A Little Bit Of: Closure

Lightbringer.

This was released a while ago on PSN and browsers I think, but it recently came out on Steam and it's still pretty cool. Light governs everything in this game, if something isn't illuminated and visible then it doesn't exist. Which makes for an interesting dynamic as you're trying to get to the exit doorway while also trying to move all the lights you to build that path to get there. Sometimes this means dropping down somewhere to get a key and then you need to find your way back sometimes, it means getting to another place so you can get access to one of the lamps to point it in the right direction. Clearly it's going to get more devious as you get further in but it's had a pretty good ramp up of introducing concepts as it goes.

The main gripe I have is more that I'm a moron that keeps mixing up the jump and action key which on a keyboard is 'A' and 'S' and when putting a light down could mean the difference between surviving and dropping yourself into a bottomless pit of doom that becomes rather irritating. There doesn't seem to be any checkpointing mid-level which is fine for now while the puzzles are relatively simple and short it could get to be incredibly punishing not being able to save mid level and just go 'yeah this is where I need to be, I don't want to have to do all that again just to get back here'. Anyway it's a cool game, clearly a lot of scope for more insane levels in the future as I get to the second and third worlds.

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A Little Bit Of: Galaxy On Fire 2 Full HD

The galaxy is burning!

Dear, oh dear. This was a bit of a bummer to record. I really enjoyed the space sim genre and this game did look cool on iOS but I was never really happy with the way it controlled. It getting a PC release was really cool, but this is really just a game that really got hurt by design decisions that probably made sense for iOS but when you put it on a PC which has different controls it just made for kind of a boring game. It does however have a lot of the component parts for something you would expect out of the genre. You have random missions, deliveries, ferrying people, killing pirates, commodity trading, mining and all of that stuff works and that's all good. But it just comes down to the point that the flying just doesn't feel right, you aren't piloting a zippy fighter, you're flying a lumberous truck. Now obviously this could change later in the game but I just tend to doubt it.

Graphically it looks alright, this I suppose is to the credit of those original versions that on a large monitor it does still look pretty good. They've done some nice up-ressed textures for things, the fact that a lot of it is low poly does stand out a bit more in contrast with the updated textures. The UI isn't fantastic, it all looks just a little bit ugly, I have a feeling that these weren't retooled much for a large screen. The voice acting is also pretty rough, I'm not too sure how the story will turn out but bad voice acting is pretty off putting and it might have benefitted from it just not being there.

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A Little Bit Of: A Virus Named TOM

The City of Tomorrow.

Will be destroyed by a virus named TOM. I think that's supposed to be intentionally all caps so I'm just going to go with it. This game I'm pretty mixed on. On one hand some of the puzzles are really great and it's setup really well for all it's leaderboards and competing to get the best times. But on the other hand some of it's just kind of infuriating. Firstly I love the art it really kind of nails the City of Tomorrow vibe and just that concept. So gold star for that. During a puzzle it isn't as reflective of the billboard art but it's good and it works in favour of doing the actual puzzles, you don't feel like you're poking around blindly looking for something hidden away amongst everything that's going on.

On the other hand the enemies are sometimes far more of a hindrance than they ought to be. An enemy moving super fast on the screen isn't really making the puzzle harder, just annoying. The puzzle where you have an entire row of them moving down at the same rate that you need to use your glitch to hold one in place so you can not die, that was rather good. Unfortunately it seems likely that I'm going to run into that particular problem at least once more during the game and that's a shame, because when they are balanced in right between the puzzle of actually connecting everything up they provide a really good challenge without it feeling unfair.

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A Little Bit Of: Unmechanical

Mechanical heart thingy.

A fairly interesting physics puzzle game, that I oh so wonderfully rushed off into the wrong direction twice in the span of 14 minutes. Man I really give the opportunity to make myself look like an idiot while doing these. That aside I rather enjoyed playing it. It's got some interesting puzzles to it also some really lovely looking backgrounds that are occasionally rather weird, like why am I this little robot doing messing around near this beating giant heart. Presumably there's an actual reason for that, hasn't really been made clear quite yet.

Anyway short post this time, not a huge amount more to say as of yet. But it seems like a neat game, I'd have to play more of it to see how the puzzles pan out. There's been some good variety even this early in and I suspect that I will get a puzzle that will just be absurd but hopefully not.

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A Little Bit Of: English Country Tune

Square in a 3D world.

A bit of a more calm slow pace this one compared to the rather Saturday morning cartoon ridiculousness of Aweseomnauts last week. A puzzle game where your only controls are moving a square about and shoving things around. It's actually a fairly compelling puzzle game. It's made by one person and the art is pretty minimalistic but it sort of suites what the game does and keeps it all nice and abstract. So far the puzzles have been relatively straight forward, well the answers have been, sometimes figuring it out has been pretty hard but getting the hang of moving about on the faces of the world in 3D takes a bit of time.

Even with just the short time I've spent with it, it clearly does show how complicated it can get later in the game. I'm not sure if later levels combine mechanics from the different worlds or if they keep just adding new mechanics. Either way there's a lot to get on with in this and it seems like you get rather a lot of puzzling for not a whole lot of money.

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A Little Bit Of: Awesomenauts

Awesome!

It may have been a bit self indulgent of me to include the intro to the start of this video, but seriously it's so dumb and ridiculously cool. I really like the music in Awesomenauts. It's appropriately dumb and insane and it gives some really nice personality to each of the heros without really needing other cues or giant text blurb, it does have the backstory but the music is the standout here. The heros also have some good differentiation between them so they play quite different roles on the battlefield. I'm rather enjoying playing Leon, he's very very fast so you can just run around the battlefield very quickly and just pop up behind your enemy and then be gone as soon as you've finished the stabbing.

Gameplay wise this is a really really approchable MOBA style game (can we come up with a less dumb acronym for this genre please) it doesn't have a lot of the fluff with like last hitting and denial that exist in something like Dota. Yes doing the killing blow on an enemy causes the money to go straight to you, but it still drops for you to pick up if aren't the last hitter. It's all about how you deal with the enemy team and killing the bots to put pressure on the enemy turrets. It makes for a less fiddly game than something like Dota and for Awesomenauts it makes for a rather excellent game.

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A Little Bit Of: Orcs Must Die! 2

Waaagh!

Okay that's the Ork battle cry but whatever still appropriate. This is a tower defence game with rather a lot of action elements, you're probably not going to be able to succeed just using traps in the early part of the level and by that same token you aren't going to be able to destroy the orc hoard just by your lonesome. To that end there are new traps, new weapons and more importantly online co-op! Which does look rather fun but it just came out yesterday so I haven't had a chance to jump into it quite yet. I've mostly been playing as the Sorceress because she starts off with the lovely scepter of charming (not it's actual name) that lets me charm orcs and turn them into my faithful allies for a short time either because it wears off, or because I've since exploded said orc.

It's quite a lot harder than the original game, it ramps up pretty quickly and there are a few of the enemies really make your life a pain. There are a couple instances where I think the maps are probably more suited to co-op play to the point where it's a little ridiculous to try to do it just by yourself but that feeling was few and far between. If you own the original a bunch of the old maps get put into this game in classic mode and you can play those in co-op as well which is a nice addition giving a rather ridiculous amount of content in this one. If you're a fan of tower defence then you should definitely pick this one up, because it is one of the best examples of this genre.

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A Little Bit Of: Endless Space

Space is big.

Also I hadn't intended this to compete against the actual Quick Look that went up today. Damn you Bradley! But ah well. This is a 4X strategy game that is rather awesome. It doesn't have any single player campaign mode but that's sort of to be expected from 4X games, but there are some really cool races and lore which I would've liked to see fleshed out. I love the UI in this game. It's lovely, it's not super fancy of anything but it looks good and is so wonderfully functional. Pretty much any information you need about your empire is only a short few steps away and you get really good overviews of your planetary systems and fleets.

This game can be pretty hard but it's pretty flakey at times with it's generation in that it seems to be a bit too random. I've started many a game where my empire has floundered in the middle of the game just because the systems surrounding my homeworld were just awful and filled with wonderfully habitable places like asteroids and lava planets. But luckily on this map I got a bit lucky so I got a good starting position.

This is a rad complicated game that is just kind of great to play. The AI can be pretty brutal even on the supposed easier difficulty settings but it's easy enough to let you get a hang of things. I haven't played it against real people yet but I'm hoping to get to it at some point. It really has the one more turn vibe that so many of these types games do and I want to play more of it when I get the chance.

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A Little Bit Of: AirMech

AirMechs roll out!

Needless Transformers reference aside, AirMech is a free to play from Carbon Games that was released a few months ago. I was playing the Steam version which is currently in beta but from the looks of things if you just want to play from either their site or from the Chrome Web Store app you can just do that without needing a beta key. I never actually played Herzog Zwei but one of my friends pointed it out to me a couple of years ago before AirMech was in development so when I heard about this it actually seemed pretty interesting.

Without that comparison though, it's fairly similar to more modern day MOBAs like League of Legends with the creep spawning and some tower defence. It makes for some pretty frantic action because you're trying to manage your troops while also transforming into mech mode to help them out, while also being in air mode to transport and ferry units around to defend and attack. There are also other game modes but I think the competitive mode, even just against the AI is the more compelling of the game modes.

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A Little Bit Of: Splice

Sequences and Cells.

I had read a little bit about this game before I did this, but for the most part I tried to go in cold. So I played like 30 minutes and then started recording. I was expecting it to be a heck of a lot harder than it actually ended up being. For the most part you can figure stuff out just by trying random things and then just seeing how they pan out and from there see if any of those moves actually helped you to getting to the solution. The first 3 chapters you only need like 3 moves to solve so it's easy enough to do it but I expect this approach will become more and more useless as you get further into the game.

The thing I like most about Splice has to be the look and feel of the game, everything just feels so good. The controls are simple and the way that the cells snap and bounce to different parts on the level is great. The menus are worth noting because it's just fantastic, it obviously wouldn't work for everything, but for something that is as minimalistic as this game it just adds that nice touch.

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