May first is here and it’s time to look at some Tower Defenses, TBSes and a Sims/GameDevTycoon mix. I’ve seen around seven TD games this time around.
39 games later… If your trailer features 480p or less resolution, laggy/skippy/freezing gameplay or other similar problems, I’m going to skip your game. Make sure your trailer is ready for primetime before it ships on Steam. At 100 games released every week, I can afford to be picky on this. You, the developer, cannot.
This post is part of a series where I feature the most interesting new releases on Valve’s Steam store. With my first impressions commentary to go along with each. Learn more about this series at this blog post.
Feature: Lux Delux
The only featured game has to be Lux Delux for this Friday afternoon. So, Risk. I like the concept of Risk. Nations battling it out for supremacy. Making strategic decisions every turn that could dictate failure or success. But the execution of standard Risk leaves a lot to be desired. The game can drag on for hours. Battles are tedious multiple rolls of the dice that leave the other players sitting there, bored, waiting their turn. So, to see a far more fast-paced game based on the concept of Risk really intrigues me. Because as much as I love the idea of Risk, I don’t love the idea of sitting around bored for hours upon hours. 900+ maps doesn’t hurt it either…
Lux was initially released in November of 2002. Seems it only took 13 years for it to finally be allowed on Steam. This is the first I’ve heard of this title despite its age. I know, what rocks have I been under again? This is part of the reason I do the Journey Through Steam. To hopefully avoid letting titles like these pass me by.
Mixed Feature: Software Inc.
The only Early Access game to get featured today, Software Inc. seems to be a mix of Game Dev Tycoon and The Sims game mechanics. Not really what I first considered to be a natural mix but the trailer seems to indicate otherwise. I didn’t particularly like the mechanics of GDT, mostly because it felt like it was far too biased to games that were proven successes in our world. So, if you knew of enough about gaming’s history, you could pretty easily succeed in titles like these. I wonder if Coredumping has any plans on changing that up or not. It might be a bit too early to give the game a feature as the devs state the game is unbalanced and lacking in content. So, you’ll probably want to probably hold off getting it for now. Still, I like the concept they’re going with.
Mixed Feature: GemCraft – Chasing Shadows
Steam is no stranger to Tower Defense titles. I find myself conflicted on this genre as I haven’t found a truly enjoyable game since my playthrough of Defense Grid: The Awakening. Though Defender’s Quest: Valley of the Forgotten got close…. Anyway, so why should GemCraft get any love at all? Well, because I’m hoping it’s not bad. Well, that and there seems to be a story for this one. It’s got a lot of levels and features that when added up, intrigue me. Most notably, the large amount of (hopefully unique) stages to explore, the gem-turret aspect and summoning monsters as mentioned on the Store page.
Mixed Feature: Order of Battle: Pacific
This one is pretty easy to ignore, but might be one we shouldn’t. Turn-based strategy set in WWII, it features land air and sea battles all in one map. It’s got quite a bit of content in it by the looks of things. 500 unique units, specialization system, commander units and some “what-if” scenarios about what might have happened if certain nations won out. I don’t know why this one keeps grabbing for my attention either. It’s not THAT unique as far as TBS games go. The quality is indie and it comes from a developer I haven’t heard of. But something keeps chipping at me to feature it so, featured it shall be. Sometimes games that get featured are based on instinct than anything I can say in words.
Mixed Feature: Solarix
Ooooo boy I don’t know…this title, I’m conflicted on what I see. There’s been a glut of stealth/survival/horror games on Steam lately. But, this one stands out a bit. The quality is obviously indie. Animations are a bit iffy, the voice acting is almost good enough and there’s something that just feels…very low budget about it. But yet, I can’t help but think of System Shock 2, Dead Space and maybe a bit of Portal when I watch the trailer. The store page talks about “advanced AI” which I have to wonder how advanced because there are certain sections of the trailer that show the player standing right in front of, what I assume to be, bad guys. Still, they seem to be going for psychological horror which I prefer over jump-scaring nonsense that many FPS games tend to shoot for. But this game is toeing the line between possibly great and unfortunately bad. Maybe I’ll get around to playing it.
Breaking Bad, the game anyone? Looks a bit bare bones for my taste of a strategy/simulation title but I guess that’s to be expected of a Early Access title. Going to sit on my thoughts of this one until its completed later this year.
Side Note: Chroma Squad
Cute premise to this tactical RPG. Five stunt actors quit their jobs and start their own Power Rangers-inspired TV show. Features pixelated graphics, tactical RPG combat and probably a goofy sense of self. I don’t have too many thoughts on it but it stands out from all of the other tactical RPGs I’ve seen this week.
Thanks for reading and supporting as always!