Game Review: Marble Duel Review (Xbox One)

Marble Duel on the Xbox One is a fun, competitive, indie game. Players take turns shooting marbles in order to match three or more rows together. A similar game would be Candy Crush one of the most popular mobile games. Players progress through a story game mode with hundreds of levels, each becoming progressively more difficult.

Every five missions or so, a new monster will challenge the players. Each Monster has a different play style, which the players need to adapt to in order to win the battle. In order to overcome these challenges, players can unlock new abilities and marble types. For example, I used up to four different marble types in my matches. The first two were pretty simple, red and white marbles that were the default marbles, used for attacking your enemy. The next marble I unlocked was the green marble, which gave me health on three marble stacks or more. The second to last marble type I used was the blue marble, which gave me a blue shield that would protect me from enemy attacks. The final marble type I unlocked was the purple marble, otherwise known as the power-boost marble. This marble does exactly what the name says, and boosts the players’ power.

I really enjoyed the variety in all of the marbles that players could use, it added a lot more strategy into the game. Players could also level up their character in the campaign, giving them more health, attack damage, etc. This was a perfect way to reward players for completing certain quests and missions. On top of the campaign, there also was a multiplayer game mode. However, I don’t think it was available on the Xbox version, because it would not let me get into a game. This might just be due to the lack of activity on the Xbox version. That brings up the problems I had with this game. After I unlocked the final marble, I wanted to keep playing the campaign. Unfortunately, the enemies became incredibly difficult to beat, they seemed to always get the right marbles, as well as knowing what is off-screen. After the enemies became more and more difficult, the missions also felt very repetitive and slow. If the producers of Marble Duel could just release the player vs player game mode, it would add so much variety and excitement. I feel like players should be able to choose their difficulty for the campaign, a new player will lose interest if it is too hard.

In the state it is in now, Marble Duel should remain as a mobile game. I feel like it is too early to release it on all of the consoles, as well as PC. I hope the developers can edit and add to this game because it is really fun! Overall, I enjoyed playing Marble Duel, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this game.

-Daniel C.

Game Review: El Hijo – A Wild West Tale

El Hijo is a top-down stealth game, following a small boy as he explores his western town. Players will go through each level getting past different obstacles and enemies, such as bandits, wild animals, etc. I really enjoyed play El Hijo, the graphics were clean, the gameplay was smooth and exciting, and it kept me entertained for a long time. 

I really want to talk about the graphics in his game. With a clean and minimalist approach, the game felt fresh and exciting. It was very calming, and the relaxing music and nature sounds were a great touch. Here is a preview of the game:

I also liked the different character designs that helped add spice to the game’s look. For example, the main character has bright colored t-shirts and jeans, which allows him to pop out in the darker areas. As for the bandits, they wear all black, which allows them to blend into the darkness and surprise players at any moment.

The gameplay of El Hijo was exciting at certain points, and calming at others. The game started off peacefully, as you explored the church the boy lived in. Later on, you are being hunted and chased by bandits. I enjoyed both parts of the game, and I thought that this mix was really well done. The game kept me intrigued for a long time, and each mission had a different feeling to it. 

I usually run into small issues in most of the games I play, whether it is the controls are weird, the game does not run well, etc, etc. But El Hijo did not have any mistakes. The game ran beautifully on my computer, the controls were super easy to learn, and there were no glitches or bugs.

With both thrilling and relaxing gameplay, beautiful graphics, and 0 bugs or glitches, El Hijo was an amazing game. I really think this stealth game is underrated, and I would love to see the game grow. I think adding more missions and dlcs to this game would be a great idea, and I can not wait to see what the developers add. I rate El Hijo a solid nine out of ten.

-Daniel C.

This is the Zodiac Speaking Game Review

This is the Zodiac Speaking Game Review

This is the Zodiac Speaking produced by Punch Punk Games, is a complicate4d yet thrilling murder mystery game. Operating as a news journalist stationed in San Fransico California, players hunt down and attempt to catch the lucid Zodiac killer. Solving riddles, finding clues, and chasing a deranged killer, this game is a thriller-horror like no other.

I first would like to talk about the actual ambiance and look of This is the Zodiac Speaking. This game has very unique animations, that make the game look spooky and mysterious. On top of that, the music in the game added to the mood of the game a lot. I started up This is the Zodiac Speaking and immediately started hearing creepy music, that sounded straight out of a horror game. With this feeling, it was the perfect game to play during October and the spooky season.

The game itself was very fun. Playing as the news journalist, I searched for clues and hints to try and get a lead on the Zodiac. Starting in the journalists’ house, I solved clues about where the Zodiac’s last location was, and where I could find him. Driving to that location, I searched around a large national park and was actually able to see the killer. I followed him for a while at another location. Though this may seem very easy, it was not. I spent a good hour trying to solve all the different clues,

That leads me to the problems I had with This is the Zodiac Speaking. The game was incredibly difficult on the controller. The sensitivity on my controller was much too high, and that lead to me spending a lot more time than I needed to on certain clues. On top of that, I was not able to change the sensitivity of my controller anywhere in the game settings. Not only this, but the controls were very weird. It took me a while to get used to them, and some directions were very unclear.

Besides these few problems and the difficulty of the game, I personally really enjoyed This is the Zodiac Speaking. I think it is a great game to get into the spooky season with. If you like solving mysteries or finding murderers, I think this game would be perfect for you. I think adding a multiplayer aspect to this game would be a perfect idea. Pairing up with a couple of friends and hunting down the Zodiac sounds like a really fun Idea. Once again, I really enjoyed This is the Zodiac Speaking and would rate it an eight out of ten.

-Daniel C.

Total Tank Simulator Game Review

Total Tank Simulator, made by 505 Games, is a military strategy game. Players command huge armies to fight against other nations. Players can pick from a wide variety including the USA, Germany, Poland, Italy, etc. After choosing a nation, players can play campaigns, online, or sandbox. For my playthrough, I decided to play as the United States and chose to play the campaign game mode. In this game mode, you will go through multiple battles, each level having different enemies for you to face. Each of these new enemies will use different troop types as well as different strategies.  In order to defeat these enemies, players must strategize and attack plans. Players must decide where they are going to attack, and what they will use for the attack. 

On my first mission, I was still getting used to the controls and strategies. I decided to send all of my troops in a certain direction. My troops did not last that long, and I had to redo the mission. I replanned and attacked from multiple locations, and was able to defeat my enemies. I continued to play the campaign missions, and I was able to unlock more and more troop variants. 

Total Tank Simulator reminded me a lot of a Totally Accurate Battle Simulator. In each game, players choose different types of troops and vehicles to try and battle against other players or enemies. Both games have very similar playstyles and animation. In Total Tank Simulator players could choose from a large variety of troops and tanks. Players would unlock these different troops the further they progressed in the campaign. Each variant of the tanks had strengths and weaknesses, and players needed to balance out the different troops they used on the battlefield. There were also different “buildings” that players could place down. These buildings continuously spawned troops or vehicles. These buildings were very valuable, and I tried my best to defend mine.

After playing the campaign for a while, I decided to try out sandbox mode. I found this game mode to be extremely fun, and it definitely was my favorite. This game mode unlocked and gave you every single troop in the game. It also allowed you to change the game settings and give you unlimited money. This game mode can help players try out and choose their favorite troops. It also is a way for players to mess around and spawn in huge amounts of fo enemies. I really enjoyed the giant warfare aspect in the sandbox mode, making it my favorite game mode in Total Tank Simulator. Overall, I really enjoyed Total Tank Simulator. The game was extremely fun and exciting. I found both the campaign and sandbox game mode to be very addicting, and I could see myself playing the game for hours on end. I hope Total Tank Simulator adds a feature to be able to play with your friends. I can not wait to see what is added to the game and would rate it a solid 9 out of 10.

-Daniel C.

Kingshunt Game Review

Kingshunt is a tower PvE/PVP game made by vaki games. In Kingshunt, players will go head to head in a five vs five battle. The game features a wide variety of characters, attacks, strategies, and more! 

The first thing that I want to talk about is the main objective. You and your team of five will be assigned one of two teams. You will either be attacking the castle or defending it. Once assigned a team, you and your friends will be able to pick from a wide variety of characters and classes. Each class has different strengths and weaknesses such as the tank having more health, and the support being much faster. In these classes will be different heroes that you can pick. Each hero will have different abilities, weapons, and attacks. I really liked the customization and variety you had while playing, and I definitely think it helped make the game more exciting.

As for the gameplay itself, Kingshunt was a very fun game. In all of the games I played, I was defending. In the game, players will earn tokens that they can spend to buy items that will help them on the battlefield. Whether it be more health, damage, etc, upgrading these skills was extremely important. While defending, players could also put down barricades, archer towers, etc. These towers would attack the incoming attackers as they tried to siege the castle, and added a new element of surprise. What I really liked about Kingshunt was the actual objective itself. Instead of sieging a certain objective or castle, the attackers had to kill a giant monster inside the castle. In total, defenders had 20 minutes to defend two of these giant monsters. What I found was cool was the monsters actually helped defenders, and resisted against the attackers.

I only had a few problems while playing Kingshunt. Since the game is in a pre-alpha state at the time I played, getting into games took a very long time. I would say that getting into the games took about 20 minutes, while the games only took 10-15. Hopefully when the game comes out the servers will be much more active. Due to the long queue times, my friends and I had to go onto the EU servers. I went into a Kingshunt discord, and everyone said the NA servers were completely down. I do not know what was going on there, but hopefully, they are fixed upon the release of the full game. My last little complaint about Kingshunt was the graphics and animations. When picking characters, fighting, etc, the graphics and animations seemed choppy and somewhat delayed. Obviously, these small problems are not that big of a deal, and will hopefully be fixed on the release date. Overall, I really enjoyed playing Kingshunt with my friends. This game is exciting and strategic at the same time. I hope the small problems are fixed, and that the game continues to keep growing! I would rate Kingshunt a nice out of ten.

-Daniel C.

Bartlow’s Dread Machine Game Review

Bartlow’s Dread Machine is an old school arcade type shooter game. The game consists of both single and co-op play, and features new and old video technology, mixing them together to create a whole new genre of video games. The game takes place in the United States of America, around the early 1900s. Teddy Roosevelt has been kidnapped, and you must rescue him. The game uses a dual-stick arcade way to play and really feels like an old arcade game.

I played through the first couple of missions, and the game was really fun. You move your character along a track that stretches throughout the whole level. On this track, are enemies that will try to attack and stop you. To counter these enemies, the player must fight them using weapons they will acquire along the way, such as a rifle. I do not know if the player can receive more weapons than just the rifle, but I think adding that concept would be a really cool idea.

Bartlow’s Dread Machine was a very challenging game for me. With the use of dual-stick gameplay, movement and aim became difficult. I had to coordinate both my right and left joystick, to move or shoot in a certain direction. I think these difficulties were made on purpose, because if the game had easier movement such as WASD, then the game would become too easy. I had to redo certain missions, due to my getting overwhelmed by enemies, or not being able to move in the right direction and getting stuck.

The overall look and aesthetic of Bartlow’s Dread Machine was amazing. The game totally captured the feeling of the early 1900s and older gaming arcade games. The game used a lot of turning gears and older game animations to make the player feel like they had been transported back in time. This game reminded me of the game Cuphead due to both games capturing the older arcade-style of video games.

Overall, I really enjoyed Bartlow’s Dread Machine. I think this game was really entertaining and gave me the feeling of older games. Not only that, the game itself was fun. Running through missions and gunning down enemies while still having the feeling of freedom was something I really liked about this game. I think mixing those two-game styles was a brilliant idea, and I can not wait to see what they can add to this game. I would give Bartlow’s Dread Machine a solid eight out of ten rating.

-Daniel C.

GTFO Game Review

GTFO, an action-packed horror game filled with twists and turns. As you drop through levels and levels of zombie-filled rooms, players team up in groups of fours to try and survive. Choosing different weapons, strategies, and equipment, each team member must think hard about what they can contribute to the group’s survival. This game was extremely fun, and my friends had a blast screaming, shooting, and laughing together while playing GTFO.

I want to talk about the graphics and gameplay of GTFO. This game was insane. It had amazing graphics and was extremely realistic. When my friends and I were dropped down into the hot zone filled with zombies, the music and ambiance of our surroundings were amazing. The heavy breathing and rain sound effects really made me feel like I was the person being dropped down. The zombies and guns both looked very realistic and were very scary. When a player killed a zombie, there was blood that splattered onto the screen, and I really liked that small detail.

GTFO was both extremely fun and difficult. It took me a long time to get past the first couple of levels with my friends, but I enjoyed the challenge. I don’t think this is one of the games that should be easy, and I personally liked the tense situations that you were put in. Because of these difficult situations, our squad had to make very accurate callouts and we had to make sure our positioning was very accurate. I found playing GTFO with only 3 people was very difficult. You need to have a full squad of players in order to complete the levels. Luckily, you can go onto the GTFO discord and search for games to join. This allows players to get into games with other people, so they can have full squads to complete the levels with.

There were only a couple of problems I had with GTFO. I think the bad thing about GTFO was the difficulty. If someone did not have a full squad to play with and wanted to play with themselves or another friend, it would be very difficult to complete even the first level. Even though GTFO has a discord, a lot of the people on that server are very high level and do not help low levels. When they do, it is hard to follow along with the experienced players, and they tend to get mad at you. GTFO should try to add matchmaking with people of your skill level, so you could get through the levels much faster. Overall, GTFO was an amazing game. With amazing graphics, gameplay, etc, this game definitely deserves the hype it is receiving. Adding a matchmaking function would only improve this game. I rate it a nine out of ten.

-Daniel C.

P.A.M.E.L.A Game Review

P.A.M.E.LA produced by NVYVE Studios is a first-person shooter free world game. The game takes place in a future utopian type world. The player explores the new world that they spawn into, looting and defending themselves from different monsters. Some examples are evil robots or zombies.

Each player is given different skills and equipment. Players can unlock shields, swords, guns, etc. that they then use to kill the monsters. When I first spawned, I noticed that the graphics of P.A.M.E.LA  were very well developed and were quite beautiful. On top of that, the music added to the effect of the game, even tho it was quite scary. With the dark and low-light settings, I was very frightened of every little sound in the game.

The monsters themselves were not that scary. There were multiple mobs, such as zombies and killer robots. The play fought off said enemies quite easily, and they were not that much of a threat to the player. In my time of playing P.A.M.E.LA, I only perished once to a zombie.

There were some problems with P.A.M.E.LA that I experienced. The animations of the game were a little bit choppy, and whenever I fought an enemy my character’s fists and animations glitched in and out. I also was very confused about multiple checkpoints and places in the game. For example, the first room that I spawned in did not have any tutorials and did not tell me where to go. I spent the first 10-15 minutes of my gameplay looking at the ins and outs of the game, only to notice there was a small lever next to the door. This lever was the only way out of the room, but I wish there was a notification that told me it was there.

Besides those small errors, I found P.A.M.E.LA  a very interesting and exciting game. From the stunning graphics to the interesting gameplay, P.A.M.E.LA  was a game worthy of an eight out of ten score. I believe that his game is very underrated and I cannot wait to see where it goes.

-Daniel C.

Arboria Game Review

Arboria, developed by Dreamplant, is a dark, 3D RPG game. The player follows their customizable alien-like character, who explores different dungeons and prisons.  In the prisons, there are different monsters and enemies that you must face, such as flying bugs and corrupted animals. To help you on the quests, your character is able to customize their gear, such as different weapons, armor, and abilities.

The first thing that I realized about Arboria was the graphics. This game has a very dark and rouge-lite type graphics. This makes the game much darker, as well as scarier. I do believe that these graphics make the game slower, as well as not exciting. I do believe that was the point of the graphics, but I believe that they could have been a little bit more exciting or vibrant.

I did enjoy the large and various maps and dungeons. Each dungeon had different enemies and layouts. With each dungeon, players could unlock different weapons. For example, the player starts off with a battle-ax, but I was able to unlock a symbiote sword that attached to the body of my character. This wide variety of weapons was very interesting, and I was always excited to unlock a new weapon.

Another very interesting and new aspect of Arboria was the respawning system. When your character died, the player had to restart all over, losing all of their gear. This makes players be much more careful with how they play the game. On top of that, when each player dies, the gods get angrier. This will mean that the next character they play will have less trench, speed, etc. FOr example, My first character died after a couple of dungeons. When I respawned, I got a message saying that my second character will be punished for making the gods angry. In turn, my character had less speed. I found this system very nice, especially because it made all of the players much more cautious about how they play.

Overall, I really enjoyed Arboria, developed by Dreamplant. This well developed, exciting RPG game is definitely a new up and coming game. With new systems such as the limited respawns and angering god affects, Arboria has a lot of potential. I really enjoyed all of the different dungeons and maps, as well as the wide variety of weapons. All in All, I would definitely recommend Arboria to any gamer that is interested in a new and upcoming RPG.

BPM (Bullets Per Minute) Game Review

BPM (Bullets Per Minute) is a fast-paced, dungeon type game that has never been done before. Mixing FPS, rhythm-action, and countless types of monsters, BPM (Bullets Per Minute) is a game-changer. What’s really cool about the game is that it is all based around the music and rhythm that is playing. A player can not just run around shooting monsters and clearing levels, they must stick to the chill-rock that is playing in the background. The monsters the players will face will move and attack in a certain rhythm and motion, depending on the song that is playing. The player, must accommodate to that beat, and move and shoot along with that song. 

This new type of gameplay is challenging and fun at the same time. I struggled to learn the beat at the beginning of each level, but as I played each level more and more, I eventually learned the rhythm of each song. What I really like about BPM (Bullets Per Minute) is the dedication and memorization it takes to become good at this game. A new player can not expect to beat each level first try, they must dedicate some time to each level to learn how the game works. If a new player is still struggling to learn the beats, or they do not want to spend time learning them, they can turn on auto-beat. This will allow the players to not have to worry about jumping, shooting, and moving at the right time because the game will basically do it for them. This will allow them to have total control, and allow them to run and gun killing everything in their path.

Let’s talk about abilities, weapons, and characters. BPM (Bullets Per Minute) has a massive amount of character customization and weapon choices. At the beginning of each game, the player is able to pick 5 characters, that each has certain abilities. For example, I chose the valkyrie like character, who has the ability to double-jump on each off-beat and she can dash. As I played throughout each level, I unlocked chests. In these chests were new weapons and items for me to use. For example, I found a shotgun and healing potions on my first level. These items can help you when you fight the bosses at the end of each level.

There was only one problem I ran into when I played BPM (Bullets Per Minute). The first problem was that there was no tutorial in the game. For the first five games or so, I was running around shooting enemies and then dying. I had no idea what the rhythm or music was for, and that was somewhat confusing. But, that could be because the game has not been released yet and the tutorial will be added.

Overall, I found BPM (Bullets Per Minute)  to be a super satisfying and enjoyable game. I really liked the new rhythm-based gameplay. I think it’s a brand new idea, and it’s really fun to play around with. I can not wait to see what is gonna be added to BPM (Bullets Per Minute). I would rate the game a solid nine out of ten.

-Daniel C.