Real-time strategy games got simpler over time. The genre, which combined base-building with action, began to focus exclusively on the latter. But during its golden age, it was possible to go in the opposite direction. Age of Empires II dared to add the features of civilization games to the pressure of real time tactics. Rough, unadulterated and, yet, beautifully remixed by its Definitive Edition; it delivers on its promise, though not without flaws.
Videogame and board game reviews by game critic Erik Twice. What does he think about the game of the year? And what about that forgotten classic? Read about it here!
Back in the halcyon days of the Saturn, Sega attempted to bridge the demands of their console with the design principles of their flagship arcade titles. One of the results of this experimentation was Panzer Dragoon, a shooter set in a fantasy world in which we ride on the back of a powerful dragon. Now remade, it’s as fun as it must have been back in 1995, but also as lacking in substance.
There are few designers whose sense of aesthetics is so diametrically opposed to mine as Stefan Feld. Where I prefer chatter, surprise and laughter, he keeps his players distant and staring down into the board. He makes seemingly dull, brown games of efficiency which bore me to tears. And yet, he’s a talented designer. The Castles of Burgundy is one of the two games of his I’ve ever liked and, perhaps, also his best.
Like many fans of Terraforming Mars, I was eager to play Ark Nova. Building a zoo through cards and unique projects seemed fun, and it indeed was! Featuring a great selection mechanism, a board to build in and a massive deck, it has all the elements for a game I would like. Sadly, a lack of development and a misguided sense of balance forced me to lower my expectations.
If I had to keep a single title in my collection, it would be Cosmic Encounter. No other game represents everything I love from our medium as well as it does. It’s fun, challenging, social. Whenever I play it, I laugh and, win or lose, I come out refreshed and enriched from the experience. Chaotic and irreverent, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s one of the greatest games ever designed.
Continue reading »