[Cleaning the Backlog] Blackguards
Blackguards is a good game. But in order to enjoy it, you have to curb your expectations—it’s not a walk in the park that modern game design has made everybody accustomed to.
[Cleaning the Backlog] BattleTech
BattleTech is a turn-based tactical strategy game in a style known as XCOM-like¹. It has a campaign with a story, an overarching macro-strategic layer with base management and upgrading, complicated tactical mechanics, etc. I won’t talk about all that stuff—it’s all well done and gratuitously playable. The thing that makes BattleTech a god-tier game for…
[Cleaning the Backlog] Ascendancy
Ascendancy is not a turn-based strategy game but a real-time one with an active pause. The genre’s usual production-science-food triangle helps build, research, and grow faster. You colonize planets, build ships, meet other races, wage colonization wars, and eventually stop playing. Nothing is pretty much out of the ordinary at first glance. But in contrast…
Let’s Celebrate Some Demos!
Today’s the third day of the recent Steam Next Fest, and I’m having a blast sorting through delicious demos of highly promising (and not-so-promising) games. Here are six titles that deserve to keep an eye on in the future. I’m sure that at least one of them is destined to become the next indie darling,…
The Magic of Cartography
Maps are awesome. They are useful, informative, and often gorgeous. Maps in computer games are especially useful, informative, and almost always gorgeous. No matter which genre of computer games we pick, maps take an inherent part in the design.
Why I Love Strategy Games. But Not All Strategy Games.
My dad loved Dune 2, Civilization, and Heroes of Might & Magic, while I preferred point-and-click adventures. It was not enough story for me in strategy games of the time, and I fell in love with the genre only a bit later, when Warcraft 2 found its way to my hard drive—rather, its map editor.…
Dawn of War: Not That One.
It’s the second half of the 1990s. Everybody wants to jump on the RTS train, put in motion by the success of Command & Conquer and Warcraft. While the talks about genre oversaturation begin to surface, there’s still a chance: unusual setting, innovative mechanic, or exceptionally wholesome implementation of existing ideas—and you win the ticket…
RTS Galore! Episode 4: Spice Must Flow
In this article we’re going to see what happens when RTS games are based on other works of fiction, specifically lengthy books filled with thematic intricacies and ideological complexities. Tough to find a better example for this than Westwood’s Dune series.
RTS Galore! Episode 3: Mega-Lo-Mania & Populous II
After trying its design philosophy in an entirely atheistic setting, Bullfrog returned to its god-game roots with a sequel to Populous, making the gamification of the ‘holy war’ concept more fun and ideologically safe. A couple of months earlier, another British developer, Sensible Software, also released a game about gods and their bloody conflicts. But Mega-Lo-Mania’s focus was more…