AdVenture Capitalist

If you like idle simulator games like CivClicker and Cookie Clicker, you’re bound to like AdVenture Capitalist.

Summary

You start by owning a single lemonade stand and work your way up to donut shops, hockey teams, and oil companies. Increase your revenue by buying more stores and upgrades. Hire managers to run your businesses for increased efficiency.

AdVenture Capitalist

Review

AdVenture Capitalist
Hire managers to run your businesses

AdVenture Capitalist is very similar to other idle “clicker” games, but with a capitalist theme. For how simple these games are, they’re surprisingly addicting. I installed AdVenture Capitalist and before I knew it, an hour had already gone by. Derp.

You might like this game if you like…

  • Cookie Clicker, et al.
  • Optimization
  • Idle simulator games
  • Collecting virtual currency from virtual shrimp boats
  • Free-to-play games
  • Capitalism

Want to play?

Free on Steam, Google Play, iOS, and web

Pickle It Updates

Since I published the Don’t Starve Together (multiplayer) version of Pickle It two weeks ago, we’ve already updated it several times to add new features. We also back ported our changes to the Don’t Starve (single player) version of Pickle It.

Pickle It additions since release

  • Pickle sword! A fairly powerful sword that eventually spoils. You can eat it if you get desperate, too.
  • Golden pickle! Pickles have a rare chance of turning into golden pickles when pickling, which provide better stats than regular pickles.
  • Potatoes! Potatoes have a totally unique mechanic. Wild potatoes must be dug up with a shovel and you have to use potatoes to grow more potato plants.

We’ve also made a lot of less interesting changes to improve balancing and fix minor bugs.

Pickle It additions
Some of the new additions to Pickle It

Subscriber feedback

Feedback has been really positive so far. Players have been happy to see the Pickle It mod get updated and ported to Don’t Starve Together. We’ve gotten some great suggestions, some of which have worked their way into the mod already. We’ve also had some totally invaluable comments like “derp” and “pickle it.” 😛

One comment I liked was: “oooooh XD i got this mod very early in dont starve and i just thought that beets and onions were already in the game! I was wondering why i didnt see any in dont starve together…” I’m so happy our mod integrates with the game so well that people think it’s part of the actual game!

We’re currently up to over 34,000 subscribers of the Don’t Starve version and over 5,000 subscribers of the Don’t Starve Together version, including both Steam and Klei. Not bad, especially since Don’t Starve Together is still in beta. We also have 100% positive ratings on both mods, which I think is really cool.

What’s next?

We have some more ideas for Pickle It, which will hopefully show up in updates soon. We’re waiting on art for now (*nudges Sean*). We also have ideas for several more mods, so we’ll be busy for a while. 🙂

The Reign of Giants DLC from Don’t Starve is going to be integrated into Don’t Starve Together soon. Klei announced a public test of the RoG content over the weekend. Pickle It shouldn’t have any compatibility problems with RoG in DST, but we still need to test everything. We even have pickling recipes for some of the RoG foods in the mod already.

Pickle It: Don’t Starve Together Mod

Pickle It IconLast night, we released Pickle It for Don’t Starve Together! Pickle It is a mod that adds a pickling component to the game, making it last longer.

Don’t Starve Together

Don’t Starve Together is an early access version of Don’t Starve that supports multiplayer. It is an open world survival crafting game. The goal is to survive in the strange world as long as you can while maintaining both physical and mental health.

Pickle It

Pickle It is a mod I made with my husband (Nick) and our friend (Sean). Nick and I designed the mod and did the coding, while Sean supplied the art assets. We initially made it for the original Don’t Starve game and knew we had to port it to Don’t Starve Together.

Pickle It adds a pickle barrel that lets players pickle their food to make it last longer (especially useful in winter!). It also adds new vegetables, some of which can be found growing wild in the world. Others have a random chance of growing from generic seeds.

It was important to us to balance the pickle barrel so that it wasn’t overpowered. While it makes food last longer, there is a trade-off with the pickled versions of most foods.

Pickle It: Version 1.3.1

The code for Don’t Starve Together changed significantly from Don’t Starve, so it took almost a complete overhaul of Pickle It to make it work in DST. Adding multiplayer support was tricky, but eventually we figured it out. There isn’t a lot of documentation out there for making mods for Don’t Starve (at least for our mod, which was unlike any other mod out there when we released it), so it wasn’t easy making it work.

We added Xbox controller support, fixed a few things that had gotten broken in game updates, and tweaked the food values.

Since I uploaded the new version of Pickle It to Steam last night, 155 players are already using it. 🙂 I hope it will be even more popular than our original Don’t Starve version, which currently has 24,301 people using it. It’s so cool to have so many people using something I made!

Pickle It mod for Don't Starve Together

Future Plans

We want to back port our changes so they work in the original Don’t Starve version of Pickle It. Unfortunately, it seems like Don’t Starve is still using an old version of the code, so we don’t foresee it being easy.

We also want to add some new things to the mod: more vegetables, new pickled foods, pickled food recipes, pickle equipment, and new craftable items.

Get the Mod

Please check out the mod at the links below and rate, favorite, comment, subscribe, etc. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Updated Don’t Starve Together version of Pickle It:

And here are some links to the original Don’t Starve version of Pickle It (which didn’t get updated):

Lionheart Tactics

Lionheart Tactics logo

Summary

Lionheart Tactics is a free-to-play tactical RPG for mobile devices that was also recently released as a web browser game.

Collect heroes and battle your enemies on 3D battlefields using turn-based combat. Upgrade your heroes’ skills and gear to improve their performance. There are currently over 30 classes (paladin, sniper, valkyrie, bombardier, etc.), which can be promoted from recruit all the way up to legendary.

Lionheart Tactics battle

Review

I’ve been playing this game for about half a year now, because it’s the type of game I get easily hooked on. It’s mildly amusing, but the battles can be pretty repetitive.

Lionheart Tactics is a free-to-play game, so they have a premium currency (crowns), which can be purchased with real money, but are also slowly earned in game. Crowns can help you acquire new heroes, upgrade existing heroes, and instantly heal your heroes, but they aren’t necessary to play the game. There is also a coin currency, but it is much more easily attainable in game.

Like I said, the battles can feel repetitive, especially after you’ve been playing for a while. The game gets frequent updates, though, which helps keep things interesting. There are limited time events for holidays and the introduction of new character classes, which usually come with store sales and daily battles that reward prizes.

While there are guilds and the ability to battle “other players,” Lionheart Tactics is pretty much a single player game. Guilds are mostly useless from my experience and when you battle “other players” in the arena, their heroes are controlled by AI — not by the other player.

Lionheart Tactics has its flaws, but it’s a pretty good mobile strategy game. There is a wide variety of character classes, each with their own skills to use in battle. The 3D battlefields make the game interesting. I really like how part of the strategy is where you position each of your heroes on the battlefields, especially because some classes give/get bonuses to/from nearby heroes.

Lionheart Tactics hero menu

Yes, all of my heroes are named after characters from A Song of Ice and Fire. 😛

You might like this game if you like…

  • Free-to-play games
  • Turn-based combat
  • Tactics
  • Upgrading your characters

Want to play?

Free on Google Play, iOS, and web

Another World

Another World logo

Summary

Another World is an action/adventure platformer that was originally released in 1991.

Review

Here is a record of the ~15 minutes I played this game.

Another World
Wow, I look stoned.
Another World
A professor who drives a Ferrari, huh?
Another World
This cinematic is painfully slow. Dum dee dum…
Another World
Press action to continue?! Wtf is action?! *Pushes all the buttons* Okay, it’s Ctrl.
Another World
Wait, I just saw this part. So did I die? Oh yup, I guess I so, because I can swim to the surface. The transition from cinematic to playable was not at all obvious.
Another World
Damn, it won’t let me walk off the cliff. 🙁
Another World
Could I walk any slower? (Found out later you can run if you hold Ctrl)
Another World
Ouch, a worm thing cut my knee.
Another World
Aaaand I guess I’m dead. Bad worm.
Another World
Do I have any other controls? Doesn’t look like it.

I learned that you could get past the worms by jumping over them, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to jump over all of the worms in the second screen of worms. I could get past the first one fine, but the second and third worms kept slicing my knee open. 🙁 I wasn’t interested in this game anyway, so I gave up.

You might like this game if you like…

  • 25-year-old games
  • Dying over and over because you cut your knee
  • Games whose only instruction is to “press action” after you die without giving any indication which button that might be.
  • Retro graphics

Want to play?

Another World is apparently available on a multitude of platforms from desktops to mobile devices to consoles. Here are just a few options (I played on my PC via Steam):

$9.99 on Steam | $1.99 on Android | $3.99 on iOS

TUG Early Access: Alpha 0.8.2

TUG is an open-world sandbox crafting game that I funded on Kickstarter. It’s been a while since I last played it, so I wanted to see how the game is coming along. TUG is in early access, so of course the game is still very much a work in progress.

TUG: Stone furnace

Current version (Alpha 0.8.2) feedback

TUG: Smooth caves
Smooth, curvy caves

The good:

  • The world is large and fun to explore, with many different biomes.
  • Crafting is interesting and complex.
  • When mining, it leaves smooth, curvy caves that look a lot more natural than mining large voxel blocks.
  • Goats!

The bad:

  • Still no tutorial or tooltips, but the wiki is helpful (especially for crafting).
  • Controls are a little wonky and unintuitive.
  • There is a 3rd person view (press “x”), but it doesn’t seem as usable as 1st person.
  • Shortcut bar only has 4 slots.
  • No character customization yet.
  • Fires don’t last long enough.
  • A saber cat ate me. :'(

Version 0.8.2 trailer

Want to play?

$19.99 on Steam | $9.99 (for now) on Humble Store & developer’s website

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Summary

After their father becomes sick, two brothers search the world for a cure. Guide the brothers through various puzzles by controlling each brother separately on a single controller.

Brothers - Climbing a rope

Review

Brothers is a truly unique game that demonstrates how video games can be art. It is driven by its heartfelt story and although there is no dialogue (except gibberish), the message gets across through body language and tone. The scenery and lighting are gorgeous, too.

You control each brother separately on one controller, making it like a single-player co-op game. The brothers have to work together to get past obstacles. They have some unique abilties, too; for example, the older brother is stronger, but the younger brother is small enough to fit through bars. The puzzles themselves are simple, but satisfying… although they sometimes feel repetitive.

Brothers is a downright beautiful game and I loved it. My biggest complaint is that it’s pretty short and not very replayable. Whether the $15 retail price is worth 3-4 hours of gameplay is up to you, but I definitely recommend picking it up when it’s on sale. It was only $1.49 when I picked it up during the Winter sale.

Brothers - Snowy city

You might like this game if you like…

  • Beautiful, emotional stories
  • Video games as art
  • Gorgeous fantasy worlds
  • Unique gameplay

Want to play?

$14.99 on Steam (requires controller), Xbox, & PlayStation

Best Books & Games of 2014

Happy New Year! Here’s a list of my favorite books and games of 2014. The items within each category category aren’t ranked; they’re chronological.

Books:

Flowers for Algernon
Flowers for Algernon
The Martian
The Martian
A Man Called Ove
A Man Called Ove
Kindred - Cover
Kindred

Games:

Dominion
Dominion
Portal
Portal
Epic Battle Fantasy 4 NPC
Epic Battle Fantasy 4
Hearthstone
Hearthstone

ORION: Prelude

ORION: Prelude - Logo

Summary

Survive waves of dinosaur attacks in this multiplayer sci-fi FPS game.

Review

Right off the bat, I have to say that first-person shooters aren’t really my thing… but at 49 cents, I figured I’d give it a try anyway.

I played ORION: Prelude with Nick on co-op survival mode for about an hour. You pretty much just run around and shoot dinosaurs. In between waves, you can buy weapon upgrades and augments to beef up your character. You can apparently also spend real money if you’d like to customize your character further.

This game would benefit from a little more direction in where to go and what to do, especially for first-time players. We also had a few bugs. I got stuck in between two boulders for a couple minutes before we found out there was a way to teleport out. Somehow, other players were able to join our password-protected game. Not sure how that happened.

ORION: Prelude isn’t terrible, but I wouldn’t really recommend it either. At the price, though, it’s certainly low risk if a dinosaur FPS appeals to you.

ORION: Prelude

You might like this game if you like…

  • First-person shooters
  • Shooting dinosaurs in the face
  • Jetpacks
  • Being picked up by a pterodactyl and dropped to the ground
  • An assortment of weapons

Want to play?

$0.74 on Steam (25% off during the Steam Winter Sale) (I got it for $0.49)