Video Game Reviews

Here's where I keep track of video games I have played. I rate the games on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being "highly recommended" and 1 being "forget this game and go read a book or something."

Legend of Grimrock on PC (8/10)

Legend of Grimrock has crabs

Legend of Grimrock brings the real-time dungeon crawl formula of Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder to the modern age. Perhaps the best single improvement is auto-mapping. I know that filling out that sheet of graph paper was half the fun in the originals but I really didn't miss it here. You are still exploring the layout and looking at your map to guess where secrets might be located. You can even jot down notes if you want to be thorough. But because I was not constantly having to look away from the screen, I was able to get a feel for the spaces much more quickly and look more…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 03/26/2020 - 19:00

Transistor on PC (4/10)

Transistor sister

The only thing Transistor has going for it is a beautiful art style and high-quality voice acting. The rest is an exercise in tedium. Despite the artistic detail there is little interactivity to the world. The level designs are dull. The combat tries to be original but is just frustrating in that it lives uncomfortably between turn based and real-time. Plan your moves, take your actions, then run around. Boring. All this might be forgivable if not for the deliberately obtuse story telling. You're a singer in a computer or something? With a talking sword that speaks in circles. It's…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 02/23/2020 - 21:02

Flashback on PC (7/10)

Flashback, heart attack!

I must have attempted to play this game about a dozen times. I would download it from some abandonware site, fire up DosBox, and then proceed to be frustrated out of my mind by the sluggish controls and unfair level design. Or maybe I was just terrible at that first jungle level.

Well, this is the 25th anniversary remastered edition. It's more or less the original game emulated, but there are a few quality of life improvements. First and foremost is the ability to rewind the game after you die for an immediate do-over. Second, there are on-screen help boxes to guide you through the…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 01/13/2020 - 23:31

Abzû on PC (5/10)

Wake up! There are whales!

Hey, it's a walking simulator with a twist... swimming! I'll give it this, Abzû is a very nice looking and great sounding game. The score is magnificent. You know the soundtrack has to be good when seemingly half of the game credits are taken up with the names of the various instrumentalists. Unfortunately, like all of these "art" games, there isn't much in terms of a game here. You just swim around, (literally) look at fish, and occasionally click on a hot-spot. I'd be more forgiving if there was a good story to follow but, "evil thing making the ocean all evil and the only way to stop it…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 01/13/2020 - 10:46

The Silent Age on PC (6/10)

The Silent Age Screenshot

The biggest puzzle in this modestly sized point-and-click adventure is figuring out how to get it to even run. I bought it for 99¢ in a Steam sale a year or two ago and when I finally got around to playing it, I discovered that it would crash immediately after launching. Well, let me spoil this first puzzle for you: the game won't run if you have Citrix Receiver installed on your computer (same for any game based on the Unity Engine). There is a fix that involves reinstalling Citrix with some command line flags. Goggle it.

Anyhow, once the game is up and running you will see its flat…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 01/10/2020 - 22:08

Doom [2016] on PC (9/10)

Doom 2016

I think this is a reboot. Was there actually a plot in the original Doom? Whatever the case, this version of Doom is a vast improvement on the previous game in the series.

This is a return to the pure shooter style of early FPS games. There are a few cut scenes and all that, but who cares. The killer feature here is the ability to pull off gory finishing moves in order to gain health and ammo. And you are not just running backwards. The level design is impressive. They are bright a spacious with lots of verticality and room to move. And you will have to keep moving as the onslaught of…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 12/29/2019 - 16:10

GNOG on PC (7/10)

GNOG

GNOG is a cute little puzzle game in which you are left to click and poke around without any instructions and without knowing what your goal is. This is a little frustrating at first, but once you realize that you are trying to open up the big cartoon heads, things start to make sense. Or as much sense as opening up floating heads makes.

There are some common tactics: right-click to flip the box, figure out how to pop the back open, then things get weird after that. The main draw here is the surreal art and soothing music. It's not that hard and it really just feels like a point…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 12/02/2019 - 21:36

Ruiner on PC (7/10)

Ruiner

Ruiner rages with a riot of red. So much red. It's like an entire game based on a Photoshop filter applied to the R channel. I went in to this thinking it was going to be your standard twin-stick shooter like Nex Mechina and I was excited. No, this is one of those aim with the mouse, steer with wasd games. That control scheme always seems a little bit off and, when you're in an isometric view, the aim never quite matches with your perspective. On top of this there are several special moves bound to other buttons. The most important of which is a chainable dash move. This is very awkward when…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 11/20/2019 - 22:17

Assassin's Creed III on PC (4/10)

An Assassin's Crud Acheivement. Oh boy.

This game has been sitting in my to-do list for quite some time. I got it as a freebie from Uplay, and to be quite frank, that may have been too expensive for this clunker. I suppose if you really love the parkour mechanics of the other games you'll be entertained by this, but I am long-since over jumping from towers into bales of hay. With a handful of naval missions, some of the seeds of the vastly superior AC IV are here, but, to mix my metaphors, the mechanics still a bit half-baked (wait you can bake seeds, so maybe that metaphor works... or is it a simile).

The story is so dull and…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 14:42

Metro 2033 Redux on PC (6/10)

Roar!

There was some sort of nuclear apocalypse and the citizens of Moscow were forced to live in the city's subway tunnels. Of course the world is now filled with irradiated monsters. Yet, the humans are still fighting wars with other humans in the tunnels because sci-fi writers can't comprehend that people might actually co-operate in dire circumstances. For some reason you are tasked with saving your station from impending doom and thus begins you journey down the rails to find help. Your job will be difficult, not because of tough choices and insurmountable odds, rather because everything is…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 10/09/2019 - 12:08