Indie Game Reviews Part One by Ben Parrish

GAME: Cellblock Squadrons
GENRE: 3D Space Shooter

I think it is fairly safe to say that if you like flying spaceships and shooting at things, and you play the demo of this game, it will be virtually impossible for you to not immediately grab your wallet and buy it. The game itself is utter simplicity. You use the mouse to fly around, the buttons to shoot things, and... well, that's pretty much it. The first demo mission has you squaring off with a few buddies against a few baddies, and that whets your appetite. That's fine. But then once you get to the third demo level, you begin to see amazing things. Now it's about a HUNDRED (literally) of your guys, against a HUNDRED (literally) of their guys, and it looks like something straight out of Battlestar Galactica, or the last fight scene in Return of the Jedi, or something. And the game looks so GOOD while it's doing this, that it truly winds up being a near-awe-inspiring experience.

Then you buy the game.

Then you play ten missions or so, and are in love with the game. You're flyin' around, chasing bad guys, and taking down HUGE capital ships by shooting at them ten thousand times.

After the twentieth mission, it's still cool, but you're starting to wonder, is this it? Going up to gigantic capital ships and holding down the fire button for ten minutes?

After the fortieth mission, you have your answer. Yes. This is it. Go up to capital ships and hold down the fire button. You look GREAT while you're doing it, and billions of things are flying around and exploding all around you. Meanwhile, you're eating a ham sandwich with your other hand, and kinda wondering what else you could have done with that $25.

I will give this game ***, because until I got sick of it, it was a heck of a lot of fun, and it does look great, and it does have some cute role-playing features to keep you wanting to play just one more mission. But I can't give it any higher rating than that, because I DID get sick of it, and right quickly, too.


GAME: Ultratron
GENRE: Robotron Clone
STATUS: Played the demo once and deleted it.

This game has the coolest voice effects of any game I've ever played! Sounds like Cylons, but much much better and scarier and cooler!

The only real problem with the game, then, is that everything else but the voice sucks. The enemies move more like Daleks than like the bloodthirsty scum from the original game, and RETARDED, SLOW-MOTION Daleks at that. What is this, Robotron for stroke victims? I played the demo -- a single game of it, mind you -- for at least a half hour, which is how long it took for it to get remotely difficult, and then I died three times in 15 seconds. What a piece of shit!

My advice, get it, run the demo, but turn the monitor off, so you can just enjoy those awesome voice sound effects!

Rating: *


GAME: Astrogeddon
GENRE: Asteroids Clone
STATUS: Played Demo once, ALMOST bought, but didn't.

Well, it's like Asteroids, but BIGGER, and BADDER, and more ENEMY SHIPS, and POWERUPS, and hypnotic BACKGROUND GRAPHICS which SPIN AROUND and big EXPLOSIONS and FLAMETHROWERS (!) and STUFF!

So it's fun.

But no matter how they try to spruce up and fancy up the original, the farther away they get from the magic. They might KNOW Asteroids...

...but they just don't understand it.



GAME: Tribal Trouble

The demo has little to offer other than the first few tutorial missions ("how to move guys from A to B") and an uber-easy sample skirmish mission, but based on the strength of that experience, I'm fairly certain I can pronounce Tribal Trouble:


Rather, as Outpost Kaloki took the "Tycoon" concept and boiled it down to its essence, while removing all the bullshit and putting in a bunch of cute stuff, Tribal Trouble takes the RTS genre, boils it down to its essence, and removes all the bullshit, while presenting you with an environment which very closely resembles my apartment, or at least what I'd imagine it was, if it wasn't constrained to 900 square feet. Palm trees, beaches, and MAGIC CHICKENS. (The MAGIC CHICKENS are a major part of the strategy, but not included in the demo.)

Check it out. An RTS with a total of THREE possible buildings to build. The "build more guys" building. The "turn guys into warriors" building. The "fire shit at approaching armies" building (not included in demo.) That's really all there is, isn't it? There's no "build this one so you can build this one so you can build this unit" bullshit, which does nothing but encourage pasty-faced 13-year old dickwads to download build orders from their dorkwad fathers' websites.

Along that same theme, there are four dudes you can have. Regular Dude. Rock-Throwing Dude. Iron-Spear-Throwing Dude (not featured) and Magic Chicken Dude (not featured, due to the lack of Magic Chickens in the demo.) That's IT. No BULLSHIT.

So, I like that. I also like that the graphics are clean, crisp, smooth, and feature swaying palm trees better than Far Cry does.

In summation. Tribal Trouble is the greatest computer-oriented game that has ever existed, and that will ever exist until the Earth's orbit decays into the sun.

Thank you.

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