Posts Tagged ‘Online Multi-player’

Haven and Hearth is an multiplayer survival game with some basis in Slavic and Germanic folklore. The basic idea is that you start in the wilderness with a fire and some basic survival skills and as you gathering things and learn about the environment, you gain points which are used to increase your skills and learn new ones. There are a lot of skills and its takes a lot of effort to get all of them.

Along with learning new skills, there are some skills which can be improved by spending learning points. There are also base attributes which affect how the use of your various skills works. The world is huge, though sparsely populated. I live in a small hearthland with 4 other players, sharing the work of getting to the more advanced technology and skills. As you can probably guess from my character sheet and land, I’m the farmer. I also take care of some of the livestock.

There are some inherent problems with Haven & Hearth. Since every item is a node with a limited amount of an item, you might come across a really large mud flat with no clay or a tree with no branches. There is also a really serious lag problem stemming from their network setup.

Haven & Hearth has a lot going for it, with a wide variety of skills and ways to play the game. You can be a nomad, a thief, a farmer, a merchant, a village leader, pretty much anything you can imagine. There’s a lot to explore too. One of my favorite features is the Hearth Secret which allows people to come into the world in the same area as their friends instead of a random place in the world. Overall, it has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see what it will be like when it finally come out of alpha. I award Haven & Hearth 4 out of 5 hearts. Handle that lag problem and you’ve got something awesome here.

4/5 Hearts

 

If you’re interested in playing Haven & Hearth, you can find it here and its completely free.

 

 

Panda Poet

Posted: January 6, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Who doesn’t love pandas? Alright, anyone who just raised your hands can just leave because you have no heart.

 PandaBaby9911 588x457 30 Adorable Baby Pandas

You made him sad, you heartless person you!

On a slightly more serious note, I found a word game with a panda theme. As a panda lover, I jumped to play it immediately. The basic idea is that its a two-player word forming game where along with trying to form better words than your opponent, you’re alright trying to make giant pandas. You’re probably wondering how you can use words to make giant pandas, but its pretty simple. If you make at least a 2×2 box of letters and then you get a panda. If you can get all the letters on a side of that panda, it grows in that direction.

The one major downside this game has is that it being online, you frequently find yourself waiting for your opponent to make their move. I keep finding myself doing something else while I wait for my turn to happen. That isn’t always a bad thing depending on the kind of game you’re looking for. So, lets grade this on the basis that its a very casual game that you might play over the course of hours. This is probably a fair bet since they just recently added a patch so that you auto-matically resign after 10 days. Also, on the main menu screen, you can see all the games you currently have going and recently played games. Current games are sorted by who’s turn it is. You can also set it up to email you when its your turn, or leave it to the default setting which is that it emails you once a day if its your turn on any game you have going.

I love the art. Its nice and simple. It makes it very clear exactly what is happening. The background music is calm and soothing, which is a plus. I’m in love with the cute little pandas. Here’s a bigger view of the play screen while the game is in progress.

At first I was just playing for them and really wasn’t too big on the game itself. Its really laid back and I’m not normally that kind of gamer. But it really is very nicely done and enjoyable. In light of that, I give Panda Poet a 3.5 out of 5 hearts. It would have been a 4, but I’m a stickler for rating, image and audience and sadly as I was writing this last paragraph, my opponent played a rather inappropriate word and it was accepted. 

If you’re interested in trying out Panda Poet, you can find it in the Chrome App store.

Letter Bubbles

Posted: November 23, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I love researching educational games. Most of them, to be perfectly honest, are monumentally terrible. Today, I am happy to say that I found a good one. My little brother has trouble with typing, so I went on a search for a good one for him to use. I found Letter Bubbles in the Chrome app store. The basic concept is that is a typing tutor with three different difficulty modes. The first, pictured below, is Beginner Mode. In this mode of play, you get an on-screen keyboard to help you play. You get a limited number of mistakes and need to keep up with the progress of the bubbles as they cross the screen. The on-screen keyboard shows you which letters are close to going over the edge, too. There are a few nice bonuses available too. The red bubbles are bombs, hitting them causes the bubbles around them to exploded, which is really nice for combos. There’s also a meter that slowly builds up from your combos to give you the ability to slow all the bubbles by hitting the enter key. There’s a line that moves across the screen periodically, which represents the space bar, and will pop any bubbles past it if you press it. If you make a username, your progress will be tracked and you can see your standings as compared to other players around the world. I particularly like this feature, since most people are competitive and score boards will encourage kids to play more so they can get better. You can also choose to play without logging in. The only difference is that your progress won’t be tracked and your scores won’t be submitted.
If you like the idea of mastering typing or you have a child you think should learn to type, try this game out. The graphics are nice and friendly, and quite elegant. The sounds aren’t annoying. And best of all, unlike a lot of so called typing tutors, this one actually helps the player to learn. I really enjoyed playing this game and found it to be extremely child friendly, just what I was looking for. As a result, I gladly award Letter Bubbles with a 4.5 out of 5 hearts.

4.5 out of 5 zelda hearts

If you’re interested in playing Letter Bubbles, you can find it letterbubbles.com or in the Chrome app store.

Word Squared

Posted: November 7, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

WordSquared is a massively multiplayer game of scrabble. If that sounds amazing to you, it should. Like many other MMO type games, you are rewarded for your participation with experience points. In this case, they take the form of the points you gain for playing words on the scrabble board. Words you have played show up in that nice, light brown you see below in the word “GREETS”, everyone else’s are grey. See that little black box up in the top righthand corner? That’s the minimap. You heard me, scrabble with a minimap.

So, here’s where things get weird. After your first turn, which can be placed anywhere, you have to build off of your own words. Also, see the stars on the board? You get stars every time you level up and every time you get a letter onto a star tile. Those stars give you blank letter tiles that can be used to make any letter you need, but they don’t count for points when you play them.

There are achievements for the unlocking! There are the usual ones, for 10 words, 100 words etc. There are also some entertaining ones for like, getting no vowels or no consonants on your letter rack.

Now, here are the downsides. It lacks severely in the actual multiplayer features. I basically spent a while making words in circles, unable to connect to the other players. You also can’t talk to the other players. The most “interaction” I have seen is watching other people make their words, which is slightly disconcerting actually. I really wish that there was some more interaction between the players, like even just the ability to form words off of each other without having to brach all the way there.

In conclusion, WordsSquared is a kind of entertaining game for a while, but it isn’t nearly interactive enough. Despite being an MMO, it feels very much like a single player game. It also lagged quite annoyingly most of the time I was playing. Over all, I give WordsSquared 2 out of 5 hearts. I found it kind of boring.

If you are interested in playing WordsSquared, you can find it in the Google Chrome store.

City of Wonder

Posted: October 19, 2011 in 4 Hearts
Tags: ,

Wow, its been a while since I last posted on here. Sorry about that folks. School has been absolutely crazy. Alright, lets see what its time to talk about. Google+ has gone live, and with it came Google+ games so lets take a look at one of these new games.

City of Wonder is your fairly straight forward social game. You level up quickly in the beginning and then slightly slower as you continue on. Like many civilization building games, City of Wonder involves building structures, gaining prestige and population and tech trees. Also, like every other social media based building game that I am aware of, everything is based on real-world time. It is also a multiplayer game, played with your friends on Google+, where you can visit other people’s civilizations and help them to build certain structures.

The tech trees start from the Stone Age and go through to the modern day, although it doesn’t require things to be strictly researched in order. As long as you have the proceeding requirements, you can research anything. For example, despite the fact that I don’t have construction yet, I can totally get cavalry any time I would like.

So far, I’m really enjoying this game. It has a lot of the things I like from your standard online civilization building game, including cute little animations in my city, and it lets me play easily with my friends. It also doesn’t have the annoying hunger mechanics that a lot games have. All I have to do is keep some cultural items in my city and my people take care of themselves.

Here’s a shot of the main game screen containing my city. As you can see, I have a lot of different kinds of buildings in my little place. The screen is fairly well organized, keeping my main focus placed in the middle of the screen and putting the interface tools around the border. For example, across the top you can see the name of my city and its population, my experience, silver, gold and level and my current research item and its progress. Across the bottom are the tabs for other tools I might want to use, such as the research tab, the building tab and the exploration tab. Normally, you can also see your friends and their levels across the bottom, but I cut my friends off the picture. Sorry guys!

This here is the buildings tab on the marvels sub-tab which allows you to build such awesome things as a pyramid. You might notice that some items are outlined in gold and have the cost in gold. Gold is the microtransaction currency of City of Wonders. One of the things I particularly like about this game is that unlike many other microtransaction games, I can play quite successfully without needing to purchase gold. There are two tech tree segments you can only get if you pay for them, steam punk and magic, but periodically I’ve been getting gold rewards in-game and I think I might just be able to save up for those ages.

In conclusion, City of Wonder is a pretty nice game. Quite well made considering its a social media game, which I generally have very little faith in, and in beta no less. I am enjoying playing it with my friends and would recommend that others try it. If you aren’t on Google+ yet, shame on you. Overall, I award City of Wonder 4 out of 5 hearts.

4/5 HeartsIf you’re interested in playing City of Wonder, you can find it on Google+ and on Facebook.