Challenging Cuteness – Bounce Rescue Review

When I first looked at Bounce Rescue, I thought this would be a quick walk in the park. Boy, was I wrong. Bounce Rescue is a platforming game which tells the story of a bouncy protagonist whose friends have all been kidnapped! It’s now up to you to rescue them, begin your adventure fighting monsters, collecting coins, and breaking records on amazing levels with multiple challenges to overcome.

From the first level, you can tell the game won’t be easy. Your jumps take precise timing and some of the items require a substantial amount of backtracking to get. Throughout the levels, there are doors blocking your path. For these doors, you will need to find keys hidden throughout the level and use them to unlock the doors. Some keys are in obscure places surrounded by enemies and difficult jumps, and if you fall off or die then you will die, losing your key and any crystals you have picked up since your last checkpoint.

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The artwork in the game is in a word, cute. It has a nice sort of art that makes it look friendly to children, plenty of bright colors that pop out at you, with similarly bright colored enemies and items.

While playing the game, there are other characters you can unlock with different abilities or characteristics, but they aren’t going to be easy to get. The 50 levels offer a lot of fun and should take a substantial amount of time to complete as well. But, there is also more game modes to try. There is a section where you can view global scores, so you can try to raise yourself on the global leaderboards for each level. Also, there is a time attack mode, which takes your in-game timer and sets it on a leaderboard, too.

A few tips while playing though: First, you should definitely get yourself a controller to play as the controls on keyboards can be a little uncomfortable due to their positioning, and there is no controls tab for keyboard controls, just the controller setup on loading screens. Watch your jumps. Sometimes the jump won’t take off the way you want and you will just fall down, but can do another jump, this could be helpful for a quick save in a tight spot.
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In my opinion, the game looks amazing and seems like it will be a lot of fun to finish, but would be better if the keyboard was able to be used as easily as the controller. The game’s difficulty is exactly where I believe it should be which might be a bit challenging for some, but others will find it simplistic. I definitely recommend picking up this game once it releases on steam on February 1st, 2018.

And one final note, the developers have decided to have a contest on speedrun.com for anyone willing to do a speedrun of Bounce Rescue. They stated that on April 2nd, the player with the number one spot on their speedrun.com leaderboard will be awarded a “trophy for your heroic deeds” I know I’ll be racing in this, hope to see you all there as well.

Enomview rating: 8.5/10

Darkly Atmospheric – Darkwood Review

There’s a quiet and tense energy that pervades the world of Darkwood. It’s not a traditional horror game in that there are monsters leaping out at you from every shadow – but it’s this that makes it even scarier.

Developers Acid Wizard Studio reportedly decided to create a horror game of their own as a result of not being fans of the genre, and after a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and a sometimes difficult four years of development in Steam Early Access, Darkwood officially launched in August 2017.

In many ways, this lack of background in horror shines through positively throughout the game. For a start, the top-down mechanic is at least rare, if not unique, in the genre. And all too often, horror games go for the jump scares, while Darkwood prefers a more psychological brand of terror.

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It begins innocuously enough – in the prologue, you play as a man living in a forest cabin and the game teaches you how to move around and manage your inventory. Things get a bit more sinister as you decide whether or not to euthanise your dying dog, and shortly afterwards Darkwood takes a deep breath and takes a long journey into the strange and surreal.

One of the first lessons you learn is to never, ever, under any circumstances, go outside during the night, because you will die a horrible and painful death. The lifeblood of this notion is the gasoline that fuels the generator in your shelter; as long as the lights are on, the paranormal beasties will stay away. Mostly. There are exceptions, such as the foreboding but unaggressive figure who imparts this nocturnal advice, standing with the body of a man and the head of a wolf.

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Cleverly, Darkwood slowly descends into madness, instead of plunging straight in deep. For the first few nights, not much might happen. But I recall early into the story, I was huddled in the bedroom of my shelter when the door swung open. There was nothing there. Another time I was pacing impatiently when I turned back around to find a person sat crying on the bed, desperate to go home.

As the loading screen warns you, Darkwood doesn’t hold you by the hand. Hence my confusion when, despite the earlier warning to never, EVER go outside at night, someone or something began knocking at the door after darkness had fallen. In such a situation, you’re gripped by a terrible indecision; do you go and open the door, or do you ignore it? It’s moments like these that truly set Darkwood aside from other horror games.

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Suffice to say that these are just the tip of a psychedelic iceberg that descends into trippier and scarier depths as the game continues, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to ruin the experience for a new player.

Despite the strange and terrible things that occur, there’s a reassuring logic that sits somewhere in the background; while it doesn’t hold your hand, neither does the game try and trip you up by changing the rules on you for the sake of adding confusion.

While it’s good, things aren’t perfect. The combat system feels very clunky to operate, and particularly from the mid-game on, it’s really difficult to walk away from a fight – and not in an “I appreciated the challenge” type of way.

But that’s a relatively small part of an otherwise phenomenal game. I’m a big fan of minimalist graphic styles, and here we can see an example of a game that basically just uses different shades of grey throughout and look amazing.

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And the sound quality alone is almost worth the cost of admission – moody, sombre drones ramp up the feeling of dread without you even realising it, particularly when you go anywhere near your lupine acquaintance.

Despite a somewhat clunky combat system, Darkwood presents a fresh and engaging take on the horror genre, which stays true to its roots at the same time as striking off in a new direction. Developed by guys who don’t normally like horror games, this one is bound to appeal to scare junkies and newcomers alike.

EnomView Score: 8 out of 10

Monster Tower Defense – Unleash Review

Unleash has a simple premise: build towers to defend your base and spawn monsters to attack your adversaries. The mechanics are easy to learn but hard to master, and with the sheer amount of variation for towers, walls, and monsters, it can be remarkably easy to find yourself knee deep in plans and combos, wondering where the time went. Hordes of monsters, strategy, epic base-building – these elements work in tandem to deliver a game greater than the sum of its parts.

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Sprawling campaigns might not be a thing in Unleash, but it’s bolstered by multiple game modes and maps to keep you occupied for a good amount of time. If battling a single bot seems too meagre an offering, don’t fret, because the game allows players to duke it out with up to seven Bots simultaneously. Those craving multiplayer experiences will also have their itch scratched as the game allows you to play with anywhere between one to seven friends. However you choose to play, either option is guaranteed to deliver an intense, competitive experience.

Unleash is a game where minutes can stretch into hours due to the ruthlessness of the AI. The road to victory is a rocky one, and even easy Bots can give you trouble if you’re unprepared. The more challenging ones could serve you on a silver platter, complete with rosy apple and curled tail. Beginners and veteran players can expect themselves to be thoroughly challenged.

My first match saw me going up against a bot, and I was confident I could win without effort. It had the word ‘easy’ tacked on at end of its name, so my expectations were low. I randomly inserted towers or walls into the grid-based map and hunkered down to await the horde.

The first wave wasn’t hard to defend against, but as the minutes ticked by and the number of waves climbed into double digits, monsters began to blitz past my walls, rendering my defence moot. I’d also neglected to build anything past the first few lines – convinced I wouldn’t need them – resulting in a panicked scramble to finish off those that got past. I restarted the match when the stragglers ended up biting off a decent amount of my health.

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Despite how difficult things can get, the game remains surprisingly fun. Being walked all over didn’t feel trying or upsetting, quite the opposite in fact. Losing just made me come back for more.

The game offers no tutorial but one can learn a fair bit from exchanging blows with Bots. It’s startling how often I’d get thrown for a loop. For example, I had no idea I could chain tesla coils until I saw my opponent doing just that. Placing two tesla coils opposite of each other produces a deadly chain of lightning between them. The bot’s base was structured in a manner that forced my monster spawns to walk from one end to another, and by putting three evenly spaced tesla coils, the effect it had on my horde was tremendous. They never reached the other end.

Sending monster spawns that require certain weapons to damage them is another thing the Bot did. It would spawn Snowrippers to attack when my base had no flamethrowers. Snowrippers need to be doused in fire before machine guns could hurt them, and I found myself scrambling once again to unlock the specified weapon.

Monsters can also be evolved, resulting in veritable tanks. Doing this early in a match produces spectacular results. It’s cathartic to see your horde waltz through an opponent’s defences without as much as a scratch. I really like how Unleash provides numerous opportunities for you to devise strategies and turn the tide in your favour. It can make a world of difference to familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of each monster, or tower.

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Pair a diesel shooter with a flamethrower to maximize damage. Send a Snowripper to attract gunfire while an acid spewing monster takes down walls. The possibilities are just waiting to be discovered.

The origin of events in Unleash are an intriguing read, but it never comes into play. Knowing X and Y happened is cool, but it doesn’t affect the player if they go into the game without knowledge of it. There is potential in its setting, it just isn’t fully grasped yet. Players wanting deep, engaging lore will be disappointed.

The story, as of now, is also non-existent. I enjoy the gameplay immensely but fighting faceless enemies can get old, I’d be more invested if the Bots have some manner of personality or backstory. DeSync studios seem to be in for the long haul, though, so things might change with future updates.

Overall, Unleash is a great game, well-worth your attention and support. It’s not the best looking title, but with such solid and addictive gameplay, I’d be a fool to dismiss it.

EnomView Score: 8 out of 10

Check out the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/621940/Unleash/

Gloriously Difficult – They Are Billions Review

Every so often a game comes along that is so fiendishly difficult, it consistently reduces you to the very ends of frustration. They Are Billions is such a game; so ruthlessly, gloriously hard, it never fails to keep you hooked.

They Are Billions places you in charge of a fledgeling colony in a future steampunk era where humanity has largely been wiped out by a zombie plague, with the roving undead being the titular “billions”.

It plays remarkably like a classic RTS game like Age of Empires II, Command & Conquer or Empire Earth; off-scale buildings sit on the main map alongside your own units, where battle is waged with the roving undead.

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As the leader of the colony, it is your responsibility to find more resources to harvest, fuel the growth of industry, and of course, prevent the zeds from infecting every last one of your citizens.

That last one is much, much easier said than done.

The zeds already on the map are usually manageable – the real trouble starts when one of the periodic stampedes pours in from a random direction in a relentless assault on your defences.

I’d like to think that I’m no strategy game novice, but They Are Billions is on another level. I have yet to beat even one game on the difficulty rating encouragingly, but perhaps inaccurately, described as “accessible”. Time after time, I watch, with my head in my hands, as zombies overrun my base, wiping out my command centre, and losing yet again.

All of this might seem as though I’m leading to a negative place, but quite the contrary. I can’t quite recall playing a game that provides such a tactical challenge as They Are Billions, to the extent that I just can’t tear myself away from it. And from an Early Access game, that’s quite an achievement.

The great thing about They Are Billions is that it is possible to tweak the difficulty, and much more than on a simple “easy/medium/hard” scale.

Each survival game lets you tweak the difficulty settings before you start, defining both the game duration and zombie population. A shorter game might seem like the more attractive option, but a higher number of zombies in a smaller timeframe means more frequent raids.

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Each combination yields a percentage score modifier, and beating each map over and above a certain amount unlocks the next one – for example, the first map needs over 20%, and the second over 60%.

Despite the scalable difficulty, even on the easiest settings, the looming threat of defeat lies in the grasping hands of just one zombie. This is truly the unique selling point of They Are Billions and the root of its insane challenge. Yes, there are billions, and if you let even one in, your colony is probably undead toast.

This is because once each building is infected, each human working or living in it becomes a hungry corpse. Before you know it, there’s a cascade effect where half your colony is now an infected husk, and it’s far too late to do anything about it.

And to make things even more difficult, buildings often only have to take two or three hits to become infected. It’s not like the good old days of C&C, riding the cavalry in to rescue a flaming building with 10hp left – by the time you’ve been notified your base is under attack in They Are Billions, it’s usually too late.

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This potentially crushing pressure is offset by the fact that the game strongly encourages you to make liberal use of the pause function, which you can do at any time. They Are Billions is in no rush; it’s not about memorising keyboard shortcuts to act in as few seconds as possible, it’s about thinking through a strategy and employing it in as much time as you need.

Just by looking at the global achievement stats on Steam, it’s clear to see that I’m not the only one being challenged by They Are Billions. And look at the graphics, with such a gorgeous colour palette

The game was a viral hit over the festive period, infecting thousands of Steam accounts faster than the in-game zombies. At this early stage of production, it’s exciting to consider that They Are Billions could mature into an even more impressive title. If you’re not a fan of difficult strategy games, you’ll hate it – but RTS buffs do yourself a favour and pick it up.

Check out the Game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/644930/They_Are_Billions/

One Strike Review – The Quick and Easy Fighter

Have you ever been playing a fighting game and thought to yourself, “this is way too hard?” Well, One Strike is the solution to that exact problem. The game is so simple that it only takes about two-three minutes to be a master at it. The game revolves around six characters who you have the option of playing as. With the character you pick, you will then face off against said six characters back to back. The main catch of the game is that if either player is hit once, they lose. So in the story mode, if you get hit you will restart back to your first fight.

There isn’t much story to the game, it is basically just a 2D, pixelated fighter where you go from fight to fight. The other game modes are a versus mode, which I personally believe would be more fun than the game itself, a tag team mode where you play with an AI against two other AI, a Tournament mode, which puts you into a bracket tournament with up to seven other players, and a “practice” like mode where you face off against the enemies from the story with five lives instead of one. The problem I see with the Tournament mode is the ability to have seven players playing at once. There is no online interaction with the game so it would have to be eight people clustered around a computer with only two playing at a time. And if you do not have eight people for the mode, it replaces them with bots.

The story mode has three difficulties, which are easy, medium, and hard. Easy is in my own opinion far too easy, so once beaten I moved on to medium difficulty, which ramped up the difficulty a little bit, but not enough for it to be a challenge. Finally, when I reached hard mode I was expecting a huge jump in the difficulty of the AI, but alas, I was wrong. All in all, it took me about an hour and a half to beat every difficulty on the main story.

In my personal opinion, the game is not that great, it’s not even that good, but I still gave it a shot and it kept me busy for a while. A few things that could help it out would be to increase the number of characters, thus making the story longer, and have a custom control setup. The controls were kind of tight on the keyboard. The game isn’t inherently bad, it just lacks a story and seemed too easy to master, which is why I did not enjoy it.

With some changes made, I’d love to revisit this article and give it another shot!

EnomView Score 4/10

Liked this review and looking for more cool games? Check out our Steam games section, here!

Robotic Controls – Fragmental Review

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Alright, let’s get this started. Got my robot guy ready, got my name entered, pick some bots, ready to go! Let’s f– Oh, I just fell out of the arena. Okay now I’m ready to– oh something just shot me outside of the arena and blew up my robot guy. Okay now– Oh I got pushed off of the arena. What am I even doing?

Yes, as you begin this game, you’ll be scratching your head pretty hard. First of all, there are no control options. The first few rounds of the game will most likely be spent figuring them out. I couldn’t pick up a weapon for a while until I discovered that you have to push space. Then comes the combat, which is not at all intuitive. Once you face your opponent, you may or may not be aiming at them with your gun. There is no indication that you are firing at them near the wall, or firing directly at the wall. Then there are things that look like walls but are actually chest-high partitions that you can fire over, but you won’t know this until you’ve been shot over it and killed.

The real problem with this game is the control. They are floaty and overly sensitive, so aiming in any conventional sense is an impossibility. It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing on a keyboard or a controller, they just don’t work. Within the first two seconds of a match, you could be dead. If an arena match goes on for too long, they will have a wall of death come from the edge of the arena and shrink in order to destroy the players.

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Fragmental is not based off a player’s skill, it is based on pure dumb luck. With the graphics the way they are, you can barely see your player avatar to know where they are facing. I hope you brought your eye drops because everything is so bright, pink, and shiny that you will be squinting through the entire game. This is not just the background, each robot, which is pretty much the same, has a neon color tinge to them so you can’t tell them apart, as they appear as a tiny spot on the arena.

One good thing that could be said about this game was that there is a decent selection of guns. The icons on the screen indicate what kind of guns are available to you. However, if you try to grab one from across the arena, you will more than likely get shot down by your opponents on your way to get it.

It doesn’t even have to be your opponent that kills you. Literally, anything can kill you in these arenas. Knobs can come from the edge and push you out of bounds, turrets can shoot you from outside of the arena and kill you as soon as it starts and let’s not forget those wonderfully constricting walls of destruction that will kill you in an instant if you touch them.

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So, let’s review. You try to take your time and approach your opponents with some sort of careful calculation, but you will be killed by something beyond your control instead. One minute is entirely too long for this game, you are not on your own schedule, you’re on Fragmental’s time at this point! Taking your time to aim and get use to the controls? Nope! Time to get shot by identical character models to your own! Slide across the arena like the roadrunner, only this time, Wile E. Coyote’s Acme Gun will kill you, no questions asked.

Calling this a game is being very generous. A game is something you can actually win with your own skill and progression through the levels. The control of this game is so awful and fast-paced to the point where you will lose several times before you even gather an inkling of how to play the mechanics that are set up. If you were looking for a challenge such as that, by all means, click the link below.

Enomview rating: 3/10

Check out Fragmental on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/424040/Fragmental/