2012 Visual Novel, Developed by Hanako Games
It’s 2016 and it is all right for men to play games like this, I get that, I really do. Gender need not determine what one’s interests; we should all play what we want and like what we like. I know this, but despite that knowledge, it took me a long time to come around to actually playing Long Live the Queen (henceforth LLtQ). In the end I’m glad I did because what I found, behind the facade of a magical-girl-adventure, was a thoughtfully designed and subversive storytelling engine.
Continue reading “Send Her Victorious : Long Live the Queen”
Video games are self-contained world, ordered by a set of rules of human design. Thus, unlike the world in general, videogames can be fair. Indeed they can be simulacra of the worlds in which we would like to live. Recettear’s world is constructed in this way. It takes one of the most crooked and broken aspects of human affairs, the world of commerce, and turns it into a tale about hard work paying off. It creates a space in which hard work is rewarded, and where if only we are nice to people, good things will come our way. In this piece I would like to talk about the way in which this world is created by the laser like focus on long-term planning encouraged by the game’s mechanics.
Continue reading “Micro Chibinomics : Recettear”
Hello everyone. Wargame Airland Battle is, as I have already said at some length, one of the best games of the last decade. Because of this (and because we mussed up recording some other stuff) me and my friend sovereign decided to do a couple of after action reports on some matches we played recently. I enjoyed making them, I hope you enjoy watching them:
Story time. Many years ago now, me and two friends (whom I shall call here, Sovereign and Steelzenith, as those are their online handles) had been playing Hearts of Iron three for hours.
The year was 1940. I was playing the distant and watchful America, Steelzenith was playing the French and Sovereign was playing the Brits. Things were going well so far, Steelzenith was holding the Blitzkreig in central France, while pushing the Italians back over the Alps. Sovereign had a small expeditionary force holding south of the (horribly crushed and defeated) Belgium. I was, as yet, unable to intervene. I therefore spent my time organising troops, naming new divisions and slotting them into some semblance of order. I made sure sure that my fleets were well prepared and ready to shepard the doughboy tide across the Atlantic, when the time came.
Continue reading “War Stories : Plan West”
2016 Grand Strategy/RTT, developed by Creative Assembly
I have enjoyed the sixty something hours I have put into Total War : Warhammer (henceforth TWWH), since its release. However, having seen quite a lot of what it has to offer, I am left with mixed feelings about the game. On the one hand it is the most streamlined, solid and well tested Total War games ever made. It runs like a dream, even on my old jalopy. Further it has a set of extremely satisfying core gameplay loops, which makes it is easy to sink boundless time into. On the other hand, it never becomes more than the sum of its parts. For a game based on such creative and weird intellectual property, it plays things surprisingly safe. In this piece I would like to try and explain why, while I enjoy TWWH, it is also a disappointment.
Continue reading “The Hammer of War.”
2015 Kingdom building game, developed by Thomas van den Berg and Marco Bancale
Kingdom is a small, focused, effort aimed at providing a very particular experience. The interesting thing about the way that Kingdom conveys this experience is that it does so almost entirely without words, letting the player work out how the world works for themselves.
Continue reading “In the Silent Kingdom.”
Rule The Waves
2015 Grand Strategy, developed by NWS Wargaming
Other pictures courtesy of the internet.
The history of warfare is the history of mistakes.
Continue reading “A Sea of Troubles : Rule the Waves”