Descend into Dungeons – UnExplored

Descend into the depths of the Dungeon of Doom and complete your quest: steal the Amulet of Yendor from the fearsome dragon and make it out alive. Make your way deeper into the dungeon while fighting off the monsters and creeps that live there. Gather jewels and artifacts son your way to become a wealthy adventurer upon success, or to become a treasure trove for the next adventurer who stumbles upon your corpse. UnExplored is a roguelike game that makes good use of the term, with the minimal armor and slight movements, you truly feel like your life’s on the line in every room.

Right from the start you are given different options on game mode, anything from the basic easy/medium/hard, to a gold rush, a creature killing, and a timed mode. The games different modes all have high score boards which show the farthest you’ve gone each time and ranking how much gold you’ve returned with. Once you start the game, you are greeted by a shop menu, I recommend buying a couple items here, you’ll have slightly less gold coming out of the dungeon, but while inside it will help tremendously.

Once inside the dungeon the only ways out are to survive or to die, preferably the former. You will have to explore large caverns in order to find exits leading down and items to help you later on. Some of these items are weapons, others could be mysterious scrolls and potions that will not reveal themselves until you use one, some are good, like magic mapping which reveals the entire map, some are not good, like pain, which can deal enough damage to kill you twice over.

The enemies you will come across are not going to be easy, although most will go down with just a single hit, some, like the ogre, will be a brutal battle where you need to move in to strike and then retreat so as not to get hit by its enormous club.

The game has a good story to follow through the books you can collect and read throughout the dungeon, but it also has some very interesting special modes which enrich the story even more. In the timed mode, you are tasked with bringing down an evil cult and you must do it before they summon an ancient demon, your time starts as soon as you spawn and then it’s a race to find the exits and defeat the evils below.

Aside from gameplay, the graphics are very good and fit the theme of the game well, they are very simple and allow for a lot of imagination on what certain things can be. The music in the game is also very peaceful, it is soft but can pick up very quickly when enemies are nearby.

Unexplored is an amazing game and I highly recommend picking it up on the switch with a link placed below, it is also available on steam, which I will also link below. However, this review has been done for the switch version, if there are any differences between the switch and the steam versions I do not know about them.

 

 

Nintendo Store

Steam

The Nintendo Switch: An Expensive but Worthwhile Investment

After a long time of waiting, debating, and pouring over whether to buy the fabled Nintendo Switch, I finally did it. After three solid years with my beloved 3DS and PS Vita, it’s come time to change gears and jump on the new generation train – Destination: More Games.

I’ve been playing around with my Switch for a couple of weeks and I thought I’d get down my thoughts on the device, praises, grievances, and all.

The Good

–  Gaming wherever and whenever

Portability has remained a major advantage for me even though I rarely get out of the house. You’d think I’d prefer gaming on hardier, more powerful platforms like the PC or Playstation 4 but the number of hours I put into my handheld far exceed the time I spend on home consoles.

First party titles, third party titles, worthwhile indies. Nintendo has covered all its bases. It’s such an amazing feeling to browse the eshop and see familiar titles from the Steam store on almost every page, the fact that I can bring my Switch and thus, those games, wherever I go makes me ridiculously overjoyed.

Over the past year of the Switch blowing past every expectation and milestone, I regularly found myself looking over a game on Steam and thinking, “I should just wait till it gets a Switch port.”

Not everyone cares about how powerful a console is, but portability is definitely one of the major considerations when buying a handheld. In the days of yore, the PSP and DS proved it. Then the 3DS and Ps Vita confirmed it. The number of units moved for the respective devices speak for themselves. Don’t discount mini-PCs either, such as the GPD Win and it’s successor, the GPD Win 2, which smashed their crowd funding goals. I’ve personally owned the first GPD Win and it was nice for indies, but it had its own problems.

–  A sizeable game collection

If you’d told me Skyrim would end up on a Nintendo console, I’d have busted a gut. But it’s no pipe dream. Skyrim, the epic RPG which has been ported to every conceivable platform and been rereleased so many times Bethesda must be swimming in cash, is playable on a handheld console. You can fusrodah assassins, khajits, dragons, and guards with arrows in their knees over cliffs and into oblivion (that isn’t the realm).

And that’s not the only major third party title that’s come to the Switch. Don’t forget about the DOOM reboot and Wolfenstein 2. But about the Switch’s first party titles? Well, you have The Legend of Zelda, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8.

What’s that? You want indie games? Hell, then what about Hollow Knight, Dead Cells and Shovel Knight, and tons more that I can’t list because this post will get way too long?

Dissenters like to bring up that Nintendo is porting way too many games, Splatoon 2 being one example, but for many people buying the Switch this will be their first time with many of those games. I did not own a Wii U so I look forward to Nintendo eventually porting its library to the Switch. It might sound a little crazy, but one easy solution is to not get the game if you already have it on other platforms. Personally, if my favourite games on the 3DS do end up coming to Switch, I’ll buy it in a heartbeat.

–  Multiplayer / couch co-op madness

This point doesn’t apply to me per se, but I’ve read about many people loving the heck out of the Switch’s removable joycon ability. A couple waiting for dinner playing a match or two in Overcooked, two friends killing time during lunch with several thrilling rounds of Mario Kart. The handheld already comes with two controllers out of the box, it’s awesome that it has the option for multiplayer without needing to fork out extra cash at the start.

 

The Neutral

– The Switch’s shape and design

I have big hands. Playing the 3DS gave me cramps like you wouldn’t believe, but I eventually did get used to it. The Switch hasn’t really given me that option. With a flat back and non-ergonomic shape in general, my wrist and palms start protesting barely an hour into gaming sessions. I know I’m not an isolated case since I’ve seen a number of complaints across the internet, but similarly, there are people who have no problem with the design and have none of those problems. That’s just how the cookie crumbles I suppose.

– Battery life

The 3 hour or so battery life takes some getting used to, especially if you’re coming from the 3DS. It is hard not to notice how fast the battery drains, especially when you’re out the entire day with the Switch as your only source of entertainment. I’ve played with the idea of getting a power bank, but it is a difficult investment since I’ve never needed one, not even for my smartphone.

The Switch trades battery life for power, I can’t complain if it allows me to play Skyrim or DOOM during my daily commute. Other than having less gaming time and the need to lug around a power bank, I’d say the trade-off is worth the hassle.

 

The Bad

– Price of digital games

I’m glad Nintendo is dunking its feet into the indie scene, but after seeing the price tags on several games I want, I’m certain I almost had a seizure. Not all indies are culpable but some seem to be taking advantage of the ‘portability means you pay more!’ argument. This applies not only to indies, I’ve seen a fair number of triple A games guilty of this as well.

I’m someone who doesn’t mind buying the same game multiple times, I’ll go the extra mile if I adore it, but when your game costs triple the price compared to other platforms, I have a hard time justifying the purchase. Not to mention the extra eshop tax!

This problem is especially hard to ignore for people who own a PC along with the Switch. Portability might be awesome, but if I have to shell out an extra fifteen to twenty bucks so I can take it on the train, I’d just stop myself from buying it. Frankly, that’s a lose lose situation.

As of writing this article, Stardew Valley on the eshop costs around $3 more than it’s steam counterpart. Patobox, another indie title I’ve had my eye on, costs $4 to $5 more. I hope indie developers thinking of publishing or porting games to the Switch in the future take this into consideration.

Conclusion

Is the Switch a perfect console? Of course not. But is it a worthwhile investment for people who love handhelds and crave portability? A resounding YES. With a whole new way to game and more indie titles than ever to dabble in, I’ll be a happy camper for a very long time to come.

Looking for an awesome Switch title to pick up? Check out The Final Station, here!

Inner Space Releases this Tuesday – Trailer

A space flight adventure game developed by Polyknights called Inner Space is being released on Tuesday, tomorrow. Inner Space is an exploration flying game set in a world where physics are inverted. Take command of an unnamed cartographer as you adventure the bubble worlds, collect relics, and encounter each bubbles deity to discover more about its history. You can pick up this game on Linux, Mac OSX, PS4, Switch, Windows, and Xbox One on January 18, 2018!

Note from the creators:

We started PolyKnight Games back in college, when we would meet after class to talk about new challenges in game design. We became fixated on one question in particular: “What would a flying game be like in a universe of inside-out planets?” To answer that question, we decided to put aside our career plans and form our own indie studio.

If you like the idea of a plane that transforms into a submarine, then dives inside the belly of an ancient demigod, you’re in the right place.

 

 

Inner Space Trailer:

You can check out the game’s Steam page here or their website, here.