Author: rachelc1066

Banished: Stop dying you cowards!

I love Banished, but I’m not very good at it.  Much like Zapp Brannigan in Season 1 Episode 12 “When Aliens Attack”, I fail miserably and then blame the little people.

Why won't they just be smart?

If you enjoy city builders like Cities: Skylines you would probably enjoy this game as well. Where as Cities has a modern feel (including things like solar power) Banished is more Oregon Trail: after arrival. In fact, when pitching this game to friends I say: If you’re ever wanted to see what happens when everyone is done dying of dysentery and failing at fording rivers, this is the game for you.

Unfortunately it’s really hard, you start the game on one of three difficulties (I usually choose easy), which affects what your people have to start with, like how many herds or seeds.  You can further customize the game in the options menu to include different climates and disasters.  I never include disaster, because I’m terrible at this game.

Controlling population is the most difficult bit, because having too many or too few people affects everything else: food supply, housing, work flow, how many tools or coats you need, how much fire wood or coal for the winter.  Too many births at once and you have a bunch of useless children who do no work, too few and your people stop having kids and population drops too much to sustain you.  I’ve had settlements both starve because of too many people and starve because of too few people.  I’ve had settlements where I’ve built too many houses which causes people to stay single (why won’t they visit their neighbors? Winter is long and cold).

It's because I'm bad at the game.

My cities never look like this.

City planning is also a concern. Unlike in Children of the Nile (previously covered here) roads are not free, and you do need them.  They help speed up your people which is important when your city becomes giant, like the one on the left.

However, by not “free” I’m referring to time.  You don’t purchase anything with coins or gold or what have you.  Everything you choose to build or harvest takes time (and wood or stone or iron).  If you start things too late in the season (like trying to plant crops in late summer) or too early (a stone house in the winter) things can go…poorly.

However, there is help. The steam workshop for this game is thriving.  You can find things like new buildings or new house designs or mods that make the game a little easier.  I currently play with a rock respawner, an intensified fishing dock mod, and “Banished: Plus”.  Banished: Plus is a bunch of mods rolled into one that make the game much easier.  I recommend playing the game a couple times without mods, to pinpoint which things you find most difficult.

Pro-Tips:

  • Hunters and Gathers are crucial, build these first and stick them in a forest area you’re not going to chop down, make it close but not too close.  Too far and the people won’t get home in time to eat before starving too death.
  • Build farm land in the late winter, so it’s ready in the spring.
  • Build things slowly (I fail at this and my cities suffer)
  • Good planning is crucial, things have to be close but not too close
  • Wait until your other food sources are stable before creating an orchard, it takes a couple years before harvest starts.
  • Tools, create tools when low, it sucks up resources but I’ve had whole cities become ghost towns from the production drop.
  • Either build a church or a tavern to help with happiness.  Booze or God is the key to a happy fulfilled population.
  • Ideally you want a city that looks like this:
I have no idea how to do this.

But I have no idea how to do this.

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Mu Complex : Episodes One and Two

We didn’t discuss this game when episode one came out last year, because college.  But it’s summer and episode two has just come out (scroll to the end for a link to the game)!  Mu complex is a programming game, sort of.  It requires that you type exclusively.  You’re not typing to make enemies appear or destroy things.  This is purely a puzzle game that requires you think while “programming” (not real programming), using a command line.  If you enjoy puzzles you’ll likely enjoy this game as well.

hard to find an image with no spoilers

To start, you may find it helpful to type “help” into the command line, from there it requires your wits and an ability to think in 3-dimensional space.  You can scroll up to see what things you’ve done in that level, which is nice when things get confusing.  Honestly this game reminds me of messing around with older (much older) computers.  Back when they had large floppy disks and orange type.  It’s also reminiscent of text adventure games, with more of a modern “hacker” feel.

Pro tips:

  • Don’t forget the “help” command that you type in whenever to see what options there are (these change, so if you get stuck remember this).
  • “sudo” is your administrative command option, this works all the time even if it’s not an option in the help list (most of the time you don’t need it).
  • Try all combinations of your options.
  • “ls” < that’s a lowercase L not a 1 or an I.

As a last note:  This game is (part of the reason) why there was no podcast last night.  I showed it to Kody ten minutes before start time.  Whoops.

Click here to go to episode two, which has a link to episode one (the main website is freaking out my anti-virus so I don’t suggest you go there). OR click the picture below to go to episode one.

Mu Complex

Why the co-op in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is terrible.

Instead of enjoying one of our favorite games, Resident evil 5 (or 6, though it is not as good)…Kody and I decided to try out the new effort from Capcom (Resident Evil: Revelations 2).  However, we immediately ran into terribleness.

There are at least eight problems with this game.  These observation are from the first …oh…  first 15 minutes so if you can stand and it gets better, good for you.

1. Player two is a escort mission.  You are glorified AI.  If you’re into holding a flashlight while your partner gets to kill zombies this is the game for you.

2. You cannot assist your partner in killing zombies.  We passed: a knife, a gun, and a shotgun and I could pick none of it.  I got a flashlight so there was that, but i couldn’t use it as a blunt instrument.  Illuminating Kody’s zombie bitten neck was 100% done.  There was no achievement for that however.  I am certifying myself as an expert zombie wound illuminator and zombie attack lighter.  Hollywood, I’m taking calls.

scale of 1 to 10, how useful are flashlights in a zombie situation? 2, max.

There she is with her trusty flashlight.

3. It is easy to waste ammo, even if you know what to do, if you don’t do things in the right order (e.g. trigger dialogue), well it sucks to be you.

4.  Why the hell is player two not allowed to have a weapon.

5. Why the HELL is player two not allowed to have a weapon????

6.  I don’t play Resident games for the story line, I play them to shoot things. However, player two, IS NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A WEAPON.

7.  There is NO WAY to defend yourself or your partner if you are player two.

8.  This game is bullshit.

So if this the game you were hoping to get your girlfriend into gaming with, or pass a lovely evening with your best friend.  You’re wrong.  I don’t know what single player is like.  Maybe it rocks.  But I’m pissed.  Don’t bother if you wanted a good (couch) co-op.

Don’t Starve Together: Finally!

If you haven’t picked up the original version of Don’t Starve (and the expansions!) you’re missing out.  For the uninitiated, it’s an old-timey survival horror-esque game.  The goal of the game is a to find a way off the island you’ve been teleported to, and of course: don’t starve.  It has a lot in common with the general feel of Minecraft.  This isn’t to say the feel and gameplay of Don’t Starve and Minecraft are identical or even really similar, but the genre is the same.

Don’t Starve is a game we at Certain Age Gamer return to again and again.  We’ve been eagerly awaiting the long since announced expansion to multiplayer (which was supposed to hit this summer, but alas, didn’t).

This can only end poorly

Finally!

But now it’s here!  James bought the game and gifted it to me (Kody had to buy his own version, HA!) because he’s a kind and charitable person.

At this point we shelved the idea of playing together for a week.

When we finally did manage to play together…well.  It was like herding cows.  Cows in the late stages of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease).  What I’m saying is that teamwork is a must in the version of the game.

However, I’m fairly sure the boys had unchecked “works well with others” boxes on their grade school report cards.

At one point, the guys had died so many times it felt like the game was punishing me for my ability to continue to exist.

Still, we played for four hours and there were no glitches (which is unexpected from a game still in Beta).  Ever since we stopped playing all I want to do is load the server back up, run around getting into each others way, and drive each other insane.

Let the insanity begin

 

It’s $5 on steam right now (if you own the original version) and makes an excellent companion to the solo version of the game.  If you really enjoy Don’t Starve and it’s myriad ways of dealing doom and death to the player adding the multiplayer version of the gamer is going to a must for you.

 

Keep on eye on the blog for more posts about Don’t Starve Together.

Out There, A Choose Your Own Adventure Phone Game

Photo from the main website for the game

I’m finished with another semester of college, and you know what that means: Lots of casual game reviews! Let’s get to it.

You remember those choose-your-own-adventure books in the school library?  They were a lot of fun, lots of different short stories you could go through, starting over and discovering more and more of the overarching story.  Seeing how everything connected and trying to figure out the best outcome.  Out There is a lot like that, a lot a lot.  Now normally when I review phone games they’re free ones, this one costs five bucks.

 

Five whole dollars.  Pretty pricey, but this game is so, so worth it.  It’s choose your own adventure in space!  With ships and aliens and events.  It’s a whole lot of fun. The only down side being that if you lose, that’s it.  You can’t (metaphorically) flip back a few pages and take the other route.   That can be a tad frustrating, especially if you’ve nearly decoded the alien language or managed to take over a really, really cool alien ship.

Photo credit: www.androidios.com

A really cool ship.

 

Nevertheless, I’ve spent many hours playing this game, it’s a load of fun and takes you back to those old days frantically flipping through books.  I’ve included links at the bottom of this post to download the game, I think it’s a game that has a lot of value built into it, and there’s no micro transactions.

  Five dollars and you get unlimited play, forever.

That’s more value and less frustration than you’ll get from a lot of phone games.  I’ve played for hours on end and still haven’t seen everything this game has to offer.

 

Heartily Recommended.

photo credit gamezebo.com

Aliens! They all speak the same language. Clicking this photo will take you to a strategy guide.

 

 

 

Play Store Link

Website Link

Children of the Nile, Bow Down Before The Pharaoh!

Dance

Enjoying a festival in my honor, while I look on, like a benevolent god-king

November 2004, that’s when Children of the Nile was published. I can’t believe it took me so long to find this game. It’s seriously addicting. If you enjoy building cities, and constructing giant monuments to your might (!) this is the game for you.  I for one, seriously love city building games and this is one of the most fun I’ve ever played.  Roads and decoration are free in this game so you can make your city pretty and well planned without having to devote resources.  The interfaces are clear and easy to use, once you get used to them.  The tutorials are really in depth and the controls and concepts are easy to pick up.

Additionally I have some tips to make your empire grow vast and powerful:

TIPS:

Working for the glory of Pharaoh

Enhancing my prestige, growing my crops.

That’s not to say that it’s easy to be a mighty and powerful God-King, there’s always someone whining about not having enough something…usually worship. Egypt had waaaaaaaay too many Gods. Or there’s a malaria outbreak, or bubonic plague. Those issues can be easily handled by using your first graduate to become a priest. This is crucial, actually, because only priests can educate other elite/nobles and make them into other graduates who can become overseers and scribes, and priests…etc.  The instinct is to make your first graduate a scribe, so those shifty nobles stop dodging their taxes.  Don’t. That way lies madness, and seriously sick, unhappy people.  Let the nobles get away with murder for a while and get your people some healthcare and education.  Keep in mind that you can build shrines and then switch which god is being worshiped without having to recarve (unlike a temple or cult temple) the statue.  That way, you can only build two or three shrines and switch to Osiris or Hathor or whatever your people want for that particular season or need. 

Also servants, they’re just as important, all your elite classes will hire them to shop, and luxury goods sellers will use them to gather materials.  Servants helped make  life smoother in a time before automobiles and quick transport.

Lastily, don’t worry about making sure there are no complaints ever, it’s a tall feat that’s difficult to achieve, just make sure that any one household doesn’t have too many complaints.

 

It’s a cheap game on steam right now, under ten bucks, and I’m sure at some point it’ll be in a bundle.  Give it a shot, it’s a fun game.

Known Issue:
Even though Children of the Nile is super old, it still crashes for some people, if you’re having problems with it crashing, set your shadows to off and your fog lower in the options menu.  Kinda a pain in the butt, but if you’ve picked it up for a couple bucks, it’s no big deal.  If after you’ve done this it’s still crashing for you, leave me a comment and I’ll give you another solution or two.

 

Whining Jerks

Never happy, I tell you what, like it’s hard to be a government paid priest

 

More servants solved this priest’s issues.  Servants and priests, they make the world go round (also: fat bottomed girls).

Did a new browser game come out?

So Michael Townsend (follow him on twitter!), the creator of a dark room (you know you love it) mentioned (on twitter) a recent article on IGN. Apparently everyone’s favorite new form of games are “Idle games”.

I did not agree to this.  They’re browser games…

And they’re awesome.   But whatever.  The real point of this post:

There’s a New Browser Game!

Shallow

Cookies.

Cookie Clicker, which actually came out awhile ago…but we missed it. Sorry.

Actually, now that I have gotten around to playing it here’s what I think:

It’s not great.  It’s no Dark Room or Candy Box.  It’s a very shallow experience.  It honestly reminds me of farmville or…city…scape?  You know those facebook games where the only point is to click click click.

There’s no point to Cookie Clicker, no deeper story like we saw in Dark Room, no delightful little quests like Candybox gave you.

Another thing I’m going to take a minute to complain about:
While the graphics are great and the game play is smooth, the whole game seems to be a bit too perfectly polished.  It doesn’t have the feel of a game someone created out of love.  But one created merely to have an excuse to put a donate button somewhere.

In short:
Candy clicker is a game I’m not sad I missed.  It’s shallow and boring.  Give it a pass.

Look, I put a gif in a post. This blog is crazy pants.  Anyway, let me know in the comments, if you think I’m wrong.  I would love to get more opinions on this game.