus. I don’t spawn somewhere random like my cell, and the warden walks me through the prison like its a fancy hotel. Shows me where to get my hot meals, how I can gain strength, speed, and intellect, and he hands me the keys to the gate. Alright, alright, he didn’t hand me the keys to the gate of the prison, but he might as well have. I didn’t feel the character strength I should have from the warden, as he lead me to my cell that was nicer than a Hilton Suite. The best part of all of this? The film crew recording everything. I’m going to be on television, ma!

On my first day to breakfast, I immediately made the mistake of left clicking and getting into a fight. I got the rocks kicked out of me. I saw all the pretty coins above people’s heads, and I thought I could chat to them with my left mouse click, and then I realized… Nope, I’m going to wake up in the hospital. I will say, the way the infirmary staff carries you from the place you get knocked out at to a bed is pretty awesome. I later learned that all I had to do is hold my action key to shop from someone. Lessons are learned quickly. Time to hit the gym!

Gaining stamina, strength, and intellect are repetitive, but they go up really fast. So they’re easy to get high quick. So I didn’t have to worry too much about all my skills, I quickly skipped any part of the routine that I could without getting into to much trouble. I made sure to get my energy up by napping, taking showers, and attending all meal times. Every chance I could I went to go raise my skills ‘cause I knew I’d need them high to build things that would help me escape, and rob people who had things I needed. I also learned during this period that as long as you show up during the last minute of the task you get credit for it. So I would skip some of the tasks that I didn’t need. Like dinner time was after shower time, and both raise your energy. I didn’t need dinner so I showed up at the last minute, and didn’t get in trouble by the guards and still got extra study time in. Day one was over before I knew it.

Day two- I knew it, I had to prep for my escape. These walls had too been closing in, I started to feel like I’d be trapped here forever, and I knew that I had to get out. Lucky me, when I woke up I had found some screwdrivers in a fellow prisoners bunk, and I took them for my own. I weakened the vent in my cell to 10% and found the target cell I’ll need to be hide in when I make my great escape. I’ve located a weak path to the North of the facility, I’ll just need to hide in the cover of night.  Somehow the guards found damage that I had made earlier in the game, while attacking a wall and they beat the snot out of me in my own cell. Was a good time, but I’m still on the war path to escape. Well, I was then several days passed.

Needless to say I eventually escaped, however its not as easy as it looks. This game is totally worthwhile, however may take up some time in your life. I would recommend this to a friend or family member who wants to burn some time. Once you have played this game a few times it gets really easy, however it is pretty hard at the start. The online play is almost not worth it because you have to escape with all the other prisoners. Sometimes other players can be hard to work with. I mean, we’re all supposed to be convicts after all sometimes someone gets left behind. However, when you get out, Red, I’ll be waiting for you on the other side.

A Man on a Mission – Little Buno Review

What would you do if your entire village was attacked and kidnapped by gorillas? Probably run away and never look back, right? Well, Little Buno does the exact opposite. In the game, you play as a hunter who’s village was ransacked by gorillas looking for food. All the food in the area was taken by the villagers, so the enraged apes sought revenge. When Buno returned from his hunting trip to find a destroyed village, he set out to find and save the villagers.

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The game itself is fairly simple to understand, you can do two things with Buno: walk slowly backwards, and throw bananas. The goal is to throw bananas into the gorilla’s open mouths multiple times to fill up their hunger bar. But, you also need to be constantly backing up to avoid the gorillas getting ahold of you before their hunger bar drops, or it’s game over for Buno. You can only throw the bananas at the gorilla when it opens its mouth. Other than that, you just have to keep backing up. If you consecutively land another banana after the first in a gorilla’s mouth, you gain bonus point to help speed up the level. Some levels also ramp it up a notch by either giving you a limited amount of time to complete the level, or by limiting the number of bananas you can throw, which is normally just slightly over the amount you will need.

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The game is played in a level based format with 60 levels spread out among three different worlds. As you progress through the levels you will unlock upgrades for Buno that increase his stats to help finish levels off even faster. The levels progressively get more difficult as you continue through the game. Some levels can keep you trying forever, where at other points you’ll breeze through multiple levels in minutes. In my opinion, the game is a fun way to kill some time, but they could do more with it. The game only has 60 levels, so I feel like they could add more levels to elongate the gameplay. Also, they could add a sort of “challenge mode” where each level is repeated, but on an entirely different scale of difficulty.

Endless Playability – Dead Cells Early Access Review

Dead Cells is the kind of game that baits you into hour long marathons. You dip your toes in to test the waters and end up free falling. Sessions end with a pounding head and bloodshot eyes, but your regret is tempered with unwavering satisfaction. You promise yourself this won’t happen tomorrow, but when night comes around, you find yourself in the same chair, the same game, with the same results. I consider this a litmus test, where your enjoyment results in something tangible.

Dead Cells considers itself an illegitimate child of a Metroidvania and Rougelite – a RogueVania. The world it tosses players into is ever-changing, each run guaranteed a unique experience due to a non-linear progression system. Endless replayability wrapped up in a merciless, electrifying package. There’s never a dull moment as you explore the labyrinthine corridors of each level. For every platform you scale, a surprise awaits, be it a reward or an enemy, exploration is exhilarating because you never know what’s around the bend.

The world of Dead Cells is vibrant and lively. Each level has its own ecosystem, and while some enemies are constants, there’s always a newer and stronger enemy to contend with. Dying is inevitable, but every death pushes your progress forward even by a single centimeter. This isn’t the kind of game you can brute force your way through. Practice makes perfect, and the road to victory is a slow, steady one. An insurmountable obstacle today becomes a cakewalk tomorrow.

Collecting ‘Cells’ from enemies allows you to upgrade your character’s abilities and equipment in the rest area between each level. You lose the cells if you die half-way, so think carefully before diving into the fray with swords swinging. It’s a gamble on the chance to earn more or potentially losing everything.

Non-permanent upgrades arrive in the form of ‘Scrolls’, allowing you to customize a preferred build for your character. Want to be a glass cannon? Go for it. What’s that you say? The best offense is a good defense? Sure, whatever floats your boat. The headless character you control is but clay, waiting to be moulded into your ideal.

Your character lacks the ability to speak, but its personality shines through its reactions to various NPCs and events. Overzealous head nods, shoulder shrugs, I find it amazing how much it conveys despite not saying a word. I never missed a thing, because the gorgeous pixel art makes it near impossible to look away. Dead Cells oozes style and beauty, the amount of detail put into the sprites, background and objects, is staggering. Projectiles exploding in solid, pink spheres, the shower of sparks on the tail end of a chain lifting a wooden platform. Early Access isn’t something I’d associate with this game.

Other than the art, combat is easily the best thing about Dead Cells. Combat feels buttery smooth, an intricate dance instead of messy, clumsy blows. The pool of weapons you can choose from is varied; from swords to whips to bows. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of them, experimentation is key in finding a favourite weapon to eviscerate an enemy. I stuck to the traditional sword and shield as I have an unfortunate preference for rubbing elbows with things that bite back, and a shield is handy for times where I’d miss a target and stare down at a nocked arrow.

Players can also arm themselves with gadgets for extra firepower. They are especially useful during boss fights, the bear traps and grenades come in handy when faced with an enemy twice your size.

I’m reminded, very rudely, of the fact that Dead Cells is still a work in progress, when I’m interrupted by an error message. I don’t mind it too much since it’s nothing ctrl-alt-del can’t fix, but it chips at my enjoyment when I’m half-way through a really, good run and have to restart. These incidents are rare, I’ve come across only two so far, but it can be a tipping point for fussy gamers.

If you can handle the occasional bug, I’d heartily recommend Dead Cells. It is a challenging, mesmerizing experience that will have you craving more after the first taste.

Rage Quit Labyrinth – Hollow Knight Review

Name: Hollow Knight
Developer: Team Cherry
Publisher: Team Cherry
Release Date: 24 February 2017
Platform: PC (click here for the Steam link)

It’d be really easy to sit here and liken Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight to any Metroid game, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Hollow Knight plays a helluva lot like classic and contemporary Metroid games. If there was ever a game that embodies the word “Metroidvania”, it’s Hollow Knight. Cut it in half and you’ll find a picture of Samus Aran running through it.

Ok, so you get it by now. Hollow Knight is a 2D platformer with a sprawling map to explore. Periodic skill upgrades enable you to backtrack and access previously out-of-reach areas, find more upgrades, and advance the story.

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But instead of super missiles and life-draining flying parasites, Hollow Knight offers a weird and wonderful world full of talking bugs, corporeal dreams and ancient prophecies. The game opens with a tough but diminutive warrior awakening and jumping from a really high cliff to find a largely abandoned village called Dirtmouth.

It sits above a ruined, ancient kingdom that was sealed a long time ago – only the well in Dirtmouth allows access. And there’s something down there stirring from a long slumber…

Mechanically, Hollow Knight is everything you could ask for from a modern platformer. Expanding on the classic basics, it adds in a plethora of new twists and ideas to provide a challenging title even for genre veterans. All of those speed run videos you can find will seem extra impressive once you actually play the game for yourself.

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The protagonist attacks foes with his trusty nail, bashing enemies at melee range. Supplementing this are some ranged spells, and later, advanced nail techniques that let you deliver charged power attacks. Enemies drop currency that can be used to buy map upgrades, more charms, or expand the nifty Stag system that serves as the ancient kingdom’s Underground network.

Adding versatility to how you play Hollow Knight is the charm system. Each charm has a different effect, and occupies a certain number of notches; the more powerful the effect, the more notches you use up. For example, you can use a charm that gives you bonus health, that shows where you are on the map, or extends the attack range of the nail to attack enemies.

You can gain more notches by purchasing them at stores, or unlocking them via challenges, but ultimately it comes down to the choice of having fewer stronger boons, or more numerous weaker ones. I found myself leaning towards the latter, though of course every player will be different. And the sheer volume of charms makes it fun to experiment with different combinations.

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And experiment you shall, because Hollow Knight can be savagely, ruthlessly, mercilessly hard. There’s a small safety redundancy in place in that if you die, all of your hard-earned cash stays in the same location with a shade of your former self. If you defeat it, you reclaim your lost loot. But if you die again before you do, it’s all lost. Forever. And that’s even before you play the game in Steel Soul mode, which inflicts permadeath.

Luckily, Hollow Knight is a pleasure for the eyes and ears, so although the repeated deaths you’ll endure will culminate in repeated rage quits, exploring the labyrinthine depths of the fallen kingdom of Hallownest will take the edge off the anger.

I continue to be a fan of understated graphic styles, and the sleepy, dusty kingdom of Hallownest certainly showcases one. There’s such a rich and varied texture to each of the areas; the palette of Hollow Knight isn’t that varied, which makes how distinct the different sections of the world are such an achievement.

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And what a world map it is. There’s a sprawling maze of interconnected caverns, rivers of acid, and forests of fungus to explore. And if there is a joy above all of the others in Hollow Knight, it’s in the exploration. The game places a high premium on the art of mapping, making it really difficult at first to navigate the mysterious depths.

Indeed, it’ll cost you a precious charm notch just to keep track of where you are at any given time. Incomplete maps of each area must be bought, and yet another item purchased to add new rooms to the map as you travel through them. Map pins keep track of places of interest – once you buy them, of course. Fortunately, Hollow Knight doesn’t operate a microtransaction system!

You can lose hours plumbing the depths of Hollow Knight, and just when things get too frustrating – and they will get frustrating – it’s easy to put the difficult area to one side in favour another far-flung corner of the large game map. A treat for the eyes, a nostalgia hit for old-school Metroid fans, and more challenges than a political election in Florida; Hollow Knight has a lot to offer.

EnomView Score: 9 out of 10

A Fresh Roguelike – Slay The Spire Early Access Review

Roguelikes have been a dime and a dozen over the last decade. While it is an interesting video game genre with a high difficulty level and clever progression mechanics, many of the games that belong to it have flown past the radar for many because they failed to differentiate themselves from kingpins like Rogue Legacy and Spelunky. Not only that, but all too many games seem to be implementing Roguelike elements into their gameplay seemingly at random. But despite the over-saturated market Slay The Spire, which just released on Steam early access, manages to feel fresh and engaging.

I know, I know, it’s heresy to review a game while it’s in early access, but this is one of those games that deserved to be checked out now. You’re not missing out on any story (of which there is none, in typical roguelike fashion) and all mechanics are in place. All to be added is some additional game modes, characters and cards. ‘Cards?’, I hear you ask. Yes, cards. In this game, you defeat your enemy using a deck of cards, each with unique offensive, defensive or skill based powers. You use these cards in turn based fashion to deplete your enemies health pool while saving your own hide. If you are thinking Hearthstone, then you are on the right track.

The gameplay mechanics of Slay The Spire actually aren’t all that unique. You progress through a series of rooms containing combat encounters, shops, rest points and a smattering of other things. While all these rooms are presented on a map and you are allowed to pick your own route, this is still standard fare in the land of Roguelikes. The combat mechanics, while finely tuned, are also fairly reminiscent of games like Hearthstone, and standard trading card games. What makes this game feels fresh is that this combination of game elements hasn’t been done all that many times before. The only other game I can think of that does this is Hand of Fate, and that game has a wholly different approach. It’s a breath of fresh air to play a roguelike that isn’t a top-down hack and slash or a 2D platformer for once. The art style has a hand-drawn feeling to them (probably because the sprites were hand drawn). This style may not appeal to every gamer but it’s good when a game strays away from pixel art for once.

The game plays really smooth in its current state, so there’s good hope for the rest of the journey through early access. You start the game with one of three characters, one of which isn’t out yet. The difference between them is their starting health pool, aesthetics and relic. Relics are items that give you a permanent buff for your playthrough, which could be over in minutes. The Ironclad starts out with a relic that heals him at the end of every combat encounter, for example.

Your starting deck consists of a bunch of duplicate attack and defend cards that you can use to damage your enemy or block incoming damage. At the end of every combat encounter, you are able to choose one of three random cards to add to your deck. There is a surprising amount of depth and strategy in deck building. Will you choose cards with high damage output and boosts your deck with cards that increase your strength? Or perhaps you will focus on debuffs or even a deck where you discard cards and gain special effects. The fun lies in experimenting with these strategies, and overcoming the many powerful enemies with them. Add potions, shops and relics to this and you’ve got yourself a game where roguelike enthusiasts can really sink their teeth in. Highly recommended in its current state, but we will definitely update this post when it comes out of early access.

The Brawl to End it All – Stick Fight: The Game Review

Remember when we use to draw stick figures? Or when we used to have those stick figures wield our poorly sketched armaments? Well, take that, add a bucket of awesomeness, and some snake-shooting weapons, and you get Stick Fight: The Game.

Stick Fight: The Game allows you to take control of a stick figure and fight against up to three other opponents. While you fight to the death, varying states of destructive weapons rain from above such as snipers, pistols, rocket launchers, snake guns, flamethrowers, and so much more.

The games key feature is its online mode. This allows you to connect with three random people and begin the carnage instantly, but, there is also a local mode, where two people can use one computer to wage wars on each other. The great thing about local co-op, especially with a game like Stick Fight: The Game, is that it could easily be the centerpiece of any couch party. Gathering around your flat-screen with four controllers and a hunger for beating your inhumanly thin friends just became possible.

The physics of the game are basically non-existent. You can jump twice your height and fire snipers with one hand. The map is entirely dynamic, so you can shoot at anything to destroy it and send your opponent’s plummeting to the depths below. This can be a fun and easy way to win, but your character can also climb onto any surface so they could recover and then you’re in for a nasty surprise.

The dynamic-map aspect is unique to the beat ’em up genre. When coupled with the many different power-ups you can use to decimate the map, it becomes a truly invigorating match with a satisfying victory.

I do wish that there was access to more maps. As far as I can tell, there are only three or four. If a community map building update of some sort was released, it would make for a lot of fun for every player. There is no tutorial for the game, but that is quickly overlooked as the game is easy enough to understand in the first two or three matches.

Finally, there is a feature in the game to talk with other players, so I took this opportunity to get some feedback from others within my intense matches. They had this to say: 

“This game is a great way to spend an hour or two”
“My favorite fighting game I’ve found on steam for under $5”
“I love this game because of the unrealistic weapons (like this snake gun)”

EnomView Score: 9 out of 10

Check out the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/674940/Stick_Fight_The_Game/

Insect Invaders – Q-YO Blaster Review

Alien insects have invaded Earth, and it falls on you to defend your home from these miscreants. Enter the miniature world to stop the threat and wipe them out! With eight levels and two difficulty modes, Q-YO blaster is a surprisingly fun 2D shoot em’ up for the price, rocking an adorable pixel art style and slick animations.

The story plays out like a whacky fever dream, and that’s a good thing. There’s nothing more of a buzzkill than a game taking itself too seriously, but thankfully, the game proudly owns the absurd premise of fighting off insect invaders. When I played Q-YO blaster, I truly felt like the last hope of earthkind, up against insurmountable odds.

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Q-YO blaster is reminiscent of arcade games, each death using a single ‘credit’. You get nine credits on easy mode, and slightly less on hard mode. There are three gameplay styles to choose from: Attack, Defence, or a mix of both. Finishing your first run will unlock several more special attacks, and the variety keeps things fresh.

Each style has its own roster of characters to pick from, with their own distinct bullets and special power-ups to experiment with. This adds to the game’s replayability and fun factor, because what’s not to like when you can play as a jet-pack wearing hamster, a robot doll, or even a severed dog head?

The story is, unfortunately, lost in translation due to the exhausting-to-read font and ineligible english, but the buoyant designs of enemies and bosses more than make up for it. Even the backgrounds are a sight to behold, and overall, the pleasant colour scheme is easy on the eyes and fits the retro-arcade look.

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The gameplay is simple but addicting. You shoot bullets to take out nasty insects, while dodging all sorts of multi-coloured projectiles. Characters are given several upgrades to choose from after completing each level, allowing players to tailor a character to their liking. Upgrades include permanent power-ups to, like upping your bullet speed, or adding an extra life prevent from dying too quickly.

Q-YO Blaster is challenging but it never feels unfair. Throughout my time with the game, I never died due to poor hitboxes, glitches, or external elements I couldn’t control. Whenever I died, it was usually due to a moment of carelessness, but I keep coming back because the game is ridiculously fun.

I don’t usually play shoot em’ up games and Q-YO blaster is more of an exception than the norm for me, but I enjoyed the game a lot. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in beautiful, pixel art, and something challenging.

EnomView Score: 7 out of 10

Defend the Homeland – Castle Crashers Review

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Your homeland is in grave peril! Your king needs your valiance! Take up your weapon and free the ladies of the land from the clutches of our sworn enemies! Destroy any that stand in the way of your might and valor! And look damn good while doing it!

Very little is needed to be said about the awesomeness of Castle Crashers, but sit down, we’re going to talk about it anyway! You are a knight whose sole duty is to repel the enemy and get your lady loves back, as they were kidnapped from the castle.

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While I will say that using the keyboard is not a good idea, using the controller is just as fluid as any other game you could ever find made from an AAA manufacturer. The controls are responsive, reliable and so very easy to learn by yourself. Still, it doesn’t care how easy it is to learn, the game still prompts you when you can use combos and what not while you play without stopping the game or halting your progress.

The colors and artwork are so very simple, but still beautiful to look at. The cartoony quality is charming and the humor matches it perfectly! While the humor can be a little juvenile at times, it still is worth noting that it can also be especially witty.

As for the difficulty, that’s probably the best part. It may not be considered extremely hard because there is a marvellous level up system that keeps the game progressing along with you, while not making the levels too easy for your character. There is no steep learning curve and you find yourself wanting to progress as long as you can! You’re not stopped between levels and forced to go to the map screen simply to select the next level on the list. No, you are simply brought to the map screen for the important decisions and crossroads.

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Combat! Smash your enemies’ faces in! No, seriously, you just push the buttons and dodge left to right, smashing your enemies to bits while you gain up levels, dodge and block their attacks, and kill them! It may sound repetitive, and in some ways it is, but it never feels stale because it’s always moving. You can’t really call this a pure beat’em up because it also has RPG elements, but it still feels like it belongs in the arcade where you can feed it a million quarters to keep it going.

That’s not the case, though. We are lucky enough to find this simple gem of an indie classic pretty much wherever games are sold for some pretty good prices. So, if you were looking for a beat’em up to relieve some stress, look no further! This will sate your hunger for blood and carnage! The boss battles will challenge you, but not to the level of absolute ragequit mode, you can learn their patterns and defeat them with your own skill, should ye be worthy!

Now go, hero! The homeland is counting on you! Slay thy enemies and drink thy water.

EnomView Score: 10 out of 10

Get the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/204360/Castle_Crashers/