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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


REVIEW: CrossKrush on Xbox One

Review by Jon Donnis
I was sent a review code and asked to review CrossKrush by the fine people at Thinice Games for Xbox One.

It is really hard to describe CrossKrush, it is a little bit Tetris, a little bit Bomberman and a whole lot addictive.

Here is 30 Seconds of me playing the game to give you an idea. Make sure you Subscribe on Youtube


You can play as one of two elderly people, Henry or Florence, they are a married couple who are frustrated that busy highway has been built in front of their home.

So they have decided to take it upon themselves to attack and blow up as many cars as they can. Ok so the premise of the story is a tad bizarre, but that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.


Despite the images and trailer making the game look complicated and busy, it is in fact a super simple game, you start off with one of the two characters, you are on a road which is separated into lanes, and vehicles slowly move towards you in blocks, you then click on a section of the road, it turns green, as the cars move down, when a car is over the green area, you click a button and the car explodes! Simple right. And what's more you can even whack cars with your walking stick (cane), although it doesn't do a lot of damage, hit a car enough times and it will explode.


Well there is more to it than that, you ideally want to avoid blowing up Ambulances, so as soon as you blow up the car in front of one, they will speed through, all the while you need to make sure you don't get run over. There are also white cars that when you blow up they leave multiple potential spaces to further blow up, meaning you can blow up to 9 cars at a time, or be a bit more strategic in when you explode them. Red cars are like TNT and will blow up all those around them instantly. There are also power ups available, one makes you super sized and powerful, another allows you to shoot a laser and destroy all cars in your lane, and another gives you back a valuable life if you have been run over already.

As you progress through the game, each wave will get a bit harder, more cars, longer cars, on the harder levels when you blow up a car it will leave a pothole in the road making that block unable to be used again to blow up a car, unless a roller comes along to flatten the road of course.

And all of this while listening to catchy jazz music.

This really is a fun game, 10 levels with 10 waves in each, multiple difficulties settings, a multiplayer option too.


The Good
This is a simple to play, fun game, lots of easy gamer points to collect.

The Bad
This is an incredibly addictive game, not sure if that can be classed as a bad, but sometimes games can be too addictive surely!

Summary
For what is such a simple concept this is an incredibly fun game, addictive, easy to play, just all around great game.
I loved it 9/10

Review By Jon Donnis

19 Nov 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.


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

Paw Paw Paw - Launch Trailer and Release News

Paw Paw Paw was a peaceful and prosperous kingdom until one day the King decided to enforce everyone to wear pants!

There are four starting characters to choose from, with more to be unlocked as you play the game.

Each character has their own abilities, stats, combos, and weapon preferences. Choose a character that fit your play style, and fight for the freedom of pants-less Paw Paw Paw!

You play as part of the resistance group ANTIPANTS, in their effort to bring down the King. Hack and slash your way to victory, and beat all your enemies into pulps!



Features:
Play single player or local co-op up to 4 players
Level up your character
Unlock new combos
Loot and equip new weapons
Hire a companion to help you in battle
Ride your mount into battle

Paw Paw Paw will be priced for 9.99$ / € for all platforms.
It will launch on:
PS4 America: December 1st
PS4 Europe: December 2nd
Xbox One: December 2nd
PS4 and Nintendo Switch (Japan): December 3rd
Nintendo Switch (NA & EU): December 4th


18 Nov 2020

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War - Game Play Videos


I have had Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for a few days now, and thought I would share a few game play videos, since surely this will be one of the big sellers coming up to Christmas.

Each video is deliberately short at under 30 seconds, so you can get a quick idea of the game without having to watch for too long.

You can buy the video from Amazon at the best price at https://amzn.to/3fb5WCn

Here is the official blurb for the game:

The iconic Black Ops series is back with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War - the direct sequel to the original and fan-favorite Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Black Ops Cold War will drop fans into the depths of the Cold War’s volatile geopolitical battle of the early 1980s. Nothing is ever as it seems in a gripping single-player Campaign, where players will come face-to-face with historical figures and hard truths, as they battle around the globe through iconic locales like East Berlin, Vietnam, Turkey, Soviet KGB headquarters and more.

As elite operatives, you will follow the trail of a shadowy figure named Perseus who is on a mission to destabilize the global balance of power and change the course of history. Descend into the dark center of this global conspiracy alongside iconic characters Woods, Mason and Hudson, and a new cast of operatives attempting to stop a plot decades in the making.

Beyond the Campaign, players will bring a Cold War arsenal of weapons and equipment into the next generation of Multiplayer and Zombies experiences.





REVIEW: Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead on Xbox One

Review by Jon Donnis
Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead is the latest in a line of Bridge Construction games, if you have played Bridge Constructor™ then you will instantly know the routine here. Build a bridge, get from point A to point B. Simple right?

Since this game has The Walking Dead branding, then you know things are about to get interesting, your job is to protect the human survivors, and in turn fight against hordes of un-dead Zo.... erm, un-dead "walkers". NEVER USE THE Z WORD! But as with the TV show you will also have to deal with hostile humans too.

So the game itself, it is all pretty simple to start with, build a bridge by placing struts and platforms, and either hide from the walkers as they go past, or kill them. The bridges you make will need to get more and more secure as you progress, so that vehicles can pass, as well as intricate designs so you can plan out more and more elaborate actions to survive the level, whether that be explosives that need to be set off, baits to lure walks into traps and so on. You also get some of the characters from the TV show appear as well, including Daryl, Michonne and Eugene.



The Good
The graphics are clean and easy to see and understand, you can zoom in, and once you understand everything, you will soon get the hang of things.

The Bad
The tutorial to start with is rubbish, simple as that, if you have never played a bridge construction game before and are coming to this as a new player, you will soon find yourself stuck with no idea how to go forward, this is mainly due to the differing controls as you play. For example, when constructing a bridge at no point does it tell you, you need to click twice to actually create the platform that people will walk across, so you will end up creating all of the struts, you will click play to start the movement and there is no bridge to walk on. That took me a while to figure out, and mainly after I downloaded a different bridge constructor game on my mobile phone, to see if I could see what I was doing wrong. Another problem is that controls when planning moves, switch between your left control stick (on Xbox) and then the D-Pad, so as you are trying to queue up commands, you will find yourself trying to do something and then cancelling it because you forgot to use the D-Pad. This is just terrible design and at no point in the tutorial do they tell you any of this specifically.

Overall
It took me way too long to figure out the controls and how to actually do the basics, once I did figure that out, then the game is fun, the levels are well designed, it is fun watching you destroy Walkers with traps set up, the graphics are great, and everything looks and plays fine, the problem here is a simple one, this is not a console game, this is a mobile phone game. You need to play this game with a touch screen.

For Xbox One, I score this game 5/10. It just does not work on a console.
However, play this on a Mobile, or a Tablet with touch screen and then the game scores 8/10.

Review by Jon Donnis

Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead will arrive on iOS, Android, PC, Nintendo Switch, XBox One and XBox Series X|S on November 19th!


Check out this short video of me completing the 3rd level in the game.

16 Nov 2020

Welcome to the medieval, magical kingdom of Micetopia, Out on all formats on November 20th


Welcome to the medieval, magical kingdom of Micetopia, where mice live in freely an idyllic country village.

Unfortunately as the story begins forces of evil have taken away all the mice except for the one elder remaining.

Can you become the hero of Micetopia and save your villagers from the dark minions?
In Micetopia you play as a brave mouse who must fight, jump and explore your way through a world of mystery. Overcome enemies, gain new powers and rescue your compatriots from the clutches of their captors. Do you have what it takes for the elder to bestow upon you the title "Hero of Micetopia?"

Features:
Metroidvania style exploration
Platform jumping and combat
Classic pixel art graphics and chiptunes sound

Micetopia will be priced for 4.99 $ / € for all platforms, and it will launch on:
PS4 America: November 20th
PS4 Europe: November 20th
Xbox One: November 20th
PS4 and Nintendo Switch (Japan): November 20th
Nintendo Switch (NA & EU): November 20th


14 Nov 2020

REVIEW: My Aunt is a Witch on Xbox One

Review by Jon Donnis
My Aunt is a Witch' is a Visual Novel so as such understand that this game is not so much a game, but an interactive book. 

You play as a boy named Thomas, he has had a difficult life and he finds himself in a situation whereby his father has married a woman who can't stand him, as such he goes to visit his aunt, who he only ever visited once many years ago, suddenly all the sadness from being with his Father is forgotten, you see Thomas' aunt Alice is a witch, a real witch, she has a talking cat and all manner of magical items.

Thomas has decided to see this all as a challenge and throw himself into the world of spells, potions and magical things.

Although this is a visual novel whereby you will do a lot of reading, there is a lot of interactivity in the game, for example you will be tasked with collecting items to make a magic potion, and in doing so you will have to combine items, talk to cats, explore and examine rooms, and try not to get killed along the way.

The scenes are all beautifully drawn, and there is a lovely soundtrack and the sound effects are all really good.

I am not a big fan of visual novels, but this is one of the better ones I have played, you have to pay attention to what is going on, so no skipping through reams of text to get your gamer points here. The interactive elements of the story are relatively easy, and you can press the left trigger to highlight everything that is interactive within the screen. So that helps a lot.

The Good
Bright, well drawn screens which really are glorious to look at, a fun interesting story, with great characters.

The Bad
Some of the puzzles are a bit easy, but that's ok, as this is a Visual Novel that is directed to the younger audience.

Overall
A fun engaging story, with great characters, as visual novels go, this is one of the better ones out there.

I score this game 7/10

Review by Jon Donnis

Check out a quick 30 seconds of play below.

REVIEW: Unturned on Xbox One

Review by Jon Donnis
In Unturned you take upon the role of a survivor who has been dropped into a post-apocalyptic world full of Zombies, your job is simple, to survive. You need to seek out food, clothes and weapons, as well as collect wood and metal to create defences. As you progress through the game you will be able to upgrade your character to give you the very best chance of survival.

Unturned has been out a few years on PC but has finally made its way to the consoles.

The game includes huge maps, 8 in total. And although it has what I would call a pretty basic single player offline mode, this is a game to be played online and even better with friends.

The graphics are erm.... simple, reminiscent of some of the Lego games or Minecraft, with characters having square heads. Despite the cutesy looks of the game, I imagine this game is aimed firmly at the 30-50 year old male. So not for young kids.

The Good
The maps are huge, large areas to explore, and if open world sandbox games are you thing, then this game will keep you busy for a long, long time.

The Bad
The graphics just didn't impress me, I understand they are made to look like that on purpose, the whole Minecraft/Roblox world of crappy graphics being the in thing at the moment, but for me they didn't quite work.

Overall
You may have picked up that I didn't enjoy this game, and you would be right. A few hours of wondering about bored me senseless. But then I am not a fan of this type of game, I simply do not have 8 hours a night to sit and play such slow games. With that said, this game is insanely popular on PC, and has hundreds of thousands of positive reviews. So, there is clearly a market for this type of game out there. Will it cut it on console? I am not sure, console gamers tend to be a bit different to PC gamers.

Check out the video below, it is from a gamer who plays the game for the first time and gives his opinions, and if you like these types of games then give it a shot, but if you are more of a typical console gamer like me then perhaps this game is not for you.

Review by Jon Donnis

13 Nov 2020

REVIEW: The Falconeer on Xbox One

Review by Jon Donnis
The Falconeer is what you get if you swap fighter planes with giant war birds. Yes really. Your job is to pilot a giant bird and engage in dogfighting and acrobatic aerial combat, (sadly there are no giant dogs to fight, a missed opportunity for sure).


As you play you will take on missions and join or oppose various factions and clans, missions may involve accompanying boats carrying goods between locations, where by you need to protect them from pirates or other war bards, or maybe you need to find out why defence Buoys have gone missing, or maybe you need to help defend an outpost from attackers, one way or another you will be flying back and forth a lot and getting into dogfights with the enemy.

You will buy upgrades for your warbird, better weapons, maps and so on, but let's not worry too much about that as it really isn't what is important about this game. This is a game about flying a giant warbird, and the question then becomes, is that fun? The answer is..... yes and no. The basic mechanics of flying about are perfectly fine, you can do barrel rolls, you can fly up high, dive down and even hit the water below, there are ocean thermals that you can fly into that shoot you up high in the air, and then jet streams up high that you can catch a ride on. It is all quite fun. But you still have to complete various objectives, and unfortunately this is where there game lets itself down a bit, when you are in a battle with the enemy you will find yourself flying round in circles while the enemy does the exact same thing, you may flying into an airship you are attacking, and you just kind of bounce off it in a weird way, the fights should be the best thing about this game but they are a bit of a let-down, that is not to say they are bad, but they should have been the main concentration of the game makers.

The various missions are clear and easy to understand, you have a handy map that tells you where you need to go, and you can discover new areas, secrets, and physics destroying sunken areas in the ocean.

Check out my short game play video below.


The Good
Flying about is fun, when you need to recharge you can fly into a storm cloud and that is great idea.

The Bad
The dogfights themselves aren't the best, but my biggest gripe with the entire game is the menus, the writing is TINY.

Most of us like to sit on our sofa when playing a console game, I have a decent sized TV, and whenever I needed to remind myself of the controls, I would open up the menu, and the writing is so small, I would need to get off my sofa and go right up to the TV, I suspect that since this game was created on a PC, whoever designed the menus didn't think about seeing if you could read them if you were sat more than a foot away from the screen. For the record I have perfect eye sight, and this was a big frustration.

There was also a slight issue with game-play freezing for a second while it loaded up a bit of speech, you will see that in my video. I suspect this might just have been a one off, maybe my internet was playing up, or my Xbox was busy doing something else.

Overall
Despite my complaints, this is a fun game, I still think we need giant dogs, but that is just me being a bit silly.

If you are a fan of games with giant war birds then you should enjoy this.
I score the game 7/10. 

You can buy it now from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3nloToR

11 Nov 2020

REVIEW: The Last Show of Mr. Chardish on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
The Last Show of Mr. Chardish is a story about the relationship of two artists, who founded a theatre in a British countryside.


You start the game in first person view, playing as Ella, set in the 1970s, Ella decides to travel to an old theatre that she used to perform at, as she explores she is able to access memories, and as she does you are transported into the mind of Mr Chardish, and you then see the world as he did, and this is where Act 1 Starts, and this is the first of the different "play styles" that exist within the world. Solitude, Anger, Symmetry, Ascension, and Daydream. Each play style is very different, and basically different games in their own sense.

I will keep this review to just the Solitude and Symmetry levels, as they are what I have played and completes so far.

As you play you will find letters to be read, records to be listened to and so on, they all make up what is a lovely story, which is very engaging.

Solitude is pretty standard game play, easy to figure out in the 3rd person view, you explore the area, and have to solve puzzles so you can progress to the next area, for example you may need to move a stage light so that it shines on an area which in turn may make some steps appear, or more the light away and a door may become unlocked. Once you figure out how to do this, you can pretty much work your way through the level, all the while enjoying what are some amazing hand drawn graphics, now you do need a decent graphics card to get the best out of this game graphics wise, so do be warned.

Symmetry, you play as a robot on wheels, you meet a companion and together you will try to pass obstacles and area, you may need to control a lift by mirroring yourself with the lift, or open and close gates, all in all this is a completely different experience to that of Solitude, and I found it much harder too. But once I got the hang of it, and with a bit of trial and error I found myself confident in what I was doing and so passed through the level.

In the video below you can see a couple of minutes from both Solitude and then Symmetry to get an idea of the game play, keep in mind I had to have the graphic settings on low to get everything running as smooth as I can.


The Good
A fascinating idea for a game, with glorious graphics (if your PC can handle them), and a lovely engaging story.

The Bad
Once you figure out the basic idea for one of the 5 play styles, you will quickly complete it, so the game in that sense is quite short.
And unless you have a powerful PC you may not be able to truly enjoy the incredible graphics.

Overall
Although the game is short, it is enjoyable, and best of all you can play the Solitude level for free as part of a Prologue release on Steam.

An enjoyable game that I score 7/10

Review By Jon Donnis



REVIEW: Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure on Xbox One

Review by Jon Donnis
Many of us grew up in the 90s, and of those of us who did we all remember Puzzle Bobble (also known as Bust-a-Move), a simple bubble bursting game.

And over the years there has been 100s of clones and re-imaginings of this format. Well, the latest attempt at just that is Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure.

For those of you who do not know the drill, these types of games work on one main principle, you fire bubbles up the screen and try to hit other bubbles of the same colour, get 3 or more in a row and they burst, once the screen is clear you win. Simple as that. Throw in bonus bubbles like bombs etc and there ya go.

Now before we go any further, let us all admit that Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure is an excellent name. 

Rusty Spout is the name of a pirate, he sails around in his ship, looking for adventures and a desire to help people. Cocco is an evil pirate or has kidnapped all of the children from Rusty's village, so Rusty needs to defeat Cocco and he needs your help to do it.

That is the story, and in the story mode the game includes 5 different worlds, each with 10 levels, and a boss fight every 10 levels.

As you progress through the story mode you will unlock new characters which you can then use in the Endless Mode and the Battle mode.

This is all pretty standard stuff, the endless mode is exactly what you think it is, just an endless game whereby you try to rack up as high a score as possible, and the battle mode is the multiplayer mode.

A special mention also needs to go out to the "Colour Blind Mode", this simply puts numbers on all the different coloured bubbles which makes it much easier for people to differentiate the bubbles, not to mention easier if your TV is a bit dodgy, or you just want that extra certainty.

Here is a video I made showing the colour blind option while playing Endless Mode.



The Good
This is a classic style of game, and it is done well, nice and clean graphics, simple gameplay, easy to pick up and play.

The Bad
The cannon that you fire the bubbles from seems a bit slow when you move it, and you then have another button to slow it down further for more accuracy, surely this would work better other way around? Also the fact that the bubbles drop based on time passed and not bubbles shot, this makes this a game of timing and not skill, I would prefer an option where you could choose, in fact both of these complaints some people will prefer, so why not give people a choice?

I would also note that this game really does increase in difficulty pretty quick, the story mode which you need to progress in to unlock the other modes, including the battle mode, is pretty tough, and once your lives run out, you have to start all the way from level 1 again. 

Overall
Rusty Spout Rescue Adventure does a decent job within the bubble bursting genre, although it is not without its problems.
It is only £5.79 on the Xbox store so it is not going to break the bank, if you enjoy these types of games, then give it a shot.
I score this game 7/10

Review by Jon Donnis




10 Nov 2020

REVIEW: Sensible World of Soccer - XBOX

Review by Jon Donnis
Back in the early 90's we had a game called Sensible Soccer, it was quickly followed by Sensible World of Soccer or SWOS for short, it was quickly hailed as the greatest game of all time, best football game of all time and won award after award. Originally available on the Commodore Amiga, it truly was the must have game of its time.

So fast forward 25 odd years and it is available on XBOX Arcade, does it still hold up?

Checkout 30 seconds of game play, then read on. Also make sure you subscribe to my Youtube Channel, I will be uploading more gaming videos, and I promise to keep them all nice and short and easy to watch. - Youtube / JonDonnisShow



Well, the game has eight directional controls, and one button for everything else. By modern standards this is really poor, but still there is something special here, yes, the graphics are quite dated even if they have been smoothed a bit, but look how often newly made games go for that retro pixel look. Here you have a game that still has it.

I am not going to talk too much about the game modes, it is a football game with some dubiously named teams (for where they do not have the rights), some dodgy team badges, but it is pretty clear who the teams are supposed to be, the controls are basic, but still there is something about this game.

Simply put it is addictive, if you played it back in the 90s and you pick it up now to play, the first thing you will say is "this game is rubbish", 30 minutes later you will still be playing it, and that is the point. If you have never played the game then there is a chance you simply won't get it, but if you played it as a kid, the magic is still there, the aftertouch curling shot, the guaranteed scoring if hit from the exact right place over and over, the goal you know you can score every time but you deliberately avoid doing it to see if you can win without resorting to that as your back up.

The game is addictive and that is all that matters.

The Good
SWOS still has that "little bit of magic" as Glen Hoddle would say. You WILL moan the first time you play it, but you will be determined to prove that you are still as good at it as you was 25 years ago.

The Bad
The graphics and sounds are dated, but if they suddenly made a 2020 version with all the bells and whistles, you know you would hate it more.

Overall
It just has that one thing that so many great games have. And that is the fact you will keep playing it.

Perhaps no longer the greatest football game ever made, but still one of the most addictive. I score this 8/10

Out now on Xbox Arcade