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Multiplatform Game Review:- Stranded Sails from Lemonbomb Entertainment

Stranded Sails is an open world farming adventure full of discoveries, quests and puzzles! Along with your crew you are ship-wrecked on a mysterious archipelago. Now it’s up to you to secure your survival and solve the mysteries deep in the heart of the islands –and finally escape.

 

 

Stranded Sails – Explorers of the Cursed Islands is an adorable farming RPG from Lemombomb Entertainment. It begins with a group of city dwellers boarding your father’s ship to set sail for a new snow covered frontier. Unfortunately, things don’t go to plan and you sail straight into a storm and end up ship-wrecked on a group of tropical islands. Your mission is to reunite your crew, build temporary shelters, farm crops and explore the islands to break the curse that prevents ships from leaving.

 

 

The animation is bright and cute, and kind of reminds me of cartoon Link in the Legend of Zelda games. The story is simple, but fun and the dialog, though long, is entertaining. My favourite feature of the game was the controls. As someone who cannot use mouse and keyboard for gaming, the controller options were easy to master, replacing item bars with spin wheels to select and equip items.

 

 

The start of the game was actually pretty tedious. I didn’t mind the hand-holding to find and settle the crew, but the limited energy bar was a huge drawback. Your options are to walk from one end of the camp to the other (which becomes boring after the seventh time) or run, which depletes energy faster and means you need a nap halfway through. This became less of a problem once you discovered cooking recipes and had a good batch of crops on the go.

 

 

Your crewmates are pretty useless too. Crops need watering, so when you’re away on another island scavenging for their survival the neighbour overlooking the farm just watches the crops dry out rather than help. Even though there is a chef being amongst your number, she doesn’t cook despite the ‘Stew for the Crew’ mini game. Basically, you choose an ingredient for each islander and if they like it enough, you gain experience. Over time you level up and one of them offers you a free tool upgrade or similar.

 

 

Discovering new personal meal recipes was a lot harder than it needed to be. After randomly throwing ingredients together for about an hour, I finally caved and checked the wiki. It turns out there are rules to cooking, e.g. any meal below Level 4 will be vegetarian. It would have been helpful for those tips to appear on screen, even if just a pop-up tip. Luckily ingredients aren’t used up when discovering. Cooked meals replenish energy and offer boosts which become essential when exploring the further reaches of the map.

 

 

Once I got my crew settled, mastered cooking, fishing, and even managed to get a boat upgrade, I was finally able to explore the stormy islands. I was excited, the training wheels were off and I was finally going to make this curse my bitch, then disaster. As I landed on the beach, the game crashed. Well, not just crashed, it turns out I encountered a game-breaking bug that corrupted my save files. Loading up the game offered me a black screen with the normal overlay menus. I could switch tools, but couldn’t see my character to know what was going on.

 

 

I contacted the developers and have been assured the latest update now fixes that bug, but the heartbreak of losing the 14 hours I had played so far was too much. I couldn’t get passed my frustration to find out what had caused the curse, and how I could fix it. I wouldn’t now know if my crewmates could become useful members of a castaway society, or if we would reach the promised land of snow. I will replay the game once my annoyance subsides enough for me to get through the settlement part again, but for the time being my crew can starve.

 

 

A cute Zelda like game thats marred by tedium and game breaking bugs.  5/10
~Scarlet_Dragon

 

Stranded Sails – Explorers of the Cursed Islands is available now on PC (STEAM, GOG and Humble Bundle), XBox One, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch, for more info or to buy, head over to the games website here!


November 19th, 2019 by Scarlet_Dragon
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Multiplatform Game Review:- Legend of the Skyfish from Mgaia Studio and Crescent Moon Games

Legend of the Skyfish is a beautiful level-based adventure puzzler with a unique weapon and tool – a fishing pole!

 

 

Friends, Romans, countrymen, I mean inmates and true believers! LEND me your ears! This is Darsch Pugs today with a review of Legend of the Skyfish developed by Mgaia studio and published by Crescent Moon Games. This is an interesting one folks! Legend of the Skyfish labels itself as a level based adventure puzzler,  but I prefer calling it a Zelda like lite if you would.

 

 

The game shares many similarities with some Zelda games, most notably the fishing pole that functions as a weapon and grappling hook ala the hook shot and master sword in the Zelda franchise and switch puzzles to open gates and doors. The grappling hook function can be used to solve puzzles, jump over gaps, and pull and stun enemies so you can then whack them with your fishing pole. there are various fishing polls, hooks, and hoods to get throughout the game hidden in chests. the chest themselves are hidden but when you get close to one your bee friend starts making noise and flashing a treasure chest in a chat bubble on the screen so you know to look around for them, they are not too well hidden as they tend to be along the path you have to take since the game is linear.

 

 

Speaking of linear, it’s a pretty clean cut single path you follow, with plenty of backtracking in some levels to hit all the switches to solve the puzzles, more on them later. The game really lacks in the exploration department and that is something I feel it needed. The levels are beautifully hand crafted and hand painted but short and too linear to the point the game can become boring.

 

 

The game claims to be a puzzler, but the only puzzles is hitting switches to open gates, require very little thought and are more like running an obstacle course to get to said switches to press them or push a giant statue on them. This was a pretty big let down as I had expected a bit more in the puzzle department considering the game has 45 levels and touts having various puzzles to solve, but they are not really puzzles. The difficulty though is perfect for very young fledgling gamers trying out their first adventure game.

 

 

The game’s mechanics are spot on and pretty self explanatory, it’s fun zipping across gaps and smashing enemies with your fishing pole, they are simple, sweet, and intuitive, perfectly balanced as all things should be. Thanos joke aside I had a blast playing the game the first few levels before it turned into tedium for me. The mechanics are great, the game play loop is spot on, but it quickly gets boring as you follow a single path doing the same thing over ad nauseam with no reward except the thrill of victory that feels hollow as you really did not accomplish anything as there was no challenge whatsoever.

 

 

The games art is all hand painted and reminds me of watercolor and oil paint paintings with a touch of Picasso influences in the way the curves of certain details and the faces are painted. The Animation is fluid, and at times I was reminded of classic Disney animated features.

 

 

Legend of the Skyfish is a great game for beginner gamers, but lacks any oomph to keep the more experienced satisfied. I feel it is worth the small $7 USD price tag it currently has on STEAM. It’s not a bad game, but it’s not a great either and is best for younger audiences until the grow into their big gamer controllers.

 

 

Legend of the Skyfish is available now on PC (STEAM), XBox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch and mobile, for more info, head over to the games website for more info.

 

I rate it a 4 out of 10
~Darsch


November 14th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

PC Game Review:- Spaceland by Tortuga Team

Incredibly dynamic turn-based strategy, reviving the traditions of the old school tactics. Lead a team of the most desperate fighters, destroy alien monsters and uncover the secrets of the lost planet.

 

 

Greetings inmates and true believers, this is Darsch again, and this time I bring you Spaceland. Spaceland is a turn-based tactical strategy game developed and published by Tortuga Team. The game is best described as baby’s first XCOM for it is a simpler version of classic titles like XCOM and Incubation. This does not make the game bad, it just lacks the depth of micromanagement other titles have.

 

 

The art in Spaceland is a delightful cartoony almost claymation style of art that is pleasing to the eye and fun to watch with amazing cartoony explosions and special visual effects, it at times is reminiscent of children’s cartoons with sound effects and music to match. I would love to see more games use this art style in the future as it’s just plain fun to interact with.

 

 

The writing on the other hand is some of the worst piss poor storytelling I have had the displeasure of reading. I felt like I was reading a terribly written toddler story book. Character interactions were forced and clunky, story elements were bland and the writing so simple it bordered on the side of insulting. I don’t expect Michael Crichton and R.A. Salvatore levels of writing in my games but I certainly don’t want it to be “Good Night Moon” levels of garbage either.

 

 

The gameplay is a simple balance of click where to move , click the enemy you want to shoot, manage your ammo and action points  which are used to move and shoot and use the limited special abilities like grenades to kill enemies in simple maps that take roughly ten minutes to beat. the gameplay loop is simple, solid, and entertaining. It is great for when you want to play something like xcom but with out all the hardcore in depth mechanics and micromanagement or story. The game has seven rangers to choose from to make your squad, each with their own unique play style and abilities, weapon upgrades and upgrade-able skills, and 20 different types of enemies to encounter and destroy.

 

 

Overall Spaceland is not bad, but its not great either, it suffers from a terribly written story that really holds back the game thus earning it a 3 out of 10 rating instead of a 5, the story and writing is just that terrible.

 

Spaceland is available on STEAM now, for more info, head over to https://store.steampowered.com/app/1021070/Spaceland/

 

 

~Darsch


November 7th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

PC Early Access Preview:- Encased

Encased is a tribute to “Roadside Picnic” and the original Fallout games. Fight enemies, explore anomalous wasteland, level up your character, join one of the forces in the ruined world in this new apocalyptic turn-based RPG.

 

 

Greetings inmates and true believers, this is Darsch again, and this time I bring you Encased: A Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic RPG developed by Dark Crystal Games and published by Black Tower Entertainment and currently in early access on steam. Encased is a tribute to “Roadside Picnic” and the original Fallout games and it shows from the turn based combat system similar to  the original fallout to the abundant dialogue options with npcs and event dialogue choices, some of which can kill you.

 

 

The very first thing you will notice in Encased is the deep character creation from choosing your color coded faction, tag skills, attributes all the way to your appearance. It’s deep, robust, and a real treat if you liked the character creation and level up systems of Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Fallouts 1 through 3 and New Vegas. Make no mistake, this is a very customizable build heavy rpg and that is always a good thing. For my first play through I decided to join the white, a scientific faction and focus on high tech weapons like lasers, the tutorial if you go white gives you a laser pistol for your troubles that does decent damage.

 

 

I dumped my muscle to 3, which is physical strength which affects carry weight and melee damage, guts to a 2, which is your health, brains is a 9, which is, as you might guess intelligence, luck is a 6 and works like you would expect with a small effect on everything in the game, Perception is 9 which is your character’s awareness of their surroundings, charisma is a 2 and is pretty self explanatory, it’s how well people like you, deftness is 9, which is a measure of your dexterity and reaction time, and psyche is a 1 which is your ability with psionics and resistance to psionics which currently are not implemented in game. There are too many skills for me to list off the rest of the build but I focused on all the science and tech gun savvy stuff with The idea being a big brainy laser gun hero. What I got was that but he dies in one hit,  so my next build won’t skimp on the guts or the muscle to be sure.

 

 

The art lends itself well to a late 70’s era futuristic post apocalyptic setting, similar to how Fallout’s art was inspired by the 50’s and 60’s. The story is pretty interesting, it’s the late 70’s and a mysterious dome has showed up, and you are a member of cronus the group investigating the dome for scientific gain. your choice of white, black, silver, orange, or blue determines just where in the hierarchical ladder you sit within cronus. There are plenty of social interactions with npcs and events like an elevator breaking down for you to explore through well written dialogue choices.

 

 

Actual combat is a nice fun turn-based affair with you spending action points to move or attack or take cover, or you can bank them to save some for the next turn, its is satisfying and there are special abilities you can unlock through attribute point allocation, skillpoint allocation, and ability points based on your chosen weapon or play style.

 

 

Encased is going to be a title to watch, so far every second of it has been a blast, just the rpg i been hoping to get for sometime now and the game is still a good ways off from being finished, about half the abilities are not implemented yet but I expect great things, If I had to rate this I would give it an 8 out of 10.

 

Encased is available now on STEAM Early Access, available here


October 11th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

PC Game Early Access First Look :- Phoenix Point (Backer Build 5)

Phoenix Point is a turn-based tactics and 4X grand-strategy game that puts you in command of a global battle against a terrifying alien menace able to mutate and evolve to adapt to your choices and actions. Phoenix Point gives players a huge variety of challenges on its procedural battlefield, as well as endless surprises in the strategic game. Research and develop new technologies and techniques, plan operations, build alliances to unite the planet or destroy your rivals, and deploy your customizable, upgradeable squad into conflict zones, featuring dynamic objectives and destructible environments.

 

 

Greetings, true believers! Darsch Pugs here with a sneak peek at Phoenix Point by Snapshot Games. Phoenix point is a strategy game with a tactical turn-based combat system from the creator of the original XCOM series. Everything I am about to discuss is subject to change.

 

 

The game features many of the same mechanics and concepts as XCOM, some of which have been expanded upon. Units all have specific armour unique to them for quick identification. You target enemy body parts through the scope of your units’ weapons in a first-person camera now to shoot off an alien arm holding a weapon to disable it. Your units have an inventory and loadout that can be set up before a mission and you can then modify equipped items like grenades during the mission from the unit’s inventory, adding an extra layer of strategy to your choices.

 

 

The overworld map is where you choose your missions, select your base and build it and its upgrades, build your gear and conduct research and perform diplomacy with the various factions of the game, and there are a few to choose from to ally yourself with to get their research shared with you, or you could just steal it.

 

 

Missions can be challenging if you do not think critically and plan ahead, sometimes they can be impossible without the right mix of units and loadouts, you need to experiment with your tactics and plan your moves as a team and not individual units to be successful.

 

 

Phoenix Point looks good, plays good, sounds good, and is just great fun if you like this style of game, and is a good jumping-on point for the genre if you have never played a game like this before. The best way to describe phoenix point is a more refined version of XCOM.

 

 

Phoenix Point will release in December 2019 on PC (Epic Games) and XBox One, for more info and to preorder the game, head over to the games website now!


September 30th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

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