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#simulation

RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures Review

Though more streamlined, this 20 year old franchise had a better showing with its first release.

I suspect many, like myself, spent long stints in front of their Pentium II PCs constructing a wide variety of amazing theme parks and complex coasters in RollerCoaster Tycoon. Between the base game and its expansions, I clocked countless hours completing scenarios and building all manner of parks, maximizing profits and occasionally, constructing complex death machines for fun. Some of what made the original experience so great finds its way into RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures on the Switch, but it seems that a good bit of the experience has been streamlined and simplified to make it more accessible on the platform. This makes it a less compelling iteration of the series that’s outshined by even the original release.

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The Spectrum Retreat Review

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Since Portal hit the scene around a decade ago, it’s inspired a variety of other games that have chosen to use the first person perspective for puzzle solving and storytelling, rather than the typical shooting. The Spectrum Retreat is one such game and it does well in both telling an interesting story and providing some great puzzles. However, these two elements rarely coalesce and more often feel like oil and water, separated naturally by the construct of the experience. Though it’s too bad the two don’t come together, what’s presented is still compelling thanks to ever evolving puzzle constructs and the gradual realization of what's going on in The Spectrum Retreat.

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DayZ and the Future of Virtual Realism

The rise of simulated fantasy is all around us.

Sometimes I want to play games where I can summon Ifrit and fight enemies on the sides of buildings.  Other times I want to leap across moving platforms, flatten enemies with my butt, and collect shiny stuff.  But then there’re times when I want to play a game where I get dysentery and have to crawl through the woods inch by inch following the sound of buzzing flies to a dead body so I can loot it for supplies.

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Funky Barn Review

With a bigger budget, 505 could've had a real hit on their hands.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to turn in my gamer card for this one, but Funky Barn is a legitimately fun game. I know it sounds like shovelware garbage, and it does seem like it was built on the budget of such a title, but the farm sim is actually competent in its design, complete with an addictive game loop. Unfortunately the game's low budget is painfully obvious – from the low quality art to the long loading times to the hard freezes, Funky Barn has a healthy dose of anti-funk.

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Tropico 4 Review

El Presidente would fire the UI designers - if he could find the menu to do it.

I have some amazing memories of construction/simulation heavy games, like Sim City 2000 and Dawn of Discovery. When done right, games in this genre are absolutely captivating. Tropico 4 comes extremely close to hitting the nail on the head, but stumbles in its implementation.

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EA Sports NHL 12 Picks Pittsburgh Penguins to Win Stanley Cup

Sidney Crosby to be awarded Conn Smythe trophy.

The NHL regular season starts tomorrow night, but that hasn’t stopped EA from declaring who they think is going to be raising the Stanley Cup next spring.

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