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Layers of Fear: Legacy Review

By Mike BC

 

What You Need to Know:

 

Layers of Fear: Legacy is a horror/suspense game that follows a painter in a large estate.  You play as the painter who is trying to finish a painting.  I won’t tell you what you’re painting because it is tied to the story.  What I can tell you, is that you’ll want to pay attention to details while you play the game.  Every time you complete a section of the story, a bit more of the painting is revealed until the end of the game when you see your masterpiece.  The story is revealed while you complete a series of puzzles that range from easy to rage inducing.  Be careful when you turn around.  The scene may change just that quickly.

 

The Good

 

Layers of Fear: Legacy does an amazing job keeping you plugged in.  I found myself wanting to go back for more every time I stopped playing. There were nights when I found myself going to sleep far later than was responsible.  The story that it tells is a work of art.  I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the level of depth that came from a story inside of a horror game.  Typically, horror relies less on good storytelling and more on the fear.  Layers of Fear: Legacy struck a good balance between the genre and the story to be told.

 

The Bad

 

Despite my praises so far, this game was far from perfect.  Even though this game sits in the horror category, it wasn’t that scary.  For fans of the genre, it may come up short on the scare factor.  The game really felt more creepy than scary.  In the easier puzzles, it didn’t even feel like a game but more like an experience.  My biggest concern with the game was the technical issues that I ran into.  On one occasion, the puzzle repeated itself but wasn’t responding to the normal cues that got me through it the first time.  After restarting the game, I was able to complete the puzzle but then the game had an error and closed itself.  When I restarted the game, it moved to another puzzle. On other occasions, the game would have errors and close itself randomly with seemingly no reason to have done so.  My hope is that these were isolated to my Nintendo Switch and not indicative of the whole game.  My other thought was that it may be a Switch port issue not seen on other consoles.  Regardless, I would be remiss in my duties as a reviewer if I didn’t report on the issues that caused me to disengage from the game.  The game has so much promise, but you are taken out of the game when these kind of issues arise.

 

 

Should You Play?

 

Layers of Fear: Legacy is a good game.  Though it has it’s faults, I really believe anyone who enjoys a dark story will enjoy playing this game.  Be patient, as it has a slow start, because the payoff will be incredible. Thanks to the Bloober team for the opportunity to review this game.  I am happy to recommend it!

 

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The Final Station Review

By Mike BC

 

 

What You Need To Know!

 

The Final Station is a side scroller and a train simulator.  106 Years after The First Visitation, The Final Station picks up with another visitation from a mysterious invasion that seems like zombies.  The enemies you fight during the side scrolling are dark humanoid figures that seem like shadow figures with eyes.  The most basic of these enemies moves slowly and can be taken out with a single charged melee attack.  There are other enemies though like the shorter faster enemies that require multiple melee attacks even if the first one is charged.  Another enemy moves slowly but has riot gear lending more credence to the idea that these enemies are zombies.  Throughout the game, you will have limited resources so choose when to use food and medkits wisely. In every level, you will have to keep people alive on the train and once you arrive at your destination, you’ll have to find the train code to move on.

 

The Good

 

The Final Station does a great job storytelling.  You start with little to no understanding of what’s happening.  When the game first starts, it gives the impression that you’re playing a “slice of life” game.  Everything seems very ordinary to the point of nearly being boring.  With every level, another piece of the puzzle is unlocked until you finally see what’s been there all along.  When you get that a-ha! moment and see what’s been going on, there is a deep sense of satisfaction in understanding.  The gameplay is solid! When the conflict began, I initially thought it was needlessly difficult.  The more I played, I realized that it was more than a simple side scroller.  In fact, the game relies on the player using strategy to get through every level.  The Switch version that we reviewed, is very good because the game plays very well in both handheld and tv mode but it did seem more fitting for the handheld mode.

 

 

The Bad

 

The Final Station had a few problems.  The game does a checkpoint system so that if you die during the level, you go back to the most recent checkpoint.  The problem isn’t with the system but with the checkpoint itself.  The checkpoint isn’t something you see, but rather, it happens automatically.  When you restart at the checkpoint, you go back to the same time and circumstances as when you were there previously.  If you were already low on health or resources when you cross the checkpoint, then dying may not necessarily help you get any further.  The fix to this is that at any time you can open the menu and restart the level.  The second problem is a nitpicky one.  During the train sim portion of the game, you have to keep your passengers alive.  If they get too hungry or low on health, they will die.  Medkits come up in each level and at times, I found myself with an extra for a passenger.  Food, on the other hand, was scarce and more than once, a passenger would die from starvation.  This wouldn’t be a problem except that your performance in the game is measured by whether or not your passengers survive trips on the train.  Lastly, at $19.99 USD, the game would be better priced at $14.99 like it is on Steam, PS4, and XBOX One.

 

 

Should You Play?

 

The Final Station is a unique experience.  I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with it. However, this game may not be for everyone.  If you enjoy side scrolling action, you should give it a go.  If the train simulator is all that catches your attention, know that it is a small part of the game.  In fact, the game would not suffer if it wasn’t in there.  Overall, I can recommend this game to enthusiasts of the genre.

Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder

Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder. Devastated

paper wars quest 4 pixels
Have you ever found yourself just endlessly scrolling through the Nintendo Switch EShop,
not sure of what you’re looking for, or even what you want to play. You come acrossana icon
that looks like a picture a young child drew of a soldier. You keep going because you tell
yourself that looks childish. That’s where you are wrong. Paper wars for the Nintendo
Switch is a hidden gem, worth your time and affection.

Here they come

Paper war treats your eyes to a unique art style that looks like it was made out of notepad
sketches. After that you have the options of playing through three chapters made up of
twenty-eight mission each, you also have the option of playing a survival mode. After
jumping into a mission, you are tasked with holding the hordes of enemies off, by shooting at
them with your tank and using power-ups that appear on the battlefield.
Each mission begins with a short description of what needs to be accomplished. This is
really nice because it switches the gameplay up just enough to keep the game interesting.
Some missions might have you focus on only one type of enemy.You may also have to hold
your enemy off for a set period of time. For those of you who love achievements, there is a
medal system based on how efficient you are at completing missions. So this gives you
something to go back for, and also add replay value to this game.

Fire at will

paper wars battle
One of the greatest this about this game is that it utilizes the Switches touch screen. I found
the game a lot more enjoyable when using the touch controls. I also wanted to do a little
experiment with this game. My nine-year-old son really has no interest in video games. He
will play for a race or two of Mario Kart, but no more just enough to amuse his old man. He
does, however, love his Ipad, I said to him, hey give this new game a try, you can use it like
your Ipad, I then had a hard time getting my switch back because he was having a blast. I
really wish more developers would take advantage of this style of gameplay, so that more
people could enjoy the switch.

Man down

The one problem I had with paper wars was the type of text the developer used. I don’t know
if it is me getting old, but sometimes it took me a minute to figure out the text. They use
uppercase lowercase and backward letters at random.

cannon fodder paper wars

The final stand

At the end of the day, paper war is a hidden gem on the Nintendo EShop. With the amount of
content you get and the amount of replayability you will get out of it, this is a must-have
game, it’s great because you can easily knock out a mission or two while waiting in line at
the store, or riding the bus. There needs to be more games like paper wars that are
designed to be consumed in three to five-minute chunks.

By: Joel Brooks
Nintendo Family Gaming

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Bridge Constructor Portal Review

bridge constrictor portal switch

If you have needed a fresh, healthy dose of GLaDOS making snide remarks and insulting your ability to accomplish basic tasks, then Bridge Constructor Portal is for you!

Also, it happens to have this decent physics-based bridge building puzzle game attached to it, so that’s something, I guess?

Build A Bridge

Now, Bridge Constructor Portal isn’t the first iteration of a game that has borrowed elements from another more popular game. It also isn’t the first time that a game uses a cameo appearance to enhance the overall user experience. However, it is one of the finest uses of both of these elements. Bridge Constructor Portal is, in essence, a physics-based bridge building game like many others, but it is a subpar version of its own series, propped up by the charm of an unstable android voice created for a more well-known puzzle series. You have girders, and wires at your disposal. You will utilize these tools to complete bridges leading from one side of a gap to another. These structures must be able to support themselves, which can be checked first by selecting the “test” option that you are given. Once you see that your bridge won’t fall apart instantly when you set the vehicle in motion, you must also hope that the vehicle can successfully traverse the level in its entirety without the bridge collapsing under the weight, or sagging to slow momentum. The best way to go about this is to make sure that your girders and wires all match up almost perfectly from the starting point to the endpoint. These points will be represented by circles.

How To Play

You can play the game docked and handheld with a controller to do this, but it is by far the most cumbersome and difficult method by which to play Bridge Constructor Portal. Ideally, you’ll want to play in handheld mode, using touchscreen controls.The frustrating part about this is that often you find yourself unable to make sure that you’re successfully overlapping your circles closely enough because you’re hiding it with your finger. So, you must do your best to match things up almost perfectly, but are not able to see to ensure this happens consistently. Destroying the components is easily done by double tapping, but it is incredibly frustrating that the largest portion of difficulty doesn’t come from solving the engineering puzzles related to span distance and proper support, but from your own inability to see what it is that you are doing. This obviously leads to a lot of irritating moments that is just you placing the same girder or wire over, and over, and over again.

bridge portal switch

There are some clever environmental puzzles to be overcome that incorporate different colored portals to spice things up a bit, but usually, the solution can be ascertained by testing the limits of the length of your girders and wires in relation to how much space you have to work with. Again, I find myself praising the tie-in with the Portal series much more than the game proper. If it weren’t for the inclusion of portals and GLaDOS constantly taunting you and cracking wise, Bridge Constructor Portal would be a completely forgettable experience, and anyone but the most hardcore of puzzle fans could overlook it without a second glance. Unfortunately, the inclusion of the Portal license has probably caused the game to carry a hefty price tag that makes it too expensive to even be a great impulse buy.

In Conclusion

There are some fun elements to the game, of course. The physics are spot on, and it is deeply satisfying to construct a bridge that is solid as a rock and supports a whole convoy of vehicles. On the flip side of that, if you forget to tap a girder to convert it to a road, it is hilarious to watch the vehicle and its occupants fall through to a pit of acid due to your negligence. It is also quite entertaining to watch how the bridge will sway, droop, and bounce after you’ve constructed it and send the vehicle over. Sometimes the droop is too much during a test run, and the whole thing just collapses. When you do these tests and watch where the weak points are, it is easy to figure out where you went wrong and how it needs to be fixed. Bridge Constructor Portal also provides a lot of levels to play through, and each feels a bit more different than the last. It isn’t a bad experience, and you can probably get used to the controls and enhance your own enjoyment, but there isn’t anything particularly great other than the great utilization of the Portal license.

Watch some GLaDOS highlights on YouTube, especially from Portal 2 (where her voice triggers my ASMR response); then, wait for Bridge Constructor Portal to go on super sale.

By: Sodamancer

Super Toy Cars Review

As a kid, one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday was to take my matchbox cars
outside and play with them in the dirt, in the driveway, and in my dad’s garage. I would make
all kinds of tracks with chalk and make my cars race, all the while getting lost in my play time
thinking of how fun it would be to drive these toy cars. How amazing would this world look
from a 1:64 scale perspective. Well, the days of fantasizing are over, thanks to eclipse
games, arcade racer, Super Toy Cars, that released on Nintendo Switch March 2, 2018.

super toy cars screen

Who made this big mess

At first glance, Super Toy Car looks like your kids have ripped their room apart, but after you
take off from the start line you begin to see how beautiful the race track environment is and
how much detail was actually put into each track. As you speed around the toy room you’re
treated to an amazing soundtrack, that really got me in the mood for some good old fashion
arcade racing. The main way you will be playing through Super Toy Cars will be, in the
career mode where you can unlock and buy new cars. You will also be able to buy
upgrades, to improve your car. There is no shortage of races with fifteen different track
variants over eight episodes or six races each. There are also five different race types. There
is your traditional race, time trial, checkpoint race, knock out race, and a different type of
knock out race called evade where it’s the same as a knock out race, but the track is littered
with mines.

It’s play time

One of my favorite things about this game is how much it reminds me of one of my
favorite games, Micro Machines. Super Toy Cars have a great top-down view. I also enjoy
how much Eclipse Games focuses on making this game fun to play, and nice to look at. This
game really comes to life when you’re able to play four player couch co-op.
Wait a minute
There are some things left to be wanted in Super Toy Cars. I had issues with my car flipping
out of control, and no I didn’t hit on of the trap laid by another racer. Getting stuck on walls
and not being able to get back to the race without restarting the race. The biggest missed
point is no online multiplayer. In today’s day and age games like this really need an online
multiplayer.

super toy cars 1920x1080

Time to go home

At the end of the day. If you enjoy arcade racing games this is for you. If you enjoy great
visuals in a game this is for you. There’s a little bit of everything in this game for someone.
This game is a great palette cleanser when you’re looking for a game you can just turn on and
relax

By: Joel Brooks

~Nintendo Family Gaming~

 

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