Goodreads Review: The Last Colony

The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3)The Last Colony by John Scalzi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Far slower and more bureaucratic than the previous books. The Last Colony drops most of the military sci-fi trappings in favor of colonizing a new planet. It’s a neat idea, but the plot switches between the semi-interesting drama of colonizing a new world with defending that colony as part of a larger intergalactic plot. The former story fizzles out as the latter takes over, and it all wraps up a bit too easily. I still love Scalzi’s breezy writing and witty dialogue but this series has yet to reach the heights of the sublime first novel.

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DMs Guild Review – Construct Compendium

New races, spells, feats, class archetypes, and monsters, all with a clockwork theme.

A review copy of “Construct Compendium” was provided for the purposes of this review.

Designed by: Brandon Norris, Richie Root

dms guild reviewWhile Dungeons & Dragons has always been firmly rooted in a fantasy setting, even the lowest of magic settings often include golems and rudimentary mechanical devices, like crossbows and spike traps.

The “Construct Compendium” provides a large amount of mechanical-related content. Over 70 pages provide new races, class archetypes, feats, spells, monsters, and a few magic items, all tied together with the theme of constructs. Continue reading “DMs Guild Review – Construct Compendium”

Jurassic World Evolution Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Fifteen years ago I fell in love with Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. It was the original dinosaur park sim that let me prove that breeding dinosaurs for consumer entertainment is a totally valid business strategy.

Now from the makers of Planet Coaster comes Jurassic World Evolution. Like the current era of Jurassic World films it’s not quite as good as the original. But Evolution does feature all the joy and danger of breeding and housing dinosaurs for entertainment that makes the concept so richly compelling.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Goodreads Review: Sea of Rust

Sea of RustSea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not quite the post-apocalyptic summer blockbuster I was expecting. While there’s a solid chunk of explosive plasma-fueled action, it also dives deep into AI sentience, mental issues, and the uniquely harrowing civil war the robots find themselves in years after they killed all the humans. Protagonist Brittle has a delightfully sly human tone, making it a quick, fun read, but still poking at deeper, profound concepts of individuality, freedom, and sentience.

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Moonlighter Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Nothing irritates me more than seeing the smiling faces on happy customers. It means I priced an item too low and they scored a sweet deal. A begrudgingly crestfallen customer, one who’ll pay just enough to purchase my stock, is exactly the kind of oil that keeps my dungeon crawling machine going.

Moonlighter provides an interesting premise. What if, after exploring a Zelda-like dungeon, our loot-filled hero had to sell all that loot in their own shop, without knowing how much it’s worth?

Moonlighter offers a unique and fun combination of both action-RPG and merchant sim, but doesn’t provide nearly as much depth as games that specialize in either one.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Frostpunk Review [Pixelkin]

A unique post-apocalyptic city-builder that forces you to maintain hope as much as heat and wood.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Things were going well, or least as well as can be expected against an apocalyptic snowstorm, until the temperature plummeted another 40 degrees. “Snowmaggeddon” is a joke during brutal winters. But nobody’s laughing in the world of Frostpunk when temperatures approach -90 degrees, rendering most of the world uninhabitable.

In the last city my supply of coal dwindled to nothing as my geothermic reactor began shutting down. I watched a cascade of Bad News as my workforce grew sick, homes grew cold, and people began dying.

I was forced to pass a law to enable emergency 24 hour shifts. Brave men and women operated frozen coal mines in the dead of night to give us the juice we needed. Some grew sick, and some were so frostbitten they had to have limbs amputated.

But the city survived. These harrowing moments solidify Frostpunk as one of the most memorable and emotional city building sims I’ve ever played.

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DMs Guild Review: Monstrous Uprising

A review copy of Monstrous Uprising was provided for the purposes of this review.

Designed by: Alex Billiedeaux

dms guildThe Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition campaign The Rise of Tiamat briefly mentions several adventure hooks that DMs can employ that showcase the chaos and unrest from the machinations of the Cult of the Dragon. One of these hooks is a half-red dragon and his band of kobolds and lizardfolk, which the DMs Guild adventure “Monstrous Uprising” expands into a 10-page mini adventure.

“Monstrous Uprising: A Sidequest” is a designed as a 4-6 hour adventure for 7th-8th level heroes. It’s stated as a single-session adventure, but my own sessions rarely go over three hours, and there are multiple battles to be found here, including a mini-dungeon crawl.

While it’s designed to slot into The Rise of Tiamat, DMs could easily employ these villains in any adventure. Given that the Tyranny of Dragons campaign is nearly four years old, I suspect that will most likely be the case. Unfortunately there are several major issues that hold it back. Continue reading “DMs Guild Review: Monstrous Uprising”