Author Topic: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread  (Read 79326 times)

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #525 on: October 22, 2018, 12:33:48 PM »
Sky Break delivers an interesting concept, but the follow-through gameplay is way too much of a grind.

A cut-scene reveals that Earth is in dire need of certain resources, found only at one far-off planet. Robots were sent ahead to prepare the planet for resource extraction, but somehow the robots gained intelligence and subsequently killed any colonists who landed. Now desperate for resources, your crew has been sent to that planet but something happened upon atmospheric entry. The game starts as you awake.

You have a drone assistant that can point out destinations of interest, but other than that, you’re on your own. Depending on which direction you head, you may quickly gain access to a landing pad in the nearby vicinity. This will also call down a “space elevator” that you can take to a station situated in the low atmosphere. Inside the station, you can heal yourself, upgrade your skills, plant various seeds that you can harvest later, upgrade animal-robots found on the planet, and call a spaceship to take you off-planet for good. You’ll quickly learn that you won’t be able to call the spaceship until you find the rest of your team, scattered all over the planet’s small islands.

Back on the surface, you will encounter robots in various animal shapes: cats, ostriches, giraffes, and a larger robot sentry. You have a gun that will lower these robots’ health and shields, and after downing all but the large sentry, you can try to hack them to follow you. However, you can only get one animal at a time to accompany you. And my experience was that they were much more aggressive on their own, than when they were supposed to be protecting you. So I generally had to hack a new animal about every third battle. When I did upgrade them on the station, it didn’t significantly improve any of their skills, and I instead lost lots of supplies that I had gleaned.

So yes, you will have to search for tons of supplies: scrap, plant spores and seeds, bullets, etc. And the more plants you gather, the more your Resource meter goes up and the more plans you unlock and can later upgrade. But you have to use all your bullets to stop the pest robots bothering you, while trying to gain resources to construct batteries to charge the weather towers scattered all over. Because if you don’t charge the weather towers, you’ll be battered and pelted by acid rain and tornadoes that quickly zap all your health.

After clearing out all the first island and unlocking a new location, I did make it to a third subsequent island before giving up. The scorpion robots were extremely challenging, and even when I added one as my accomplice, it never really protected me much. That’s when the grind set in: I had to gather enough resources to make some ammo and health packs to get just far enough to gather more resources to make some ammo and health packs ad infinitum. And the elevator back to the station was too far away to easily access.

Sky Break has some neat elements, including the ability to hack robot animals to accompany you, but the grind to get into later parts of the game were too over-the-top. 6.5 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #526 on: October 29, 2018, 09:45:48 AM »
Asemblance is very obscure about what you are supposed to accomplish and perhaps even worse than the old pixel-hunt adventure games.

At least the first part of the game – set in a dark lab – uses color and light to attract your attention. So you push a button and a VR world develops that you are able to enter. In this outdoor simulation, you walk a few paces and come across a fluttering butterfly, which produces a prompt to zoom in your vision; upon doing so, you are able to exit this area and unlock VR #2.

In VR #2 – an office – there is a flashing light on an audio tape, and a video screen flickers to attract you. It again prompts you to zoom in, which now unlocks VR #3, your home. Wandering through your family room to your bedroom, the simulation won’t allow you to proceed any further, so you must exit.

Here’s where things get hard, and I actually had to go to a walkthrough not even 10 minutes into the game. You have to return to VR #2 and zoom in to a clock’s numbers. Nothing tells you to do this. There are no prompts to suggest any possible reason to look at the clock, let alone to specifically ZOOM IN. But when you do so, the clock resets to an earlier time, and it opens up a locked area in VR #3. But before you go, a door has opened in your office. If you go in, you’ll see lots of file cabinets, a chalkboard with scribbles, and a flashlight that you can pick up and keep. Again, with nothing to prompt you, you are expected to ZOOM IN to a corner of the chalkboard, which will now unlock an area out in the main lab.

Other than clicking and zooming into every possible object, there’s no way to know how to proceed, and no payoff to your actions. It was at this point that I decided to just quit out of the game altogether. Those kinds of logic leaps are much more aggravating than fun. 5.8 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #527 on: November 05, 2018, 08:49:20 AM »
Runaway: A Twist of Fate is the third game in the Runaway series, depicting the strange lives of Brian and Gina. (I intentionally skipped the second game “Dream of the Turtle.”) And unfortunately, we start with the burial of Brian’s coffin, and Gina in mourning clothes!

Of course, there has to be more to the story, and what transpires over the next 6 hours is a mostly relaxing, but sweet romantic comedy, with some splashes of humor. Gina has to of course get Brian out of the coffin, as he faked his death in the previous game to escape some bad guys. This sets up a series of humorous encounters starting in the cemetery, but expanding to an asylum, a wilderness cabin, and a downtown hotel. The asylum especially is a highlight, with lots of humor and an elaborate escape plan.

Visually, the game has removed the wonky 3-D graphics found in the first game’s cut-scenes, and is solely animated in style throughout, with bright, popping colors. You only interact with a few elements and they are all critical to your at-hand mission. The voice-acting work is especially well done by all the characters. And I was never really stumped, or if I was, the hint system mostly answered my needs.

This was another enjoyable adventure with Brian and Gina, and recommended for adventure gamers. 7.4 out of 10