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Blackhole is a 2d physics based puzzle platformer with a compelling narrative storyline behind it, the game see’s you “crash” into a blackhole abandoning you the coffee boy with the ships AI to try and find all of your missing crewmates and rebuild the ship so that you can escape the anomaly you find yourself in.

The game promises more than 90 levels across 6 dimensions and over 15 hours of gameplay and that isn’t including the free challenge vault update that essentially added daily challenges with difficult levels into the game. Outside of the levels themselves there are heaps of secrets to discover in the overworld which can be quite challenging themselves.

Each dimension has it’s own theme and it’s own special item that modifies the puzzles in unique ways making the challenges of each of these varied across the game. From EMP pulses to effect lazers and doors to simple wall jump boots allowing you to hop off the walls like Mario.

The physics of the game are some of the best designed I’ve seen in a game of this type, allowing you to start off grasping the simple but once you realise you can use gravity transitions in the level to conserve momentum and fling yourself across to new area’s you can learn whole new ways to progress through the game and perhaps get those selfburns that seemed out of reach earlier in the game. They also do a good job of pacing out the new elements that you come across and scaling up the difficulty so you never feel too overwhelmed with the puzzles, another way they do this well is limiting the number of selfburns required to complete a level and progress through the story so you can finish a level and continue your progress without truly completing the levels and collecting everything whilst leaving a challenge to come back to later when you’ve mastered some of the more complex elements of the game.

Blachole’s story unveils itself as you progress through but if you want to know the true secrets of the anomaly you have to hunt down the black boxes in the overworld which can be in some very difficult to pass puzzles, as though whoever created the anomaly wanted to hide these as you, the AI and the crew all have no memory of what happened and how you got there, and if you haven’t seen the trailer you need to watch it for yourself (well that’s easier said than done, I tried to find the trailer I saw which showed the AI seeming to go a little crazy to link it here but I can’t find it anywhere…)

I am surprised how ridiculously cheap the game is and what a bargain it is for how much gameplay there is and how much enjoyment you’ll get out of it, not only in solving the puzzles but with the storyline and how well the voice acting is done (and you might recognise a celebrity or two in there) and if you’re into movie references and meme’s well there’s plenty in there from tetris to doctor who if you keep your eye out you’ll be able to spot them all, and may involve passing through a hidden wall puzzle or two at times.

This has probably one of the best games I’ve played in the past few years and I’m surprised it didn’t get more recognition and remains so unknown when it is such a well made game within the puzzle platformer genre, the game is so well done, has a great quirky storyline and good voice talent as well as polished well designed puzzles with great physics and a variety of gameplay mechanics throughout a lot of levels and different worlds as well as being a ridiculous bargain price as a result it has earnt itself an indelacio star.

Get blackhole on steam for yourself at https://store.steampowered.com/app/322680/BLACKHOLE/

I’ve started uploading video’s over on twitch now that you’re able to produce content there without it expiring within a week, and as a result if you’d like to follow me you might see content before it comes up on video but beyond that there’s a lot of twitch specific content you’d get which would only be over there, from jogging streams talking to chat (which following would be the best way to know about when I go live) as well as rock band and guitar hero streams where I plan to play as well as sing at the same time on the harder difficulties as well as playing using the controller in a very unusual fashion which would be a site to be seen.

I do also have some interactive games which link to twich such as choice chamber which have interactive twitchchat features along with a few others which would also be a good reason to follow, and once I have 50 followers on the channel I’ll start doing actual livestreams while still maintaining video uploads, where you can see what has been prerecorded over on the events page to see what is upcoming, hearthstone tavern brawls will go live every Wednesday and I might start doing regular or arena matches once I get 50 followers also.

If you’d like to see any other incentives for reasons to follow let me know, but as twitch moves towards being more open with video’s and clips as well as livestreams I’ve become more active over there and I’ve got some idea’s for some fun twitch chat emotes once I gain access to being able to provide these for subscribers so being active over there and following means you’re more likely to see some of these in the future and I know there are some gaps in the meme chat market which I won’t disclose until I have the ability to actually create them and have them as my emotes, but stay tuned and follow and see for yourselves when these go live.

To see my upcoming content on twitch and to follow me go to https://www.twitch.tv/indelacio_co_uk/dashboard/events you can set reminders for upcoming events and click follow from my profile page.


Warden Melody of the undergrowth is an adventure game very much in the style of old zelda games but released on the pc so you don’t need to own a nintendo system to finally play a similar adventure. The game is set over a persistent world where all changes you make stay in the world no matter if you travel to another area or play in another day.

The story revolves around the boy prince being trained and suffering an accident where he falls into a river and is washed up ashore lost and trying to find his way home, he is awoken by nyona who charges him with the task of being the next warden, protector of nature and to stop the king changing the world forever and destroying the balance of nature, but things might not be as they seem as you realise through the story progressing there are two sides to every story.

Along the way you uncover former wardens ghosts who have the ability to take hold of fabians body and then grant new powers and abilities to solve the puzzles. Mostly these powers are used to gain access to new area’s previously off limits, sometimes they just open shortcuts and are a requirement to defeat the boss of that area.

I will suggest that there are a lot of secrets that are never explained through the story progression and there are definitly area’s that were off limits and impossible to figure out how to get into, along with a seemingly pointless completionist task of lighting every single lantern and torch in the game which perhaps upon completion grants something special but I never completed this task. Also there are a plethora of seemingly pointless hats that perhaps when worn in the correct way with the right weapon and warden allow you to talk to the shadow beings you can “Sense” in certain circles, however if you fight them they are gone forever from the world, which could perhaps lead you to never being able to complete everything, unless of course simply eliminating every sense being much like pixel hunting in hotline Miami leads to a greater secret being unlocked such as an extra area or a modification to the ending it’s hard to tell from what is revealed in the game, and while some games like spelunky do this well with a hidden secret until the community finds it as a whole this is something I would like to be able to be uncovered through in game discovery as it feels more like something you should be able to ask in game characters about or find special in game lore that uncovers the secrets.

Having said that though the game itself is really good and definitely a lot of fun and I would recommend 100% that you use a controller as there are points where precise platforming would be required that would be a lot more difficult on keyboard and mouse. I myself put 12 hours into the game with my playthrough with a little exploration and discovery of secrets but mostly on a linear path to the ending as much as the game allows as there are progress gates which require a specific number of motes to be collected, which can lead to going off to find and collect the larger collectables in order to progress so it’s a good idea to collect any you go past on your playthrough if you want to avoid backtracking throughout the game. Travelling between area’s has a convenient fast travel system via a dream world by campfires so this isn’t as awkward as it might otherwise have been.

There are three main area’s all of which have their own guardians and their own unlockable warden forms with individual powers to help traverse the world, and the bosses of each area usually involve using that skill in some form to defeat that boss, and then obviously a final confrontation with whichever final boss you decide to go against, as nature and humanity clash. Your choice however is final as once you defeat the final boss returning to try and do things differently is impossible due to the global nature of in game elements and returning leads to a black screen of death glitch.

I still feel like there’s a lot I didn’t discover and a lot more to unlock with those hidden secrets and all the maths and translation puzzles I didn’t complete, but the in game lore and information about these tends to be lacking so knowing for sure what these would do for you besides complete achievements and give you a sense of completionism is something you would have to discover for yourself, but I do feel there are a few area’s I couldn’t gain access to, with the sewers and perhaps in the hat room, and outstanding lore with the witches who perhaps created the crystals which locked down nyona in the first place.

I would recommend the game and you’ll have plenty of fun with it exploring the game for yourself, the combat feels good and not too easy or too difficult and there’s always something else to do.

Check out warden melody of the undergrowth for yourself on steam now at https://store.steampowered.com/app/338310/Warden_Melody_of_the_Undergrowth/

Floor kids is an interesting twist on the rhythm game, where rather than having to input a precise series of button combinations to a precise timing you have the freedom to express your creativity to the rhythm of the game through 16 different movesets per character and what is stated to be hundreds of transitions between them. Having said that there are a few factors that do influence your scoring on the levels from keeping a rhythm, expressing your creativity, introducing hot moves, pulling off crowd requests in a timely manner and executing the chorus to perfection.

What does this all mean?

Well quite simply it means that while you are free to do whatever you want if you want the best scores you are going to have to try to do your moves to the rhythm of the tune, factor in crowd requests as this will be 1/5th of your score to adapt as quickly as you can to get their unreasonable requested moves pulled off. You do have a little freedom with your move as the 4 different sets have 4 moves and any of those moves within that style of move will work but you will have to account for how quick your character will transition as sometimes it takes longer than the patience of the audience on later levels making this a harder challenge than you would imagine.

The chorus of course twists the entire thing back on it’s head again with actual timing mechanics required to hit the beat on the correct time, that being said you’re still free to press any button to win here, and between each set there is a button mashing segment to hit everything as hard and as fast as you can, which makes getting a perfect score practically impossible for most people here, but still it’s a good segment to take out your frustrations for missing the beats on the previous segment. The chorus’s are pretty infrequent so they won’t be something that eats up your entire time of the gameplay but still count a significant portion of your score if you’re looking to perfect every level.

There are 8 characters all with their own movesets who you have to unlock over 40 different levels so if you want to unlock everyone and do everything there’s a lot of gameplay here as well as online multiplayer dance battles where you take turns to out score your opponent in the same track. Each character has their own specialisations and do have different styles of break dancing expressed through spins as well as holds and floor moves and have their own feel even though the gameplay mechanics remain the same.

I do also like the art style expressed using a hand drawn cartoony style that definitely fits within a break dancing game, and all the characters have their own personalities expressed well which fit their dance move styles expressed so a lot of consideration has been taken in expressing the break dancing genre in a rhythm game rather well.

But Is The Game Fun?

Yes, quite simply. You’re granted a lot of freedom to express yourself however you want, going faster or slower depending on how you’re feeling the rhythm, just don’t stop otherwise your character will literally stand still looking like a lemon in the middle of the dance circle, and you’re free to transition and vary your moves up as much as you want, adding heat and flare wherever you feel it fits and while you’re better off listening to the crowd and trying to hit all of the chorus beats you’re not going to entirely fail the level by ignoring or missing these, and they’re pretty infrequent so you’re not hemmed into following precise inputs to win while having short burts that do fit in because everyone knows the chorus right? And that’s why you’ve got to fit the exact known moves just to win over the crowd, whereas the rest of the song you get to express your creativity.

I enjoy the game and you’re going to have a lot of fun unlocking all of the characters, you might get a little unlucky with unlocks with the cards leaving it later until you get to unlock the majority of the characters, but getting a new character ads variety and you get to enjoy their different movesets and styles if you choose to go back and perfect previous levels to gain access to the final level, and it stands out from other games in the genre being quite different in it’s gameplay mechanics so it’s pretty unique in that aspect.

Get floor kids for yourself on steam at https://store.steampowered.com/app/821640/Floor_Kids/

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/

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/

Some games I wanted to play but didn’t do a full series on, more and more games will be added to this playlist with one off gameplay video’s so if you want to check out the links to the games you’ll have to go to the individual video for that game, however this playlist will show off many games which perhaps have more simplistic gameplay that wouldn’t need showing in a full review, or just some games I have got in bundles in the past or just something I want to show off a little without playing a full series on the game.

Check out the playlist for yourself at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQSi3zjTHLGIHM8tVt7-9xsfOS2oCScEW

Games are added to my steam curator page over at https://store.steampowered.com/curator/6860437/ feel free to follow over there to see when deal’s on these games are available on steam.