Dota Underlords (Open Beta) – Taking the Mod in the Right Direction

I’m Never Going Back…

That is to say, I’m never going back to the original Dota Auto Chess mod now that Valve has released their own standalone version of the game available on Steam, and mobile platforms for free. When I first heard word of this new entry in the “Auto Chess” genre, I thought it was a good move but just wasn’t sure if they’d be able to land it. After all, these are the folks who brought us Artifact, which was a total disaster despite its excellent gameplay. Having been enjoying the game in closed beta though, I can confidently say that this is a great game that is moving in the right direction. Continue reading “Dota Underlords (Open Beta) – Taking the Mod in the Right Direction”

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Wallpaper Engine – Creating Cool Stuff!

Getting Creative!

Today I felt like sharing some recent creative endeavors I’ve been undertaking. I’ll be talking about Wallpaper Engine, a tool that lets you make amazing animated wallpapers as well as sharing some of my works with you guys. If you like what you see here, don’t be afraid to reach out and request something yourself. With that said, let’s start with the review. Continue reading “Wallpaper Engine – Creating Cool Stuff!”

Confess My Love – Mini Review

An Endless Cycle of Rejection

This will truly be a mini review, as I have very little to say about Confess My Love by LR Studio. This is a free to play game on Steam that is about, well, confessing your love to a girl. Toted as a horror title I thought this innocent looking title might be a good quick look for Halloween since that was around the corner. Sadly, there just isn’t much here and this isn’t really worth your time unless you plan to play the connected game Transparent Black.

Here was my experience with Confess My Love. I spent two whole hours, with a guide after a bit, getting 100% on this game. At first it was fun to explore and see the various ways your crush, Liza will reject you, but it quickly became tedious. This was especially true if you wanted to get the true ending, which requires you to do a core loop that only has a 1/3 chance of even triggering in order to progress.

To the credit of the developer, the game is streamlined enough that once you do hit that event trigger, you don’t have to repeat the whole loop any more, just part of it. However, a lot of the game is still just walking up to Liza at various times and choosing to confess right away or hesitate a bit.

So is this spooky then? No. It doesn’t deserve the horror tag it received. There is an ending where Liza does accept your feelings but she becomes a ghost thing and murders you unless you run away. Eh.

How about the story then? I at first thought this was going to be a story about how people can get in their own heads. Then with the introduction of the second character, Julie, I thought things would take a more Doki Doki Literature Club route where she would be the one with feelings for you and the, “correct” choice. Well all that is totally wrong!

Instead, and spoilers (but really, you shouldn’t care), it turns out you were dead the whole time, Julie is the Devil, and Liza is just a construct of your own personal Hell in regards to your lingering regret upon death. There is a semi-cute scene where you find out that Liza liked you and she gets this cake you bought her but it was not at all worth it.

One point of praise I can give to Confess My Love is that it has a lovely soundtrack of like 3 songs. Still, I enjoyed it thoroughly as I played those two hours so it wasn’t like the whole thing was awful. The game is just tedious with not much pay out. Conceptually interesting but lacking in execution.

Note:  The game’s translation has since improved dramatically from when this trailer was made

Despite all of this, I am interested in Transparent Black at the price of $0.99 so I suppose I’ll give that a try. If you decide you’d like to check out that game then that is the only circumstance where I’d recommend Confess Your Love as a 100% completion save for this game is REQUIRED for Transparent Black if you want to beat it. I just regret deleting my save now…


What free to play games would you recommend for the spook-tacular season? Have you played Confess My Love? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you would like to support me please hit my donation button below as I’d greatly appreciate it. As always, thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day!

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma – Reviewing Them All Part 3

The Final Part of one Crazy Trilogy

With three games, the Zero Escape trilogy was something I was excited to embark on. I already took a look at the first game, 999, and the second game, Virtue’s Last Reward (VLR for short), which was a lot of fun to do. If you haven’t read those already, I highly recommend doing so since I’ll be referring back to the other games in this look at the final game, Zero Escape:  Zero Time Dilemma (ZTD for short). Even if you haven’t played the other games don’t worry, I will have a brief section of the review for newcomers of the franchise and if this series is for you. With that, there will be three sections:  a section on this game as a standalone work, a spoiler-free look at ZTD that will refer back to the previous game, and a more detailed look at ZTD with spoilers. Let’s dive in! Continue reading “Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma – Reviewing Them All Part 3”

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games Virtue’s Last Reward – Reviewing Them All Part 2

That’s it…?

This review is part 2 of a series where I look at the entire Zero Escape franchise. If you haven’t read part 1 where I talk about the first game, 999, I suggest you do that before reading this one. Some spoilers for 999 will also be in this so you may want to play that first if that bugs you. This review will be split into two sections:  the first section will be a spoiler free review of Virtue’s Last Reward (VLR for short) and the second will be a spoiler section where I discuss certain points in greater detail. Continue reading “Zero Escape: The Nonary Games Virtue’s Last Reward – Reviewing Them All Part 2”

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games 999 – Reviewing Them All Part 1

The Stuff Conspiracy is Made of

During the Steam Summer Sale I decided to pick up a few games while they were on the cheap. As per my friend’s recommendation along with one from Mother’s Basement, I decided that I would pick up ALL of the Zero Escape series. Today I’ll be looking at just the first game, 999, or Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The game is a visual novel escape room hybrid that is embroiled in mystery and conspiracy. By the end you won’t be able to look at the number, “9” the same way again.  Continue reading “Zero Escape: The Nonary Games 999 – Reviewing Them All Part 1”

Sentinels of the Multiverse – Reviewing the Board Game, Video Game, & Opening the BIG Box

After Years of Waiting it Finally Came!

Sentinels of the Multiverse, or SoTM, is one of my favorite board games that I own. That’s why when the last expansion went up on Kicstarter years ago, along with the BIG box to hold it all, I jumped on it immediately. Well it took its sweet time but it finally came! Today I review the game, its digital version, and of course, the BIG box! Continue reading “Sentinels of the Multiverse – Reviewing the Board Game, Video Game, & Opening the BIG Box”

Slay the Spire – Mini Review

It Keeps Getting Better & Better

Please note that this is an early access title that receives regular content updates and changes

In the world of video games it feels like people are starting to get sick of early access titles and rouge lites, especially dungeon crawlers. Who can blame them? Many of these games over promise and under deliver, cost too much, or are just plain terrible games. This doesn’t even mention the shear volume of them competing for your attention. Slay the Spire is both of these things, and before I lose you, I assure you that this game is well worth your time and money due to its engaging gameplay and continual updates. This is one hell of an effort for Mega Crit Games first ever game!

When I first got Slay the Spire on Jan 19, 2018 it only had two characters and one game mode. Each Thursday, outside of one announced instance, this game receives an update. Usually these updates bring in content and fix a lot of issues but some even bring in major amounts of content such as new characters or game modes. Today it has three characters, multiple game modes, and has received numerous additions and rebalance to gameplay. This constant support and love from the developers is a big reason why I love this game.

At first, when I saw some people playing the game prior to purchasing it, I thought it was a neat idea but not something I was interested. The game was pretty ugly, and while I enjoyed the concepts, it just didn’t seem to have enough content. However, that was until I saw a video a few weeks later and things in Slay the Spire had changed fairly dramatically. I knew then that this game was something I could get behind, and a purchase I am so pleased with as it has offered over 120 hours of fun.

You may be wondering how exactly Slay the Spire plays and why this stands out from other rouge lite experiences. In this game you explore three acts, or dungeons, doing battle and having other encounters. What is unique about this is that you choose your route as you go, much in the vein of games like FTL. On top of that, you battle using a deck of cards that starts off not so great and gets better over time as you add new cards to your deck. This works much like the board game Dominion where you draw a hand, play cards based on the number of actions you have, and then discard your hand before drawing a new one for the next turn.

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Example of the map and what to expect

Slay the Spire has three very different characters to choose from. You only have access to one, The Ironclad, at first but as you play you will unlock the other characters and various cards as well as items that can be found within the dungeons. This hero focuses on strength and gets some bonus passive healing which is very valuable in a game like this. Normally, you can only heal at campfires but those are also upgrade spots, so needing to heal less is a big deal.

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An example of cards The Ironclad has access to as you play

The other two heroes, The Silent, and, The Defect play very differently. The Silent is a defensive fighter that likes to apply status effects to her enemies like poison while The Defect utilizes various orbs that provide both passive and active effects. Personally, I am terrible with The Ironclad but have really been loving The Defect, who was only just recently added to the game not too long ago.

At first beating the game even once with any of these characters will be very challenging. This is partially because you won’t have everything unlocked at the start, but the game does have a small learning curve as you figure out what enemies show up where and general attack patterns. However, you’ll soon find yourself breezing through the game and beating it consistently. Don’t worry though, the game still manages to keep itself fresh even after you beat it with each hero.

Slay the Spire has three game modes. The first being the primary, “story” mode, though I use story lightly. Right now there isn’t really one. After you win the game with a character once, you unlock accession mode which adds more and more difficulty each time you beat it, having 15 levels in total. When I started out beating even level 5 was something that felt impossible, now I’ve beaten level 10 no problem. Funny enough, 15 still seems pretty far from my reach, especially with every hero.

The other game modes on offer are a daily challenge mode where you compete on a fixed board against others for the highest score. It’s an ok mode that offers some fun from time-to-time. Lastly, there is a custom mode that doubles as an endless mode. This is where you can try some of the silly settings from the daily mode as well as absurd challenges like beating the game with only one HP.

I love Slay the Spire. It’s a really fun game that is perfect for people who want a game that receives a ton of support and has a lot of replayability. There are still several things I haven’t even seen in the game yet, and that’s pretty incredible for the hours I’ve put in. If you still aren’t convinced, or would like to see the game in action a bit, I have included the trailer below.


What are your thoughts on early access titles and rouge lite games? Love them or hate them, let me know in the comments below. I’d also enjoy hearing your thoughts on Slay the Spire and if you enjoy the game or not too. If you like the work I do here please hit the button below and donate a few dollars to me. Lastly, I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews, and as always, thanks for reading!

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Ashi: Lake of Light – Relaxing Indie Puzzler

Guide a Firefly Through a Twilight World

Please note that I received this product free from the developer

I’m one to enjoy a good puzzle game from time-to-time, so when I was approached by the PR team for Nick Cellini’s Ashi:  Lake of Light I was a bit curious. Looking into the game a bit I saw that Nick Cellini said,

I’ve been an admirer of Japanese culture and design aesthetics for a long time. I love
the sense of peace I feel in a Japanese garden, and I wanted to replicate that feeling of serenity within a video game. That’s really how most of the design decisions manifested in this game: trying to capture a genuine sense of calm observation, and to encourage curiosity, experimentation and discovery. I’ve worked hard on Ashi for quite a long time, and it is incredibly exciting to finally be able to release it to the
world.

Couple that with a great aesthetic choice of guiding a firefly with lanterns in a meandering path and I was sold on the concept. Join me as I discuss the game and have a brief interview with the developer, Nick Cellini himself. Continue reading “Ashi: Lake of Light – Relaxing Indie Puzzler”

Doki Doki Literature Club – Why so Popular?

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

 

Recently I took the time to play Doki Doki Literature Club. I had been hearing mad hype about the game, even from people I know in real life who have zero interest in a dating sim/visual novel. After completing all routes of the game, I can’t help but feel a little let down. Still, the game is worth checking out and the developer obviously put a lot of love into this one so let’s dive in and take a closer look. Continue reading “Doki Doki Literature Club – Why so Popular?”