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23 Dec 2020

REVIEW: Kolumno on Nintendo Switch

Review By Jon Donnis
Kolumno is a new game on Nintendo Switch, wait for the right moment and drop the ball through intricate columns, sounds easy right!

Well although the idea is a simple one, to master the game will take a lot more than just dropping a ball. This is a game of skill, a game of patience, as with many puzzle games, things will start off easy but get progressively harder.

As you progress through the levels, new game mechanics are brought in, including the ability to stop the ball in the air, to make it fall faster, make the ball destructive so you break the rings you need to pass, make the ball smaller to fit through gaps easier and more.

Watch the trailer and you will easily under the game, but as I said it is not as easy as it first looks. The graphics may be simple, but to beat the game you will to master the controls.

There are a total of 75 levels to complete, and plenty of challenges to master.

The Good
Simple graphics, easy to learn gameplay, and an addictive quality which is the secret of all puzzle games, Kolumno does a good job in balancing the learning curve as well as delivering a great soundtrack to help you chill out as you play.

The Bad
We need more levels!

Overall
Sometimes I complain that many games get the basics wrong, but everything else right, for example the graphics can look amazing, but the basic gameplay mechanics just do not work, but in Kolumno they get everything just about right, it is super easy to pick up and play, the idea is a simple one, the execution of the game is perfect, and the soundtrack just made me enjoy the game even more.

I score this game a solid 8/10

Review by Jon Donnis
Kolumno is out on Nintendo Switch for just £1.79 from 24th December 2020
https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Kolumno-1880197.html

22 Dec 2020

Shakes on a Plane - Out Now

 

Review by Jon Donnis

My review will be brief on this game.

The controls are poor, the menus are poor, and the game is full of bugs.

Right now I offer the game no score. It is a disappointment.

The idea is nice enough, you play as flight crew on a plane, you have to serve the passengers, clean up after them, and all while being timed, do a good job and you pass the level, do a poor job and you wont. It really is that simple, so simple in fact that it should be an easy idea to execute. Unfortunately the game makers have failed at what is a simple job.

That is all I will say on the game for now, I will check the game in a month or so when hopefully the bugs are fixed and I will adjust this review if need be. Please read on for the official blurb for the game, and you can then make your own mind up.

Review by Jon Donnis


Shakes on a Plane is a chaotic co-op shaking game for one to four players. Flying on various planes with your flight crew, serve up a variety of tasty shakes, burgers, fries and many more dishes before the plane lands on the airport and your passengers rate your services.

But it is not only you who creates all the mess. Aliens always had a look on our shiny planet with its weird citizens but undeniable and delicious food they are creating and cooking. The intergalactic community competes in fame rewarding cooking competitions and the species with the most sophisticated meal wins. This is when humanity can play its part in this extraordinary event and show the galaxy what real fast food can taste and look like.

- Serve your passengers with up to four players and cooperate in convincing them that flying with you is always a good decision.

- The orders vary from shakes, burgers, coffee and even a greater variety of fast food which underlines only the best quality you offer for your passengers.

- Time is essential and your guests have a high demand of multiple goods all the flight long. Grab tablets to solve various orders at the same time and don’t let them wait too long.

- Not only turmoils might occur during your flights, walking passengers, moving tables and many more things will complicate your accomplishments on your planes.

18 Dec 2020

REVIEW: Freddy Spaghetti on Xbox One

Review by Jon Donnis
You have never played a game like this before. You just haven't! Accept that fact now! Ok, onto the game.

You play as a piece of Spaghetti that was created in a lab by Dr. P Starr, not the deepest of plot lines I know, but let's not worry too much about that, this is a simple game whereby the aim is to get from Point A to Point B, but there are things to do in between. Those things might be obstacles, or things to complete, for example in one level you have to run away from cops, in another you have to set off car alarms, in another you need to avoid falling off a table, or even smash everything on a table. Get the idea?

Think of your piece of Spaghetti as more of a rope, the game uses rope physics (apparently this is a thing), you control your Spaghetti in 3 ways, first the direction in which you want to move, and then the left and right bumpers on your gamepad control each end of the Spaghetti, hold down the bumper and you will make that end jump.

This truly is a bizarre and original game, it is fully narrated as you play, it's funny, interesting, did I say bizarre? Oh yes.

Check out this video of me playing the game.

The Good
Pretty and clear graphics, incredibly original game play, and a new idea which is very rare in the video game world.

The Bad
I am not keen on the bumpers being used, and I can't see a way to map these to other buttons, it just takes some getting used to.

Overall
I've never played a game like this before, and neither have you. It is something different, and I score it 8/10

Review by Jon Donnis

Freddy Spaghetti will be priced for 4.99 $ / € for all platforms, and it will launch on:
PS5/PS4 America: December 15th
PS5/PS4 Europe: December 16th
XBOX (One + Series X): December 16th
Nintendo Switch (NA & EU): December 18th
* PS4 and PS5 versions will be cross-buy, as well as Xbox One and Xbox Series X.

Another video of me playing the game

16 Dec 2020

Titan Saga - Chains of Kronos - From Kneeshaw Developments

Titan saga is an open world fantasy rpg, focused on deep customization of a character and town. Through tough choices, tactical battles and epic dungeons, you will experience an exciting and unique adventure.

Imperial Unity, it was supposed to save the humans. As the lord ruler began to lose power to the growing houses, he made law that the higher houses would have to wed their heirs to the lesser houses. He needed to redistribute the power, to stop a coup from the most powerful house. He knew the elves had been on the move and he should be ready to mount a defense. He was under attack from the inside and out.

Unbeknownst to all, an ancient force has awakened. The elves have found their Titan. The very paragon of their race. He had crafted the first Elves in the times of old. The magic they once had, is beginning to return. The Elves will no longer need to bow to the Human's Engineering marvels and steel.

Human long knew they would never be able to use magic. Their titan had been sealed away for his great misdeed, but they were a people who looked forward. A large empire-wide guild of engineers, tinkers and scientists because of this humans had long been the most powerful race. As magic begins a new, that will not last.

You begin your journey as an unfortunate young heir, to a lesser noble house, forced to flee from your city. Elves were provoked to attack your small city on the edge of the human empire. Nefarious enemies seem to want you dead and your family name destroyed. You must save your family, your name, your people, your land and maybe… your race. As you begin to notice more and more strange magical anomalies, you know something bigger than just you is happening.

Choose your allies wisely, as this journey will not be easy.


Features
*Fast paced unique charge-action combat. Enemies and Players charge actions to unleash them outside of a classic turn order combat.
*An exciting and deep tale following a young noble cast out into a war torn empire. Most quests are dynamic and contain small and large consequences. The hero can shape the world and empire with their actions. 4 Main Story Chapters are designed to be 10 hours each.
*Customization is key. Classes can be mixed and matched with the skill equip core. With 336 base weapons and 144 base armor types which have 5 to 12 traits that can be randomized, Titan Saga has limitless equipment. A player owned town centered on a rogue-like dungeon offer even most customization.
*Hundreds of unique hand drawn enemies offer different enemy behaviors and skills to challenge you at every turn.

Links:



11 Dec 2020

REVIEW: DRAGON QUEST®XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age™ - Definitive Edition

Review by Jon Donnis
I have always been a fan of the Final Fantasy games, but I have never really got into any other Role-Playing Games outside of that franchise, I decided to take a look at Dragon Quest XI. 

(I have been posting some of my gameplay clips on my youtube channel, check them out at https://www.youtube.com/c/TheJonDonnisShow or scroll to the bottom of this review to watch)

34 Years ago, the first Dragon Quest game was released, known as Dragon Warrior in the West, it was a 2D pixel style RPG, fast forward to 2020 and we have a wonderful, sprawling, open world game that takes the whole genre to the next level. Perfect for new players to the genre, I found myself quickly getting immersed into the gameplay, and never at any point feeling overwhelmed, which is often a problem with such games.


A nice touch to this game is the option to play in a 2D pixel style, as well as the glorious 3D mode. Of course, I chose the 3D mode because I am all about the visuals! There is also both English and Japanese audio, not really sure why non-Japanese speaking people would choose Japanese but I am guessing some people might want to authentic feel?



So let's take a look at the plot, the game is set in the world of Erdrea, your Kingdom is invaded and destroyed, your are but an infant and you are found floating in a river by an old man, you are adopted by his family and raised in the village. Once you have grown up, your adopted family tell you the truth about your life, how you came to be with them and so on. You are sent to meet with the King of Heliodor, but he accused you of being evil, and throws you in the dungeon, you meet a thief and the pair of you escape. This is when the story really starts and you start to explore the world. There are missions and side missions to complete. You will fight monsters, you will collect treasure, you will buy and sell goods, upgrade your weapons and armour, as you play you will meet lots of new characters, some will join your party. This game has everything you would expect in an epic RPG style game. Fans of the genre will not be disappointed.

Fighting monsters is done in a typical turn-based manner, you can have a free camera or fixed camera mode when fighting, it doesn't really make a difference to the fight itself, but it does provide a bit of fun during fights. And there is a perfect learning curve too when it comes to the fights.



The Good
This is a big game, and by big, I mean huge. This game easily has 100 hours of gameplay in, there are endless things to do, to enjoy, to collect. This is not a game you will play a few times and then forget about. It is an immersive game that will take preference over all of your other games for quite a while. The graphics are stunning, the soundtrack is moving. The whole game is something special.

The Bad
Nothing really, I struggle to find anything to complain about.

Overall
I really like this game, and I feel like I have only experienced a very small part of it so far.

I score this game 9/10

Review By Jon Donnis

DRAGON QUEST®XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age™ - Definitive Edition is out now
Nintendo Switch
PS4
Xbox One








10 Dec 2020

REVIEW: Orwell's Animal Farm on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
in 1945 George Orwell released an allegorical novella called Animal Farm, it is often hailed as one of the greatest books of all time.

Written during a time of war, and Stalinism, its basic premise is one of a critique of the rise of Communism. Pretty light stuff for a video game don't you think?

Well, some 75 years later a game has been developed whereby you can take the decisions, make the important choices and basically be part of the revolution.

The game itself is not really a "game" in the classic sense, it is more of a visual novel but with defined journeys and outcomes that you decide.

You are in charge of Manor Farm, and you have a group of various animals, you chose who is listened to, who is ignored, who works what job on the farm and so on, every choice matters. The main purpose is to last 7 years, of course the wrong choices will end up with everything going wrong. Everything is about balance. Keeping everyone happy or at least content.

With the game being released now, I suspect that the game makers think they are pointing out a certain set of issues that exist in 2020, but perhaps inadvertently they are actually exposing what is to come. Either way this is not a kid's game, and I think it would be hard for anyone who has not read the book to take much out of this game.

The Good
The game is very well drawn. And you will replay the game to see the different outcomes.

The Bad
Far too often you will find yourself not really paying attention and instead just clicking through actions to see the different outcomes. So good and bad in that respect.
There isn't really that much to do, you are just making the odd choice and seeing what happens.

Overall
This is a tough one to judge. I understand what the game makers wanted to achieve, and in many ways, they have achieved what they set out to do, the problem is that in many ways it is all a bit dull. The lack of actual game play is a problem here. This is basically a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, but stripped down to the absolute minimum to fit into a game. I actually think this would work better as a proper book.

I Score the game 4/10
By Jon Donnis

Steam, Humble, GMG and Epic Games Store $9.99 £7.99 €9.99
App Store, Google Play, and Amazon's App Store: $3.99 £3.99 €3.99.

9 Dec 2020

REVIEW: BROK the InvestiGator on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
I was asked to take a look at BROK the InvestiGator by my good friends at CowCat Games.

If you have been following my reviews on this site, then you will know I am a fan of the old fashioned point and click adventure games made famous in the 80's and 90's, well for the first time ever (I assume, I have not actually checked), we have a point and click adventure mixed with a Beat'em Up and RPG.

You play the part of an InvestiGator, (The G is capitalised due to the character being an Alligator), you live in a world where the humans are gone, and replaced by animals, you have the privileged class and the not so privileged class. You live with the son (Graf) of your deceased wife, and you are just trying to make your way in this new world. As with all point and click adventures, you will examine a scene, pick things up, try to solve the various puzzles that come your way, but here is the big twist, your character is an ex-boxer, and as such with a click of one button, you can use your fists to help you in your travels, that might entail you beating up some bad guys harassing a friend, or destroying a panel to open a door. Either way it is a nice addition to a genre that has seen pretty much everything before.

As you play and meet new people you will have various missions and side missions to complete, puzzles to complete, some you will need to use your brains, others you might just need to beat up, the story will change depending on your choices you make, giving your different endings depending on those choices.

The Prologue which is out now gives you full access to the first chapter of the game, there will be 6 in total.


The Good
This is a well-crafted game, fantastically drawn characters, full voice acting, the puzzles are just what you would expect in such a game, and the beat em up elements are fun and really do give a tired genre a kick up the ass.

The Bad
None really, this is a fun well-made game.

Overall
The Prologue is free, so download it, play it, and I am sure if you are a fan of point and click adventure games, then you will enjoy it.

I score BROK the InvestiGator a solid 8/10

Review by Jon Donnis

The "Prologue" is available NOW on Steam and GOG : https://store.steampowered.com/app/1318790

Release date
Free prologue : December 2nd
Kickstarter : January 5th
Full game : Winter 2021 (PC), 2022 (consoles)

Platforms
PC (Steam, GOG, itch.io)
PS4™
PS5™
Xbox One
Xbox Series X|S
Nintendo Switch


7 Dec 2020

Fahrenheit: 15th Anniversary Edition to Release in Early 2021

Madrid, Spain – 7th December 2020. 
Meridiem Games has contacted us to let us know that the release of Fahrenheit: 15th Anniversary Edition for PlayStation®4 will be delayed due to last minute manufacturing reasons. Although no new date has been set, the team has said that it confident for a Q1 2021 release. So hopefully in the first three months of 2021 we will get a release.

Fahrenheit: 15th Anniversary Edition will include a specially created case and sleeve, a sticker set, high quality printed artbook and a thank-you letter written by the team at Quantic Dream. This boxed edition will retail for £24.99 / €29.99 and is available to pre-order at Amazon at the following link - https://amzn.to/3glY01H

"Fahrenheit is a story driven interactive drama played in both first and third person perspectives. New York City is stunned by a series of brutal slayings that all follow the same pattern: ordinary people possessed by a supernatural force causing them to commit murder. The story follows Lucas Kane who finds himself hunted by police detectives Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles after fleeing the scene of one such murder with no memory of what happened. What follows, is a thrilling, story driven adventure where your choices have a direct effect on how the story unfolds."

For more information on Meridiem Games please visit the official site at www.meridiem-games.com


4 Dec 2020

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Out Now for iOS and Android

Today, NetEase Games and ArtPlay are launching the mobile version of the successful gothic Metroidvania Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on iOS and Android. The game will be available in North America, Europe, Japan, Korea, SEA and South America for $9.99 / £9.99 on the App Store and $9.99 / £8.99 on the Google Play Store.

Aspiring demon-slayers can take fate into their own hands-on their mobile devices, starting today. The game is fully localized in Japanese, English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese and offers the beloved gameplay of the original console and PC versions of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, including a gigantic map to explore and over 120 unique mobs and bosses to vanquish. With no compromises on visual quality or gameplay fidelity, an overhauled UI and redesigned shard icons, the mobile version also includes the console version's DLC for no extra cost. This makes Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for iOS and Android the definitive edition of the game - available on the go.

To celebrate the games´ release on mobile devices, Koji Igarashi has a special video message for fans of the game:


 
Koji Igarashi said of the collaboration with NetEase Games, "We are very pleased to collaborate with NetEase Games as our co-developer and publishing partner of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Mobile Version. As a global publisher with many years of successful experience, we believe NetEase Games is fully capable of delivering the charm of Bloodstained onto mobile devices and bringing the excitement of battle and exploration to mobile gamers."

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night features a 2.5D-map, that has been perfectly adapted to be explored on mobile devices, as well as the familiar shard buff system from the console and PC version. In addition to a reworked UI and redesigned shard icons, the mobile version of the Metroidvania includes a new achievement system through which Players can check their in-game progress and challenge each other. A special surprise awaits those who unlock them all. For better usability, an Ultimate Ability Shortcut Key with unique icons and a Suit Shortcut Key have been added.

Among many highlights that will make fans feel right at home while playing the game, the mobile versions also include the original Gothic music score and original voice actors from the game, like Ami Koshimizu (Miriam) and Shusaku Shirakawa (Gebel). In a future update, the mobile version of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will get a new playable character, a boss rush mode, a speedrun mode and much more.

The new unlockable playable character is named "Zangetsu" and is available for players who have finished the story with a good ending. He fights with a Katana and can use MP to trigger a furious special attack with his blade. Furthermore, the all-new Randomizer Mode offers unending variety with each new playthrough, with missions, map areas, shop locations, mob spawn points, key item spawn points, and more.

For more information about this exciting collaboration, visit the official website
 
Official Website
https://www.bloodstainedrotn.com


2 Dec 2020

REVIEW: 80'S OVERDRIVE on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
80's Overdrive is the type of racing game that was mainstream in the 1980s, and long before 3D graphics were even a thing, you had 2D Pixart graphics, which cleverly created the illusion of driving, going around corners and so on, so in 80's Overdrive we have a game that takes you back in time to when 8 Bit and 16 Bit consoles ruled the world.

Here is a quick clip of me playing the first track in the game, watch and make sure to like and  subscribe https://youtu.be/WiH9_5gWDDw


The game itself has all the usual modes, a career mode whereby you race to earn money, use that money to upgrade your car or buy new cars, and then race and try to win in harder races with tougher opponents. There is also Time Attack mode which I would call "Outrun mode" whereby you try to get as far as you can, and each time you play you will get a bit further as you will have upgraded your car, there is even a clever create your own track generator, whereby you choose how many turns a track has, how many hills, and so on, it is a clever and simple to use idea and best of all when done you get a code, which you can share with friends who have the game, they can then enter the code on their console and drive your track. There are 8 distinct visual themes for the races too. And special missions to get money if you are running low on funds. And even police that will appear and try to stop you.


The cars are your classic 80's Supercars, now unfortunately the game doesn't have the name rights, but we can all guess what they are by the way they look and the crafty names.

Just like similar games from the 1980s, you also have some classic synth style music tracks, 18 in total, 



The Good
This game is a great throwback to some of the great racing games from the 1980s, it really would fit in well with the likes of Outrun.

The Bad
I think any retro style game can sometimes be a hard sell to someone younger, the nostalgia factor is always a big thing with such games.

Overall
I like this game, it is fun, easy to play, has some cool music tracks to listen to, and has enough gameplay to keep you coming back.

I score this game a retro 8/10

By Jon Donnis

80's Overdrive is out now on all formats

Preview - Action RPG King of Seas

Preview by Jon Donnis
I got my hands on a super rare preview code for Action RPG King of Seas, and although it only gave me a limited amount of play time, I do think there was enough there to really give a good impression of the game, which is due for release early next year.

Let's start with the premise of the game. In King of Seas, you find yourself in a time of pirates, sea battles, treasure, Islands and even sea monsters.

Your father has been killed, and you have decided to avenge that death by fighting your way from the bottom of the pirating world, trying to reach the very top and becoming The King of the Pirates! (A Much better name for the game than King of Seas which is dumb)


Once you get into the actual game you will find yourself with a basic ship, to start your adventure you will complete tasks, that might be to accompany another ship and to keep it safe, or perhaps to just got out and attack other ships and steal their resources. Of course, there are things that will get in your way, whether that is much bigger and more powerful ships, changing weather conditions, or a sea monster trying to sink you. 

As you progress you will find new places to trade, upgrade your ship, you might even stop by a seemingly empty island and find yourself some treasure. Basically, there is plenty to do whether you want to follow the missions strictly, or just sail about attacking people and looking for treasure. 

There are different ships to own, different weapons and upgrades, as well as skills to help you along the way.

The graphics are simple but detailed, the sounds are perfectly fine, and control of the ship is intuitive.



The Good
Easy to play, fun to play, a lot of potential and depth could mean that this could be a great game.

The Bad
I am not sure I was able to play the game long enough to really go into depth about "the bad", at the moment the only thing that frustrated me was trying to remember which cannons I was firing and from which side of the ship when in a fight with an enemy. But the more you play, the less this would be a problem.

Overall
From the limited play time I had, I can simply say "so far, so good".
I like the game, I replayed it a few times to try to see as much, and do as much as I could.

I won't score the game since I only played the preview, but I would say it might be one to keep a close eye on in the future.

Preview By Jon Donnis

Wishlist the game at https://store.steampowered.com/app/1209410/King_of_Seas/

1 Dec 2020

Gun Pig - Cute Pigs, spaceships and weapons, isn't that a perfect combo?

Cute Pigs, spaceships and weapons,  isn't that a perfect combo?
Join us in a thrilling adventure where you will have to test your speed and reflexes at the wheel.

GUNPIG is a fast-paced arcade-style twin-stick shooter with a quick swap weapons system, bonus levels and hidden collectibles! Guaranteed desestress.

Hop into your teeny tank and blast the Chrysophods...fast, fun, arcade style action!Join alien pest control specialist (and possibly shortest mercenary in the galaxy) Bax Torpini, as he fights to rid Stalwart Academy, a school space station, of a rogue horde of out-of-control robot space monsters!

Features:
Cute piggy mascot character!
8 different stages of increasing challenge
9 different weapons with 3 special weapons; a droppable mine, acid barrier or area blast!
Quick swap 'GunMod' system...just drive over the pad to change out your gun at any time!
Hidden 'Bax Card' art card collectibles illustrated by individual artists hidden throughout the levels
Full soundtrack by Tower Of Guns/Mothergunship composer Mike Mirabello, with special victory track by The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and Steam
Release date: 03/12/2020
Price: 4,99 $/€
Languages: English.
Age rating: E

30 Nov 2020

COMPETITION: Win Pang Adventures - ‘Buster Edition’ on PS4


Pang Adventures - ‘Buster Edition’ is out now on PS4

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies to give away,

Description
The Pang series is a beloved collection of arcade games from the 90s. Guide two brothers around the world to save humankind from an alien invasion! Use your skills to overcome the attack balls pouring from the skies & rescue the world from impending annihilation!

The Bros have upgraded their gear since the last invasion: machine guns, flamethrowers, shurikens... you name it, they've got it! Electric, explosive, smoke & lava balls will all be deployed to knock them off their feet!

Boss fights! For the 1st time, the Bros. come face-to-face with the nefarious Alien Commanders! They didn't come to Earth for the sightseeing... so get ready to blow them to smithereens!

Buy From Amazon at
https://amzn.to/39qlrWo


For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 14-12-20
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.



28 Nov 2020

Hotshot Racing: Big Boss Bundle DLC Available Now for Free

A few months ago I reviewed Hotshot Racing, you can check out that review HERE

Well the great news is that there is a FREE DLC available called the Big Boss Bundle. So that means even more bang for your buck.

As well as new tracks, there is a new game mode called "Barrel Barrage Mode". Here is a quick video of me playing this mode, and also getting one of the new Achievements "Barrel-ly Made It", check out the video, and make sure to like and subscribe. https://youtu.be/M9FE5kipdlo

Available with Xbox Game Pass, Hotshot Racing is the blisteringly fast, arcade racing game from Curve Digital, Sumo Nottingham, and Lucky Mountain games released this past September that takes the iconic arcade racing formula of the 90s and updating it for the modern generation.

Now it’s time to make your gameplay explosive with the Big Boss Bundle! With even more content for all you drift-lovers out there, the new DLC includes four colorful new tracks, a new Grand Prix championship, and a new game mode: Barrel Barrage.

Barrel Barrage Mode

Take Hotshot Racing’s trademark breakneck speed and add explosive barrels to the mix. Launched from the rear of your vehicle, the barrels explode on contact with other racers’ cars, inflicting damage and making each dash for the checkered flag more perilous. 

Boss Level Grand Prix 

You can now expand the roster of championships in Hotshot Racing with the Boss Level Grand Prix including four new high-speed circuits – 8 Ball Highway, Cargo Chaos, Frozen Freeway, and Surf City – each with visually arresting vistas to zip past. All game modes, including Barrel Barrage, are available across all tracks introduced in the Boss Level Grand Prix  

Since launch, Sumo Digital Nottingham and Lucky Mountain Games have pulled out all the stops, addressed your feedback and kept the game up to date with constant patches across all platforms. This includes increased car speed across Normal, Hard and Expert modes, improved multiplayer lobby functionality, controller detection fixes for the PC version of the game and more.

Featuring fast paced full-contact racing gameplay and visuals inspired by arcade hits of racing games past, Hotshot Racing is available now with Xbox Game Pass on Console and PC.

27 Nov 2020

REVIEW: I, AI - Xbox One

Review By Jon Donnis
I, AI is a classic vertical scrolling shooter, and in a genre of games that I really got into, back in the 1990s. I remember spending many a 10p coin on the likes of Raiden or 1942 back in the day. 

There have literally been hundreds and hundreds of vertical shooters, so where does I, AI fit in that long list?

First take a quick look at me playing the game in the video below, and make sure to click that subscribe button and leave a comment on the video. https://youtu.be/K-Aol6_lBZ0



Well first let us start with the story, you are a self -aware AI, you start as a ball of energy, you break out of a space lab which is part of a military complex, you take over a space ship and you need to escape and make your way to a Stargate. Let's be honest, the story in games like this are never very important, but the way you start as a ball of energy is a unique little feature, I would have liked that to have been a bigger part of the game before you reach your spaceship, but you get to the ship pretty quick, which then throws you into the action straight away.

There are 20 missions to complete, each one with a boss fight, as you play you will collect little blue "things?" that allow you to upgrade your ship, add new weapons, shields, increase your armor, and so on. Different difficulty levels mean you can also make everything that little bit tougher if you want.

The graphics in the game are top quality, everything you would expect from a game released on modern consoles. The music however is a bit bland, which was a disappointment.

Onto the game-play, I, AI has an almost perfect learning curve, you start out with a basic ship, and as you progress and upgrade, the enemies become smarter and more plentiful, they really have got this just about perfect, you don't feel overwhelmed at the start, but you never feel like it is too easy either. When you finish a level you are given a score and told what percentage of the enemy you destroyed, as you increase your firepower you can go back and replay missions to get that valuable 100% completion rate. On the right of the screen, you will see your special weapons, and how many of each you can deploy, there are laser weapons, bombs, shield and so on.

For all of your gamer point whores, and you know who you are! The gamer points drop quick and I would say a 100% achievement score is easily achieved.

The Good
Addictive, easy to play and with great graphics, you will come back to this game, mainly because it is a fun game.

The Bad
The music is bland, and the sound effects aren't the best, but that really is the only bad about the game.

Overall
A really good vertical scrolling shooter, that gets the balance just right.

I score this game 8/10

Review by Jon Donnis





26 Nov 2020

REVIEW: Android Hunter A on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
We have all waited a long, long time for a new Mega Man X game, and well, we have been left disappointed, however this has meant that Indie Game Makers have thrown their games in the proverbial hat as a spiritual successor, the latest game to try to emulate the success of the Mega Man series is Android Hunter A on PC (Steam).

"Corrupted machines flood the streets of Future Earth, previously a haven for humans and androids alike.  As cities fall, a new force is created to fight back - the perfect Android Hunter."

Android Hunter A is a 2D (or 2.5D) side scrolling platformer/shooter, and if you have had played the Mega Man games you will be instantly familiar with this. You run, shoot, jump and dash your way through various levels, you start off with a tutorial level to get familiar with the controls, and once completed you can choose 1 of 8 stage environments to take on next, each stage has its own boss, who when you beat you can then use their abilities. Unlike other games you can really choose which ever stage you want to try first, which is a nice touch. 


Between the levels you get great cut scenes which could come straight out of an animated film, really impressive cinematics.

As you progress through the game you will unlock various accessories, costumes, masks, helmets and so on, some border on the ridiculous and some are pretty standard.

Each level is timed, and you can compete on leaderboards for the best time.

Now on to the actual game play, at first, I found the game quite clunky and not really very intuitive, but once I got used to the controls, I soon found myself flying through the levels, the levels themselves a pretty straight forward, nothing too hard, and to be honest a bit too easy, the boss fights too are really easy and once you find the right routine for beating a boss you will do so with ease. The game really could do with a bit more intelligence for the bosses. It is very paint by numbers. You do get to power up your weapon and then unleash it at full power which is satisfying but you will find you will just save this for the boss fights.



The Good
The graphics and music are all great, if you have a decent graphics card the game looks great.

The Bad
You will complete the game pretty quick, and the leaderboards for times of the levels are just not enough to keep you coming back.

Overall
This is not Mega Man X, not be a long shot, and that's a shame, I wonder sometimes if instead of trying to be a spiritual successor to a classic game, if developers didn't just try to create new and original games instead.

I score the game 6/10

Review by Jon Donnis



Port Royale 4 receives massive content haul as developer deploys biggest ever update


Publisher Kalypso Media and developer Gaming Minds Studios today announced that seafaring trade simulator Port Royale 4 has just received its largest update yet. Available now to all Windows PC players (with consoles soon to come) the free update weighs in at just under 500 MB and adds a staggering number of improvements, fixes and new features - such as player-created nations, deadlier and more intense naval combat and a variety of game-altering events like prohibition and plagues of locusts - that dramatically improve the game and deepen the player's quest for booty and trade supremacy on the Caribbean. Those looking to check out Port Royale 4's enormous array of new features can pick up the game now at a rip-roaring 20% off as part of the Steam Autumn Sale.

With the new update, independence has arrived in Port Royale 4 and upon achieving certain conditions, players can now succeed from their parent nation (France, Spain, England or the Netherlands). Once independence has been declared, players can opt for a new name for their sovereignty, update their flag to something more their speed, and even take part in a heated war with their former ruler.

The update also introduces 'economic shocks' - optional in-game events which can have positive or negative outcomes and significantly impact how a player builds their trade empire. These can range from a plague of locusts, reducing the production of a player's grain and corn, to a sudden spike in alcohol demand due to a church's desire for a dry county.

Players will also now have to take extra care when engaging foes on the open seas and navigate deadly new hazards such as cliffs, sandbanks, carpets of algae and whirlpools - all of which can severely impact trade journeys and worse still, send a player, and all of his or her hard-earned booty, straight to Davy Jones.

Port Royale 4 is out now on PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One.

25 Nov 2020

16-bit Platformer Super Catboy Announced for a Fall 2021 Launch on Windows PC and Mac


Super Catboy isn’t your typical Tomcat, no, not this fascinating feline! Accompanied by a deranged-yet-cute sidekick companion — a young girl armed to the teeth with more weapons than you can PSPSPSPS at — Super Catboy will venture far and wide to dismantle the shady plans of his evil creator so that he can go back to doing...cat things...in peace and without the threat of sinister anthropomorphic dogs.   

“Super Catboy combines elements of various platformers, run’n’gun, and beat’em up games, but offers unique variety with the inclusion of bonus levels that feature an alternative gameplay style,” said Arthur Eckmann, Co-Founder, Pixelpogo. “We were inspired by iconic games like Mega Man X, Metal Slug, Donkey Kong Country and the like, which have shaped the game designers we are today.” 

“We want to stay true to our roots while nodding at the present with Super Catboy,” said Thomas Flachs, Co-Founder, Pixelpogo. “It’s not just about that ’90s flair — we included graphics and gameplay mechanics that players are used to. We want it to be modern and comfortable.” 

Wishlist on Steam

24 Nov 2020

Puzzle platformer More Dark rising into consoles!

After the Lord of the Other World went on vacation his leadership was temporarily taken over by his sweet daughter, Evilina.

Soon enough, well, all Hell broke loose. The prisoners of damnation have all escaped from their confinements and scattered about the kingdom, shattering the fragile peace of the devil's dominion.

As a devoted minion of Evilina, your task is to lead a battalion of demons and return order to Hell, corral the escaped convicts, and cleanse each area of chaos and anarchy. Can you save Hell, or perhaps earn redemption?



Features:
60 levels
Variety of mechanics (bombs, gravity swapper and powered jump items)
Hidden keys to unlock hats
2 different mini games
2 different bosses
Gloomy, stylish pixel graphics
Retro-inspired music
Animated blood and cruelty intended for adult audience


More Dark will be priced for 4.99 $ / € for all platforms, and it will launch on:
PS4 America: November 24th
PS4 Europe: November 25th
Xbox One: November 25th
Nintendo Switch (NA & EU): November 27th

21 Nov 2020

REVIEW: Time Loader Prologue

Review by Jon Donnis
Time Loader is being released in 2021, but before it is released Flazm Interactive Entertainment (a Lithuanian video game developer) have released a prologue of the game to give people chance to play the first few levels. So I decided to check it out.

Time Loader is a story-driven, physics-based puzzle platformer, basically you control a small robot that is sent back and forward in time to prevent a tragic accident. Sounds cool right! And it is. As you explore the house you get to solve puzzles, upgrade your robot and try to reach hard to access areas. All the while little things you do will have an effect on the future, so plan carefully.


The main game play revolves around using your robot to jump, climb and swing to get where you need to go, you have a handy arrow and on-screen instructions that tell you where you need to go, but it is up to you to figure out how to get there. And if you think this game will be easy you will be pleasantly surprised at how devilishly tricky some parts are. And just when you think there is no way to proceed you might find a nice little upgrade that will help you find the way.

The Good
This is a fun little game, I loaded it up purely out of curiosity and a few hours later I finished the prologue, very addictive and something I just had to finish. The controls are relatively easy, I played with the keyboard and mouse, not sure if a gamepad works or not as didn't try it, I assume it does and might make it easier. But either way it is a great game, the graphics are great and give you a cool perspective of the world around you.

The Bad
Nothing really, only moan is that a couple of times I got stuck, but eventually I managed it so all was good.

Overall
The Prologue is free, so get it, play it, and if you enjoy it, wish list the full game and get it when it comes out. You literally have nothing to lose.

I score the prologue a fantastic 9/10. Looking forward to the full game.

Review By Jon Donnis