Review: A Game of Thrones – Genesis

“Backstabbing. Subterfuge. Bribes. Seduction. Secret alliances. These are all tasty elements that can sex-up any good old medieval tale. A Game of Thrones: Genesis sets itself apart from other fantasy real-time strategy offerings by placing a much greater gameplay emphasis on politicking and treachery than on brandishing swords and resorting to outright warfare. It’s an interesting experiment that yields an impressive level of depth but very little of the fun that comes from conquering your foes by setting carefully planned strategies into motion.”

Check out the full review here at IGN.


Review: Pirates of Black Cove

“There’s a fine line between campy and crappy. The way Pirates of Black Cove’s lighthearted “Yaaaarrr”-heavy humor waffles back and forth from amusing to cringe-worthy is forgivable, but a strong personality doesn’t save this sinking ship of a game from its numerous shortcomings. Sluggish high seas adventure and dull, simplistic gameplay detract from an otherwise charming presentation that struggles to stay afloat under its own awkward girth. Simply put: plundering loot across the beautifully shimmering waters of Black Cove should be a lot more fun than it is.”

Check out the full review here at IGN.

Review: Dungeons of Dredmor

“In all my years as an avid cartographer of dangerous virtual catacombs, I’ve never seen dark, nefarious corridors so well stocked with fancy cheeses, spiced meats, and assorted inebriating spirits as the ones in Dungeons of Dredmor. It’s rather funny, really, that this indie roguelike is more bountiful in its array of mojo-replenishing treats than my local supermarket, but there’s a good reason for that. Every room and hallway is also spring-loaded with merciless death. A few smart features make the process of diving into the addictive dungeon crawling grind more accessible to newcomers, yet this so-called “casual” monster-slaying and loot-hunting adventure is anything but. Impending doom waits around every corner. Embrace this fact, accept it, and you’ll come to love these ruthless dungeons.”

Check out the full review here at IGN.

Review: Proun

“Few games make the process of getting dizzy and mildly queasy an enjoyable one, but barreling headlong through a swirling vortex of jagged geometry and abstract artwork at high speeds is as blissful as it is intense. From the creative mind of Joost van Dongen, one of the individuals behind colorful games like De Blob and Swords & Soldiers, Proun is a fascinating mash-up of art and racing. Despite being incredibly thin on content, this one-man indie side project is heart-pounding, euphoric, and very addictive. Even better, you can pay whatever you want to download it.”

Check out the full review here at IGN.

Review: Magic: The Gathering 2012

“After spending a few years in high school obsessively collecting cards, building decks, and dueling pals during lunch and study hall, my relationship with Magic: The Gathering dropped into the abyss. That is, until Wizards of the Coast rekindled my addiction in a dangerous way with Duels of the Planeswalkers – a downloadable version that streamlined the tabletop fantasy card-battling experience while staying true to the spirit of the core game. Planeswalkers 2012 is an excellent follow-up that builds on its predecessor’s momentum, offering a fresh interface, lots of new cards for battling, and meatier gameplay options.”

Check out the full review here at IGN.

Review: Jamestown

“Like many students, I didn’t pay close attention during the dull moments in history class. However, I doubt the first group of European settlers to permanently colonize North America had to contend with tentacle-adorned aliens toting laser blasters. The decision to mash-up early American history and sci-fi creepiness is an odd one, but indie developer Final Form Games’ creativity pays off in Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony. This intense bullet-hell shooter is soaked in stylish 2D strangeness and delivers some seriously frenetic arcade action.”

Check out the full review here at IGN.

Review: Sims 3: Generations

“The Sims 3: Generations bucks Sims expansion conventions. Previous Sims 3 expansions have offered meaty updates that enhance the classic life-simulation experience with new gameplay features and a glut of new items, like world exploration, hands-on professions, and even a vampire nightlife. The changes and nuances are more subtle in The Sims 3: Generations. I still got a kick out of giving my Sims über-hairy man chests, making “Woo-Hoo” in the shower, lighting bags of dog feces on fire, and creating home videos of my various shenanigans. But the value proposition falls a little short.”

Check out the full review here at IGN.

Review: Frozen Synapse

“For days on end, I’ve been staring at the blue hued corridors of maze-like compounds filled with ugly neon soldiers trying to kill each other. My eyes are starting to hurt, but it’s hard to look away. Every click of the mouse sends my brain swirling with the strategic outcomes that could unfold. Will my grenade take down that sniper or will he have disappeared long before it ignites? Will another foe turn the corner and run head-long into the blast? I have no clue. Each turn you take in Frozen Synapse is a calculated gamble, which makes the constant cycle of second guesses, tactical sneakiness, and erupting chaos in this turn-based shooter intensely absorbing.”

Check out the full review here at IGN.

Review: Terraria

“Imagine what Minecraft might be like if it had been made with pixel art sprites and released in the SNES era. That sums up the overall vibe of Terraria pretty well. It also explains why I just can’t seem to tear myself away from the darned thing. This devious little indie sandbox title borrows so many ideas from Notch’s game that it essentially is Minecraft in 2D, but it also beefs up the familiar gameplay in exciting ways. There’s a lot more creepy crawly stuff to kill, and the staggering number of doodads you can MacGyver together into deadly weapons to slay them with is mouth-watering. Say what you will; there’s some gnarly fun to be had in these uncharted depths.”

Check out the full review here at IGN.

Review: Gray Matter

“Gray Matter is infused with an incredible sense of atmosphere and an enticing, quirky story that unfolds slowly across eight lengthy chapters. While that’s enough to keep most adventure game aficionados glued to their keyboard for the long haul, a steady smattering of weak puzzles detracts from the experience through a hefty portion of the game.”

Check out my full review here at IGN.