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    Dec 11th, 2012 at 01:43:47     -    Scribblenauts Remix (iPd)

    Scribblenauts remix is a creative puzzle game developed by 5thCell and published by WB games. Itís a charming little 2-D puzzle game that lets the players wield surprising power. You are Maxwell, a boy with the ability to summon anything he needs using his magic pad. This translates to the player typing in a noun, and then placing that thing into the world in order to solve the puzzles. Lots of adjectives also work when accompanying nouns, leading to an even greater number of things the player can summon. (Evil sentient flying flamethrower being my favorite example)

    The most surprising thing about this game is the sheer number of things you can summon, as well as the many ways you can solve the puzzles. For example, in one level you must help a knight across a lake infested by a single aggressive shark. You can do everything from simply kill the shark and swim with the knight to knocking the shark out with sleeping pills glued to a slab of raw meat. There is rarely any one ďrightĒ way to solve a puzzle. The problem with this is that oftentimes the individual puzzles feel too easy; the answers tend to be obvious and the execution simple.

    The game offers fifty levels to play through, and thirty more for a dollar more. So because each puzzle takes a few minutes at most (including my inevitable shenanigans), the game ends within an hour or so of the purchase. It has some good replay value and an entertaining sandbox mode, but it still leaves me wanting just a bit more.

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    Dec 11th, 2012 at 01:26:28     -    Lets Create! Pottery (iPd)

    Lets Create! Pottery is a game for iOS devices made by iDreams. Going home one weekend I found my sister had downloaded it to her ipad, and so my iphone also picked it up. Itís exactly what the title says it is: a creative game that uses the touchscreen to assist you in making virtual pottery. While at first it seemed like a silly gimmick to me, I found it growing on me. Itís the perfect game for when you have a few minutes to kill and relax.

    You start with a lump of clay on a spinning wheel. Using your finger you can drag it to a taller, wider, or thinner shape. Then you paint your pot with your finger and/or apply patterns. Very simple, but that makes it fun. Iíve spent way too long trying to make aesthetically pleasing bottles and vases instead of doing important things like studying. The collection of patterns are really neat looking examples of other cultureís markings (Celtic, Chinese, etc.)

    After your creation is done it goes to an ďauctionĒ, where you get to watch the amount of coins you receive go up in fits and starts until a final price is paid to you. You use these coins to buy other colours, patterns, and materials to make more pottery with. Playing around with selling pots seems to show that you get more money for pots with more patterns, as well as more expensive patterns, meaning the optimal pot is the biggest possible to add area to mark, then marked to the point of no recognition. That said: this isnít the sort of game I feel like I should optimize and ďwinĒ. Itís more of a toy than anything else.

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    Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:39:59     -    War Z (PC)

    The first entry didnít line up so well with the poor score I gave the game, and this entry will discuss the main reason: EMERGENT GAMEPLAY.

    The PvE elements of the game are handled wonderfully, and were it a single player game I would have much less to complain about. But the current state of PvP interaction in WarZ ruins the experience for me. Donít get me wrong, this isnít me whining about being killed. I love players fighting each other! One of the things that WarZ does very well is build a sense of paranoia and immersion. You learn very quickly that trust is a weakness, and you will always be checking over your shoulder to see if someone is stalking you.The issue is with the way the players can exploit the game. Iím not talking about the rampant hacking problem because the developers have made fixing that a priority, but the ďlegalĒ exploits.

    The game world is divided into 250 or so servers, each capable of handling around forty people at any given time. Players create up to five different characters and may log onto any server they desire so long as there is space for them. This means that it is far easier to find a building that spawns loot, and hop between servers than it is to make the long walk between settlements. So there is a significant group of people that do just that, gathering weapons and supplies at an unnaturally fast rate. More than once I will be looting an old grocery store or gas station that was empty when I went in, only to be shot gunned by someone who basically teleported in. It completely ruins the immersion. There are dozens of similar exploits available to unsavory players, and so the structure of the game rewards those who take that path, and punishes people looking for a good immersive survival horror experience. That is why I would not recommend purchasing the WarZ Beta as it stands currently.

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    Dec 3rd, 2012 at 11:39:12     -    War Z (PC)

    I bought into the War Z beta after hearing my friend raving about how much he was looking forward to it. War Z is the survival-horror MMO made by Hammerpoint Interactive made to emulate the popular ďDayZĒ mod as its own standalone game. The player is thrown into the wilderness of Colorado with little more than a bit of food and a flashlight to survive with. Players must be able to manage not only their heath bars, but also their hunger and thirst.
    Most of the game is spent picking through the ruins of old cities, looking for anything that can help. There are weapons scattered about, but you canít count on having a gun to protect you! Guns are rare, bullets as well. Iíve played for nearly ten hours and only ever found one pistol, and it was fifteen more minutes of searching before I got ammo! Because of this scarcity of food and protection, the game has a very tense mood to it.
    Combat with the zombies is a bit jarring and buggy feeling at times, but nothing worse than I would expect from a game in beta. The best option is to try and avoid their notice; the game has a very good stealth engine to take advantage of. If you are still and silent zombies will mostly leave you alone, but start running or shooting and every zombie in eye/earshot will come clawing for you. If you are armed and prepared for them, a few zombies pose little risk to a competent player. If more than three or so zombies are attacking however, youíd best make yourself scarce because they have a way of dragging you down.
    From a pure PvE standpoint, WarZ is a good game. The desperate scavenging and almost peaceful exploration between towns is a rewarding experience. Reading some of the developers planned features only promises to make this game better. But all is not well in War ZÖ

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    Entries written to date: 11
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Faster Than Light (PC)Playing
    2Infinity Blade (iPd)Playing
    3Kerbal Space Program (PC)Playing
    4Lets Create! Pottery (iPd)Playing
    5Scribblenauts Remix (iPd)Playing
    6Space Marine (360)Playing
    7Tank Hero (iPd)Playing
    8Towerbloxx (iPd)Playing
    9War Z (PC)Playing

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