Games

The Netbook Gamer: Divine Divinity (2002, RPG)

or … Five Years Loving a Game With a Stupid Name. One of the quirky ‘top whatever’ lists that appears every now and then is the list of worst names for video games. And somewhere on every one of those lists is Divine Divinity. Yeah, it IS pretty obvious why. The game would also appear on another list – if someone could figure out how to name it. That list would be ‘best deep role playing game that fans of…


Orba for iPhone/Touch App Review

My gaming tastes are either changing, or I have become a simple person in my older age.  It seems the flurry of simple puzzle games not only entertain me, but also keep me addicted to the small bursts of gaming time I have.  Orba is a simple screen clearing game.  The premise is simple and has been seen in several games.  Tap chains of three or more orbs in an attempt to clear the board.


Review: InfeCCt iPhone Game

I like puzzle games quite a bit.  I travel a lot, and so even though I enjoy things like Dark Nebula, Earthworm Jim (yay!), and Cro-Mag Rally, puzzle games like Myst or Beneath a Steel Sky or Bookworm or Glyph are better for me, as they are easy to stop in the middle, the time pressure isn’t a big issue, and I don’t have to worry about being jostled or hitting air-pockets and losing a life as a result.  Thumb-twitch…


PSP Go! … or PSP No Go? Review

Sony has seen no end of bad press since just after they confirmed the early leak of the PSP Go. There was the lack of a second analog stick, the high price, the lack of clarity on what happened to UMD libraries, the price, and so on. But now the system has been released, and I’ve had it in my hands for several weeks and been able to evaluate the reality of things compared to the hype. So how does…


Commodore 64 Emulator iPhone Game Review

I love classic games of all sorts. I still occasionally replay my copy of the original 1981 Castle Wolfenstein through an emulator and have always loved playing arcade games when the arcade collections are released. So when I heard that a Commodore 64 game emulation system was coming to the iTunes App Store, I was thrilled. Of course, that joy was short-lived as the app was approved but quickly pulled due to an exploit that allowed BASIC to run and…


SiN (1998, FPS) Review

Context is everything. I hadn’t touched SiN since replaying SiN Gold when it was released for the Mac in 2000. Then they released the first ‘episode’ of SiN Episodes, called ‘Emergence‘ in 2006, which came with a Steam copy of ‘SiN 1? as it was called. Naturally I played some then as I waited for the release of the episode, but didn’t make it all the way through. Since it is now more than ten years since the original release,…


Real Racing GTI for iPhone/Touch App Review

Before deciding this is not an interesting gaming option because it is the Lite version, read this review.  You may be surprised on what you find!  I have to admit I am usually not a fan of lite versions of paid apps, but this game is different.  One reason is Firemint has teamed up with Volkswagen to bring this game as an introduction of the new 2010 GTI.  Yes, the game is basically a commercial for the new GTI, but…


Wii Game Review: NERF N-Strike Elite!

Last year Electronic Arts released a game called NERF N-Strike for the Nintendo Wii. The game merged a NERF blaster that could hold a Wii-mote and an arcade-style shooter. Reviews were middling, but the hybrid game sold enough to become EA’s second-highest grossing game of the year. Now they are back with an improved blaster and a game with more features and claims of a better overall experience. So how did they do? Read on and find out!


Nintendo DS & Wii Game Review: SimAnimals Africa

Early this year EA released SimAnimals, a game that allowed you to engage animals in their natural surroundings rather than in a zoo. You managed and guided their interactions and environments as you progressed further and further into a forest in a game that followed the typical ‘god game’ protocols. Unfortunately SimAnimals for the Wii was torn to shreds by reviewers for being ugly, clunky and boring. The DS version did slightly better, being seen as a fun but limited…


Nintendo Wii Game Review: Spore Hero

Will Wright’s 2008 PC game Spore was hyped to the point where anything that was actually released couldn’t help but disappoint. The publishers also made some arrogant claims regarding their DRM that led to the game being quickly cracked and becoming one of the most pirated games of the year. The game offered an amazingly deep creation system but the ‘anything is possible’ shine quickly wore off as gamers worked through the chapters. Yet after all of the hype and…


Spore Hero Arena Nintendo DS Game Review

The Hype: Create your Spore hero and prepare fight to become the galactic champion. An arena style fighter, Spore Hero Arena allows players for the first time to build fully 3D Spore creatures on your Nintendo DS and take them into battle. In addition, you can explore planets all over the galaxy, fight creatures, and gather parts to customize and enhance your mighty hero. Join the fight and compete in a variety of arena battles against dangerous enemies in your…


Sudoku (Free) for iPhone/Touch App Review

Sudoku is a terribly addictive number puzzle game.  The object is to fill in 9×9 grid using numbers 1 through 9 as well as filling them into a 3×3 region with no numbers repeating in rows or columns.  Before the iPhone days, I was hooked on sudoku playing the puzzles on with pencil and paper.  I even used to carry around a little sudoku puzzle book in my bag so I could play when there was a spare moment.  My…


Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: The Stark Reality for PC Gamers

The hype has been building for months, and Tuesday we get what some are calling “the most powerful entertainment industry launch of the year, outshining even Hollywood blockbusters.” The launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. But while millions of console gamers are eagerly awaiting the release, many PC gamers are mourning what they see as the loss of the core elements that has made the franchise great since it launched on the PC several years ago. Rather than…


Skee-Ball for iPhone/Touch App Review

I recently took my oldest son and a few of his buddies to Incredible Pizza in San Antonio for his 5th birthday.  We started with the pizza of course, but the boys could hardly contain themselves just staring into the game room.  Once I let them hit the games, we headed straight for the skee-ball.  They decided tickets were what they were after so they could get some wax lips and parachute men, you know the good stuff.  I can…


Hexplore (1998, RPG) Review

There are many games from the history of computer role-playing games that deserve the attention of a full retrospective, looking back in-depth at what made the game great and putting it into a modern context. However, for every ‘Ultima IV’ or ‘Arcanum’ there are a hundred games like Hexplore – minor releases that added something at the time but were not significant enough to merit much attention even a year after they came out. Certainly, I had never heard about…


Review: Dissidia Final Fantasy for PSP

There are few franchises that have cast a larger shadow over the history of console gaming than Final Fantasy, and the core series of role-playing games has been constantly tweaked and upgraded through the years to stay current. There have certainly been games that have strayed from the usual jRPG format – the classic strategy game series Final Fantasy Tactics, and more recently the RTS-like Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings for the Nintendo DS. But one of the most anticipated…


The Netbook Gamer: Unreal (1998, FPS)

Given that my first love of gaming is first-person shooters (FPS) based on my love of the original Castle Wolfenstein back on my Apple ][+, it is somewhat surprising that I was ‘late to the party’ on Unreal by nearly a year. But hey, gimme a break – I had a three-month old colicky baby when it was released in late May of 1998. Yes, that is right: Unreal is well past the celebration of its tenth birthday … but…


Whac a Mole iPhone Game Review

I am 100% a child of the Jersey Shore…I have fond memories of begging my parents for a handful of quarters, which I then immediately blew on Skee Ball and Whac a Mole. Skee Ball was fun, but I have a terrible throwing arm, plus Whac a Mole would arm me with a hammer! So when Kiloo Apps offered Gear Diary the chance to review Whac a Mole for the iPhone, my inner 5 year old volunteered immediately! How did…


Review: Wolfenstein for PC, XBOX360 & PS3

As I’ve tossed out before while talking about the Wolfenstein iPhone releases, my history with Wolfenstein is nearly 30 years old. I’m not sure how I initially found out about it – it could have been an impulse buy at the local computer center – but from the moment I started playing Castle Wolfenstein on my Apple ][+ I was hooked. Locks that told you they would take 75 seconds to pick – and that was *real time*! During which…


Review: MySims Agents for Wii

The Sims franchise has been a major powerhouse of sales and popularity on the PC for years, but has never really translated into success on consoles and handhelds, managing only modest sales and average reviews. As the franchise moved to the Wii in 2007 it was transformed into MySims, which removed all of the teen and adult-focused content and targeted a younger audience. The MySims franchise has been focused on the Nintendo platforms (aside from a single PC entry), and…


Nintendo DSi After a While Review

I had grand plans to do a review of the Nintendo DSi right after I bought it on release day back in April – I was going to take a quick look at the new cameras, SD slot, MP3 player, and the DSiWare store. But at the time I was in the middle of playing one of the better games the DS has seen – Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars, in my opinion the best game in the GTA series…