The following is a script from the attached video. It’s a series of reviews for 14 games. Please enjoy:
Welcome to the End of Year Celebration 2018 edition, the first of its kind. This is part 1, I’m your host, Kinglink and today I hope you’re ready to hear about some games, actually a lot of games, we’re going to do what I’m calling a rapid look.
Now over the past year, I’ve been reviewing games on Steam, I started my official site on
April 23rd, 2018 and since then I’ve reviewed 84 games. However, I haven’t reviewed every game I’ve played. There are a lot of reasons I don’t review a game. Some games feel too short, or too simplistic. Some games are uninteresting to me. I might have a conflict of interest for some reason. It might not be on PC, which is a rule for me, and some games don’t have a lot of stuff I can say.
With that said, I’ve identified 14 games, that I’d like to talk about but have not written an entire review for some reason. I’ve challenged myself here. Each game will get exactly 60 seconds of discussion, a video, and a final score. These are rapid-fire reviews. The score is my honest feeling about the game and an official score, the fact the games appear in my list are for many reasons and should not reflect negatively on any of these games.
Here we go, First game, please.
Please Don’t Touch Anything
Please Don’t Touch Anything is a deceptively simple game where an unseen coworker tells you to sit at his terminal and not touch anything. If you follow those rules, nothing happens. SImilar to ICEY, the goal of the game is to experiment. Press the button, see what happens.
The entire game is about experimenting and doing things differently. I’m going to show you a single ending here. There are 24 other endings for you to find, and they’re all pretty interesting.
To find them though is a little hard. There are a lot of little hints everywhere. Around the tenth ending, I was stuck and from there I checked online. You can spend a lot of time experimenting, but there are some good step by step guides online. I’m glad I looked because otherwise, I might have stopped at 10.
Please don’t touch anything can be really short, but honestly, it’s a lot of fun to see how inventive the creator is. While a lot of the time you feel like you have to see the world in his eyes, I still find myself enjoying the game, but I do have to say the price is high. 5 bucks seems like a lot of money for a game that might last an hour or two.
I’m going to give it a
Good game, but there’s not a lot of meat on the bones, and it’s a pain if you get stuck.
Final Thoughts: Please don’t touch anything is a short interesting puzzle game. The goal of the game is to try to find all the different endings in the game, and that’s done by violating the rules. Touch everything!
Carcassonne is a rather popular board game that’s quite fun to play. It’s played by laying tiles on a grid and trying to score a point from various moves that require Meeple, euro gaming’s favorite non-entity, there are like people, but small and wooden.
Carcassonne usually goes for at least 30 bucks in stores, the good news is this version is 10 bucks, and it might be superior. Besides an extra 20 bucks, you don’t have to deal with collecting all the tiles, finding a space large enough to play, and the game scores for itself. That’s a huge win.
At the same time, you do miss out on putting your hand in the bag and drawing a tile, and the Steam version is REALLY not portable, and it’s odd to play a board game with local multiplayer, especially one that has turns as quick as Carcassonne.
I will say Online setup was a bit of a trainwreck and I ended up with the name Setup Suck and it’s locked in now. You do have to buy expansions if you want them, and you can’t play my favorite version, hunters and gatherers, but overall, it’s a good rendition of a great board game that retains everything good about the original.
I recommend it over the board game for new players.
Final Thoughts: For a digital board game it’s quite good. It’s cheaper than the board game it’s based on and a little easier, though the online is a bit messy. Might be preferable to the board game.
Pinball FX 3
Pinball FX 3 is one of my favorite games in this list. I’ve been playing the series since 2010 collecting tables as I go. I absolutely love it.
Pinball FX 3 offers a video game take on pinball. While it is pinball, having it in a digital media means that it can do a number of things, such as teleporting balls, changing gravity, and using visual effects to dazzle the user.
Pinball Fx 3 allows players to buy tables they want to play, and the price is reasonable, only costing a couple dollars per table, which would be a handful of plays in an arcade. The tables are inventive and different, ranging from a large number of Marvel properties, including Deadpool, Bethesda games, Universal movies, and more.
There’s a number of features for you to challenge other players, and some great integrations to keep you competing against high scores from you and other players. It’s a rather solid experience all around and I enjoy it quite a bit.
Pinball FX 3 gets a
We might even be talking about it again soon.
I’d love to talk more but I’m out of time.
Final Thoughts: A fantastic pinball game that goes beyond what is allowed in real life. The tables are inventive and varied, the gameplay is tight, and the game is a lot of fun. Totally worth a try.
Rituals is a simple game that I picked up as I transitioned from just writing reviews to creating youtube videos. I still have my written review and might release it along with this video.
There’s definitely an effort put forth in Rituals, but it’s not a game I can recommend based on just effort. Much of the game is wandering around different locations and completing relatively limited puzzles. There’s only a handful of items in many of the locations and the game revolves around combining X + Y in the right order to move on.
The real problem with Rituals is it is an indie game likely made by one person and then sold at a small price. It’s not necessarily an awful game, but it’s not one I can recommend for the gameplay or graphics.
It’s also rather short and all the achievements can be gathered in about 90 minutes, that’s the reason I originally played it. It’s just not a good enough game to spend five dollars on. I know someone spent a lot of time with this game, but it’s not for me, and I don’t think most people will enjoy it.
I give Rituals a
This one is a rough one but still. I have to admit I never made a game as a solo project so for some people that might be worth a look.
Final Thoughts: A simple game that is interesting, but doesn’t deliver much more than a short and fast adventure. There’s nothing to challenging, but nothing to recommend.
The Jackbox Party Pack
I’m going to give a quick review of the Jackbox Party Packs, numbers 1 through 3 particularly.
If you ever played “You don’t know Jack” you know you get a rather zany game show where the player has to answer silly questions with even sillier answer. Jackbox takes this one step further and adds in a number of mini-games. There are 5 games per pack and I could take time to review all of them, but that’s not in the spirit of this video.
Each Jackbox has five unique games and each set is different, the versions with “You Don’t know Jack” are my favorite, but new games like Fibbage where you have to lie convincingly, or drawful where it’s like Pictionary and then try to guess what was drawn are excellent, there’s a good variety of games, and it’s perfect for a small group.
Anyone with a smartphone can play it and most games allow 4 players, with some games even allowing 100 players and being designed for Twitch streams. The smartphone integration is clever and the games themselves are fun, fast and engaging. I like this collection quite a bit, but it’s a multiplayer game so it depends on your friends, it’s really not made for solo players.
I give the Jackbox Party Packs (The First one particularly) a
Definitely a Fun party game.
Final Thoughts Jackbox Party Pack: Potentially the best Jackbox Party Pack. Drawful, You Don’t know Jack and Fibbage are party pack defining. Works best in a large group (4+) but 3 works. Any lower might be too small, but still fun.
Final Thoughts Jackbox Party Pack 2: A solid pack of games, though not the strongest. Fibbage, Quiplash and Bomb Corp are great, but most games really need more than 3 players. Bomb Corp is great for lower numbers.
Final Thoughts Jackbox Party Pack 3: Such a great pack of games. Fakin’ it can be really fun, Murder Party is hilarious, Guesspionage is interesting. Really great pack that needs should have 3+ players.
NBA Playgrounds seems to want to be NBA Jam. You have large headed and famous players running around a court and shooting baskets in a nonregulation 2v2 basketball game.
The problem is NBA Playgrounds isn’t as easy to play as NBA Jam. NBA playgrounds focuses on turning the simplistic game into more of a simulation. There’s shot meters, and more all over the place and it becomes more of a player’s skill competition, and overall it’s a poorer experience for that.
It doesn’t help that the game spend very little time teaching the game systems to the player even with the tutorial.
NBA Playgrounds also runs into further problems by adding in a card collection system to earn players and then attaching DLC to unlock everyone. The idea of collecting players isn’t awful, the feeling that the game wants you to start paying more money, especially to earn your favorite team, is.
Overall NBA Playgrounds takes a great Arcade idea, adds more rules to it, and tries to get fans, but the people who might enjoy this change are probably already playing NBA 2k, so who is this for?
NBA Playgrounds earns a
Honestly, not good… not good at all.
Pinball Arcade is a realistic pinball video game accurately recreating a vast number of tables so players are able to play many classic machines without breaking the bank. It gathers real tables from PInball creators such as Gottlieb and Stern Pinball and has had tables from Williams and Bally’s, though those licenses have expired.
While I love pinball, Pinball Arcade tries so hard to recreate the tables, it’s hard not to notice how many of the tables are rigged against the user in an effort to gobble more quarters. The good news is that the tables are free play, but you’ll clearly see the design philosophies of the arcade industry.
At the same time, PInball Arcade added in goals, high score tables, and leaderboards for players adding to the longevity of the tables.
The tables are more expensive than PInball FX 3, but the attention to detail and the recreations are so perfect, I still find a lot of enjoyment in Pinball Arcade for its accurate simulation.
Pinball Arcade scores a
It really does a great job accurate recreating the games.
Final Thoughts: A fantastic realistic simulation of Pinball, that captures everything great about real pinball tables. There’s a ton of tables here, and everyone is handcrafted to replicate the experience.
Lara Croft Go
Lara Croft is back. After releasing her third game in her all-new series, it’s clear that we’re going to see Lara do many new things. In Lara Croft Go we find that Lara has become a puzzle game character, and must solve all-new dungeons with a variety of tricks, mostly revolving around her guns, flipping switches and the ability to throw a spear.
This is a true puzzle game with no timing based puzzles. Most puzzles are based on each step or action Lara takes and the enemies and environment getting a single turn as well.
Originally this was a mobile game and the levels are short to reflect that. It is a fun little diversion and for a couple bucks, it’s worth traveling through the decent number of levels provided. The early levels are relatively easy as the player learns the game but the game does find all new ways to challenge the player in the final levels.
Lara Croft Go is a solid game, that lasted me at least five hours, though I didn’t finish it. It earns a
Really Interesting look on Lara and honestly, I’m considering picking up Hitman Go as well due to how much fun I had with this one.
Final Thoughts: An excellent small puzzle game staring everyone’s favorite tomb raider. Great puzzles, really clever designs and a solid game. Perfect for a couple bucks and well worth playing for many hours.
Armello bills itself as a grim fairy tale board game, and it’s right about that. The problem is Armello isn’t a very good board game.
Armello fits in with the “War Gaming” crowd with a lot of rules and complications, but I feel like it’s overly complicated. I’ve played the tutorial three times and I can’t see a clear line of victory at any time or anything I do wrong.
It doesn’t help that the game heavily relies on luck or randomness. This is true of all board games, but good strategy should minimize randomness. You don’t know what tile you might pull in Carcassonne but you can make strong moves with each piece, and that’s how you win.
Armello quickly confuses new players, gives too many win conditions and not enough examples, and then throws random chance which cause the player more frustration. It’s not for me, and I really wouldn’t recommend this game. Sorry Armello, but no thanks.
Armello gets a
Oh and there’s no online chat, so even if you love wargaming, alliance building is flat out.
Final thoughts: A board game that’s overly complicated, doesn’t really teach itself fully, and heavily based on luck. That’s three strikes and I’m out. Maybe people will like this, but there’s far better.
Splasher is a game that I wrote a short Steam review for, but I’m talking about it again due to my enjoyment of it. It’s a great little platformer with fun art and really nice controls. There’s not a lot of story, but the level design is excellent.
The progression of the game is equally good, returning to concepts rather than running them into the ground the first time around. In addition, the player can find a number of “scientists” around and has to rescue them as collectibles, and there’s a time trial as well.
Splasher’s big gimmick is the ability to spray different surfaces with three types of liquid, water to clean, Red goo to stick, and Yellow goo to bounce. In a way, it’s a reverse Super Mario Sunshine. It also might look like Super Meatboy, and while the controls and some design is similar, it’s easier. The only really painfully challenging level is the last, but honestly not every game has to be uber hard.
I really like Splasher, the reason it’s here is that it’s so much fun, I wanted to call it out again, and it’s worth a second mention.
Splasher earns a very respectable
Honestly, it’s a great game that deserved more attention.
Final Thoughts: A fun solid 2d Platformer. I uses gel types to allow the player to paint the walls and use them to explore entire levels. Perfect for speed runners, but still a solid game for everyone else.
Poly Bridge is a is a game where you are tasked with building bridges over water, bridges that do a great many different things, transporting loads, drawbridges, and so on.
The question is how much you want to learn about building bridges because that’s what you need to beat the game, you basically become an architect, though it’s only an architect in this simulation
Poly Bridge is really a simulation with game rules lightly layered on top. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and there are some amazing designs out there, but personally, I feel like I design the same couple bridges over and over in slightly different designs, all using the magic triangle.
At the same time, the tutorial and the manual are a bit weak, they don’t teach drawbridges well, and they are really fast explanations, you’re going to have to go online and learn from another source to gain some real skills on this game.
It’s a good concept and if any of this sounds interesting, I give it a
as an official score. However if you’re not that interested in bridge building, which it ends up that I’m not after playing a few levels, the score probably slips more towards a 3 or a 2.5 Interesting game, just not for me.
Final Thoughts: A really solid bridge building simulator that does very little to teach it’s rules such as how drawbridges work. It’s good if you want to build bridges but otherwise, it’s probably safe to skip.
TumbleSeed is an arcade game where the player, a seed has to climb four mountains. To do so he has to avoid holes, enemies and a great deal of danger while ascending, generating crystal for his different powers, and using the powers.
TumbleSeed is colorful, bright and lovely, but honestly, it didn’t speak much to me. It looks good but that’s it.
The controls can be frustrating. The game is based on five controls, moving the right side up and down, and moving the left side up and down and the ability to switch types of seeds. Simple but clever controls
The game is interesting, reminding me of Labyrinth the old wood game, where you maneuver a ball through a maze. The ability to swap seed types to get different powers is interesting and it works, but… I don’t know, I just didn’t feel it.
The game is hard but it seems relatively fair, and I did like the first mountain but, I was done with the game after that, and didn’t really feel like continuing to play.
I give Tumble seed a
It is not bad, but nothing I really am excited for. They all can’t give me strong emotion.
Final Thoughts: An interesting game where you control the beam a seed is on. But it’s not my cup of tea. It’s a good concept but too hard and frustrating for me to really “Love”. I get it, but I’m not an advocate.
Orwell: Ignorance is Strength
Orwell Ignorance is Strength is the second season of the Orwell game. The original game is excellent and really innovative in a few ways, and this returns to that same world and revisits the same time period. But it is not a retelling rather a different incident.
In many ways, Season Two falls short. The first Orwell season has you fighting against a terrorist who used bombs, the second has you fighting against some random guy with a Blog. The promos talked about focusing on “Fake News”. It’s a timely idea with huge potential looking at an official newspaper giving false information. However, that’s not followed through.
Instead of homegrown terrorism, you get a weaker story about a family squabble. There is good writing and an interesting story, but it’s not as good as the first season and it’s a shame because it tries very hard.
I have to give Orwell: Ignorance is Strength a
It’s not bad, just not as good, though I will also say the original game is more a 4 or a 4.5 so it’s a step-down.
Final Thoughts: An interesting concept returns but the subject matter isn’t as good as the first time around. I love the idea of snooping on the bad guys, but sadly, it’s a step backwards.
Stephen’s Sausage Roll
Let’s get the crude joke out of the way as I tell you I love playing with Stephen’s Sausage Roll. There I’ve already said it.
Stephen’s Sausage Roll is an excellent little puzzle game where you have to grill sausage rolls. It’s unique, inventive and clever and the only reason it’s here is I didn’t have enough to say for a full review. A puzzle game lives and dies on its puzzles and somehow this game has a ton of levels each with their own “a-ha” moment.
There are 86 levels here but very early and quickly the game becomes remarkably puzzling. Each level gives a great challenge and many levels have something new and interesting for players to figure out.
If you love puzzles game you’ll love this one, but I will say it’s one of the hardest but fair puzzle games I’ve ever played, so be prepared to be challenged. It is pricey at 30 bucks but exceptionally well done.
I give it a
only mostly due to being a puzzles game for established puzzle fans, and the price is really high.
I want to thank Joseph Anderson for talking about this game, and I’ve linked his video about it in the description.
Final thoughts: An expensive but really solid puzzle game. Some of the strongest puzzles I’ve ever seen, and while it has a 30 buck price tag, it’s worth it for puzzle fans.
And there we go, fourteen new reviews just for you. I hope you liked the rapid-fire format, I know I have. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be and you’ve probably noticed a little more production value on the videos. More than I was expecting for sure, I’ve learned quite a bit over a week.
I’ll be honest, the idea here was so I can talk about a couple of games, but I think we might see rapid looks in the future, the fact is a full review still takes me at least 8 hours a piece, not counting play time. So maybe in the future, we’ll do rapid looks every couple of months, or when I find enough games to talk about. If you like this format let me know.
In addition, I’m printing this entire script onto my website, thus making these all official review scores for me. I may expand any of these rapid looks in the future, but for now, these are what they get.
Coming up next, we’ve had 98 games reviewed this year, maybe I should have done two more. Well, I’ve reviewed three Jackbox Party Packs in 1 minute, I’ll count them three times, that’s 100 … 100 reviews this year, wahoo. With 100 reviews down, I’ve created a list and developed what I think are my top games of the year. I’ll give you the main rules now and let you wonder. I have to have written a full review on my website (All youtube videos are on the website).
Score doesn’t matter. I could just rattle off the four games I gave 5s to this year. TIS-100, Exapunks, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Into the Breach. All four are excellent, but, I already scored them. I’m choosing games that I feel I want to talk about more or have done something special.
The games I’m talking about are the ones that have stuck with me for some reason, and I’ll give you the full list and the reasons next time.
If you enjoyed this as always please consider subscriber, I’d love to add you my list of followers.
With that said, Next time, we’ll find out which games win my 2018 Awards.