Tag Archives: tale

Haven Review: Walking Dead: A New Frontier

Skybound known for creating the wonderful comics and possibly their biggest hit The Walking Dead, which has spawned a great television show and for us most importantly the Telltale series and from that we now have our season three! Walking Dead: A New Frontier!

Following the story of Clementine and her journey in the world inhabited by zombies, shes begun to grow into a young beautiful woman who can still pop a cap into someone arse when the need arises and honestly, its been a roller coaster just watching her grow up from her experiences with Lee in season one and her adventures with Kenny in season two. Now we get to go on the emotional roller coaster again as she has to traverse the zombie filled wastelands again with new friends and allies trying to protect herself and them as well. How time and the times have changed a once fairly wide eyed girl into a person who has to struggle each day for her own survival it.

Like all Telltale titles I am not fond of the control styles and its fairly linear story-telling, but that is because I’ve played so many at this point but what I do love so far is the story. There is just something about the Walking Dead that keeps dragging me back, not the show but the Telltale experience. I am deathly afraid of the undead and for the most part it pushes me away from the show although I have watched it. But The Walking Dead franchise mixed with the way Telltale shows the story off is wonderful.

Playing through a A New Frontier I still encounter the same situations would you expect, but it ultimately becomes more of a refreshing moment rather than a tiresome en-devour. Because now the stakes are higher with only your family at stake the game makes you choose what you would do to protect them.

Like its predecessors music for the most part isn’t really a crucial part to the game, for most of the game its basic linear story-telling but the void of sound helps set the tone even more for the game because you are in a post apocalyptic world where zombies are everywhere and the biggest threat you face is each other.

People replace the sense of kindness for cruelty to get by and to try to survive against the new frontier. But really though it is just so nice to see Clementine alive after all these years and still taking care of that baby in tow aiming to keep herself and the kid safe as they blow people and zombies brains out.

Conclusion though the game  is pretty nice, and considering its Walking Dead title again from Telltale I didn’t really need to say that, the titles generally speak for themselves and they remain a staple of enjoyment in the games we play.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution

Title1First 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.

Adapting board games to electronic platforms is a hit-and-miss operation. Classic titles that have been around for decades are especially difficult. Often the rules quite don’t translate, and developers are slow to release expansion boards, card sets and game pieces in the form of DLC. Fortunately, the game we’re about to review doesn’t have to worry about any of that because it’s unique to the computerized world! Enter Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution, developed by High Tale Studios and published by Black Shell Media.

Fans will tell you that to be a good board game, a title must provide a balance of two features: strategy and tactics. The former represents an overall plan that defines a player’s future intentions. The latter denotes a specific proaction to embellish that plan, or a reaction to an opponent’s move.
Castle2The idea behind Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution is simple enough. You are a rebel squirrel during the French Revolution, doing your part to end the tyranny brought on by the tax-collecting authority. Acorns are your currency, and your fellow squirrels are being denied their share. Vive la Revolution!

The game plays out on a grid somewhat like a chess board. You place gun-wielding squirrels onto squares on your side of the board, along with obstacles and barricades to slow the Tax Man’s army. You place your pieces and attack first each round, before the enemy has a chance to do the same. To compensate, your opponent is granted a larger corps of defenders to use on the first turn (and on subsequent turns if they survive). This defensive advantage becomes more pronounced as the game progresses, so your thought processes must evolve, as well.
Gate1Stationed behind each team of combatants is a base of operations. This is shown as a house, gate or some other solid structure, depending on the current place in the story. The goal of each round is to destroy the enemy base, and it turns out that your base always begins with more hit points that that of the AI. Don’t be fooled, however. The opponent’s aforementioned corps advantage more than makes up for its slightly weaker base. Trust me, you’ll appreciate every last hit point you have!

The rules of play remain more or less the same throughout the story, so we’ll examine the most common strategic and tactical elements for this review.

First, the strategy:

FiveItemsWhen a round begins, you’re presented with a 5-item lineup. This consists of “3 barrels plus 2 squirrels” or “3 squirrels plus 2 barrels”. Either way, you have these 5 objects to place onto the board as you see fit. Squirrels represent your offensive force, while barrels provide protective defense. Truth be told, squirrels do have a small number of hit points themselves, so they can be used as defensive structures to protect your base.

AcornsBefore placing your pieces, look for piles of acorn currency that periodically show up on the board. Placing either a squirrel or a barrel onto the acorns increases your bank reserves. What can you spend acorns on? Three things:

TrioDefense: Increases the amount of damage your squirrels absorb from enemy fire.
Strength: Increases your squirrels’ attack damage.
Health: Restores hit points to your base of operations.

One thing to remember is that you’re not obligated to claim or spend acorns on the round they appear. In other words, you don’t have to sacrifice good piece placement for currency. Acorns left on the board will remain in place for the next round. Especially in later stages, large bank reserves become critical for victory. Now this doesn’t mean you can bilk the system by “squirreling away” all your nuts; the Tax Man collects a nominal percentage of your bank at the start of every round! Unfair? Perhaps. But with patience, you’ll figure out your opponent’s methods, beat the rounds and advance the story.Gate2

Now for the tactics:

Placing three like objects adjacent to each other (either in a straight line or in an “L” shape) causes them to combine into a single, tougher object. So three “pistol-squirrels” combine to form a single “rifle squirrel”. Three “barrels” combine to form a single “sand barrier”. These advanced objects can be combined even further (three “sand barriers” become a “wood barrier”, etc.). Each time you combine items in this way, additional acorns are added to your bank.

AdvancedA word of caution when combining objects: The upgraded item will not automatically appear on the center square, rather the square that received the “third” item. In the image below for example, the sand barrier has replaced all three barrels, and it has appeared in the square where the barrel marked “3” was originally placed:

Combine2Mechanics like these are what make this game enjoyable because they’re easy to understand, yet not easily mastered. The fact that you can replace the enemy AI with an actual human opponent helps to justify the title’s not-quite-bargain price. I would suggest adding Steam achievements, as these often tip the purchasing scale to the positive side. Also, a way to adjust the game’s difficulty would be useful. As it stands, it’s a bit too hard. Though the AI’s base has fewer hit points, its corps bonus is OP and can be frustrating to overcome.

So overall, is Acorn Assault: Rodent Revolution worth it? Priced on Steam at $15 (USD), the answer is yes. Despite its difficulty, you’ll find yourself wanting “One more round…just one more round!” Have fun balancing all the elements of this well-thought-out, board game style slug-fest…and go nuts!

-Chris Roberts-

Haven Review: Minecraft Story Mode – A Telltale Game

First 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.

Minecraft-Story-Mode-logoMinecraft, the famous game we all know and love from Mojang, was bought by Microsoft and is now titled as another game. In this new project from Telltale Games you are playing a story-based version of the classic open world builder…because that is what Telltale does.

The name of the game is Minecraft Story Mode. At the start you get to pick one of two possible characters, male or female, and your choice of three different skins each. I know this kind of sucks; you don’t get to upload your own skin! Given time I think someone will do something about that.1472451861165694866

Now in the story you and your two friends (three if you count your pig, Reuben) are off to participate in the Endercon Building Competition, where you meet Gabriel the Warrior, one of the four Heroes of Legend. Now at the start of the game you decide on what you are going to build, and then to impress the judges you must decide to make something special. Once you do that, you use familiar resource grabbing techniques to gather materials. Construction is accompanied by an almost “Eye of the Tiger” training montage to help pump yourself up for what’s to come. No seriously, you’re doing push-ups with Rueben on your back, punching wood and working out in the most hardcore way possible.apps.56167.13510798886691332.51a4b50d-c13e-4f5e-a2df-f52404aaf504.e3e01b88-0a70-4b52-b7bd-db95e9fb26dc

Now character-wise, you have your two friends who are pretty fun, although Olivia is fairly negative all the time as the ubiquitous CaptainSparklez has pointed out. But overall I think Rueben is by far the coolest character; a pig that gets to dress up as an Ender Dragon. He pulls off the look really well!

Why have a wolf in game, when you can have a pig dressed as a dragon? In my book it’s a major win. Mechanics-wise, the game is fairly straightforward on both keyboard and controller. Telltale sticks to their basic formula, as it’s a proven formula. The same holds for the music. They know how to set the tone of the game, although they never did play “Eye of the Tiger” during the opening…very disappointing.

The voice acting, although good for the most part, needs a little work. The game also needs a little more instruction, although considering the likely players, it works out well. It’s only minor things that really need improvement. During certain moments the voice actors try to sound excited, but they come across as bland and lackluster.Minecraft-Story-Mode-9-840x525

Despite that though, Minecraft Story Mode is really fun. However the replay value is a little low for me. It doesn’t have that feeling that lures me in the way the original Minecraft did. Although the latter title is still wildly popular, it has lost a lot of its charm for me over the years.

Do I recommend picking up this game? I totally do. I enjoyed playing and got a few good chuckles here and there from the story. If you are a fan of Minecraft and always wanted a story to go along with it, then I definitely recommend picking it up.

-Daniel Clatworthy-