Fights in Tight Spaces

Fights in Tight Spaces

Mode 7 and Ground Shatter are behind Fights in Tight Spaces, a game where you use cards to determine your actions in a brawl.

The folks at Mode 7 and Ground Shatter were kind enough to share a copy of Fights in Tight Spaces with us so we could share our thoughts. The game follows Agent 11 as he/she completes training and then works to take down various groups that are deemed too dangerous, starting with the Deaths Head biker gang. Each turn players are given a hand of cards, each card has an action that allows them to combat their opponents. While travelling across the campaign map you must balance your damage output with your total health.

Overall the gameplay is simple to play but hard to master. Much comes down to luck of your draw and energy conservation to execute the combos you need to win. Through the map you will find locations to improve either your deck or your health. Improving either requires money earned by completing each location within a certain number of turns. Meaning the faster you defeat the enemies the more money you make. For new players this game is really difficult but as you earn more cards and money it becomes a bit easier in that regard. The difficulty quickly climbs to meet your improved skills though.

Controls are quit simple with just a simple click of the mouse or using Q and E to rotate your screen. Graphics are simple but crisp, allowing the combat to be fluid. Overall we found the game to be a solid worth the play. We’d even love to see it translated as it is into an actual tabletop game as well.

Destroy All Humans 2 Reprobed

Destroy All Humans

Crypto is back and this time he vows to Destroy All Humans, again!

Crypto is back and this time he vows to Destroy All Humans, again, in this remastered sequel to the remastered cult classic from THQ Nordic. The first game I had heard of but had no idea this sequel was released prior to being remastered, or reprobed as the name of the title suggests. I did some research on it while trying to recall the name of our grey alien bringer of chaos and came across the original release photos. Continuing off the story of the original game the mothership has crashed and it is up to Crypto to kill everyone and save the day. The story centers around tracking down the KGB as they further infiltrate the city and are responsible for shooting down the mothership.

Gameplay is just as chaotic and hilarious as the original. Hijacking the bodies of citizens is just as hilarious as before and the ragdoll physics makes for a great time with the levitation ability. The dancing mode makes for a great escape that is hilarious to watch- you force enemies, civilians and even cars to dance under the dance lights that appear on the ground around them. Watching the cars dance along with them is hilarious. If you played the original or are looking for a game where mayhem and abductions are the frequent play type then this is a must purchase for you. We had a ton of fun on this title in both single player and co-op modes- fyi it’s even better if you make a drinking game out of it.

The Company Man

The Company Man

Jim is climbing the corporate ladder in The Company Man and it is up to you to get him to the top!

The Company Man is an action platformer from Leoful and Forust Studio that centers around Jim as he climbs the corporate ladder. This game is not just full, it is overflowing, with workplace and corporate based puns. Jokes about the accounting department being so boring it’s like time freezes are translated into an ice themed level where you have to fight the accountants and their manager. Each enemy you defeat essentially explodes and is fired from the company. After each boss fight you earn a new ability and return to the building’s lobby where you can purchase coffee or speak to the receptionist.

The stages themselves are quite easy to navigate, all the while commenting about normal corporate activities with a more literal meaning that can be attributed to combat. The boss fights however have a steep learning curve but a little patience and you will be able to spot their tells and defeat them in no time. Having worked in Corporate America for nearly a decade it makes this game even funnier. On top of the corporate humor game play is engaging and enjoyable with easy to master controls. This game is a gem I suggest you don’t sleep on.

Green Hell has made it’s way to the Xbox One!

Green Hell

Green Hell is an FPS survival horror game based in the uncharted jungles of the Amazon where you must survive physically and mentally.

Creepy Jar is an awesome name for a game developer and those same minds brought us their newest release, Green Hell. Green Hell was previously released on Steam years ago but we were not able to play it until it was ported over to the Xbox One and we recently received a copy for the purpose of this review.

The game itself feels quite unique, or at least I have yet to play anything that came before that had this same feel to it. Some of the mechanics are tried and true across many games but this particular recipe feels new and that is rare. Before playing the game and before even seeing images of the gameplay I saw there was a tabletop version of the game about to go on kickstarter so it gave me a different expectation of the gameplay. I thought that the game would be an isometric game where you had to navigate the Amazon to some unknown end (I literally went into this game without doing any research on the story) and was shocked when I loaded the game up for the first time and was greeted to a first person shooter styled experience.

For the game mechanics you will likely recognize crafting mechanics similar to those in 7 Days to Die or the fact that any items that can be picked up as they are will receive a glowing outline like in so many other games. Graphically the rendering is not the best I’ve seen on the Xbox but I would say that it is on par with the earlier releases of the Xbox One. The story focuses on Jake and his Mia as they arrive in the Amazon. Their first step after making camp is for Mia to earn the trust of a local indigenous tribe. One day you wake up to her screams over your radio and you go charging into the jungle (as Jake) to find her. With several comments regarding Jake’s mental health throughout the tutorial led me to wonder if her voice was real. Very quickly you begin to question everything, like during the tutorial there was a path near your camp and after the tutorial the path is replaced by a stream. Very few games I have played have messed with your senses like Green Hell has and that was just in the first couple hours of the game. I can’t wait to see how else the game screws with my head.

BeeFense BeeMastered by Byterockers’ Games

BeeFense BeeMastered

BeeFense BeeMastered was once a mobile game that has been remastered for the current generation of consoles by Byterockers’ Games.

BeeFense BeeMastered is a tower defense game from Byterockers’ Games and the latest in a series of cute, adorable, family friendly titles of games (most of which are on mobile). In BeeFense you assist a bee hive defend themselves from evil wasps and their bug allies. Where most tower defense games you earn currency by waiting, this is more of a hybrid mixed with RTS mechanics (Real Time Strategy). Specifically you must farm pollen for purchases, nectar to feed your bees and honeydew to pay for researching upgrades. You can also farm water which gives your weapons a boost to their effectiveness. Most levels give you three goals that award honeycombs (instead of stars).

Each stage becomes a dance between defending the path, feeding your bees and paying for everything. As stages progress you unlock new towers and upgrades for them. Personally I never enjoyed tower defense games but already found myself pushing replay on stages I missed goals until I completed them. Some levels feel impossible to unlock each of the goals but as you unlock permanent upgrades playing them again becomes easier than before but many are still quite challenging. 

With the level of control needed through many of the levels I feel that a mobile version simply allow you to effectively order your troops. Now keep in mind this is just an observation based on the mechanics on the Xbox One and mobile version could function entirely differently. I simply don’t know. If everything is controlled in the same manner then I don’t see mobile working very well. On the Xbox though it is a unique experience that will likely aggravate younger players but provide a challenge that will push adult gamers to their limits and do it in a world that you don’t need to worry about children being around while you play.

Warhammer 40k Space Wolf on Xbox One

Space Wolf

HeroCraft has released an Xbox One version of their mobile hit Space Wolf, a turn and card based strategy game.

When I discovered Warhammer 40k Space Wolf I immediately reached out to the team at HeroCraft to see if we could receive a review copy to try it out. Little did I know at the time this was the same game I had played several years ago on my iPhone. When it first released I found it to be a good deal of fun but soon found a new title to draw my attention on my phone. Fast forward to last month when I received the download code for the game.

I had the game installed for several weeks before playing it and within the first couple turns I realized how similar this was to a game I played before. After a few minutes on google taught me that my suspicions were correct, this game was an updated version of a mobile game I’ve played previously. That isn’t a bad thing mind you, merely an observation.

Gameplay is based on an initiative system that can be manipulated by various cards to speed you up or slow you down. Each character has a set of cards that are randomized and then dealt to be used. Each card can offer movement, some sort of buff, an attack or even healing options. Under the image on each card will list the damage the weapon CAN do but you are limited on ammo or it is a single use card. Compared to most Xbox One titles the graphics are a bit dated but appear to be a significant improvement off of the original. My only complaint with this game is that movement and targeting is along a predefined X and Y axis regardless of the rotation of the camera. Compared to the original format I felt this was a huge improvement as on mobile devices the screen is just too small to really enjoy the effects.

Retro Machina

Retro Machina

Orbit Studio brings us Retro Machina, a game about finding beauty in a world where you are expected to conform.

Retro Machina begins with a your robot working on the assembly line as a butterfly flies in through the window. Distracted, your robot stops working and sets off alarms. With your newfound sense of adventure you seek an escape from the factory and soon begin your search for a machine to repair you entirely. This JRPG, or Junior Role Playing Game, takes you through a world where only robots and plant life remain.

The visuals are colorful and highly detailed but even when things are dire they give you a feeling of cheerful hope. Controls are simple to pick up but keep in mind that you can only hold onto one health item at a time so use them when you see another. Life and death is not a huge concern with this game as every time you you lose all your health you respawn at the point you entered the section of the same map section. Overall the game is quite a lot of fun, especially using the ability to hijack control of other robots and using them to destroy the others. The world is huge and I can’t wait to keep exploring it and not just to find all of the hidden references like the Tardis or Back to the Future’s Delorian!

Buildings Have Feelings Too!

Buildings Have Feelings

Merge Games takes the ‘build a city’ game type to a new perspective- that of the buildings themselves with Buildings Have Feelings Too!

In Buildings Have Feelings Too players take control of a building who walks and talks along with other buildings. The intro to the game you see as several buildings discuss how they are falling apart, some due to negligence and your building decides to move to a new town. Upon arrival you meet two buildings that want to improve their own wellbeing and suggest you build a new structure and as you bring it to life determine that it will be a factory which upsets your new friends.

The rest of the game you must play a balancing act between improving certain stats by managing which buildings are near each other and what products they offer. What makes this easier is you can move the buildings back and forth without much consequence like moving the residences to be near the factory that is a giant smoke stack. This makes the residence upset but as soon as you use the move to upgrade the factory you can then immediately move one or the other immediately after, restoring the happiness of each building.

Controls are simple to master and the graphics are solid in this cute family friendly game about micromanagement and construction. The game itself was bit on the dull side but it takes a new look at building a city.

Kill it with Fire from TinyBuild

Kill it with Fire

TinyBuild’s Kill it with Fire allows players to kill their eight-legged foe fire but so many other options as well including C4.

We have a saying in our house when we see almost any bug, but spiders and scorpions especially- “Kill it with fire” and with this game you get to do exactly that and more, at least as far as spiders are concerned. The folks at TinyBuild saw fit to share the game with us, not once but twice. We got to test it out on both the Xbox One and the Switch. Personally I only played the Xbox version while my son played both. I will speak to the game as a whole and mechanics followed by his thoughts on which platform is the better experience.

Each stage you must locate weapons, upgrades and of course the spiders themselves. Some allow you to smash, explode, shoot and burn them. I’m certain there are other ways to kill the spiders as well but I just haven’t found them yet. As you find ways to kill the spiders you’ll find each death counts towards unlocking various doors. Some will reveal new rooms, others will reveal hidden documents, a secret chamber or even a storage for ammunition. Visually the game isn’t the most gorgeous but with a game like this it doesn’t need to be. It feels like the goal was focused more on user experience than on a stunning visual and for most of us that experience is much more important.

I thought a traditional controller would be ideal for gameplay but my son, having played both versions, believed that the Switch version was the far superior method for the game. We will have to agree to disagree.

My expectation of the game was it looked like it would be fun but would be forgettable. I make it a point to play each title for approximately one hour, a testament to the quality of the game is how much time I spent after that hour. I played this for three to four hours so far and wish I had more time to invest in it. I can say that this game is not to be overlooked. I look forward to finding each of the hidden weapons and upgrades to use to kill those eight-legged bastards.

Cloudpunk a delivery simulator in the sky


Merge Games takes Blade Runner and mixes it with delivery mechanics in Cloudpunk.

In Cloudpunk you play as Rania, a Cloudpunk driver that will deliver anything to anyone regardless of the risk involved. As long as they are paying she will pick it up and take it where it needs to go. Immediately upon starting the game I was struck with a single observation, if you are driving a flying car why is everyone sticking to designated pathways when you could fly over everything? Determined to understand I pressed on.

Players must navigate a massive city that uses portal/tunnels that allow you to move between sectors all the while picking up various packages and dropping them off. Visually the game is a pixelated Picasso, far away it is stunning but up close it is a pixelated mess. The flight controls for the cars are intuitive and easy to pick up but the controls while walking are clunky and rarely move in a straight line let alone go where you intended the first few tries. The story is slow going but is easily forgettable and fails to grab your attention. For a game that goes for $25 I’d suggest waiting for a massive discount before picking it up.