When I attended the Canadian Videogame Awards back in November, I kept seeing Frima Studio’s Chariot during the nomination announcements for a number of different categories1. I was intrigued by this interesting-looking platformer. Frima was nice enough to send me a copy (PS4) to review, and I can safely say that it deserved every nomination that it received. Smallest Thumbs also joined in on the fun to help me test out the couch-cooperative mode – and she was quite happy about that.
While I have a soft spot for indie titles, I have an even greater appreciation of indie titles with a distinct local flavour. Chris de Castro’s The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods is a neat little gem that is currently in development that makes a statement about the way of things in our society. It focuses both on the problem and the solution in such a simple and honest way that I think it deserves a look.
A few years ago, I reviewed Trendy Entertainment’s interesting take on tower defense called Dungeon Defenders. The game was a great mix of tower defense, action and RPG, and Ricky and I had a lot of fun trying it out. Now, Trendy is working on a sequel Dungeon Defenders II, which is in early access on Steam. I played with it for a while and am pretty impressed with what I have seen so far.
Dokuro is a fun title developed by Game Arts that came out for the Playstation Vita a few years ago. This puzzle-platforming game is fun, and its chalk-drawing world looks great on the intended platform. The publisher, Gungho, saw fit to port it over to the PC, and while it looks fine, I think that it makes a much better Vita title.
To me, playing Spiderweb Software’s Avernum 2: Crystal Souls for the PC feels just like playing Dungeons & Dragons. Now, I haven’t played legitimate, tabletop D&D in almost thirty years, and I didn’t really think I missed it since computer RPGs seemed to fill that gap pretty effectively – especially nowadays. When I look at a game like Skyrim, which is huge and beautiful and dynamic, with a first-person view that figuratively puts you right in the boots of your character – when you’ve got all that, who needs a bag of dice and some shoddily painted figurines? But ten minutes into playing Avernum 2, I felt a really powerful nostalgia for those old D&D days. I don’t know if that effect was achieved by design or by accident, and I don’t think I want to know, but I know why it feels so much like old school D&D: it’s all in the exposition.
If you have never had the chance to use a gaming mouse, you don’t know what you are missing (yes, even if you are not a “gamer”). Gaming mice tend to be more comfortable than your typical run-of-the-mill pointing devices; on top of that, they are also very precise. Though they carry a higher price point than their “plain” cousins, I think that they more than make up for this thanks to their high level of tracking and durability. For those that still are unconvinced, you can take the plunge with the relatively inexpensive Satechi Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse. Not only is it easy on the wallet, it is also a surprisingly capable interface for gaming and non-gaming applications.
Focus Home Interactive’s Cities XL has always been my favourite go-to city-building series. The sheer size of the cities that can be built makes for long-term fun, and with the ability to build multiple cities around a virtual world (that interact with each other), players who enjoy this genre should never get bored.