Apr 25, 2017 Last Updated 11:13 AM, Apr 24, 2017
Joel Hendershott

Joel Hendershott

You merely adopted gaming. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see 64 bits until I was already a man". I've been gaming since the early days, playing everything from commodores and Atari to Current Gen. I'm a flip-flopper of the worst kind, constantly jumping back and forth between consoles and PC. I can play most any games, but RPG's, racing games are my jam. I also enjoy the simulator games far more than any one man should. One day I decided to not just play larger than life characters but attempt to be one myself and jumped into training for Strongman and powerlifting. Now the biggest struggle in my life is do I spend more time on Games or Gains?

Train Mechanic Simulator succeeds in the mechanic simulator space. It separates itself amongst its peers, but lacks the driving physics to be an independent train sim. The models are fantastic, but the focus of the sim is constructing and designing trains, so the driving environment leaves something to be desired: you need to be truly hardcore about the details of trains to get long term enjoyment from the Train Mechanic Simulator.

Bomb Squad Academy is more fun than it is challenging. Negative feedback to the player, other than the bomb blowing up (of course), is thin, but this results in an approachable, replayable atmosphere. This is a fantastic puzzler with complex and unique mechanics that are presented to the player in an easily digestible way.

River City Ransom: Underground is fantastic in how it truly captures the feel of retro games, and it’s clear from the experience that Conatus Creative provides the desire and requisite talent. On top of the original beat-em-up feel, additional features round out the title quite nicely, such as RPG leveling aspects and a fighting engine that packs a punch.

Flintlock Studios presents us with a fascinating and entertaining concept, one that could bring a much-welcomed spotlight to a period of American History often overlooked. Yet considering the fierce competition out there, the limited size of the studio, and more importantly, the current state of the game, Northern Regime isn’t off to a promising start. I’m rooting for the British Columbia-based studio, but it’s got a long way to go until it's ready for a full release. A significant amount of work has to be put in before Northern Regime can be considered a quality Early Access game.

We Are Chicago raises real issues that still plague parts of America, and encourages young people to stay away from gang violence, and this goal is praiseworthy – but between the flat graphics, the uninspired characters, and the nausea-inducing camera movement, We Are Chicago isn't an enjoyable gaming experience.

I’m looking over at the clock, watching hours roll by, and I can’t stop. Despite being Early Access, Conan Exiles is already capable of standing up against any other open-world survival game currently released, and I'm excited to see what Funcom has in store.

Boxelware is ambitiously throwing together many aspects of the open-world space sims and combining the result with the ‘building’ genre that is all the rage these days. The challenge moving forward will be to balance the game so that players enjoy a consistently good experience across the different styles of play that Avorion allows.

Suncrash makes Hell-on-Earth seem divine. While the visuals are plain and the combat can be cumbersome, the simulation and management aspects of the game are well thought-out and elegant. With rich, immersive gameplay and various difficulty settings, Judgment promises to pull in fans of the genre and newcomers alike.

Celestial Breach is only a few days into Early Access, and it’s easy to sink time into it, a sign of a great game in the making. As Dark Nebulae works its way through polishing its title, I have little doubt its current shortcomings will be straightened out, and hopefully, Celestial Breach will join the ranks of my favorite arcade flight simulators.

I would highly recommend beholder because the art and music style perfectly captures the story. The struggle between the decisions is one that causes real struggle and emotional turmoil. This may not be a game you come back to over and over, but you’re going to sink your time into a few play throughs to try and make the ‘right’ decisions, whatever they may be.

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