Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reactor Playtesting

This is an overview of playtesting Reactor. I was pretty amazed at how far the game had progressed since it has just been redone. The movements in the game are very smooth and responsive and I liked how the direction I was moving affected the cannon shots. All of the improvements that can be done are already listed in the "Things to add" so I don't really have any suggestions. The game is definitely coming along. Try the game yourself at

Jurassic Survival Review

The Jurassic Survival game was excellent. If reminded me of GeoDefense in that it's a tower game, but has a much better theme. I also really liked running out and trying to grab the gold and powerups. The game plays really well and functions as expected. You did a really good job of building an intuitive interface. I definitely think you can sell this as a mobile game should you choose to go that route. The only real suggestions I have is that adding some dinosaur sounds would enhance the immersive aspect of the game. Also, a few more sounds might make it a little more "juicy" (I'm sure you thought of this, but there isn't anything real to criticize). Great game. Try the game yourself at

Monday, December 10, 2012

Prototype 3 - Portal Through Time

The focus in this prototype was cleanup, bug fixes, and the storyline. An opening screen was added to tie the storyline into the gameplay (as well as provide instructions on how to control the character). The following bugs were also fixed:

- Leaping out of the top section of the screen caused the character to die
- The enemy in Level 2 jumps with the player
- The portal was visible before the tiki was retrieved
- The collision on several objects was off

Several graphics were also cleaned up (including rounding the edges of the "floating islands") to try to tie the game's feel together

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sims 3 Review

Sims 3 (with Pets Expansion) is a truly immersive game. My daughter (who is 11) loves this game so we had it around the house. I decided to sit down at her computer and give it a spin. I have played Sims before, but not since the original version that was released around 2001. Sims 3 is much more involved and seems to be the equivalent of an MMO to the original's single player missions. The first huge change I noticed was that I can go all over the place. The original game was based around life inside of your house. This version, though, allows you to go downtown to the library for a book, a diner to eat, and so on. I was pretty amazed by everything that is going on in the city with the NPCs I watched.

Another big difference was the job. If I remember correctly, in the original version it just showed you leaving for work and you would basically stare at your house until you came home (which could be sped up by increasing the rate of time). In Sims 3, you actually get to go to work. Since I was a fireman with my new character, this involved riding on the fire truck and hanging out in the firehouse (which even had a fire pole).

I can definitely see why my daughter likes this game. I had only planned to play for an hour or so because I wanted to finish this review, but ended up playing all night. The open aspect of the game has definite replayability, as the player can choose many different paths for their character. Sims 3 is a great game and is worthy of its lofty sales numbers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Slower Speed of Light Review

A Slower Speed of Light is a very interesting and well done game. The object of the game is to help a young child slow down light by collecting orbs present in a small village-like area. This area has a Silent Hill-type of feel with others wandering around in a trancelike state and ominous music in the background. The game has classic first player controls, with keyboard keys controlling motion and the mouse controlling direction. The only downside for me is that it gives me motion sickness if I play too long. The physics on the games are excellent (as you would expect from MIT) and the graphics are clean and interesting. The scenery gets even better as you collect more orbs and continue slowing light down. The changing colors will make you feel like you are in the Northern Lights. Overall, an interesting and unique game that is definitely worth playing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

MargaritaVille Review

MargaritaVille is an excellent casual game in the vein of MySims and other "open world" games. While you do have some objectives you need to complete, my main enjoyment in the game came from simply wandering around and exploring. The graphics reminded me of the Tropico games, which isn't a bad thing. They definitely felt like something you would expect from a game named MargaritaVille. MargaritaVille also has some depth. While exploring, I managed to find enough money to upgrade my wardrobe and have a drink at a bar. This game is well done and something that I am sure my daughter and wife (who is a casual gamer) would enjoy playing.