A very emotional week for me - the Kaiju Combat kickstarter went live 5 days ago, and has been a very mixed bag thus far. Near-constant promotion of the campaign has left me with very little focus for gaming. But I manage to make do! Because I would have to disappoint my readers...
Games of note this week:
1 - Endless Space
2 - Field Runners
3 - Shiren the Wanderer
4 - Jetpack Joyride
5 - Hex a Hop
Hex a Hop
This is a dinosaur of the iOS game scene - released all the way back in 2009. I first found it because of gottasolveit - the best resource I've found for puzzle games on iOS. The presentation is crude, and the game mechanics are familiar - step on every tile exactly once. But the interesting level branching, the clear mechanics, easy controls, and the excellent puzzle design make it shine. I love a puzzle game which is large enough to let you win and lose while learning, and Hex a Hop totally fits that bill.
A year old, but still one of the very best games on iOS. Recently updated to include "gadgets" - which subtly modify the game experience in fun ways. I find that buying and using gadgets has really slowed my ability to save up money for other things - and that seems like a good trend. I reset my achievements, and I'm having a blast all over again!
Shiren the Wanderer
I talked about this at some length last week - it's a really interesting intersection between old-school SNES gameplay and Roguelike ideas. The biggest problem (when compared to a modern game like Dungeons of Dredmor) is that there is no choice at the beginning - the game always starts the same. It eventually becomes quite different, of course - but it can lose appeal to do the same intro over and over.
I thought this tower defense game was pretty good when I first played it back in 2009, and I'm looking forward to the upcoming sequel. But the reason this has jumped back onto my play rotation is the fact that I can play it in a chrome browser now - that makes it easy to jump in and out of, which is what I want most from a TD game.
As I mentioned at the start, I'm spending a LOT of time checking out forums, posting news updates, and prepping for interviews. It's difficult work not only because it takes so much time, but because it's endlessly repetitive. So how can I cool my brain off when it's 3am but I'm still too wired to sleep? Endless Space.
This sort of "one more turn" game hits all the right notes for me - it's relaxing because I can play at my own pace. It's exciting because I have lots of anticipation regarding what will happen in the next turn or two. It's not a prefect game, but it's very good. I'm having a good time with it.