Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. Sometimes a game is so dreadful it deserves to be commemorated seventeen years on. Martian Gothic: Unification is one such game. I mean, just the title alone is enough. It doesn’t make sense no matter how many times you try reading it. It’s yet another title in the ongoing genre of Martian gothic horror? Otherworldly architectural styles are finally coming together? Mars has goths? We will likely never care. Somehow published by Take-Two, this was a shameless Resident Evil rip-off, set on the surface of Mars. You “controlled” three characters, but here’s your twist, THEY MUST NEVERRRR MEEEEEEEET. Amazingly, the game began by giving you the information: “If one dies, they all die. But in the end, only two can survive.” Just give that a moment to percolate. You can think about that one all day. It didn’t work, it was buggy as hell, … [Read more...] about Have You Played… Martian Gothic: Unification?
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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. Prison Architect delivers all the satisfaction of a traditional Bullfrog-style management game. You place walls, lay pipes and wires, and soon slip into a zen state familiar to anyone who played Theme Park. What makes the game special is the simulation of the game’s people, which reminds you over and over that you’re not building Disneyland. In short: those people have needs. Not just needs like eating, sleeping and showering, but emotional needs. They get depressed, frustrated, angry and those dark moods make them more likely to lash out, attack someone and start a riot. Build a visitor room and let them see their family however and they’ll feel better, relax, and behave. This isn’t to say that the game solely supports a liberal idea of prisons though. It’s also possible to build a brutalist nightmare, in which your charges are kept in solitary … [Read more...] about Have You Played… Prison Architect?
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. I’ve handed over the keys to Castle Unknown Pleasures to another writer now, but during my time panning for gold among the murky waters of Steam’s dozens-a-day new releases, one of the games that most lodged in my memory was Midnight Ultra, a neon grindhouse nightmare of an FPS. I should say that if you’re looking for a solid shooter first and foremost, you should probably walkaway. Midnight Ultra’s gunfeel is pretty iffy, and its scope somewhat limited. But if you want a feverish descent into a colour-soaked, semi-abstract hellscape – i.e. the feel of reality struggling to hold itself together, with a side order of Hotline Miami-style exaggerated 80s grime’n’cool – and that precious sense that your monitor is showing you something you don’t usually see, absolutely check it out. It’s a striking and giddying assault on the … [Read more...] about Have you played… Midnight Ultra?
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. My friends and I have three matching tattoos. One for each heist we pulled. The shooting, driving, rocket-launching and knife-criming sandbox of Grand Theft Auto Online is a jolly lark. But even the four player co-op heists have created fewer memories for me than the silliness of my friends when there’s no murdering to be done. That’s the dirty soul of GTA Online. It is a game of dicking about. Once, we all got into tiny swim shorts and went to the beach for a day out. Driving jetskis, diving off the pier, riding the rollercoaster. More recently we’ve been stuffing our faces with free snacks from the receptionist’s desk in a pal’s underground hideout. Rockstar have always been good at making a detailed city and, unlike the single player, the online mode lets me enjoy that city with people I don’t actually despise from the bottom of my spleen. … [Read more...] about Have You Played… Grand Theft Auto Online?
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. Pulling worms out of eye sockets, popping eyeballs back into those sockets, then retrieving the ghosts from inside someone’s skull might sound like a grisly business, but Wunderdoktor finds the fun in fungal infections. We’re talking actual toadstools growing where toadstools should not grow. Or bits of coral, or little dancing spikes, or whatever the heck else the denizens of Wunderdoktor’s strange and macabre world have managed to get lodged in their flesh. There’s more to this delightful game than cute-gross visuals though. It’s brill. You’re a travelling doctor, moving from place to place on a rickety train and healing the people who show up in your carriage. To do so, you make incisions with the cursor, while making sure not to touch any tender parts that might cause pain. Your patient’s health is already fading and any mistakes you … [Read more...] about Have You Played… Wunderdoktor?