Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Review

Beyond Earth — A Review From TotalNoob, aka Lindsay Geektron

Allow me to preface everything I say below with an admission: I’ve never played any Civilization games prior to Beyond Earth. None. In fact, the last “strategy” game I played was SimCity 2000. In 1998.

Beyond Earth is a turn-based strategy game built on the Civilization V engine and formula, but unlike previous Civilization games, it abandons the historical context which made earlier iterations so popular, and instead tosses you onto a new planet in the future, which you must then colonize. Folks have been comparing this game to Civ V and Alpha Centauri, which I find ironic, given that Firaxis cannot seem to escape its past even when dealing with the future.

The Road to Bunkum: LittleBigPlanet 3 Review

LittleBigPlanet 3 — ZAM's Review

LittleBigPlanet 3 brings Sackboy to the PlayStation 4 console for the first time. Sumo Digital is the primary developer of the title, with series creator Media Molecule still involved but in a lesser capacity. The game is out now in North America and will be hitting the shelves on November 26th in the EU.

It was refreshing to see that the game kept the same charm as previous entries in the series. Humor is abound, themes are rampant and the unexpected will always happen. Your sackperson still hasn't learned how to talk, and all is right in our world.

Unfortunately for world of Bunkum, trouble is afoot. After a brief prologue from the narrator (voiced by Stephen Fry) to get familiar with basic movement, your character is introduced to the planet by Newton (voiced by Hugh Laurie). Things quickly go awry, tea boxes are opened, and there's only one thing a little sackperson can do: locate Swoop, Toggle and Oddsock.

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Full Review

Dragon Age: Inquisition — ZAM's Complete Review

I'm sure most of us have a favorite genre or series that we currently or at one point devoted hundreds of hours of our life to. It takes a special game to grab our attention and keep us entertained for hours, and with the number of games that are released every month, there's a lot tugging our attentions every which-way.

As I mentioned in my impressions article of Dragon Age: Inquisition, the game showed a lot of promise from an early first look. Since then I've devoted a lot of time into the story, and still have some more to go, but Inquisition definitely has that "wow" factor. The world of Thedas has captivated me with its deep story, cast of characters and expansive world.

If you're looking for a tl;dr, then here it is: you should be playing Dragon Age: Inquisition the moment it releases on Tuesday, November 18th (November 21st in the EU). Now let's get into what gives this RPG the legs to stand above many others.

Dragon Age: Inquisition - First Impressions

First Impressions: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition, the biggest RPG to-date that BioWare has built, releases next Tuesday. I stepped into the world of Thedas this week to take my first look at what Inquisition has to offer, and so far have not been disappointed.

Dragon Age Keep
The Dragon Age Keep is a companion website to help track your story you've created in the Dragon Age series. By using important decisions from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, the Keep re-creates your world history and presents it to you.

If you're like me and this is your first Dragon Age game, the Keep still is relevant. A default story will play for you, and at crucial moments you can choose different outcomes to events. After the story completes you will be presented with tiles of events -- your Tapestry -- from the games and can choose to either lock those choices, keep them as-is and unlocked, or select a different scenario.

The Dragon Age Keep is available to everyone now, and Inquisition will be added to it for launch day.

Legion of Heroes: Mobile MMO With Heart

I'll admit I was skeptical of how an MMO would work on a phone. Nightmares of aged and horrendous UI designs from failed MMOs circled my dreams the night before I tried out Legion of Heroes, and I wasn't sure what I would face the next morning. The fears were put to rest upon starting this game from Nexon M, and I'll admit there were more surprises than expectations met.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter: A Mysterious Review

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person, story-driven mystery game, developed by The Astronauts using the Unreal engine and was inspired by early 20th century macabre fiction pieces. Exploration and discovery are the core components of this non-combat game, and its story is delivered in a non-linear way. Here are Cyliena's spoiler-free impressions of the game!

The Long Dark: Early Access Impressions

The Long Dark is a survival simulation game, developed by Hinterland Studio, currently in Early Access alpha on Steam. Set in the Northern wilderness following the aftermath of a global disaster, you must seek out supplies, explore, brave dangers and more as you strive to survive.

Hinterland offered ZAM review codes to check out the game in this Early Access stage. Check out our impressions below, but keep in mind that they are from the alpha build of the game's sandbox mode and do not reflect the final build of the game.

Outland: Out Monday!

Outland was originally released three years ago on XBL and PSN. Developed by Housemarque (RESOGUN) and published by Ubisoft, the tribal platformer got good reviews. And now, Outland is finally coming to PC this Monday!

Does it stand up to current platformers?

Diving Deep: Journey Into The Sims 4

The Sims 4 released on the PC last week, nearly one year after it was first revealed. The lead-up to its release was a flurry of mixed emotions from longtime fans of the series; between concern over missing features (compared to Sims 1-3), the shift from an open world to single lot environment, the small introductory neighborhood size and more.

While I've certainly invested a lot of time into many other series such as EverQuest, Elder Scrolls and Civilization, the Sims franchise takes the cake for having devoted hundreds (or more *cough*) of my life to. I've been playing The Sims longer than any of my children have been alive (the eldest of which will be able to get his driver's permit next year). Let's just say my excitement for the announcement of The Sims 4 included many exclaimation points, and after my first 49 hours of playing it, I'm quite happy with the game, despite its spotty issues and omitted features.

This review is going to be extremely lengthy and touch on every aspect I've experienced thus far.

Monkey Tales: An Educational Experience

Monkey Tales is a series of educational games by Larian Studios, originally released in 2011 and repackaged together in a Steam release last week. Designed for ages 7 through 11, these games use an algorithm to establish your child's learning curve and ramp difficulty up or down to ensure a well-tailored learning experience.

I happen to have two children in this age range, and Larian Studios was kind enough to offer a review code for the game. My kids, in 2nd and 5th grade, gave the game a whirl and offered their insight on the experience.