Tag Archives: devolver digital

Haven Editorial: Zacerons 2016 game awards

Zacerons 2016 game awards

2016 is officially over. Therefor I can now make a list about the best games and worst games of 2016. This list is proof that 2016 was good year indeed. The hand picked games from this list is all based on the ones I’ve reviewed this year.

2016

No man’s sky:

An under-engineered, over hyped piece of software. Which runs like a three eyed, one legged man, hobbling on thin ice. Needless to say it runs terrible and I can’t get it above thirty frames per second. Despite everything setting all the settings to low. There is also that terrible loading whenever I start the game. Despite what Hello games will have you believe. That pesky star journey is a loading screen. It even says, loading shaders at the bottom. Slow loading times is a good indication that the game code is crap.

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“Fix the damn performance issues already!”

Overwatch:

I still play it despite my short temper, questionable aiming abilities and my raging murder boner. It’s a game about holding an objective against colorful weirdos, with skills on par with mine. Whom are more concerned with chasing kills and trashing scenery, than to push the wagon up a hill. Yes it is fun, terrible and awesome, all at the same time. 

 

“Murder, death kill and chill.”

Everspace:

Rogue lite meets space exploration, with a high probability of fiery death. While being having an armada of murderous and very angry lizard people son my tail. As I traverse the randomly generated galaxy. It is the most beautiful rendition of space I’ve ever seen within a game.

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“How to make space look fantastic.”

Enter the Gungeon:

Charming and fun, where everything is a pun related to ammo or a gun. A game about exploring randomly generated dungeons and killing bosses, while trying to get the gun that can erase the past. Hard to wrong with a sizzling hot, table flipping bullet hell.20160420200000_1

 

“Fun with puns and guns.”

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun:

Ninjas flip out and kill people, it is a proven scientific fact. At least according the interweb. Around the time of fire arms, where the shogun ruled and Japan was almost peaceful. A cleaver ploy to reignite the war is brewing and a team of ninjas are set out to thwart it. Someone finally decided to make a top down stealth game, I’ve not seen many of those since Commandos was new.

20161209153853_1“Best stealth game of the year.”

Xcom 2:

Aliens have taken over the earth and the resistance needs my help, in order to liberate Earth. This game improves on everything the previous release did and a lot more.  Though adding a mission timer was probably not the smartest thing to do. Overall a fun turn based strategy game.

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“Damn aliens, always digging holes in my backyard.”

Owlboy:

It took nine years to get it done and I’d say it was worth it. It looks fantastic and is immensely  fun to play. Starring Otus; A boy, whom also is an owl, with a flying cape and several useful companions, fighting menacing mechanical pirates.20161030235823_1

Worth the wait

Redout:

Strap yourself into a rocked, held aloft with anti gravity. While trying to avoid a fiery death as the track blast by. It’s the fastest and most polished racing game I’ve played in 2016. It’s just fun speed through a loop at 300 km/t. The music is good as well and apparently it can be used with virtual reality.

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“High octane crash and burn.”

Earth Defense Force 4.1 Shadow of new despair:

Finally a proper EDF game on pc. A last I can smash the bug horde under my heels,  without slowdowns and horrible performance issues. It’s one of the few third person games where you actually face down an overwhelming horde of enemies. 20160725160931_1

“EDF! EDF! EDF!”

The Incredible Baron:

While not the most played game on my list, it does sport a very good soundtrack, which I’ve been listening to a lot. Especially when writing my list for games of 2016. The game it self is not bad at all and looks good. It’s just not my cup of tea. Despite the quirky fun characters.20160804095119_1

“Kick ass music.”

The Final Station:

All aboard the man train to Armageddon. It is a fun game about managing a train, explore abandoned locations and keeping passengers alive, while the nefarious plot unfolds.20160825001136_1

“Quit dying on me, I’m trying to adjust the cabin pressure.”

Clustertruck:

The floor is lava is a simple game about not touching the floor.  Only this time around the the floor is composed of speeding trucks and questionable physics. It’s fun as long as you can manage extreme first person platforming.20161003183511_1

Bird of Light

A very fun run and jump game, with a deep and slightly depressing story about a very real problem India is faced with.20160724194007_1

 

“Slow motion matrix jumping is awesome.”
May 2017 be an even better year for games than 2016.

Njål Sand

Haven Review: Enter the Gungeon

EnterTheGungeonTitleFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

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Defiantly not Vulcan Raven.

Enter the Gungeon

Play as a shady gunslinger stuck in a gun-themed dungeon, where living bullets are armed with guns that shoot bullets…and that’s only the first room. In fact there are several gunslingers to pick from, with some unique starting options and passives.

Tutorials are for chumps; here is all you need to know. One stick is for moving, the other is for aiming and every hero has a gun that shoots projectiles. They all come with a “dodge roll” and can have an extra item equipped. They also have a fancy bullet-stopping area attack.

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A gun that shoots the word bullet.

The game is quite simple, highly intuitive and extremely addictive, in both single player and coop modes.

In this randomly generated “gungeon”, virtually everything will try to kill you unless you shoot first. If you can’t kill it, you’re obviously not using enough bullets! That being said, not every weapon uses conventional ammo. Even a simple water gun is deadly and good for quenching fireplaces and things that throw Molotovs, or pesky items afire.

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There is always something going on.

The most brilliant gun I’ve found so far is the love gun. It shoots nice things, including hearts and squeaky teddy bears. With a little luck it charms enemies as well. Too bad the gun and item drops are completely random, just like the room layout and enemy setup. Rooms usually contain an assortment of things, such as debris, flippable tables, and movable barrels. Naturally, this means that red ones go boom. The most annoying thing with Enter the Gungeon is that there exist suicide bombers. Fortunately they’re easy to dispatch and will probably blow up adjacent enemies.

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Watersports and runaway minecarts.
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Yet another stupid death.

Each floor has a boss and most have a store, as well. Eventually savvy players will realize that it’s possible to reveal floor shortcuts and find many unlockable goodies. Even the first floor can be a challenge, and enemies will most likely succeed at killing you. It’s a top down game where some luck, skill and a lot of patience is needed to progress. Enter the Gungeon is drawn in that lovely pixel art which is so popular these days, and it works wonders. Despite the easy controls and solid mechanics, this game will kick your ass hard and you will die a lot. Luckily, it’s possible to unlock shortcuts and other hidden goodies. But those take some luck and a lot of skill to access, since the bosses drop a special currency. Trust me, each and every boss is unique and hard. This means they will gobble you up and spit you out; then do it all over again.

Don’t let the sprites of the gungeon fool you. A lot of effort was put into the graphics, and it shows. Each room is littered with stuff to destroy. Debris are mostly permanent and can be scattered about with explosions. Many of the gungeon’s rooms provide teleporters. These devices allow you to fast-travel around the map; as long as you’re not currently engaged in combat, that is.20160415210749_1

The room you’re in will be “locked off” during shootouts. The soundtrack for Enter the Gungeon is quite catchy and brilliantly captures the feel and style of the game. It can be bought separately, or in a bundle. The same goes for the sound effects. They make just enough noise not to become annoying. Personally, I enjoy the hell out of this game. However the premise and execution is not necessarily for everyone.

GUngeojn

http://store.steampowered.com/app/311690/

Njål H Sand

Haven Review: Downwell

DownwellTitleFirst up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

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downwell intro scene

Highway to the bottom of the well.

It’s a long dark shaft that stretches far into the abyss. Everywhere there are gruesome monsters and convenience stores. Don’t question the logic too hard. After all, the player uses gun boots to cushion the fall and to kill monsters. Stomping on things also helps to beat the monsters, unless they’ve got spikes or are on fire. The more things killed in a row without touching solid ground grants a bigger bonus and unlocks an achievement. As gems are collected from rocks or fallen foes, a “gem-high” meter fills up. As long as gems are collected and kills are preformed, it will make the attacks a lot more powerful and potentially turn the player into a drunken fool when it runs out.

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Color palette unlock example.

Since the levels and power-ups are randomized, there is no telling what kind of power-up you might find. Laser beams, shotguns and food are examples. It’s very easy to control. You have left, right and jump, which also fires the guns when airborne. Between each level there are three random bonuses to choose from. Don’t question the logic of laser sights under your soles. After every four levels the player arrives at a new setting, with other enemies and different music. At the bottom there is a boss and after that there is a hard mode to unlock, which turns everything up to “11”! There are also a lot of challenges for achievement hunters. Due to the nature of the game, you will die a lot. Every enemy takes a tick of your precious life bar, which can be refilled though stores and pickups.

dw2
downwell palette example

Each enemy you kill without landing increases the combo counter. Can you get to 100?

When dying in Downwell after taking too many hits, an experience gauge is filled and new color schemes and styles are unlocked. Each style provides different bonuses, while the palettes are your colors. Examples include green, blue and all grey. The graphics are simple and only have two colors at any given time. It’s the game I wish was on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) as I grew up. It’s fun, simple and extremely addictive. Did I mention that it’s dirt cheap on Steam? Music and sound effects have a good impact to them and fit in nicely. Though at times the music can be off key and a bit of an ear worm. Yet it’s instantly recognizable.

Downwell it’s addictive and fun, very much so. You have been warned. The controls are stupidly simple as well. Left right and jump, which also fire the gun boots when airborne.

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I hope it ends “well”.

 

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It’s essentially a very good time-sink that anyone can pick up and play. If you need more proof, take a look at my “first impressions” video:

Since the game is on Steam, I just have to provide a link.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/360740/

Check out this fine peddler of independent wares.

http://www.devolverdigital.com/

Incidentally, the development team made a home page for the game.

http://downwellgame.com/

Njål Sand