Really didn’t get as much gaming in last week as I would’ve liked – then again, I would have to be a social hermit to get as much gaming in as I’d like. Regardless, I did finally finish Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and I’m now combing the backlog again, in between spurts of Diablo 3. This time of the year is nice – nothing much on the horizon until September, so I get to play all some of the games I pushed to the side. Usually Steam has a summer sale that messes all that up, but it’s conspicuously absent this year. Maybe on America Day they’ll surprise us. Until then, game what you got.

Friday, 4:12 pm – matt

how about 200 pigeons!?!

Friday, 12:22pm – Albert

I’m back! I’ve been on vacation for a bit so mostly my games have been on iOS but here are some that kept me alive on my trek.

Plague Inc.

Created by Ndemic Creations, I downloaded it a while ago but never got a chance to play it. This game is a lot of fun and highly addictive! You start with a Plague Type (Bacteria, Virus, Fungus, etc), create a unique name (Ricky’s balls), then pick a Country to plunk your plague in. You’ll slowly gain DNA points from infecting or killing people and you use these points to modify the plague’s Transmission abilities, Symptoms and Abilities. Infect too many people however, and “In a standard check-up, Ricky’s Balls has been detected in Canada” and you’ll have global forces working together to thwart your quest to kill everyone in the world.

Bag it!

This game is much more casual and is a fun puzzle game. Akin to Tetris with groceries and weight distribution. Bag it! is great when you are waiting in lines or just want to pass a couple of minutes or a couple of hours. It’s easy to learn and fun to get through all the puzzles.

Burger Queen World

Probably the most addictive game I played on my travels. Burger Queen World reminds me of another great game I used to play online called Sushi-Go-Round. Basically, it’s a serving customers fast food but having to deal with individual customers as they all have their quirks. This is the sequel to the first Burger Queen with more levels, upgrades, and more customers. The compelling part of this game is that you constantantly want to ‘perfect’ each level to three star the level and gain the maximum amount of coins to get the next upgrade. If you like games like Diner Dash or other step juggling games, you’ll definitely want to give this a try. It’s currently on sale for $1.99. Grab it.

Pocket Planes

From NimbleBit, the creators of Tiny Towers, comes Pocket Planes. If you’ve ever played Tiny Towers, you know its a real-time game in which you complete certain actions and have to wait a certain amount of time for the action to be completed. In this case, you juggle airports, flyers, and planes. You start with a small plane and one airport but soon you’ll be controlling all types of planes, and planning the most profitable route to get cargo and passengers to their designation. I might not be the best person to explain it, but if you take anything away from this little blurb, it’s extremely fun and will make you check your phone every couple of minutes. Those who have played Tiny Towers will enjoy this even more as it’s considerably more complex.

Well, that’s all I played for the past 2 weeks! Grab these games on your phone and your commute will seem a lot shorter. I promise. Also I’m glad to hear that overall the experience from a remake Nintendo classic is positive! 100%’in games is always fun, unless you shooting 100 pigeons..

Wednesday, 1:09pm – Gavin

Well, it was a beautiful weekend. Perfect for me staying inside the entire time and playing Zelda: Skyward Sword. I’ve put a total of approaching 50 hours into the game so far, as I am attempting to 100% it. I have a few minor quibbles about the game; the worst is that because Nintendo designed the game to be released worldwide, there’s no spoken dialogue; just sounds, so they wouldn’t have to pay voice actors in 43 languages or whatever. Unfortunately, those sounds get damn annoying after a while. Some of the utterings sound like something your 50 year old math teacher would make if he were given this kind of direction, and told to “sound cool” or “sound silly”.

Still, the level design is phenomenal. Nintendo is up to a few of its old tricks with “hit the switch in this dimension, things change in another dimension”, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The levels change over time as well; a wooded area floods and you must swim through it; a volcano erupts, blocking old paths and creating new ones, etc. A few of the enemies are enormous pains in the ass with their abilities to block your attacks and then immediately counter, but you take the bad with the good. I can’t say enough good about the level design. Further, character control is supremely intuitive.

There are a LOT of fetch quests. Fortunately, because the cel-shaded graphics are designed for art and not clarity, there’s a “seek” option that points you in the right direction – think the directional indicator in the original Grand Theft Auto, very similar to that. There’s a fair bit of backtracking, but that’s the norm. Nothing can ever be as bad as Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, so I’m not bothered about it. I just wish there were a faster way to travel between worlds, like Fable 1.

The music is terrific; I just wish there was more variety. You end up hearing the same piece over the entirety of the four main overworlds. Boss music is great though, which always adds to the atmosphere. The boss design is terrific – very interesting battles against really well-designed creatures. One of them is essentially a half-octopus, half-Kraken. I thought that one could have been a bit better as the design was a bit like something a kid doodles in their notebook, but the actual battle was great.

I haven’t got much left in the game now. I’ve tried my best to avoid using guides and so far I’ve been mostly effective, with the exception of examining how to open up a particular side quest, a map for one special area (as an aside, the “Silent Realms” are amazing levels. You have to collect multiple items across a slightly bastardized version of the main world, but you must do it without any weapons, the atmosphere changes dramatically when you leave your “safe zone”, and the music changes to be like the chase music from Amnesia. You have to collect 15 items, and the chase stops for 90 seconds every time you collect an item, which is not nearly as long as you think, also, the enemies are one-hit killers, so you can’t get hit at all. These levels were INSANELY stressful, but so well done), and how to proceed past one point which required you land in one area and walk to another, not particularly intuitive.

Overall, it’s been a great game. Very similar in spirit and style to the old Zelda games. I’m anxious to start something else, but I’m determined to do this justice. The puzzles are really sharp and the worlds are terrifically designed. The minor quibble over the “verbal” sound is irritating, but it’s nothing I can’t live with in exchange for this great game with incredible scenery and really unique worlds, boss battles, and item interactions. Highly highly recommended.

Monday, 3:44 pm – Ricky

Yawn. It’s a holiday in Canada Land, so this is going up late. Back to celebrating our nation by escaping to fantasy worlds.