I tried to make a Community for fun and profit and everyone died [Community Inc.]

Community Inc. is a video game that would fit in a crossroads of genres.

Those genres that Community Inc. bridges are hard to define though they’re mostly exemplified by:

  • Black & White – a God Game Simulator with citizens to tend to and keep happy
  • Viva Piñata – a garden-based life simulator with a community of individuals who each offer something different and outsiders to protect from
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization – a turn-based strategy game centered on world domination via tile acquisition and resource leveling.

tinyBuild tried something different by taking aspects of different kinds of games and putting them into Community Inc. Afterall, Community Inc asks the player to create a whole, fully-functioning community – that they can then sell to new overlords.
The difficulty is that all these aspects are available and in the mix right from the start. Citizens’ happiness, resource planning, enemies, contracts, and more are all fighting for space on the player’s list of things to do. Continue reading “I tried to make a Community for fun and profit and everyone died [Community Inc.]”

Likely Apocalypses: Robotic Apocalypse

Of all the likely apocalypses, the Robotic Apocalypse is one of the most unsettling.

The Replicators in Stargate were one of the most formidable enemies for any intelligent species because they cannot be reasoned with or stopped without completely changing your way of life to one that eradicates any metal components. You can’t drive or fly away because they take every piece of metal and MAKE MORE REPLACTORS. Their only objective is to reproduce, consequences be damned. Continue reading “Likely Apocalypses: Robotic Apocalypse”

The girls guide to post-apocalyptic dictatorship.

In the past, I have made a big deal about how in the post apocalypse, I WILL be a benevolent dictator in control of a large, well run compound. Some of you seem to seem to think I might be joking about this.
Oh, no, sugarbuns. I fully intend to be a dictator. I’m already spoiled, petty and quick to anger – dictatorship should be a cinch.
I can’t tell you HOW to build your compound – it requires a combination of charm, talent, leadership abilities, organisation and a basic, borderline sociopathic disrespect for the rights, opinions and feelings of other people that I just don;t think you can learn. But, I can give you some ideas about how to maintain your iron control once you have it. After all, you don’t want to screw up so bad they murder you, do you?

Continue reading “The girls guide to post-apocalyptic dictatorship.”

5 Apocalyptic Lessons From Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach, the final installment-prequel in the Halo series by Bungie, chronicled the initial invasion and downfall of the human race on the planet Reach to the Covenant.

The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defense between the encroaching Covenant and their ultimate goal, the destruction of Earth. If it falls, humanity will be pushed to the brink of destruction.
source

Known for it’s fairly short campaign mode and extensive multiplayer offerings, Halo: Reach is a perfect way to learn a few apocalypse life lessons. Continue reading “5 Apocalyptic Lessons From Halo: Reach”

First Impressions: I Am Alive (XBLA)

[wpspoiler name=”First Impressions vs. Reviews” ]First Impressions are based on demos while Reviews are based on entire games.[/wpspoiler]
I Am Alive tells the story of a man who spent over a year crossing the ruins of a ravaged country to get back home to his family. He’s practical and cautious, prepared with just enough of the right tools and abilities.
Gameplay is also practical and cautious with just the right amount of badassery.
Ubisoft makes such a wide variety of games from Farcry to Rayman so depending on how you’ve personally interacted with Ubisoft, this gritty, post-apocalyptic, personal journey might be something to add to the deck of awesome or something very unexpected but still very awesome. Continue reading “First Impressions: I Am Alive (XBLA)”

Review: Bastion (XBLA)

“There’s like a kid who wakes up and everyone’s dead and the world is gone.” That was how my husband described Bastion to me.
“Ew.” Was my response. “That sounds terrible and sad and not like a game at all.”
“I guess I can see that. It is pretty sad… Meh, try it,” he said, handing me the controller.
I settled in and tried it.

Immediately I was sucked into the story of The Kid as narrated by the old man with a voice made for storytelling. The Kid and I had the same questions: What happened? Where’d everyone go? Where’d the world go? For the saddest premise in the world I jumped into Bastion feeling motivated and curious.
The controls were intuitive and the game was forgiving while I acclimated myself to my new surroundings. “The Kid just raged for a while,” The Narrator said, prompting me to move on from smashing all the boxes, objects, and general scenery as is customary in semi-similar action games. I found it easy to defeat my enemies as my ability was scaled proportionally with theirs. As the story unfolded and I learned about The Kid, Caelondia, and The Calamity that got us to the world as it is.  I fought slow moving enemies with slow weapons until I able to choose between brute force and speed. Eventually I was able to upgrade certain aspects of my gameplay using potions from the Liquor Store[1. It was called something more clever but it sold potion upgrades that were named to sound like liquor. eg.: Were Whiskey].
Your goal is to fight your way through The Wilds (levels) and collect Shards  to build up The Bastion, a mysterious situation that is the solution to the Calamity according to the narrator who clearly isn’t telling you the whole story.
The whole story is really what makes the game. While I was playing because it was a game I stuck with it because I wanted to  get to the end of the story– and I was the one who would get there. The Kid falls because I fall and he continues on because I continued on. Somehow Supergiant Games too that evocative part of books and movies and campfire stories and brought it to an action-adventure game.
All parts of the game worked harmoniously from the controls to the story to the design to the music[2. The music is unbearably AMAZING in this game. I normally don’t even notice but there were levels I didn’t want to finish for fear of never hearing the song again.] I was immersed.
I rarely finish games, I know “boo” “hiss,” I just get done playing before the game is done and if there isn’t enough of a story I don’t care if I don’t know how it ends. This game, I needed to know and I enjoyed playing. One of my few grips with Bastion was at one point I realized the forward motion of the story slight over shadowed the fact that it is in fact a video game: Once you complete a level you can’t go back to it. There was a level that I accidentally completed because the finish the level button and the attack button were the same and I happened to be standing by the exit… So i was done, never to complete that level to my satisfaction again until my second play through.
Overall, I would emphatically recommend Bastion as a game, story, or album.
[rating:4.5/5]
Check out some on the beautiful screenshots:

What I've learned from watching science fiction shows

I watch a lot of science fiction. I read alot of science fiction, too, but I grew up watching Star Trek and Stargate.
Yes, I’m a geek. (It’s okay, you can say it. It’s not like it’s a secret or anything.)
I realized recently that I’ve learned a few things from my steady diet of space battles. (One of them is that regardless of space being a giant vacuum, explosions will always sound…well, like big explosions. Always.) Hopefully those things will even help me post-apocalypse, but only time–and the apocalypse–will tell.
I’m concentrating on TV shows here, otherwise this post will turn into a novel. Or at least a thesis paper. (Hmm…might not be a bad thesis topic.)
Anyway. So, what have I learned from watching science fiction? Well, it depends on the show.
Continue reading “What I've learned from watching science fiction shows”

How to make friends and influence zombies

There’s no doubt that friendships and networks will be important in the post-apocalyptic world. After all, people will need to band together for protection and survival. While making friends with other survivors may not be a requirement, it’s probably a good idea. Since there’s safety in numbers, you never know when you’ll need someone to watch your back. And, you know, finding a survivor group to join will probably be easier if people in that group actually like you.
Continue reading “How to make friends and influence zombies”