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Embers of Mirrim starts off strong, but is ultimately undone by its own mechanics

Earlier this year when I reviewed Flywrench, I talked about how, despite being unable to finish the game, I still came away from it feeling positive. How it being so difficult that I eventually was physically incapable of meeting its demands would usually leave me frustrated, but instead left me content. It all came down to how it was clearly telegraphed. The mechanics of that game were such that, right from the start, I could tell I was going to hit an impasse at some point, so I was able to adjust my expectations accordingly. Embers of Mirrim, a side-scrolling platformer from Creative Bytes Studios, is one of those other examples. A game that starts off on unassuming note that soon ramps up its difficulty far too quickly. One I was enjoying quite a bit before I eventually hit a roadblock I couldn’t bypass. Embers...
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Drifting Lands is a solid shooter that unfortunately dissolves into a numbers game

Shoot-‘em-ups are often known for being ridiculous, both in difficulty and the sheer chaos that erupts on-screen. That’s largely been the draw of such games, such that an entire sub-genre by the name “bullet-hell” exists. Problem is most of those shooters are too difficult for many folks (myself included, despite how much I enjoy some of them), leading many developers to try different takes on the genre. Drifting Lands is one such game. From developer Alkemi, Drifting Lands sets out to be a more accessible take on the shoot-‘em-up. On this front it largely succeeds, providing smart ideas on how to accommodate players of all skill levels, both through the very ships you pilot and the steady climb of its difficulty curve. Unfortunately, it’s loot game inspirations undermine its strengths, hindering an otherwise solid and accessible shooter by turning it into a slow grind. Drifting...
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From E3 2017: Highlights from Gambitious’ lineup

Devolver Digital may have its name on the parking lot it rents out each year, but it always ends up host to a variety of games and publishers. Gambitious Digital Entertainment was one of them, hosting a wide variety of games on the lot. Here’s what I saw: Machiavillain Like Aven Colony from earlier in the show, Machiavillain was a base-building game I did surprisingly well at despite having basically no experience with the genre. Inspired by the film Cabin in the Woods, Machiavillain sees you building a monster house in the woods with the goal of drawing in unsuspecting humans to feed your group of horrors. The game begins by making you choose your initial group of monsters. You’re given a small pool of candidates to choose from, each with their own stats, strengths, and weaknesses. Once you’ve got your crew, it’s time to...
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