Vostok Inc. - Steam Screenshot

Genre: SHMUP / Incremental Game
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes, if you have a gamepad

About The Game

Vostok Inc. is a peculiar mix between an incremental game (think realm grinder) and shoot-em-up. In this game, you fly your ship and try to establish an intergalactic corporation. You go from planet to planet, build buildings and fight enemies while in space.

The freshness of the idea contributes to an engaging gameplay: you can spend your money on making your ship stronger or build your colonies. You get money by killing enemies, but the planetary bases give much more resources, and you can’t both at the beginning. This creates an interesting balancing/optimization choices for the player. Go for the first, and have a strong ship, but not enough passive income. Go for the second, and be richer, but have harder time surviving enemy encounters.

Battles

Speaking of enemy encounters: they are pretty straightforward. If you go through the space, you meet various enemies (depending on the galaxy you are in). They will chase you and shoot at you, and if you die: you must get to your base in an escape pod or you end up losing money / middle managers that improve your production output by a percentage. The battle controls are similar to other twin-stick shooter games: one stick to move, another to shoot. The player can have up to four weapons that can be switched between each other. The weapon system is different from the other games of shoot-em-up genre: your ships has three weapon slots. There are three possible weapons: beam, bullet, rocket. By combining those weapons, you get a new weapon type.

The shooting actually feels great: the bullet collisions are clearly visible and understandable, the enemies explode in a spectacular way and your bullets make nice sounds. On the down side, most weapons feel redundant or unnecessary: I’ve progressed in the game by mostly using bullet weapons. Other ones just did not feel powerful or did not help to solve any specific problems with the enemies: you don’t need homing rockets if you can turn around at any point and shoot shotgun/minigun at upcoming enemies with much faster rate and damage per second. The most basic beam weapon also felt like the best one to fight the slowest bosses: one projectile hits the large bosses’ bounding box multiple times, accumulating your combo meter VERY quickly and allowing you to do huge damage, ensuring quick boss kills. Actually, it feels like a problem with most large projectiles / large enemies: your hits get counted multiple times, and so it’s really easy to get max combo on slower bosses or enemies, dealing tremendous amounts of damage.

Business

The incremental part is well balanced and allows for the smooth progression: you won’t be a billionaire straight away, instead you’ll have to gradually work for it, meticulously building your bases and purchasing upgrades. This base building part provides a good relaxation from the space fighting. There are also minigames like racing and collecting managers in space. Managers enhance your production percentage and offer some more minigames that imitate retro-gaming systems. Overall, this salad of features is what keeps Vostok Incorporated interesting.

Cons

However, when you get 20+ planets, a problem appears which I love to call “Fallout 4” problem. If you remember Fallout 4 base building, you got your homebase first, then you could go and help bases all through the commonwealth and get more villages under your protection. However, once you got too many of them, it quickly started to become a chore going from one place to another, fixing and improving things. The same thing can be observed here: going between 4+ system and visiting multiple planets becomes a chore. It would help to have an ability to build bases on planets remotly, but alas, there’s no such thing.

Speaking about the cons, I must mention that the settings are very weak: no mouse support in the menus. No resolution / display selection. The game was clearly designed with consoles in mind. The gamepad controls are very convenient, but even keyboard key rebindings can’t save the UI from the lack of mouse support and awkward menu switching.

Summary

While it’s not perfect – it is an engaging attempt to make a fusion of two game genres that succeeded. Vostok Inc. brings the new mechanics to the table, combining it with nice aesthetics and polish. Get it if you have a gamepad.

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Feature Image taken from the game store page, here

Space Tyrant Steam Screenshot

Genre: Turn-Based Strategy / X4
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Absolutely Yes

Disclaimer: Game is in early access, so lots of things are going to change.

About the game

Space Tyrant is an interesting mix of 4x strategy game and roguelite. Your aim is to conquer the galaxy: you move your ships through the universe to capture the planets, combat enemies and encounter all sorts of random events as you keep capturing new bases.

The game process is the following: right now, you get to choose a side, then you have the “universe” map shown: you can assault one of three galaxies, while the fourth one is being locked away. Then, you are moved towards the galaxy where you have to complete a specific objective: capturing planets, acquiring wealth, researching new technologies. You choose a commander which determines what kind of a special ability your ship is going to have. It also gives you some mini-objectives for the mission that can influence your play style: completing them makes you stronger, you can get a special powerful cards that can be used on the galaxy map. You direct your fleets through “paths” between planets, and if they encounter another fleet – the battle starts.

The Battles

The battle itself is pretty simple: two fleets stay opposite to each other and exchange fire. The targets are chosen randomly. Each of your ships has a special ability that they can use on the click. . (each side has only 4 purchasable ships (+ a few bonus stronger ones), but those 4 get upgraded as you play, adding stats / improving their abilities). The chosen hero also has a special ability like meteor strike or thorn wall that influences the battle. In addition to that, you get an active special effect of your choice at the start of the battle (think of it as a random mutator, like small ships deal 2x damage, destroy all fighters, and so on). So yes, while this sounds simple, there’s plenty of space for decision making.

If you got confused by that – that’s totally cool. In fact, this is what makes the game interesting. The mix of different things that you can do. What makes it even more impressive is the fact how tutorials are made: those are the sequences of small videos that gradually introduce you into the game as you play. Instead of reading walls of text, you’ll be watching small videos that introduce you to the game.

Some Cons

Only a few things hurt my experience: At the moment of writing this review, there’s no difference between clicking with left / right button. So when you pick an ability (i.e. death ray) and want to cancel using it – right click will actually trigger it the same way as left click.

Another thing is lack of battle targeting: sure, you influence the way the abilities are being used, but it’s frustrating not to be able to pick targets. I’ve lost one game 6v2 when 2 enemies didn’t do much damage, but kept regenerating shields and my fighters picked targets in worst possible way: 3 were firing at one ship, 3 – at another. The shield regeneration outlived my fighters so I had nothing else to do but slowly watch their demise knowing full well that I could win this had I been given a chance to rearrange targeting.

Summary

Every mission playthrough takes from somewhere around half an hour for smaller maps to an hour and a half for bigger scenarios. Overall, Space Tyrant is one of those “I’ll play 5 more minutes” games that eats your time at tremendous rate because it’s so engaging. Plenty of unlockable content and events even in the current early access state, I can confidently recommend the game for its gameplay to those of you who want to experience cosmic strategies but don’t have days to waste on a single battle scenario.

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Feature Image taken from the game store page, here

Galaxy of Pen And Paper Steam Screenshot

Genre: RPG
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Wait for the bugs to get fixed (but after that: 100% yes)

About The Game

Galaxy Of Pen & Paper is a spiritual successor of Knights of Pen & Paper, by Behold Studios. It’s a turn-based rpg game that features questing and battles. The setting is what makes it different from hundreds of similar games: the game takes you into the role of a DND player, seamlessly shifting you between the “real” world and the “space” world. At one moment, you see the game master and players actively discussing game mechanics at the table, and at the next – their alter-egos, questing through space, picking fights.

Pros and Cons

The game is packed with not-so-subtle references to other space series and puns. Writing and wordplay are the strongest moments of the game. That also means you’d need to read a lot: between battles, there are a plenty of dialogues and character interactions.

Combat is pretty straightforward: you have two battle lines on each side (3 characters on every one of them MAX). Characters take turns hitting each other. If you want to succeed in combat, you’ll have to take advantage between skill synergies. For example, you could learn a poison skill on one character, and a skill that gives attacks healing effect on the other one. Or the skill that burns poisoned enemies. There are quite a lot of combinations and that make the combat fun.

The good thing is that since you are playing as a GM and a party at the same time, you can often pick the amount of opponents that you are facing. If you get a task to defeat 4 enemies, you can split them into batches of two and fight them two times separately. The difficulty decreases, but the amount of rewards also goes down.

One new thing that has been added is space battle element. It’s a minigame that essentially involves ships throwing dice, accumulating action points that can be spent on healing/attacking. One thing that I could not find out is the way to upgrade the ship health: right as you get your ship, you get sent into optional quests that involve destroying other spaceships. There’s a catch though. You can not see the strength of the ships that you are going to fight. So when I encountered a starship with 400 hp, it quickly annihilated my 140 hp ship. This happened quite a few times. There was also no way to escape from the combat like this.

One thing that could be improved is the character progression UI. All of the skills are mixed in one box, available to see from the start, sorted by price. In my opinion, this is not a right approach, as it can get quite confusing. It’s also not so easy to distinguish between learned and not learned skills, since they all seem to be bundled together. It would have been easier to group the skills in some ways (passive / active? Class/generic? Group by effect?)

The other thing is bugs: the game have quite a good number of them. I could occasionally open the character window in inconvenient game moments and then never close it. Once I’ve started a class questline (and failed it), the savage stayed with my party and when I got another party member – it has been placed in the same position and essentially I had two characters in one slot during the combat.

Summary

Overall, $14.99 might seem like a steep price – but I say the writing and the immersive atmosphere are worth it. However, there are quite a lot of bugs, so I’m a bit hesitant. I genuinely had fun while playing it, but be prepared to encounter quite some bugs as you play. The different reviews of the game mention bugs of different severity and one of the encounered ones was quite severe, but not absolutely gamebreaking. If you don’t mind the bugs – I can recommend the game to all of the RPG fans.

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Feature Image taken from the game store page, here

XenoRaptor Steam Game Screenshot

Genre: Action / Bullet Hell
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes, but wait for 50%+ discount

Disclaimer: the game is in early access so some things might change (although it has been in EA since 2014)

About The Game

XenoRaptor is a bullet hell game where you actually control a mechanical dragon and fight flying chainsaws in space. The game offers a pretty straightforward bullet-hell / shmup gameplay. If you play the campaign mode, it throws you into different levels. The levels differ not only in background pictures, but in actual amounts and types of obstacles. This really adds a good variety to the gameplay. The first levels don’t offer much resistance from environment, but it gets tougher as the game progresses. There are meteors and explosive barrels to make your life much harder. Ouch.

The Gameplay

Your ship has 3 weapons. Two of them are main weapons that produce “heat.” If you gain too much of it – the ship overheats and can’t fire. It feels like a good solution. On one hand, the player is forced to decide when to press the fire button. On the other hand, it opens up space for different strategies: if some users like heavy weapons that shoot once in a while, they can go for it. The others can go for the ones that can fire rapidly, aren’t as deadly, but generate less heat and can be used much more often. The third weapon requires special pickups, ammo, as it generally tends to be a bit stronger than the other two. I have to admit that I’ve rarely used the third weapon, as you can generally fulfill all your destructive needs with the other two.

One of the features of the game is the ability to customize your ship and your weapons: adding special effects, firing patters, reducing the heat generated or increasing the ship durability. There are lots of options for customization. Most of them are locked from the start, so you get to unlock them by defeating bosses and minibosses during campaign.

The gameplay itself feels very fair: although there’s plenty of random in enemy / obstacle placement and health drops, you always have the feeling that you’re in control. After enemies kill you, you can backtrace to the exact moment where you messed up or maneuvered poorly. Pretty straightforward. You get rewarded for skill, and punished for mistakes. The difficulty itself is pleasantly challenging: enemies swarm around you, leaving you no time to rest. One downside is that the waves take lots of time to clear before you meet the miniboss. If you fight for more than 5 minutes and then die, you’ll have to restart everything from scratch without any actual gains.

The game is well polished: explosions look pretty, the guns feel heavy. The enemy models look a bit bland and due to fast pace of the game it often gets hard to distinguish the roles of enemies.

The biggest issue for me was the weak camera controls: your ships stays in the middle of the screen all the time, which feels very lackluster compared to other action games. Usually, in action games like these, the camera leans forward, towards your aim reticle or ship flight direction. This serves two purposes: it adds ‘action’ feeling to the game, making player feel in the middle constant movement and maneuvering, but also improves the gameplay quality: when you are going forward with your ship, it’s much more important to know what’s going on in your movement direction than what stays behind your ship.

XenoRaptor

Overall, the game is well done, but personally I would wait for 50%+ discount due to other games on the market and not-so-great camera controls. So yes, I suggest grabbing it, but on discount

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Feature Image taken from the game store page, here

MegaSphere - Indie Game Reviews 2017 Steam Screenshot

Genre: Action / Platformer
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes

Disclaimer: the game is in early access, so a lot of things are probably going to change/improve. The review is actual for the 4th of May 2017.

In MegaSphere, your character is investigating why are the stars of Solar System are going dark. It is an action-platformer, where you explore massive randomly-generated levels with well-defined objectives and progression.

The Good:

  • Challenging difficulty. The game feels really skill based. When you die from the enemy attack – you know exactly how you messed up.
  • Plenty of weapons with different shooting patterns and tactical uses. Weapons can also be upgraded by putting special modules in the slots. I.e. reflection that makes bullets bounce from walls. Shooting also feels nice: the weapons you get at the start are by no means powerful, but it’s a great feeling when you hit something successfully and then finally destroy it.
  • Great lightning and particle effects: the backgrounds are dark, and they make a great contrast with explosions / other game effects, which are masterfully made. These are hands down some of the best effects I’ve seen in a 2d game.
  • The music and sounds are OK. Not exceptional, but not bad: music does not feel repetitive and gives a good background for playthrough.
  • Environment with destructive elements: some parts of the levels can be destroyed, there are also explosive crates which you can use strategically to damage enemies.

The Bad:

  • The beginning is a bit slow and somewhat boring. There’s a good idea about gradually introducing game features by continuously unlocking them to the player (dash -> gun -> upgrade menu -> codex -> map, etc), but right at the start you need to traverse large spaces without much stuff going on. It gets much better when you enter the second location though.
  • No pausing the game when you open codex / equipment window. It’s probably by intention, but it often prevented me from reading codex / equipping stuff when I felt like it.
  • Maybe a bit more explanation about how saving works? I.e. codex record about this: right now even if I reached the checkpoint before boss, died, then respawned at the same checkpoint a few times, then exited the game – I still get thrown one level back to the checkpoint there.
  • Navigation tab could really use a legend somewhere, because icons of the map are not really obvious (i.e. at least in codex, where weapons are described; the game could do the same with navigation icons: icon – description).
  • AI is sometimes easily fooled (especially with destructive environment) – but in all honesty it does not make the game any less challenging

Summary

I think the game got my attention by its difficulty. The no hand-holding approach definitely works here, making fights and exploration entertaining and victories rewarding. Due to this, I can strongly recommend the game.

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Feature Image taken from the game store page, here

Dimension Drive Indie Game Reviews 2017 Screenshot Steam

EDIT: Developer’s Reply Below

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: with the current feature set, wait for 50%+ discount; otherwise wait for early access to end and see what’s introduced.

Disclaimer #1: I got the key for free
Disclaimer #2: The game is in early access, some things are ought to change

Dimension drive is a shoot-em-up that introduces a double battlefield mechanic. Your screen is split into two parts, “Dimensions” and the fighter under your control can swap between them (avoiding damage and replenishing energy). You fly through the level, collect the data pickups and bonuses, and if things get rough on one part of the screen, or you need to reload your weapon, you switch to another part.

Pros:

  • Innovative game mechanics
  • Well-polished graphics
  • Due to double-screen mechanics, level design is pretty creative
  • Challenging and difficult
  • Nice music and sounds

Cons:

  • The first bosses on the both sides of the screen. Have separate health pool. In theory – it’s a good idea, but in practice it makes fight extremely easy if you kill the boss on one side of the screen (you can just shift to the other side to dodge projectiles at any time without danger whatsoever).
  • Not much weapon variety, the first world only has one different weapon (the developers promise more later)
  • Co-Op: You have the same health pool between both players (but it seems that enemy hp is doubled). The damage one player takes automatically affects both of the players. No separate health pools. This makes the game tricky to play with your guests. If they are not as good as you are – you are simply going to go down with them.
  • Ramming into obstacle instantly kills you even on normal difficulty. I personally found the game too difficult to play because of that.

 

Summary

My main frustration with the game were the obstacles: if you switch from screen 1 to screen 2 (into the obstacle) – you are instantly destroyed, even if you have full shields. I don’t mind the extra difficulty, but I think this is not a good user experience: you focus on one part of the screen, then jump to other to dodge the bullets. But wait, there’s an obstacle there. You die. Instantly. I think the best course of action would be disallowing the player to switch if there’s an obstacle on the other side of the screen: more often than not it will result in player taking damage (which is fair since he could not dodge well) instead of being instantly-destroyed (which seems unfair because well, try focusing on two points on screen simultaneously: changing you eye focus takes some time). At the same time, if you switch your focus on to the next screen, there’s a great probability that you’re going to ram into the obstacle on the first one.

At this point, if I am honest with you, I cannot recommend the game to my friends due to how screen switching mechanics work and not much weapons. Having said that, I think effective focus switch is a skill that can be trained, so if you don’t mind that – definitely give the game a try. The game is definitely not bad and I’d say this is a niche game for you shoot-em-up lovers, but if you are more on a casual side of things (like I am) – I’d skip this one for now or see how early access will end. The developers are definitely trying their best and if they deliver their promises – I’ll be more than glad to take another look at the game. At the current point though, I find the game too expensive for what it offers.

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Feature Image taken from the Dimension Drive store page, here

Developer’s Reply

Hi Vladimir,

Thanks for the feedback. We fully agree with your points regarding lack of weapons and the issue with the lasers (which is a bug that we have identified on our issue tracker). And yes, the game needs more levels and more work as you have fairly said it is Early Access and we intend to add more.

However, I have to say that there are some things that are like that by design choice. Dimension Drive is a hardcore challenging game in the vein of the classics like Gradius, R-Type, or more recently Ikaruga where obstacles instakill you. Obviously that’s going to be an issue for casual players who don’t want this challenge and for those players I fully agree with your statement that the game is maybe not for them. Also, the extra challenge of playing and focusing on two sides is part of the design, again I’m sorry it wasn’t for you but removing the danger of teleporting into obstacles would remove part of the challenge we wanted to make.

Finally, I want to say that we are planning to add an Easy mode as you can see in our public Early Access roadmap (https://trello.com/b/1OpgMDJ3/dimension-drive-early-access-development-roadmap). In that mode we plan to have a visual warning when you are in a situation that if you teleport you die but you would still be able to do it if you are careless teleporting. That may help more casual players but in any case the game will still continue to be a hard and challenging game.

Thanks a lot for take the time to play Dimension Drive.

David

== End of Developer’s Reply ==
Hope it gives somewhat a full picture 🙂 Overall, I totally agree with the letter; Not for the casual players, but if you are a hardcore shumup fan – this game might be for you.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf Steam Screenshot

Genre: Tactical Strategy/RPG
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: if you are into multiplayer – yes, as it is fun; if you are into singleplayer – wait until early access is done to see if the game has improved;

Disclaimer #1: I got the key for free

Disclaimer #2: The game is in early access (the roadmap is described on the store page, http://store.steampowered.com/app/553210/ )

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is a card-driven turn-based tactical game with RPG elements. The game enters in early access, and in this point it is fair to say that while the premise sounds really cool, the singleplayer execution so far is somewhat questionable. The graphics and effects are fine, it’s the mission gameplay that I have problem with.

Pros:

  • Fun to play
  • Actions taking time is a good approach: you can make two „long” actions and allow the enemy move before yours, or you can do a short one, take a break and attack again before the enemy gets a chance to move
  • The graphics are well polished
  • Plenty of cards/content to diversify your playing experience
  • Well, it’s warhammer 40k universe. Which is pretty badass by itself
  • Multiplayer is actually good

Cons:

  • Deckbuilding UI is clumsy and unintuitive. (But the early access roadmap promises to tune it)
  • Cannot turn your character without moving (which is essential for the gameplay)
  • Some enemy units can attack you with melee attacks diagonally, but your melee attacks can only go in front
  • Very difficult (not sure if intentional) – in missions, enemies just keep spawning when you step on certain areas (meaning you can’t go around the enemy sometimes without spawning new ones). The difficulty did not bother me much, but this unpredictability is killing it.
  • The game feels too reliant on RNG. 70-80% hitrate makes you feel screwed by the game quite often. If you are lucky to dodge enemy attacks – great. If you shoot 3 times in a row and miss – it stops being cool. Obstacles don’t do much and do not seem to impact the shooting: you can’t hide behind them „x-com style.”

 

Summary

Not surprisingly, I’m going to compare the game battle system to x-com. Let’s talk about single player, because multiplayer do not have most of these issues (well, except for random factor).

Right now, the issue with the game is not the content. Personally, I did not enjoy the game due to unpredictability: the enemies just spawn in too big numbers in pre-scripted manner. X-com avoids it by showing fog of war: that way you can scroll around the map and at least try to take into account that an enemy can be hiding somewhere. In this case: the map is wide open, but the enemies simply appear in front of you as you step forward. Speaking about the missions, if you try to go too far (to flank the enemies) – more ones will spawn just in front of you. In my opinion, the planning aspect is very important for turn-based games, but it is missing here.

Despite its flaws, the game really has potential. I cannot recommend the single player experience right now, but the multiplayer is really engaging. The mission unpredictability (enemy spawning after you reach certain points) and too much random factor in shooting (and no way to affect this effectively) hit the game in a bad way though. Buy if you are really into tactical games, like multiplayer or enjoy wh40k universe. Otherwise wait for the game to leave early access.

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Holy Potatoes! We're in Space?! Game Screenshot

Genre: Adventure/Roguelite
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes.

Disclaimer #1: I got the key for free
Disclaimer #2: This one won’t be that short
Disclaimer #3: The game is close to release, but it is still work in progress and I had a preview version

„Holy Potatoes! We’re in space?!” offers a new take on a space exploration game. I suppose comparisons to “Faster Than Light” are inevitable, so let’s get this out first: similar to FTL, you control a ship that must traverse galaxies and the time is running out. Similar to FTL, you encounter various events and enemies. Similar to FTL, you recruit your crew, each one of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. Similar to how you loved FTL, you are going to love this game. They are different games though.

The ideas might be the same, but the execution definitely differs. ”Holy Potatoes! We’re in space?!” is west-meets-east kind of game, that mixes the game development styles from both sides of the world and keeps the best parts of them. Although there’s plenty of randomness, it’s not really a roguelike like FTL: the game is more plot / objective driven. You explore the space on your starship, taking turns to move from one galaxy to another. Each galaxy has a hub, something like a shop/upgrade center, where you can buy craftable item blueprints, crafting resources, weapons, upgrade your ship modules and hire more crew.

Indie Game Review 2017 - Holy Potatoes! We're in Space?! Ship Interior

After you visit the hub, you can travel to new planets and explore them, that’s where the main gameplay takes part. Exploration is just a series of events, from simple random quest encounters to enemies. The combat is turn-based (think JRPG turn based): your ship has multiple weapons, each one controlled by a crew member, and you may choose what weapons to use. You can also assign shield to your ship components or use special abilities.

Pros:

  • Unique Style, universe based on humor and lots of game and popular culture references
  • Interesting gameplay with lots of variety, game is really fun to play, the great blend of different mechanics really makes the game stand out
  • Depth of micromanaging, lots of things to do: crafting/ship parts/crew/weapons
  • Lots of items / craftables to customize your ship
  • Plenty of random events and enemy encounters

Cons:

  • The style / humor is not for everyone: I personally like it, but if you’ve played the other game (“Holy Potatoes! A weapon shop?!”) and did not like the style/humor – chances are you won’t like this one too.
  • The battles can get a bit repetitive: after all, you’re just firing the weapons at enemy and he fires back
  • Minor one, but had some issues with tutorial (notified the developers); as the game has lots of gameplay elements, it’s pretty easy to get lost in UI at first. It gets much easier later on though.

 

Overall, while I would not call this game a spiritual successor to FTL, I must say that it scratches that same „FTL itch” we all had after finishing the game. The game offers a unique take to the mechanics and Daylight studios do not disappoint with their execution: everything is well thought out and polished, the game is fun to play. It’s a great mix of genres, offering great depth of micromanagement paired with exciting RPG battles. Because of that, I highly recommend the game.

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Xenoraid Steam Game Screenshot

Genre: Action/Shoot-em-up/Bullet Hell
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes

Disclaimer: I got the key for free.

Xenoraid is a shoot-em-up/bullet hell, where you control earth defence fleet against alien invaders. Instead of controlling 1 vessel, player owns up to 4 ships which he can swap during the game (also used as a way to dodge enemies/projectiles).

Pros

  • Great weapon „juiciness”: even most basic weapons feel great to fire
  • Fun to play
  • Good variety of weapons/Fighters
  • Neat graphics / effects
  • Challenging: can’t simply go forward and blindly shoot at everything, have to do lots of maneuvering and plane switching
  • Micromanagement elements: manage your individual aircraft upgrades as well as perks that apply to all aircraft

Cons

  • Lack of difficulty controls: developer said that some players report the game being too difficult and I agree to it.
  • Compared to the normal level difficulties, the boss fights were pretty easy. Don’t get me wrong, they are still engaging and interesting, but after what normal levels are throwing at you – you’ll feel somewhat underwhelmed.

Summary

I’d say give it a try when you can. The game is definitely well polished (well, what else can you expect from the creators of Crimsonland?) and the new mechanics introduced make the shoot-em-up genre feel fresh again.

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Feature Image taken from the Xenoraid store page, here

Everspace Steam Game Screenshot

Genre: Space Action/Roguelike
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes, if you enjoy space actions/roguelites

If you would ask me to give a brief description of Everspace, I’d instantly say that it’s a mix between Freelancer and Rogue Legacy. You travel from sector to sector of the galaxy via hyperspace jumps, kill the enemies and gather equipment to get to your goal (which is intentionally vague). The game is not open space, there is a route that you must follow. After you die – you have to start from scratch. However, you get to keep your money so you can upgrade your ship post-death and make the next run smoother.

Pros

  • Responsive ship controls using keyboard and mouse, decent space dogfighting combat
  • Great replayability: after you die, you get to equip the ship for the next run and try to do better
  • Amazing graphics: space seems very vivid
  • Challenging: you won’t go far during your initial runs, but that’s perfectly fine.
  • The missions/small challenges add focus to the gameplay
  • Innovative mechanics that work quite well: I think that’s the first combination of roguelike and space sim, have to give props to dev for making it work.

Cons

  • At this stage, the game can get a bit repetitive. Initial levels don’t offer enough variety. It often feels like you are going on the same track when you fly through them. (And you’re going to fly through them a lot!)
  • Looting often feels like a tedious job – flying from point to point just to shoot asteroids / crystals can get you bored. The upside is that you don’t have to hunt for resources, but you are greatly reducing your chances to have a good run.
  • Like with lots of roguelikes out there, you can get screwed by the gods of random, ensuring an unfavorable setup against you. You might get no decent weapon drops/overwhelming enemy numbers, that ultimately leads to your demise.

Everspace Review Summary

If you enjoy either permadeath roguelites or space action games – this one is for you. The space dogfights combined with permadeath/improvement mechanics will keep you entertained for some time. I’d probably suggest waiting for full release tho – the game is enjoyable as it is, but the developer promises much more content later on. If you don’t like idejas of permadeath and dying a lot and starting from scratch to achieve your objective – skip  this one.

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Feature Image taken from the Everspace store page, here