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Rainbow Six Vegas Xbox 360 Review

Rainbow Six Vegas offers one of the best online components to a game since Halo 2. There are a multitude of modes and up to 4 player co-op of the entire story mode and terrorist hunt scenarios. There’s an online experience system and you can customize your own online persona. I was actually driven to buy and play this game from all of the other reviews and critical acclaim that the game had received. Let’s just say that Rainbow Six is a very deserving title of all the positive reviews and remarks.

Gameplay: 9/10
Pros: The cover mechanic is far superior to Gears of War’s and there are almost too many weapons, all with customizable scopes, lasers, etc. The 1 player campaign has a nice streamlined and easy way to command your team and some of the firefights in the casino are truly epic. There are tons of different multiplayer options both online and on a single console (split screen co-op for example).
Cons: Online, it is very hard to understand why you win/lose a firefight. Unlike Halo 2 which has a clear health indicator, R6 Vegas uses a blur mechanic (the blurry it is the closer you are to death). This is really cool offline, but online there have been times I swear I should have killed my enemy first, and vice-versa. Online is very intimidating at first because of all the modes, weapons, options, etc.

Graphics: 9.5/10
Pros: The graphics are gorgeous! The neon lights of Vegas, the strip and all of the locations look amazing and near photorealistic. There’s really nothing that looks bad in this game. Check out the video above to see that.
Cons: This is a slight critique, but I don’t think that the rifle fire lines that burst from your rifle are exactly lined up to where you are aiming or where they actually hit. I’ve seen my fire look like it’s hitting a car only to have the guy slightly right of the care get torn to shreds by my rounds. It really only happens when you are using the scope, but seems off.

Sound/Music: 9.5/10
Pros: All the guns sound different and get your adrenaline pumping. The voice work is topnotch and the music wraps up and rounds out the package. One of my all time favorite things is shooting up a slot machine only to hear the pings and dings and tune go crazy before it shorts out.
Cons: There is no voice overview or direction during a co-op game whether on the same console or online.

Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Pros: With 4 player online co-op, 16 player competitive multiplayer including attack and defend, team slayer (sharpshooter), team survival (no respawns last team standing wins), etc. there is plenty to keep you occupied. Add to that a fully customizable online identity and an experience system that unlocks new outfits and features leaves you with the best Xbox Live experience around.
Cons: Fairly short 1 player experience, though more significant and lengthy than Gears of War.

Average: 95.00%
Tilt: +/- 0.00%

As many options and finesse that this FPS has, there isn’t the same visceral excitement that some matches of other Online games create. Don’t get me wrong R6 Vegas is a must-own title, but its steep learning curve hurts its instant appeal and can be very frustrating online. R6 takes time to get used to before you can really enjoy it. I was lucky enough to meet someone online who sort of walked me through some strategies and general tactics as well as suggesting a weapon for me to use after seeing how I played. I was pretty frustrated up until that point, but since have really started to rack up some kills and contribute to my team. Don’t judge R6 Vegas by the demo, its way better. This title will offer you new thrills for months if not years to come and is a great title to help you wait for Halo 3. Check it out, rent it, buy it. Rainbow 6: Vegas is a winner.

Verdict: 95%

Co-Ed Screens

give us your Coed Crazy Feedback

Just a reminder that you can play Coed Crazy online now in the Grad Games Arcade. Let us know of any tweaks/revisions we should implement before we move onto our next project. Comment away!

The Warriors PC Game Review (also for Mobile Devices)

Warriors is basically a portable RPG battle- not a full blown RPG- but rather a turn-based fighting tournament. The gameplay consists of creating a 4-man party and then fighting other parties of paladins, ninjas, warriors, and the like. Each character takes a turn and has a limited selection of abilities or things to do (typically somewhere between 1-3 actions). If your warriors triumph, you move onto the next team to battle in the tournament ladder. The game is awful as a PC title, and is definitely better suited for a mobile device (though it goes from 4 on 4 to 3 on 3), but is still a straight forward and somewhat repetitive experience.

Gameplay: 5/10
Pros: The gameplay definitely recaptures the old RPG turn-based battles of classic 8/16-bit RPGs (this is NOT ChronoTrigger or Secret of Mana mechanics people!). Gamesplay is straight-forward with easy to play mechanics.
Cons: There’s a reason people hated the random battles from RPGs of Yore! Selecting attack and then the bad guy to attack gets repetitive and boring!

Graphics: 4/10
Pros: Graphics probably work on mobile device well. There are animations. Classes look different
Cons: Graphics may look good and suit the mobile device, but are all boxy, too small, and lack detail on a PC. The backgrounds are drab, and the animations of the characters are minimal. Just not up to par compared to other games.

Sound/Music: 4/10
Pros: Sufficient for a mobile game…
Cons:…but lacking for a PC title.

Lasting Appeal: 5/10
Pros: There are a lot of different classes of characters and different difficulties. There’s also online rankings and some unlockables that could keep you playing.
Cons: If you are a gamer, you’ve played tons of games with a menu driven battle system before, the only difference is that those games were full-fledged RPGs with a story and maps to explore, plus you also leveled up and got the spectacle of powerful magical fireworks. This game is just the battle-system and an archaic one at that.

Average: 45.00%
Tilt: +/-: 0.00%

This game’s problem isn’t so much a result of poor execution, but instead a poor concept. It is probably salvageable and decent as a mobile game, but is just not worth $10 for the PC when games like Gibbage cost about $10 as well. Even if you loved the old turn based battles from those classic RPGs a decade ago, this game still might not be executed in a way that you would enjoy. All in all, I’m not a fan of Warriors.

Verdict: 45%

CoEd Crazy is Ready to Play!...sort of...

You can head over to the Graduate Games Arcade and enjoy our newest Free Online game, Co-Ed Crazy. As a whole, it's finished, but there may be some tweaks before it is fully integrated into the blog/website. Please check it out now and give us your feedback! If you find any bugs or have any slight tweaks or suggestions, let us know and we'll implement them! Comment below too! Enjoy

Pure Sudoku Deluxe PC Review

I’m going to try and keep this review as short as possible. Sudoku is huge! And is a very addictive game…obviously a computer rendition should be mainly judged on its interface since playing Sudoku on a computer is very different than writing in your local newspaper. The bottom line is that Pure Sudoku is a very solid/typical way to present sudoku. The interface isn’t as good as…say Brain Age for the DS, but the DS isn’t a PC. If you like Sudoku and want it to be available on your computer you should really consider buying this product. If you don’t like sudoku, you won’t like this game either as it is a pretty straight forward port of the pen/paper version.

Gameplay: 8/10
Pros: Very easy interface- you can quickly boot up a sudoku puzzle on whatever difficulty you want and start solving it. Cool hint feature which shows you the number possibilities in each square.
Cons: It lacks some features I would have liked to see…for instance: you can’t pencil into a square the numbers you know to be the only possibilities. The hint feature is too powerful and makes things too easy.

Graphics: 6/10
Pros: its sudoku…you get a nice clean grid, numbers, and in this game’s case some nature and scenery photographs in the background. It’s all nice and looks fine.
Cons; its sudoku…so no animations, sprites or any graphics to write home about.

Sound/Music: 4/10
Pros: Sounds consist of clicks and button presses- nothing annoying distracts you during your time of sudoku Zen concentration.
Cons: There is no music whatsoever and the sound is almost nonexistent…it’s not essential in this type of game anyway, but there really is no sound to speak of at all.

Lasting Appeal: 8/10
Pros: It’s the addicting game of sudoku on your computer, but unlike the daily puzzle in your paper, you can just click and load up another one right after you solve a puzzle. Plenty of puzzles for the $10 price tag.
Cons: Not being able to pencil in the number possibilities really aggravates me and if I found a computer sudoku that offered that feature I would switch.

Average: 65.00%
Tilt: -2.00%

The bottom line is these types of games are all about the interface and I prefer the interface (even with the limited puzzles) of Brain Age on Nintendo DS more than this PC rendition. However, the title is only $10 and if you are a sudoku addict, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth on this title (as long as you are not a sudoku player who writes profusely with pencil all over the puzzle).

Verdict: 63%

Galcon PC review (also available for MAC and Linux)

GALCON website
Download the Demo

Galcon is instantly fun and playable. I mean you can learn to play the game in 30 seconds (see here) and each match only lasts a couple minutes. The controls are easy and there’s something about seeing hundreds of Asteroids-style triangle ships flying around that is very appealing to me. This game can be summed up in 2 words: Simple Enjoyment. The game is not deep and there are really no extravagant strategies or new features to unlock, but the game is fun and frantic.

Gameplay: 8.5/10
Pros: Very easy to learn and a very fast-paced strategy style game. The Tutorial quickly teaches you the basics, and the missions 1 player mode basically is a practice on varying strategies for online multiplayer. Galcon is instantly playable with few nuances. I love that victory is determined both by your reflexes and strategy.
Cons: There is a lack of depth overall in the gameplay. You basically just decide how many ships to send where. Having different ships would have been brilliant.

Graphics: 7.5/10
Pros: There’s something very appealing about seeing a screen full of ships crisscrossing around the galaxy. It looks even better in Multiplayer where it happens frequently and in a plethora of different colors. The presentation is excellent and the planets, maps, etc. are easy to see and distinguish.
Cons: There is very little animation or diversity in the graphics minus the change of color in the ships. The graphics fit the theme of the game well, and that’s primarily why I haven’t scored the graphics lower.

Sound/Music: 5/10
Pros: There is music and sound and it doesn’t intrude on the gameplay.
Cons: The music is repetitive and the sound is minimal. All in all the sound aesthetic is a bare bones approach.

Lasting Appeal: 7/10
Pros: The multiplayer mode and the great gameplay shines in this title. The game is instantly playable and the gameplay is very engrossing.
Cons: The lack of features detracts from all of this because you are left wanting a lot more….more single player content, more ships, more graphic and sound variety, etc.

Average: 70.00%
Tilt: -1.00%

I really enjoyed this game, but I do think that it is overpriced so I have to tilt the score down slightly. It’s really a +2.00% for immediate appeal and playability and -3.00% for lack of features and a $20 price tag. This game would be an absolute must buy at $10, but $20 feels a bit much since there’s a lack of sounds/music/animations/power-ups/campaign mode, etc. This game’s longevity lies in its online multiplayer, and restricting yourself to short play sessions. The game really shines when you get a multiplayer match with 3+ people, but sometimes it can be hard to find such games or that many players. Just download the demo, so at the very least I will be able to find more people online to conquer. The original game was made in a 48 hour competition and won a bunch of awards…even though this title has been reworked etc. there is still some residual simplicity from the original 48 hour competition the game sprung from. Galcon is a good game nonetheless.

Verdict: 69%

GALCON website
Download the Demo

Big Kahuna Words~ Press Release

Big Kahuna Words~ to be released in stores
Merscom and Reflexive team up to release popular word adventure game

CHAPEL HILL, NC ~ January 23, 2007 ~ Merscom announced today it is forging a partnership with Reflexive Entertainment to release Big Kahuna Words in retail stores. Part of Reflexive~s highly successful Big Kahuna game franchise, Words is scheduled for a March 2007 release. As one of the Web's most popular casual games, Big Kahuna Words was recently nominated for a People's Choice Zeeby Award for Best Word Game at

Featuring more than 100 levels on the CD and many more available for download online, Big Kahuna Words provides limitless amounts of fun and engagement for players of all ages and skill levels. In a major twist on puzzle games, players must form words to break through stones surrounded by hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, and other marine life in order to further their adventure. The game features two different single-player modes~action and relaxed~and a multiplayer ~mouse party~ feature, where up to 8 players can enjoy Big Kahuna Words on a single computer. Players earn extra points for finding the secret word and unleashing the power of the Tiki Totem.

~We are very excited about this opportunity to be working with Reflexive; they are one of the top casual game developers and we see tremendous value in our relationship. We are particularly excited to bring Big Kahuna Words to a retail audience,~ said Lloyd Melnick, Director of Merscom. ~It is one of the best word games available and a brilliant franchise; our customers will love it.~

About Merscom
Merscom is a global publisher of computer and video games, which distributes games through multiple channels, multiple platforms and multiple revenue models. Merscom's channels include retail distribution in the US and Europe, online sale through major portals worldwide and games on Microsoft~ Xbox Live~ Arcade. Merscom publishes games from leading casual game developers, including Sandlot Studios, Reflexive Entertainment, Absolutist and Pi-Eye Games. Merscom publishes on multiple platforms including PC, console and handheld. Merscom produces entertaining products for gamers of all ages and guarantees all customers a great experience with its ~Fun Guarantee.~ For more information visit

About Reflexive EntertainmentFounded in 1997, with one goal in mind - to make great games, Reflexive Entertainment ( is known for its top-selling Ricochet and Big Kahuna casual game franchises (with over 30 million total downloads) and its Xbox 360 downloadable game of the year Wik: Fable of Souls. In addition to developing games, Reflexive has created one of the largest casual game distribution networks in existence with more than 500 affiliates distributing a huge catalog of over 600 games to a rapidly growing audience that downloads millions of games each week.

Tribal Trouble PC Review

Tribal Trouble is a Real Time Strategy game that pits Island Natives against the invading Vikings. There are the aforementioned 2 factions who each have 5 units and 3 buildings (which are equivalent). The scarce variety of units and buildings is really the only indication that this game is an Indie title since the graphics, gameplay, presentation, etc. are all well above and beyond what is typically seen in the Indie industry and is very comparable to big budget PC titles with immense development teams. Furthermore, the simplicity and focus on the units/buildings makes the game far more enjoyable to play and less daunting to approach. My least favorite thing about RTS games was the immense diversity and huge amount of time that had to be invested learning each unit and its strengths and weaknesses. I may be in the minority on this, but I really feel that with the immense RTS lineups, you really can only spend the time getting to know one game’s units, buildings, etc. Regardless, this game is really impressive in almost every aspect.

Gameplay: 9.5/10
Pros: All the typical RTS shortcut keys and functions are there (only streamlined) and the controls are instantly accessible. The best thing about Tribal Trouble though is the simple units mean that players don’t sit around and build massive bases and units and then just mass strike. There’s a lot more back and forth and time management is a bigger issue than in other Real Time Strategy games.
Cons: The simplicity of the units is nice, but I would have liked to see a couple more buildings and maybe an exclusive unit or a little more difference between the Native and Vikings.

Graphics: 10/10
Pros: I really can’t express how impressed I was with the graphics of this game. The game features a fully 3D world and camera which can rotate, pan, zoom, etc. You can zoom in right on the littlest Peon and see the very fluid animations up close. There’s a distinct look between the two factions and the menus and presentation are all top-notch
Cons: I guess the character models look a bit blocky up close and make you aware of the lack of polygons, but you can’t fault the game for that when there are hundreds of units waddling and running about.

Sound/Music: 8.5/10
Pros: The sound is perfectly adequate and solid and the musical scores are quite good.
Cons: I could’ve used more music (there are only about 4 musical scores).

Lasting Appeal: 9.5/10
Pros: Randomly generated island levels, online multiplayer, and 2 very fun campaign modes…there are plenty of modes and features to keep you playing.
Cons: The lack of units/buildings can wear thin and although it contributes to Tribal Trouble’s initial appeal, it also detracts from its depth.

Average: 93.75%
Tilt: + 0.25%

Tribal Trouble is great fun. I guess I haven’t mentioned the humor yet, which this game has in spades. The premise itself is humorous: Drunk Vikings get lost on an island and start fighting the natives. Tribal Trouble is $30 which is higher than the typical Indie title, but it is also of a much higher caliber. If you download the demo, you will immediately be impressed with Tribal Trouble’s graphics, presentation, and gameplay. Anyone who likes RTS games should buy it and anyone who has avoided them because of their vast learning curve should step up to the plate and play this more casual take on a hardcore genre that dominates the PC market. A must buy for everyone who enjoys PC games.

Verdict: 94%

Halo 3 Registration Phase 1 is OVER

Today I received this email:
so hopefully by the end of the week I will receive the good news that I have been selected for the Halo 3 Beta.

Ultratron PC Review


Ultratron is a pretty straightforward recreation of the Arcade Classic Robotron 2084. The original arcade game utilized 2 joysticks (1 to move, 1 to shoot) and you pretty much blasted robots as you tried to save civilians. You can play the original via Shockwave @ Retro remakes are hard to review because no matter how new the game is, it feels old. Ultimately, Ultratron is a pretty faithful remake of Robotron which lacks humans to save and the dual arcade joysticks, while adding cleaner/superior graphics, and cool power-ups. Puppygames does have better to offer (as you will see in the Alien Flux, and Titan Attacks reviews), but if Robotron was your game back in 1982 then you will certainly enjoy Ultratron.

Gameplay: 6/10

Pros: Classic Retro Gameplay that plays very crisp and features some unique power-ups
Cons: Keyboard controls make you pine for Robotron’s dual joysticks.

Graphics: 7/10
Pros: Definitely better than Robotron, but Puppygames added a sort of boxy look to the graphics which adds to the retro feel. Very good variety of enemies.
Cons: Lack of Level distinction (though the background is better than just a simple black). Graphics are nothing to write home about.

Sound/Music: 7/10
Pros: I actually find the old school sounds endearing and perfectly sufficient.
Cons: Sounds/Music are good but retro and thus feel a little…for lack of a better word…cheap

Lasting Appeal: 5/10
Pros: Classic gameplay from a game that used to devour kids quarters in the 80s
Cons: the 80s incentive to get the highscore at the local pizza joint is not a game incentive that has really stood the test of time.

Average: 62.50%
Tilt: +0.50%

Love Robotron, Buy this game. Don’t know what Robotron is? Download Ultratron and try out gameplay that defined the 80s. If retro gaming is not your thing, then this title isn’t going to change your mind.


Verdict: 63%

New to our Reviews

We will now sum up our reviews with these convenient recommendations:

The Scoring Breakdown for these recommendations and their descriptions is as follows:

90-100% - Pretty Self Explanatory, we consider games that score abover 90% to be excellent titles in their genres and incredible fun. Our platinum/editor's choice award and our highest honor. No need to try these games, they absolutely warrant a purchase.

80-89% - Our Buy it award goes to games that should absolutely be purchased and enjoyed (unless you absolutely hate the genre). If you are not sure about the game, you should absolutely take the time to download the demo (or rent it) and give it a try.

60-79% - Games that fall in this range are all good games, they just aren't for everyone. These games (especially at the top of the range) definitely deserve a download and a try, but typically lack broad appeal.

50-59% - Average games that need work in certain areas to really be above the crop and worth a purchase over the other titles out there.

0-49% - Games that really missed the boat and weren't our cup of tea. Gameplay felt like a chore and vast improvements are needed or in some cases a whole new concept.

I'm not going to add them at the bottom of all our old reviews, but I will add them to the Our Reviews Page. Like/Dislike?

Real Life Halo Spartan Armor?

Check out this technological marvel...or not. I just stumbled upon this and had to share it. Above is an excerpt from the documentary "Project Grizzly." A movie where Troy Hurtubise documented the creation of his bear protection suit. Now he has moved on and is apparently the next Dr. Catherine Halsey of the Halo Universe. Check out these pictures of his latest set of armor, "The Trojan" ...obviously inspired by Halo's Spartans and their MJOLNIR Mark Armor. Supposedly, it can actually withstand bullets and knives. Hurtubise hopes to peddle the suit of armor to police forces and the military. It has some practical features...though no shield generator. Such features include a built in canteen and water system, a solar powered fresh air system, a built in recording device, a laser pointer, and other compartments to hold morphine, a knife, etc. It all only weighs 18 kilograms and Hurtubise says the armor can be mass produced for $2,000, so will we see our modern-day police officers and military in Real World Halo Spartan Armor? I doubt it, but found the story intriguing nonetheless. You can read the Newspaper article here I got all this from HERE. Sadly, I coudn't find a video of the Halo armor in action but I imagine it works something like this:

Dead Rising Xbox360 Review

The easiest way to describe Dead Rising is to call it Resident Evil meets Grand Theft Auto. In Dead Rising, you are free to roam anywhere (GTA) in this mall invested with zombies (RE) and it all adds up to a very very good time. Yes, Dead Rising came out awhile ago, but it is a recent purchase for me so deal with it.

Gameplay: 9.5/10
Pros: So much fun to play! Just download the demo if you don’t believe me. You can pretty much pick up and use any object as a weapon from CDs to Lawnmowers (a personal favorite). It’s all great fun and the story is actually pretty cohesive. Level-up system is genius and as you kill zombies and save people you earn new abilities, can hold more items, etc. Another great aspect of this: a “ChronoTrigger” save system where you can restart the game with all your abilities and current level. Photography aspect and scoring is great!
Cons: Many other reviews have smashed the save system…It’s not all bad since it creates tension between saves and a sort of risk/reward. Do you want to restart and keep all those exp points you earned since your last save? Or reload and continue on with the story etc? I think that having some save checkpoints wouldn’t be a bad idea- spend some exp points to revive yourself and whatnot. Save system works though but 1 save slot is unforgivable. The only other thing is that the controls are stiff, especially when aiming with some of the weapons.

Graphics: 9 /10
Pros: The amount of zombies on the screen, weapons, and all that is very impressive. There is excellent lighting and a good variety of environments for everything taking place in a mall.
Cons: You notice how low some character’s and other object’s polygon counts are during the cut scenes or when zooming in with the camera. Load Screens (which seem long for Xbox 360) happen too frequently.

Sound/Music: 9.5/10
Pros: The music is all very appropriate and will even bring a smile to your face. The voice acting is pretty good and all the different sounds of the weapons, head splats, etc. are great. Dead Rising has excellent Audio.
Cons: I could have used more voiceovers since answering the walkie talkie in the middle of a zombie invested mall and then reading text at the bottom of the screen is no fun.

Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Pros: The game is really fun to explore and play and although the time crunch can be frustrating, as soon as you beat the game you’ll yearn to boot it up again. Not to mention the survival mode and overtime mode that is offered. A lot to explore and do!
Cons: This is where the 1 save slot frustrates because you don’t want to lose your leveled up Frank, but at the same time you may want to switch from a 72hour story mode to survival or whatever and you’re forced to kill your 72hour game and recover your character to bring into the mode you want to play. Really sucks!

Average: 91.25%
Tilt: +1.75%

Yes, there are design flaws and the game is not perfect, but the game is very unique and is the first “survival horror open sandbox” game. GTA3 had immense issues too and they were addressed in subsequent titles. I hope that Dead Rising spawns sequels as well because the end result is that the game is just really fun to play. It’s fun to steal stuff from shops and use them as weapons and it is fun to take pictures of things and getting a score on your photography. Adding experience points was a great call! It really adds a lot of replay value and gives you a reason to keep playing beyond Xbox Achievement points (which are meaningless if you ask me). Dead Rising is a very good game that warrants a lot of your time.

Verdict: 93%

Addictive Football PC Review

As I write this Addictive Football is currently priced at $9.95, but according to Addictive 24/7's Price Rise Bonanza that could change at any given time. I believe the regular retail price is $19.95, which is typical of indie games. Just letting everyone know to not delay if they enjoy Addictive Football's Demo, prior to the full-on review.

Addictive Football reminds me of the old Genesis or SNES FIFA soccers (sorry for the soccer reference, I know it's football...even though American Football is the best damn sport ever). Much like the old FIFA's, the Addictive Football is very easy to pick up and play...and very fun to play against a rival or friend. Addictive 24/7 definitely succeeds in making a...well...addictive game. It lacks real teams, players, etc. but that's to be expected. It may not be for everyone at $20, but is certainly a deal at $9.95.

Gameplay: 8/10
Pros: Ah the simplicity of the 16-bit era, Controls are simple: pass, shoot, and move- and work well. The goalies are smart and surprisingly adept. Easy to pick up and play and great with a friend.
Cons: I found the players moved sort of slow. The AI was a little too good for my tastes. My biggest gripe though was the lack of a defensive tackle or similar's a fun little football game and there's no reason there can't be some tackling look at Mario Strikers- you can push and tackle anybody...and it makes it really fun.

Graphics: 7/10
Pros: Clean graphics, with easily discernable teams and players. The ball is easy to follow and the graphics are very much in the 16-bit vein with a higher pixel count. I particularly liked the menus as well.
Cons: Player models are a bit goofy and kiddy (in the menus and in the celebration GOAL Window). Definite lack of WOW factor and variety in the graphics.

Sound/Music: 8/10
Pros: Fits the style of the game and blends really well with the gameplay and theme. Music definitely gets your heart pumping for competition. I was also fond of the kick and other ball sounds.
Cons: Sufficient sound, but again there is sort of a lack of variety and focus in the sound/music department. Everything, but the theme/menu music and ball sounds fades from memory.

Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Pros: 4 types of pitches, 10 teams, and 5 different gamemodes. The best of all of this is the Custom mode which allows you to set the skills of your own players and create your own team. Multiplayer is really fun as mentioned above.
Cons: The variety of levels to play in is the biggest detractor. I would've liked to see a little more fantastic and fun an Ice themed Stadium or Lava and whatnot. This game isn't really a football sim, it's about being fun and I think some extreme pitches would've really helped the variety and lasting appeal. Online Multiplayer would've skyrocketed this score to a 10, but with Indie titles I understand the lack of resources and development teams to achieve this.

Average: 78.75%
Tilt: +0.25%

This game definitely delivers in the addictive department and is VERY fun against a friend. It totally took me back a decade playing my friends in similar games at each others houses every weekend (I am still a mean MK2 player). For $10 it's a real value and a great $20 I think the value depends on if you even know what a Genesis is and if you are a particular fan of Football (soccer) games or sports games in general. All in all, Addictive football is a very light and fun game.

Verdict: 79%

Visit Addictive 24/7 or
Download the Demo

Lost Planet XBOX 360 Review

Lost Planet is disappointing. It's not disappointing because it's a bad game, but because it could've been a great game. It's just frustrating that a bunch of things add up and detract from this game. I don't know where I would put my comments on “Story” and feel that I’ll need the room so I will just say it here. The Story in Lost Planet is bad. It’s hard to follow, and while it has some cool concepts and enticing plotlines, it is just put together horrendously. There is no character development, or really character introduction, and relationships aren’t formed or explained so everything just seems stereotypical or doesn’t make sense. **SPOILER ALERT** An example of this is when you capture this NEVEC bad guy named Joe, then become great friends with him, then he betrays you, and then you are friends again.**SPOILERS END** So just know that the story is forgettable. I definitely missed the intricacies of it, so if you would like to explain it to me, feel free. Anyways, onto the breakdown:

Gameplay: 8/10

Pros: The game is fun to play. There is so much action, the Vital Suits are fun to drive, and it’s just pure carnage and amped up arcade action. There are some real WOW moments where there are literally hundreds of creatures and people in the surrounding areas- definitely some killer and memorable battles. Boss battles are great and “classic.”
Cons: Grappling Hook is basically a stick here and pull me here and while it’s nice to have I wanted a fully functional Bionic Commando or Worms style grappling hook (ninja rope). Controls are a bit quirky and take some time to get used to (can’t look directly up! WTF?), but the most annoying thing about the gameplay is the stumbling, falling animations that stun you and lead to your death or at the very least a large chunk of your Thermal Energy Reserves. Oh yeah, that Thermal Energy thing really takes away from the exploring the world thing.

Graphics: 9.5/10
Pros: By far the strongest aspect of Lost Planet, the visuals are extremely impressive with the best and most realistic smoke I’ve ever seen in a game. The character design as a whole is awesome (love the thermal packs on each human and the pulsing, glowing suit under everyone’s clothes) not to mention the awesome Akrid designs, and Vital Suits. Graphics are just sweet!
Cons: The action can be so intense that you lose your bearings (especially if there’s smoke around or if you’re hit with a rocket). The other problem is that since you’re on a snow world the scenery gets a little tedious (even though there are some lava, and indoor levels to break it up).

Sound/Music: 9/10
Pros: The voice acting is actually pretty good even though the story is poorly put together. It’s a script problem and not an audio problem. The music, gunfire, and Akrid screams all get your blood pumping and going.
Cons: I found it really hard to hear my teammates in-mission dialogue/updates. This is especially annoying since they help direct you where to go and how to defeat enemies, etc.

Lasting Appeal: 5/10
Pros: 2 Multiplayer modes with up to 16 people on Xbox Live is fun. “Target Emblems that spell a word” achievements in each level give the main game some replay value.
Cons: The Multiplayer mode suffers since Vital Suits completely dominate the battlefield, and there aren’t many modes and it’s not as balanced and strategic as many other shooters out there on LIVE. It’s an arcade action fest, and while fun doesn’t have the longevity of a Gears of War, Halo, etc. The single player game is too short! While each mission is lengthly (60+ minutes in some cases), there are just over 10 missions and you can definitely beat the game in under 8 hours (It took me about 6 to get to the final boss).

Average: 78.75%
Tilt: -5.75%

The story, controls and other quirks really detract from the game and its lasting appeal. I don’t see myself playing the campaign again and again or the multiplayer. The game is instantly appealing and the demos were a lot of fun and got me excited for the game. I guess since the real game was just more of the same: more Vital Suits, levels, enemies, weapons, etc. With all the time since the first demo I just was hoping that they would tweak some of the gameplay and controls. This game is a great rental and a great buy for Arcade junkies who love graphics. It’s just not a title you be playing 3 months from now.

Verdict: 73%

A Mishap, An Apology, and a Huzzah!

Hurray! we've finally updated to the new blogger! Not really a big deal, but I wanted to check out the new features. As soon as I switched over, I got about 10 emails about comments on the blog. All these comments should be up now, and something must have been amiss before since I missed them all. Anyway, I apologize for the delayed responses to any of the comments or reviews or whatever. I am trying to catch up. Thanks a lot for the support and your patience!

Weekly Update/Wrap-up

Just a quick update of sorts. Actually, it's more of a To-Do List, but along with all the PC game reviews, here's what you can expect in the coming weeks. I'm not going to lie to you and try and give you more specific times because it's just not realistic...I will just provide vague general time statements. Anyway, here's what's cooking at Graduate Games and Gnade Games:

Coming Soon:

  • Lost Planet XBOX 360 Review
  • Tribal Trouble PC Review
  • Co-Ed Crazy- our brand new arcade game
  • maybe another surprise 360 review here and there
  • More PC reviews from the review queue I'm sure

Coming patient:
  • A free downloadable multiplayer and arcade-style highscoring game (Lemmings+Tetris)
  • Probably a Deluxe version of the above- aka it costs money...sorry
  • Some sort of Contest where you win the above game... i.e. you get the highest score by deadline or something
  • Beta Testing/opportunities/feedback for upcoming commercial space epic

Coming Much're not getting it anytime soon

  • Halo 3 Review
  • Commercial Bounty Hunter Action/Adventure Game
  • Free Online Comic related to the above

That's all I can think of for the probably should only pay attention to the first 2 categories...hopefully those will all come about in the next 3 months. Cheers and have a good weekend and holiday on Monday (in the USA).


KUDOS website

If you read my Ancient Empires Lux review, you already know that a strategy/sim game are not my thing, but let me start off by saying that this game is MUCH MORE up my alley and was quite enjoyable. I’m not a stat-tracking convert, but KUDOS does a real good job making it fun and I can see how people would become completely and utterly addicted. Kudos has its flaws, but ultimately delivers what it promises: a life simulation.

Gameplay: 8/10
Pros: Very easy to use interface and crisp presentation makes taking night classes, going jogging, or out with friends a breeze. Very diverse ways to precede in the game- do you reject a friend’s invitation to apply for a better job, or enjoy a game of bowling with your last 11 pounds?
Cons: I’m not really sure if KUDOS is a “game” since you really are just weighing decisions and deciding what to do and clicking around. It’s very much a simulation and a stat-tracker’s dream…not so much a game you boot up to relax and blast away some locust or space invaders or the like.

Graphics: 6/10
Pros: Very slick and clean presentation…the menus and styles in the game all blend together well. I am especially fond of the flies that accumulate and move on your screen (very post-modern) after your KUDOS persona has forgotten to clean his place for a few weeks.
Cons: There is a complete and utter lack of animation and the character models freak me out and look pretty creepy. Graphics are not a necessity for a game like this, but animation between the character’s poses or really anything could’ve brought these people more to life.

Sound/Music: 8.5/10
Pros: Sounds pretty much consist of clicks/alerts/dog barks/weather and other background sounds which are all fine. I was particularly fond of the music which was subtle, enjoyable, without being intrusive – a very good blend of for lack of a better word, “elevator” music.
Cons: The sound/Music is really one of the stronger aspects of the title, but the music/sound is not dynamic enough to induce a range of moods in the player. This is partly due to the gameplay and detached “playing god” life simulation gameplay.

Lasting Appeal: 9.5/10
Pros: Different character models, sexes, and ways to approach this game results in near limitless replay value. The game does a good job of throwing you a bone: whether it be a new job or new friend, right when you are getting frustrated or bored. This amounts to the game sucking you in for way more hours that you initially planned on playing it for.
Cons: The game is a very solitary experience and there is the threat of having no friends in real life while having a vast social network in KUDOS. Strategists, please tear yourself away from this life game enough to live your own life.

Average: 78.75%
Tilt: + 0.25%

This game is a very good strategy/simulation game. It doesn’t offer the interactivity, animation, etc. of say “The Sims,” but does offer more in the strategy and planning aspects. It is a niche game with very specific appeal. Most people have no interest in managing everyday life tasks and stat tracking, but those who do like those kind of games will love this title. Look at me (and the Ancient Empires Lux review), I don’t really like strategy games myself, but found myself immersed in KUDOS on several occasions. Cliffski and Positech games are very well-known in the Indie community and Kudos is a good example of why this is the case.

Verdict: 79%

KUDOS website

Dodge that Anvil PC GAME REVIEW

Dodge that Anvil borrows a lot from classic Looney Tunes: the main character is a rabbit and falling anvils are one of the most deadly and threatening objects to said rabbit. Unlike many of the shoddy Looney Tunes games out there, Dodge that Anvil does a great job instantly pulling you into a cartoon world. You’ll smile from the gameplay, world, characters, and antics in this title. This is an excellent little title, with a simple premise: grab/harvest carrots while dodging anvils, but ultimately a deep gaming experience thanks to armor vests, hardhats, jumbo veggies, flippers, etc. I should also mention that the game won the AdultSwim Award at the 2006 IGF, and was a finalist for the best web browser game so Congrats to RabidLab on that. Onto the scoring breakdown:

Gameplay: 8/10
Pros: Very easy to pick up and play controls and game mechanics. There is lots of depth with purchasable gadgets, exploding beach balls, veggie bombs, etc.
Cons: Not a fan of the auto-jump feature and thought the mouse movement could be touchy.

Graphics: 9/10
Pros: Instantly appealing with a very clean and perfectly themed 3-D engine and landscape. The 2-D rabbit character works really well in keeping the Cartoon feel alive in a sleek 3D landscape. The menus, presentation, and tutorial screens are absolutely phenomenal…Presentation pushes this score up a notch
Cons: More animations for our lovable rabbit hero would’ve brought him to life more. Game as a whole lacks graphic variety after awhile (I’m reaching for critiques I know).

Sound/Music: 8/10
Pros: Cartoony to the max sounds enhance the Looney Tunes Feel. The game features music…
Cons: but the music isn’t very good, memorable, or even very loud. The Sound/Music department is probably the weakest part of the package, but for me it’s also the least important department, so no worries.

Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Pros: The story is delightful and engaging and as you progress more and more things become available- this spurs you to keep playing. As season’s pass on, you have the ability to play levels again for high scores, perfect harvests, etc.
Cons: Like most platformers, there is an end to the story and when that’s over, you have to really want to play the game on a new difficulty in order to get much replay value out of the title. That’s really just a fact of most platformers rather than a bash on this one.

Average: 83.75
Tilt: +2.25%

This game is instantly appealing and offers approachable gameplay to almost every game skill level. Everyone should click HERE to play the browser game and check out RabidLab’s website. You can also download the DEMO here and of course BUY the game if you enjoy it as much as I do.

Verdict: 86%

Gears of War Patch and Update

Gears of War fans/owners...Good news! The game is releasing a patch and 2 free multiplayer maps in the next week. One map takes place at a Raven Helicopter's crashsite, while the other takes place inside an eerie museum. The patch is actually available today and will address the following issues:

• Fixed aspect ratio distortion when using VGA cable with 4:3 displays at resolutions higher than 640x480
• Fixed voice issue with new players joining Player Match games in progress
• Players can now get the Achievement for "Dish Best Served Cold" when using Troika turret to kill RAAM • Fixed rare situation where host could loop countdown and never start match
• Fixed rare situation where players could get stuck after chainsawing in multiplayer
• Reduced Grenade Tag melee distance
• Enabled “Strict” NAT check on host to prevent possible connection issues
• Optimized server browser queries to return results more quickly and prevent scroll bars from hiding quality of service icons
• Reduced number of possible revives in Execution to match Warzone
• Removed host name from Ranked match server browser
• Disabled security cameras in Ranked matches
• Ranked matches now require balanced teams (3v3 or 4v4)
• Increased penalty for quitting a Ranked match to -50 points
• Added additional cheat detection code
• Additional housekeeping updates

I'm very excited for the new maps since more locales is never a bad thing and have highlighted in green the improvements that I am really happy about (and red for those which suck). I am pissed that you will no longer be able to find your friends' games and play with them because most people suck at playing this game as a team. EPIC give us a party system for ranked matches such as the one present in Halo 2! I started playing Xbox Live with Halo 2 so I never really appreciated it all- their system and all of that until recently....really amazing. Oh well, enjoy the pictures. And by the way, Gears of War has sold 2.7 million copies!

Is the Playstation 3 Doomed?

Playstation 3 is losing (as seen above), but are the slow PS3 sales a result of pricing and offered games or truly the result of a lack of supply. Xbox 360 has been on the market for over a year so of course it's numbers are higher, but the Wii? I think the Wii's performance is quite surprising...mainly because it is not targeted to the hardcore gaming crowd. Then again, it is targeted to a more casual and potentially larger market. I just expected Nintendo to keep fading in the console market (I mean that was the trend after all: NES>SNES>N64>Gamecube) while it continued to dominate the portable market. I guess the innovation of the portable DS has carried over with the Wii into the console market. Good for you Nintendo!

So is the PS3 doomed because of its high pricing, Sony's arrogance, and buggy consoles? While I think these all contributed to Sony's shaky launch, they are not really perpetual or irreversible problems. For instance, I have always planned to buy a PS3, but am just waiting for more games and lower prices...I just got Xbox 360, so I'm not one to be in a rush. So Sony's current problems wouldn't really affect me, a potential customer. However, Sony has a much bigger problem for the Playstation 3 looming: the loss of some high profile exclusive games. This started with Grand Theft Auto 4, which will release simultaneously for both Xbox 360 and PS3, and continued with Assassin's Creed. Now, Metal Gear Solid 4 is rumored to be making the leap to Xbox 360! Metal Gear Solid 2 sold the Playstation 2 to me, since I just had to play it...and likewise I assumed Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots would spurn me to purchase a Playstation 3 in the coming months, but if it's coming out for Xbox that just saved me $600! Now granted this hasn't been officially announced, but it is a possibility and an ongoing problem that Sony has faced. Get it together Playstation 3! This would be a huge blunder by Sony...losing GTA4 hurt, but GTA always ported to Xbox in the coming months anyways...losing MGS4 would kill. How many AAA titles and killer aps will only PS3 have if this trend continues? 2-3? (Gran Turismo, Resistance fall of Man...and?) Sony needs to get its act together and start offering gamers the cutting edge graphics and gameplay that would require any hardcore gamer to purchase their system. I really think Sony is stumbling and may even be doomed to failure if they don't come up with some great titles and a better marketing and sales strategy. I've slipped from a future PS3 a hesitant potential buyer.

Hardcore Gamers...this Site is for you! was just discovered by a friend of mine. It's a fairly new site and offers something that I was looking for a lot last year: Online Video Game Tournaments for CASH $$! Basically you set up an account (and if you do please mention me: XBOX LIVE tag- GNADERADE) and can post and accept challenges in pretty much any online game. I actually talked to a representative of the company and they plan on putting together a teamplay feature as well...that is the only thing that is currently sorely missed from the site. It's a great site though and with enough traffic etc. could be as big as some of these ridiculous online poker websites. Check out the Press release below for a further description of the service:, whichlaunches today, matches video game enthusiasts against each other to usetheir skills in online tournaments. Billed as "The Player to Player VideoGame Tournament Network," the new site will offer players of more than 300of the most popular video game titles the opportunity to win cash prizeswhile competing in head- to-head matchups. "Video gamers have designed this site for video gamers," said GabeRubin, president and co-founder of " iseasy, fun to use and offers an entertaining way for video game players tojoin an open tournament or create their own tournaments." Rubin originatedthe idea for while playing a hockey video game, online,from his Michigan home against his brother in California. "Like most videogamers, I'm competitive. So, I thought, 'wouldn't it be great if I couldplay against someone online and win cash prizes?' I know many other videogame players feel that way and that's why we are launching this site."'s creators have worked for most of the past year tobuild this new online community, where video gamers will share theirexperiences and talk about all things video game. "We are the first site ofthis kind to offer live audio and video chats integrated seamlessly," chief technology officer Noah Krugel. "To appeal to ourcustomers, the look and feel of needs to be up to thestandards of video gamers, the people who experience the newest in graphicsand technology every day."'s customers pay an entry fee to compete in the head-to-head tournaments, but membership to the site is free. Othercustomer-friendly features include a player rating system to measure bothskill level and sportsmanship and a forum for players to discuss videogames. Cash payments are secure and facilitated by PayPal. will enable its customers to set up tournaments withgames from online enabled platforms such as Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3 andNintendo Wii and personal computers. It will also support games fromhandheld platforms such as the PSP and Nintendo DS. Video game players must be at least 18 years old and reside in one ofthe following states to compete via Alabama, California,District of Columbia, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho,Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio,Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah,Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin or Wyoming. is owned by Beyond Gaming, LLC a private,Michigan-based company, with operations entirely located in the UnitedStates.

2 More Ways to play the Halo 3 Beta

Alright, so this information is not exactly right off the presses, but I've been busy so deal with it! Below is the Microsoft press release, detailing other ways to get your filthy gaming hands on the Halo 3 Public Beta this spring. Basically you can play Halo 2 and register online during a small windo in Feb or simply buy Crackdown. You can read the specifics below, but I will surely find a way to get my hands on the Beta somehow and will offer my insights as best I can.

Microsoft Announces Two Additional Paths of Entry to Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta
Gamers are invited to join the fight when the beta goes live this spring
with Xbox Live and “Crackdown” providing the final two paths.
Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Studios are ringing in the year with a proverbial bang, as they announced today two new ways for gamers to receive an invitation to participate in the “Halo® 3” multiplayer beta program coming this spring through Xbox Live® Marketplace.
Specifically, gamers will be able to receive an invitation by doing one of the following:
· Qualifying over Xbox Live and then being one of the first 13,333 “Halo 2” gamers to register for the “Rule of Three” program at in early February
· Purchasing the upcoming game “Crackdown™,” which hits store shelves in the U.S. on Feb. 20
The “Halo 3” multiplayer beta, which is a pre-release version of the multiplayer experience of “Halo 3,” is scheduled for availability in spring 2007 exclusively on Xbox 360™. The beta also represents an opportunity for gamers to participate in the testing and refinement of the multiplayer gameplay of “Halo 3,” the most anticipated game of 2007. Through the resulting feedback, Bungie Studios will be able to further hone the end result of “Halo 3.”
Beginning Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all gamers need to do is participate in at least three hours of “Halo 2” multiplayer sessions, via Xbox Live, before Feb. 3, 2007, at 11:59 p.m. EST and then be among the first 13,333 to register at The “Rule of Three” program is currently planned for gamers in the 50 United States (includes District of Columbia) age 17 years and older who have access to an Xbox 360 Pro console or an Xbox 360 Core console with hard drive, a valid Xbox Live Gold subscription and the “Halo 2” game. Gamers around the world are encouraged to visit in the coming weeks for more information on the “Rule of Three” program in their region.
As well, when “Crackdown” hits store shelves, gamers eager to take home a copy of the highly anticipated exclusive action title for Xbox 360 will find marked boxes of “Crackdown” that include an invite to participate in the coveted “Halo 3” multiplayer beta program when it becomes available. When the “Halo 3” multiplayer beta surfaces in spring 2007, owners of “Crackdown” with access to an Xbox 360 Pro console or an Xbox 360 Core console with hard drive and a valid Xbox Live Gold subscription simply need to load their copy of “Crackdown” into Xbox 360 and use the disc as a key to download the beta from Xbox Live Marketplace and join the battle in “Halo 3” multiplayer. “Crackdown” will be available in the U.S. on Feb. 20, Asian territories on Feb. 22 and European markets on Feb. 23.
In December, Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Studios completed the first of three ways for North American gamers to participate in the “Halo 3” multiplayer beta, by registering at Gamers who were selected from this initial opportunity will be contacted in January

Space Renegades: The Series PC Game Review

Space Renegades constitutes what I would call 1.5 games. The name is very similar to the title the game is based on and plays like: Space Invaders. If you've played Space Invaders you have a very good idea of how this game plays. The 1st game is really only 3 levels of Space Invaders with updated graphics. Space Renegades 1 is nice to have, but isn't anything new or really much of a game. Luckily, Space Renegades 2 is a much better game. It is sort of a combination of classic vertical shooters and space invaders. Your ship now has automatic fire and at the end of each stage you can buy some pretty cool upgrades. The graphics are significantly better as well. Space Renegades 1 is nice to have but ultimately most of my comments are geared towards the beefier Renegades 2.

Gameplay: 7/10
Pros: Controls are easy to pick up and use. Just absolutely retro with a couple new twists on the tried and true Space Invaders formula. If you grew up playing this arcade classis this game is a nice homage to the original.
Cons: I could've used some more upgrades and innovations.

Graphics: 6/10
Pros: The graphics are significantly upgraded and still have that retro feel. Renegades 1 is really bear bones graphics, but 2 offers some that are better. The presentation is also much better and the little story segments work well. The backgrounds in SR 2 have some really sweet scrolling effects and the boss ships are large and imposing.
Cons: There are almost no animations in this game....and while the original had zero animation at all...I think more animation really would have made the game pop. So while this definitely looks better than the old 80s arcade classic, it does not hold up in the graphics department to many other games or remakes.

Sound/Music: 5/10
Pros: Retro chords and beeps that are a definite upgrade from the original Space Invaders and that era of music. Laser blasts and explosions are pretty darn good.
Cons: Music can be repetitive and the overall sound just is not up to Indie Standards. If you like the retro sound/feel this works, but for scoring consistency, it's not fair to rate this any higher.

Lasting Appeal: 6/10
Pros: The 2nd game is pretty difficult and has a ton of levels and bosses to battle. 2 games for the price of 1. Two different characters to play. Good amount of power-ups to purchase.
Cons: The first game can be beaten very quickly and there aren't a lot of modes out there to be had.

Average: 60.00%
Tilt: +2.00%

This is a good remake of arcade classics like Galaga and Space Invaders. It is absolutely retro with classic gameplay. If that's your thing, you should definitely give the game a try or a purchase since the price tag is right at $8. It definitley fills an old-school void and if reviewed 5-10 years ago would fair exponentially better in the sound and graphics departments. It's really amazing how tight older games played. You can get the demo over at United Minds Games. Ultimately this game is a good value and if you enjoyed those old games, I'm sure you will enjoy this one.

Verdict: 62%

Ancient Empires Lux PC Game Review

Let me start off by saying that my opinions, preferences, and actual playing time with this game are all going to interfere with reviewing this game impartially. Such factors are as follows:

  1. I am not a PC gamer. I have never played a MMORPG (except Phantasy Star on Dreamcast), I had an RTS phase with Dune 2, Starcraft and Total Annihilation, but I believe Starcraft was the last "commercial" CD-ROM I purchased for the PC.
  2. Strategy Games are not my thing in general- love Advance Wars, FF tactics, Fire Emblem, and the best of all: Dragon Force (if you know that title you get a gold star)- but I can't stand games like Civilization etc.
  3. I am a gameplay snob. I don't like games that have simple/casual controls. I like games that require gaming skill and timing (SFII, MKII, Halo, MGS, Megaman, GOW, etc.). Deep gameplay is a must for me.
  4. I simply didn't want to play this game any longer than I needed to in order to check everything out because of my preferences above. Obviously, this affects my ability to review things like "Lasting Appeal" impartially.

So please keep all of the above in mind as you read my comments below.

Gameplay: 2/10
Pros: Game is very easy to play and has a streamlined interface where you simply click on the territory you want to attack, click on an army to buff it up, etc. Gameplay is very similar to the classic game of Risk...VERY Similar though I think LUX Deluxe is a better choice, so if that's your thing this is definitely for you. It's cool playing through history.
Cons: There is a lot of clicking!! There is no excuse that after I capture a territory I have to click to move each army to the new territory. I had no idea if I was losing or winning a battle...I just amassed a large army and clicked on the other army repeatedly until I destroyed them and captured the territory...then I clicked the territory repeatedly to beef up my army...are you seeing why maybe this game is just not for me? The gameplay was literally a chore for me.

Graphics: 6/10
Pros: When I first booted up the game, I was immediately taken aback by the menus and presentation...very impressive. The gameplay maps are clean and easy to understand.
Cons: When I booted up the map and clicked on another army I expected to load up a sort of battle whether real time strategy/action or whatever...while this is a testament to the presentation and is also a huge disappointment when you realize that's it as far as graphics go.

Sound/Music: 4/10
Pros: The battlesounds fit the theme
Cons: You'll get really tired of the clanging of swords and other sounds that occur when you attack a territory over and over. I don't remember any music whatsoever.

Lasting Appeal: 3/10
Pros: The game has a total of 58 ancient nations for you to control including: Ancient Egypt, India, China, Greece, Rome, and more. Several unique maps.
Cons: After playing 2 campaigns, I was just done with the game...that can't be positive, but perhaps as mentioned above it was a result of my preferences. I am clearly not in this niche market.

Average: 37.5%
Tilt: +/- 0.00%

So to wrap up my most biased review ever...this game is not for me for many reasons. It's just not my cup of tea, but I'm sure there is some niche of strategists out there that this game is better suited for. I'm just not one of them. If you love Risk and other Strategy games you can download the demo , or purchase the game, or simply check out and their other strategy games.

Verdict: 37.5%

MiniGolf Mania PC Game Review

MiniGolf Mania is a gem. It's just tremendous fun. It is the only game I have played in the last 24 hours (which says a lot trust me) and I only took breaks to take notes, sleep, eat and the like. During one of my breaks, I headed over to and realized that MiniGolf Mania is #2 best sports game of the I'm not the only one. This game is very deserving of not only a demo download, but a purchase.

Gameplay: 8.5/10
Pros: Tons of zany power-ups, outlandish holes, obstacles, etc. My favorite feature has to be the special ability balls, which add a touch of twitch gameplay. Basically, after hitting one of these balls you can click to activate it's favorite is the nudge backwards...this basically reverses the ball in real time. Once I got this ball, my scores drastically improved along with the fun I was having.
Cons: I wish there was a camera more like Hot Shots Golf, where you could see the contours and easily rotate the camera and look around. The Fly-by is sufficient, but I wanted more control with the arrow keys or something. I also would have preferred that the putting interface was a hold (to draw the putter back) and release (to hit) interface rather than a double click. It is hard to measure power and distance at first and the cup can be unforgiving.

Graphics: 9/10
Pros: Love the cartoon / handdrawn looking backgrounds. The 3-D engine is very attractive despite its simplicity...Torque consistently pops up in games that impress me visually (see Marble Blast). The crazy boost blasters and bounce pads look great and add to the zany feel. Playing the game sort of feels like you are in some crazy, zany world with wacky & fun physics.
Cons: Some of the polygons and backgrounds outside the hole (monochrome sand) detract from the feel. Safari animals do not fit the visual feel of the game and seem out of place...I was expecting more cartoonish and free-roaming animals.

Sound/Music: 8/10
Pros: Music is good, subdued, and well-suited to golf. Noises of the clinking ball are spot on.
Cons: Nothing really stands out as bad, there's just nothing exceptional to warrant above the solid-good range.

Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Pros: Game is FUN to play. 3 Courses and a 9-hole tutorial can entertain you for awhile with their multiple modes, wacky design, and ability balls definitely warrant the price of admission. The worldwide rankings and ability to enter a name/password and then collect points really motivates you to keep playing.
Cons: Could definitely have used another course especially since the gameplay is rather quick and you can breeze through one fairly quickly. I would have also liked to see some online matchmaking or head to head.

Average: 85.00%
Tilt: +3.00%

The game is instantly accessible and very enjoyable and when a game is really fun, you always want more of it and really can't hold it against the game. The game delivers in the fun department and that's what's important. TopMeadow definitely deserved the #2 spot for best Sports game of '06. You can learn more about MiniGolf Mania over on their website. Definitely check it out.

Verdict: 88%

Website is being Uploaded as we speak

The website: should be fully operational by the end of the day. It's just a matter of waiting for everything to get a page here and there may not work, but it's getting there.


As a result of some poor web design, the dreaded spam spiders got a hold of the old addresses, so a change was in order.

Indie Game Review Queue


If Gnade Games has received a review copy of your game, the game should be listed below.

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The Easiest way to Submit your game for a review is to comment to this post with a link to your company website and the name of your game.

Comments will be moderated/updated and your game will be officially added to the queue once a full review copy has been received.

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Website Downtime Has Begun

Just a note that the website downtime has officially begun. Shouldn't be too bad...see below for more information.

Dirk Dashing PC Game Review

Dirk Dashing is a very solid platformer that lacks innovation and focuses on classic "safe" platform gameplay. Dirk Dashing definitely charms with its presentation and hand-drawn graphics, but suffers in the gameplay department. It's a solid game, and definitely seems to be targeted towards kids...except that it is fairly difficult. If you are a fan of the classic platformer, like the genre, have an affinity for Bond, or are particularly taken by the Demo, then this game is for you and warrants a purchase. I'm just not sure if the game offers enough to more avid gamers to really keep them interested. It's not that Dirk Dashing is bad... it's gameplay is just more in the category of enjoy the demo as an afternoon distraction and forget about it after that. I’m not sure if it really pulls you in and entices a gamer enough to warrant a purchase.

Gameplay: 7/10
Pros: Classic Platforming of yore which is instantly accessible and challenging: move, jump, throw… that’s it. Controls are very responsive and the gameplay is solid with some neat spy gadgets. Great nonviolent gameplay for children.
Cons: Game is targeted towards kids, but may be too hard for them (though back in the NES days there was Ninja Gaiden and I loved that game and was like 7). YOU CANNOT hurt enemies by jumping on their heads! That definitely takes awhile to get used to, especially since I reckon that jumping on someone’s head would hurt them a lot more than me. The spy gadgets are really more like power-ups, x-ray specs, spring shoes, etc. that are time-limited rather than gadgets that increase and upgrade your abilities.

Graphics: 8/10
Pros: By far the best feature of the game, the graphics are beautifully drawn and the multi-layers and parallax scrolling really give the game a lot of depth and a real 3-D feel. The hand drawn graphics just go a long way and really make this game unique and distinctive.
Cons: I could’ve used more frames of animation. I love the idea of cartoon slapstick in the game, but it’s not rewarding seeing a guy bop his head on a wall when the end result is a comical, but choppy result. This carries over to even the regular animations as well and is really the only sour point of the graphics….basically they look great in still frame, and while the backgrounds are pretty rad in motion, the game objects suffer.

Sound/Music: 7/10

Pros: The music is very good, chill, and fits the spy motif. Many of the sounds work and sound straight out of a Hanna Barbera cartoon.
Cons: Other sounds just are not my cup of tea. The Boing of Dirk’s jump is just way too much. I get that Dirk Dashing is a living cartoon, but cut me some slack on the sounds I’m going to hear every other second.

Lasting Appeal: 5/10
Pros: Plenty of levels that are very diverse in look and feel. A decent story and solid gameplay that will keep you playing if platforming is your thing.
Cons: Generic gameplay. I love platformers, and this game is very solid, but just offers nothing new in gameplay: you collect coins/money for points, you collect apples/food, and there is the occasional power-up or door switch, but there is no mechanic that is really distinctive and fun. I mean Mario had the fire-flower, mushroom, and later the raccoon suit, etc., Bionic Commando had a grappling hook, and Castlevania had a whip and a sort of open world to explore. The game has an instantly classic feel, but doesn’t offer enough to keep you playing unless you are a diehard platforming fan.

Average: 67.50%
Tilt: +2.50%

This game is really a testament to games as a source of art. I really can’t complement the graphics enough. It actually looks a lot like Paper Mario. That’s really impressive especially considering the size of the development team and that this is an Indie game and not some Nintendo first party title. Yes, the gameplay is nothing new, but it’s not bad either. Try the demo over at My Game Company, you may just find that the classic platforming gameplay is something that you have missed and been pining for along with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kid Icarus, Kirby’s Dreamland, and Offroad.

Verdict: 70%

Website Downtime and update (our site) may be down over the next couple days as we change over our email addresses and all that other good stuff to the above domain. It shouldn't take too long, but all our support and sales email addresses will change as a result, but more on that when it's finished.

I have gotten a lot of responses from the Indie Game forums with games to check out. Thanks everyone for your interests and if the avid support keeps up, I will devise a queue system so that you can better submit your games and schedule when a review will be finished. Please let me know if that's a good idea and whatnot.

As always, a Link Exchange would be great! or you can blogroll me or whatever. Thanks again and don't fret if the arcade games are down for a day or two.

New Year's Update

Happy New Year everyone! After having some time to work on things, I think I can lay out a decent list of things that will be happening here in the coming weeks:

This Week:
Dirk Dashing Review
Guitar Hero Review
Detritus Review/Preview

Beyond this week:
2 New FREE Arcade Games!
Lost Planet Review
Kudos Review

Sometime this Year:
A series of comics related to our upcoming game
Our new Action/Adventure game (fingers crossed)

That's it for now...cheers!