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.

Game Review: Jackbox Party Pack 7

Jackbox is one of the most popular party games available on the internet, and this new edition is certainly not a disappointment with many good games. The $30 pack includes 5 different mini games, including a 3rd version of popular game Quiplash.

Of the available games, 3 of the 5 are great games that are easily replayable, especially in larger groups. The latest version of Quiplash, a game where you answer question prompts, is very intuitive and fun with many tweaks to create a fresh experience. Another amazing new edition is Champ’d up. The game focuses on drawing and creating your own champions which they fight in an arena and the winner of a specific topic is voted for by the audience and other players. The game allows people to take many creative approaches and players can do as they please. The third great game in this pack is Talking points, where you effectively have to present various slides made by other people. While not for everyone, this game is very fun and can lead to some hilarious moments.

In my opinion, I feel as if the other games don’t live up to the standards. The last two games are a game where you work as devils to disrupt human life and the other where you have to guess prompts using limited words. The games feel clunky overall and while still good, are inferior to the three mentioned before making the pack not great value-wise.

Overall, I would recommend this version if you don’t own any other versions of the game. I would rate it an 8/10 as while there are many great games, it is hard to justify the price of $30 when there are many other great Jackboxes you could get on a sale for much cheaper.

-Benjamin L.

Geometry Dash Game Review

Geometry Dash is a game developed by a Swedish developer by the name of RobTop, and it was released in 2013. It is a rhythm-based platformer game that includes 21 official levels and over 60 million user-created levels. This game can be found on the app store, google play store, and Steam.

Geometry Dash is known for being a rage game, as whenever one dies within a level, they have to start all the way back in the beginning. This process can become very tedious and frustrating for many players. However, the feeling one gets from completing a difficult level overrides all the frustration caused by it. 

Levels in this game follow a rating system that ranges from easy, normal, hard, harder, insane, and demon difficulties. The hardest rating, demon, is divided up into easy demon, medium demon, hard demon, insane demon, and extreme demon. These hard demon levels have been the main cause for one of the largest parts of the Geometry Dash community: the demon list. The demon list is a list of the top 150 hardest levels in the game. If one has over 64% on any one of these levels, their name is displayed on the level’s leaderboard. This has prompted many players to start grinding out hard levels that take a lot of skill and patience to beat. 

Although Geometry Dash is not a multiplayer game, it has definitely brought me and some of my friends closer together through playing it, and even after over seven years since the game’s release and nearly four years since the latest update, millions of people still actively play the game to this day.

-Jeremy L.

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.

Game Review: Pokemon Black and White

In recent times, in light of the pandemic, many people have fallen back on their hobbies and favorite franchises. One of the most common franchises is Pokemon as many people grew up with video games and collecting trading cards. In general, the quality of recent Pokemon games has severely declined, leaving the GBA and DS games as the pinnacle. One such DS game that I would recommend is Pokemon Black and White, often one of the most contentious games in the series.

For those who want a great Pokemon game to play during the breaks and wind down, this game is amazing for not only beginners but also experienced players. The game is based on the region of North America and contains 151 original Pokemon. The story of the game is well built and delves into interesting concepts not explored in previous Pokemon games. One major aspect of the game is not only the great, new Pokemon that were introduced but also the sprite animations that make it stand out over all the games in the other series. The game is sleek while still having the classic Nintendo aesthetic. Each Pokemon sprite is lively and animated, just adding to the visual appeal of the game. The pacing of the game is also exceptional compared to other games. The game still follows the traditional gym badge system and various new environments are well distributed and it never feels too elongated or quick. As a result, the game is a satisfying experience that is generally above the rest of the options.

One of the most common complaints for the game is the Pokemon design and overall concept of the evil team. While certain designs are lacking, they are still unique and not every new pokemon, especially the large batch of 151 can be perfect. The evil team may also be goofy to people who base their opinions on the traditional Team Rocket and nostalgia, however, the differentiation is something fresh for the game that helps it more than it hurts it. In addition, the ideals of the team are actually integrated into character development which is something unprecedented for Pokemon. Overall, most of the criticisms for this game come from the high expectations for traditional Pokemon fans and the lack of nostalgic appeal, which is something that I would rather applaud the game for. 

In general, I would rate this game a 10/10 experience for the average Pokémon fan. The game does have its flaws but overall, in the grand scheme of Pokémon games, it is a must-play and a worthwhile experience for those who want something different from the current direction of the Pokémon franchise.

-Benjamin L.

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.

A Return to Pokemon Go

The popular game Pokemon Go, a free app might I add, is once again making a comeback in 2021. If you had the app and forgot about it, or if you never quite bought into the experience, let me try to explain why you may want to give this another go.

The Pokemon Go game is formatted to get you outside and walking. You have to go to Poke stops often located near parks, sports fields, hiking and walking trails like the Oso Trail, and even shopping centers like the Irvine Spectrum. Our own Mission Viejo Library has Pokestops you might want to come to visit if the game sounds like something you might try. Once you go to the Poke stops, you can spin the stops to collect items you will need to play. This makes you go seek out Poke stops and move around your city in order to play the game.

What you do in the game is try to catch pokemon that you would like to keep and/or evolve. It starts off easy to catch the little pokemon and it gets harder the better you get in the game. You will join a team once you have played for a while, choose your team color, and advance to placing your pokemon in gyms to get them experience and earn you credit in the game as well.

How far you go in the game is up to you and this is part of the fun. When you go out poke hunting, you will soon hear fellow pedestrians talking about the Bulbasaur that is near, and you will know you are part of a larger community who is also out there hunting as a part of the game.

-Preston V.

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.

Game Review: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (spoiler-free)

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a popular game, primarily revolving around a “killing game” based on trials. It is the first main game of three, originally released in 2014. The goal is to solve the mystery of each trial and to find the killer. The game contains a wide cast of characters, including 16 students and one bear. Overall, Danganronpa is a very interactive game with a unique trial system that makes the user feel engaged while also learning about the large cast. 

One great part of the game is the art style and game design itself. The environment you are in is not only visually intriguing, but contains a wide variety of different areas. Each area is well designed and pleasant to look at. The art style also matches very well with the actual gameplay mechanics and design as the user interface contrasts the background. The art is also very unique compared to other games as the game is effectively a visual novel, making it a fresh experience. The characters in the game are also quite compelling. Every single character is a master of their craft and provides their own unique experiences. Their personalities and the way they interact with each other always brightens up the game. The characters and their designs were by far my favorite part of the game. Each invoked a certain emotion in you regardless of whether or not you liked them, making the game more enjoyable and entertaining as a whole.

In general, I would rate this game a 10/10. The game is absolutely worth the price point and the interactive visual novel is both entertaining and well written. The game may start somewhat slow but the gameplay itself and world overall make up for it. 

-Benjamin L.