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Tag: Reviews (page 2 of 34)

“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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Review: “Frontlines” series by Marko Kloos

Over the last year, I’ve read the Frontlines series by Marko Kloos. Here’s my review of how the entire collection of military science-fiction novels stacks up.

The year is 2108. A young Andrew Grayson is a welfare rat living in one of the North American Commonwealth’s many Public Relations Clusters, PRCs. It’s a overcrowded, crime-ridden, community where day-to-day survival is the main focus for most people. There are only two ways out. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service in the war against the Sino-Russian Alliance.

Andrew decides to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. This decision puts him on a decade long path from welfare rat to experienced military officer. Crushing welfare riots as a foot solider in the Territorial Army, or battling the SRA for off-world real estate is a tough and grueling job. But it’s a walk in the park compared to the dangers Andrew faces when blood thirsty aliens suddenly show up on humanity’s doorstep.

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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 Running Man” by Stephen King

Would you risk your own life to make sure your daughter survives? Here’s my The Running Man review.

I read The Running Man well over two years ago, so it’s about time I sat down and wrote a proper review. It was the third book I read in my ongoing A Book A Month effort, and I gave it a handsome 4 out of 5 score back then.

The Running Man is one of well-known author Stephen King‘s first novels. Originally published in 1982 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, the novel is set in America in 2025. That was the far away future for King at the time, but it’s the very near future for us now. Fortunately, the world is (probably) in better shape in 2025 than King imagined it.

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