So this weekend I was playing through the excellent The Deadly Tower of Monsters video game, whose conceit is that the game is actually a DVD version of an awful sci-fi B-movie. As you listen to the director’s commentary as you play the game, there are occasional asides about how the props used in the fictional movie were common household items. For example, at one point the director shares that the Tesla lightning gun you just picked up was in fact just an electric shaver.
And then I managed to upgrade the game’s assault rifle to its maximum stats, whereupon the art work for the gun changes to . . . well, lets just say that didn’t come from a gun rack nor is it a shaving accessory (unless your life is a lot stranger than mine).
Airport Madness: World Edition is an extremely addictive air traffic control strategy game that will have you pulling your hair out at times–and that’s half the fun.
This is not a full-blown Air Traffic Control simulator, as some of the negative reviews on Steam are more than happy to point out. If you’re looking for something like that, you’d be better off with something like Global ATC Simulator. Instead, this is an arcade-style ATC game that greatly simplifies the types of planes, airports and other options, and is both fun and frustrating as it ramps up the number of things it expects you to keep track of and manage.
The game starts out simply enough with a variety of planes slowly flying approaching from off-screen. When planes appear, they are automatically assigned a runway for landing. For each plane in the air, you can either leave it alone and let it land on that runway, or you can assign it a different runway, have it speed up or slow down, or divert it by clicking on the plane and dragging your mouse in the direction you want it to fly temporarily while you deal with other problems.
Once a plane lands, the player has to give it instructions on when it is safe to cross runways, and then tell it when to line-up and take off.
There are only five plane types, but you also have to for the difference in speed between the slow prop planes vs. the much faster jets
By the time you’ve got four planes in the air all wanting to land at the same time you’ve got a backlog of eight planes on the ground all refueled and wanting to take off, this gets to be a nerve wracking level of information overload that is fun as hell to try to manage.
The developer is actively supporting the game by regularly adding new airports. When the game launched on Steam it featured eight airports, but the developer has added two new airports since and is working on a third for December 2015.
And at just US$9.99 on Steam, Airport Madness: World Edition is an excellent value.
Darkstone arrived on Steam in September. Darkstone is an action RPG that was originally released for PC and the PlayStation back in 1999.
I remember losing many hours to playing this and being in awe of how good it was. However, this is definitely one of those games where the only people who should pick it up now are probably those, like me, who can still see it through nostalgia-tinged glasses.
This was a very good game for its time, but the game design really shows its age.
Audiosurf is a neat little music/racing game. You select a song from your collection, and Audiosurf builds a track and sets the tempo based on the music. The goal is to run over colored blocks on the track and rack up a big score.
This is a Steam-based game so it also tracks how other people have done on the same song (though my musical tastes are obscure enough that no one else had played with any of the tracks I used), and there are medals and achivements to be won.