My father in law was visiting for the weekend. He came to see his daughter (my wife) and his granddaughter (my daughter). When the in-laws come to visit, it seems to me that we often experience an all-too-human desire to 'validate' or 'prove' ourselves to them, as if to reassure them that their kid picked the right mate.
What I played, I enjoyed. However, Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates feels like it could use something more, as parts of the dialogue felt clunky; the musical and ambient sound overtly monotonous; the story intriguing, but not fully fleshed out. But, these are all minor musings. Ultimately, Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates completes exactly what it set out to: create an entertaining addition to the top-down RPG genre.
An event like no other has been gearing up in the ecosystem of New York’s conventions. We attentive observers of the indie game scene first took note of it through articles on OPN, Polygon, and TechRaptor — we who broke the news that Playcrafting was organizing New York’s first dedicated video game convention. After having interviewed Dan Butchko, the CEO of Playcrafting, in the week leading up to PLAY NYC, I was curious about how the event would turn out. Was the excitement justified, and especially: would it be a seminal event in a series of many to come, setting a movement into motion to grow the video game development scene in New York?
I enjoy being a filthy casual, much to the chagrin of my online friends. Allow me to wax nostalgic for a mo, taking you back to the space year of 1989 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the NES.
We play games for all kinds of reasons—primarily for that dizzying, juicy hit of dopamine. But, a surprising side effect of staring at boxes and hitting buttons is the cultivation of quick and efficient decision-making abilities, particularly for those players partial to rapid-fire and high-pressure genres, like RTS. Thus saith science.
Rise of Industry's polygonal trucks and farms draw onto your map with a cuteness that belies their capitalist designs. Towns that once boasted a single grocery and tailor develop greater appetites, and then consume the countryside. Toxic fumes from factories pollute the air next to water supplies and chicken farms, because it was efficient for you to build them that way. Health risks? What's that? You don't have to care about pollution yet in Rise of Industry, or competitors, or zeppelins — but that'll all change before you can say “Newarktown needs more hamburgers,” according to the development roadmap  provided by this fledgling title's mama bird, Dapper Penguin Studios.
Born in Portugal, but moving around a couple continents, before eventually growing up in France, Antoine Meurillon was a keen fan of playing on the SNES and Game Boy -- until he was about twelve years old. Then, he got a 486DX at home which came with Strike Commander, Doom, Magic Carpet, and Ecstatica. After finishing the first System Shock, he was left in awe of what he had just experienced. He claimed to have never stopped playing games since then.
I never played Destiny. While it seemed to check so many of the boxes I wanted in a game, unfortunately, it could only be played on a platform that I didn’t own. A Borderlands-style loot system merged with a Halo-inspired combat experience sounded like a winning combination and, in many ways, it was.
Enzo Scavone, senior journalist at OPNoobs, traveled to Mexico and met some of the leading figures of the wider professional videogame community in Mexico. Although his wallet was picked, his interest in the state of game development was also piqued, and he shares his thoughts here.
In Starsector, Fractal Softworks has created a solid title that stands out in what is becoming more and more a saturated genre. While longtime space-shooter fans will find much that rings familiar, Starsector’s unique and polished take on sci-fi space-shooter economics, combined with frantic battles, strong fleet command options, and an effective character progression, set this title apart.