Frostpunk Review [Pixelkin]

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

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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”

The Swords of Ditto Review [Pixelkin]

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Many video game genres overlap and blend well together. Shooting and third-person action. Narrative-rich adventure with first-person exploration. RPG elements in just about everything. Yet in the paraphrased words of Dr. Ian Malcolm, just because you can combine genres doesn’t mean you should.

The Swords of Ditto is a cautionary tale. The concept seems solid: combine the basic structure of classic top-down, 2D Zelda within the framework of a challenging roguelike, creating a frustrating experience that relies too much on repetition.

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Ink Monsters Review [Pixelkin]

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Card games can be tricky for younger kids. It can be challenging to hold very many cards in tiny hands, and privately manage their own resources.

Ink Monsters alleviates these issues by providing a streamlined set collection card game, themed around drawing kid-friendly monsters. The enchanting artwork and simple iconography helps sell the light-hearted experience, though end game scoring quickly grows complex and unwieldy.

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Roll20 Review: Songbird, Scion, Saboteur (War for the Crown 2)

Pose as local nobles and win the hearts and minds of the people of Meratt in Part 2 of the War for the Crown.

A press review copy of the module was provided. Find more Roll20 Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

The sophomore adventure in the War for the Crown Adventure Path follows more of the political intrigue and social maneuvering from the first. It’s designed to run directly after Crownfall, with PCs beginning at 4th level and advancing to 7th at the conclusion.

In Songbird, Scion, Saboteur, the PCs travel north to the county of Meratt, assuming the role of long-lost nobles, hob-nobbing at posh parties, helping the local populace with various odd-jobs and missions, and culminating in the PCs’ invasion of the ruling noble.

The adventure hits all the right beats, though running many areas, particularly the mini open-world section of Part 2, could prove tricky to run in Roll20. Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Songbird, Scion, Saboteur (War for the Crown 2)”

Roll20 Review: Crownfall (War for the Crown 1)

A press review copy of the module was provided. Find more Roll20 Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Every new edition of Dungeons & Dragons has its naysayers, but in the mid 2000s Fourth Edition’s announcement was especially volatile compared to the widely beloved 3.5 edition. So much so that one company split off and created their own RPG system heavily based on 3.5 edition. Pathfinder did the unthinkable and proved more popular than Dungeons & Dragons for several years, until Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition arrived in 2014.

My own experience with Pathfinder is quite limited. When we first got into doing role-playing games online via Roll20, we actually started with Pathfinder, playing for several months. That game was cancelled when our GM abruptly left, and it would be several months before we got bit by the RPG bug again, first with Shadowrun and then with D&D 5E.

Now, finally, Pathfinder has officially come to Roll20. Roll20 is completely open, meaning you could always play Pathfinder, but with official licensing support comes Roll20-created character sheets, as well as professionally adapted modules, the likes of which we’ve been seeing (and I’ve been reviewing) for D&D over the last several months. Continue reading “Roll20 Review: Crownfall (War for the Crown 1)”

Into the Breach Review [Pixelkin]

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Pacific Rim meets Chess isn’t exactly the most common elevator pitch for indie games, yet it perfectly describes Into the Breach, the long-awaited sophomore release from beloved FTL: Faster Than Light developers Subset Games.

Into the Breach successfully retains all the fun roguelike challenges and tactical strategy of FTL while minimizing most randomized frustrations, creating a compelling tactical board game.

Read the full review at Pixelkin