Game Review: The Otterman Empire

The Otterman Empire is a new and interesting type of 3rd-person shooter. In the game, you play as an otter as you explore different futuristic maps. Throughout the maps, players have the opportunity to complete different puzzles and fight against different enemies. The game has a story game mode as well as multiplayer. On top of that, the developers are making new game modes and maps for players to play.

The single player game mode was pretty simple. Players had to explore different maps and fight different enemies. The graphics were very beautiful, and I liked how each map was different from the one prior. The story itself was pretty simple and easy to follow, and I liked the overall simplicity of the game.

On top of the single player game mode, there is also the multiplayer game mode. This allows you to play with your friends. In multiplayer there are multiplayer game modes that are in most shooters such as team deathmatch and free for all. In multiplayer there are different characters that players can play besides the default otter that you play in the single player game mode. My friends and I enjoyed the multiplayer game mode more than the single player mode, since it was a lot more exciting. The multiplayer is played in a split-screen type of view, showing four players at the same time. If you can manage to get three other friends to play with you, playing The Otterman Empire together is a blast. I like multiplayer games not only because you can play with your friends, but because each game you play will have a different outcome.

I enjoyed my overall experience when playing  The Otterman Empire. The single player mode was great and was a good way to introduce new players to the controls of the game. After playing the single player game mode, I recommend switching to the multiplayer game mode. This is where the true fun in The Otterman Empire was. The entire multiplayer experience was insanely fun and reminded me of other fun arcade shooters that I have played in the past such as Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. I would give The Otterman Empire an overall rating of eight out of ten, and would highly recommend it to those that enjoy split screen shooters.

-Daniel CW.

Game Review: Curved Space

Curved Space, developed by Maximum Games, is an arcade style, fast-paced shooter.  The game is obviously set in space, as humans fight against space-invading monsters. Players fly space ships in large scale space battles, attacking alien ships and bases. There were a ton of different aspects in Curved Space that I thought added a lot to the game, and made the game a new type of arcade game.

In Curved Space, the gameplay was extremely fast and exciting. Each level had huge space battles, consisting of multiple enemies that players had to defeat. On top of that, the art style in the game made it pop. There were flashing lights and colors that gave off a neon effect throughout the entire game. I feel like this addition made the game pop and kept the players focused on the game. Here is an example of the coloring in Curved Space: 

As you can see from the picture, there are also huge monsters and aliens that players have to go against. These challenging monsters each had certain weaknesses and strengths, and players had to remember and counter each of them.

Besides the coloring of the game, the actual graphics such as lighting and sharpness were awesome, and it felt like an anime or cartoon game. This art style was a really great idea, when mixing them with the arcade style gameplay. This combination made the game feel like a remastered version of space invaders. This combination gave players a nostalgic feeling of the old games that they loved to play as children, as well as introducing new game mechanics in the new game.

On top of the main campaign game mode, there are also time trials that players can compete in where they are actively playing against other players. These game modes test players in races and survival modes. After playing both game modes, I also discovered that there is a customizable progression section in Curved Space. Players can actively grind out levels to upgrade their pilots and ships, unlocking different abilities, skills, and cosmetic items.

The last detail that I want to talk about is the soundtrack in Curved Space. The songs that were playing in the background of the game gave off a very energetic Synthwave, and helped hype me up while playing the game. Overall, I really enjoyed Curved Space. I thought the 2D arcade style gameplay mixed with the modern anime graphics gave the game an amazing feel. On top of that, the Synthwave music really tied the game together. I would rate the game a solid eight out of ten.

-Daniel CW.

Game Review: Out of Line

Out of Line is an exciting new adventure game releasing June 23rd. This hand-drawn  game is filled with difficult puzzles and missions that players must complete. The story of Out of Line is simple. Players play as the adventurous character known as San, as he tries to escape a run down factory that once was his home. Escaping the factory is difficult, and players need to solve multi-step problems in order to progress. There were some outstanding aspects to Out of Line that really made the game stand out, including art style, game mechanics, and story.

The first thing that stood out to me when playing Out of Line was the look of the game. This game has a very unique style of art. Every frame was hand-drawn and 2D. I really liked the look of Out of Line,  and I think the animation added a lot to the game. On top of that, the sounds in the game were very satisfying, and sounded like an older platforming game.

The game mechanics of Out of Line were pretty simple and easy to learn. There was only one new mechanic that was introduced, that players usually do not see in these types of platformers. The character San holds an electric yellow staff that he uses throughout his journey. This magical staff is somewhat like Thor’s hammer, always magically returning to San whenever he puts it down or throws it. If used correctly, this staff could be insanely helpful. For example, players can throw it at items and stick it in other items. This can allow players to solve certain puzzles that they would not have been able to solve without the yellow staff. I really liked this mechanic as it added to the puzzle-solving aspect in Out of Line. 

Though the game is not released yet, I really enjoyed the story and content of this game. I felt like the puzzles were tricky, and proved lots of gameplay for the players. I did not end up finishing Out of Line, but from what I can tell the storyline and character development is great.  Overall, I really enjoyed Out of Line. The game was exciting and difficult at the same time. As said earlier, I really liked the look and sound of the game, which both really gave it the 2D platformer feel. On top of that, the game controls and mechanics such as the yellow lightning staff added new puzzles and solutions to the game. As for the time that one must put into this game, it is pretty tedious, and one must like puzzle games to enjoy playing Out of Line. In the end, I would highly recommend playing this game and would rate it a solid eight out of ten.

-Daniel CW.

Game Review: Sky Beneath

Sky Beneath made by MindHaven Games is a third-person puzzle game that utilizes gravity to create challenging and exciting levels for players to solve. This puzzle platformer allows players to play as Cassie, a scavenger working with a friend named Annie, as the two try their best to infiltrate and loot abandoned mining facilities. On your journey, players need to use their most powerful and useful weapon, gravity.

The game itself is extremely well rendered, and has great graphics! The controls were pretty standard, and easy to get used to. There was a short tutorial at the beginning of the game, and the game was pretty easy to get good at. The map in Sky Beneath was huge! It had tons of doors and extra areas that players could explore. There were also a couple of cutscenes and letters that players could find, that gave the game a little bit of lore and depth.

I want to talk about the best feature in Sky Beneath, the gravity. Throughout the game, players wear a suit that allows them to change gravity in any direction they want. Because of this, players can run on walls, ceilings, etc. I found this concept to be really innovative, and it added a lot more to the game as a whole. If the player decides to switch the gravity too much, it can get very disorienting, and it may be hard to keep track of where you are. I think this game mechanic was the most confusing, but it was pretty easy to get used to and it was very fun.

Throughout the game, I felt like the levels and puzzles were getting more and more challenging. The game first started off as a platformer, and was very easy to progress. The game started to add more and more mechanics, such as gravity suits and wrist launchers that allowed players to pick up and move items. Eventually, I was stuck on a certain level, and I had to spend lots of time trying to solve that one level. Sky Beneath is definitely a hard game, and requires a lot of patience and skill.

I definitely enjoyed playing Sky Beneath. This difficult platformer game introduced a lot of new game mechanics, while still sticking to the original puzzle games such as Portal or Portal 2. If you enjoyed either of those games, you should definitely give this game a try. Adding the gravity suit and wrist launchers opens up the possibilities of new and game changer tech, and I can’t wait to see the future of platformer games, including Sky Beneath. I would rate this game a solid 8 out of 10.

Daniel C.

Game Review: The Bus

The Bus is a realistic driving game that takes place in Germany, in which players play as a bus driver. The only objective in the game is to explore Germany while picking up and dropping off citizens on your bus. This realistic driver game was a really fun game that was really relaxing and calming. 

Players start off at a bus station, as they board their very own bus. The first thing that I noticed was how realistic the bus design looked. The dashboard, steering wheels, and overall look of the bus were very detailed. After boarding your own bus, players open their doors to passengers that want to board. After letting all the passengers board, players are given a tutorial on how to start their bus and start driving! The controls themselves were not too complicated but were quite hard to remember. After starting the bus, drivers are finally able to start driving! In real life, I have started driving and am learning how to drive on the streets. This game was a lot harder than actual driving, most likely due to a slight delay in the game. Besides that, I really enjoyed how accurate the game was, using actual braking mechanics and stuff like that.

As for game length, the only current game mode that is available is free roam. This is an endless game mode that allows players to pick up as many passengers as they want. I think adding new game modes such as races and time trials would be a great idea to add more content to the game! I did enjoy how relaxing the game was, it was a great way to take a break from my stressful school life!

I only had one problem with The Bus. The graphics in this game weren’t the best and took away from the realistic aspect of the game. Sure, the dashboard and streets were well rendered, but the character models and background images were poorly rendered and looked very pixilated. That was the only thing that took away from the great game!

Though The Bus was short, the gameplay was amazing. A realistic driver is a great change to have, especially if players are driving a larger bus instead of a race car. I really enjoyed The Bus, and if new game modes and better graphics are added, this game has great potential. I would rate it a solid eight out of ten.

-Daniel C.

The Protagonist: EX-1 Game review

The Protagonist: EX-1 is a tactical turn-based RPG game. Players play as a highly trained soldier, that is tasked with infiltrating an alien spacecraft. Players are split up from their original team and need to fight their way through the ship to find them. Players can unlock new team members, weapons, perks, and more on their journeys. The Protagonist: EX-1 was overall a really fun game, and it had a lot of great ideas and factors that added to the overall gaming experience such as the animation, combat, and tactical immersion.

The first thing that came to mind when I started playing The Protagonist: EX-1 was how realistic the game was. The game starts off with a voice-over from the main character, and a cutscene. Players watch as huge spaceships fly through space, varying in size and speed. The cutscene cuts to the player’s squad, as they start to gear up for battle.  The game cuts abruptly to the main character lying down as alarms go off around them. Players are told that they have been cut off from their squad and that they need to infiltrate the ship that they are on in order to find them. This is where the gameplay actually starts, and players are able to move around freely. 

Once players are able to move around freely, they can explore the ship from a top-down perspective. The graphics and effects in The Protagonist: EX-1 were surprisingly good for being a tactile RPG, and I was shocked at how realistic the ship looked. The character models were a bit choppy and could have been refined. Besides that, I could not find any other problems with the graphics or look of the game.

The last thing that I want to talk about is the combat in The Protagonist: EX-1. How the combat works is simple and is like a lot of turn-style games. Players will face off against enemies and will take turns attacking each other. In The Protagonist: EX-1, players choose different types of attacks that they can use, creating combos that can deal more damage. For example, players can pair different types of weapons or different types of physical attacks like punches and kicks that will deal more damage. I found this game mechanic to be a great addition to the game, and added a tactical aspect to it.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Protagonist: EX-1. With the realistic look, tactile gameplay, and new combat mechanics, the game was a very fun SciFi turn game. I would rate this game a solid eight out of ten. I would recommend players that enjoy space exploration games to give The Protagonist: EX-1 a try.

-Daniel CW.

Game Review: The Fabled Woods

The Fabled Woods made by CyberPunch studios is a mystery thriller that takes place in the mysterious woods. The short story follows a man walking through the woods, as he uncovers the dark secrets of his family’s camping trips that they used to take. With beautiful graphics and scenery, smooth gameplay, and twists around every corner, The Fabled Woods is a great game for any mystery-loving gamer.

The graphics of The Fabled Woods were extremely nice, and they gave the game a calming and peaceful look. The player wakes up in the middle of the woods at sunrise, walking around trees and bushes as birds sing. The sounds of the game were also very natural, and they were very realistic. If The Fabled Woods was available on VR, I would truly believe that I was in the woods. 

I really like the gameplay of The Fabled Woods. The game itself was not too confusing and was very easy to learn. If you want the best experience playing this game, you will need a good PC to run the max graphics smoothly. There were some confusing sections of the game, mainly when I did not know where to go. I did have to look up guides on the internet to figure out where to go.

Don’t let the peaceful look and gameplay of The Fabled Woods fool you, there is a dark underlying theme in the game. The player realizes that the character they are playing as is actually a psychopath. The man is a crazy murderer that ended up killing his entire family in the woods. Players uncover the truth through a game mechanic called “remembering.” This mechanic lets the players enter a stasis that allows them to see the past, giving players hints on where to go throughout the forest.

The Fabled Woods is a great mystery short story that has beautiful graphics and a great story. There were only a couple of problems I had with the game. First of all, the game was somewhat boring. Yes, the twists at the end made the gameplay were exciting, but most of the game was walking. 90% of the game is players walking around looking at things in the forest. I wish there was more stuff to do in the game. The other problem I had was the system requirements in order to play The Fabled Woods.  As I said earlier, the required PC specs are high in order for the game to run well.

Overall, I really enjoyed playing this game. If you want a couple of hours of entertaining mystery gameplay, The Fabled Woods is the game for you. My final rating for the game would be a solid 7/10.

-Daniel CW.

Game Review: Onirike Steam Demo Impressions

Onirike is a free 3D puzzle game out on Steam. The game follows a character known as Prieto, who explores a dream-like world. In this 3D-platformer, players are able to explore massive maps in an open-world setting.

The gameplay of Onirike was actually very simple. There were only a few simple controls that players could master in minutes. Since Onirike is still in its demo mode, players have the freedom to explore the entire map and world. There are small side missions and there is a loose storyline, but players have the opportunity to do whatever they want. The premise of Onirike is quite strange. Players follow Prieto, who wakes up in a fever-dream-like world. The player is told that they have the freedom to explore the map and help a wide variety of NPCs along the way.  

Throughout their adventures, players have to focus on two main problems. Since Prieto is in a dream-world, players run into the problem of sleep. If players go long enough without picking up glowing flowers that are on the ground, they will fall asleep and turn invisible to any NPCs that are around them. In order to counter this problem, players need to strategically place seeds for the glowing flowers across the map. This allows the flowers to grow and keeps the players awake so they do not turn invisible. I actually found being invisible fun, and not a bad thing. It was fun to run around the map without anyone noticing or seeing you.

I also want to talk about the animation style of Onirike. This game has beautiful animations and art style. The game looks like old tv shows I used to watch such as Crashbox. Besides the art, I also found the music to be very calming. As I roamed around the large world, the music helped to add a dreamlike feeling to the game. On top of the art and music, the character design itself was very interesting. All of the NPCs and Prieto himself had such a unique design. It almost seemed that all of the characters were actually from a dream, and it was a great addition to the game. All in all, Onirike is definitely one of the better 3D-puzzle games that I have played. It was very calming to explore the world, and the fun puzzles and mysteries that players could solve were a great addition to the game. I loved the art style of the game, it must have taken ages to make the entire map. This game is very underrated, and it’s free on Steam! For the game only being in demo mode, it has a lot of space for improvement, and I cannot wait to see what may be added.

-Daniel CW.

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.