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PC Game Review: Verdant Skies

Verdant Skies is a life simulation game born from a love for games like Harvest Moon and a desire to create something unique with modern gameplay and deep storytelling. Ensure the success of the colony as you make friends and pursue romance with a diverse cast of characters.



Verdant Skies is the latest game brought to us by Howling Moon Software, a small indie developer mostly known for their work in building gaming engines.
However, their true passion (as stated in their bio), is for creating their own game titles such as Verdant Skies.


The idea for the game was formed through Beth and Andy Korth (Narrative and Programming respectively)’s mutual love of games such as Harvest Moon, Rune Factory and Animal Crossing; and existed in concept far before going into development May 2014, undergoing a huge change in design and game engine in March 2015, and finally seeing release late 2017.



The game centers on the character’s avatar – which is fully customizable in gender, skin tone, clothing and accessories – crash landing on a planet (which as luck would have it was their destination already), and starting a new life with a sizeable debt on said planet.


The main game mechanic of Verdant Skies, is building, both in terms of harvesting resources to construct new items, and performing tasks for the locals in order to build relationships with them, the end game of which would be to pursue a romantic relationship with the character of your choice.



This leads me into one of the most pleasant aspects of the game, the inclusiveness. As mentioned above you can customize your character’s gender, you can select the usual male or female, but the game will allow you to use a non-binary selection if you see fit, the same goes for the relationships, with any character being a potential match, assuming you put in enough work in building the relationship with them.


Verdant Skies also incorporates a few menu options into the game that further their inclusive leanings, with both options to slow down aspects of the game for people with motor disabilities, and an option to influence the colors in case of color blindness; and it is this level of heart and inclusivity where the game really shines, taking what could be essentially a remake or knock off of a beloved franchise and injecting it with a real sense that the game was crafted by very caring people.



The music and art of the game (handled by Troy Strand and Lizzie Siemers respectively), are both lovely and fit the overall feel of the game perfectly, with Troy’s music being relaxing, plaintive and occasionally bouncy, but never overbearing; and Lizzie’s hand painted artwork evoking the feeling of exploring a piece of artwork.


Overall the game is a very pleasant experience, one that you probably already know if you’d be interested in going on if you are familiar with their chief inspirations already.



Verdant Skies gets a Barn storming 7/10 from us!  ~TGB-Sirhc

You can also check out some gameplay in our review video here:

You can also check out and buy Verdant Skies on STEAM, and follow them on social media at Twitter & Facebook

March 4th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Real Time Strategy |

Relic Pulls Plug On Dawn Of War 3 Development

Developer Relic Entertainment has pulled resources from Dawn of War 3, in order to dedicate them to other projects.



The move effectively freezes the Warhammer 40,000-universe RTS/MOBA hybrid as it is now. In a statement to Eurogamer, Relic Entertainment said: “While Dawn of War 3 has a dedicated player base, it didn’t hit the targets we were expecting at launch, and it hasn’t performed the way we had hoped since. When a game underperforms, plans need to change. With Dawn of War 3, we simply don’t have the foundation we need to produce major content. We’re working in close partnership with Sega and Games Workshop to determine the best course of action, while shifting focus to other projects within our portfolio.”


While that statement stops far short of saying that Relic is abandoning Dawn of War 3, it’s clear that will not be any further races, or indeed content of any sort added to the game. Dawn of War 3 may have been the victim of falling between two stools, with existing Dawn of War fans put off by its MOBA elements, and those MOBA elements failing to appeal to new players.


But the move at least allows Relic Entertainment to dedicate further resources to the new Age of Empires game it is developing for Microsoft.


It is a real shame though, I personally really enjoyed Dawn of War 3 and you can check out my gameplay at release last year below

You can also find Dawn of War 3 on STEAM here – http://store.steampowered.com/app/285190/Warhammer_40000_Dawn_of_War_III/

February 8th, 2018 by Lonesamurai
Posted in Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy |

EGX 2017: Floor Review And A First Timers Look At EGX

The joy of the prevalence of video games in recent times, is that it’s easier to explain your niche to others. This made it especially easy to explain to strangers why I was dressed as a character from Overwatch on a busy Sunday train to Birmingham, as I made my way to EGX at the NEC. And, while I am a regular convention goer and equally an avid gamer I had never been to a games specific expo before.



EGX is a mainstay for the big name gaming companies, with many demonstrations and presentations on new titles; regular Twitch streams by devs; cosplay competitions and merchandise on the floor. It has big draw for casual gamers, for families, and for industry professionals – and even for those looking for advice for how to make gaming their career. With all this in mind I was definitely expecting a busy day of exploring the expo floor and hopefully getting to try out some games in the process.



The upside was there was definitely plenty to see and do from a browsing standpoint. From the moment you walked in there were people handing out fliers and codes for promotions. The indie games area, EGX Rezzed, dominated the front zone even before you started to approach any of the larger name companies. I found this quite refreshing, as a demonstration of the importance of the indie market, and offered a great mix of games to play in genres ranging from very family friendly, to viral horror potential.



There were a good number of competitive gaming areas on show. This included the ESL E-Sports Arena; The Road to EGX Overwatch tournament; and a Street Fighter V tournament that had a raucous and excited crowd. It was great to see audience participation encouraged, as these areas had huge viewing screens that allowed folks to stand back and immerse themselves in the action, and to get behind the players throwing down – sometimes, quite literally – on screen.


Being present Sunday meant catching the tail-end of the various exciting panels that were available to attendees, but EGX had provided streams via Twitch the entire weekend and these could be caught up on through mobile even if it wasn’t physically possible to get inside. These can also be watched back on the EGX YouTube channel and give a good insight into many of the games that were on parade as well as industry insights.



The biggest draw still came in the shape of the big names, with Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sega, Square Enix and Blizzard all having their own zones broken up over the expo. There were long waits for anyone who wanted a sneak peek at titles such as Farcry 5 or Assassin’s Creed Origins, to learn more about recent releases like Destiny 2, or even to try their hands at Youtube phenomenons like PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds.


There were upsides and downsides throughout my time on the expo floor. The biggest obstacle I found as a casual con-goer was that when it came to trying things out I didn’t get to see or do quite as much as I might’ve liked. Though the Indie Rezzed zone occupied most of the entrance area many games were only available on one or two screens at best.



A prevalent theme throughout the whole expo was that there didn’t seem to be many people enforcing rotation of players, either. On one occasion I came over to the Overwatch area after having been there an hour previous, and the same folks were still playing on many of the computers available. It made it much more evident to me why so many people make EGX a four day long event, in order to get as much gaming in as possible.


But where there was sometimes a lack of gaming there was still a lot of engagement. Representatives were generally happy to talk with con-goers. There was a cosplay stage in the centre of the convention where people could go and watch others that had turned their love of gaming into a creative outlet. There was some great merchandise available, from t-shirts to bags, figures to tech accessories.


Another great addition came in the form of a board gaming area, which had the Playopolis board game library working with EGX for the first time. They were providing games for visitors to sit together and play in the seating area. Some upcoming titles were demonstrating as well, including the MMORPG inspired City of Kings, were set out for folks who wanted physical gaming as well as digital gaming. There were some board gaming specialist vendors, too, making it just as easy to take the same experiences home with you.



All in all, I found my first experience of EGX a fun one, with most of the hiccups I encountered ones that could be easily rectified with a little pre-planning, or even spending a longer time at the convention over its four day length. And, with the joyous prevalence of video games in recent times, who knows – it may be even bigger and better than ever the next time it rolls around.


And with that…




September 26th, 2017 by isnotavampire
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, MOBA, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox |

Kickstarter Gaming Round-Up: May 29th

It’s time for your weekly round-up of Kickstarter gaming campaigns that have caught my attention.


First though I will update you on some of the campaigns I’ve previously covered and this week the news is unfortunately mostly not that good. A lot are struggling to reach their goals, and one has even finished short of their target. Struggling right now are INTERSTELLAR ROGUE, Sons of the Void, Lost Cities and BLANK – all with less than 10 days to reach their goals and some with a lot less then that. As well as that one campaign has concluded unsuccessfully, Soul’s Light now still in process but being slightly delayed by the failed campaign.


However there is also some good news. One campaign has not concluded successfully, with Forsaken Castle having reached its goal long before the end. Other campaigns doing well right now include Ashes of Creation, Kynseed and Trouble For Hire all of which have bypassed their funding goals. I can’t wait to see all these games take shape in the future.



Badlands: Outpost of Humanity



First up this week we’re starting with a post-apocalyptic boardgame.


Badlands is a game for 2 to 4 players, set in a wasteland after an apocalyptic event. Each player controls post-nuclear survivors and has to help them survive through expeditions, trade, fending off enemies and other such tasks. Each game comes with 4 settlement area boards, a central badlands board in which play takes place and miniature player pieces. There are also cards and other things included to help with the actions that take place in the game.


Badlands: Outpost of Humanity has a €25,000 goal, of which it has made €12,926 with 24 more days to go.




Street Masters Rise of the Kingdom



Next we have another physical game, this time based off the beat ’em up genre of video game.


Street Masters is a game that is inspired by the likes of Street Fighter and its ilk, with about 65 different miniatures included the developers have tried to make a game that combines “the concept of a tactical combat board game with the flexibility of an intricate card game”. The game includes two playable ‘modes’ – Arcade in which players can customise their own ‘levels’ as well as Story which will let you go through pre-planned scenarios.


Street Masters Rise of the Kingdom has made $35,863 of its $60,000 goal. It has 25 more days to run.




Two Scoops



Third, I chose one that I usually wouldn’t – a dating sim game.


Before you wonder, Two Scoops is a game I’d heard good things about previously. The game follows the protagonist as they start their new job at an ice cream palor. The game is a graphic novel as well as being a dating sim and your player character has only a week to prove they are capable of filling the shoes of two employees who are going away next week. With four romance options, there’s a chance that they will all be fleshed out nicely to set the game above other dating sim games.


Two Scoops has 24 days to go, and has made $8,310 of its $25,000 goal.



Ash of Gods



Finally we have a rogue-like with added PvP gameplay.


Ash of Gods is a game that is described as “a mix between a roguelike role-playing visual novel and an online turn-based strategy game” and will be coming to many platforms if all goes to plan. These will include Windows, Mac, Linux, XBOX, PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch, Android and iOS, with PC being the one that the team is aiming for as being the first platform to release on. This means the game will be coming to Steam, DRM-free GOG, Humble – all of which are also listed.


Ash of Gods has made $19,895 of its $75,000 goal with 25 days to go.


May 29th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox |

Game Trailer: Endless Space 2 – EXPAND

Currently Amplitude Studios are releasing videos to show off the four X pillars of the game Endless Space 2 – Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate. They released Explore last week and now they’re showing off the second, Expand.



Of course, for a game of this genre expansion is a very big part of the game. It’s a slow and often risky process, especially when you’re moving the unit to set up your new outpost/base/colony/etc. through territory that they could easily fall prey to someone else’s attacking unit, or even AI controlled mishap. It’s essential though to make progress – areas must be controlled, resources brought under your sway and so on. This is true for many games that hold 4X as their gameplay mechanics. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all factions in a game will do this in the same way – Endless Space 2 will have one race (the Vodyani) that never builds outposts of colonies at all as they ‘settle’ in ark ships that orbit the planet instead.


Of course, it’s not just getting there and setting up your colony or outpost. There’s always stuff to be done to maintain and grow your new holdings, whether that be growing technological progress, making good use of newly controlled resources or even just building the necessary things for one of your outposts to function at peak efficiency. This is what makes a good part of the 4X strategy game’s time. After all, how can you win over or destroy your opponents if you don’t have the resources or staging areas with which to do so?


Endless Space 2 is due to be released on May 19th, but can currently be purchased as an Early Access title on Steam for about $30 or just over £26. Go forth, expand.


May 12th, 2017 by PredictedCyborg
Posted in Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy |

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