A Little Bit Of: The Swapper

Stationed with yourself.

The Swapper is a pretty cool puzzle game. I've since finished the game. It does get quite a bit harder as the game progresses, I managed to get myself pretty stuck on some of the later puzzles. That said I don't think any of the puzzles are absurdly difficult, there are a couple of tricks that apply to some of the puzzles that once you use it once I managed to complete a three or four of them almost immediately after skipping over them.

You do need to finish all the puzzles to complete the game but you can progress to later areas after only completing a subset of them. The story stuff is midly interesting, the story of what's happened to this abandoned station doesn't really payoff, it's all right, it's good enough to get me pushing on but it's a bit disappointing.

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A Little Bit Of: Gunpoint

Stealthy electrician.

This is a pretty cool stealth puzzle game, it's a pretty short game lasting 2-3 hours but it's good fun. The idea of the cross link is pretty clever and it's used in interesting ways. You can setup pretty complicated things to happen all with just a single flick of a light switch.

You could do that of course but almost none of the levels demand that kind of complexity, which is a bit of a shame. Narratively it comes to a close at just about the right time, but from a puzzles and mechanics point of view it feels like there could have been a whole lot more. There is a level editor included but the game just came out so it's hard to say if anything will come of it.

That said it's also not an expensive game, it's like $10 from the developer website and it's good fun while it lasts. I'm also a big fan of the dialogue, it's funny and non-sensical in a way that I really appreciate.

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A Little Bit Of: Don't Starve

Alternate titles include don't get stabbed, eaten or set on fire.

A survival roguelike game with perma death. That also contains lots of things that are going to kill you. I think the game is really good. They're still adding features even since the game has been out, but that also leads into one of the game's major problems. Back when there wasn't a lot of items in the game you could figure out things in some sort of reasonable fashion. That just isn't the case any more, you have different tiers of research station and you can come across things that you've never seen before within 5 minutes of starting a new world that you had never seen before even if you had been playing a separate game for hours on end.

While you can survive the first couple days, it unfortunately all but forces the use of a wiki to play the game to any degree of success. There's some fun to be had fumbling around, but you don't really get better understanding of how the world works after you get the basics.

That said there's a lot to do, from setting up farmland, walls and structures to help you survive the night. Crafting walls to help you survive against later attacks, all while needing to venture out into the world and get more materials or explore to find valuable materials to bring back to your base camp. It's also risky, do you set up a temporary camp to keep yourself out at night or do you spend a good deal of time travelling back to a place relative safety.

Game also has a great art style to it. If you're willing to sink a good number of hours into the game then you'll probably get a lot out of it. But prepare to die early and often in the beginnings of the game, failing to meet the game's objective of don't starve is the least of your problems in that world.

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A Little Bit Of: Strike Suit Infinity + Review

Waves in Space

My review is here! http://entertainium.org/pc/strike-suit-infinity-review/

But in short I enjoyed this game a great deal more than I did Born Ready's last game Strike Suit Zero. That last game had the major flaw of having some terrible mission design that sucked out so much of the fun that the good parts of that game have to offer. Infinity goes for just a pure combat wave based survial mode and as a result it's a good deal more fun.

It does still have some of the problems of the original, combat awareness and targeting still aren't ideal. You don't get a good impression of what's around you and your only warning that you've boosted into a group of enemies is you dying rather rapidly. Also the default nearest enemy targeting is also fairly useless, it prioritises selecting the objective usually favouring capital ships. You can change that so that it prioritises torpedos, or strike craft, but it's of little comfort having to toggle between them when what you really want is select the nearest thing trying to kill me. The default setup makes mines all but impossible to deal with and given that a mine hit almost kills you in one hit makes the default target selection even more silly.

Anyway beyond that it's probably one of the best space combat around, not a huge amount of competition in that space right now. But it's a good deal of fun and it's like five quid on Steam.

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A Little Bit Of: Monaco What's Yours Is Mine

Monaco's mischievous marauders.

Monaco is great. I still haven't had a chance to play it as a co-op game which is unfortunate. The game looks great, the greyscale blueprints compared with the coloured world provides a great contrast for you to know what's in your line of sight, as well as where various items and security systems are.

Music is also rather good, Austin Wintory the composer for Journey has made more wonderful music. It does a lot to pace your own mood from sneaking around in vents to the mayhem that ensues after you inevitably set off an alarm.

I really love how all of the classes have their own distinct advantage to the point that the all feel overpowered in some way. I found the locksmith to be my least favourite, going through locks quickly is decent because it means you don't get stuck behind doors and also makes for faster runs through levels but I just didn't find it as useful.

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A Little Bit Of: Monaco What's Yours Is Mine

Monaco's mischievous marauders.

Monaco is great. I still haven't had a chance to play it as a co-op game which is unfortunate. The game looks great, the greyscale blueprints compared with the coloured world provides a great contrast for you to know what's in your line of sight, as well as where various items and security systems are.

Music is also rather good, Austin Wintory the composer for Journey has made more wonderful music. It does a lot to pace your own mood from sneaking around in vents to the mayhem that ensues after you inevitably set off an alarm.

I really love how all of the classes have their own distinct advantage to the point that the all feel overpowered in some way. I found the locksmith to be my least favourite, going through locks quickly is decent because it means you don't get stuck behind doors and also makes for faster runs through levels but I just didn't find it as useful.

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A Little Bit Of: Monaco What's Yours Is Mine

Monaco's mischievous marauders.

Monaco is great. I still haven't had a chance to play it as a co-op game which is unfortunate. The game looks great, the greyscale blueprints compared with the coloured world provides a great contrast for you to know what's in your line of sight, as well as where various items and security systems are.

Music is also rather good, Austin Wintory the composer for Journey has made more wonderful music. It does a lot to pace your own mood from sneaking around in vents to the mayhem that ensues after you inevitably set off an alarm.

I really love how all of the classes have their own distinct advantage to the point that the all feel overpowered in some way. I found the locksmith to be my least favourite, going through locks quickly is decent because it means you don't get stuck behind doors and also makes for faster runs through levels but I just didn't find it as useful.

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A Little Bit Of: Evoland

Changing landscape.

Finished this one since I made the video, second half is decidedly less awesome. While the Final Fantasy style combat a fun nod when you run into it, it never really develops and there are way too many random encounters that it gets really annoying. There's probably a reason why it's balanced differently in modern games.

There's a Diablo style dungeon later on that is pretty terrible and I'm not just saying that because I don't like that style of game. It does sort of highlight how much work goes into making that kind of game not boring and tedious. It does sort of make up for it by having some pretty funny loot drops but it plays like ass.

They could probably have cut out a good hour of the game (the game is about 3-4 hours long) and it would probably have improved it a lot. It's a funny game to play because of the references it makes. But it does remind that the games it steals from does what they do so much better than Evoland ever comes close to.

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A Little Bit Of: Retro/Grade

Musical Missles.

Been far too long since I've made one of these. I have unfortunately been busy doing other things. Some of which was actually productive other things not so much. Lets see if I can keep up with making videos on a semi-regular basis, lots of cool things sitting on my PC that I'd like to play.

Anyway back to talking about Retro/Grade in many ways it's a straight up rhythm game with an interesting art style. But the choice to use a shoot-em-up as the backdrop actually works out really well. All of the shots that go into your ship are timed to the beat and while that's really good using that timing to also dodge the bullets from the left of the screen can be really difficult. Playing on a keyboard might also not be the best way to play the harder difficulties as demonstrated by my rather splendid failure at the end.

It's just very difficult to change between so many lanes using just up and down arrows, I suspect that it would work out pretty well if you did have a guitar controller but I don't have one lying around handy at the moment. I kind of wish that there was a bit more distinction between all the stuff happening on the screen. It gets very busy on screen very quickly and it makes it difficult to parse out what you need to be doing and that makes actually playing the notes on time in the right places harder than it probably should be. There's probably a balance between making a rhythm game shiny and flashy without making it so crazy but there's a little bit too much shiny stuff in Retro/Grade and it makes me wish they toned it down a bit in spots.

Hopefully I'll be able to get videos up in some sort of schedule again but it's hard to say. Lots to play and not enough time to actually try out all the stuff I want to.

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A Little Bit Of: The Bridge

Leap of faith.

While the game does make use of some optical illusions it doesn't make itself an integral part of the puzzle. This is mostly because the puzzles have been about the physics of the world more than the illusion of how do you manipulate the physics so all the pieces of the puzzle where you want them. The physics nature of it does lead to some awkwardness, especially when you're trying to get a key around the outside of a curve. Tilt too much and the key falls off into the ether and too little and it doesn't move at all.

I also wish that the character movement and the tilting was just a little bit faster. My annoyance with puzzles games is when you know the solution but it takes far too long to execute it. I feel like if the character was just a little bit faster it would have alleviated that problem I had with it. Unfortunately as with any about physics and puzzles that would probably affect the solutions to some of them so here I am instead just complaining about it.

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