Short Reviews of my Steam Summer Sale Games

This is the last day of the Summer Sale on Steam, with lower prices for selected games. In those 10 days, I bought some games that either I heard of or was planning on buying — or, in the very end, ‘cause they were really cheap. The ones I got:

  • Solar 2: I did an early review of it already but it kinda dropped in the background after getting other games. It have a good sense of humour (IMHO) but some missions suck sometimes. The idea of allowing the player to change gameplay options only after completing some missions is really good, though.
  • BIT.TRIP.RUNNER: Again, I did an early review of it but I’m somewhat frustrated with the current level I’m playing. Reason? It’s 3 times longer than most levels and going back to the start after failing really punishes you there. Not to mention that the first “health bonus” is far away from the start, so you keep hearing the base tune for too long. But I still stand on my early review: It’s really well done mix of side scroller and music.
  • Magicka: Who hasn’t heard about Magicka, the crazy, funny, isometric game about… erm… magics? I got it ‘cause it seemed really fun while watching videos of it on YouTube (specially the ones with TotalBiscuit and the Yoggcast crew) but I didn’t go too far in it. The controls get really confusing after a while and the lack of explanations on what would happen when you mix spells is a major let down.
  • Trine: One of the things I bought just because it was cheap. This is a side scroller/puzzle solver game where you play with one of three characters — a warrior, a magician and a rogue/archer — and you can freely switch between them, while trying to reach the end of the level. The graphic quality is amazing, but most places I wanted to reach where really hard with my motor skills and it got so frustrating that I haven’t touched it anymore.
  • Audiosurf: I got Audiosurf after hearing about it for a loooong time. Unfortunately, my expectations didn’t met the game in some mid point. No, there is nothing wrong with the game, it’s just that watching incoming blocks while keeping one eye in the blocks you already have is harder than I thought — or realized, for that matter. One nice touch here is that the in game help options really explain how the maps are generated, so understand why a map works in some way.
  • Sanctum: This is really a nice concept: A FPS with Tower Defense. You put tower to stop enemies reaching the core (your base in other tower defense games) and, when ready, you switch to your guns and help the towers. This game got high points with me for two reasons: 1) It’s a tower defense game and 2) It got a sniper rifle and you can easily just camp — something I really did love doing in Unreal Tournament (and the fact that it uses the Unreal engine probably helps here).

Now, if only I could be one of the 100 people that would get 10 of their games from their wishlists…

Solar 2, Early Review

I got the word about Solar 2 from WTF is… Solar 2? and, as usual, TotalBiscuit always leave something to you to find out for yourself. But, this time, I bit the bait.

I can’t really call it an “early review” ‘cause I beat the game in one hour and half. Well, not quite “beat”, but I finished it. Ok, as Leonardo DiCaprio would say: “We need to go deeper”.

Solar 2 is a gravity simulator, with an arcade game built on top of it. You start as a simple asteroid, and you can hammer yourself into other asteroids to increase your mass, till you reach enough mass to be considered a small planet. At this point, you get some gravity, which allow you to capture other asteroids as moons, which you can “consume” to increase your mass till you reach enough mass to be a medium planet. Rinse, repeat till you become a star, at which you can capture planets with your gravity (and the planets can capture asteroids), you can consume the planets till you reach enough mass to become a black hole, at which point you can consume everything in your universe.

Right now, it sounds pretty boring, right? Well, thing is, it’s not. As asteroid, you need enough inertia to merge with another asteroids, as a planet you need to take care to make asteroids get into your orbit instead of hitting you directly, as a star, you need to take care of raising your planets capturing asteroids, taking in account their gravity and yours…

Again, reaching the higher levels of mass takes a bit below two hours. But that’s only because you can jump all missions. Missions, you say? Yes, missions. You have up to 4 types of missions and those change when your mass rate change. For example, as an asteroid, one of the missions you can get is hit a planet of dinosaurs which just discovered space flight. Or you have to run away from missiles shot by the entity that tutors you in the first missions. As a small planet, you may have to run a huge distance to a gig (kid you not) without hitting anything in the way. And, when you reach there, you get the news that you are the stage and you should show up for the presentation, which will attract everything in the universe to you — if you’re quick, i can dodge other planets while capturing asteroids; or, if you’re slow, you will blow up.

Another high point of the game is the music. I dare to say that that one hour and something of play time was highly enjoyable due the game music. And the entity weird sense of humor.

So far, although I enjoyed it thoroughly and plan to complete the missions, I can’t see much replayability value in the game, unless you want to finish every single possible mission. But, for the price is being sold on Steam, it’s really worth it.

Edit: From planet, you jump to habitable planet, then medium, then large. My bad.