Computer Game Reveiws

Recommended Games
Those that I've rated 5/5.

Assorted Reviews
Games both good and bad that I've looked at in the past. Sometime the game is so important that I've expanded the review to a separate page and there is a link in the review.



Recommended 5/5

Games I've rated 5/5. Highly Recommended.




Assorted Computer Game Reviews



Bastion (2011)

6/15/2021
$15 (Frequently on sale for $5)
3.5/5 Good

A fun isometric shooter. If I liked isometric shooters I would easily give this a 4 or 5, but they are just not my type of game. I also died a lot. The Difficulty of this game really seems to increase way to fast. I'm getting less than 20 minutes of gameplay before I've got to the point where I'm dying every 5 minutes. Unsure if I'm just not good at them or if this is particularly difficult. I'm quitting because I'm tired of dying all the time. What really makes this game fun is the narrator who constantly narrates on whatever you are doing. It has a great sense of humor. The gameplay is similar to the old "Crusader: No Remorse" game.

Revision: So last night I fired up the game for one more play just so that I could get a few screen captures. Given my previous attempts I thought I would set a timer to see how long I could play until I just started dying all of the time. And of course, that meant that I didn't. After an hour of playing I was still happily going along finding new things. I'm really unsure what changed in my playstyle but a combination of being far more cautious in general with the occasional rush and run past everything seems to be the playstyle the game favors. If you like iso metric action games, I would definitely recommend this game.





Limbo

8/5/2020
$10
4/5 Very Good

Some games have atmosphere, Limbo made from atmosphere.

A short (4-5 hour) side scrolling puzzle game. There are 38 Chapters each of which some have multiple puzzles.

I was ready to give it a perfect 5/5 but the last 3 Chapters were unlike the rest of the game and were all jumping and timing puzzles which are the ones I really don't like. I'm unsure why the developers just decided to switch at the end. That being said the rest of the game was very enjoyable. If you don't like hitting your head against the wall on some puzzles find a good hint site. There are plenty of good puzzles so there is no reason to rage quite because you can't figure out 1 or 2.





7 Days to Die

6/29/2020
$15
5/5 Highly Recomended

I've played a lot of 7 days to Die. 287 hours of a lot. There is still more to see and it has not disappointed.

I purchased it on 7/2016 so I probably started with Alpha 14 or 15. Given that the base building aspect of Minecraft was one of my favorite parts and I love zombie games this one was always going to be a slam dunk. Add some co-op with friends and this has become my favorite game.

Do you like to build things? Do you like to explore? Do you like the idea of building a castle and fighting off the invaders? Then this game might be for you.






ROTMG (Realm Of The Mad God)

6/14/2020
$Free
5/5 Highly Recomended

I first played this game back in 2009 when flash games were all the rage. I played it a lot, but never really figured some rather important pieces and more or less stopped as soon as I got to the "god lands". This time I decided to learn more about the mechanics and see what else there was to the game.

My thoughts the second time around? Still fun. I do recommended it, but that recommendation comes with a bunch of caveats.

This is a "Rouge Like" and you will die and loose everything repeatedly. Not, might die, but "you will die". And you will do so over and over. If you are the kind of person that is tempted to "rage quit", this might not be the game for you.

With that being said, how to describe this game?

It's an arcade, multi player, lite RPG with 8bit graphics. You have an overhead view of the world and you running around killing monsters and collecting loot. You work up from level zero to level 20 over about 2 hours while trying not to die a single time as that means you start from nothing. Ok, almost nothing. You have a chest with space for 8 items, but anything you are carrying with you is gone.

There is no player vs player combat, and the game has a shared experience system, so it gives you plenty of reason to play with others.

I had planned on a much more expansive "Let's play" for this, but I got sidetracked.

I played for about 120 hours later so I think I saw most of what the game has to offer.

Can I recommend this game? Definitely. It's a "free to play" so your cost of entry is literally nothing but some time. I spent maybe $15 in perks to make it more friendly.






Fate

4/1/2019
$8
4/5

A nice little Action RPG from 2005. Available on Steam for $8. Created in 2005 it bridges the gap between Diablo 2 in 2001 and Torchlight lin 2010. If you are familiar with those, then you know the gameplay. From start to finish it's about 14 hours to complete.

I played this game only a couple years after it was created and played a handful of character builds so I would say there is a good bit of replay. But what I really like and what brought me back to play it again is the inheritance system.

After you have completed the Game, you have the option of "retiring" a character and creating a descendent.

At that point you will no longer be able to play the original character anymore and the save will be marked as "retired", but you will be able to pass along one item that your newly created character will start with. The item will also have all stats raised by 20%. Hum. It just asks to be power gamed.

Tim's Fate Page


  


What I've been playing

3/2/2017

Something a bit different. Instead of mentioning games I like, here is a neat feature from Steam that actually shows how long you have been playing each game you own.




Lux for the iPad

9/17/2014
$5
5/5

A better clone of Risk than Risk itself.

I’ve acutally been playing this on and off for a couple of years now, and I’ve bought both of the expansion games “Ancient Empires Lux” and “”American History Lux”. It’s still being updated and sold by Sillysoft Games. This type of game is perfect for the iPad and they have done a great job of keeping it simple while adding at least a few user options. The best feature they have added is the ablity to create, upload, and rate, user created maps. The maps are free, easy to find, and rateing by the user community so they are easy to find. It makes for some great replay after you have played the classic game a couple times.




Agricola for the iPad

9/15/2014
$7
3.5/5

Another game that I really wanted to like and while an excellent conversion, just doesn't make it to the recommended category. In this case it’s probably that there is some subtle part of the strategy that Louise and myself are missing which is limiting the strategic element. The in game tutorial is very nice but if you are a brand new player I think you need the complete rules available to get the details. From what I can tell the conversion is rock solid, so I would really like the thoughts of someone who is familiar with the original board game.

  


Silver Sword for iPad

9/11/2014
$4
2.5/5

I liked this game but it suffered from interface problems where on my iPad the movement buttons were not in a good place. Given the placement of the virtual arrow key buttons on the upper right I could find no comfortable hand position to use them. This might work for a top down game, but for this type of game you really need to use the arrow keys a lot. I think it might have worked much better with keys on the lower right or left.

This is not a fault of the programmer, but it’s amazing just how bad touch screens work for applications that required a single button to be pressed repeatedly.

It’s a shame because this is a great reworking of the classic Bard’s Tale games. If there was a better movement interface I would easily give this a 5/5. I’m wondering if the movement keys are located for use with an iPhone. Personally I would find the text far to small, but many people seem to read from the iPhone with no issue, so I’m probably just getting old. I also read on the message board that Bluetooth keyboards are now supported. Since I’m planning on getting one, I’m very interested in trying this again.




Talisman for iPad

2.5/5 (Gameplay 2/5, Conversion of the board game to the iPad 5/5)
9-10-2014

Since I had wanted to purchase the board game Talisman for a couple years now (as it was the oldest item on my Amazon wish list) I was excited that a conversion had been made and the software was available on the iPad for only $7 and playable against the computer. Perfect for a trip we had coming up. The game looks great and is a textbox model of how to port a board game.

Unfortunately, the original game is rather bad. As one reviewer said “It’s D&D meet monopoly”. It’s mostly a luck of the dice game where the players don’t really have any meaningful choices to make and luck decides every game.

As I said earlier, this is a great conversion and I hope that the poor reivews of this game don’t convince other developers from doing more conversions in the future, I just hope they have better source material.

Note: The game sold as both Talisman and Talisman prologue (Single Player conversion with slightly different rules) but you can play the original against the computer.




The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

5/5 Highly recommended
1-22-2014

Created in 2007, this is the next level in RPG games. From The Bards Tale, to Baldur's Gate, this is what RPG games have now evolved to. You can purchase it on Steam for $20 or wait a couple months and get it on one of their regular sales of $10.

Yes I know that this game has now been superseded by Part V: Skyrim but did you notice that in all of the reviews they keep referencing Oblivion? That’s because this is the game that it is measured against and for good reason. I just finished the main quest story line and it has an ending that is well suited to the grander and scope of the rest of the game. As far as “finishing the game” there are about 200 quests in the same so if you attempted to finish every single one it would take forever.

Just a few of the highlights

  • The Gameworld is absolutely huge
  • You could play for 100 hours and still have more to discover, or just play the main story quest and get a feeling of accomplishment and completion.
  • A beautiful game on a modern computer where you can crank up the detail.
  • Great and Epic ending to the main story quest
  • A huge about of user mods so if there is something you dont like, you can fix it



The Bards Tale - Game Review

11-25-2013

Recommended for those that remember the original

Personally I loved it. Consider it a trip down memory lane with the way back machine. This required it's own page.

Tim's Bards Tale Page




FTL - Game Review

11-24-2013

4/5 Very Good

It’s fun and good for a couple of hours. About the only negative thing I can say is that the end game is really way to difficult. I actually reached the last battle 3 times, and then lost each and every time. It’s only $10 on steam and regularly goes on sale for $6 so the price hard to beat.

One option to make the game more enjoyable is to turn ON the option for “Show beacon paths on hover”. I have no idea why the developer decided not to include this as a default.




Legend of Grimrock - Game Review

11-21-2013

5/5 Excellent for its game type

Do you wish they still made games like Bards Tale or The Dungeon Master? You’re in luck. In 2012 an independent producer created “The Legend of Grimrock”. It’s a “semi real time” grid based dungeon crawl. Similar to Dungeon Master from 1987 where you have a small amount of time to make your move, it’s not real a frenetic pace and plays more like a turn based game.

This is the game I wish they had made as an upgrade to the original Bards Tale. The graphics are great, the sound is great, the programming is great. Its smaller in scope than Bards Tales with only one dungeon, but they do that one dungeon very, very, well.

Good
  • If they made The Bards Tale today, this would be it.
  • Great graphics, great sound, and just a solid feel to the game.
  • It's only $15 on Steam with regular sales for less.
Not So Good
  • The puzzles are slightly to difficult. Thankfully there is an excellent wiki online.
  • The End Game sequence is more of an action game, whereas the rest of the game is more turn based.



Don't Starve

11-15-2013

5/5 Excellent

The latest video game addiction. Combine Roguelike perma death with Minecraft crafting and night and day cycles and add a dash of Tim Burton graphics and you have a wonderfully fun and frustrating game at the same time. Just when you think the game is to hard, it gets harder. On the flip side it just makes it that much more satisfyingly to finally survive a full winter in the game. You can purchase it on STEAM regularly for under $10 on sale. Hard to beat at that price.

Some of the highlights are

  • When your sanity meter does down and all the graphics and music change
  • Getting all your farms working by the end of summer, just to find that when winter starts, nothing grows
  • Leading a pack of wolves chasing you into a heard of buffalo.
  • Surviving to the last day of winter, and then meeting the giant one eyed killer deer
  • Giving your Pig friend to much raw meat, and having him turn into a Werepig and staring killing everything



Left 4 Dead

01-10-2013

5/5 Excellent

Like first person shooters? Like end of the world Zombie movies? If you do this one is a no brainer. And yes, you can get it on sale from Steam for $6.

This was designed as a co-op game but I still found it fun to play as a single person. The computer will control the other 3 characters and while they will not be spectacular they will be adequate. I would not recommend "Left for Dead 2" if you are primarily going to play alone as the computer controlled NPC’s have difficulty with some of the scripted missions (notably the mission to fill the car with gas). I also did not see where the added complexity really added anything to the game play. That being said, I do see to be in the minority in view of this, so your mileage may vary.




Magicka

01-10-2013

2/5 Poor

There is a lot to like in this game including lots of “in jokes”, good graphics, and an interesting magic system. I really wanted to like this and even tried playing from the beginning twice. Unfortunately it just gets way to hard too fast and I found it extremely difficult to remember the complicated casting system. If you thought Bioshock took some juggling you haven’t seen anything yet. After reading some message boards there were others that have made the same complaints about difficulty. The consensus is that while there are tons of spells, there are only a small handful that are super powerful that you ever need to use. I also found a mod or two that allows macros for the spells but it really didn't help. Definately a shame.




Serious Sam 1 in HD

01-09-2013

3/5 Average

This is a remake of the original Serious Sam from 2000 using the newer Serious Engine 3 from 2009. It really doesn’t have a story, and the AI is about as dumb as they come. What it does have is fantastic graphics and a dose of fun. The environments are brightly lit and there can be hundreds of bad guys on the screen at the same time. Of course being less that $5 doesn’t hurt either.




F.E.A.R

01-09-2013

4/5 Better than Average

Yes it’s a horrible tortured acronym, but it’s also a good game. This is the first of the modern first person shooters I’ve played with smarter AI. It does take some getting used to having the npc’s duck, weave and flank you during combat.




Bioshock

01-09-2013

5/5 Excellent

An absolute must play for any fan of first person shooters. Wonderful graphics with incredible attention to detail combined with a great story. It doesn’t get much better than this. Actually it does since Steam puts in on sale regularly for less than $10.




Minecraft

01-08-2013

5/5. Simply Incredible.

Extended Page


For those of you that somehow have not heard, I consider Minecraft to be one of the best games ever. Its Lego for the PC. If somehow you have missed this over the past few years, immediately stop, download the demo and start playing. Highlights include:

  • Its Lego for the PC. The game world is setup so that you can move anything from and to anywhere else and you don’t have to worry about ever permanently destroying anything. If you chop down a tree and later decide you want it back, you can plant another. Did you mess up and dig a hole to deep?, just fill it back it. This level of freedom leads to a fast amount of experimentation.
  • The sales plan. The game was originally programmed by one individual. After he was about 80% complete he realized that it would be difficult to finish without being able to quit his day job, but for that he needed money. He came up with the idea of selling the “beta” version for half off, with the promise that anyone who purchased it would then get the finished product for free when he was complete. And he sold it direct, no middleman. He sold a million at $15 each. After if was finally finished he sold another 3 million at $30.
  • Procedural Landscape creation and an infinite world. That’s a fancy way of saying that if you start walking north in the game, the program will continually create the world in front of you for as long as you walk. No limit, no boundary, and everything is unique. (Yes I know there is a limit, but according to the wiki it would take 820 hours to walk to the edge of the world)
  • Co-op and Family friendly. If you have kids you know how difficult it is to find a game that you can play with your kids that is both kid friendly and fun to play for adults. If your married,,,,, pretty much the same thing. (Side note: This is also the only time you will ever catch an adult watching a you tube ‘how to’ video made by some 10 year old and actually paying attention)
  • Mods. The game is created in such a manner that the public can make ‘additions’ to the game. Don’t like the default textures, you can change that. Want to be able to see farther in the distance, you can change that.
  • Maps. Have you spend hours and hours creating the perfect map that you want to share with others? No problem, just copy a folder and share to your hearts content.

Must stop now, have to get in a few more hours of playtime. Louise and I run our own server, so drop me a line if you play and we’ll send you a link.

Fan made Minecraft Trailer