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Mar 31, 2011

You've ruined your own lands! You'll not ruin mine!

Lords of Everquest 
Game Category: Strategy - Real Time
Developer / Distributor: Rapid Eye Entertainment / Sony Online Entertainment
Release Date: 1 Dec 2003

For those who recognize it, the quote for today's blog is taken from the venerable Massive Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) called Everquest. I had spent a great number of hours on Everquest a few years back and was addicted to it for awhile. The game world was richly detailed with many fantasy races and cultures to explore.

As an offshoot from Everquest, Sony Online Entertainment engaged Rapid Eye Entertainment to develop Lords of Everquest - a real time strategy game based on the Everquest world. It seems that most of the favorite parts of Everquest was wrenched out from the MMOG and placed into the game that I really wasn't sure whether the developers met the design objectives they ultimately wanted to achieve.

It's true that the graphics and sound all look pretty serviceable and are reminiscent of Everquest, but Lords of Everquest is however not as polished as I would have come to expect, especially for a game coming from Sony Computer Entertainment. In addition, the game play for Lords of Everquest will garner at best tepid applause - there's nothing that great to shout about for fans of real time strategy games.

If you are a die-hard Everquest fan however, then shame on you for not adding this game to your collection of Everquest and expansions.

Rather inviting, isn't it?

Mar 30, 2011

No mana burns in this game

Magic: The Gathering - Battlegrounds
Game Category: Strategy - Real Time, Fighting
Developer / Distributor: Secret Level / Atari
Release Date: 18 Nov 2003

When professor Richard Garfield met Peter Adkinson back in the early nineties, no one would have guessed that in August 1993, Magic: The Gathering (M:TG) trading card game would take the world by storm.

Fast forward a decade to 2003 and we are presented with a unique game (bearing the tag Battlegrounds). The game bears an uncanny resemblance to the rules of the trading card game. M:TG - Battlegrounds was developed by Secret Level and published by Atari.

Even after all this time, I still love my copy of M:TG - Battlegrounds, it is definitely a different experience playing this game when compared with playing the slower paced trading card game; and it is just as fun.

To sum up M:TG - Battlegrounds in just one sentence, I would call it this: M:TG - Battlegrounds is a fast paced real time strategy fighting game between two powerful duelists brandishing custom tailored spell books containing enchantment, creature, and sorcery spells chosen from a repertoire of 70 different choices that are categorized into 5 spell colors - black, blue, green, red, and white.

Oooh... nice!

Mar 29, 2011

More than a fear of heights

Cursed Mountain
Game Category: Adventure - Horror, Action
Developer / Distributor: Deep Silver / Koch Media
Release Date: 23 Sep 2009

Cursed MountainIntroduction
One of Deep Silver's more recent games is a wonderful and thrilling horror romp as you try and discover whatever happened to your brother on his climb up one of the mountains in the Himalayas. With a title like Cursed Mountain, you can't help but start worrying about the horrors that you will find up the cold mountain known as Chomolonzo. This mountain found in southern Tibet and located near the Nepalese border becomes the backdrop of the game.

Note: You should check out the French Expedition to Chomolonzo in 2005 to have an idea of the isolation of this majestic mountain.

Horrific scares a plenty
In the game, you will assume the role of Eric Simmons, a young mountain climber on a quest to find his missing brother Frank Simmons who was lost on an expedition on Chomolonzo. Your only lead is that he was hired by Frank Bennett, a rich man who needed an experienced climber to retrieve an ancient artifact called a terma (this is a religious artifact that are key in Tibetan Buddhist teachings).

Learn rock climbing

Mar 28, 2011

What happens when Mulgarath gets the book?

The Spiderwick Chronicles
Game Category: Adventure - Arcade, Kids
Developer / Distributor: Stormfront Studios / Sierra Entertainment
Release Date: 5 Feb 2008

The title of today's blog says it all, if you are a fan of Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi who worked together on their best selling series of novels - The Spiderwick Chronicles, you would immediately know that Mulgarath is the big, bad, and ugly shapeshifting ogre who is the main antagonist after the kids of the Grace family.

The tagline from The Spiderwick Chronicles is Their world is closer than you think. Ominous isn't it... I feel it's a marvelous plot device for pulling kids into this incredible story of fairies and monsters.

The Spiderwick Chronicles video game also does an admirable the job of immersing you in the world of make believe. The game mostly mirrors the 2008 movie directed by Mark Waters and introduces the story from the perspective of the three children of the Grace family. They have recently moved into the Spiderwick Estate with their mother after her recent divorce. 

Let's see, we have the twin brothers Jared and Simon, their elder sister Mallory. Jared is upset about the move and becomes rather despondent, that is until he starts exploring the house and finds a bound leather book with the mysterious title "Arthur Spirderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You".

I am an arachnophobic

Mar 25, 2011

Just about seven times the fun

7 Wonders of the Ancient World
7 Wonders II
7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven 
Game Category: Casual - Match Three
Developer / Distributor: Hot Lava / Mumbo Jumbo

Release Date: 2 Feb 2007 / 18 Jul 2007 / 24 Oct 2008

It's no small wonder that the three casual games of the 7 Wonders series from Mumbo Jumbo excite with their great and addictive match three game play.

All three games feature adorable graphics depicting a bunch of guys from ancient times building several Wonders of the world.

You task in each of the games is the same - you have to lend a hand to the hardworking builders by making matches of 3 tiles or more over a grid. Every match destroys the tile behind it and drops building stone back onto the ground so that the workers can use them to construct the Wonder for that level.

The first games features 7 Wonders for you to build, while the next iteration goes one up by providing you 8 Wonders to uncover. The latest release in the franchise - Treasures of Seven, features a total of 9 Wonders that require your fullest attention. If you get all three games, you would have gone through the arduous task of building 24 Wonders of the World - a great feat indeed!

Mar 24, 2011

Get your dream job with Project Freedom

Space Interceptor: Project Freedom
Game Category: Simulation - Shooter
Developer / Distributor: City Interactive / Merscom LLC 
Release Date: 9 Nov 2004

Project FreedomSpace Interceptor: Project Freedom (SI:PF) is a cool action shooter game from City Interactive that deserves to be brought to everyone's attention.

The game materialized out of thin air onto shelves back in 2004 and beckoned to all with a premise of being a space pilot - almost like a runaway advertisement idea spawned from the movie The Last Starfighter.

City Interactive was a relatively unknown game developer from Poland back then. They had released a couple of games before SI:PF and they included titles such as Terrorist Takedown, World War II: Pacific Heroes, and Codename: Nina - Global Terrorism Strike Force. All of these games were hit upon by game review sites as being poor quality budget titles.

I was of course skeptical when I saw the huge words Project Freedom on a display box at my local game store. The box sported a cool spaceship on a background of outer space with City Interactive's logo plastered on its side. The screenshots at the back of the box however looked very promising, so I bought the game (which was priced at a good value for a budget title).

And boy, was I ever wrong about my opinions of the game.

SI:PF is a pretty good space shooter simulation which gives you a lengthy 21 mission campaign to play through. The game sports cool movies to watch, slick action shooting sequences, and nice planetside and outer space graphics.

Ripley, this ain't the Nostromo

Mar 23, 2011

Let's settle this like grown men

The Settlers II - 10th Anniversary
Game Category: Strategy - Real Time
Developer / Distributor: Blue Byte / Ubisoft
Release Date: 6 Oct 2006

The Settlers II from Blue Byte originally had a tagline of Veni, Vidi, Vici (that's Latin for I came, I saw, I conquered). It was released back in 1996 by Blue Byte GmbH and very soon gained comparisons with Civilization.

The Settlers series originally started with Serf City: Life is Feudal, and now with two versions safely justifying the demand for the franchise, it was inevitable that The Settlers III and IV were also released. Unfortunately, III was too repetitive and had peculiar copyright problems (iron smelters producing pigs), while IV tried to up the notch with the introduction of a fourth tribe. Things went downhill when Settlers V - The Heritage of Kings entered the scene.

The Settlers II therefore became the fan favorite for the entire Settlers series. This version had clean and pleasant graphics for it's time and also featured simple yet addictive game play. I had The Settlers II - Gold Edition box back then which included two campaigns featuring 22 missions. Not forgetting the additional single player maps plus the map editor that helped to extend the life of the game even further.

According to the manual that comes with the The Settlers II - 10th Anniversary (TS2-10), results of surveys conducted by the German Press confirmed that The Settlers II was indeed the most popular of the series. In addition, the time for its re-release would be truly perfect - 2006 was the 10th anniversary of the release of The Settlers II and also the 20th anniversary of Ubisoft.

This new iteration of the game is an incredible 3D version that features cute character animations, stunning building models, beautiful landscape with trees that sway in the wind plus mountains that dominate the lands, and rippling water that is teeming with fish.

The main menu, 10 years later

Mar 22, 2011

More than just sowing your wild oats

Crusader Kings and Deus Vult Expansion
Game Category: Strategy - Real Time, Simulation
Developer / Distributor: Paradox Interactive / Gamersgate
Release Date: 28 Sep 2004 and 4 Oct 2007

Crusader Kings CompleteCrusader Kings and the Deus Vult expansion (CK-DV) is a real time strategy simulation from Paradox Interactive that brings to life the High Middle Ages. Unlike earlier games from Paradox Interactive, this iteration puts you in the role of a leader of a medieval dynasty.

You must master the art of juggling the many different aspects of medieval life in CK: from ruling your lands and deciding what to build upon them, to taking care of family matters like arranging marriages for your offspring (and hiding the fact that you have sired an illegitimate child), to researching technological advances, to growing your economy so that the strength of your desmesne (pronounced as di-mayn) rivals your enemies, to attacking the rival provinces of your enemies, and finally to supporting the Pope when he calls for the Crusades.

And to think, life in the modern times is already complicated enough, just looking at the responsibilities that CK charges you with may be enough to make you shudder and back away from this game.

Don't! This game is definitely worth your time.

Predestined to reign

Mar 21, 2011

Only for fans of tactical strategy games

Cops 2170: The Power of Law
Game Category: Strategy - Turn Based, Role Playing Game
Developer / Distributor:  Mist Land / Dreamcatcher
Release Date: 27 Jan 2005

Cops 2170: The Power of LawI thought I'd start the week off with this turn based strategy game coming from Russia. Cops 2170: The Power of Law is a futuristic game in the mold of the Jagged Alliance series. The game however suffers from a number of problems; the most glaring of which is the lack of a tutorial, a poor first mission, as well as some bizarre game implementation choices which has in a sense condemned the game to many critics out there. If you however overlook these problems and put some effort into learning the game, you may be surprised to know that the game has a few interesting ideas within that is worth exploring and experiencing for yourself.

Cops 2170 was developed by Mist Land and my copy was published by Dreamcatcher Interactive. Mist Land have recently renamed themselves to GFI Russia. They actually classified this game as a hybrid of RPG and Tactical Strategy. Well, I wholly agree with this classification. In fact in the 16 maps of the game, you will get to cover a lot of background story, and attempt to complete many quests that you may find.

Cops 2170 is also a prequel to Paradise Cracked, another interesting turn based strategy game that I shall review some other time. If you have played Paradise Cracked before, then you will know that Cops 2170 uses the same hexagonal based engine, but with some new tweaks thrown in.

Cops 2170 is a single player only game

Mar 18, 2011

A superb horror action adventure

Biohazard 4
Game Category: Adventure - Horror, Arcade
Developer / Distributor: Capcom / Capcom
Release Date: 2 Mar 2007
Rating: ESRB - Mature

Biohazard 4 or バイオハザード 4 - that's what they call this game in Japan; but, as for everywhere else, we know this game as Resident Evil 4.

I must really give it to Capcom for knowing how to create such an intense action horror adventure game. They also know how to introduce a character and then mature them over the series to make them into a living breathing person. I am talking about none other than Leon Scott Kennedy.

We were first introduced to our protagonist, Leon - the rookie police officer from Raccoon City, back in Resident Evil 2 in 1998. A few years down the road and in 2007, we get to control an older Leon who now works for the United States Secret Service.

As the game begins, we find out that Leon is on a mission to find the missing daughter of the president, Ashley Graham. Ashley was reportedly sighted in Europe, and we see a long and nicely done movie in which we see Leon being fetched by two local police men out to a secluded place in some rural area of Spain.

Are you ready for this horror action adventure?

Mar 17, 2011

Sign of Ghosts

Tarr Chronicles
Game Category: Simulation
Developer / Distributor: Quazar Studios / Paradox Interactive
Release Date: 18 Sep 2007

Tarr ChroniclesEvery now and then comes a game from out of the blue that brings back memories of great games that were released several years ago. In today's review, Tarr Chronicles - Sign of Ghosts (TC) is a game that brings to mind two great franchises in gaming history - the Wing Commander and Freespace series. Released more than 3 years ago, TC is a sci-fi flight simulator that has beautiful graphics and features nicely done 3D models.

The story of TC tells of a grim reality known as the Tarr Universe. It is a dark period whereby all life forms are desperately trying to battle against the ultimate enemy - a black force known as the Mirk is threatening all of existence. The Mirk is even more powerful than the Death Star from Star Wars or the Genesis Weapon from Star Trek. In fact, it seems that the Mirk has no motive - it is a mind-staggeringly huge non-living mass that absorbs life indiscriminately.

It is inevitable that the Mirk would eventually find Earth. Being ever resilient, survivors of mankind have scattered to other planets and are now in a desperate search for clues to stopping it.

With such an incredible backdrop, you can tell that the developers of the game, Quazar Studios have put in much effort into realizing a vision for this game.

The universe in black and white

Mar 16, 2011

Alarm for Cobra 11

Crash Time
Game Category: Racing
Developer / Distributor: Synetic GmBH / RTL Entertainment
Release Date: 7 Nov 2007

Crash TimeDon't listen to those critics out there who have lambasted this game for its poor voice acting and boring police investigation cases that would make you yawn just playing through them. There's actually a great racing engine under the hood of Crash Time, and it's an exhilarating experience that you won't soon forget.

I was surprised to find out during my research for Crash Time that this game is actually based on a long running German television series (already in its 17th season) by the name of Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei. Yes, polizei in German is police, and if you have the determination, you may even get to drive one of their cars after unlocking them in the game.

It seems that the TV series has quite a following in Germany, while it is not as well known elsewhere. The story is centered around two men from the autobahn police (or also more commonly known as highway patrolmen in the USA). It seems the series has also seen the coming and going of its main actors, but at the time of the game's inception, Crash Time features both Semir Gerkhan and Chris Ritter. It's not like you will get to control 3D models of these two actors, so dear fans of the show, don't go all tizzy over my mention of them.

Time to smash cars up

Mar 15, 2011

The U-boats of WWI

1914 Shells of Fury
Game Category: Simulation
Developer / Distributor: h2f Informationssysteme GMBH / Strategy First
Release Date: 14 Aug 2007

1914 Shells of FuryWay back in August 1914, Germany actually had a fleet of twenty U-boats which set off as a defensive screen in the North Sea. Disaster ensued at the Scapa Flow (the body of water in the Orkney Islands) during an attempt to attack the British Grand Fleet, and a fifth of the German U-boat fleet was destroyed.

It was not until 15 September later that year that the German U-boat SM U-21 finally sunk a British light cruiser - the HMS Pathfinder. And just a scant 6 days later, the U-boat SM U-9 led by Kptlt. Otto Weddigen successfully sank three cruisers - the HMS Aboukir, Hogue, and Cressy off the Hook of Holland. All onboard SM U-9 were awarded the Iron Cross, and from there U-boats became a threat of gravest concern.

PS - The notes from the above paragraphs were extracted from this great website on U-Boat history.

It is on this note, that we start today's review about U-boats from World War I. The game 1914 - Shells of Fury (SOF) is an aptly named game for it depicts the tense moments of underwater warfare during this rarely explored era. Designed by h2f and released by Strategy First, I think the game is a pretty decent submarine simulation, which is not too overly complex (when compared to the Silent Steel series).

Time for war!

Mar 14, 2011

The neverending battle of Good vs Evil

Angels vs Devils
Game Category: Action - Third Person, Shooter
Developer / Distributor: Enigma Software Productions / Nobilis Games
Release Date: 14 Dec 2003

I guess it was inevitable that someone took the neverending battle of Good vs Evil and made it into a shooter type game. I however never would have expected it to have been implemented in such a comical manner. I have looked around for reviews on this game, but they are rare. Probably because the topic tends to be taboo to a certain group of people.

Developed by Enigma Software Productions, this group of developers based in Madrid really know how to think out of the box. Instead of creating a controversial majestic battle depicting Angels vs Devils (AvD), you get cute baby-like beings running around in nicely designed maps.

The maps look typical of a kid's version of heaven or hell. Looking slightly cartoonish and at the same time trying to convey a nightmarish or heavenly sense, the maps in AvD do feature standard multiplayer type design concepts. If you'd like to know, the maps are also not overly adorned with contentious pentagrams or such similar icons (unlike what Doom did).

Mind you, the little babies are all dressed up neatly in their diapers, and they come complete with golden halos (and earrings) and little horns (plus swishing tails). The sweet innocent darlings can also be equipped with accessories such as cool shades, hardhats, sneakers, bracelets, and more.

Relax, this is only a game

Mar 11, 2011

City life is millions of people being lonesome together

City Life 2008 Edition
Game Category: Simulation
Developer / Distributor: Monte Cristo / Paradox Interactive
Release Date: 29 Jul 2008
Rating: ESRB - Teen

City Life 2008When the American philosopher Herny David Thoreau said "City Life is millions of people being lonesome together" in the 1800s, he never would have imagined that many years later would come a game that would bring to life this very quote, but in a totally astounding way. City Life 2008 Edition (CL08) from Monte Cristo and Paradox Interactive is a very good simulation game of managing a city from a socioeconomic point of view.

There are tons of maps available to play with and many different 3D buildings to build including famous buildings such as Malaysia's Petronas Twin Towers and The Colosseum of Rome. Most importantly, you get to juggle six different subcultures in your city. Poor planning and location of these subcultures may result in rioting, so you will have to tread very carefully if you want to meet the objectives for the map.

Originally released as City Life back in May 2006, the developers have taken the liberty to provide even more power to the gamer. There is a decent editor for buildings as well as the capability to import heightmaps that depict landscape terrain.

If you have played Simcity before, then you may have very well have a bad feeling for CL08 - I wouldn't blame you, because I did harbor that kind of feeling. But, if you have played Simcity Societies: Destinations, then you'd sure be glad to have CL08 in your hands. Yes, in terms of game play and fun, CL08 lies somewhere in between the two games from Maxis. You shall shall see why shortly as I dissect CL08 in the following paragraphs.

This is the life

Mar 10, 2011

Seek and ye shall discover

Discovery! A Seek and Find Adventure
Game Category: Casual - Hidden Object
Developer / Distributor: Mumbo Jumbo
Release Date: 17 Jun 2008
Rating: ESRB - Everyone

As I played Discovery! A Seek and Find Adventure (DSFA) tonight, I happened to chance a look at my TV and noticed that this casual game from Mumbo Jumbo looks and feels almost like the game of Wheel of Fortune that was on the air. In fact, I kept wishing that Pat Sajak and Vanna White would make a guest appearance in DSFA to spice things up, but had to contend with the reality of seeing only a virtual host and hostess.

Instead of spinning that famous wheel and getting cash for correctly identified consonants, DSFA throws in a hidden object slant - I get the cash amount for every hidden object I find.

Hosted by the ever smiling Jerry Landers and the always beautiful brunette, Jill Summers, DSFA takes you through seven countries as you seek and find common everyday objects hidden all over the stage. You also get to spin the game's very own wheel to determine which mini-game you get to play to break the monotony of the seek and find routine.

A rather interesting game show

Mar 9, 2011

Worming my way out of this

Worms Forts: Under Siege
Game Category: Strategy - Turn Based
Developer / Distributor: Team 17 / Sega
Release Date: 24 Nov 2004
Rating: ESRB - Teen

Worms Forts: Under Siege (WFUS) is the sixth in the series from Team 17 released on PC. It is also the second iteration of the Worms franchise sporting full 3D graphics. Thinking out of the box, Team 17 has gone one up and released this with a slightly different concept from the traditional Worms game - instead of playing an all-out battle between several groups of cute worms on totally randomized maps, you must now plan and build your own forts starting from several stock 3D maps. You attack your enemies by either decimating their team (the traditional way), or by destroying their stronghold - the most important building of your fortification.

I wouldn't call the different game play style in WFUS to be a gimmick or an attempt to copy a concept from another genre, but nevertheless it is a bold attempt that takes the previous game Worms 3D in a new direction.

The cuteness and charm of Worms is still present in this game, but the 3D problems from Worms 3D, plus the tediousness of game play in WFUS, as well as it's snail pace, makes this a harder game to appreciate.

I'm worming my way out of this

Mar 8, 2011

A look at an altered history

Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader
Game Category: Role Playing Game
Developer / Distributor: Reflexive Entertainment / Interplay Entertainment
Release Date: 13 Aug 2003
Rating: ESRB - Teen

What if you took a period in time and altered it's history into something totally different? Well, that's what Reflexive Entertainment did with Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader (L:LotC).

The story goes like this... sometime in Aug 1191, when Lionheart was tricked into killing 3000 prisoners at the Siege of Acre, an event known as the Disjunction occurred. What happened that tragic day shall remain in the minds of the survivors of that cataclysmic event - a rift tore opened and magic and monstrous demons came pouring into our world.

The story then zooms forward into the 16th century, the center stage for L:LotC's main story. The world has changed greatly after the Disjunction. Living with humans are three other magical races, the Demokin, the Feralkin and the Sylvants. There is however, more than meets the eye when you assume the role of the protagonist. This you will only discover later on in the adventure.

At first dubbed as Fantasy Fallout, L:LotC has become an admirable niche game that even Harry Turtledove would have loved at first sight today.

Looks to be promising

Mar 7, 2011

Cowabunga! Let's kick some shell!

Game Category: Action - Fighting, Platformer
Developer / Distributor: Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft
Release Date: 20 Mar 2007
Rating: ESRB - Everyone 10+

Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael - the four iconic characters from the hit cartoon series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return to the PC with a decent and fun game from Ubisoft Montreal.

I would describe TMNT as an action fighting platformer. It is arguable whether its more a fighting or a platformer style of game, but I must say that TMNT does have its moments of fun in either mode. One thing's for sure though, this game reminds me so much of another game from Ubisoft, and that would be Prince of Persia; in fact it's almost kind of a ripoff.

Variety is the spice of life, and TMNT does quite a fair job as it takes you through 16 huge levels. The main story, told through the four turtles and their sensei Splinter, tells of the Turtles living separated lives. By the end of the game, our heroes are finally brought back together as a closely knit family - which is apparently a moral that the game continually preaches to us.

Oh yes, and in case you can't remember who's who, well here's the list: Leo wears the blue mask, Mikey dons the orange, Don the purple, and Raph the red. And of course Splinter is the rat who is adoptive father to the turtles.

The TMNT are back!

Mar 4, 2011

Are you Serious?

Serious Sam - The First Encounter
Game Category: Action - First Person, Shooter
Developer / Distributor: Croteam / Gathering of Developers
Release Date: 21 Mar 2001
Rating: ESRB - Mature

Serious Sam was recently re-released in November last year as a HD version. But that game had some serious problems that had to be addressed with patches. Although most of the problems has been addressed by now, I decided in the end to review the original release of the game instead.

Alright, let's rewind 10 years into the past...

Serious Sam - The First Encounter is the very first game that started it all for comical first person shooters with thousands upon thousands of monsters that throw themselves at you. The developer Croteam (founded in Zagreb, Croatia) was banking on Serious Sam to put themselves back on the radar scope of gamers, and they achieved that success with this game.

Frankly, the Serious Engine did a great job back in 2001, the 3D graphics featured lush and huge expanses. The Egyptian themed buildings and models were all done very nicely and more importantly the game play was absolutely laden with fabulous fun and great game play. I loved the game so much that my fingers even drummed Serious Sam's game music while I was working during the day.

Serious Sam needs your help

Mar 3, 2011

Fancy racing as a Y2k Fighter?

Millennium Racer Y2k Fighters
Game Category: Racing
Developer / Distributor: Creat Studio LLC / Cryo Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: 30 Nov 1999

Imagine a futuristic racing game in which you ride a translucent bike along a track through alien landscapes with incredible sights that whiz by at amazing speeds.

This is precisely the premise behind Millennium Racer Y2k Fighters (MRYF), a game that was released a month just before we crossed into the 21st century. MRYF was developed by Creat Studio and published by Cryo Interactive Entertainment. The former is still around while the latter got into financial difficulties and was absorbed into Dreamcatcher Interactive.

In truth, other than the release date which was very close to the end of the millennium, the title of the game, bearing the words Millennium and Y2k, has absolutely nothing to do with the millennium bug that was supposed to strike computers all over the world at the stroke of midnight on 1 Jan 2000.

One things for sure though, 11 years later MRYF is still one great racing experience. The game actually allows me to play in a high resolution of 1600 x 1200 with all the bells and whistles enabled. I was very pleased with the game being able to run on Windows 7; it sure is good to be able to race down the Spaceport, War, Inki, and Antarktida worlds again.

Let's start racing

Mar 2, 2011

Will you be able to save the world in this educational match three game?

Game Category: Casual - Match Three
Developer / Distributor: Zemnott Inc. / Valusoft
Release Date: 3 Mar 2009
Rating: ESRB - Everyone

Eco MatchTonight's review is going to be rather short and sharp. After all, how much can you say about a match three casual game.

Drumroll please... Eco-match is a recent casual game from Zemnott Inc. and Valusoft. The game's tagline is this - Save the Environment 1 Match at a Time! It's a nice time waster of a game that has you matching 3 gems or more in three different ways.

We all know that people are holding their collective breath today as they watch in consternation the freak weather reports that take place more and more frequently. This is thanks to mankind's blatant disregard to the pollution of greenhouse gases, which has thinned the ozone layer dramatically over certain areas of the globe. The vicious cycle of global warming has caused a rise in temperature which has thrown the global weather patterns into disarray. As more super storms rage on the horizon, perhaps there is something we can do to reduce the harm.

Hopefully, we can learn something from Eco-Match, a pretty solid match three game that focuses on you trying to save endangered species from more than one hundred levels as make your way across all seven continents.

Rescue the environment with Eco-match

Mar 1, 2011

Be the tycoon of a trucking company

Hard Truck Tycoon
Game Category: Simulation
Developer / Distributor: G5 Software / Buka Entertainment
Release Date: 1 Mar 2006
Rating: ESRB - Everyone

PS - A minor tweak to the review layout. The Daily PC Game Review Score can now be found at the end of the review. Thanks.

Just when you thought there was nothing left a company could pin the word Tycoon to, then along comes G5 Software and Buka Entertainment who decided to add it to the words "Hard Truck". And so, Hard Truck Tycoon was born.

Well, it probably didn't go that way but suffice to say, after trying out Hard Truck Tycoon for the past few hours, it actually left me with a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

Not that the Hard Truck Tycoon is all that bad, for underneath the complicated interface to this economic simulation is a game that could have really been great. There is actually a reasonable AI that keeps you on your toes as it competes against you to build up several trucking businesses. Do you have the mettle to defeat the dastardly AI opponents?

Hard Truck Tycoon is unfortunately made worse by the poor translations - it's like there was not much thought in taking care of the localization effort from Russian to English. Even the user manual is rife with these nasty little grammatical boo-boos. But, if you can forgive this glaring problem, you may find yourself starting to enjoy the game just that little bit.

Hard Truck Tycoon time... mind the English