Sunday, 28 July 2013

Dead Pixels Review

Dead Pixels by CSR-Studios is a zombie game, and I know what you are thinking “Not another one…”. Well yes, but this one is actually pretty good. Containing character upgrades, tonnes of weapons, pickups and houses to loot along the way, Dead Pixels takes all the good elements about a zombie game and streamlines them. No more long winded stories with tedious moral consequences, just point, shoot and perhaps throw a grenade every now and again. Take all this and grab an unsuspecting friend for local co-op and you have something that is loads of fun.

Dead Pixels loose story line is not going to win any awards, but it works for an excuse to shoot your way through hordes of zombies.  As we so often do in zombie games, we find ourselves in a city looking to get out alive. As we progress down each street there are houses ransack and other survivors to trade with. Also, everybody knows zombies walk around with loads of cash in their dead pockets, so along the way you might as well liberate them of this unnecessary baggage and buy yourself some fireworks or ten shots of adrenaline. The end of the world can make you quite rich, shame about that whole apocalypse thing and all.

Gameplay is what Dead Pixels boils down to. Run shoot, run some more, shoot again, become over encumbered, try and run but be unable to, run out of ammo and have to poke your way out of fights, get swarmed by the undead, see your partner die and become zombie who then starts to chase you, eventually decide “Hell with this”, dump all your excess weight and dash between all the zombies like you are in a downhill slalom race. Finally, breathe. All of this in a single street. As you have probably guessed, Dead Pixels can be very fast paced and frantic. However it does have a deep level of strategy to it. Managing your weapon ammo and deciding what to buy and sell to a trader adds an unexpected depth to the game. Ammo can be scarce and shops appear erratically, or sometime not at all. With each shop having a different selection of goods and varying prices, knowing when you are getting a bargain is important. However, you don't always have that luxury, what with all those undead folk and everything milling about outside.

Dead Pixels looks and sounds great. There is a wide range of zombie models, along with loads of different types of zombies from spitters to guys who run at you. Dead Pixels really does feel like an entire city, with its vast range of people, has turned on you. While the shops and houses are repeated level after level, I personally feel this adds to the feeling that the road out of the city is never-ending. Dead Pixels soundtrack compliments the game perfectly. It has a great rock/metal soundtrack with some brilliant guitaring throughout. I always think a game with a cleverly built and executed soundtrack is far more enjoyable to play because of it. This is a soundtrack I would buy and listen to separately from the game.

Dead Pixels has two additional game modes on top of the standard escape the city mode. The Solution allows you to choose a character from a list of convicted criminals who each have their own specific stats. The objective for this game mode is to trigger a catastrophic overload in the cities power plant and escape so you get pardoned of whatever crime you committed. With no shops or other survivors to interact with you are simply intent on your target of the power plant and escaping in one piece.  However, you do have the ability to spend the money earned from zombie kills still by using one of the 4 radios given to you at the start of the game. So you can really save up and buy some of the game’s biggest and most devastating guns to smash your way to the power plant and back out again. The other game mode is called The Last Stand and it is your run of the mill survival and time trail mode. No great leap from this mode, but it is a nice addition to two already great game modes.

This is a zombie game to be remembered. It is loads of fun, with plenty of weapons, upgrades and zombies, local co-op, 3 different game modes and 5 difficulties to test you on. Dead Pixel is something I will definitely come back to again and again.  

Gameplay – 5/5
Graphics – 4/5
Enjoyability – 5/5
Soundtrack - 5/5
Story – 3/5
Overall – 4/5

Right, now that you have heard my opinion on the matter why not go down to the comments section and give me yours. :)

General Information

Game Name - Dead Pixels
Developer - CSR-Studios
Genre - Action, Adventure

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Knytt Underground Review

Knytt Underground is an exploration platformer. You play as Mi, a young lady who has gone spelunking. There have been two previous games in the Knytt series. However, you do not need to have played them to enjoy exploring the vast caverns in Knytt Underground. Packed with quests, puzzles and a whopping 1,800 rooms can Knytt Underground dig its way to gaming glory?

Let’s start with story. I have no idea what is going on it Knytt Underground. I go and find some fairies. Do some quests, including finding candlesticks along the way. All while enjoying a lush underground environment and highly enjoyable and responsive platforming. So what if this isn't a game with a winning storyline. It is a game about exploring a complex area of caves and enjoying an adventure to discover what is in the next room. What it boils down it is a Metroidvania game without all that pesky combat. You can simply enjoy exploring for explorations sake.

Knytt Underground has some of the smoothest and most responsive platforming I have encountered in a long time. Usually precision jumping is out of the question, instead just end up diving headlong towards your goal and hoping for the best. Not Knytt Underground. Along with graceful jumps, Mi can also climb up most straight surfaces. This is an important element of the game as without her ability to climb, you would not get very far. There is a rudimentary tutorial that introduces some of Knytt Undergrounds features, but not all of them. Throughout your adventure you will come across these glowing orbs. Each of these gives Mi a specific power-up. These range from turning Mi into a little orb so you can fly across an area or makes and explosion to help you jump higher. No matter what the power-up is, it really changes up the gameplay and shapes Knytt Underground into a unique and unpredictable game.

Graphically Knytt Underground looks great. The environments are wonder, if a little dark at times, but then what did I expect from a game set in a series of caves. Using the various power-up looks as great as it feels to use them. Although the character models are a little shaky, they are a null point since your main focus is the massive scope of the game and its hundreds of rooms to explore.

Unfortunately Kyntt Underground does have some poor qualities. The quest system is just a basic delivery job. Find A and bring it to B. However, you do get to enjoy all of Knytt Underground's other features during each quest. The other bit about quests that could use improvement are the rewards. Now, I am not being greedy or anything, but after collect several random items for a stranger I usually expect something shiny out of the deal. In Knytt Underground all you get is the satisfaction of a job well done and to be able to access a new area. So it can feel you aren’t really progressing even when you are. Now we come to the issue of save points. Why are they so well hidden and infrequent? It isn’t like you need to make sure you don’t die, because all dying does is respawn you back where you were previously. So I don’t understand why the save points are not just a bit more often, it makes playing the game for shorter periods of time difficult – this is something that could be improved upon to expand the potential market for this game. Nifflas Games if you are reading please make some change to this. You need to have more frequent save points, otherwise you end up like me wandering around in search of one for the better part of 20 minutes and that’s no good. 

Backtracking is another element that could have been reduced. While there are a lot of rooms, it seems there are a lot of wasted rooms. There a great deal of rooms with very little in and it seems that the game could have exploited this and had more plaforming elements.  However, there are enough rooms to challenge your skills.

On the whole Knytt Underground is a brilliant exploration platformer with a fantasic physics engine. However, it could be improved by having more frequent and less hidden save points and a more rewarding quest system. These somewhat minor complaints are overshadowed by a well crafted plaformer and highly enjoyable game.

Gameplay – 5/5
Graphics – 4/5
Enjoyability – 4/5
Story – 2/5
Overall – 4/5

General Information

Game Name - Knytt Underground
Developer - Nifflas' Games
Genre - Platformer, Adventure


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Dwarf Quest Review

Dwarf Quest is a dungeon crawler with a turn-based combat system. Playing as Morrin Firebeard you could not have a more classic Dwarven name. Using a simple, but effective system Dwarf Quest pits our hero against monsters, traps and bosses throughout his journey. While Dwarf Quest harkens back to old school dungeon crawlers can it stand up in modern times?

First off, Dwarf Quest is not a game with a grand story. It is, however, one with a loose story that gives you a bit of background. You are playing as Morrin Firebeard as he journeys through The Foundry on this year’s tournament. Along the way poor Morrin discovers nothing, but various creatures with pointy weapons and the corpses of his friends. The reasoning behind this brutal tournament beyond me, but it works for the premise of the game.

Dwarf Quest's graphic are not the most polished. However, the enemy models are quite detailed and varying. I like to think it was the developer’s choice in making the rooms look very similar in order to enhance the feeling of being a lost in a dungeon. If this is the case it is executed perfectly. Even with the ability to see where I had been previously, Hansel and Gretel style, I still felt a bit lost at times. Atmospheric would be a good word to describe Dwarf Quest's graphics, if a little uninteresting at times.


Combat in Dwarf Quest is turn-based. Each action performed uses up one of the dots above each characters head. These actions include: moving, attacking, blocking and using health potions, but not battle cards. Blocking makes shields appear above Morrin’s head equal to the number of dots he had left and reduces the amount of damage he takes. The same is true for his enemies. The real strategy comes from utilising blocking, attacking and moving to the best of your advantage. Certain encounters are trickier than others forcing you to alter your tactics.

Throughout Morrin’s journey he finds a range of items. These span from your ordinary health potions and treasure chest keys, to battle cards. Battle cards buff Morrin’s abilities in a range of ways. They can fully heal him instantly or make his next attack really pack a punch. They can really make a difference in Dwarf Quests more difficult battles and especially in both boss battles. Using a battle card can really turn the tide in Morrin’s favour and should be used accordingly. You find them frequently in crates and chests and even though there is a shop to buy them in, you rarely need to.

Now, onto the shop. What would you normally expect a shop in a dungeon to like? Well, whatever you were expecting I bet you were not counting on it being a coffin. The first few times I saw it did not even realise it was a shop and passed it up wondering "What am I meant to do with all this gold?”. Anyway confusing store managers aside the battle cards can be a tad overpowered, but they can also really make a difference in a tough fight so be sure to stock up.

Now we come to the issue of balance. Dwarf Quest is, unfortunately, riddled with these. Firstly, at the beginning of the game blocking means you take no damage. So it is easy enough from this horde all the health potions in case you need one - which isn't very often to begin with. However, once you progress far enough, finding a shield and another axe, blocking becomes less viable. So you would assume equip the shield, do a bit less damage, but stay alive easier. Wrong. By this stage unless you have two axes equipped the enemies will not take any damage. Puzzler, no? We it goes on. Even with enemies being able to hurt you through your guard they rarely pose much of a threat. this is due to the ample numbers of health potions and battle cards you find. However, in spite of all this Dwarf Quest is highly addictive. I simply could not stop playing even though I found myself complaining about all these balance issues. When it comes down to it, Dwarf Quest is a highly enjoyable dungeon crawler with an interesting combat system. Would I have like some things to be a bit more polished and balanced? Yes. However, with a second one on the works maybe these will be addressed. 

I would say that Dwarf Quest is worth a play. It is a fresh dungeon crawling experience and is unlike many other games today. I am definitely looking forward to the second one.


 - Gamplay 4/5

 - Graphics 3/5

 - Story 2/5

 - Enjoyability and Addictiveness 4/5

Overall 3/5

General Information

Game Name - Dwarf Quest
Developer - Wild Card Games
Genre - Action, Adventure


Sunday, 16 June 2013

New Review Rating System

The new rating system will hopefully streamline the current one. Instead of a final something/100 score, I am going to make a something/5 system instead. This will rate the game in various areas such as graphics, plot and gameplay. I will then tally up the numbers and work out the average. This should give a more representative score for each game I review. This in the hope that the scores will make more sense. I have had a lot of feedback saying that the number at the end of the review is too vague. The reviews themselves will be unchanged. See below for an example of what the new score system should look like.

Graphics - 4/5
Soundtrack - 3/5
Gameplay - 4/5
Overall - 4/5

The number of scores will vary between games. I may add in enjoyment or plot depending upon the game, but the end result of and 'overall' score afterwards that is the average of those above will not. I have yet to decide whether I will be being a decimal point and it might be something that appears rarely or something that becomes a staple. We will just have to wait and see.

Anyway, there we go the new system for reviews in all its shining glory.


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Along Came A Spider Review

Along Came a Spider is a platformer that, as you may have guessed, you play as a spider. The aim of each level is to collect the 3 flies dotted around the map and reach the end web. You have to run, climb and run your way along the thin spider web while enjoying the slightly psychedelic music and visuals. Along Came a Spider takes the standard platformer formula, of reach the exit, and runs with it. The major difference with Along Came a Spider is that you play as a spider. Using your spider-ly powers you are able to climb surfaces. In fact, the game hangs a lot of its gameplay and platforming on this concept. For example, you may need to jump, hang upside down and run along for a bit before jumping back off again. Your spider can hang on any white surface (presumably webbing). There are some other surfaces, but spiders apparently hate them. With all these white lined surfaces I keep expecting line runner to come sledging down on me at any moment.

While attempting to reach the end of each level the games asks you "please collect some flies". These are optional collectables required to unlock further levels. Bit of an oxymoron and it would have been nice if the flies unlock extras, such as different skins for the spider. Actually, Along Came a Spider doesn't have anything other than the platforming levels. I know that is what the game is all about, but I am a sucker for unlockables.

Along Came a Spider has some interesting level designs and as I said before the ‘climbing' ability can shake up the standard platforming gameplay. Unfortunately it doesn't help it that much. The game can get a bit samey, but I really enjoyed it in small chunks. Gradually playing through it over an extended period, instead of having a massive gaming session on it. One reason I had to stop playing was that; the jumping physics are really floaty, for a game based on being able to time and aim jumps well, this is an issue. Frequent checkpoints make this a tad more manageable, but it is still frustrating to miss a seemingly easy jump own physics engine. Then again, the ‘floatyness' could be intentional as it really combines well with the psychedelic soundtrack.

The game's soundtrack makes for a rather dream like experience . When you add in the glow effects and you have something that is really trippy. I may have missed a trick by not playing it while in a drunken haze. So there you go the perfect game to accompany your excessive alcohol intake. 

Score: 75/100

General Information

Game Name - Along Came A Spider
Developer - raoghard
Genre - Platformer
Bundle - Indie Bundle - Ultimate Bug Out Bundle

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon Review

Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon is one of those games that can get away with being really cheesy and over the top games because it is madly addictive and incredibly fun to play. Throw together, blasting your way through a horde of alien invaders, that coincidently look like various insects, with massive boss fights and insurmountable odds and you have a winning combination. For lack of a better comparison think of Earth Defence Force as like Lost Planet, but without all that nonsense of fighting other humans. Combine all these features with co-op, character upgrades and replayability and you would think it would be amazing, right? Well let’s see shall we?

Firstly let’s focus on what Earth Defence Force is all about: gameplay. At its core, Earth Defence Force is an objective based third person shooter. The enemies range from ants to spiders, but they also throw space ships and giant robots at you. The game can have loads of enemies running you and your comrades down at any moment from both the air and ground. Oh, and by comrades I mean either AI players or if you jump online you can grab a buddy and charge through both campaign and survival maps.

Weapons. What more could you want to devastate your foes that a massive range of weapons? Earth Defence Force comes with a range of classes in the form of armours. The armours are: Trooper, Jet, Tactical and Battle. Each one fills a role in the battlefield and the game works best if you have one person playing as each. However, if (like me) you can rarely coordinate your pals, then the game's AI takes the place of the other three soldiers and you can still enjoy the game. Like I said before, each armour has its own weapon set and play style. Such as, the Jet Armour is all about flying about and raining down fire from the skies. Whereas, the Battle Armour sits you under loads of health and a big gun on the ground. So as you can see, there is a lot to play about with in Earth Defence Force. Alongside, the ability to upgrade your suits by gaining XP and the choice to buy and equip a range of weapons before each mission. This gives you a lot of customisability. As you upgrade your armour and it becomes more powerful and better weapons become available. You are however limited to 2 weapons per hero for the mission and this means if you make a bad choice then it cannot easily be swapped.

Earth Defence Force might not be the prettiest game, but it does manage to have tonnes of enemies on screen at once without any issues. The textures are a bit flat and there isn't much in the way of detail. However, since you are about to kill hundreds of enemies in a matter of minutes you don't even get much chance to take in the details of your enemies. Most things in Earth Defence Force are destructible. This includes: buildings, cars, trees and whatever else gets in either sides way. However, they just crumble and it isn't exactly the most beautiful and lifelike demolition. Again though, the sheer scale of the maps and the amount of destruction means you don't really mind. Especially, if you are about to be overrun by ants.

Missions in Earth Defence Force set you and your squad to help clear out the city by closing ant hills and clearing out areas. The missions that do not involve the massive bosses, that make Earth Defence Force shine, can get a little boring. Go here, kill that, and activate this. It can be a little uninspired at times. As you crank up the difficulty this can make it more interesting, as the insects become more difficult to kill. Although, overall gameplay is the same apart from harder difficulties meaning you can upgrade your armour to higher levels.

Alongside the regular missions there are a wide number of survival missions that throws greater and greater numbers of enemies at you and making you try to live as long as possible. However, this doesn't differ any from the campaign except that the bugs don't run out. This mode is best played with friends because otherwise it can get stale quickly.

While regular missions can get a bit boring and repetitive, boss fights are exciting. They generally involve something that is massive and seemingly invincible. When you reach your first boss fight in Earth Defence Force it is such a massive creature. It stomps about the maps making you feel tiny in comparison and there is a great sense of achievement when you finally defeat it. This feeling is sustained through further boss fights throughout the campaign. Each boss and some other smaller enemies use 'weak spots' that must be attacked in order to do any damage to them. The fact that you can only really damage them at a certain time and only in short bursts can be irritating, but it means you need to play tactically in order to you defeat it. 

I would like Earth Defence Force to only be the boss fights, since I began to find the regular missions too repetitive. Although, when playing with other people this is mitigated because competing to get the highest number of kills is brilliantly fun. I would prefer it to have had local co-op so I could play the co-op more often. A great amount of customisability and explosive gameplay makes for a wickedly fun game, which is best played with friends.

Score: 79/100

General Information

Game Name - Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon 
Developer - Vicious Cycle Software, Inc.
Genre - Action, Adventure, RPG,
Bundle - Indie Bundle - Ultimate Bug Out Bundle

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Guy Vs The Wicked and Nefarious Land Review

Guy Vs The Wicked and Nefarious Land is a very long title and, as such, shall be referred to as 'Guy', from now on. Guy is a one of those games that is chock-a-block full of video games jokes, puns and pop culture references, some of which are very old or aimed at a specific generation. This can make them very hit and miss, as well a bit grating.

Guy is mostly a Zelda-like game. You journey through dungeons, defeat monsters and bosses to reach a goal. There are 3 play styles and these are: move and attack with the mouse only, keyboard and mouse and a keyboard only build. However, the basic deal is the same. Personally I enjoy the mouse only mode myself.

Now, I'm all for funny jokes and things but Guy is full of jokes I have heard so many times before. This means that by this stage I am a bit sick of them. I thought we were done hearing "Over Nine Thousand" references. But, alas apparently not. There are some genuinely funny moments but they are few and far between and don't add to the game. This coupled with numerous spelling mistakes (I'm one to talk) make the whole story element a bit cumbersome. However, Guy isn't really about sweeping you away with a epic tale. Instead, Guy is more about enjoying a decent dungeon explorer at a more casual pace.

The gameplay is where Guy shines. As I said before, personally, I prefer the mouse only controls. Only needing to use one hand really adds to the casual feel and tone of the game making it simple and accessible to play. The range of enemies that are introduced throughout the game is quite diverse and each uses different tactics to try and defeat you. This ranges from exploding goo over you slowing and stunning, to quick leaps and pounces that need to be fly countered and dodged. This makes the combat hectic and paced even if it can mean that enemies can combo you to death quite easily. Although since you can get amulets to increase your lives it means you can learn from your previous mistakes.

The live system in Guy is quite interesting. It uses an in-game item an 'amulet' that gives you extra lives. These lives are refreshed at each checkpoint on a dungeon. This can be useful if you have just had a difficult room. However, it can also make the game a bit unbalanced. This especially because it is relatively cheap to buy the more powerful amulets that give the most lives. Having a powerful amulet at the during the beginning of the game can lead it it feelings very easy, resulting in a few deaths meaning nothing as you have lots more lives. It is, however, an interesting take on the life system that works well, even if it has a few balance issues.

Along side buying amulets to buff your lives, Guy also have a range of weapons that can be upgraded. Each weapon has a different play style. For example, swords are your all-rounders, spears attack fast but do less damage and axes are your heavy hitters. Each upgrade increases their power, but there are only a few upgrades person weapon so this is a somewhat limited system. Along with weapons there are also three skills that can be unlocked and then upgraded. While these are a nice addition they are limited to three levels apiece and can be maxed out fairly easily. You can also find various rings with different benefits throughout your journey that can buff your character.

Alongside the main game you can collect relics that provide special missions with a specific objects. These missions can be highly challenging and will really test your skills when compared to the more casual dungeon of the story mode. In addition, the game also keeps track of all of the enemies you have defeated in the bestiary and you can train against these whenver you wish. This can help to understand the enemies movements when trying to finish a dungeon or relic mission.

Guy has a range of extras including its own in game achievements and statistics to track basically everything you do throughout the game. The stats include basic things like how may kills you have but goes into great death by tracking all the different ways you have died including: frozen, sliced, eaten and the ever mysterious 'other'. These are fun reminders about your journey through the game and it can be funny to see just how many times you have died even though you, I, thought the game was relievely easy. Alongside this, there are multiple difficulty modes if you want to further challenge yourself.

Overall I can say I enjoyed Guy Vs The Wicked and Nefarious Land it is a solid dungeon crawler that is best played with the mouse only option. While some, or a lot, of its jokes just make me sigh I am sure others will enjoy them. The great range of enemies and the pick up and play feel make for a fun and leisurely experience.

Scorer - 75/100

b>General Information

Game Name - Guy Vs The Wicked and Nefarious Land
Developer - Cog Monkeys
Genre - Action, Adventure, RPG,
Bundle - Indie Bundle - The Hellish Dungeons Bundle

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Rogue's Tale Review

Rogue's Tale by is a brutal, addictive and highly punishing rogue-like game. When I say brutal I really mean it. However, it is brutal in a nurturing kind of way. It shows you what to do then throws hordes of monsters at you ask as "Why did you just die, you fool?". I'm not alway sure whether Rogue's Tale thinks I can win against the odds by doing something different, or just enjoys watching me die after moving two spaces and die to what at first seems like a fairly harmless rat. Despite being cruelly treated and dying more than 100 times, why am I compelled to keep trying?

The main reason is that against all the odds I really want to win. Maybe this is just my own stubborn streak, but I really think that the game hold a great deal of content just waiting to be unlocked. If I have to go through several hundred lives, by gosh I am going to see that content.

Initially in Rogue's Tale you choose your starting stats in: strength, agility, stamina and charisma is going to be. These stats can then be upgrade when your character levels up. On top of this, every 3 levels your character gains it learns a trait by using specific objects in the game. These objects range from magic stones (which allows you to advance magically), to a campfire (that makes you more like a warrior). However, choose wisely as you cannot change this decision and can only have a certain number of traits. Once you unlock traits in a specific category such as literacy, you unlock an achievement that allows further characters to "inherit" this ability. This means that even if your hero dies you can (if you managed to progress far enough), retain some of what you battled your way through hordes of deadly enemies to gain. Rogue's Tale interesting way of linking your previous heroes to your current hero is a novel and interesting idea. The only hardship being that it is difficult to progress far enough to gain these benefits. Although, once you do it makes progression easier and enhances the chance you will live long enough to unlock further "heritage" skills.

Rogue's Tale is technically turn based with each decision, movement and attack taking a turn. Your total number of turns and a range of other statistics are provided upon your death, alongside your overall score and a short sentence that basically tells you how good/rubbish you did. When attacking and performing other interactions the game rolls two virtual six sided dice. Everything decision within Rogue's Tale is decided on the roll of a dice. This retro system works great but does mean that early and low levels monster can kill you easily because they were lucky enough to roll a six.

There are so many different types of weapons, skills and abilities in Rogue's Tale that you can play your character however you wish. Although, I have found that I need a shield. Most of my early deaths have been the result of being poorly equipped. This can leave you at the whimsy of a game that may not want to give you any armour at all. In this case you are either very lucky and find enough gold to purchase something from the shop or a merchant, or you die to one thing or another.

The main shop in the game stocks a vast range of items that steadily increase in price and power. You can also enchant, remove curses and identify items in order increase the benefits from equipping them. The main shop is directly up the stairs in which you start the game on. This can mean unless you find a merchant several floors down, you can end up having to run all the way back to make room for new items. However, it can make the whole game feel more like an adventure since dungeons don't, or shouldn't, have conveniently placed shops. On the flip side of this it can be very annoying having to run all the way back. However, I have rarely survived long enough for this to be an issue. Yet I keep playing. Curious, no?

Despite Rogue's Tale and it's rabid difficulty, it is highly addictive and has a "Oh, just one more character" feel that many games lack. This combines well with the heritage of certain traits making further character more powerful and more likely to live longer. A great blend of exploration, item collection and character development makes Rogue's Tale nothing short of brilliant. I must admit that the difficulty will turn off many people. Many people will struggle to progress and will feel it has nothing to offer since the game is so unforgiving. However, the game won't let them actually reach a point where they can see what the game offers, but it has a lot to offer the right person.

Score: 80/100

General Information

Game Name - Rogue's Tale
Developer -
Genre - Action, Adventure, RPG, Rogue-like
Bundle - Indie Bundle - The Hellish Dungeons Bundle

Castle Dracula Review

Castle Dracula by Gondefire Productions Inc is a point and click horror game where our hero, Luke, is off to save his wife, Grace, and unborn child from Dracula in his castle. Hence the name. Along the way he will face many trails and enemies that will try to stop him. Where as many point and click games punish you getting something wrong with "I can use that here" or "Please try again", Castle Dracula just kills you. Turned left instead of right? Well now, your dead. Chose the wrong lever? You guessed it, you're dead. It is pretty brutal. The game does steadily teach you through the trail and error, be careful or I will kill you a lot.

A pretty basic set up of husband tries to rescue wife with a rather simple if unusual interface. In Castle Dracula you switch between 3 clicking modes: move, use item or interact with and pick up. This can mean a lot of clicking on and off different modes. It can be rather tedious. When you combine this with a bug that makes items you are trying drag for an interaction stop mid-screen, then you have a game that can be a chore to play through.

The overall game is fairly short and it is likely only to stump people who just haven't seen where an item is to pick up. You can only hold 5 items at once but that isn't a problem because you never need to have any more than that. The puzzles are fairly obvious and straight forward, use the item you just found on the boss/room you just found to progress. Even the boss fights are nothing all that exciting. Merely drag an item onto them and they will die. A bit disappointing.

Castle Dracula looks gorgeous. The artwork of all the characters heroes and villains is brilliant and its sullen and tense soundtrack will make you feel like something is about to jump out on you. The voice acting on the whole is good even if there are a few cheesey lines. The game does a really good job of making you feel like you are part of a gothic epic through it's visuals and audio.

Unfortunately for Castle Dracula it has a pretty poor story, puzzles and overall game interaction. It's great looks and sounds do compensate a bit but not enough. The initial build up is lost when you defeat various monsters rather easily and even if you do die an awful lot, all the game does is restart you back on the screen you left. There aren't any consequences for dying aside from making you wait to be alive again.

If Castle Dracula didn't have such an awkward interface that wasn't so bugged, then it would have made the game much more enjoyable. The potential for a sequel could see all of this rectified. But, for the moment Castle Dracula is a fairly mediocre horror point and click game that does however, look and sound brilliant.

Score: 65/100

General Information

Game Name - Castle Dracula
Developer - Gondefire
Genre - Point and Click, Horror
Bundle - Indie Bundle - Point and Click DARK Bundle