Tag: featured

Stranded Deep

2015-01-26_00003As I mentioned last week, I really enjoy survival games. A friend pointed out ‘stranded deep’ to me last week, which is available on steam greenlight. The basics of the game are simple. You start out on an airplane and that’s where you’ll do a brief tutorial. You make a martini by dragging items around and learning how to use your inventory (which is a maximum of 8 slots to begin with). Crafting is pretty simplistic, which in this game I found to be a good thing. Basically you right click and drag items around close to one another in front of you, and a little square menu will pop up that tells you those items craft into something.

Eventually your plane crashes and you find yourself swimming around in an ocean, surrounded by sharks and water, with more sharks and water (and a few islands). Your goal from that point on is survival. The graphics to this game are absolutely beautiful, and the music caused me to jump out of my chair more than once. I managed to survive the first day, but just barely. A shark decided I would make a great meal as I was swimming around trying to explore an old abandoned boat I found just a few feet off of my island. I was getting a bit tired of eating nothing but crab, so I crafted a crude spear so I could catch some fish.

For this game it may be worth watching some of the tutorials that are out there if you’re easily frustrated by trying to figure craft recipes out. Most of them are simple logic, like dropping sticks on the ground in a pile (5) will allow you to create a campfire. You can then turn that campfire into a firepit, and turn that firepit into a fire spit, where you can hang food and cook it without having to manually hold your food over the fire.

So far my only negative comment would have to be that when food finishes cooking – you hear a ding, like a microwave. Out on my little island home away from home I’m not really expecting to hear a microwave ding when my crabs are done cooking over an open flame. Since the word of the food changes from crab to cooked crab, I really feel this is an unnecessary feature, and should be disabled. Unless of course your isolated island is equipped with a microwave. Then by all means, keep the ding.

New Game Thursday – Child of Light

2015-01-08_00007For Christmas my cousin got me this steam game, and I have to say I was completely surprised (pleasantly so. Child of Light is a Ubisoft Montreal game, and with it you play the part of Aurora, a young girl who figures herself to be in a dream world, taken from her father. The game is beautiful, the art style one that I was just absolutely in love with the moment it started, and the story is fascinating. That does mean of course that I put the game on the lowest (ie: easiest) setting possible so that I could enjoy the story fully, but I had no issues with that.

Aurora is quickly joined by a firefly, which you control by mouse (Aurora moves by using the WASD keys). The firefly is her companion, and helps during combat. The game is a mixture of puzzles and combat, has a skill and gear system, and even some basic crafting. Honestly, telling you anything more will ruin the story, so I don’t want to get into much detail. What I do want to highlight is this awesome review that someone posted. The entire story is narrated by a calm voice of a woman, and this review mimics the formatting. It talks about how you’re required to install uplay to play the game, which a lot of people (including myself) don’t want to be bothered with.

Dear child,

Tuck yourself in and listen to what I have to say.
It is for those too, who have doubts with Uplay.

When I first heard that a third party program needs to be installed,
I thought ‘It’s too much a bother to be buying this at all’.
But I was in love with the game as I was with Odin Sphere,
so I researched and researched until all doubts were clear.

It seems that Uplay has improved over the years,
as told by a friend whom I very love so dear.
After registering I instantly unravelled
that once I ticked ‘auto login’ it is never a hassle.
Switch Uplay to offline mode so it won’t meddle.

As confused as I was along the way,
thorough research finally made me pay
and playing this game now makes my day.

Child of Light is like a delightful bedtime story.
You play as a little girl, very cute and dandy,
though her arms are a little bit wobbly
to be carrying a sword both sharp and pointy.

What I really appreciate is the effort that they took
to make each and every sentence look so good.
The beautiful world of Lemuria will captivate your eyes,
with beautifully matched music as you zip through the sky.

Bottom line be told,
This game is made of gold.
I did not regret buying it a single bit,
and I’m writing this so that your path may be lit.

Godspeed.

The game was on sale near the later days of the Steam holiday sales, so if you’re not in a rush, you should add it to your wishlist and wait for the next sale. Highly recommend this one.

New Year, New Game – Salt

2015-01-01_00013I had not heard of Salt before, but a friend recommended it to me thinking it may be something I was interested in (knowing my love of sandbox games) and so I decided to try it out. I know there’s a demo available, but instead I watched some “Lets Play” on YouTube and a few trailers and videos that Lavaboots Studios released.

The game is about exploration and adventure, with some crafting tossed in. You start out on a remote island and wander your way around collecting resources to help you get to other islands. Crafting is very simple, but you’re not given a lot of information about what you can craft. I wandered around picking up wood (E) and plants, and then stumbled into a pickaxe and a chest with a few treasures inside (some cloth, 2 gold, etc). With those items I was able to create my first “ship” a raft that barely floated. Boat control is a bit difficult, but fun. I parked my boat at the nearest island that I could sail to, and started the true adventure.

The lands are filled with pirates and other treasures to be found. I was running out of food so I created a bow and some crude arrows. Painstakingly snuck up behind a deer and made a quick meal of him. It didn’t fill me up, so I wandered some more and found a few mushrooms to eat (which gave me a buff). I only got one pelt which isn’t enough to make any armor yet, but I’ll hang onto it.

The pirate I ran into almost killed me but I landed the last blow. He dropped a bit more gold, and a key for – I have no idea what. I hear you can use them for pirate treasures, but I haven’t found any yet. Salt reminds me a lot of Banished, even though the two games are completely different. It’s a slow paced game where players may feel that they have “done it all” once they reach some specific goals (making an actual ship, getting a full set of gear, etc). It is still in early access, so there’s a lot of work to be done yet, but I really enjoyed my casual stroll through the different lands, trying to search for neat treasures.

After leaving my boat at the 2nd island and wandering for a bit, I noticed a ship in the water. I was excited – until I realized it was MY boat, sailing away with the tide, without me! I didn’t have enough cloth to make another boat, so it was really important that I not lose it. I swam out to sea in an attempt to rescue the ship, and some how managed to get it back on shore. I did too good of a job, and was unable to push it out to sea when I actually wanted to leave. Thankfully the water once again worked its magic and freed my boat from the shore for me and as it drifted out I managed to climb on board so I can head out and explore yet another island. There’s no map, and I don’t have a compass or other means of guessing where I am at the moment, but I know you can craft / obtain those items. For now I have just been going off of guesses. I leave a flag on the beach where I land so that I know I have been there before. I try to make sure I explore the entire island before leaving, and pick up everything of note.

There are no levels, classes, or progression per say, but I don’t need those things in a game in order to enjoy it. I’m liking the very calm and quiet excitement that comes from finding a new item to use, or a new ruin discovered. Next I need to find / make some better weapons, I keep losing arrows to deer, and I’d like to be able to hold my own a bit longer against pirates.

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