Monday, February 28, 2011

Let's steal from the rich and give to the poor

Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood
Daily PC Game Review Score:  8.5 / 10
Game Category: Real Time Strategy
Review Date: 27 Feb 2011

Developer: Spellbound Entertainment AG
Release Date: 14 Nov 2002

The last time I saw Robin Hood on the silver screen, it was Russell Crowe who took the lead role as Robin Longstride, the titular hero for today's game. While Russell did not look anything like the pixellated hero found in the game Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood, I must say that the movie did remind me of the great fun I had when I last played it.

We all know that Robin Hood was a hero who stole from the rich, so that he could give to the poor. His target was chiefly the Sheriff of Nottingham; the Sheriff's responsibility was to ensure peace throughout Sherwood Forest, but he is always thwarted by Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

In this game developed by Spellbound Entertainment AG, you play Robin and get to accomplish missions in real time strategy style. The game that reminds me the most of Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood would be Commandos, another great game from Pyro Studios.

Robin will get to recruit his Merry Men through performing daring feats of rescue, all single-handedly performed by you. Later on, Robin will also be accompanied by Maid Marion, and other notable Merry Men such as Will Stutely, Little John, and Friar Tuck and Will Scarlet.

Now, before we go into the game review proper, let's also have a preview of that interesting movie that rekindled my recent interest in this game - that would be the recent 2010 movie, Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. Here is a movie trailer to show you the derring do of Robin Longstride - ahem, Gladiator style.

Thank god this ain't anything like Robin Hood - Men in Tights
PS - The word "gladiator" also reminds me of my other review about a Gladiator game reminiscent of Ridley Scott's movie.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How about a little Tribal Vengeance?

Tribes: Vengeance
Daily PC Game Review Score: 8.5 / 10
Game Category: First Person Shooter
Review Date: 27 Feb 2011

Developer: Irrational Games
Release Date: 12 Oct 2004

PS - Welcome dear readers of Daily PC Game Reviews. As you can see, I have started a new review format today - the last Sunday of February 2011. Do leave some comments about the new layout. Thanks.

I clearly remembered the day I installed Tribes 2 and played it on my PC. I had many days of fun with that multiplayer only version by Dynamix Inc, what with all the jetpacking around in the many diverse levels of madness and mayhem. Those were the days indeed.

A few years later, a newer version by the name of Tribes: Vengeance was released by Vivendi Universal Games. This time round, the game was developed by Irrational Games, who took a different direction to the series. Instead of leveraging on the previous engine, the game used a heavily modified Unreal Engine - calling it the Vengeance Engine. But, more importantly the game now sported a single player campaign. For the first time in the series, we get to see the world of Tribes before the events in Tribes 2.

Nothing was going to stop my grubby little hands from getting Tribes: Vengeance, and frankly I don't regret getting this new version of the game even though my Tribes 2 CD still sits in my collection - retired for now.

How about a little tribal vengeance?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Icewind Dale

Daily PC Game Review Score: 8.5 / 10
Game Category: Role Playing Game 
Developer: Black Isle Studios 
Release Date: 29 Jun 2000 
Date: 26 Feb 2011

On the fantasy world of Faerûn (also known as The Forgotten Realms), far to the north in a region known as The Frozenfar, lies Icewind Dale. The dale is nestled between the Sea of Moving Ice, the Reghed Glacier, and the Spine of the World. This is an almost inhospitable place; a tundra that is blasted by frigid winds and strong blizzards. But yet, civilization still manages to eke out a bleak existence in the form of 10 villages and towns that huddles around three lakes in the middle of nowhere.

Sheltering Icewind Dale to the north is Kelvin's Cairn, a mountain that houses the dwarven clan of Battlehammer. It is also the home of the most famous character in Faerûn, Drizzt Do'Urden.

This is the setting for Icewind Dale, an excellent role playing game that was released back in 2000. The game was developed by Black Isle Studios and distributed by Interplay. The effort invested by the developers is obvious as the game has quality graphics, music, and sound, and most importantly, great game play. The game's story is also well written and plays out like any D&D module should.

PS - For ardent fans only: it must be noted that you won't get to see Drizzt Do'Urdern and Bruenor Battlehammer as the time frame for Icewind Dale is Eleint, 1281 DR in the Year of the Cold Soul.

This brings back fond memories

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7 / 10
Game Category: Action, Fighting
Date: 25 Feb 2011
Rating: ESRB - 17+ (Mature)

If you are seeking a game with loads of gratuitous violence, then Gladiator - Sword of Vengeance would be a game that fits the bill. There is loads of violence depicted in this game, and blood squirts all over the place in gallons like a modern movie out from Hollywood. In fact, the game is reminiscent of Gladiator and 300.

Gladiator - Sword of Vengeance is quite a fun and exciting experience in the world of PC gaming, that is if you can overlook the bad points of the game. Developed by Acclaim Entertainment Manchester, a division of Acclaim Entertainment, this single player only action fighting game takes place in a fantasy Rome where Trajan, the Emperor of Rome, has been supplanted by an evil man - Arruntius.

As the story begins, it appears Arruntius is holding a celebration in the Streets of Rome. You play the role of the protagonist, Invictus Thrax - Trajan's personal gladiator champion.

As you begin the lengthy tutorial level, you notice that the event will be a bloody trial for Thrax - just for the entertainment of the new Emperor of Rome.

The calm before the storm

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rising Kingdoms

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7 / 10
Game Category: Real Time Strategy
Date: 24 Feb 2011

Rising Kingdoms is a real time strategy game that was released back in mid-2005 without too much fanfare. The game was developed by Haemimont Games and distributed by Black Bean Games. There are a couple of innovative features in the game that is worthy of mention which makes this an interesting choice for play over a couple of lazy afternoons.

Rising Kingdoms brings us the fantasy world of Equiada, a world with four origin races - Dragons, Darklings, Humans, and Elves.

One day, the Humans discover that the gods had left the world to fend for itself. As a result of fear, the Shimmering Order was formed and these ignorant humans waged a devastating war on the world. The religion of the Sunblessed grew out of the remnants of the Order and they sought to persecute any power that might rival them.

Meanwhile, the Elves in their pride and arrogance fled deeper into the forests and left the savage Foresters to take over their lands. The Foresters are born of plant, beast, and magic; they rely on nature and magic to sustain their backward culture. The Darklings, created from darkness and magma protect the world from the realm of the dead. This race of neutral beings also sought to distance themselves from civilization when they found no gods answering their prayers.

Now, three potential kingdoms are rising in power - the Humans, Foresters, and Darklings. Terrible wars will be fought as they seek to dominate the world of Equiada amidst five other minor races (Dragons, Elves, Nomads, Shades, and Trolls) whose colonies await to be conquered and used by the three Rising Kingdoms to further their ends.

Startup screen for Rising Kingdoms

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Egg vs Chicken

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7 / 10
Game Category: Casual, Action, Puzzle
Date: 23 Feb 2011

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, today's game does not attempt to answer that fundamental question that baffled great philosophers such as Aristotle and Plutarch. It instead presents an eggsterical scenario in which eggs and chickens are sentient creatures who have been battling against each other since the beginning of time.

Egg vs Chicken by Gamelabs and Playfirst is an amusing game in which you follow the exploits of a group of eggs as they travel through time while battling a posse of mean chickens. The eggs are portrayed as the good guys and are generally smarter than their life-long enemies, the evil clucking chickens.

The eggs are capable of travelling through time via their Chrono Yolk Time Vessel (hey, I didn't invent that), and hiding themselves in heavily fortified positions located in several different eras. From these fortifications, the eggs are capable of launching deadly attacks on the chickens through the act of you grouping 3 or more eggs of the same color on the game board.

Sounds simple and fun right? Well, that is if you can take the heat. I must warn you now, if you find yourself having difficulty with action games, then may I suggest you try the demo first before committing to a purchase. Later levels can get very challenging and unless you are fast with the mouse and able to handle the pressure, you will find yourself getting whupped soundly by an army of encroaching chickens.

Who shall be the victors, the eggs or the chickens?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hoyle Casino Empire

Daily PC Game Review Score: 6 / 10
Game Category:  Simulation, Casino
Date: 22 Feb 2011

Imagine building your very own casino on the famous Las Vegas Strip. Won't that be exhilarating? I should definitely think so.

I remembered 20 years ago when I walking beneath all the glitzy neon lights on Fremont Street in the heart of Las Vegas, I had actually wondered what it would be like to be a casino mogul who gets to build and manage his very own joint. And as I walked into the Golden Nugget, the awe of it all really brings back great memories for me. Of course I was totally flabbergasted when I saw the rows of gleaming one arm bandits, and the many tables of baccarat, poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps. Not forgetting the fine dining and wonderful entertainment available. Back then, I knew that a lot of planning must have gone into the layout of the entire casino.

If you like that kind of experience, then you would understand why I was pretty happy with my purchase of Hoyle Casino Empire. Finally, I get the chance to build and manage my very own casino.

Released by Sierra Entertainment back in 2002, I knew that this tycoon game should be as good as all other simulation games released by them. But, that is not to be true... Casino Empire does have its faults which I reveal in the following paragraphs. Overall, I think the game is slightly above average.

Welcome, welcome...

Monday, February 21, 2011


Daily PC Game Review Score: 7 / 10
Game Category: Real Time Strategy
Date: 21 Feb 2011

When I started the review tonight for Maelstrom, I wanted so badly to rate this as an average game, but after I stuck through with completing the first two missions of the single player campaign (without cheating mind you), I knew that this game had some magical factor in it that would have made it into a great game. Not everything is a total loss however, I must add that Maelstrom is worth playing for the campaigns alone - especially the later missions. And the game play is fun although at times rough around the edges.

Developed by KDV Games and distributed by Codemasters, Maelstrom (a 2007 release) was a good and valiant attempt to conceptualise an incredible sci-fi world on the brink of destruction. It may have been marred by a poor start for the first campaign, but at least the rest of the package is pretty decent though rough at the edges

After fighting countless senseless wars in the maddening maelstrom, mankind had divided into two factions - The Remnants, a good faction lead by James Buchanan - a former US Navy Officer, and The Ascension, an evil megacorporation lead by the rich and brainy Arlan Khan who is bent on world domination. Thrown into the fray is a third faction - the Hai Genti, a race of extraterrestrials who have no choice but to conquer Earth for their survival.

No doubt it's pretty to look at

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Deadly Dozen: Pacific Theatre

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7.5 / 10
Game Category: Third Person, Action 
Date: 20 Feb 2011

The Pacific War of World War II started after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbour by the Japanese back on 7 December 1941. I am sure many of us have heard the famous quote by President Franklin D. Roosevelt which has ingrained this day forever in the minds of all - "A date which will live in infamy."

Deadly Dozen: Pacific Theater (DD: PT) recreates the war campaign effort by the US as she took on the Japanese advance. In this third person shooter action game, you will find yourself taking on very challenging missions - from bombing a bridge to rescuing POWs to taking out an ammunition dump. There's even a nail-biting mission that sees you securing the beachhead on Tarawa, reminiscent of the Invasion of Normandy.

DD: PT was created by N-Fusion Interactive and released by Infogrames in 2002. The game was released as a budget game during its time. It however must have been truly worth its money - the tension in the game is exciting, the game play is excellent, the graphics is pretty good, and the map layouts are marvelous.

This is going to be one captivating campaign

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Super Granny 2: Granny in Paradise and Winter Wonderland

Daily PC Game Review Score: 

  • Super Granny 2: Granny in Paradise - 7 / 10
  • Winter Wonderland - 6.5 / 10

Game Category: Casual, Platformer
Date: 19 Feb 2001

Imagine a kind old grandmother who loves kittens so much that she would do anything for them...

Well, the grand old dame featured in today's game review is not just any typical grandmother, she's the tough and spunky little old lady from Super Granny - a platformer type game from Sandlot Games.

Super Granny is back in her very own sequel and it's called Super Granny 2: Granny in Paradise, a 170 level extravaganza of fun and mayhem. And as a follow-up to Granny in Paradise comes Super Granny: Winter Wonderland, a stand alone expansion that takes her through another 90 levels of platforming fun.

In Granny in Paradise, the game's story starts off showing Super Granny taking a break. She's seen dozing on a beach chair in some beautiful tropical island resort. When she awakens, she realises that the tour guide (a baddie in disguise) has cat-napped her little darlings. Similarly for Winter Wonderland, Super Granny is on vacation at a ski resort when her kittens disappear - kidnapped by the evil Dr. Meow.

The startup screen for both games

Friday, February 18, 2011


Daily PC Game Review Score: 9 / 10
Game Category: Adventure
Date: 18 Feb 2011

You may think that adventure games are terrible search-for-the-needle-in-the-haystack type of game, having boring characters to interact with, and possessing long-winded conversations to read or listen to. But, I must disagree. Especially when the name - Syberia, is mentioned.

Syberia was developed by Microïds and released by The Adventure Company only recently in 2002. It is however still a refreshingly great game to dive into on your modern Windows 7 PC despite the game's sombre theme. When I started the game earlier this evening, I could not help but remember the many great scenes and set pieces that I had seen while playing this game. It is an experience unlike any other.

The incredible and imaginative story in Syberia is the effort from one man - he is the creative comic artist and game designer Benoît Sokal.

Syberia tells the story of an American layer, Ms. Kate Walker, who has travelled half way around the world to the quaint little French village of Valadilène on a mission. Kate has to get Anna Voralberg, the heiress of a toy factory to agree to the take-over of her toy factory by a big American company.

Let's start our adventure

Thursday, February 17, 2011

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 - Triple Thrill Pack

Daily PC Game Review Score: 9 / 10
Game Category: Simulation
Date: 17 Feb 2011

I have always admired RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 (RCT2) as the definitive game when it comes to a business simulation. Developed by Chris Sawyer way back in 2002, this game is still one of my favorites. The community for the game has not gone away too, and there are still quite a number of websites out there dedicated to the game.

RCT2 contains outrageously cool graphics and cute animations, amusing and life-like sound effects, wonderful musical tunes that you can hum to, and of course many many scenarios for you to play with. It seems for the second release of the game, the developer went one step further by providing a whole range of editing tools. Added to the game were the much lauded scenario editor, roller coaster designer, track designs manager plus the added ability to convert your saved game into a scenario; you could possibly just spend the rest of the year playing the game.

The Triple Thrill Pack also adds the two expansion packs - Wacky Worlds and Time Twister that were released by Atari shortly after the release of RCT2.

The rollercoasters are fun to build

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Alpha Prime

Daily PC Game Review Score: 6.5 / 10
Game Category: First Person Shooter
Date: 16 Feb 2011

Alpha Prime developed by Black Element Software and distributed by Idea Games, is a futuristic single player first person shooter released back in 2007.

In my opinion, this is a game you can spend some time with, but only when you have nothing else better to play. I must warn you now though, there are two things I feel that can be considered to be quite controversial in Alpha Prime.

The first being the long and interesting movie cutscenes; I can understand why many people are polarized over the cutscenes in Alpha Prime. You will either be an admirer and clap and shout for an "Encore!", or perhaps just cringe at every moment of the voice acting and convoluted script. My opinion of the cutscenes tends to lie somewhere in between, and I really do admire the mature themes being explored.

The second thing would be the game play difficulty. Again, opinions will differ greatly here. You will either like the challenge presented to you, or you will just find the game too punishing - even on Easy level. In my honest opinion, I find the balance in the game to be rather uneven. Sometimes, the game can be easy, but at other times, it can be really hard. But, if you just hit the reload button, you should be able to win the second time round.

The world of Alpha Prime

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Luxor Mahjong

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7 / 10
Game Category: Casual, Mahjong
Date: 15 February 2011

Mumbo Jumbo has been releasing quite a number of high quality and innovative casual games in the past few years. The Luxor series originally featured fast action whereby you shot at a snaking train of balls following a path, hoping to make matches of 3 or more so that the train is eventually eliminated before it reaches the end of the path.

After the release of Luxor: Amun Rising, which was the second game in the Luxor series, Mumbo Jumbo made a decision to release a one-off game - and thus Luxor Mahjong was born. This game is different from the earlier two games; the core mechanic focuses around the ancient Chinese game of Shanghai, or also known as Mahjong Solitaire. In fact, the only similarity that Luxor Mahjong has with the Luxor series is the Egyptian theme.

There is no story to Luxor Mahjong. You are here essentially to recover the stolen treasure of ancient Egypt. Well, you will have a long journey ahead of you, as there are many levels featured in this one game, which surprisingly has a small hard disk foot print of only about 40 MB after installation.

A nice startup screen greets you

Monday, February 14, 2011

Overlord and Overlord: Raising Hell

Daily PC Game Review Score: 8.5 / 10
Game Category: Role Playing Game, Real Time Strategy
Date: 14 Feb 2011

Fancy being evil? Want to command a band of nasty minions who obey your every whim and fancy? Or perhaps you would like to pillage and plunder your lands? Or maybe you have a conscience and only wish to rid the world of your enemies for the greater good of your land?

Well, Overlord allows you to make all these decisions and more. This is a unique and original game that straddles between a real time strategy game and a role playing game. I could not think of any game that has a similar idea or game play to Overlord on the PC, perhaps Dungeon Keeper from Bullfrog Productions has similar ideas, but that's about it.  

The game contains plenty of action, planning, and strategizing. There is also lots to see and do in the fantasy world of Overlord and it could take about 18 hours of your time to complete the game. But, this is definitely time well spent, as the ideas found in this game are brimming with creativity, hilarity, and downright fun.

Developed by Triumph Studios and distributed by Codemasters, Overlord is a game that I feel should belong in every gamer's collection.
Am I in Middle-earth?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

18 Wheels of Steel - Pedal to the Metal

Daily PC Game Review Score: 8 / 10
Game Category: Simulation
Date: 13 Feb 2011

Looking around the Internet, I noticed that today's game, 18 Wheels of Steel - Pedal to the Metal (18WoS - PttM) by SCS Software, has probably been unfairly stereotyped as being low quality only because it was published by Valusoft which essentially equates the game to being a budget title. Or perhaps game critics out there tend to hate truck driving simulation games usually for the reason that they tend to be dull and should have more action, or that they should play more like an arcade game.

Whatever it is, reviews of 18WoS games are truly scarce.

In that case, I am hoping that this review shall address this deficit.

18Wos - PttM is at its heart a simulation game, and I must also mention that later in the game there is an element of business management thrown in so that you can manage your very own trucking company - complete with a fleet of trucks and truck driving.

When you start a new game, you get to name yourself and choose a picture to represent yourself. Most importantly though is your starting city; there are 30 that you can choose from. Cities are all uniquely designed for this game and if you look carefully, you just might see a familiar landmark.

A beautiful startup screen

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Daily PC Game Review Score: 9 / 10
Game Category: Action, Platformer 
Date: 12 Feb 2011

When I first read about Trine on the Internet, I thought that it was just another typical action platformer game. But after I purchased and started it up on my PC, I realized that I was absolutely wrong.

This is actually an excellent game that deserves a place in your collection. It combines an imaginative story, great action and game play, beautifully animated graphics, intriguing puzzles governed by the laws of physics, excellent voice work, great sound effects, and a most impressive score.

Developed by Frozenbyte and released recently in 2009, Trine surprised me with a twist in the conventional fantasy story. The story is told as you start your single player experience. The introduction movie begins with the typical story of a world beset by evil and undead.

In the first level, you start off controlling a female thief named Zoya on her way to steal some treasure. She gets herself in a fix when she touches an artifact known as the Trine. The game continues as you next follow Amadeus the Magnificent, a wizard who spots a horde of undead closing on his position. He escapes to find the thief rooted to the spot touching an artifact. Our foolish wizard decides to touch her and the artifact together. Finally, you are introduced to the last character - Pontius the Brave, a burly armored warrior who rushes to guard the treasure from intrusion.

Welcome to Trine

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cultures: Discovery of Vinland

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7  / 10
Game Category: Real Time Strategy, Simulation
Date: 11 Feb 2011

Today's review is about Cultures: Discovery of Vinland, a fun little gem of a game from Funatics Development that was released back in 2000. I like to classify the game under real time strategy and simulation because there are definitely aspects of both in the game. The game likely got its roots from The Settlers - a more well known game bearing similar ideas and concepts.

That does not mean that Cultures: Discovery of Vinland is a copy-cat or is it the more inferior version. In fact, I personally find that this game has some interesting features that shine when compared to The Settlers III - it's closest equivalent.

For one, Cultures: Discovery of Vinland has cuter graphics (the people, buildings, and background visuals are beautifully done and also generally cuter). And then there is an interesting need to manage your people carefully. Plus, the story featured in the game campaign is nicely explained in the startup movie as well as in the nicely illustrated mission text.

The bottomline is, if I want to play an RTS, I would pick The Settlers III. But, if I want to have the chance to play god and tinker with the lives of my people and see the building of a great Viking city, that game would be Cultures: Discovery of Vinland.

Who's that guy standing staring at us?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Preview for 11 Feb 2011 - Cultures: Discovery of Vinland

The background image for the blog shows the startup screen for Cultures: Discovery of Vinland, a real time strategy game from Funatics Development. Be back here tomorrow to read the review for this wonderful and captivating game.

Additionally, would love to hear any comments or suggestions you may have for the blog.

Finally, please help me with a big favor - tell all your friends about this blog. No point in us keeping to ourselves. Let's get more people to participate here.


Tower Bloxx Deluxe

Daily PC Game Review Score: 8 / 10
Game Category: Casual, Action, Puzzle
Date: 10 Feb 2011

When I first saw Tower Bloxx Deluxe on a shelf, I thought that it was just another casual game for kids considering the cartoony look it portrayed as well as the simplicity of the game play implied by the description on the box. Little did I know, that this is really an interesting and addictive action game which includes an element of puzzle in it.

The basic premise of the game is to build the tallest tower that you possibly can. In building your tower, you will be adding one "room" block at a time via a crane. By just a simple click of the mouse (or keyboard), the entire block will be released, and if you time it correctly, it will fall exactly on top of the block below giving you extra points.

As your tower grows, it will start swaying from side to side making it even harder for you to drop the accurately onto the block below. And the more mistakes you make, the worse will be the sway.

Tower Bloxx Deluxe from Digital Chocolate originally started off as a mobile game, but it is fortunate that there is a version for the PC.

Let's start building right away...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Empire Earth: Gold Edition

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7.5 / 10
Game Category: Real Time Strategy
Date: 9 Feb 2011

Empire Earth: Gold Edition is a collection of two games - Empire Earth, the main game by Stainless Steel Studios (now defunct) released way back in 2001, and Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest expansion pack by Mad Doc Software (who were bought over by Rockstar New England) released one year later.

To describe the Empire Earth in a single game would be... EPIC!

This game is truly huge. As you watch the starting movie, you first get to see a stone-age caveman rallying his tribe for war, which then transits to an admiral issuing commands to his men aboard a ship caught in a frantic battle, which then transits to a World War hero ordering his tanks to fire at an approaching formation... and finally to a space age soldier (who looks suspiciously like Arnold Schwarzenegger) fighting a desperate war amongst men and huge lumbering machines.

In fact, if you survive the four campaigns from the main game, you would have travelled from 10,000 BC all the way to the end of the 21st century.

Welcome to your Time Machine!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cabela's Big Game Hunter: 2005 Adventures

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7 / 10
Game Category: Hunting
Date: 8 Feb 2011

Imagine hunting in the wild outdoors... ahhh, the vast wilderness, the crisp clean air, the beautiful blue sky, the warmth from the summer sun, the tranquility of the forest, the comfort of the 12 gauge Pump Shotgun cradled in my arms, the flashing red dots pinpointing the exact location of your prey...

Whoa... wait a minute... did you read that right? Oh yes, you did.

Why, it's only just Cabela's Big Game Hunter: 2005 Adventures (shortformed as BGH for this review) running on my Windows 7 PC. The game is a pretty good virtual hunting game from Activision Value Publishing Inc. that puts me in the shoes of a hunter.

BGH throws in a log cabin (of my choice) to show off my trophies, a shooting range for some target practice, a store to purchase all my hunting needs, and the option to play multiplayer... it seems we are set for a great virtual hunting experience.

Well, almost great...

Here I am, raring to go a-hunting...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rune and Rune: Halls of Valhalla Expansion

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7 / 10
Game Category: Action, Third Person
Date: 7 Feb 2011

Rune is a great action, third person game about a Viking named Ragnar who is on a quest for vengeance. It was developed by Human Head Studios and published by Gathering of Developers (now known as 2K Games - a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive) back in 2000 using Unreal Engine version 1. I even remembered the PC game had spawned a role-playing game bearing the same title and cover art.

The developers of Rune took great liberty in creating a beautiful living, breathing fantasy world. They also injected in plenty of Viking lore: you will hear mention of the Viking gods Odin, Loki, and Hel, as well as mention of Ragnarök, that world shattering event (read as "Doomsday") mentioned in the Poetic Edda.

From the initial cutscene in the game, I knew that this was a game showered with lots of love and care - it really does show. The voice acting is pretty convincing, the music is enthralling, the background story is made very mystical and mysterious, and the lush graphics (for its time) is realistic and detailed; all of this coming together to give a surreal experience of being in the world of the Vikings.

Meet the welcoming party...

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Daily PC Game Review Score: 8.5 / 10
Game Category: Casual, Puzzle 
Date: 6 Feb 2011

In today's world of casual games, a game of distinction is typically recognized for delivering high quality game play, possessing a wonderful story, and presenting bright and pleasing colorful graphics. More importantly however, since casual games are a dime a dozen proliferating game portals in huge numbers, game developers must uniquely poise their game on the market with some niche mechanic or unique game play to distinguish it from the daily crowd.

Gemsweeper from Lobstersoft fits the description of a game of distinction like a glove. More so if you love puzzles such as Minesweeper and Sudoku.

The basic premise of Gemsweeper is that you have to solve a series of nonograms puzzles as you make your way through, rebuilding the ruins of El Dorado. This game requires patience and brains so make sure you have bucketloads of both.

To put it simply, nongrams are a grid of squares with numbers at the top and left sides denoting which squares must be colored black by the puzzle player. A number of black squares is separated from another number of black squares by at least a white square. The puzzle would not be fun if you knew how many white squares there were... so instead it becomes the challenge for you to figure this out for yourself.

Beautiful panorama of a familiar looking Mayan ruin

Saturday, February 5, 2011

O.R.B.: Off-World Resource Base

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7.5 / 10
Game Category: Real Time Strategy
Date: 5 Feb 2011

Today's game is such a pleasant surprise for me as a reviewer. There is a lot of fun in it that is reminiscent of the Homeworld series.

What am I talking about? Why O.R.B.: Off-World Resource Base, of course.

Developed way back in 2002, O.R.B. is a sci-fi real time strategy game from Strategy First that has aged so gracefully, I would have believed the game was just released this year.

After I had applied the requisite 1.04 patch found on the Internet, I started up O.R.B. without any problems on my Windows 7 PC. Upon entering the Options screen, I was surprised to be able to select a screen resolution of 1600 x 1200 with all advanced options set to high. The graphics in the game now appears even more beautiful than when I ran it 9 years ago.

If a game were able to detect and work with newer graphical resolutions and still look and possess its core gameplay after so many years, well that in itself would be quite an achievement. O.R.B. does makes a good role model for game developers out there, now if only they would listen.

Such a sweet startup for this sci-fi game

Friday, February 4, 2011

Madballs in Babo: Invasion

Daily PC Game Review Score: 8 / 10
Game Category: Shooter
Date: 4 Feb 2011

Note: The Amazon listing at left features the game soundtrack by Greg Drover. It is not a sale of the game being reviewed for today. The music from the game has been remastered into high quality, non-looping versions and is really cool to listen to.

From time to time, I like to feature games that is not listed anywhere on Amazon. These games I feel are just to good to let up. Take for example today's game - Madballs in Babo: Invasion.

Even the title shouts at you by invoking your sense of curiosity. So, what could this game be about?

Madballs in Babo: Invasion (MiBI) is a great shooter which feature the rubber toy range called Madballs in their very own game. Developed by Playbrains, an independent game maker based in Canada, and released exclusively on Steam, MiBI should be a staple on every gamer's PC.

No, it's not a mad, mad, mad, mad world... it's Madballs in Babo: Invasion

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Delta Force: Black Hawk Down - Platinum Pack

Daily PC Game Review Score: 6.5 / 10
Game Category: First Person Shooter
Date: 3 Feb 2011

Delta Force: Black Hawk Down - Platinum Pack (abbrieviated to DF:BHD) from Novalogic is a military first person shooter collection that takes you through the tense period of unrest during the Somali Civil War for the main game, as well as the expansion campaigns that centers around the Colombian jungles and the Iranian desert.

The game features some gritty and realistic no-holds barred action set pieces that really makes the player feels like he is in the thick of action, just as in the 2001 movie Black Hawk Down directed by Ridley Scott. Although there are moments in the game that is reminiscent of the movie, there is actually no direct relation it.

In DF:BHD, you will get to ride on a humvee, fly aboard a helicopter and man her weapons, travel on a civilian boat, and more. And how's this for mission variety - you get to explore underground bunkers, seize an airfield, perform several rescue missions, and even blow up a cargo ship.

A gritty and realistic war simulation

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Medieval Conquest

Daily PC Game Review Score: 6 / 10
Game Category: Real Time Strategy
Date: 2 Feb 2011

Medieval Conquest from Cat Daddy Games (distributed by 2K games) is truly an interesting piece of software. The game rings true to the genre of real time strategy, but its modus operandi - that of controlling a group of medieval adventurers for conquest against a huge array of monsters, kinds of reminds me of Majesty, The Sims, and perhaps with a pinch of Warcraft III: Defense of the Ancients custom mod all rolled into one.

Despite Medieval Conquest's originality and injection of light-hearted humor to the story, I found that I could have enjoyed the game much more if not because of a few minor frustrations that I had with the game.

Firstly, there are only about 4 mega-maps in the entire campaign game; several levels of play stretch across a single map, its only that the story continues on a a different part of the same map - that is truly boring as you can actually see key features on the map (ooh, there's an evil castle at the left side of the map, etc.) as the fog of war does not cover them up.

Hmm... not much choices after the humorous start-up movie

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kitten Sanctuary

Daily PC Game Review Score: 7.5 / 10
Game Category: Casual, Match Three, Simulation
Date: 1 Feb 2011

Kitten Sanctuary from Pi Eye Games must be the one of the cutest games I have ever played. It marries a match three game with a unique simulation mode that allows you to care for your virtual furry friends that you rescue from the clutches of rascally aliens flying around in their shiny saucers. And I am not talking about one or two or three kittens only, but up to a total of fifty cute adorable and cuddly little kittens in four separate santuaries are what you will get by the time you reach the last level in this game. And, that would be level 100 - for those who like value for money.

You may be sorely disappointed to know that the story for Kitten Sanctuary is almost non-existent. The introduction shows a cat spirit who introduces you to the island. The kittens who have been trapped by aliens need to be rescued by you.

Ho hum!

But who cares for the story, not me. It is in fact the match three game play and the cuteness of the kittens that have won my heart over in Kitten Sanctuary.

Welcome to Île de la "Kitty"