Planet Zoo Beta Preview [Pixelkin]

Read the full preview at Pixelkin

In many ways Planet Zoo is a successful combination of Frontier Developments’ last two games: Planet Coaster and Jurassic World Evolution. The sim park management and robust construction tools from Planet Coaster are all here, but we’re trading in our Teacups and Giga Coasters for African Buffalo and Reticulated Giraffes. As in Jurassic World Evolution, these animals have a complex list of social, environmental, and dietary needs, and taking care of them is the most important element of running a successful zoo.

Read the full preview at Pixelkin

Pagan Online Hero Guide [PC Gamer]

Read the full guide at PC Gamer

There are ten different Pagan Online classes, each of whom encourage wildly different playstyles. In the beginning you can only unlock a single hero, but each additional character costs one hero soul from the increasingly challenging list of assassination missions.

Knowing which heroes you want to unlock first makes a major difference, so we’re here to break down each class in Pagan Online, including their strengths, difficulty, and their best moves to help you hack-and-slash through the endless enemy hordes.

Read the full guide at PC Gamer

Gloomhaven Steam Early Access Impressions [PC Gamer]

Read the full preview at PC Gamer

I adore Gloomhaven, the tabletop game. It’s a tactical RPG in board and card form, and has been the best board game on BoardGameGeek since 2017. Gloomhaven captures the turn-based combat and progression of Dungeons & Dragons along with unlockable hidden classes, a huge campaign of nearly 100 scenarios, over three dozen monsters and bosses, and a Choose Your Own Adventure story with multiple avenues and choices. I’ve completed dozens of scenarios and sunk well over a hundred hours, and now I’m starting over with the new digital version on Steam.

Read the full preview at PC Gamer

Diablo Meets Destiny with action-RPG Killsquad [PC Gamer]

Read the full Early Access Preview via PC Gamer

Killsquad looks and loots like the lovechild of Diablo and Destiny and plays like a co-op MOBA. It hit Steam Early Access this week as an action-RPG for up to four players, drenched in a hellish sci-fi theme that could almost be a Doom spin-off with some of its demonic alien creatures. The fast-paced action is easy to jump into, with gorgeous art design, fun attacks, and, refreshingly, zero microtransactions.

Read the full Early Access Preview via PC Gamer

The Legend of Grimrock devs on Druidstone, their new tactical RPG [PC Gamer]

Read the full feature article at PC Gamer

I was surrounded on all sides. I’d managed to rescue the prisoner, but now we had to fight our way back out of the dungeon. Reinforcements poured in from the south, so I sent my beleaguered party north. When we made it to a room with pressure plates and fireball-spewing statues, more reinforcements spawned at the entrance and quickly closed in.

What followed was a harrowing, tense turn, as I carefully positioned my warden for a whirlwind strike, blasted out a fireball with my acolyte, and tried to figure out what I could do with a useless unarmed prisoner. That’s when I remembered the pressure plates, and smiled as I noticed the bad guys were standing pretty close to those statues. He may have been unarmed, but his legs were working just fine.

That wasn’t the first dungeon escapade I just barely scraped through in Druidstone: The Secret of Menhir Forest, a new tactical RPG from the creators of Legend of Grimrock.

Read the full feature article at PC Gamer

My Top Ten Games of 2018: #7

My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Dead Cells
#9 Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
#8 Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu/Eevee!

#7 Frostpunk


Developer: 11 bit Studios
Publisher: 11 bit Studios
Platforms: PC

I was a bit late to the party with This War of Mine, a unique sim-survival game that played out like a strategic board game with a harrowing real-world theme about the horrors of war upon civilians. This War of Mine put 11 bit Studios on my personal radar, and I was very much looking forward to Frostpunk when it released earlier this year.

Frostpunk did not disappoint. Like This War of Mine it takes some very heavy survival themes and treats them with the cold-hearted seriousness that befits surviving during an apocalypse.

Your haggard survivors have found a geothermic reactor and established a city amid a world blanketed in sub-freezing temperatures.

The real-time strategy game forces you to manage precious resources like coal, wood, and food, but also regulate the happiness and morale of your people. Stuffing food with sawdust will help ration meek food stores but your people won’t be happy. A 24-hour shift could be just enough to make it through the night, but injury and exhaustion will spread like a plague.

Little story events force you to make tough decisions, like giving leniency to a mother stealing food for her children. Ultimately you’ll need to choose either a zealous or totalitarian path to unlock new laws and edicts and keep everyone in line, a sobering look at how humanity survives extreme conditions.

Thanks to its incredibly immersive atmosphere, haunting string soundtrack and compelling writing. Frostpunk is more than just a thematic city builder. It’s one of the best games of the year.

How Hero-U Avoided Disaster and Recaptured 90s Adventure [PC Gamer]

Read the full article at PC Gamer

Six years, two Kickstarter campaigns, and one home equity loan later, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption has finally been released. “A year after the first Kickstarter we were approached by an outside investor,” says Corey Cole, part of the husband-wife team behind Hero-U. “We would’ve gotten half a million in additional funding. The problem was they wanted 50% of the game’s sales for life. At the time we felt it was too much to give up. Had we looked into our crystal ball in 2015 or 2017, we would’ve jumped on that.”

I spoke to both Corey and Lori Cole about the lengthy, yet passionate development of Hero-U, an adventure-RPG modeled after the 1990s Sierra series that once made them design icons: Quest for Glory.

Read the full article at PC Gamer