Vikings are normally associated with fighting, pillaging and sailing, but Valhalla Hills from Funatics Software drops these Germanic Norse seafarers in a city building setting instead. In place of raiding and trading, the Vikings are trying to get into Valhalla after Odin decided to close the gates. The Norse god was clearly in a bit of a bad mood as he also exiled his son Leko for being more interested in building than the family business of battles and booze. This is good news for the Vikings though, as with the help of Leko they might attain enough honor to get to Valhalla
Marble Muse is a deceptively simple looking game, but thanks to the challenging controls and excellent level layouts it is actually quite addictive. It might only feature 24 levels, but the additional challenges and secrets definitely boosts the replay value. Players looking for something casual, but with a bit of a challenge shouldn’t miss out on this game.
Gameplay: Well-designed boards and addictive gameplay.
Graphics: Although not stellar the visuals look decent enough.
Sound: The upbeat audio is a good match for the gameplay
One thing is for sure, Surgeon Simulator 2013 is not going to appeal to everyone. I had a blast with the unwieldy controls and the accidental mishaps is just as entertaining as finally nailing the surgery. A lot of patience is required if you want to become good at this game, but it is worth the effort.
Gameplay: Either utterly brilliant or utterly frustrating depending on how patient you are.
Graphics: Good in a gory and darkly humorous way.
Sound: Has a nice synth-laden soundtrack
For anyone savvy enough to roll their eyes at the “hacking” in Hollywood movies, but lacking in the time or inclination to master the art themselves, Team Fractal Alligator might have the solution. Their upcoming title, Hacknet, is one of the few games based around hacking that looks like it might actually be worthy of the “Simulation” tag. The game challenges players to unravel the mystery of a deceased hacker by following the instructions in his automated emails
The first table pack contains two tables from Midway, both of which were great for their time. Although the tables have aged a bit, especially The Machine: Bride of Pin Bot, they still hold up very well. Medieval Madness in particular is a very entertaining table that can keep you busy for hours, but Bride of Pin Bot is definitely a lot of fun as well despite some repetition. If you don’t have these two tables in your collection yet, you are missing out.
Gameplay: Two great new tables from the nineties.
Graphics: The tables appear to have been recreated as faithfully as possible.
Sound: Nice tunes and plenty of speech samples on both tables
Long Live The Queen makes for a nice change of pace and is one of those titles that you will probably end up playing way longer than expected. It has a lot of replay value and once you are hooked you will want to see everything that it has to offer. Don’t let the cute visuals fool you into thinking this title is aimed purely at the female demographic.
Gameplay: A unique blend of styles that make for a engrossing and addictive experience.
Graphics: I love the visual style, but found myself wishing for some animations.
Sound: Some soothing piano tunes
The fourth and final title in the East Tower series by roseVeRte is now available on Steam. Like the previous three titles, East Tower – Kurenai is a romance mystery visual novel based around a virtual game attraction. As Kurenai is the conclusion to the series and reveals the secret behind the “Dream World” it is recommended that players who have yet to play the previous titles in the series do so first
Arcadecraft is a nice take on the management genre, but there is a certain amount of tedium involved. Watching your arcade thrive and grow is very satisfying, but most of your time is consumed by emptying the cash from machines and tossing out troublemakers instead of making in-depth management decisions. Hopefully future updates will add some more locations and customization options.
Gameplay: Running an arcade is fun, but your space to work with is very limited.
Graphics: Plenty of different machines and ways to customize the look of your arcade.
Sound: Manages to capture the chaotic atmosphere of an arcade
Zen Studios know a thing or two when it comes to designing original and enjoyable pinball tables and Ant-Man is no exception. It features an open playing field, plenty of challenges and some very nice visual elements. Once again this is a table that will appeal to pinball lovers even if they are not necessarily fans of the Ant-Man license.
Gameplay: The table is a lot of fun and features plenty of challenges to master.
Graphics: Makes very good use of the Ant-Man license.
Sound: Good music and very decent voice acting
Although one of the tables in the core pack is already available for free, it is more than worth it for the other three. Theatre of Magic is perfect for introducing newcomers to the addictive nature of pinball while Ripley’s Believe It or Not has something for everyone. Even Black Hole which looks pretty basic by today’s standards has some very unique gameplay elements to keep you hooked. Overall a very solid selection of tables that looks and plays great.
Gameplay: Four great tables, packed with hours of addictive gameplay.
Graphics: Faithful reproductions of classic tables.
Sound: Distinctive audio with some great speech samples and effects