A Hat in Time Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

While I lack much of the fond nostalgia for the 3D platforming genre, I was completely enthralled by A Hat in Time. Its bright, cheery art and music, witty dialogue, and grandiose level designs instantly catapulted Hat Kid among the upper echelon of the late 90s Golden Age classics.

Simply put: A Hat in Time is the most fun I’ve had with a 3D platformer since Psychonauts.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Direwild: Co-op Deckbuilding Dungeon Crawler on Kickstarter

I saw a lot of neat upcoming Kickstarter-hopeful games at PAX South earlier this year. One that always stuck with me was Direwild. It’s finally arrived on Kickstarter.

Direwild plays like a fun combination of Pokémon, a cooperative deckbuilder, and a tactical RPG.

Cards are made up of 130 creatures. Each creature card has modifying traits and abilities that can be added to other creature cards, letting you create a single super-creature through a unique crafting system.

I’ve loved other games that use a similar system of modifying cards, such as Evolution, where the same cards act as both units and enchantments depending on how and where you use them. You can read the rulebook here.

On top of charming, summon, and creating creatures, you also navigate a series of tactical battle maps, battle evil minions, cast spells, collect treasures, level up heroes, and fight your way to the final boss battle.

The game is designed as an ongoing campaign using all three grid maps, and includes tuckboxes so you can save your current game (ha!) and bring the cards into the next scenario.

Direwild is designed for 1-4 players, with an estimated play time of 60-90 minutes and an age of 13+, though the material itself is family-friendly. In fact the starting creatures are puppies and kittens!

It includes a double-sided map board, standees, 10 hero boards, tons of cards, and some dice and tokens. Optionally you can upgrade to a Premium edition to receive miniatures of the 10 playable heroes and five enemies.

direwild

The Kickstarter campaign has been up for about a week and is already a resounding success, reaching its very modest funding goal of $38,000 within the first two days. It’s a short campaign with only 14 days remaining, and already over 1,000 backers have nearly doubled the funding goal. The next stretch goal unlocks new minions.

The current minimum bid to receive Direwild is $59, not including shipping (US is $10). Estimated delivery is August 2018, though I’ve never experienced a Kickstarter project not receiving at least some sort of delay.

The Direwild Kickstarter campaign ends December 1.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar Review [PC Gamer]

Read My full review at PC Gamer

Battle Chasers: Nightwar tackles the tedium of traditional JRPG turn-based combat by turning every fight into a tense interplay of meaningful tactics. Despite some frustrating elements and balancing issues, Nightwar provides some of the most satisfying RPG battles I’ve experienced all year—and looks nice doing it.

Read My full review at PC Gamer

Jagged Alliance: The Board Game Now on Kickstarter

In the last few years board games have become the new darlings of Kickstarter, raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars. A growing subsection are board games based on video games, with the latest, Jagged Alliance: The Board Game, hitting Kickstarter today.

The board game is being developed by German game developer Underground Games who are partnering with games publisher THQ Nordic.

“Making Jagged Alliance into a board game experience has been an ambition of ours since we first played the series over two decades ago,” says Jan Wagner, Co-founder of Underground Games. “To finally bring JA to board games and add to its great legacy, is a unique opportunity for us! We aim to make a game that is as challenging and varied as the digital version, keeping players on the edge as they make life and death decisions by the minute.”

Jagged Alliance: The Board Game is a cooperative 1-4 player tactical game featuring minis, modular maps, and multiple campaign books. Underground Games promises over 1000 hours of content through the replayable campaign and scenarios.

The scenarios and campaign books let you choose to play either a quick 45-minute skirmish map or a succession of missions in a full campaign.

The Kickstarter campaign is seeking 50,000 euros (about $59,000 USD). The cheapest pledge that nets you the game costs 59 euros (about $69 USD). If you want to shell out the big bucks you could become a lieutenant or even the other dictator boss in the game.

As always with Kickstarter games shipping is charged separately, with expectations ranging from $10 to $20.

The estimated delivery date is November 2018.

From glancing at the campaign I’m getting strong vibes of XCOM: The Board Game with the soldier minis and different missions. The Sector Maps looks to provide actual tactical combat that the XCOM game sorely lacked.

Despite loving the tactical strategy genre I never really got into Jagged Alliance, always preferring sci-fi or fantasy to modern military. But Jagged Alliance: The Board Game looks like a really solid, high quality effort to translate the video game into a very meaty tabletop production.

The creators of Battle Chasers on comics, RPGs, and almost being Chaotic Evil [PC Gamer]

Read the full article on PC Gamer

THQ’s demise in 2013 left a number of game developers displaced, including Vigil Games, creators of the Darksiders series. Two studios spun out of the ashes of Vigil Games: Gunfire Games, who are making Darksiders 3, and Airship Syndicate, whose first game, Battle Chasers: Nightwar, launched last week. It’s a combination dungeon crawler and JRPG, featuring turn-based combat, randomized dungeons, and a striking art style based on a late ’90s comic series.

Over Skype I spoke with Joe Madureira, Airship Syndicate’s creative director and CEO (as well as writer and penciller of the Battle Chasers comic), and Steve Madureira, the lead designer and animator for Battle Chasers: Nightwar—two brothers who have been making comics and games since they were teenagers.

Read the full article on PC Gamer

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Many of my favorite games stick with me over the years not because of finely-honed combat systems or impressive visual effects. Often it’s the story and characters that remain the most memorable aspects of the those cherished gaming experiences.

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows has one of the best stories I’ve experienced in years. It’s an epic tale about heroic sacrifice, forbidden love, political betrayal, and self discovery set within a richly realized world of urban renaissance and ancient mystery. Masquerada’s tactical combat is serviceable, but it’s the story and characters that demand you experience this unique RPG.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Interview with Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif [ZAM]

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Since the halcyon days of Double Fine Adventure just a few years ago, Kickstarter has faded as a legitimate source of revenue for video game companies. While some veteran developers and spiritual sequels can still find success on Kickstarter, it’s the last place one would expect to find a multi-million dollar MMORPG by a brand new studio.

Intrepid Studios has discovered an audience who is hungry for their upcoming title Ashes of Creation, an ambitious MMORPG that promises an impressive degree of player involvement within the politics, economy, and history of the world. The Kickstarter campaign surged to over $1 million after 36 hours. The campaign wrapped up last week with nearly 20,000 backers pledging over $3.2 million.

Read the full article on ZAM