7 Days to Die – Review

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Our Rating:
Console: 8/10
PC: 7/10

Price:
$9 – $29 (depending on platform and point of purchase)

ESRB Rating: Rated “M” (Mature 17+ – Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Violence)

Developer: The Fun Pimps
Publisher: Telltale Publishing (Console)/The Fun Pimps (PC/Mac/Linux)
Official Website: https://7daystodie.com/

Genres: Survival Horror

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux

Description:

Originally released through “Early Access” on Steam for Windows/MacOS X on December 13, 2013. Linux release came on November 22, 2014. Versions for the PlayStation 4/Xbox One were released in 2016 through Telltale Publishing.

Set in a post-nuclear Third World War that destroyed an extremely large part of the world except for some areas such as the fictional county of Navezgane, Arizona. You are a survivor of the war and must survive by finding shelter, food and water, as well as scavenging supplies to fend off the numerous zombies (most likely caused as a result of the war).

Currently – your only goal is to SURVIVE. There IS developer chatter about adding a storyline – but it is still just that – chatter.

Pros:
* Both Single and Multiplayer options
* Defined World – Navezgane (with maps available from their Wiki)
* Random World Generation (for further playability)
* Fairly well developed crafting/upgrade system
* RPG-esque – Increase your skills (Active and Passive skills).
* Kill Zombies! (Multiple kinds of zobies, even!)
* Create your own character or pick a preset
* Customize your character – in-game – with a large selection of clothing/armor (craftable/lootable)
* Farm OR Hunt -Plat/grow resources – as well as hunting wild animals

Cons:
* Even after this long – this game is STILL in “Alpha release”
* NOT a large development team (and now they are looking for community development contributors)
* PC (Windows): This version of the game is still HIGHLY glitchy
* Console (XBox): This version is glitchy as well – but not AS glitchy as the PC Version
* Learning curve is LONG (many recipes to learn/find/etc.)

Gameplay features:
– Freedom to play the game any way you want with multiple biomes.
– Craft/repair weapons, clothes, armor, tools, vehicles, and more…
– Either take over existing structures or construct structures from scratch
– Either Coop or PvP (in multiplayer)
– Physics/Mechanics – Buildings/terrain can collapse under their own weight from structural damage or poor design.
– Scavenging – search the world for the guns, melee weapons, tools, armor, clothing, and more.
– Dynamic treasure maps (left by survivors)
– Find “quest notes” – complete them for rewards and skill points.
– Meet Trader NPCs to buy and sell goods.

I suggest playing the default map first (Navezgane) – and I actually recommend playing it several times. BEWARE THE BLOOD MOON!!! Zombies ABOUND during Blood Moon! Even though it is decidedly glitchy – it is STILL a fun game to play (single or multiplayer) with more-than-decent “replayability”.

Additional Note: Random Generation Maps are MUCH more glitchy than the default map.

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Dungeon Defenders 2 – Review

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Dungeon Defenders 2

Our Rating:
7/10

Price:
Free

ESRB Rating: Rated “E 10+” (Everyone 10+)

Developer: Trendy Entertainment
Publisher: Trendy Entertainment

Genres: Action role-playing game, tower defense, survival
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Description:
Etheria is under attack! Build mighty defenses to freeze, burn and disintegrate your foes, then grab a sword and jump into the action! Level up a team of heroes, deck them out in loot, and destroy the hordes by yourself or in four player online co-op!

Pros:
* Ease of play — Easy to learn controls along with a fairly easy to understand and straight forward tutorial
* Both Single and Multiplayer options (multiplayer up to 4 players and allows for either online or local multiplayer)
* An interesting mix of both a Tower defence and RPG gameplay
* Every character type is relevant and useful
* Plenty to do at End Game

Cons:
* Only a few characters available without earning a lot of in game premium currency or spending money.
*Matchmaking can be quiet slow
* End Game upgrades are quite time consuming

Some Key Gameplay features:
* Both static and randomly generated map rules and objectives
* Unique ability to switch between characters mid game and mid battle.

Overall a fun game! And at the low price of Free-fidy, there is a lot to do in this title. Although grinding new characters is time consuming there is not any dull moments in the gameplay. The towers and skills unique to each character are all worth using, it is very hard to pick a “main character” and with this game, you don’t have to. If you enjoy tower defense and RPG games, this is a title you may definitely want to give a try.

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Portal Knights – Review

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Our Rating:
8/10

Price: 
$10-$20 (depending on platform and point of purchase)
(Free on X Box Game Pass)

ESRB Rating: Rated “E” (Everyone)

Developer: Keen Games (http://www.keengames.com/)
Publisher: 505 Games (https://505games.com/)
Official Website: https://www.portalknights.com/en/

Genres: Action role-playing game, Survival game

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, Microsoft Windows

Description:
Leave the familiar world behind and step into the fantastic unknown with Portal Knights, a cooperative 3D sandbox action-RPG! Level up your character and craft powerful gear to defeat your enemies in real-time tactical combat. Explore dozens of randomly-generated islands and restore peace to a world torn apart by The Fracture.

Pros:
* Ease of play – once you determine the actual controls – game play is fairly simple.
* Both Single and Multiplayer options (multiplayer up to 4 players in a “world” and allows for either online or local multiplayer)
* “Worlds” can be used in either mode (single or multiplayer)
* Allows for both 1st and 3rd person view – very handy to swap between depending on the task you are trying to achieve

Cons: 
* Poor Tutorial – no real detail on how to do most things – and no clear guidance on what is actually achievable in the game.
* Inventory/Inventory management system is cumbersome
* Fairly long transition screens/times

Some Key Gameplay features:
– Randomly generated 3D sandbox worlds
– Tactical Action Combat (TAC)
– 3 RPG character classes to choose from and master
– Boss battles
– Random “Events” that produce unique “prizes”
– Mine/gather resources from across the lands to craft your arsenal and supplies
– Build your home with dozens of materials and furnishings
– Have your friends in 4-person cooperative multiplayer. Work together on the same island to build structures, explore dungeons, and overcome the toughest perils (including the events).

After several hours of game play – I am STILL playing this game. Now that I have passed through the crucible of learning the controls and what the recipes are for certain necessary items – I will most likely be starting a new character so that I can apply my “lessons learned” from my first attempt with this game. This is a game that I can play by myself, with my son, and even with my grandson. It’s combination of TAC – and a Minecraft-like building/crafting system makes it very “re-playable”

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State of Decay 2 – Review

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Our Rating:
8/10

Price: 
Standard Edition: $30 or Free with Xbox GamePass
Ultimate Edition: $60

Rating: Rated “M” (Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language.)

Pros:
Very solid survival feel with the potential to be great
Graphics for this game are fantastic
Price is affordable to say the least
Replay value is high initially
There are infinite options on how to play through this game
The customization on bases and cars is definitely a plus
Many weapons to choose from allowing you to play the way you want
The different leader types and personality traits give the game a nice layer of depth
Multiplayer gives incentive for helping your friends
Boons, these little bonuses from each play through with a different leader type make a huge difference.

Cons: 
Learning curve on the first play through is pretty steep if you haven’t played the previous games.
Mechanics are still a bit buggy.
Once you have done 3 or more playthroughs the game begins to feel too repetitive .
Not enough customization available for the guns.
Multiplayer initially was very hard to work through all the bugs, but has since been patched.
Patches are HUGE, 5-19Gb

 

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