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Katana ZERO Review

Come for the soundtrack, stay for the rage quits. Here is my Katana ZERO review.

Katana ZERO is a 2D action platformer, a genre that is way out of my gaming comfort zone. If my memory serves me right, the previous 2D platformer I played was Superfrog on the Amiga some time during the 1990s. I suspect that I tend to avoid the genre because if you mess up, your mistake has immediate and disastrous consequences. You usually die, and it’s game over, man! Or at least you have to restart from the previous checkpoint.

In simulation and strategy game games, which are my preferred genres, it’s often possible to mitigate failures. If your star fleet is destroyed, it’s probably not the end of the world universe. You can call in the reserves, or build a new star fleet. And if you somehow managed to mess up a delivery of carbonated black powder Bologna to Bordeaux, there’s always another job you can take.

So how did I come across Katana ZERO? Why, the soundtrack, of course!

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Beat Cop

Can you handle life as a beat cop on the streets of ’80s Brooklyn? Here’s my Beat Cop review.

Eastern Europe is the home of an impressive collection of well-known game developers. SCS Software (Euro Truck Simulator, American Truck Simulator) out of the Czech Republic, 11 bit studios (This War of Mine, Frostpunk) and CD Projekt Red (The Witcher series, Cyberpunk 2077) – both Polish companies – are just three examples.

But Eastern Europe also has a vivid indie game scene. One of the many rising stars is Warsaw based Pixel Crow. Founded in 2014, the company specializes in pixel art games (just like every other indie developer). Pixel Crow’s only title to date is the 2017 adventure games Beat Cop.

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Not Tonight: One Love

One of 2018’s most politically charged titles gets a far less controversial expansion. Here’s my Not Tonight: One Love review.

When PanicBarn’s dystopian Brexit-simulator Not Tonight was announced last year, the pro-Brexit crowd went nuts. How dared someone portrait their utopian fantasy as anything but!? Because of the outrage, I predicted a classic review bomb on Steam. That’s what happens when you anger the vocal minority of gamers. Just ask Creative Assembly about female generals.

But the review bomb never went off, and Not Tonight is currently enjoying a well-deserved “very positive” review score on Steam. I also appreciated the game, and gave it a respectable score in my own review.

With the new One Love DLC, Not Tonight moves across the channel. One of the characters from the base game, Dave, escaped to France after his British pub was destroyed. While Britain is burning down behind him, Dave gets dragged into a dating app scam that threatens to ruin his life, and his new pub, Lé Rosbif. The only way out is to find true love within a month. Dave sets about to earn the money he needs to woo his potential partners.

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“The Three-Body Problem” by Liu Cixin

When was the last time you read a Chinese science-fiction novel? Probably never. I just did. Here’s my The Three-Body Problem Review.

It’s 1967, and China is in the early stages of the Cultural Revolution. Physics professor Ye Zhetai is publicly killed after he refuses to denounce the theory of relativity. His daughter, Ye Wenjie, witnesses his gruesome death.

Shortly after, she’s sent to a work camp. There, she’s falsely charged with sedition for promoting the works of environmentalist Rachel Carson. Ye is told she can avoid punishment by working at a defense research facility involved in government radio wave research.

More than 40 years later, Ye’s work becomes linked to a string of scientist suicides, and a complex online role-playing game involving the classic three-body problem.

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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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