Hacker vs. Corporation: the Card Game a.k.a. , “Android: Netrunner”

While researching Magic the Gathering (I had heard it was a fun play), I came across something else that piqued my interest: an extinct game by the name of Android: Netrunner.

At the Brain-dead hour of 4 am, the fast-paced commentary on the Netrunner U.S. Nationals 2019 The Cut was a pleasant listen. From what I’ve gathered on a brain full of sleep soup (probably better known as melatonin), I’ve gathered that it’s a combination of Magic the Gathering and Poker.

The game runs as follows: You and another player oppose eachother; one plays a corporation, and the other plays a hacker. Each team has to get 7 “agenda points”. Hackers gain them from taking the cards from the corporation, and the corporation from completing agenda card requirements.

Entertaining, or at the very least, compelling!

This game involves Resource management, and much like our own monetary system, there is some complexity. The game involves 6 kinds of tokens, most of which are double-sided to signify different things.

The Artwork is lovely as well!

An Example of the art
“The Personal Touch” Card Art

For those who want a true cyberpunk experience, this is the game for you.

Since it was cancelled in 2017, there’s no chance of getting new cards, but there is an online deckbuilder/play site here.

Collapsed

Collapsed was just released for Playstation on March 13th, 2021. It was released for Nintendo Switch on August 27th, 2020 and it first came to PC on August 1st, 2019. Collapsed is a roguelike platformer where you can play as one of four Hunters and fight against hostile alien invaders. The game is the only major project from the indie developer Glaive Games. It was published by OverGamez, a Russian indie games producer. The gaming community appears to be split on their opinion of this game. While the game has received praise for the online co-op and the large skill tree, its also been criticized for its poor story-telling and repetitive gameplay. But there are definitely some features that might appeal to many gamers.

Most of Collapsed’s levels are filled with tons of alien enemies.

4 Hunters

In Collapsed, our Solar System has been invaded by a massive force of varied aliens. The invaders intend to enslave all sentient life in the galaxy and it’s up to the player to repel the invasion. The rest of the story is told through messages that you can find throughout the procedurally generated levels. All four of the playable Hunters have their own set of abilities, skills, and weapons. As you play through the game, inevitably dying on your first couple of playthroughs, you’ll move through the game’s large skill tree and unlock new ways to strengthen your hunters. You can also craft over 100 different items to help you through your run. There are 9 uniquely styled locations in the game and the procedural generation will make it so that every playthrough is different. There are over 60 enemy types and 15 challenging bosses to battle at the end of a level.

Thanks the huge skill tree, the player can really choose how they want to develop their play style.

Blast from the Past

Collapsed art-style is incredibly reminiscent to the flash games that were popular on the internet in the 2000’s. The way that the assets move and are drawn brings back plenty of memories from that time period. Whether you like this or not is a matter of personal preference. Ultimately, Collapsed is a roguelike game with potential. The online co-op is a neat feature that’s fairly uncommon among most notable roguelike games. However, priced at $14.99, there are plenty of other excellent roguelike games that Collapsed is directly competing with. If you’re a fan of roguelikes, you might really enjoy Collapsed. But is it as good as Binding of Isaac or Enter the Gungeon? Now, that’s a tall order.

#Collapsed #Indie #Roguelike #Platformer

Space Otter Charlie

Space Otter Charlie is coming to Steam, Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch on March 18th. It’s a brand new Zero-G Puzzle Platformer with an interesting team behind it. The game was developed by Wayward Distractions and it will be published by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild. While the Seattle-based Quantum Astrophysicists Guild has only been publishing games for the past few years, the small team at Wayward Distractions have a long history of working on classic games during the glory days of PopCap. With a team that worked on classic franchises like Feeding Frenzy, Plants Vs Zombies, Bejeweled, and so many others, you can be sure that the developers have been around the block when it comes to designing a game.

Using gravity to your advantage is a huge part of Space Otter Charlie.

Deep in Otter Space

You play as Charlie, an otter that’s leading the charge for animals who must escape from an inhospitable Earth. Inspired by other classic platformers such as Rayman and Mario, Space Otter Charlie will feel like classic platforming with a twist. He must navigate through over a dozen space-based levels where gravity will play a big role in the game’s puzzles and challenges. You’ll be jumping, floating, and rocketing throughout the game as you avoid traps and defeat enemies. The game also features numerous ways for you to become more powerful as you progress. You can craft new gear, unlock skills, and wear different space suits to fit different scenarios.

Space Otter Charlie wants to attract gamers of all ages with the art style that it displays through the varied levels.

Otternauts Everywhere

Beyond the singleplayer game, you can also play with up to 3 other friends in multiplayer. There are 2 game modes where you can either fight for food or fight in a deathmatch. Despite the relatively short list of levels, Space Otter Charlie features plenty of content for an indie 2D platformer. When you consider the unique gravity system, the series of upgrades, and the multiplayer modes, you can tell that the developers put real care into the game. There are even fun facts about otters that you can find hidden throughout the levels. If you’re a fan of side-scrolling platformers, consider giving Space Otter Charlie a try when it comes out on March 18th. It’s expected to be priced at $14.99.

#Platformer #Indie #SpaceOtterCharlie

Slime Rancher

Slime Rancher is one of Steam Early Access’s greatest success stories. It’s the first game produced by the California based studio Monomi Park. The game has sold over 3 million units and usually has hundreds of thousands of monthly players. That’s an impressive feat for an indie studio’s debut project. The game first arrived on Steam in January of 2016 and was fully released in August of 2017. Since then, a stream of free DLC and content updates have kept the game fresh. The studio’s long-lasting devotion to the game continued to drive it’s sales on Xbox, Playstation, and PC. Slime Rancher proves that you don’t need a giant team to make a well-received game with a healthy community of dedicated players.

There are a wide variety of slimes that you can find on the Far, Far Range.

Not an Average Farm

In Slime Rancher, you play as Beatrix LeBeau. She’s traveled to an alien planet inhabited by creatures known as “slimes”. She’s inherited a ranch on the planet and she plans to make a fortune by collecting and combining the the tons of different types of slimes. Slime Rancher is a sandbox game, meaning that you’re placed placed into a large world with minimal instruction on what to do. You interact with the world the way that you choose to interact with the world. You explore the wild at your own pace and discover the game’s hidden secrets as you navigate the world. As you learn more about the mysterious planet, you’ll also come across more and more interesting and unique slimes. Hardcore fans of the game have spent many hundreds of hours collecting all the slimes, making their own hybrid slimes, and simply taking care of the slimes that they already have. The potential fun is potentially endless, especially considering the consistent stream of additional free content.

Who couldn’t love an angel slime?

The Far, Far Range

How has Slime Rancher been able to maintain its player base? Well, players are excited to see what comes next in the game. Without forcing the player down a questline, they want to see what the rest of the world has to offer. A beautiful soundtrack and welcoming graphics also help to keep people coming right back. People are excited when more content keeps getting added that upgrades everything from the gadgets, to the ranch, to the crops, to the slimes. As long as Monomi Park keeps showing Slime Rancher the love that its shown the game in the past, the player base is probably here to stay.

#SlimeRancher #Indie #Sandbox

XCOM 2 Collection

XCOM 2 Collection was released for IOS on November 5th, 2020. Originally published by 2k in early 2016, XCOM 2 was the direct sequel to the turn-based XCOM: Enemy Within. The game’s plot revolved around the player as the “Commander” of an elite international team of soldiers that must fight off the aliens that are invading the Earth. This time around, the Commander is leading XCOM as a renegade group of freedom fighters that are trying to fight back against ADVENT, the army of genetically modified humans that are slowly dominating more and more of the planet. XCOM 2 Collection will also include the War of the Chosen DCL and the Reinforcement Pack’s 4 separate DLCs.

The War for Humanity

XCOM 2 has become an acclaimed leader in the turn-based combat industry. The game offers a wide variety of choices and options for how the player chooses to develop their individual soldiers and XCOM as a whole. In XCOM 2, your entire base is an alien supply barge that’s been commandeered by your team. You will meet various scripted characters that help you improve your base and your soldiers. Central Officer Bradford makes his return to the XCOM series as your chief middleman with managing XCOM. Dr. Richard Tygan, an ADVENT scientist that has defected to your team, guides you through your technological and scientific progression. Meanwhile, Lily Shen replaces her father from XCOM: Enemy Within as your guide through your engineering upgrades.

An XCOM soldier wields an enormous gun

This class, the grenadier, carries a huge gun and focuses on heavy firepower.

The Fight Rages On

XCOM 2 and its DLC have brought numerous additions to the XCOM series that make the game unique and different. The DLC alone add 4 new classes of soldiers, bringing the overall total of classes in the game to 9. All 9 play totally differently and will force you to completely change how you try to complete your objectives in each level. Beyond class selection, there are numerous weapons and special traits that you can give your characters, which will cause you to truly care about the well-being of your soldiers. If you’re playing on a hard difficulty and find yourself growing attached to your characters, you can expect to load to old saves pretty often if you can’t except the death of an important character. You can also choose nearly everything about the soldiers that you recruit, from their attire, to their gender, to their nationality. The game gives you a great deal of choice in progression and style, all while maintaining an excellent story with engaging strategic combat. This game is a must-have for lovers of turn-based  gameplay.

Chosen Warlock
The Chosen Warlock is one of the powerful aliens featured in the DLC.