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Tropico 6

Is Tropico 6 the same thing all over again, or does the sixth installment in the series actually bring something new to the table?

I’m a big fan of the Tropico series. I never played the first two games, but have close to 150 hours of gameplay combined in the third, fourth, and fifth installment of the series. Both Tropico 3 and Tropico 4 were strong games, but the disappointing Tropico 5 fell flat on its belly. There were many reasons for its failure to live up to the Tropico standard. In my review, I pointed to the dreaded count-down timer, and that Tropico 5 didn’t feel casual anymore as two of the main reasons. Also, when you’re trying to create something from the same basic recipe for the fifth time, making it in a way that feels fresh and interesting is hard.

I purchased the most recent Tropico iteration, Tropico 6, just a few days after its release. That is something which is very, very unusual for me. The most recent purchases you’ll find in my Steam library are several years old games that finally dipped below the $10 mark during a sale. The reason I went ahead and purchased Tropico 6 so early was quill18‘s release stream on YouTube. The stream was sponsored, so in this case, the publisher got value for their clever use of the marketing budget.

So how does Tropico 6, the sixth game in one of the longest running city builder slash banana republic simulator series fare?

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The Darkside Detective

Join The Darkside Detective, Francis McQueen, as he investigates the bizarre, the supernatural, and those missing cat cases that keep getting dropped on his desk.

The Darkside Detective is a point-and-click adventure game featuring detective Francis McQueen, and his sidekick, Officer Dooley. They are Twin Lakes PD’s underfunded Darkside Division, in charge of investigating all the strange things happening in the city. When transdimensional doorways open up, flesh-hungry tentacles rise out of the toilets, or gremlins are on the loose, the Darkside Division is not far away.

The Darkside Detective features 9 cases. The game was originally shipped with 6, and an additional 3 bonus cases have been added later – for free. The bonus cases are unlocked when you’ve solved the first 6 cases. They can also be unlocked if you do a little detective work yourself in the game’s menus. The cases are short and sweet, and each one will only take you an extended lunch break to finish. About 4 hours in, I’ve closed six of the nine cases. That’s pretty good value for money for the asking price of $12.99.

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The Turing Test

Is it possible uncover the hidden mysteries of Jupiter’s moon Europa, and not feel like a dumb-ass while doing it? This is my The Turing Test review.

The Turing Test is a first person puzzler that explores the phenomena of consciousness, and challenges the meaning of human intuition. The game is developed by British video game developer Bulkhead Interactive.

I kind of suck at puzzle games, and feel like an idiot every time I have to duckduck the solution, just to realize it was so simple. But when The Turing Test appeared on sale on Steam for NOK 28 (about $3) a while back, I decided to get it anyway.

The previous first person puzzler I finished was Valve’s 2011 title Portal 2. I thoroughly enjoyed that game, but not so much because of the puzzles. They aren’t bad, but the strength of Portal 2, at least in my view, is the captivating story unfolding as you work your way through the puzzles. How can one not be scarred for life by GLaDOS and all the broken promises of cake?

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Stellaris 2.2 with MegaCorp

Your favorite science-fiction RTS has received yet another major game mechanics overhaul, and a brand new expansion. Here’s my Stellaris MegaCorp review.

Stellaris was just updated to version 2.2. In the same breath, Paradox also released an accompanying expansion, MegaCorp. The expansion, as the name implies, gives you the opportunity to play as the CEO of a megacorporation, and it adds a new city world planet type, more megastructures, a couple of new ascension perks, and access to the galactic slave market.

The MegaCorp expansion goes hand in hand with the significant changes to the Stellaris economy model, and planetary management mechanics.

Stellaris MegaCorp launch trailer.
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Not Tonight

Brexit is a mess. Thankfully, the game about it is not. Here’s my Not Tonight review.

Papers, Please puts you behind the counter at a border crossing in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. Oh, wait. Wrong game! This is Not Tonight, a paperwork-checking simulator set in a dystopian post-Brexit Britain. It’s the second game released in this genre, with Papers, Please being the genre-defining title1.

To say that Not Tonight is inspired by Lucas Pope‘s 2013 title is an understatement. At first glance, Not Tonight looks and plays like a game that could have been a Papers, Please sequel. The mechanics are more or less the same, and Not Tonight also resorts to the pixel art style we’ve come to associate with indie games. You play as Person of European Heritage #112, currently residing in Relocation Block B. In order to stay in post-Brexit Britain, you have to prove your worth in your designated role as bouncer. If you don’t contribute, you’ll be booted off the island.

Not Tonight: Because you don’t get enough of work at work.
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