Indelacio.co.uk

Rants, Raves And Reviews

Browsing Posts in Reviews

Juicy Realm is an action shoot em up roguelike over 4 biomes where you have to blast your way through waves of fruit and veg along with some other edibles trying to make your way to find out why all these fruit have become sentient and are at war with humanity.

It’s easy to make comparisons to the binding of Isaac and enter the gungeon, and these similarities aren’t entirely unjustified although the gameplay in this game is room to room rather than being over a procedurally generated floor, and the variety of floors and enemies at least at time of review is rather limited. Don’t put this against the game though as the binding of Isaac first started with a small selection of bosses and enemies and as the game became more popular more and more was added to the game to play on the variety and make sure replayability remained at the top of the agenda.

There are a few things to unlock beginning with additional gameplay characters, but also mid point bonuses between realms that aid you such as the gun shop and the upgrade store from defeating the first two bosses of the game, I’m unsure if there are further unlockables due to the fact that anything you unlocked is not stated or shown in any way and you simply have to discover that you’ve unlocked the extra playable characters on your own, there may be more added to the game as time progresses but even as it stands now it’s a very playable game and very approachable.

I would suggest if you’re an experienced gamer to start on the hardest difficulty if you want to get the most out of the game as it might be a little easier than you would expect but don’t take this as a negative because this game might have been designed for a younger audience with the colourful fruit and veg enemies and the easy gameplay mechanics without complex and numerous varieties of combinations of powers and weaponry.

It is worth considering that the bosses are also very unique each with their own mechanics to be dispatched, with a watermelon who has a hide too thick to be pierced naturally that you have to stun him with explosives and expose his soft innards in order to defeat him, and the method to take down all the bosses have their own mechanics you have to master and learn in order to progress.

The characters themselves have their own powers and unique abilities so they are different to simply cosmetic choices although the main path to victory is finding the best weaponry on your run and ensuring you keep your ammunition and health at suitable enough levels to defeat the game.

Every run in the game traverses four worlds each with their own boss and the length of a run tends to be under an hour of gameplay from start to win even on the hardest difficulty which feels about the right game length especially if they wanted to consider adding daily runs with high scores or fastest times, although the level and enemy variety might want a little adjustment if they were to consider adding such a feature so that runs feel a lot different, but you can understand that there are set groups of enemies in each world and those are the ones that you will always encounter and this isn’t an expensive game and adding such features and variety would take up a lot more work and really require the game to be more expensive than it is, so taking the game as it stands and at the price they ask for the game it’s very reasonable and a game worth a purchase for sure, and if you’re unfamiliar with this style of game it’s a great entrance into the genre as very much a roguelight with some very unique and fun gun styles, and remains a fun action blaster to fight your way through to win.

The storyline could come or go especially as the end of the run seems a little anticlimactic and like the whole lore was pointless and remains unexplained throughout, or like there’s more to be added beyond the dark forests at the end. You won’t be buying the game for the story however, you’ll be playing it for the gameplay and the fun you’ll get out of it and you’ll have fun blasting all the fruit with all of the weaponry available as you discover how to defeat the bosses and work your way to your first victory.

Check out juicy realm for yourself on steam at https://store.steampowered.com/app/732370/Juicy_Realm/

Copy kitty is a modern retro action platformer from nuclear strawberry, having spent 7 years in development you can see how much effort has been put into getting this game right at every stage of the game from the sheer weapon variety, through the the many and varied bosses throughout the game.

This game stands out so much that I don’t hesitate to say you must own this game because not only is it a bargain at the price and you’ll get many hours of enjoyment out of it but there are elements that stand out above and beyond any other game in the genre. Many games with projectile weapons tend to be very limited in what they provide, whereas this game has the unique ability of combining many of the basic elements into what seems like hundreds of very different weapons from basic splitting and exploding weapons to super powered swords all of which vary depending on what elements you combine while also having solo weapons that can’t be combined.

The developers seem to have been quite clever getting guest developers in to design the boss battles, this not only helps make sure the boss battles feel very unique and different in style from the rest of the game and other battles, but also ensures you can include some special unique weapons for these battles also. Most developers would tend to have essentially reskinned versions of the same boss throughout with slightly different weaponry and fighting styles but the same repeating evil boss which can add to the identity of an evil you follow throughout the game trying to foil, like bowser or dr robotnik (also known as eggman) and this isn’t missed out entirely in this game either as a repeating miniboss half way through each stage inevitably becomes a greater evil towards the end and holds a following evil that gets more powerful everytime you defeat it, shadowing your copy ability in many ways.

There are two different playable characters and every effort seems to have been made to ensure they both play very differently to ensure much larger replayability when going through the same levels, in relation sonic vs knuckles did have a clever feature where knuckles was able to break through the walls and traverse a very different path through the game eventually leading to different levels and a different ending pioneering branching path’s in the genre this game does stick to the same pathing however because both characters feel very different you might not notice the similarities. Boki essentially is grounded but can gain access to special vehicles at times and has the ability to combine up to three powers together to create very varied and ultra powerful weapons whereas savant only has the ability to combine two powers together and is constrained to shooting them from his coding box. He varies by his ability to fly throughout the level and that his coding box is always separate from him so navigating the level and where your projectiles fire from becomes a bigger challenge throughout the game, also depending on which order you combine the weapons creates a very different outcome.

Another way that savant’s abilities vary is that the way his weaponry combines creates very different projectiles and weapons to what boki would create with the same weaponry, and these differences will make the playthrough feel very different without taking into account the fact that the storyline elements are different when playing through as boki and savant.

Separate to the main quest there is also an “endless” mode where you have to try and defeat 100 waves of enemies which become ever more difficult as you progress with only one life, and includes separate combination bosses to the original game and a hidden secret world unlockable by defeating a specific enemy within this mode. The difficulty of this challenge alone will add many more hours of gameplay to the game and you’ll be wanting to play more so it’s not an unwelcome addition to the game, and if that isn’t enough if you’re feeling up for a true challenge there’s not only harder versions of the main quest but there’s a marathon mode where you can play through the main campaign with only one lifebar and see if you can defeat the entire game without ever leaving it which would be a true challenge considering how many hours of gameplay the game itself has.

A final thought on the art style of the game, where many retro styled games would go down the route of saving graphics going 8 bit ignoring the fact that many retro games actually had very high res cute styles, this game creates a good balance between the high res and low res worlds with enemies having great art styles and very varied natures and looks while the world around can tend to be lower resolution much like the “simulation” world you’re stated to be in, of course it goes beyond this with the inclusion of a glitch world as a nod and homage to old games which would often glitch out and create obscure unintended elements, this game uses it to traverse from the simulation to what may indeed be a different reality in a different dimension which you may or may not be invading and defeating the boss to perhaps free savant from being locked in a simulated prison depending on how you take the storyline. I like that there does seem to be a hidden alternative ending if you give up to the final boss this is a clever feature, and when you’ve traversed the glitch world the nature of the universe seems a lot more realistic, and if you unlock the bonus world the nature of the way the game ends there certainly asks a lot more questions over the nature of the reality of the simulation.

I can’t wait for a sequel to this game, however you may have to wait a long time for this because of how long this took to develop. That being said with more funding and income from the sale of this and the essential ground work already in place a sequel may be able to come far quicker than another 7 year wait but even if it takes so long I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait indeed.

All of these features, with the great variance of gameplay and elements between the worlds and throughout the entire game and for a fantastic price is why this game has earnt an indelacio star, an award that only goes to something that is truly exceptional and goes above and beyond expectations. If you want a very fun and varied action platformer with great gameplay and a fun and cute storyline then this is the game for you and I would suggest everyone should own this.

Get copy kitty for yourself on steam at https://store.steampowered.com/app/349250/Copy_Kitty/

39 days to mars is a cooperative puzzle game with a Victorian papercraft style and a quirky storyline where two Victorian gentlemen decide to embark on a journey to mars on their home made airship.

The gameplay itself revolves around a series of puzzles designed to be awkward and obscure and require teamwork, so even though there is a single player mode available you will have to take along your trusty cat, and play both players in order to complete the puzzles (perhaps with a more lenient time factor) the game is quite unique with the fact that it is essentially a co-operative puzzle game with a series of quirky events which happen on your journey to mars trying to keep your poorly constructed airship from falling apart so that you can make it to your destination and be the first person to have a picnic on mars.

The puzzles are well designed and I do like the style the game has chosen to go down, and while you might think that the portion of the game that requires you to make a cup of tea before any puzzle is filler it definitely adds to the feel of the game because any true Victorian gentleman wouldn’t start their day without a good cup of tea, even if the only water available in space seems to be salt water.

The price might be a little offputting considering the game is very short and you’re likely to complete it in less than an hour, however saying that it is quite a unique experience so there aren’t many other options with regards to obtaining a two player puzzling experience like this. I would suggest as a single player you might have better options as this is definitely designed for two people to enjoy together and that is where the real legs of the game is, and once you know the puzzles it essentially uses up most of the replayability short of trying to speedrun the game or get all of the achievements. This being said if the price is too high for you I would suggest waiting for a sale until it comes down to a price you’re more happy to pay and then getting it then.

I did expect a few more hours of puzzles and gameplay out of the experience but still enjoyed very much what was there, and I can see that the multiplayer version of the game is very much the main selling point here.

If you’re looking for a casual quirky two player puzzle experience with awkward mild challenges then this is the game for you, and the fact that it has a quirky Victorian papercraft style is definitely a big positive for me.

Get 39 days to mars for yourself on steam at https://store.steampowered.com/app/504920/39_Days_to_Mars/

Peregrin is a narrative driven story with puzzles and synchronized turn based combat throughout. The game itself took me around 3 hours to complete, and whilst having a nice story the puzzles and combat felt a little constrained.

The game itself revolves around a post apocalyptic world where you play a girl on a quest to explore an area that takes away the memories of those who venture into it to discover and hopefully put right whatever caused the world to fail as it stands. You have taken on this quest as one of the few with the ability to take control of creatures and this is how you not only solve the puzzles of the game but also succeed in the combat scenes.

The puzzles of the game involve the possession of three native creatures, a troll who can pick up heavy objects and also heavily weigh down buttons, a bull like creature who can bash objects and bridges around, and a frog who can carry attraction points of creatures and tnt as well as trigger switches from a distance, and through a combination of possessing the various creatures and activating the totems which amplify your control ability and in essence create the area you can navigate the creatures around you have to solve the puzzles to allow you to progress to the next area’s. This is interlaced with combat scenes against native elementals, however the combat scenes are very constrained, often only allowing you to take control of one specific enemy which you then use to take down enemies creating shields and follow a very obvious combat direction which destroys any replayability to the game as well as potential to fail and experiment in combat which would also add to the game length, add to this the fact that the creatures puzzles is also very constrained with what you can do I felt a little let down where the game had so much potential and a promising premise that the actual gameplay elements were so restricted that in essence you were playing a very on rails experience.

The puzzle elements have very specific places you can move objects and they haven’t allowed for you to place things in an incorrect area or to really fail at the puzzles so for the most part these weren’t too much of a challenge to an experienced puzzler and it would have been nice to have more options on where to place objects and more ability to fail in these aspects.

The combat as stated through most of the game restricted which enemies you can select often to only one enemy that it became no question what you should do in order to progress and to fail in the combat would be more of a challenge than succeeding, unless you were planning on playing through without the obviously signposted possession mechanic as perhaps there are ways to defeat the battles without possessing any enemies but it was so signposted that this was what you must do that you couldn’t fail in most instances, and I didn’t fail in combat until chapter 5 the final chapter where the mechanic had changed slightly to possess then attack then possess and perhaps if there had been more variation and more choice in enemies the challenge might have been more enjoyable but I was left constantly feeling restricted and that it should open up at any second and allow me to fail and make my own decisions in combat but this never really opened up the gameplay as much as I expected.

All in all it was an enjoyable experience, the story did make some references at times to things abi had encountered which were never actually visible on the screen and never signposted, including where she references how she’s stopped counting the steps when it never gets mentioned that she is counting her every step, also it implies that she was given a seed that eventually becomes a branch or a tree and implies a much longer time passing than you will experience but this isn’t overtly explained in the storyline.

The ending of the game does perhaps allow for dlc to explore all of the other quests who had previously attempted this adventure and perhaps activated the four previous monoliths and satisfied the steps necessary previously for abi to succeed in her own adventure as nobody alone could atone for what had passed. However the ending also provides a secondary story for the entire game told from a more scientific point of view where you had played the faith side and followed a storyline of that nature.

All this being said I would still say the game is a fun experience and worth playing, however the £11 price tag might be a little high and for what you get it might be more reasonable to pay £8 as the replayability is definitely effected because of just how constrained the puzzles and combat is that you would only play again if you had planned to run speedruns of the game, and I note that at least one combat scene can be completely skipped and simply walked around.

The story is touching and emotional and combines science and faith as well as consequences for humanity reaching too far and being too greedy for what really I don’t understand why people desire so much, without spoilers. And the main enjoyment of the game is going to come from keeping your eyes out and discovering the storyline as it progresses and putting together the mystery of what happened, and it would be nice if some of the things stated to have been found could be seen beforehand even as a brief mention, and if you could perhaps go back at the risk of spending too much time and failing entirely in your quest because you must press onwards and complete your journey without looking back at the risk of losing all of your memories, but these don’t take away from the enjoyment too much just a few nice touches that could have been added.

Check out peregrin for yourself on steam now store.steampowered.com/app/573080/Peregrin/

Also available on green man gaming at https://www.greenmangaming.com/games/peregrin/?tap_a=1964-996bbb&tap_s=4707-cadadd

On a whim I decided to take a gamble on one of the loot boxes on green man gaming, they were fairly cheap and at essentially 50p per game I thought it was worth a little gamble and I got a pretty good win out of it as titanfall 2 is noted to be one of their lucky prizes and although it’s for sale on the green man gaming site for £50 it’s a lot cheaper on origin itself and discounted so it’s worth bearing that in mind if you’re planning on purchasing it but for the £3.50 gamble I think I did pretty well out of it.

Bear in mind that if you’re taking the gamble yourself that keys are random and what I got isn’t guaranteed what you’ll get and could be on any of the platforms listed and I did pretty well to get mostly games I didn’t already have too only getting one duplicate, but as duplicates go it’s not a bad game to get another copy of, you can’t guarantee anything you will win and you could get a cheap game or one with terrible reviews there’s absolutely no guarantee of the games but you’ll probably get at least one thing reasonable and worth the cost of the gamble so that’s what convinced me to go ahead with it, and who knows you could get lucky and get that $500 credit prize, I got titanfall 2 so pretty reasonable as prizes go.

Titanfall 2 obviously the main prize and a first person shooter, but it’s an origin only game

Toybox Turbo’s is a casual driving game a lot like micro machines and by codebusters so pretty good quality assured

Ballistick is a fun looking cheap stickman game that you might be able to get pretty cheap in a summer sale but still looks reasonably fun considering I got it cheap anyway

Post Master looks like a sim city style strategy game and I would have to play it to give my opinions on it but at 50p not so bad a risk

CTU Counter terrorism unit has some pretty bad reviews, but considering I got it at maybe 95% discount it’s probably worth the price

Vive Le Roi looks a pretty fun and cute puzzle platformer and is fairly cheap naturally and considering the price I paid I’m not going to complain for winning it.

Action Alien is the last game I won in the gamble and looks like a bit of a serious sam clone, would have to play it to get the feel of it, might not be bad and for the 50p price I got it for I’m sure I’ll get the price value out of it for enjoyment.

Those were the games I got in my gamble and I’m fairly happy with what I got on the whole, some games I’d enjoy and a major prize and those that maybe weren’t the most ideal are probably still not too bad for the price, so why not take a gamble yourself maybe you’ll get something pretty decent and maybe you’ll discover some fun looking games you’ve never heard of before like I did, some of which are newish games too. The pack can be anything though and that’s why I’d like to hear what you get out of the loot box if you do take a gamble, either way it’s a cheap game bundle just that what you will get is completely unknown and a mystery.

Get a green man gaming loot box for yourself at https://www.greenmangaming.com/games/level-7-loot-box/?tap_a=1964-996bbb&tap_s=4707-cadadd

Antihero is a turn based strategy game based in the victorian times where gangs of thieves and street urchin’s could rule the streets and has a cute storyline to go along with the art style as well as a fairly easy to pickup play system that makes the game fun and enduring.

The main campaign as it stands seems to act more as a tutorialisation for the game where you would spend the majority of your time in the online multiplayer having honed your skills on the streets against the AI and mastered the basics of the skill tree and play styles, while the campaign does a good job of introducing new elements and varying up the missions with some alternate victory conditions in locations where for example you have to infiltrate your enemies base with 12 urchins, or when there are map specific victory points such as infiltrating ships to steal their cargo and holding them through the enemies turn.

For the most part the gameplay is fairly standardised, where you have a base level master thief and your skill tree has three options the first being to be able to recruit urchins and infiltrate the location always opposite your guild that gives you more lanterns per turn to use on the skill tree and this is usually the correct first option, on some missions it might be ideal to get an early gang and take out an npc so you can get ahead of the curve with the individual gang upgrades where every kill they obtain allows them to level up either the money they earn on a kill, the damage they can do or the number of urchins they can evict from a building, and obviously this is where the strategy element comes in and how you wish to take down your opponent, what you choose ultimately effects what you can also unlock next turn.

The skill tree alone isn’t the only strategy you have to take into consideration, and also if you lack any smart move or need a little urgent cash you can choose some charity instead of an upgrade to get an extra couple of lanterns for future upgrades or emergency gold to get that unit you desperately need right away. All units tend to have a single move of their own, with urchins infiltrating buildings, gangs evicting and beating down opponents and npcs, and thugs either guarding the map blocking progress or joining gangs to level up their hp. Through all of this and scouting with your master thief the aim is to control as much of the map as possible and take as many specialist buildings as possible to maximise your chances of victory.

Victory points ultimately come in three forms, firstly through blackmailing the church this will always be three urchins in specific buildings, the second is to bribe officials with lanterns and the third is through assassination contracts that spawn on the map and move around, bribes and contracts become harder as you go along in significant ways which mean getting in their first is usually ideal as victory points will become harder and harder to get. Some maps have special victory points which add variety to the game, such as taking and holding guard towers to enable the crown jewels to be stolen for victory points, stealing masks from around the map to enable infiltration to a large party in order to steal their valuables, and also infiltration of a boat in order to steal the goods and hold the boat during your opponents turn while you offload the goods.

Ultimately the main story is a little short, I only had to replay one of the later missions once, and as a result it took me around 3.5 hours to complete the entire campaign on normal difficulty. There was a little cliffhanger that suggests the main story would be continued and I assumed this would be through the book club dlc however this seems to be purely cosmetic online avatars, however don’t rule out that they could make an expansion with some map specific goals and perhaps two levels per character, for example sherlock holmes could theoretically be attempting to solve a murder and you would have to gather the clues from houses and locations before he does and submit the evidence to the police headquarters for victory points, all while avoiding jack the ripper (or moriarty) assassinating randomly at intervals some character on the board which could include your urchins, gangs or thugs, or even incapacitating your master thief for a turn. Alice could be in a hurry to attend the mad hatters tea party, and the table sits a number of guests each victory point, increasing in guest size per party where one random lucky guest wins a victory point and on her secondary mission you must team up with the queen of hearts to take her head and provide thugs and gang members to the queens army to help capture her (and take her head), scrooge and tiny tim might play on the same map and where scrooge would have unlimited gold and no urchins tiny tim would be poor but have unlimited street control, where victory would be a challenge to take them both down together, before they team up on a secondary map where scrooge has given all his wealth away but ultimately still holds all points on the map to begin with where you have to take the city back and I’m sure they could add enough references to the ghosts of christmas past, present, future and bill murray.

Obviously these are just a few suggestions they could implement to include these characters, the last getting pretty obsurd but it would be nice to have an expansion to the main storyline, and it does seem like they left it on a cliffhanger where they intend to continue the story, but for the most part this game will ultimately live or die by it’s online games and obviously as a new release it’s hard to judge by the online at present as depending on how well the game is taken up and how well it sells will determine how successful the title is, the game is robust and fun, not too challenging to pick up so it’s fairly easy to get into and have fun with and the skill tree is pretty well thought out, it’s not over saturated and when you ultimately need something it’s always fairly easy to work towards and get hold of especially the special characters which can turn the tides of the match like the sisters and the truant officer. Getting them free with an upgrade definitely strategises when to purchase and the threat of the saboteur is fairly real as not only can he take all of your master thiefs actions away he can also keep those expensive units on the field to be taken out without ever getting to be used.

All in all the game is very well designed it plays well and there aren’t too many things to worry about as it could be very easy to oversaturate the game with complex mechanics, they keep it fairly simple with the power of threes, there are three victory points (with bonus map specific ones) each that get harder as the game progresses, units purchased on that turn become more expensive to strategise when to purchase, and there are three skill tree’s to progress through and it’s rare you ever complete a skill tree fully in fact I never have. Furthermore there are three basic characters all with a single action, the urchin to infiltrate buildings to gain resources and victory points, thugs to hold board control and bolster gangs, and gangs to evict urchins and defeat enemies. There are then three support roles which have a single use, the truant officer who can fully evict a building of all urchins immediately, the sabateur who can trap a building for two turns stunning whoever triggers the trap leaving them on the field, or taking all the master thiefs actions for the turn, and the sisters who can deal 6 points of damage immediately.

There are a few minor gripes that you will have to put up with, firstly when you’ve got your actions down and you know exactly what you’re going to do you may feel the animations are holding you back from playing as quickly as you would be able to if they didn’t happen but you have to accept that this is important because in online play you will need to see the animations to see what your opponent is doing on their turn so disabling such animations would make online play essentially impossible and not strategic, the second is sometimes it isn’t so clear you have to double click your upgrade option in the skill tree especially when you know exactly what you’re getting and what you want it might be nice to be able to just have the one click purchase as it seems a little odd to confirm throughout the entire game when you’ve got a handle on what all the upgrades do and you’re upgrading the skill tree fairly automated and perhaps miss that you should’ve confirmed after selecting, but it’s only a minor gripe.

I like the game and I hope they add an expansion to the single player story soon, and I will continue to look at the online multiplayer and probably bring you some combat video’s soon, ultimately they have added a casual online multiplayer option but in strategy games like this I personally don’t enjoy playing out waiting days for an opponent to take their turn as you’re out of the moment and out of the match and ultimately won’t play and enjoy the title as much and can make some fairly glaring mistakes you might not have made whilst in the heat of the moment, I can’t say whether this will hurt or help the online mode as on one hand some people may just opt for casual matches if they can’t find online matches, and on the other if there wasn’t a casual mode people could abandon the online play altogether if they can’t find a match.

Ultimately I will say if you’re buying this you’re probably buying it to play online as at present the main campaign is very short, but the game is good and definitely makes a good online turn based strategy game which is different to anything on offer presently, and games do feel just about the right length of time so you’re not tied in for hours in a single match the balance is just right and keeps it fun.

Check out antihero for yourself on steam, it’s a fun strategy game and worth a play http://store.steampowered.com/app/505640/Antihero/

Trying to get back in shape and feel happier about myself after the years of maladministration I’ve been subjected to and my body falling into terrible shape and after a crisis of mental health issues I have not only been trying to get back into shape in sometimes desperate and stupid measures but also in order to feel happier about my looks I decided to buy some extreme facial products and leave them on for extreme periods overnight where it states to leave them on at most for 30 minutes and show off the results.

I try both a charcoal face mask and a 24 karat gold collagen one, both have a little effect which seems temporary and perhaps down to my own ill health which could be liver problems as this is where my doctor states the pain is even though I have to wait up to 26 weeks for a hospital appointment to get a proper scan, however I wish to look better sooner as I want to try and win back my ex and feel a little hopeful for something I want in life to go right for once.

Having tried both products however it is clear that one works far better than the other, at least in overnight usage terms. The 24 karat gold collagen facemask seems a little misleading, not only does the package show a slip on mask, but the gold is shown to be more extreme than the glue like liquidy glitter texture you end up with, which peels off too easily and doesn’t feel or look like it works as well as the charcoal face mask, which dries to a satisfying rubbery texture which dries to a satisfying peel to remove blackheads and impurities and also looks like it whitens the skin better at least in a temporary nature to leave a much better complexion for the day ahead, this does however fade and pass but again if I’ve got liver problems perhaps results might last longer for you at home.

I have used one1x however I notice that since my purchase clearasil and other products have their own charcoal products so perhaps this is an upcoming thing, either way I would recommend the charcoal face mask over any others as it does the job and feels more like it’s working and peels off satisfyingly.

Othello is a board game translated to steam, also known as reversi, it involves playing on a board of black and white stones which can be flipped as you play your pieces to flip every one of your opponents pieces between where you place your stone and any connecting stones of your colour on diagonal and straight lines, and you have to strategically place your pieces in order to end up with the most of your colour stones at the end of the game to win.

The game is noted to be easy to learn but take a lifetime to master as strategies constantly develop and while it is easy to pick up in order to defeat the better players you have to adapt and learn new strategies. There are AI modes with sometimes unfair computer opposition as well as online ELO rated matches and local play options so you can play this either against people online or as a friendly local game with just one copy of the game.

There are a few glitches I have noticed in that sometimes the game will allow opponents to take turns when it isn’t their turn or you to take double turns, and sometimes even place the wrong coloured piece and glitch the game entirely by the board somehow flipping pieces which were unflippable as though someone tampered with the board while you were away. This is a little unfortunate especially in an elo rated game, but I have reported these issues to the developers and hopefully they will be resolved and removed so that the game can be enjoyable without faults.

Another problem is the timing, while you can set games to be 1 minute, to an hour in integers the timer doesn’t start until your opponent joins the game and if this happens while you are away waiting for someone to join they can time you out and you will automatically lose in between, and the fact that you only then have the option of 1 day or 7 days and no timings between mean you can be waiting up to 7 days for your opponent to make a move when perhaps you would like to limit it to 2 days, although live play is more fun catching someone online while the game is relatively new is difficult.

The problem is that this is a board game, and while it is fun and enjoyable the market is obviously going to be smaller than in other games available on steam, so it might take a while to build up games to a level that there are abundant games so you can always setup a game and enjoy a live match, but it is still enjoyable over a timed basis longer than this just waiting for days and perhaps forgetting as a result of the wait can be an issue for me.

Other than these faults which can be easily enjoyed it is good to have a reversi game on steam for times when I’m not feeling like playing something major, and in university I always used to play reversi that came with xp, however latest windows versions lack this game so having a steam version becomes an essential if you’ve always enjoyed the game. I would also suggest that perhaps other layouts like in battle panel in ergheiz could be a fun variation for starters in the game, opening up to new strategies and evolving gameplay beyond the traditional 4 square central beginning, but who is to say if this will be taken up.

Either way if you enjoy reversi this is the game for you as now you can play it again, and rank up your elo against other players on steam.

Get othello on steam now (also known as reversi) at http://store.steampowered.com/app/307430

With the average UK household said to be wasting £60 in food every month tesco have introduced measures to cut down on their own food waste by launching a community food connection program which donates surplus food from their stores to local charities, alongside this they are introducing “perfectly imperfect” ranges to take more fruit and veg from their suppliers which wouldn’t fit the normal standards, but essentially is a replacement for the value ranges rebranded and perhaps repriced.

Of course this doesn’t reduce the fact that households waste so much food on average, instead that would come down to changing the way you shop and the way you use the food in your household, where various suggestions are made, through a leftovers tool where you can look up recipe’s to use the leftovers in your fridge rather than allowing them to go to waste, along with recipe’s at lovefoodhatewaste which has been launched to help waste less.

I received vouchers to try the perfectly imperfect fruit range with apples and pears currently available but these would change throughout the year with whatever fruit and veg they have growing which would have imperfect options, along with a voucher to try the eat fresh, keep fresh chicken range at £2.50

Perfectly Imperfect Range

The perfectly imperfect range is fruit and vegetable products which may just be off shape or a little small or large, but could have other imperfections too. It would seem they are a replacement for the tesco value range by another name, and as such varieties in the fruit and veg would vary from week to week depending on what products are available at that time to tesco to fill the range, and these would not last all year but be very seasonal, however while they’re there you can get necessary fruit and vegetable fulfillment at a reasonable price.

Finding the products proved to be rather difficult, and while staff would promise a new delivery every day if you went in 4 time in a week and a half like I did they never had a single delivery, and staff will use the go to “there’s a delivery tomorrow” without actually checking if the range is coming in or not as the products never got refilled, I ended up having to resort to talking to tesco’s twitter account to get help sourcing the product as even though deliveries were stated it never arrived either, and I got sent to another store which had some in stock, price may also seem to vary from store to store as my store stated 70p for the apples but I got them for 60p in the store I went to where they were in stock.

The range is fine, and when I worked at festivals the fruit would often be gala apples much the same as those in the perfectly imperfect range, and the conference pears look perfectly fine to me, maybe they don’t have noble shoulders but that doesn’t matter and eating them it’s simply that these fruits haven’t aged properly, there’s no pips inside, but once they’ve ripened and gone softer they taste perfectly fine, and if you’re into hard pears you’ve got them off the bat! All in all the range is perfectly fine, and the fact is other than looks you’re really going to get the same product at a cheaper rate, maybe you might have to peel the fruit and remove the imperfections if there are nips in the flesh, but that’s minor and you’re likely to get that in most instances anyway.

Eat Fresh, Keep Fresh Chicken

The “eat fresh, keep fresh” chicken range contains 300g of chicken which is more expensive than the willow farms range which is £1.89 for the same amount of chicken, the only variation is that both breasts are together in the willow farms where the tesco keep fresh range has two separate compartments, but at nearly 60p extra this probably isn’t ideal. With the 60p extra you could buy some clingfilm to wrap the second breast and this would last hundreds of packs not just one, and at nearly 25% off for exactly the same product it seems a rather wasteful range, especially if most people would cook both breasts together if they’re having a meal with a partner, and single people can store the other breast fine without it’s own vacuum sealed pack, unless they’re really silly and leave it uncovered several days straight, or even out of the fridge but that’s their own fault then and a lack of common sense in consumers doesn’t justify such expensive packaging options which is actually very wasteful in terms of product packaging.

Cooking the product itself it is an inferior chicken breast also, as it has a lot of added water. because the juices coming from the breast when cooked on the george forman grill were mostly water, having cooked a lot of meats and chicken on the grill I know the fluids that come from these and this was very watery, also when cooked the flavour was missing and it was a very disappointing product, you can definitely find chicken which hasn’t been pumped with preservatives and water as much as this for a better price, and at £8.34 a kilo you expect unmessed with chicken not something that is inflated with water to make more profits. (For reference beef brisket on the counter is £8 a kilo or you can get pork for significantly less) I just found the chicken very disappointing, and is probably the worst chicken I’ve ever had.

Another thing I would change is that the skin is removed, with such a product if the skin was left on the breast it could easily be removed if someone didn’t want it but those who like the skin it’d be nice to have it included, but if as it seems the chicken has been inflated with added water injected then it’d be a flag saying hey this is so much bigger than the skin so you can see why they’ve had to remove it, but a nice piece of crispy skin on the breast is very nice, and if the “added water” is supposed to keep it moist, that’s the job the skin would do, keeping the moist breast during cooking and leaving a very tasty crispy outer layer, and I know a lot of people don’t know just how good a salted crispy chicken skin is, it’s chicken crackling and it’s very good. (just keep an eye out some celebrity chef will eventually steal the idea when they realize how good it is)

Reduced To Clear

One way tesco reduce the amount they waste is reducing products to clear so they’re cheaper and affordable with those who cannot afford to pay full retail, the problem with this comes two-fold in some instances the shelves contain out of date products not reduced more than 25% as they wont reduce the full range, and the other major problem comes in the fact that the price reductions occur at the same time every day and in my local store there’s a group of 6 women that act like piranha’s and block the isle with their trolleys and take absolutely everything that the assistant reduces to 80% every single day (quoted by the staff at the tesco store I visited) not only do they block the isles but if you do get past to look at the reduced produce, they will try to push you out and then grab and hold every single product to hold onto and pass to the assistant so nobody else gets reduced to clear produce.

Now I’m not suggesting reducing to clear is a bad thing because there are a lot of things I would rely upon reduced in order to live, it just needs a little reform where people every single day with entire trolleys of reduced products are clearly either selling on or wasting all of that food, which goes against the food waste scheme, as if they’re taking so much home simply because it’s cheap just to waste it this isn’t good. The other problem is that some ranges such as the ready meals and meat don’t seem to get reduced and get ignored so much so that on the 6 visits I made in short succession over a few weeks trying to get the apples at various times on 3 occasions I found out of date products in the stores ( and in my own personal shopping I keep coming across out of date products in tesco not reduced below 25% and that’s why they go unsold, sure they might go to charities but people would buy them to use and not want to rely upon the charities if they got reduced enough to actually sell)

The reforms I would suggest would be not to take products off the shelf to leave unreduced or even reduced at a small ammount of 5-10%, instead starting off at 25% the night before at the same time everything is reduced 80% save a job by doing it all together. There are people who would then buy it at 25%, with at least an extra day on the range, then in the morning/noonish it could be reduced to 40-50% and then later reduced to the 80-90% savings. I can guarantee some ranges get skipped as I have even gone in an hour before the store closed and asked the staff at the reduced section if the products were getting reduced any further and they were not, and this was one of the occasions where there were out of date products on the reduced to clear, and most of the range was only 25% off which was not good, and with discounters in the area offering similar products at much cheaper than even those reduced to clear prices it becomes a hard sell for those who are price savy and shop around.

Who is to say how the reduced to clear range may change with the new system, perhaps more ranges won’t get reduced because they will be passed onto charities, but in that instance tesco really are wasting more food, sure it’s going to charities but when there are people who would buy just what they would eat without wasting it if it was reduced to a price they could afford then reform might need to be done to ensure everything gets reasonably reduced so more gets sold, because surely it’s better to sell than to simply pass the buck to charities to seem like nothing is getting wasted.

What Can You Do To Reduce Waste Yourself?

The main reform which would need to occur is with yourself when you are shopping, if you are one of those wasting anything close to £60 of food every month you might want to think about what you are buying, do you need it, will you eat it? Will it go to waste? How much have you already got in your fridge going to waste? And if you’re reduced to clear shopping don’t take the entire shelf just because it is cheap, just take a few things some treats and some essentials and only what you know wont get wasted. Be kind and polite so other shoppers can also take advantage of the reductions, and in turn you might notice there are products left for you on other days too rather than a mad rush to grab everything in a sea of piranha munching your flesh if you put your arm in the section.

Other than that if you know you have some food which will be going to waste, cook it before it goes off, freeze it, or use a recipe to use it all up and enjoy the food you’ve purchased rather than throwing your money directly into the bin.

I was sent a voucher for tesco meat products in order to put up my opinion’s of selected by tesco wine’s but I didn’t receive any discount off the wine perhaps for a variety of reasons, partially from the government changes which have been implemented to “prevent” cheap alcohol being sold, which far from preventing drinking problems just makes alcohol more expensive in the lower quality end of the market and those with drinking problems will still have those issues and spend whatever the cost to maintain the habit. So as always www.drinkaware.co.uk and stay responsible.

In store you wouldn’t get a lot of the information put in the campaign with food suggestions and pairings or any highlight on the selected by tesco wines, and regardless of the sales and promotional side perhaps if the wine section selected food pairings (as part of the responsible theme being portrayed of enjoying with a meal) on the shelves along the wine this might encourage people to try the suggested accompaniments, however in store you would not know anything special about the new range as they are hard to spot on the shelves and hard to spot on the bottles, supposedly to make pricing easier despite clearly not being the case shelf wide as other wines remain on promotion and with money off so only the selected by tesco range of usually cheaper wines avoids being put on further promotion and I do question heavily the true nature of the change.

The selected by tesco labeling is rather well hidden on the wine, not highlighted and easily spotted, and amongst other wines on the shelves it can be hard to find the particular bottles in the range, and the price variation is definitely not any different to existing products, so claims it is perhaps somewhere between full retail and discounted for convenience all year round seems incorrect as it is simply full retail all year and never discounted ever again while more expensive wines may be discounted to this price range and give a better quality of wine.

Something else you wouldn’t know by simply purchasing off the shelf is that all the wines are taste tested and selected by the master of wines james davis, however tasting the £4 merlot I purchased heavy in tannin and very inferior it is hard to see how this was “specially selected” amongst merlot’s to be sold on the shelf as the best tesco could offer and specifically selected by tesco to be sold for around £4 when I have tasted much better merlot’s for £4 with no tannin ready to drink and of a good quality.

The recommendations listed in this campaign for a sunday roast are a rioja reserva at £6.50 for red meat and an australian chardonnay for £3.95 for chicken, which may have been reasonable suggestions however with my own studies of wines and spirits with an intermediate WSET wine tasting certification which involved tasting a lot of wines and champagnes both high end and low I can safely identify the qualities of wines as well as know what foods to pair with which wines and I would always recommend a merlot with red meat dishes, whether a roast or a steak even though a rioja is adept and as a reserva and knowing the quality of their merlot perhaps it was a better suggestion out of the two wines, but going in blind I would’ve found a better merlot if I was tesco’s master of wines!

So not receiving a discount on the wine I chose a £5 meat voucher out of the choices, and cooked up a roast dinner with a tesco counter brisket and the making of this will be over at wackykitchen.co.uk The other choices were tesco cheeses, where the wine recommended is a bordeux superior again no mention of this on the shelves near the wine nor the cheese selection. The tesco party food selection suggests an australian shiraz £3.95, and a rose zinfandel £4.50

The blurb that prices are being simplified rather than half price promotions seems a little stale when prices vary so much ranging from £3.95, £4 products to £4.50 £6 etc etc so rather than being simplified it seems that all the wines tend to have their own prices and do not pertain to the quality of the wine, as you will be getting a cheap tasting wine, in the case of the merlot at the very least as this was definitely a bottom of the range wine that needed perhaps another year or two aging to remove the tannin and to open up the flavours as it was very bitter and hard to identify any flavours behind the tannin, perhaps if this was decanted for a week it would be drinkable but freshly opened it lacked the quality I expected for something seemingly “selected” especially for tesco by wine tasting experts, which again you could get a £6-8 merlot often discounted to £4 of significantly better quality than this, there seems to be no noticeable saving and simplification, instead this is a fully retailed £4 wine which really should be discounted to possibly £2.50 to be of any noticeable value and my recommendation would be to look for the wine discounted to £4 from a higher price which will be the good quality ready to drink merlot with good flavour.

It does state that perhaps the selected by tesco wine range will make it easier to make your selection and this may be the case, that you avoid the selected by tesco range and look for a better quality wine discounted, as often the discounted merlot which is reduced to £4 will be noticeably better than the full retail merlot of £4.

The meat counter brisket however was good quality and definitely recommended, I just wish the wine was as the quality is stated to be and not the tannin filled disappointment it turned out to be as anyone unfamiliar with merlot would buy this once taste it and think never again simply because this was released far too soon and utterly bitter with tannin.