Reviews by rocketsurgeon


Better than itÅ› reputation.

rocketsurgeon | March 12, 2013 | Review of Dead Island: Game of the Year (v1)

Dead Island has got a bit of a bad rap, and while it is true that it's a fair bit less open world than first impressions might suggest, and it is true that killing zombies gets a bit repetitive after you've dispatched the first couple hundred or so.

Still, it's a beautiful island, and the zombies look every bit as gory and icky as you could hope for, and driving a car feels good, if not entirely authentic.

Overall, there's fun to be had, both following the main story, and just puttering about the place and making your own fun.

Yeah, zombies spawn out of thin air, and yes, zombie games is a huge cop-out when it comes to the AI, since having the mobs shuffle about, persistently walking into parts of the environment etc can all be blamed on them being zombies, and not all that smart. But, you're playing a zombie game, not Skyrim, and I cannot, off-hand, think of a better representative of the genre than this game, warts and all.


Have: Frantic fun! Wanted: Maybe slightly less frantic?

rocketsurgeon | March 11, 2013 | Review of Tower Bloxx Deluxe

First of all - lets be clear about what this game isn't: It is not a game about building houses. The house you are building is just a visual gag, a place holder or perhaps a metaphor. Window dressing, perhaps.

No, this is a game in the best tradition of more abstracted games like Tetris. You are "building a house" under extreme time pressure, dropping house segments on top of existing ones at a frantic rate, trying to build your house as tall as possible, without having it topple over, and with bonuses for fitting them snugly.

While there are a number of things you could complain about, in the end, this is a fairly simple games, and hence the question should just be - is it fun? And up to a point, the answer is yes, provided you are prepared to deal with a slightly wonky control scheme, imperfect camera management and, of course, that this games is going to be very much about split-second hand-eye coordination.

I, personally, think they could have eased up on the time pressure and allowed more thinking, and perhaps relied less on dropping things at precisely the right time, but I suppose that it would then have been a different game.

At the price (currently $2), it's pretty much a no-brainer purchase. Even if you're not quite into the genre or this particular instantiation of it, you'll still get your money's worth.


B is for budget

rocketsurgeon | March 5, 2013 | Review of WWI: Aces of the Sky

On paper, this does not seem like a half bad game, but you won't get far into the game before you start noticing that corners have been cut in the production of this game. In fact, the low-res and simplistic title screen is probably a big hint, right from the start.

The game itself is a simple arcade flyer with basic "kill that"-missions. The 3D models used for the planes are not pretty, but functional, but the rest of the environment is where you really see that this is a game made on a tight budget. Specifically, the ground looks like someone took a satellite photo and printed it on a carpet. I'd totally buy such a carpet for my home, but in the game, it just looks... cheap. Occasionally, you'll also see a low-poly monochrome 3D model, typically it'll be red if you're supposed to shoot it.

If you're picking this up without a heavy discount (the undiscounted price is $5), you'll not get your money's worth, and hence the low rating. I'm not sure there's any price where you could not get better bang for your buck elsewhere, but you could probably wring a dollar's worth of fun out of it, if you insist.