Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

Soulcaster I & II [REVIEW]

February 15, 2012 4 comments

Soulcaster: released March 1st, 2010
Soulcaster II: released December 14th, 2010
Developer: MagicalTimeBean
Platforms: Windows, Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace

For this review I’ll be covering two separate games, the original Soulcaster, and it’s sequel Soulcaster II. They’ve been longtime favorites of mine on the XBLIG Marketplace, and what with their recent launch on the Windows OS, it’s high time I finally show these games some love. The Soulcaster games are an interesting blend of Action RPG and Strategy mechanics that manage to take the hack n’ slash out of the dungeon crawler, and still maintain a fun, unique take on the genre. I’ll be starting off of course, with the original Soulcaster.

What immediately makes these games stand out, is the interesting gameplay mechanics they employ. On the surface it may resemble an old school Gauntlet game, and to an extent, that’s fairly accurate. Where it differs is in the execution. Instead of choosing a class to play as and going to town on baddies by way of your own combative prowess, you instead take the role of a Soulcaster, who uses something called a soul orb to summon “images” of great warriors. You first encounter these warriors by way of a trio of statues, each made in their likeness. From there, the spirits (or whatever they are) of these warriors grant you the ability to summon images of themselves which will aid you during combat, assisting you to thwart the evil that has cursed their land. Read more…


Frozen Synapse [REVIEW]

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Frozen Synapse: released May 26th, 2011
Developer: Mode 7 Games
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

My relationship with real-time strategy games has always been tenuous at best. It’s not necessarily that I don’t like them, quite the contrary actually. I’ve had a blast playing through the campaigns of the Warcraft, Starcraft, and the Dawn of War series’, but as I’m sure many people know, it’s the multiplayer that is the life blood of these games. Especially now with how phenomenally Starcraft 2 has been doing in the ever-evolving field of eSports, multiplayer in RTS games is more important than ever. Some people though, such as myself, just can’t ever find it in themselves to dedicate the time necessary to become truly good at these games. I still enjoy spectating, but as far as competing goes it’s really best that I sit the games out.

The appeal of a strategy title for me is in the planning. Out-thinking your opponent, flanking them and positioning your units better than they did. Games like Starcraft of course employ these basic strategical components, but they also require you to learn a variety of hotkeys, build orders for your ideal units, and how to properly maintain your armies economy. I understand the appeal in this high level of strategy, but what about those of us who simply wish to plan and direct our units? We don’t want to mine resources, we don’t want to keep track of ten-thousand different hotkeys, we just want to take control of our units and outmaneuver the enemy. On a completely even battlefield, we want to say that we had the exact same resources available and we still bested you! Using nothing but tactics, planning, and good intuition. Read more…