Cannon Brawl Review & live

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by TimeDoctor

Join Timedoctor as he gets in his airship to reign fire and smite his foes.


Do you like strategically shooting cannons, flying airships, and earning experience points as you crush your enemies? Maybe you’d like to take the ground right out from underneath them and send their castle falling into oblivion while you laugh.

Cannon Brawl from Turtle Sandbox is little bit of real-time-strategy mixed with tower defense and Worms/Scorched Earth/Gorillas.bas and was originally prototyped for, and won, a game jam put on by Activision. Like so many other games anymore, it’s been developed over months in Steam’s Early Access program.

The single player story in Cannon Brawl is about a princess whose uncle has formed a coup against the rightful king. You, as the princess, navigate an over world map to pick levels and then use your airship as your cursor and select sites to build offensive and defensive towers in order to free the king and defeat the evil Uncle. The writing isn’t particularly hilarious or interesting but still provides a structure for gradually unlocking unlockables.

Through your airship/cursor you get to pick a tower, aim it with the handy targeting reticule and attack pattern display, and fire it. Most likely slamming some rockets or cannons into the enemies shields and then waiting for a cool down on your towers to expire before you do it again.

At first I thought it was odd that the offensive towers didn’t fire automatically. Maybe I’ve been corrupted by too many tower defense games, but it wasn’t long before I was used to it.

There are shield towers and repair towers. Laser towers and ice towers. There are plenty more, too. You pick out a selection of five before each match based on what you think the enemy will have and the layout of the map’s terrain.

As you progress through the single player campaign you’ll unlock new towers and unique pilots with skills that buff your towers or do damage. They’ll make you a nightmare for your foes in multiplayer if you take the time to learn them.

That strategy and balance of the towers and pilots unlocked in both single player, and multiplayer through XP are what will keep you coming back. Without any skill balancing in multiplayer you’ll be fighting people who have had plenty of time with the game already and although that might seem like an insurmountable challenge on the order of a 40 year old playing Call of Duty online, it isn’t. With a good set of towers and strategic ideas earned in the single player game you can be a fierce fighter in online multiplayer.

Now even if you don’t have technique dripping out of your butt cheeks you can play skirmish versus A.I. and couch co-operative mode versus your pals. This will require a few gamepads and hooking your computer up to your TV, but it is totally worth it. Cannon Brawl is at it’s best in multiplayer and even better when played with drunk pals.

Get in your damned air ship on Steam for Linux, Mac, or Windows right this second and join me in dropping castles out of the sky.

cannon brawlin

4/5 Scottish Independences

The Swapper on live

Posted on August 14th, 2014 by TimeDoctor

Join TimeDoctor as he swaps some clones and engages in a complete disregard for humanity.

Battlefield 4: Dragon’s Teeth on live

Posted on July 29th, 2014 by TimeDoctor

Join TimeDoctor for some good old fashioned Battlefield 4 on new maps and with new modes.

Spacebase DF-9 on live

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 by TimeDoctor

Join TimeDoctor as he and his crew fight both Space Pirates and Space Parasites in Spacebase DF-9

nidhogg on live

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 by TimeDoctor

Join TimeDoctor as he learns what victory means in nidhogg.

Make it Rain Review

Posted on May 19th, 2014 by TimeDoctor

20140519-230122-82882247.jpg Make it Rain is difficult to categorize. It’s a game for iOS, and it stretches the definition of a game. Though it isn’t the first to do so.

Progress Quest was the first in this genre. It was simpler, though. Think of starting solitaire and watching it play itself except with high scores on an internet leaderboard more accurately measured in minutes hours and days the program has been running than in a score.

Cookie Clicker perfected it last year by adding upgrades and removing the leaderboards to redefine the goal. Not that there is a victory condition or any well-defined end game but you’re nolonger competing against other people who have just been running the game longer. Now you’re just having fun and experiencing the ridiculousness of the game as it changes over time through the upgrades you choose and your score or cookie count increases.

In Make it Rain they’ve simplified the game but I think they’ve lost something in doing so.

The upgrades names and icons in Make it Rain are funny and the game does have some of the same fun in upgrading your production. In this case it is a fountain of dollars instead of cookies. Much like Cookie Clicker theres fun to be had in trying to pick the optimal path through the upgrade tree. There’s even a great new mechanic in that you can metaphorically “make it rain” by swiping increasingly large bills from your virtual money clip.

But a lot of the charm is gone in the unavoidable comparison to Cookie Clicker. It seems like a slide back towards the gameplay of Progress Quest. When I was playing Make it Rain I kept hoping for some point where a meta game or a new addition to the gameplay.

The breaking point for me turned out to be when, after setting my iPhone to remain unlocked on the floor all night, I woke up to a piece of the new gameplay smacking me across the face. The FBI investigation is cute, but when the wheel of justice spins and lands on a penalty a few too many times you may be ready to toss your phone out the window.

The penalties are just too harsh and put your production into a hole it won’t be fun to dig out of.

It is a free-to-play game, and that almost makes the experience worse. It seems like the gameplay is designed to put you into a situation hat you can’t get out of without spending real money.

Maybe the developers will patch Make it Rain to be a little bit more player friendly, or at least weight that FBI investigation wheel towards fun, but right now I wouldn’t recommend the experience.

2 out of 5 robot pimps.

Titanfall: Expedition DLC on live

Posted on May 18th, 2014 by TimeDoctor

Join TimeDoctor as he shows you the new maps in this expeditious DLC for Titanfall.

Send in the CloneZ

Posted on February 17th, 2014 by gusmoney

Photo Credit: TimeDoctor Dot Org

Photo Credit: TimeDoctor Dot Org

Is anyone else getting tired of the DayZ: Stand Alone copy-cat games that are appearing? It feels like every time I launch Steam I am berated with advertising for games that look a heck of a lot like the aforementioned. In particular, today we have Dead State and 7 Days to Die (in addition to DayZ) as some of the thirteen Featured Selections (Rust gets a pass but don’t look past other similar titles such as The Dead Linger, Nether, How to Survive, Project Zomboid, Castleminer Z, et al.)

If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery the DayZ team should be pretty darn flattered. Now I do not pretend to know the development time frame for these other games (perhaps some have been around for some time), however, the fact that they are being marketed here and now in a manner similar to DayZ smacks of Johnny-come-lately cash-in.  The most famous case of this was in 2012 with The War Z (now titled Infestation: Survivor Stories,) a blatant ripoff of the then ARMA II Mod DayZ.

In some regard this cloning degrades a game that has not even been fully released yet. The competitors piggy-backing on not-fully-developed features and ideas takes away from the execution of DayZ and its potentiality. Why would a DayZ developer want to continue down a path already tread by an imitator? Or, for that matter, continue with an as yet unreleased idea that has been executed by a competitor, for fear that they (DayZ) would look like the clone? When every game coming down the pike is labeled with terms like crafting, survival, and scavenge we are not left with much but mimicry. Not to mention that these games are also all Early Release, as if this adds cachet.

DayZ does not have exclusive ownership on these terms but it has set the watermark through its beginnings as a Mod and now Alpha Stand Alone status and its future as a true example of ingenuity maybe stifled by lackluster competitors. As a dollar and cents example, the idea that one does not have the $29.99 for DayZ but does have the $19.99 for SurvivorX will erode the better product in terms of sales and user base in the long run is an all too true reality.

One of the great things about DayZ’s development is how open it has been in terms of garnering community feedback and showing use of features in development. I have not seen too many other games take this route and I am afraid that this refreshing transparency will be discouraged if other developers come in and loot their ideas. We are returned then to a development model of closed door secrecy and P.R. schemes of leaked screenshots to build momentum for games that are often poorly built and not out of the beta stage when they reach the consumer at $59.99.

I write as a fan of DayZ that thinks the better game is being besmirched by a lot of idea-stealing competition and that large game distribution channels such as Valve/Steam need to be mindful of promoting first class products and letting those other games first find their audience (in much the same way DayZ did) in ways that do not detract from the established brand. Let innovation, originality, and good game play win out.

Guacamelee! Gold on live

Posted on December 28th, 2013 by TimeDoctor

Join TimeDoctor as he has an adventure into the world of smooth, contemporary, metroidvania.

Surgeon Simulator 2013 on live

Posted on July 16th, 2013 by TimeDoctor

Join TimeDoctor for a trip down memory lane and through memory vestibule as his medical degree gets him just about nowhere in the complete Surgeon Simulator 2013.

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