If you like competitive strategy games but don’t like to take hours to play them, then you might want to keep your eyes on Prismata from Lunarch Studios. Pitched as a deckless turn-based strategy game that distills real-time strategy down to a turn-based format, Prismata is all about strategic resource assignment and forward-thinking. Matches in Prismata don’t last very long, and there is a very thin margin for error, making it very challenging. Even though the game is in its early development phases and doesn’t look as great as it could, it is still compelling based on game-play alone and deserves some attention from the card-dueling set.
It won’t be news to you that 343 Industries ran a beta of Halo 5: Guardians featuring an online multi-player preview. It launched just after Christmas for gamers with a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, and was available until January 18th. While the game won’t be released until fall 2015, gamers are getting a chance to try out the next-gen Halo experience and, more importantly, give developers a chance to crowdsource some debugging and a bit of consumer feedback. Given the cultural moment we’re going through with regards to the launch integrity of AAA releases, this is a pretty good move on the part of the studio, but I’ll get to that later. First off: the game.
There isn’t much time left to take the Hill. The Blue Team has been camping there long enough to erode your lead, leaving your team little choice but to make a desperate charge and hope for the best. You lean around the corner and hear the telltale sound of assault rifles, your vest shivering as your shield is being pounded into oblivion. You quickly pull back completely behind cover, making a mental note that three of the four Blues are hunkered down securely at the captured location. You wonder where their fourth member is – she was the one that seemed to give you so much trouble. Why, with all of the Reds covering the field there’s nowhere that she could hi-
Suddenly, you feel your vest shake, giving up the last of your recharging shield to the pounding force of a shotgun – and before you can react, she switches to an assault rifle and takes you down rapidly, causing mild electric shocks to the armband on your bare right arm – one pinching buzz for every quarter of your life. Then, you are dead. The buzzer goes, indicating the end of the match, and your team has the blues because you failed to make the other team see Red.
Welcome to Battlegrounds!
Not too long ago, I was invited to hang out with Sony Mobile to check out some of their new hand-held devices. So, I made my way over to where they were holding the Touch & Try Event, and was lucky enough to have arrived before everyone else! I sat down with Rob, a product representative from Sony Mobile, to check out a few of their new products – including a demonstration of Playstation 4 Remote Play on some of those very devices!
I’m standing outside an aged industrial building in Toronto’s East end in the cold and dark of a November night. The bitter air has sapped the warmth from my body and my joints are stiff. There’s a vague mechanical drone in the air, broken only by the odd passing car. I am alone, and I’m staring at the nondescript heavy door that separates me from my fate. After resigning myself to suffering the unknown ordeal that awaits me inside, I place my hand on the door and push.
“Drop your bag! Arms up!”
As human beings, we exhibit some behavioyrs that can only be described as self-destructive. As horrible a thing that might be, in Untame Games’ Mushroom 11, the whole point of this puzzle-platformer is advancement through self destruction. I spent a little time watching people play this game and was quite intrigued. Coming in 2015, this is one of those games that I am very much looking forward to playing when it goes gold.
One of my all-time favourite games is Thatgamecompany’s Flower for the Playstation 3. In fact, I have a soft spot for games that have a meditative quality to them (I’m looking at you, Journey). At Gamercamp 2014, on the second floor of the pop-up arcade, indie developer A Stranger Gravity was showing off a new drug for me called Apsis, which I’m sure I will end up playing for hours on end when it hits the market next year. There is still a ways to go in terms of the final product – but what I saw was enchanting, and I’m looking forward to the final product.