“Doctor required in GP’s Office!” is a phrase I heard oh too often in my youth, a term the receptionist would often throw out when doctor’s got too tired and would go off to the staff room. Theme Hospital was produced by Bullfrog Productions, all the way back in 1997. I was a young boy back then, but the game would always capture my imaginations. Indeed, we here in the UK have the NHS, but the idea of running my own American styled hospital was always a lot of fun. Fast forward to 2018 and we’ve got a new contender for the Hospital Management genre – A very specific niche indeed. It’s been over twenty years since Theme Hospital, so how does Two Point Hospital compare?
Taking a page from the past in game development, studios, consisting of developer Matt Phillips, looked to bring us a that would have fit in with our titles from the past. This SEGA Megadrive inspired titled is a puzzle platformer which I recently got ahold of. The game looks and sounds good, but how well does it play? I look past the past and into what this title holds for gamers new and old alike. Join me as we stroll through a true retro gem – In 2018.
In the midst of the Steam January sale, I spotted a gem that I’d been keeping my eye on, waiting for the day it hit the sale rack. Planet Coaster is an exciting, roller coaster/theme park simulation game. I had been dithering over whether to buy it or not, I absolutely loved Theme Park back in the day, so this was exciting to say the least.
I remember being a child, wanting to go to Thorpe Park and ended up going to a different theme park called Thorpe Park, due to. Instead of ending up in Surrey, we found ourselves in a place called Cleethorpe. From that day, I vowed to create the greatest theme parks in the world – But I was a bit too young, so I played Roller Coaster Tycoon! Now, with the power of smartphones, Roller Coaster Tycoon is on our phones and tables – And no, this isn’t some dumbed down wannabe either..!
Clicker games kicked off when an innoculous little game called Cookie Clicker hit the internet, to which we all had a good laugh. There were earlier clicker games, the technical genre name called incremental, but most people will cite Cookie Clicker as the first. But since then, the genre has gotten a lot more variety. One of the most popular and well-rounded clicker game is AdVenture Capitalist, which was created on the Browser Game website, Kongregate. It’s been on mobile as well as Steam for a while now, so what can this clicker game offer for us and is it actually any good?
Hack n Slash goodness in a game that vowed to be the next Diablo, a game that’s absolutely free to play. It can only be Path of Exile. Named 2013 PC Game of the Year by GameSpot and best PC role-playing game of 2013 by IGN, it’s had high praise indeed. Now that it’s 2017, does the game still stand, or is it falling apart? With microtransactions as the primary means of keeping the game alive, is it just floating by because of this, or is this a very solid game? Here’s our complete run down of this free-to-play extravaganza.
It’s time to put on your chefs hat, some comfortable shoes and sharpen your skills. The hours ahead are long and hard to get ahead in the world of catering and this is beautifully simulated in Cook, Serve, Delicious. It was developed by Vertigo Gaming and originally release back in 2013, currently available for Linux, Windows and OSX via Steam (£6.99) and HumbleBundle (£7.99); there is also are versions for iPhone/iPad (£3.99) and Android via Google Play (£2.57). The sequel is in heavy development at the moment and due to be released sometime in 2017 and I think it’s due to be on all the above platforms plus the Xbox One and PS4.
I remember saying during my review of One More Dungeon that rogue games may not work for first person shooters, then I reminded myself of the fantastic Heavy Bullets which made me backtrack on this statement a bit. I also forgot about the game which I am going to talk about today and that is Tower Of Guns. The game is available for OSX, Windows and Linux from a number of different online retailers, which can all be found on the developers’ website.
Greetings once again from sunny Valencia.
This is the last time I speak to you from here. I’ve spent the last week getting some well-earned R&R which has given me a bit of time to play a few of the games that I have been meaning to play but never get the time to (there is a lot of them).
So this week we have a look at Action Henk which is available for OSX, Windows and Linux via Humble Bundle and Steam but also available for Xbox One (£11.99) and Playstation (£11.99). I’ll be reviewing the Steam version (for OSX) but don’t expect that the game changes massively between versions.
With the fantastic tagline of “Buttslide to Victory” you should already know that this game like it could be fun. You play Henk, who is an action figure with incredibly slippery buttocks, his goal is to traverse as fast as he can cross the obstacle course that lies in front of him that looks like it could be a good home for any Hot Wheels vehicle. When you first begin to play Action Henk, developed by the fantastically named RageSquid there is no denying that the game is super simple, it has just three controls (a fourth is introduced later) which are made up of run, jump and slide but it’s the way that these three simple mechanics are woven together that really make the game what it is. It reminds me a little of Splosion Man, a game that utterly frustrated bit enthralled me on the Xbox.
It’s basically a speed running game and bronze, silver, gold and rainbow medals are awarded at the for each level depending on the amount of time that you took to reach the end. Your main strategy should consist of running on the flat bits, time your jump so that you hit the top of any sliding section then carry that momentum forward to take alternative and sometimes quicker paths to the goal. All this takes place racing against a ghost of the time that you have to beat, watching the ghosts will give you some neat little hints as to where you are slowing down but it all comes down to skill in the end. If you mess up the punishment is nominal as the restart is super fast. You can choose to restart at any time from either the last checkpoint you passed or the whole level; a nice touch to practice some of the tricker jumps. I am not a competitive person, the fact that there are several thousand people above me on the Steam leaderboard does not bother me one bit; however, I will state the obvious by saying there is some satisfaction in claiming another rung of the ladder but I have no active desire to beat people. You can also challenge your friends via the online or local multiplayer though so maybe a game we could set up a competition for at our next MeetUp. For me, it’s all about the flow. The feeling you get from getting that magical combo together that shaves off those few valuable microseconds to get you the next medal or beat your own time. As you play more other characters are opened up to you but as far as I know these are just skins with no real benefit but I could be wrong in this one.
Action Henk has truckloads of character. The graphics are lush and cartoony, it really feels like you’re a toy running around a kids bedroom; Henk and his comrades (the ones I managed to unlock) feel weighty and react as you would expect to jumps and bumps. The game is totally game controller compatible and really benefits from having one. There is subtlety in the controls too, for instance, if you press down in mid air you can reduce the height of your jump which can shave off a few microseconds. I firmly believe that id Action Henk had a slower restart time then I would not enjoy it as much as I do. For you 60 FPS junkies the game even has an FPS counter built into the options screen that you can see update in real time as you turn on/off options. Being the frugal gamer I picked it up in a recent sale on HumbleBundle but would happily pay full price for it. There are nine different stages to play, each with seven levels which include an evil but highly addictive coin collecting stage so the game has certainly enough replay value to keep you hooked for some time. When you have run out of levels you can always grab more from Steam workshop, take on the daily challenge or spend time and effort in making your own with the simple but very well made level editor. I needed something to replace the hole Splosion Man left when I gave away my Xbox and this just might be it. I’m going to need to either invest in a mechanical keyboard or always play using the controller because I think that the frustration may damage my shiny Mac keyboard.
Have you played Action Henk? Do you think it would be a fun game to play during our MeetUp? Has this review made you want to go and buy it? Let us know what you think of it via our usual channels of the comments section, Reddit, Twitter and of course Facebook
Love and paella
BIMP stands for the Batch Image Manipulation Program, which is a specific addon for GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s worth noting that BIMP is free and has to be my favourite time saving tool, whether I am creating a GeekOut Bristol Meet gallery like this past Monday, or if I just want to reduce the brightness of an image like I did in my AmeCon Cosplay Masquerade gallery. I have been using BIMP for over a year and I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s become a part of my work life during GeekOut Media activities, so it’s not surprising that I have a lot to say about it.