Early Access Roundup

Jan 29th, 2018 Idle Thoughts Alan Bradley

Early access is a double edged sword, both for developers and for players. For devs, early access is a gamble; while it’s an avenue for drawing additional revenue it can backfire if your game isn’t ready for primetime. Leave a bad taste in your audience’s mouth by releasing too early and you may never recover. And for consumers, early access makes the risk of buying…

I hate Elder Scrolls and MMOs so why do I like ESO?

Jan 18th, 2018 Idle Thoughts Nicole Hunter

Three years ago, after nearly a decade of playing World of Warcraft and a myriad of other MMOs, I finally swore off of them. I had grown tired of the formula. You level up a character, get to the end game and do end-game content until it’s not enough to keep your interest. But I still had great memories from World of Warcraft. I didn’t want…

A tale of two reviews

Jan 4th, 2018 Idle Thoughts Galp

Not really a tale so much as an explanation for why there are two reviews today for games we already reviewed. I goofed up. I put a little ad in gamejournalismjobs.com and got crushed by quality writers, each with three submissions to read. Overwhelmed, I accidently let two people write reviews for games that were already being reviewed. Partially because I didn’t know who is going to…

More and different but the same

Dec 8th, 2017 Idle Thoughts Galp

Hello, I don’t usually address you all directly. When I was a kid if you wanted to tell people something you had to ride a horse through the snow to their house. That’s not true at all – I had a BBS and it was a lot like this website except for only one person could be on at a time. As long as no…

Why the huge gap? Top 10 PC game score discrepancies examined

Nov 8th, 2017 Idle Thoughts Galp

What do you think when you see a game highly rated by critics but despised by players? Corrupt mainstream review sites? Fanboys counter bombing? I was curious and looked at the 10 games with the biggest disparity between Metacritic and User Scores and the reasons for the gap. Inconclusive conclusion at the bottom. 10. Need for Speed Rivals Metacritic: 76 User Score: 3.4 Gap: 42 points Reason:…

Fond Memories – Law of the West

Oct 30th, 2017 Fond Memories Galp

After Bioforge last week I was trying to think of another old favorite with gameplay that would still seem original today. The Commodore 64’s Law of the West immediately came to mind. The concept couldn’t be simpler – you’re a sheriff doing his rounds until sunset. No name, no stats, no cutscenes. Just dialogue with the fine townsfolk of Gold Gulch interrupted by occasional gunplay….

bioforge PC game - fond memories - big characters

Fond Memories – Bioforge

Oct 24th, 2017 Fond Memories Galp

Something weird happened while I was thinking of this week’s game to reminisce about. Bioforge popped into my head as a particularly fantastic, well received, influential but mostly forgotten game. Then I realized we didn’t just lose Bioforge, we lost an an entire genre and I’m not even sure why. It produced wonderful games. If there was a scale with serene puzzlers like Myst or…

blog lessons - 12 things i learned 2 months in

Blog Lessons – 12 Things I Learned (Two Months In) – P2

Oct 19th, 2017 Idle Thoughts Galp

Continue from part 1 7. Contact Creates Conflicts of Interest Every indie game I reviewed prompted direct response from the developer. With one exception I genuinely liked every fellow I met. They were my kind of people – honest, earnest, interesting and humble. The Ogre guys even drove traffic my way which just made me like them more. None of this was a problem until…

Blog Lessons – 12 Things I Learned (Two Months In)

Oct 18th, 2017 Idle Thoughts Galp

As of today the blog is 2-months old. The lessons I share below are from the perspective of someone non-technical starting a niche gaming blog with no established network or social media presence. 1. If You Build it No-one Will Come Yup, every blog advice article is correct. Just writing content will not attract a single a visitor. If you have no links pointing to your…

Fond Memories – Out of this World

Oct 16th, 2017 Fond Memories Galp

Graphics by themselves never impressed me as much as style. Style is like a cheat; maximum impact with minimal effort. And it’s hard to fake. I can competently draw but I lack style. I need to place every brushstroke. When I see a true artist convey an entire character with a few squiggly lines I’m overcome with admiration and envy. Darkest Dungeon is the most…

Stats are Fun: Steam in 2008 (the bad)

Oct 10th, 2017 Idle Thoughts Galp

Today the negative stuff, next week we do the positive. Top 10 Most Disliked Games of 2008 Obviously the game needs to have enough reviews to generate a steam score. First number is that score, number after the slash is the metacritic score if available. 10. Space Trader: Merchant Marine 53% 9. Pacific Storm Allies 52%/60% 8. Space Siege 51%/60% 7. X-COM: Interceptor 50% 6….

fond memories - gaming roi - feature

Fond Memories – Money is Time (Double Dragon, GoldenAxe & WWF)

Oct 9th, 2017 Fond Memories Galp

Golden Age of Coin-ops When people talk about the golden age of coin-op video games they often speak wistfully of the giant arcades. Massive, multi-floored temples built purely for us kids. The only adults were the weirdos who played the strip poker games in the back. I get the nostalgia, I loved arcades and the sad games section of modern Dave & Busters doesn’t compare…

Who the F@#k is This Guy? – Intelligence

Oct 4th, 2017 Idle Thoughts Galp

ISIS-Simulator popped up on Whatsonsteam a week ago. I rarely look at games I wouldn’t want to play but the combination of an inflammatory name with 1994 level graphics made me curious. Who buys this trash I wondered. It had over 20 reviews and a “mixed” rating. I had to see why anyone recommended something that looked so terrible. The first positive review I saw had…

Fond memories - simearth - all sims

Fond Memories – Simearth

Oct 2nd, 2017 Fond Memories Galp

Having just reviewed Niche, a game that promised sciency evolution fun but instead delivered a clicky pet game made me think how untapped this specific sub-genre is and how ripe it is for more thorough exploration than Niche provided. This of course brought to mind the last time this was done well – all the way back to 1990 and Simearth. March of the Sims…