Review: Rusty Lake Cube Escape Paradox Chapter 1

I realised I haven’t actually done a game review for a while but I love the Rusty Lake series and so when the new one came out I had to play it.

Rusty Lake Cube Escape Paradox is the tenth in the cube escape series and the first chapter is completely free with the option of paying £1.99 to get the second chapter. It doesn’t need the second chapter, it could stop after the first, but it does tie a few loose ends together for the entire series. You also don’t need to know the previous games but you do find yourself recognising scenes or characters popping up from the previous nine, even the ones that seem unrelated so I think it’s a good idea to play some of the games first, I’ve listed the ones I think are the most relevant further down.

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Tabletop Game Haul

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I was going to call this a board game haul but it’s all card games, and I’m also not sure if you can class three games as a haul but I’ll go with it.

Until recently we’ve had about six or seven board games we play regularly and, as we’ve recently started to play games most nights rather than go and watch TV, I decided to try and introduce some more basic and easy to play tabletop games. It started with Ticket to Ride and Mystery at the Abbey but as they’re both longer games I saw a few card games and decided to take the plunge and get them after seeing two of them played by YouTubers I like so I know what to expect.

They arrived yesterday and we’ve had a few goes at them, they’re all very quick games even with the three rounds on two of them, so I thought I’d include mini reviews on each, I could do a more detailed one on any of them if you’re interested though. The games I got were Exoloding Kittens, Love Letter and Sushi Go! None of them are the most recent but they’re simple and I’m a sucker for nice art on games.

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Game Review: Contradiction -Spot the Liar

 

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All images are direct screen captures from the game and are copyright to Baggy Cat Ltd. I’m just using them for review purposes

 

It’s been a while since I reviewed a game, but I’ve been playing Contradiction recently and finally finished it. It probably took me longer than it should have, there was plenty of wandering around and forgetting to ask the right person about a new clue but after 5 hours (according to Steam) I finished it. It’s not the longest game to play and I was pretty sure it was longer than that but I’ll trust Steam with this. It can be found on Steam for £6.99 which isn’t the cheapest mystery game out there but I think it’s a good price for what you get and it might end up in sales at some point. It is available on PC and Mac and also available as a mobile game on iOS and I can see it working pretty well as a mobile game though I played the PC version. As far as I’m aware there are no differences at all between the different platforms.

Contradiction, or to give it its full title ‘Contradiction – The All Video Murder Mystery’ or ‘Contradiction – Spot the Liar’ I’m not sure which as both are used, is pretty much a case of it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a mystery game where everything is done with live videos and photographs in a stereotypical small English village. There is the addition of a large house that homes a possibly cultish group that helps with business strategies that you may not find in most villages but anyone who lives, or has been to, a small English village will probably recognise the pub and village hall. Continue reading

Game Review: Red Dwarf XI: The Game

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All images are photos of the game and copyright belongs to the creators of the game and the BBC. I’m just using them for review purposes

 

I’ve been a fan of Red Dwarf for years, we used to watch recorded VHS tapes of it when I was younger, so when I saw that they were releasing a mobile game alongside the newest series I had to get it. It costs £1.99 on the Apple app store and Android store, though it is available outside the UK as well so search your country’s version to see if it’s available for you. So far only the first part has been released as it’s done in episodes alongside the TV series itself. Each episode is released on the same day as its equivalent TV episode’s release in the UK (for the UK app stores anyway) and does contain spoilers for the TV show itself, you’re warned of this at the beginning of the game.

I only have the first part available to play, though I’m looking forward to the other parts so I might do a general review of the whole thing at the end to see whether these first impressions change or not.

Adding this on Saturday as there was a recent update and it fixed the driving parts, they work fine now so no more rage quitting! They also added health as things to pick up alongside the energy in the levels so it’s a lot easier to finish them in one go and get a better score. One level I had a score of around 900, now it’s over 4000 so it does make a difference. I’m leaving the post the same as the rest of it’s still the same.

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Game Review: Reigns Collector’s Edition

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Images all taken from actual gameplay and copyright Devolver Digital, I’m just using them for review purposes

 

Last week I bought a game on Steam, Reigns, which has become a bit like solitaire or those kinds of games where you dip in and out and play a bit every do often while other things are loading or you’re waiting for something on the computer and then you realise it’s been half an hour. It’s one of those ‘just one more try’ games. I found it because the Yogscast did a video on it, I’m sure there are others who have done them as well so YouTube is probably your friend when it comes to seeing actual gameplay, as well as the Steam page and the Devolver Digital page for it (they’re the game devs) but I’m doing a review of the game and the extras you get in the Collectors edition. I decided to get this one as it wasn’t much extra and I’m a sucker for art books and similar and this comes with a digital book and the soundtrack, but more about that later.

The game by itself is also available as a mobile game, I found it on the Apple App Store for £2.29, which is actually more than the original is on Steam which surprised me but I’m not sure how much it costs on android. As I don’t have this version I can’t do a comparison but I think it’s the same game, it seems the kind that doesn’t need changes to become a mobile game. On Steam the PC version is £1.99 and the bundle I bought is £4.36 and includes the game, the OST, an interactive OST and a companion book. These are all available separately for 79p each or a bundle of £2.37, there isn’t a discount for getting it all in one go for this game. If you’re a mac user, good news, this is a mac compatible game. It’s also compatible with controllers, though I’m not sure they’d be a big advantage on this one.

I don’t normally do this as I tend to keep spoonie things separate to the rest of my blog but I thought I’d tag it with that as I think this is a fairly spoonie friendly game that has a bit more to it than some and I’m always on the look out for good games that don’t need so much energy to enjoy.

I’m not sure it’s possible to have spoilers for this game but if you want to avoid any mention of events or possible ways to die then I’d not read on, not that the ones I’m saying about effect the gameplay and there’s not really a storyline as such.

Also, if you’re reading this because you’re looking for how to find the DLC when you’ve already downloaded it I have included that further down. It’s in bold so keep scrolling until you see it. Hope it’s helpful!

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Game Review: Hustle Cat

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Image from https://datenighto.com/game/hustle-cat and copyright them

I realised I don’t think I’ve posted a review of a game for a while and I recently found this game while looking around on YouTube at Let’s Plays and I thought I’d do a bit of a review. I will try to remain as spoiler free as possible, anything spoilerish is stuff that happens within very early stages of the game rather than any actual plotline information and explains what the game is about that makes it a bit different. If you want to avoid that then you probably shouldn’t read below the read more bit here.

Hustle Cat is dating sim game published by Date Nighto, basically you’re Avery Grey, you don’t get a choice in the name but you do get to choose which pronouns you want to be used in the game. There are six different character models, or rather two with three different skin tones, and you can use any combination of them with any pronouns. There are five characters, initially, that you can choose to go after with three of them being male and two female. They each have certain character traits, as with any dating sim, and they have a nice range of looks as well.

This game is £14.99 on Steam and from what I’ve read has an average of 10 – 15 hours gameplay, though I did kind of rush through the five main routes after the first one or two using the fast forward feature and I think I’d say it probably skipped half to an hour for each with an added hour and a half for the bonus storyline. Looking at my Steam account it says that I have played for 8 hours, though it was quite rushed in parts so I’d say 10 is probably about right if I wasn’t or if I’d waited longer between each storyline. Now the slightly spoilerish bits might start so don’t keep reading if you want to avoid anything, though I promise nothing too spoilery or anything that isn’t revealed really early in the game.

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Review: Don’t Starve Shipwrecked

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Image from the Don’t Starve Wiki, copyright Klei Entertainment/Capybara Games

Developer: Klei Entertainment, Capybara Games
Publisher: Klei Entertainment
Release Date: 1 Dec, 2015

I guess Don’t Starve Shipwrecked isn’t a complete game, it needs the original Don’t Starve as it’s downloadable content and counts as a game option when you start up a new world rather than being a separate game. The original costs £10.99 and is available for both Mac and Windows, though I’m not sure on the difference aside from the mouse on Apple and Windows and plugging a normal mouse into the Mac makes it the same. The Shipwrecked DLC is £3.99 on Steam and is also available for both versions so if you don’t have the original to get this would cost £15.98. At the moment Don’t Starve Shipwrecked is still in early access but I haven’t found anything wrong with it, there’s just more to come.

Don’t Starve in general is a game I really like, Shipwrecked just expands on it, sticking with the same style so some of this review counts for both. I haven’t played the original in a while though, the last time I played the underground section was fairly new so I can’t compare it to the current Don’t Starve. If you just want a list of new things then skip to the bottom, I’ll also link to the few let’s plays I’ve been watching as I think they’re probably the best way to get a feel of the game without playing it. I’m not sure that it’s possible to have spoilers for a game like Don’t Starve but I’m trying to remain spoiler free, there are a few tips at the bottom though. If you consider images of the game play spoilers then don’t read any more.

 

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Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles Game

No book review today, sorry, but I do have a review of a game based on a book (very loosely) so that’s kind of close… ish.

Image taken from Steam and belongs to them and Frogwares

Image taken from Steam and belongs to them and Frogwares

A while ago I bought a Humble Bundle with some of the Sherlock Holmes games by Frogware. I’ve seen a few playthroughs of some and have one on my iPad and thought they were a good deal as I love the Sherlock Holmes books and like to try pretty much anything to do with it. They’re all still on Steam and this one, Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles costs £6.99 here. It’s also available as a physical disc for PC for $9.95 (I can’t find a price in £) on their site here. It was made by Frogwares and was first published in 2010, which surprised me as I thought it was one of the earlier Sherlock Holmes games they did because of the graphics compared to their other games.

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The Long Dark: Review, kind of First Impressions

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Images copyright Hinterland (I think, please correct me if I’m wrong) Screen cap from the game taken by me for review purposes

I realised the other day that I haven’t done a game review in a while, the first few posts were games related but they kind of fell to one side with the beauty products. I have slowed down on buying them and have a few of their reviews lined up but wanted to do a post about a game that I’ve found recently and loved playing.

The Long Dark is made by Hinterland and basically a survival game, it’s another that follows the same idea of surviving the wilderness and crafting what you need that a lot of other games have used. However this one seems different, it’s definitely addictive and very hard to survive (I’ve had more times surviving hours than days) and there are definitely areas that I’ve found that you need to be more careful in. This isn’t a walkthrough, though I guess I’m including tips, it’s sort of a combination of my opinions and how I’ve managed to survive longer the few times I have. I’m calling it first impressions as I’ve not actually managed to get all that far though I have played for a while and explored a lot.

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Review: Dandelion – Wishes brought to you

 

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Image for steam taken from the official website http://dl.cheritz.com/en/home

I’m not sure why I like dating sim games so much, the storylines are normally cheesy and there are always characters that seem too perfect and annoy me but I complete their storylines anyway because I just want them all to be done to get all the images or achievements or whatever it is the game gives you. I know this isn’t a new game, it was released in 2012 in Korean and then later that year in English, so it’s 2 years old now but I saw the playthrough that Dodger is currently doing on her channel in this playlist Dandelion with Cry the first few episodes didn’t sell me and the ‘animals that turn into humans’ aspect didn’t help but later on it just gets so much better and kind of weirder and the character they’re playing through at the moment isn’t too perfect nor is the heroine. I found it on steam and read the reviews and felt like I had to try it, though it is the most expensive dating sim I’ve ever bought at £22.99, it’s $29.99 in the US.

The story of the game itself is that that the ‘heroine’ (the word the game uses, not me) Heejung moved out from living with her mother who criticized her and pushed her too hard with her studies and now she lives on her own. At the beginning of the game a mysterious voice appears when she is asleep and when she wakes up there is a basket with 5 animals in. From then on you have to make a choice about which character you want to start because at least one (Jisoo the black cat) apparently can’t get a good end if you have stars with any of the other characters. I’m not sure how true that is but I did find his storyline hard and had numerous bad ends part way through. After a couple of months these then turn into the more human characters and the actual relationship starts. Each has certain interactions that increase their feelings towards you, for example staring at or poking a certain part. There are also set boundaries for you to reach before you can have a relationship with one, Jisoo’s being the highest in beauty, the rest are fairly easy to achieve before they become human. This makes it different from a lot of dating sims in that you have stats to raise and ensure that pressure and stress don’t become too high, rather than the normal decision making that influences the outcome in these games.

So far I have only played the two routes; Jisoo the black cat and Jihae the silver rabbit. I’m glad I played Jihae’s first as it was a lot easier and gave me the chance of working out which activites helped raise which stats and I’m not sure Jisoo’s route would have been as forgiving. I also didn’t find how to get to the store or how to give presents until about half way through the Jisoo route so I managed Jihae without either of those and while getting hearts on a couple of other characters so he may be a good first one to try.

I’m not going to give away any spoilers but here are some general hints I’ve found helped me:

  • Buy the vision pills as soon as possible, they mean that when you look around for items on a date you see more items and this helps a lot when trying to find stamps. You should be aiming for 30 stamps for each character to unlock the special things and I only got 8 for Jihae and it doesn’t seem to matter if I start part way through to find more so I’ll have to replay his route from the beginning to get them.
  • Presents don’t seem to help much,.I didn’t gain much from them, I think it was the same as a positive interaction, and it’s better to save your money for other things that boost stats or the vision pills.
  • When the heart meter thing has become full buy the boosts for stress and pressure resistance first. The more activities there are it seems the harder it is to find some characters.
  • To get more money go to the beach and search for pearls. They’re worth $50 each and you get more hearts from the character you’re after quicker going on a date than wasting this time going to work.

In Jihae’s route it was pretty simple, I managed it without many quick saves and it was a good introduction to the stats raising aspect though I did get a bad end pretty quickly when I didn’t realise studying reduced pressure and the pressure seemed to make me faint. You do have to make sure you pay attention to Jieun, I had 2 hearts on him at the end, otherwise you can’t progress with Jihae. From what I’ve read while still avoiding most spoilers it seems his is probably the happiest ending and I definitely found it happy compared to Jisoo’s good ending so maybe save this till last if you want a happy ending to end the game on.

Jisoo’s route was harder and I had the bad ending with Heejea (the male friend with a secret crush these stories always have) a few times on November 24th even when I went back to the beginning of October for a restart so I hard to start again from the beginning and this ending happened a few times quite late in the game for me as well. The main thing I found with Jisoo is do not get any hearts with any others and don’t let your stress levels get to the point where Heejung goes out drinking with Heejea, that seemed to be my main difference between my failed attempts and the successful ones. Also quick save all the time, any time you see him in the house quick save and try to interact with him, if you don’t find him then use the quick load and try again. If he’s in the kitchen then 90% of the time even after unlocking cooking he was at the fridge and in the bedroom he’s normally at the desk when you sketch, the living room he seems to be 50/50 between the infomercial channel when you unlock it and relaxing on the sofa.

I like this game as, for a dating game, so far I am yet to find a ‘perfect’ character, they all have a backstory and their own problems and reasons for being in the situation. There are a few unanswered questions I have like who the wizard character is which makes me want to know more about the story and I think that’s a pretty good sign for a game. The art is nice and has the anime/manga style a lot of these games have and the music is fairly calm though this can get a bit repetitive sometimes.

My main problem with it has been how frustrating finding some of the characters can be, Jisoo especially, and having to do the quick save then quick load can be a bit repetitive. Some may find the fact that every time you change character you have to replay the whole beginning before they’re human though the skip feature makes this go a lot quicker and you kind of need this section to make the choice between which storyline you’re going to play. Some may find the stat building annoying and at times it can be repetitive but I liked this aspect and thought it made it a bit different to a lot of the dating sims out there. I do wish they’d made Heejea a datable character as it would have been someone different and also as he’s the only properly human male in the story so far for me it would have been good to see how the house of ‘animals’ would react to him.

If you like dating sims, enjoy this kind of art and want one with good storylines, characters that aren’t perfect, and a long play time (I’ve been playing for nearly 10 hours and only done the 2) then this would be a good one to try.  I think it’s good value given the amount of time I’ve already spent on it and the fact that I will be replaying each of them at least part way to get the bad ending just to have them all, even though I think only Jisoo’s actually gives you something more than memories. There is also a free demo which may be worth checking out first and starts part way through the storyline. This can be found on steam when you search dandelion.