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SPACECOM Review - PC
by: Benjamin and Joshua Goldfarb - 10/02/14
SPACECOM is a real-time strategy game in which you serve as a starfleet commander; navigating various planetary systems with the goal of outsmarting other commanders. Through a series of battles, sieges, and invasions you aim to gain total space dominance. And while SPACECOM’s gameplay mechanics might leave you a bit frustrated at times, it makes up for your skyrocketing blood pressure by offering a minimalistic art style, deeply meditative soundtrack, and a multiplayer mode to settle all of your real life disputes in.
One of the most interest piquing features of SPACECOM are the minimalistic visuals. This game will not bog down your processor with high detail shadowing. Everything is depicted as a simple geometric shape, almost as if you were watching the ships on a radar screen. This gives the player a strong feeling of actually “commanding” the ships, which paired with the entrancing, ambient soundtrack, allows players to really immerse themselves in the action. While the game interface and layout was visually and aurally excellent, we did encounter some annoying game mechanics during our playthrough. For instance, we found ourselves right-clicking far more often than should have been necessary. This was due to multiple essential commands such as unit movement and map controls being mapped to right-click. This meant that a simple misclick when trying to shift the map could inadvertently send your fleet in the wrong direction. What really made this mechanic annoying was the fact that, once assigned, reversing your movement was incredibly difficult, nigh impossible, leaving you with no choice but to watch the action unfold.
After practicing our tactics and learning strategy in single player, we decided to test our skills against one another in the multiplayer mode. This game mode ultimately proved to be our favorite. There is something innately exhilarating about pitting your strategies against your friends and trying to outsmart one another in real time combat, and that’s exactly what SPACECOM delivers. Whether you are a casual gamer or a dedicated fan of RTS games, SPACECOM’s variable game speed settings allow players of all skill levels to command a fleet and taste victory.
There were a few flaws, what with the control difficulties and some confusing gameplay mechanics. However, we have to give it to the game developers at 11 Bit Studios, SPACECOM won us over with the simple and clean design, relaxing soundtrack, and intensely fun multiplayer. Overall, SPACECOM has a few nitpicky problems, but is a solid strategy game and a joy to play! We give SPACECOM 7.5 out of 10. A review code was provided for this story.
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by: Ben Goldfarb - 10/29/14
Gabriel Knight returns to the voodoo capital of the United States in the 20th anniversary remake of the adventure classic, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. Boasting an impressive visual update and remastered soundtrack, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition holds a candle to it’s predecessor and boy does it hold it close.
Gabriel Knight debuted on the point-and-click adventure scene in 1993 and has aged well since. The new artwork really helps bring the game to new life. 21 years later, the games content is identical to the original’s. I think this says a lot about the quality of the game. While some of the dialogue seems outdated and hokey at times, the plot line needed no adjustments to maintain relevance in a modern context.
The story revolves around Gabriel Knight, a writer by day and a womanizer...well, all of the time. He catches wind of some voodoo related murders in New Orleans and decides to investigate the murders, hoping to use them as inspiration for a new novel. Suspicious characters and strange occurrences emerge as Gabriel dives into the world of voodoo and Gabriel must make some life changing decisions.I ultimately found the game to be quite enjoyable. The audio and visual updates were necessary to bring this game back to life! It is spooky, clever, and pretty difficult. Others compliment the pacing of the game but I actually found it to be somewhat slow. I admit that I am not the best at these kinds of games, but I solved the puzzles in Portal...I shouldn’t have to use a guide for this. Another issue I had was that the “interaction” mechanics are relatively unique for the genre. While different is not inherently a problem, these differences were not ever discussed or introduced to the user. I would prefer that the controls be listed somewhere in the client. I would give this game a solid 8/10.
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition is now available for iPad, PC, Mac, and Android platforms. A Review code was provided by Pinkerton Road for this story.