Game-related ramblings.

Month: June 2016

All Your Vase Are Belong To Us: Apotheon

As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

I’m happy to report that Apotheon is not the first game I’ve played to feature art inspired by Ancient Greek vase painting. That honor belongs to ACE Team’s Rock of Ages (for which a sequel was recently announced). But Rock of Ages uses this style as only one of several periods in art history that players smash up with giant rolling boulders. Apotheon, by contrast, goes all in on the Ancient Greek theme, casting players as Nikandreos, a warrior fighting to save his village after it is forsaken by the Gods. Before long he meets Hera, who explains that Zeus is a dirtbag and enlists Nikandreos to raid Mount Olypmus itself to bring Zeus to his knees.

It’s also made by Alientrap Games, the developer responsible for Capsized, which I liked a lot. As such, Apotheon has been on my radar for a while, and I finally got around to playing it.

On Learning

As always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

I haven’t played Paradox Interactive’s grand spacefaring strategy game Stellaris, but I have enjoyed reading about it. It’s great at generating stories, like the one recently chronicled over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. They’ve written a lot about the game, in fact. Writer John Walker, intrigued by comrade Adam Smith’s enthusiastic assessment of the game, decided to try it, despite his general dislike of and inexperience with strategy games. He wrote about his frustrations with its user interface and general obfuscation, concluding that “Stellaris, it turns out, doesn’t want new people. It wants people that already understand how to play Stellaris.”

After reading his account, however, I had a different conclusion: “Ah, so it’s like Dwarf Fortress, then?”

Roguelike Updates: This Time It’s Personal

Readers unfamiliar with roguelikes may wish to read my introduction to the genre, and possibly peruse some of my Roguelike Highlights posts. And maybe read about why we might want to start calling them deathcrawls instead. Also, as always, you can click on images to view larger versions.

My favorite roguelike, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, has updated to v0.18.1. For many players, the most exciting part of this update may be the new god, Pakellas, who specializes in evokable devices like wands (and the associated changes to wands in the game). Or it might be the new monsters and items, or the revamped Charms spell school, or the changes to the Orcish Mines, Elven Halls and Abyss branches. It might even be the improved interface graphics and tiles. But I will remember v0.18.1 for another reason: it was the version in which I had my first successful foray into the “extended game”, going beyond simply winning in favor of tackling the toughest challenges the game has to offer.

There will be spoilers in this post, like last time. And you’ll want to read that post too, if this post is to make much sense.

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