News

Nintendo World Championships NES cart for €66K on eBay

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This extremely rare Nintendo World Championships NES cartridge is currently going for €66,569.23 with 273 bids on eBay by a seller called muresan.

As you can see from the picture the cartridge is not exactly in perfect condition and the content is not what you’d call extraordinary either. This cartridge consists of parts from three of the most famous NES games. These games would be Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer and Tertris. When you buy something like this, you’re not paying for content, you’re paying for the scarcity of the object. Basic economics.

Just how rare is this special cartridge? The Nintendo World Championships cartridge was created in back 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System tournament in the US. This cartridge was alledgedly manufactured only 116 time. Of these 116 cartridges there were 90 gray ones (the one for sale right now) that were distributed to the finalists and 26 gold ones that were given away as part of a Nintendo Power contest. So you can see where the hefty price tag is coming from.

In December of 2012 one of these ultra rare NWC cartridges was apparently sold on eBay for as low as €6,105.96. “Why so cheap?”, you ask. Well, either the price has sky rocketed in the past yearor the one who sold it didn’t realize how much it was actually worth. Either way, the buyer got really lucky.

To assure you that this Nintendo World Champions cartidge isn’t just a cheap replica/fake the seller posted a pic of the component inside and wrote the history of it on the eBay page: “An Alt Newsgroups auction was held back in 1998 and purchased by thomaser in Norway. He traded to DreamTR, who sold to me maybe around 2004/05.” The seller also has 100% positive feedback on eBay with 445 transactions. So there ya go.

Ultra rare NES cartridge going for over $30K on eBay [Eurogamer]

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Rants

Early Access is getting out of hand

valve steam early access rant

I recently watched Totalbiscuit’s video on Early Access and wanted to talk a bit about Early Access and why I think it should be killed with fire. If you haven’t seen his video on this subject, I highly suggest you do.

What is Early Access? For those of you who don’t know what Early Access is, it’s a way for a developer to publish their unfinished games on Steam. These games can be in pre-alpha (which is really rediculous), alpha or beta, but the point is to drive money to developers as they are still developing their game and also to give the developer feedback on their game. As with every invention ever, there’s the good and there’s the bad.

First and foremost I think it’s a very bad business practice to release a game on Steam’s Early Access program and get paid for a product that isn’t finished. Steam is basically telling developers that “Hey, you don’t even have to finish a game to get paid for it. A cool concept and a barely functioning game is enough.” And that changes everything. Why should someone get paid for something that in most cases still needs a lot of work? Before Early Access developers and publishers could invite people (they still do and Hearthstone is a great example) to play their game when it was in alpha or in beta for free. The same idea was behind this. The idea of getting people to play your game and receive feedback on it as it is still being developed. This way you could still change aspects of the game before its initial release. The developers and publishers that decided to do this didn’t get paid for it before, but it allowed them to receive valid feedback before their game would be released.

Even Ubisoft is getting into the Early Access with their games. I’m not even gonna comment on this…

dayz steam page valve warning early accessWhen you buy a game on Early Access you are basically throwing money at something that is still very much a work in progress and may not be representative of the final product. There are no guarantees that you will like the final product, even if you like the game while it’s in Early Access. I have to give props to the DayZ developers for putting up a warning which states that you shouldn’t buy DayZ if you aren’t prepared to actively support the development team and if you can’t handle serious issues and interruptions of game functioning. At least they are trying to tell the consumer to stay away if they do not want to deal with problems with the game and they should wait for the final product in that case.  But do people listen? Apparently not. DayZ has stayed at the nr. 1 spot on Steam’s ‘Top Sellers’ list for a while now and I doubt all of those people are willing to actively support Bohemia Interactive. Another example is Rust which has stayed at the nr. 2 spot also for a while. And on Rust’s Steam page there is no warning whatsoever.

I know it’s an appealing concept for the consumer to be able to get their hands on a game they’ve been waiting to play for so long. And you as a consumer should fight the urge to buy Early Access games. It’s wrong to receive money for something that isn’t even close to done yet. Right now on the ‘Top Sellers’ list on Steam there are 4 games out of 10 that are in Early Access. Early Access is not only bad business practice (if exploited), but it’s also a “fuck you” to those great games that are fully released and are actually done. You see, these Early Access games are pushing those down the list resulting in much fewer sales.

And what about all those who buy the game while it is in Early Access? What are they going to do when the game comes out or if it ever comes out? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the majority is going to get bored and stop playing the game in question long before it comes out. And that could cause in fewer sales when the game in question finally comes out. Because when people hear that nobody is playing that game anymore, they are not going to want to buy it. This is not the case with all Early Access games of course, but DayZ, for example, wont reach beta until the end of this year and is already available through Early Access. To me that sounds like a very bad thing. First of all Bohemia Interactive is receiving money for something that is not even close to done and the money they bring in through sales goes directly into development of DayZ. And when the game is done there aren’t too many interested people left to buy the game. And what happens when the ‘elite’ players (those who bought the game while it was in Early Access) mix with the new ones? I know for a fact that new players can find it hard to ‘fit in’ and as a result they might have a hard time enjoying the game.

I don’t believe Valve has put any limits for the amount of time a game can stay in Early Access. This means that games could potentially stay in Early Access forever. There is no guarantee of the game even being finished. So those who bought the game in Early Access – for quite a lot of money, if I might add – could actually be stuck with a beta forever. This is pure speculation and I don’t believe it has happened with an Early Access game yet. Valve should really consider putting in a limit of some sort. I’m thinking 3-4 months or even less. This would stop developers and publishers from exploiting the Early Access program, and actually take advantage of it the way they are supposed to.

Early Access also makes game journalists’ lives harder. Games like DayZ, Starbound and Rust sell a lot of copies while they are in Early Access and when the full product comes out they won’t have to read reviews, first impressions etc. They’ve already payed for the game a while back and don’t need the criticism to make an informed decision on whether to buy the game or not. Journalists can’t really give any real criticism on the game as it is in Early Access since the game is in early development and things change rapidly. So even if journalist were to criticize a game that is in Early Access, that criticism would only be valid for a few days or weeks. I wrote a first impressions post of Godus not so long ago and I wouldn’t be surprised if that criticism wasn’t valid anymore. This whole Early Access is really hard to tackle as a journalist.

Okay, so now you know what’s wrong with Early Access but is there anything good with Early Access? Well… no. Right now there are a lot of companies exploiting this program as a result of Valve’s inability to write a proper ‘terms of use’ agreement for those who want to use the Early Access program. This is a real shame because if Valve had done some research and brainstormed a bit, Early Access could’ve turned out just fine. However, it’s not too late to change things up, Valve. Either get rid of it, or make some huge changes to it. As of right now, Early Access is only hurting the games industry in the long run.

To end this rant I want to say that it’s not the developers’, the publishers’ nor is it really Valves’ fault. These are companies. They are there to make money and they are doing just that with Early Access. When 2 Early Access games remain on the top 2 spots on the ‘Top Sellers’ list it very much tells Valve that Early Access was a great idea. Me, you and every other gamer on this planet needs to really stay away from Early Access and only buy finished games. We need this Early Access nonsense to stop. We have to start voting with our wallets for the greater good. And it’s really unfair against the smaller indies that would actually benefit a lot from having games on Early Access. The smaller guy should not have to suffer from the others’ mistakes.

Thank you for reading.

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First Impressions

Let’s investigate: Insurgency

insurgency first impressions logo wallpaper

Insurgency is a multiplayer-focused Source Engine first-person shooter developed by New World Interactive. It started out as a popular free mod for Half-Life. Insurgency doesn’t really bring anything new to the table and I think it’s aimed towards the more hardcore fan of the genre. Insurgency doesn’t introduce anything new, rather it mixes together elements from the gods of this genre. I’m of course talking about Battlefield, Counter-Strike and Call of Duty. Mostly I see elements from Counter-Strike and Battlefield.

When I first fired up Insurgency I noticed that it reminded me a bit of Counter-Strike. This is probably because it uses the Source Engine. Then I noticed some elements from Battlefield in there and I thought this game was one of those that takes elements from other bigger games and mixes them together so make a better game. Well, did New World Interactive succeed at creating a great mix? Yes, I think Insurgency is a great first-person shooter. A thousand times better than the Call of Duty nonsense. However, Insurgency does have its flaws.

I'm really liking the gun models and the texture quality is for the most part pretty great.

I’m really liking the gun models and the texture quality is for the most part pretty great.

Because looks seem to matter so much in this genre, I want to start off by talking about the graphics and aesthetics of Insurgency. And I’m very happy to say that I thought Insurgency looked very good. The graphics are even more impressive when you take into consideration the fact that this is an indie title. No, Insurgency doesn’t stand a chance to something like Far Cry 3 of Battlefield 4, but it looks surprisingly good nonetheless. My extremely positive reaction to the aesthetics of Insurgency might have to do with the fact that I went in with pretty low expectations when it came to the graphics. Some of the texture quality isn’t that good, but overall the game looks pretty great. Sound design is also very good in my opinion. Especially guns sound really good.

For the most part the game also runs really really well. The only time the frame rate really drops is when one aims down a scope. This made scopes pretty much useless to me. It’s really odd but that actually makes the game drop all the way below 30 fps. Otherwise I have no problems running this game on high settings and 1080p at between 50-60 fps on a mid-range computer.

Not all textures are great, but that's sort of to be expected from an indie title like this one.

Not all textures are great, but that’s sort of to be expected from an indie title like this one.

Level design in Insurgency is also pretty good. Some of the maps are a bit too big in my opinion. Actually it’s not that they are so big, it’s the fact that they are a bit empty. Insurgency is really a game where you need to hide and sneak around a lot. That’s why the more empty maps can be very irritating when you get shot every time you leave the spawn area and don’t know where the shot even came from. I would’ve also liked more destructible environment, but I guess that would be a bit too much asked.

Insurgency is overall a pretty solid game but it has some glaring issues that I really think should be fixed. First of all the spawn system is plain terrible. There are some pretty good ideas like only respawning the dead teammates every so often or only when this or that happens. In the skirmish mode where you capture objectives, the dead teammates are only respawned when your team has captured one of the objectives. This is a pretty cool concept and I very much like it. It tells me that New World Interactive weren’t afraid of doing something different. A big plus for that. But it’s the spawn areas that I have a problem with. You can (and this happens) make your way to the enemy spawn area, and just go mad and shoot everyone just as they spawn. This happened a few times to me and it was extremely irritating. There should definitely be multiple spawn areas instead of just one. And you should not be able to camp at the enemy spawn.

Then there’s the fact that Insurgency actually encourages the player to camp. That is very very weird in my opinion. There is neither a so-called kill cam of any sort nor do you have indicators as to from what general direction you got hit. This translates to a ton of campers. Maybe New World Interactive was trying to get the player to think more tactically, which did work to some degree, but it really just backfired and made people camp a bunch. If you think about war in the real world then you’ll probably realize that people don’t run around like monkeys all over the place because they very much only have one life and probably won’t respawn. And I believe this is what New World Interactive was going for. To create a more realistic battlefield that would attract hardcore fans. But this is a game, not the real world. Make the game more fun instead of more realistic. I can see a few people being really into the level of realism in Insurgency, but for the most part gamers will just be turned off by it.

You also die extremely easily which makes this problem even worse. It doesn’t take more than 1-3 shots and you’re dead. The game just doesn’t give you enough time to react to the damage you’re taking. Again, this adds to the realism, but this is a game. I guess I would be okay with this if it was more of a war simulator. Something like Arma. I just really think the unforgiving nature of Insurgency is holding it back. Don’t get me wrong, I like games that pose a challenge but the challenge Insurgency poses I think is a bit too much for most gamers.

Just sittin' here campin'...

Just sittin’ here campin’…

A kill cam would not be necessary. I actually think they are a bit irritating and give away the killers position a bit too well, but indicators that tell you from what general direction the bullets are coming from and maybe have the camera turn to that general direction of your killer when you die. This would make people camp a bit less and as a result make it more enjoyable.

Some sort of a minimap would also be kinda great to have because it’s not that hard to get lost and walk in the opposite direction of your teammates. And running around by yourself in Insurgency is not a very good idea.

But then again the unforgiving nature of Insurgency gives it a certain appeal. A lot of modern games are just too easy in a lot of people’s opinion. So New World Interactive thought it was a great idea to create a seriously hardcore first-person shooter. And yes, I have to say it worked. A lot of FPS fans today are looking for just that.

Equipment customization is pretty basic. And I really like that. There aren’t a lot of different customizations you’re able to make on you guns and so those who get these add-ons first (the best players) won’t have a huge advantage when it comes to firefights. Skill matters more than equipment in Insurgency.

And by the way, I want to thank New World Interactive for putting in an FOV slider. Might not seem like a big deal to many, but I really appreciate it.

As of bugs and glitches I have noticed a few. A few times when I went near certain objects I rapidly clipped up and down through the ground. I also experienced something very weird where all my teammates would die right after they spawned. No one knew what was happening and it was very confusing. Please note, though, that there is a big update coming when the game releases (Wednesday, January 22) so these problems will probably be fixed.

Could I recommend Insurgency to you and is it worth the price tag of €13,99? I’m going to say yes. Absolutely. Aside from its unforgiving nature (that I believe some people are looking for when it comes to the FPS genre), I think Insurgency has potential and is a game that can be very fun to play with friends every once in a while. Insurgency is also a great LAN party game. If you are looking for something more mature, competitive and difficult than your average FPS, then Insurgency might very well be right up your alley. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more casual, then look towards something like Call of Duty. You won’t find it here.

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First Impressions

Let’s investigate: Race The Sun

Race the sun first impressions logo

To me Race The Sun is a game that really demonstrates the fact that more isn’t always better. As you can tell from the screenshots of Race The Sun in this fist impressions post, the game has no textures, no crazy effects and what I can tell you about the game is that it has no amazing game mechanics, no crazy features, no awesome animations, nothing. But Race The Sun makes up for all that by being… well, really fun to play. Race The Sun is as simple as a potato, yet extremely fun and great looking in its own way.

There is really not a lot to talk about the graphics in Race The Sun, but I can say that on first look the game looks unfinished and like it’s in early alpha, but on second look when you get into the gameplay you realize how wrong you were. This is in fact the final version of Race The Sun.

Race the sun screenshot first impressions gameplay

The sound design in Race The Sun is great. The music really fits the look and feel of the whole game and the sound effects sound really rich. Again, Race The Sun is a very stripped down and minimalistic game so there aren’t a lot of different crazy sound effects. I usually don’t notice the sound effects of a game until someone tells me to listen, but I did notice them in Race The Sun and that should say something.

Also the gameplay is simple but feels solid. You’re objective is to fly towards the sun in your solar craft as far as you can. The further you get, the more points you earn. The whole point with the game is to get as many points as possible. It sounds very primitive and boring, but surprisingly enough it can be quite fun. You lose by losing all power (sun goes down or you are in a shadow for too long) and by crashing into a wall.

Along the way you can collect different powerups. Like boost and jump for example. As you progress through the game you unlock new powerups and attachments for your solar craft. Portals are also a thing. So also the more you play, the more points you can potentially earn. Because the sun is going to set no matter how good you are at navigating your solar craft through the different and increasingly difficult levels.

The level design in Race The Sun is quite genius. I guess the word genius is a bit too strong, but Flippfly did a really good job at designing the levels. These well thought out levels pretty much make the game. As you move from one level to the other, they get progressively harder. However, these levels are not randomly generated. From my experience with Race The Sun I noticed that the levels are exactly the same every time. New levels are introduced every 24 hours along with the daily leaderboard. This is not a huge problem for those who play for competitive reasons, but for those who don’t care about leaderboards it could make the game feel a bit grindy. But the levels in Race The Sun are still very well designed and get pretty dang hard after the first two levels. Let’s just say you have to be awake when you play this game. Thankfully the controls are solid so navigating your solar craft through tight spots isn’t very hard.

Race the sun screenshot first impressions gameplay2

The options menu is not very fantastic at all. It is very limited to say the least. But then again, Race The Sun is so simple that graphics settings don’t matter all that much. The essentials are there. Having a lot of graphics settings for a game like this wouldn’t make a lot of sense. But an FOV slider would be much appreciated.

In Race The Sun you can also build your own levels with the built-in builder. This was however way too complicated for me to even bother, sorry. But this editor is powerful and if you feel like learning how to use it you can potentially make some pretty great levels yourself. I have neither the time nor the energy to do that.

race the sun first impressions level editor

Although Race The Sun is fun for the first hour or so, it does get a bit old after a while. You see, the simplicity of the game that is a positive feature is also the game’s biggest problem. It lacks content to keep you interested. It keeps the game from reaching its full potential which is a real shame. Yes, a player might get addicted to the daily leaderboard and the thrill Race The Sun offers, but for someone like me, who at first really loves the simplicity of the game might find it a bit boring after a while. Yes, Flippfly has managed to create something that perfectly states the fact that more isn’t always better, but Race The Sun could’ve used a bit more.

But then again I believe Race The Sun is a statement of just that. Sometimes, yes, less is more. And Race The Sun isn’t meant to be played hours on end in one sitting. Race The Sun is one of those game you pick up and play every once in a while. If you do that I think you’ll pretty much have a blast every time. And I’m pretty sure I’ll pick it up a week or two from now and love it as much as I did the first time I played it.

Could I recommend this game and is it worth the price tag of €8,99? Yes and no. It depends a lot on your situation. If you feel like you just want something simple that is fun every once in a while and you like these kinds of games then yes, I’d say check out Race The Sun. But if your financial situation isn’t the best and you want bang for your buck then no, I’d say keep looking. A price tag of €8,99 is in my opinion a bit too high for a game like this.

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News

Singleplayer mode coming to SimCity

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Finally…

Almost one year after SimCity’s enitial release we finally get a singleplayer mode. When SimCity was released it required an internet connection, and still does, but now the developers are working on bringing a single player mode into the game. This will be a free update available to all owners of the game.

The required internet connection was thought to be a great way to elimitate pirating of the game. It worked. Sort of. No torrents of the game are available on ThePirateBay but instead EA and Maxis took a lot of shit for doing this. And as a direct result the game sold less. So the plan sure did backfire.

This “always online” DRM wouldn’t be such a huge issue if it worked. The big problem with always online DRM in this case, SimCity, and what pissed everyone off is the fact that it didn’t work. Players had trouble connecting to the servers and as a direct result couldn’t play the game at all. EA wasn’t prepared for the huge amounts of players and I doubt they had no idea this was going to happen.

However, soon you’ll be able to play SimCity without an internet connection. Just like you should’ve when the game came out.

Unfortunately for EA and Maxis this will result in being SimCity torrented. But here is my post on why I don’t believe torrenting impacts sales.

What is the reason for this? Well, probably to get SimCity to sell more. This announcement will turn A LOT of heads and the game will naturally sell again. This is kinda like the game’s second release. Was this the plan all along? To save a feature like this until now? That I don’t know. But if it was, it was one hell of a bold move that pissed a lot of gamers off.

I’m not a fan of EA nor do I enjoy the experience Origin offers, but I might actually buy the game when the singleplayer mode is available. We’ll have to see.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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First Impressions

Deadly 30 first impressions

Deadly 30 logo funny first impressions

Deadly 30 is a simple but fun little zombie game that doesn’t take itself seriously and features a very cool art style. I like it.

I remember seeing Gonzossm’s teaser of Deadly 30 on YouTube way back, and honestly, it didn’t spark that much interest in me. When I saw Deadly 30 on Steam I first didn’t know what it was, but immediately recognized it from its distinctive art style. It looks just like Gonzossm’s animations on YouTube. So, if you’re a fan of his work on YouTube, like I am, then you’ll probably find this games aesthetics quite pleasing. However, aesthetics don’t make the game, and I’m happy to say both the game mechanics and the gameplay is quite solid. Deadly 30 is, like I said, a simple 2D zombie survival game but that sure doesn’t make it less fun.

While I think we already have enough, if not too many zombie survival games, I do respect the fact that Deadly 30 isn’t trying to be something it isn’t. It accepts the fact that it’s a small, simple 2D zombie game. Nothing more, nothing less. There are no crazy multiplayer modes or co-op campaigns. It’s a singleplayer survival game. That’s it. It isn’t trying to be DayZ, Rust, Left 4 Dead. It’s its own thing and I respect that. I see Deadly 30 as a game that was made purely for the fun of it. The dark humor and the distinctive art style just makes Deadly 30 feel so very personal.

Deadly 30 first impressions art style looks graphics

In Deadly 30 your objective is to murder every zombie you see and survive for as long as you can. In the night time you should stay in and defend your base (first and second night being exceptions since the zombies aren’t that hard) and when dawn breaks you get out of your base and collect scrap which is the currency in Deadly 30, ammunition and weapon blueprints. But if you feel like you have enough scrap to last you a few nights you also have the option to sleep until the next night. With scrap you can then upgrade your armor, upgrade the fence, produce ammunition, health packs and build weapons and turrets. New weapons are unlocked as you find their blueprints and will also be available in the next playthrough (you don’t have to find the blueprints again). The first two nights are a child’s play and I was kinda worried that the whole game was going to be this easy. Well, I was wrong. Very wrong. Already the third night can be a nightmare. This is because in the third night a new “breed” of zombies is introduced. They are blue and they are fast. They will fuck yo’ shit up. But not if you are prepared and faster than they are. You have to upgrade and repair your base while zombies are trying to tear down the defenses. As you progress in the game the zombies get progressively more difficult to deal with. And so the game gets more and more exciting.

The upgrade bench

The upgrade bench

The weapon system in Deadly 30 is pretty good. The different guns feel very different and you can feel the power… sort of. When you unlock and build bigger and better guns you immediately feel invincible. And you are “invincible” with your new trusty firearm, but that changes very fast. As I said, the zombies evolve and there is a new “breed” introduced every night so your gun won’t last you more than about 2-3 nights. After that you’re pretty much forced to upgrade. But do this wisely. Think before you act. If you don’t, you might end up shooting yourself in the foot with that new gun.

 

An example of the humor in Deadly 30

An example of the humor in Deadly 30

As you progress in Deadly 30 you also find other survivors that you will team up with. This makes the game so much more enjoyable and less stressful. But at the same time as you team up with survivors the zombies become tougher. But having teammates watching your back when you are exploring at night makes you feel more safe. However, teammates can die and if they do, you will probably also experience a horrible death. Having a teammate or two makes the game more enjoyable and takes a bit of weight off your shoulders. This definitely doesn’t make the game too easy, though. No, Deadly 30 is a challenge with and without teammates.

When you have a teammate or two you can switch between them whenever you want by pressing the buttons 1, 2 and 3. I didn’t really find this feature all that useful and ended up only trying it a few times.

 

You and your first teammate... the Russian.

You and your first teammate… the Russian.

What I found quite weird is the fact that the game doesn’t run at 1080p. Well, because of the distinctive art style it doesn’t look THAT bad. Full HD should, however, definitely be added to Deadly 30. I did experience some eye strain while playing Deadly 30 and I believe this is partly due to the resolution and partly because the game seems to be locked to 30 fps. Deadly 30 is a sidescroller and so the fps count isn’t THAT important but locking this game to 30 fps just seems kinda stupid. Why not 60? This would be worth the extra work. It would make the game feel so much smoother.

A big problem I have with Deadly 30 is that I’m experiencing some really weird mouse acceleration. I don’t know what is the cause of this but it’s really annoying when in a sticky situation where you have to aim quickly. And this happens quite often too. Fix this immediately, Gonzossm and Iggy Zuk.

I know I said in the beginning that Deadly 30 doesn’t have any crazy co-op campaigns, but I think this game could benefit from having a co-op mode. I could imagine myself enjoying this game even more if I was able to play it with my friends. Deadly 30 could also be a great LAN party game if it had co-op.

Would I recommend Deadly 30 to you and is it worth the asking price of €4,99 on Steam? Yes. If you are looking for something simple, cheap and fun then I would recommend you looked at Deadly 30. Deadly 30 has a few problems and lacks co-op, but the problems it has can be fixed with updates and the co-op mode is something I really hope will be added into the game in the foreseeable future.

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First Impressions

Godus first impressions

Godus early access first impressions 22cans

Godus is a fun card game mixed with a strategy game. I do like Godus but it still needs a lot of work.

Godus is a game that I’d call a card game that is mixed with a strategy game. In Godus you take the role of God and you can control and sculpt the world beneath you. You are put right into the when you start it up and you start by “impressing” two huble guys who are standing there hitting a rock by making something disappear. These two guys then start believing in you, God, and will do what you order them to do. Which is pretty much setting up tents and later on buildings. As you progress through the game you’ll be able to build bigger and bigger buildings that will generate faith. Faith is then collected by you and used to power your abilities, of which there are quite a few. Bigger and more buildings equals more faith. When you aren’t in a battle all you’re doing is pretty much sculpting the world, building buildings, collecting  cards and faith and squishing citizens with your mighty finger. I do realise that is a bit cruel, but sometimes you just have to do it.

godus first impressions

Godus did crash on me twice while battling (I played this game on OS X, if that helps you, 22 Cans), but this can be forgiven since the game is still in beta and 22 Cans still has lots to work on. I’m sure this will be fixed in the final version. Besides, it didn’t bother me that much since I was able to continue right where I left off after restarting the game. However, it was a bit annoying since the battles I were in I ‘lost’ and had to do again.

Battling in Godus is probably not what you think. Battling is not really using your powers to destroy your enemy, but rather building buildings and making way for new buildings as fast as possible. The winner is the one with the bigger population when the time is up. The winner gets a few cards. Some of which are more rare than others. The battles get more and more intense as you move up in “rank” against bigger and better Gods. It is fun and different, I’ll give them that, but it gets a bit old after a few battles. There should be more variety in the battles. And battles shouldn’t only just be fought outside of the main game (where you’re spending most of your time). There should be enemies coming in and attacking your cities and there should be cities of other religions that you could take over. Right now in Godus, as far as I know, the only ones you can “fight” are wolves. I haven’t come across any other “threats” and I’m about 3 hours into the game. And when you encounter a wolf or two, all you have to do is tap on them a few times and they are gone. Godus could really use more threats and excitement. I really hope you can have conflicts with other Gods (these could be your Steam friends) outside of the battles later on in the game or, if it can’t be done in this beta version, in a later version of the game. I’m thinking something along the lines of the war elements in Sid Meier’s Civilization V. That would be great.

A screenshot from a battle

A screenshot from a battle

Godus could also borrow some elements from Age of Empires. More specifically, the collecting of resources. Only ordering your people to build buildings (which they sometimes do automatically (which can get a bit annoying)) gets old. Having more control over your people and being able to make them collect resources would make Godus much, much more interesting.

In Godus as you build more buildings you uncover more land that you build on, collect faith on and sculpt it… well, pretty much however you wish. There are some rules and limitations, but nothing that would feel unnatural. This isn’t Minecraft. Although, sculpting the land requires faith points. On this new land you’ve ‘uncovered’ you can find new cards in chests scattered around the map. These chests should be harder to find. You collect these cards in order to unlock new types of buildings, to advance your followers and unlock powers that you can use. Personally, I’m not a huge sucker for card games and when I found out Godus was based on a card system I thought it would turn me off. However, it didn’t. I actually really liked it. Good job there, 22 Cans.

A card you unlock once you've collected the required resource cards

A card you unlock once you’ve collected the required resource cards

By far the biggest problem I have with Godus right now is that it seems as though they are planning on putting in a store. Oh god… 22 Cans, please, for the love of God, don’t ruin Godus by making it a pay-to-win game. Don’t make people pay real money in order to be able to take certain actions like using ‘Settlement’ for example. Right now you can use the skill 3 times before it costs diamonds. You can see in the top right corner how many diamonds you currently have (you start out with 100) and when you click on it, it opens up a store (which you can’t currently use). I don’t know what plans you have for this store, 22 Cans, but please don’t make people pay with real money. Instead, in order to get diamonds, you have to sacrifice so and so many of your followers. How does that sound?

The card system isn’t the only thing 22 Cans got right. The art style and aesthetics are definitely a plus. The textures do need some improving, but I really like where the look of the game is going and where it is now. It looks… different. The art style goes really well together with the style of the game. Overall, both sound and graphics are both great but the Godus does lack some original music. This will probably be added to the final version, however.

Looks pretty good, doesn't it?

Would I recommend you bought Godus? Yes. But I would hold off for a while if I were you to see what the later versions have to offer and how the game develops. Buying Godus right now is risky, because you’re essentially throwing money at a product that could turn out either way. If 22 Cans makes the right decisions I think Godus will at least one of the greatest games of it’s genre.

Will I revisit Godus at a later date? Yes, definitely. I just love the way it looks so much and I enjoy the card system (totally unexpected) so I’m probably going to end up playing Godus quite a lot. I will write a second “first impressions” when the final version comes out.

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