zaterdag 14 april 2012


Towns is a citybuilding and -management game still in development by SMP (Xavi Canal, Ben Palgi and Alexander Poysky) inspired mainly dwarf fortress and dungeon keeper. The game is currently in (pre)-alpha. If you're looking to support their project, take a look at their website:

The main goal of this game is surviving as long as possible with your town and it's villagers, while building and expanding what you can. You start off with a few people in the middle of nowhere. It is up to you to maintain the welfare and stability of your town and villagers. This is done by providing sufficient food, building houses and protecting your villagers from vile monsters. Not fulfilling these commitments will result in the annihilation of your town.

First of all: food. Food can be found by various means. You can harvest fruits to get started. You can also plant wheat and make bread, which is a little more sustainable. Later on, once you've acquired iron, you'll be able to make an oven and hunt animals and prepare their meat. Combining these is the most durable way to sustain your food levels.

Secondly, housing. Your villagers will need their own private quarters to sleep in. Sure, they can sleep on the ground, but that'll leave them more tired and results in having them sleep longer. If you want to exploit your villagers to the best extent, give them a room with a bed!

Lastly, safety. When you start out this isn't a very big issue, but once you've played a couple of hours you'll start getting attacked: sieges will appear and monsters will rush from the forests or the depths looking only to eat your (probably skinny) villagers. You can stop these by building foritications (e.g. a moat/wall around your village) and raising an army.
To raise an army you need armors and weaponry. These can be made out of stone and bone, so even if you don't have iron or better resources yet, you should be fine during the first few sieges. Building up your military power is recquired to advance in the game regardless;a s you will need resources that can only be found deep underground in caves and dungeons, where monsters also reside.

I hope this gives you a basic idea of what Towns is about, be sure to check out their website for more information and tutorials.

Please note: this game is still in (pre-)alpha, therefore still in development. This game will most likely change in the future.

vrijdag 13 april 2012

Europa Universalis III - What if: part 1: communism

The year is 1917 and the Octoberrevolution just happened, the tsar has been executed and the bolshevikes are now in control of Russia. In Eastern Europe more and more rebellions are rising. The balance of power is shifting and the Western Nations see it changing, they choose to unite and fight the red plague. New alliances are formed and old ones are breaking apart. You are forced to choose sides in a bipolar world, where Europe has been laid to waste due to the first World War.

The communist party of China is also growing in numbers rapidly, and it's Chinese imperialism is forcing China's expansion to a major scale. Most asian nation's are now in China's direct sphere of influence.

Meanwhile in Africa, the European colonies are fighting for their independance. With the European war losses of both manpower and gold, they can only do so much to surpress the rebellions.

The world is facing a conflict like it has never seen before, and you are a part of it. Where do you side and how do you play your cards?

donderdag 12 april 2012

Legend of Grimrock

Legend of Grimrock is a modern dungeon crawling / RPG game for the PC by Almost Human Ltd. It was inspired by Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder and Ultima Underworld.

You play as a group of criminals that have been sentenced to death by shipping them to Mount Grimrock. Little did their captors know that Mount Grimrock contains a massive network of dungeons and tunnels. It is up to you and your four-man party to find the path to freedom and live another day.

As seen on

The game features a grid to grid movement and combat system, as featured in oldschool dungeon crawlers. This creates a very tactical atmosphere in which a simple step can mean the difference between life or death. The game completely follows up on oldschool gameplay by focussing on player wits and perception to explore the map and solve the presented puzzles.

The combat system in this game is based on the unique skills of your 4 party members. You have two people standing in the front of your party and two standing in the back. The ones standing in the front will take most of the damage, so it is advised you place some strong, tanklike characters here. The two spots in the back will take less damage, but can take damage nonetheless. This leaves room for some more offensive based characters.
Each character will have unique abilities based on their equipment, class, skills and race. It is up to you to find out which ability is best suited for which situation. For example: a poison cloud can be a good tactic if you trap your enemy in it, however it can also deal damage to you.

As seen on

You attack by clicking on the character windows, as seen in the lower-right corner in the picture above. Once attacked, you will have to wait trough a certain amount of cooldown before you can attack again  with the same character. This forces you to build up all of your characters at once, so you can't click spam your enemies to death with a single overpowered character.

If you want to spice up the game a bit, and improve your immersion, the game also features an oldschool mode where you can disable the map. This means you will have to work your way trough the dungeon without a map, or make one yourself!

This game certainly seems worth checking out!

woensdag 11 april 2012

Europa Universalis III

Europa Universalis III, or EU3 in short, is a grand-strategy game by Paradox Interactive. The game starts in the years following the fall of Constantinople and lasts till the early 19th century, where you choose a nation and become it's ruler. It is up to your to see to the growth, stability and prosperity of your nation.

You do this in a wide variety of means. You can expand your nation's borders by taking over the provinces of another nation. There are two big ways of doing this:
  1. War: You can declare war on an enemy nation and take it provinces by force. Your armies will have to occupy the enemy provinces, doing so will increase the war score for you and your allies. The higher your war score, the more provinces you can claim. Having a war score of 100% allows you to fully annex an enemy nation.
  2. Royal Marriages: Royal marriages a peaceful way of expanding your territory. By engaging in a marriage your bond the royal lines of both nations. If one of the nations involved falls without a legal heir to the throne, the other nation can claim the throne. At this point you can either wait till the current ruler dies without a legal heir, in which case you will inherit the throne, or you can declare war on the enemy nation and force them to make a persional union with you. In which case you can integrate the nation after a certain period of time.
  3. Colonization: Once the quest for a new land begins, most (western) nations that border to a sea will be able to start sending out colonists to foreign lands. If your colonization attempt is succesful, the oversea province will join your nation and fall under your influence. However, you need 1000 people for the province to become self-sustaining, this means that sending about 10 colonists to a province will make it self-sustainable. These people also generate over time, but colony maintenance is pretty high, so it's best to find a good balance in this.
Expanding your nation's borders allows you to earn more tax income and production income. These main incomes can be respectively upgraded by building certain types of buildings in your provinces. Another type of income is trade income, which is generated by the traders of your nation and your centres of trade. These incomes are needed to maintain your armies and navies, and secures your military power on the map.
Keep an eye out for inflation! Inflation is influenced by sliding your treasury slider, this increases or decreases your gold income to the treasury, which is basically the gold you get to play with. Every % of inflation makes it more costely to sustain your nation (1% of inflation makes troops 1% more expensive, etc.), but it is a great way to fill up your treasury. For new players I recommend keeping your inflation at 0% by hiring a suited advisor or using the national bank as national idea (-0.10% inflation yearly). This allows you to fill up your treasury without gaining inflation.
Players who have a little more experience can use inflation to fill up the treasury early game, and get rid of the inflation later on. It's a good way to start out and build up your nation and maximize your incomes.
Important: changing the treasury slider also influences the amount of gold you are investing in research and technology. This is a crucial aspect of the game as it determines what you are able to do as a nation. A higher land technology allows for better troops, a higher trade technology gives more trading opportunities etc. If you fall too far behind on your neighbors, it might become an issue when it comes to a power struggle.

The goal of the game is basically just surviving, but it provides a richer gameplay experience if you set some goals for yourself (e.g. conquer Northern Europe). Most nations in the game get some sort of missions, which usually are historical facts which can be persued for a bonus reward to your nation.

Tired of playing against the AI? No problem, with the Divine Wind expansion, EU3 features a multiplayer mode where you can fight against or alongside your friends. Which provides a unique game experience every time.

If you're a fan of strategy games, but haven't played grand-strategy before. This is a relatively easy game to get into. Paradox has made many games which are a lot harder to play than Europa Universalis (like Victoria). After playing the ingame tutorial and reading the basic wiki pages, you should have a very good idea of how to play the game.

I really recommend picking up this game, it'll provide hours of unique gameplay in an always changing political world.

maandag 9 april 2012

Mount & Blade: Warband

Mount & Blade: Warband is a game by Paradox Interactive (also known for Magicka, Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings) released in March 2010.
It features a very fun medieval combat experience in the land of Calradia.

Mount & Blade: Warband
"In Mount & Blade: Warband, you play as an adventurer in the medieval land of Calradia, a fictional land devoid of magic and high fantasy, instead bearing many similarities to our world in the Middle Ages.

The game offers you a great deal of freedom in this world. You may roam around the map visiting towns and villages, trading, pursuing various quests, taking part in tournaments, or trying out a myriad of other activities.

You will soon notice that the world itself is dynamic. Caravans travel between towns, sometimes being waylaid by bandits; villagers take their goods to markets; armies assemble to move across the land, besieging towns or castles and raiding settlements. Instead of giving you a fixed path to follow,

Mount & Blade: Warband
lets you freely adventure in this world. In time, you will be well known in many places as you make friends and enemies with other characters, which in turn will allow you to affect events in profound ways. You don’t need to remain a penniless adventurer, either. You may obtain great wealth and power, become one of the trusted vassals of a king; conquer and own villages, castles and towns; command armies, and if you like, even lead rebellions and replace kings with other claim holders.

And who knows? If you are great and cunning warrior you might one day become the Ruler of Calradia."
What really seperates this game from other medieval games is the fact that it's combat system is very well worked out. As you progress in this game, you recruit an army which fights along you in battle. Just the sound of your cavalry riding in to massacre your enemies before you is pure pleasure.

Warband also features a multiplayer section of the game, where you fight against other players, earn gold and upgrade your equipment. This is atleast as much fun as the single player section of the game, as it suddenly becomes a lot harder to kill your enemies. Just imagine playing with a group of players, charging another group's keep. You got it, it's war!

The game is available on steam for a low €19,99 as a stand-alone release, this means you DO NOT have to purchase the earlier versions of the game. Be sure to check it out if you're into these kind of games, you won't regret your purchase!

Realm Of The Mad God

Another game I'd like to dicuss is Realm Of The Mad God. I discovered this charm a few months ago and can promise you, for a free game, you'll enjoy yourself quite a bit!

Realm Of The Mad God
The game starts as you have been teleported by the  Mad God Onyx to his realm of creatures. The goal of the game is to fight back by killing the Mad God's creatures. Slaying enough of them will teleport everyone in the realm to the Mad God himself for the final showdown.

You start out at a beach at a border of the map. It's your "mission" to complete the quests provided on the minimap and defeat the Mad God's bosses. As you level up you move more to the center of the land, where the stronger monsters reside.

Lay-out of a realm map in ROTMG
This game is a multiplayer isometric adventure shoot-em-up I-really-have-no-idea kind of game. It's unique in it's style and is pretty hard to play, because once your character dies, well it's not coming back. You'll have to start over again. Oh, did I forget to mention dying is recquired to unlock new classes? Puts it all in a new perspective eh?
There are several classes to be unlocked, each giving an unique gameplay experience as they each fulill an unique roll in the combat. The class combat is pretty straightforward, so you'll be getting what you bargained for when playing a character.
Realm Of The Mad God - Wiki
For further information I recommend watching Totalhalibut's first impression of this game.

zondag 8 april 2012

Defend that dungeon, chaps!

Lately I've been playing dungeon defenders a lot, as I recently picked it up in a steam sale, and I've been having a blast!
Dungeon Defenders is basically a first person tower defense game with an RPG element in it. You create a character out of the four main classes: apprentice, squire, ranger and monk. Each class has it's own abilities and towers which you must use to defend your eternia crystals (which are your cores) against wave after wave of vile mobs. By defeating these monsters your character gets awarded experience and loot, which you both use to upgrade either your character and/or your towers, thus making it possible to reach even higher waves of massacre.

The game features a (simplistic) story about the four main classes. The story progresses trough the several campaign missions. These mainly serve as a tutorial to the game and provide as a means of learning the basic gameplay components and teamwork aspects. Later on these same missions can be done on insane or nightmare difficulty to provide a challenge even for those who already know the tactics.

As noted above, the game can be played in multiplayer mode, but this does not prevent you from playing solo. Most multiplayer maps can carry up to four people, however there are some exceptions of 6-player maps and even bigger multiplayer PvP matches. The advantage of playing multiplayer games over solo games is that it's a lot easier to maintain your towers during waves. Your towers get damaged by monsters and need upgrading and repairing in order for you and your team to survive. From my own experience I can guarantee it that you can get overrun pretty fast, and having an extra teammate to back you up here can often be the only way to survive the game!

Besides the normal multiplayer maps, there is also a wide variety of challenge maps, which can be found under the "challenges" section of the game. These offer situations not normally encountered in the game and require special strategies in order to beat them on the harder levels. The rewards received from completing these are often unique and rare items.

What I like the most about this game is the fact that you can just fire it up at anytime, and have a good time just joining up with random people. The character development system is also one of my favorites as it provides a lot of possibilities because of the random looting system, though, a lot of grinding is involved to reach some of the better gear.

If you're into these kinds of games, pick it up on steam or amazon, it's worth the price.