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Agree to Agree Agree to Agree

Rated 4 / 5 stars

This game utilizes a 8-shaped branching logical model that creates illusion of choice while also subverting it. All possible choices lead to one "bottleneck", that leaves player with no options, but suffer verbal abuse from the interlocutor. It is interested how in this abstract model is used to convey an interesting ideological statement about the nature of politics: there are no right answers in politics, each of them can be considered wrong by the opposing party. So, in this sense, each person who participates in the "game" of politics by choosing one of the sides (left or right, pro Trump or contra Trump) and hoping that he has made the more decent and morally appropriate choice (just like a player in this game), should prepare to face strong opposition, because not all people think the same. It's a very sad game too, since it shows disappointment in any kind of political dialogue, but also a very promising, for the same reason.


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Traffic Collision 2 Traffic Collision 2

Rated 4 / 5 stars

This game is about directing a movement of an object, moving with a controllable speed, to reach certain milestones in a limited amount of time, while maintaining the object in the confines of a broad diagonal row and avoiding any obstacles, also moving along said row in the direction of the said object. To perform this task, player has three main resources to rely upon: time, life and nitro. Time is always given in the same quantity at the beginning of each level, drains continuously and can only be partially replenished upon reaching certain intermediate milestones; life is drained upon collision with other objects or edges of the row; nitro can be used at players will to increase car's speed to a certain limit. Each of the resources can be replenished upon colliding with special powerup objects, but life and time powerups are only unlockable after completing first and second levels respectively.
First obstacle at each level never moves on the right side of the row, thus providing a small handicap to the player who figures this out at the beginning. Also each level's objective is slightly easier than that of the first one, although it may not seem obvious at first; first level has the largest distance from the last intermediate milestone to the level's finish and the smallest variety of powerups available to the player (even nitro powerups seemed to be scarce to me, since once I've got all the way to the 7000 mark without ever seeing one). This game is all about training hard to fight easy, if by training you mean finishing first level. Not everyone will beat it, but those who do will be greatly rewarded. In my case, I spent about 40 minutes and countless efforts on first level, but after it was finished it only took me 4 attempts to complete 2-nd level and one attempt per 3-rd and 4-th ones! The trick is that to me the perceived difficulty of each subsequent level (set by its distance/initial time ratio) seemed higher than its actual difficulty, so each time I was expecting for a bigger challenge than I was actually getting, while my skills at manipulating game's core mechanics were getting higher and higher. Thus the dramatic leap in game's difficulty/skill ratio between first and subsequent levels may seem as an imbalance, but in my opinion, on the miniature scale of only four levels it serves to create a powerful feeling of personal accomplishment and empowerment in the player.


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Hero Agency Hero Agency

Rated 3 / 5 stars

At the beginning it requires player to efficiently distribute his limited resource on several investments. Depending on how well this resource was distributed, the game will either progress swiftly towards the end with a constant acceleration, or drag slowly to the inevitable dead-end. After efficient resource distribution, game requires player to attentively observe several colored indicators at the left corner of the screen and promptly perform certain actions (fulfill potions mostly, but also raise skills and hire new heroes), while also observing his resource status on the right side of the screen and planning his actions accordingly. As the number of indicators grows, the attentiveness challenge becomes more complicated, since player has to manage several sources of information simultaneously, at increasing speed and with additional audiovisual noise (camera shaking, colorful popups, sounds, etc.) At certain moment in the game resource's profits outweighs heavily its drains (hiring heroes, spending money on skills and potions) and the game pretty much plays itself from this point on, only requiring player to claim rewards in shops and occasionally refilling potions slots for his heroes. Additional challenge is revealed at the end of the game and consists of competing with other players online for the biggest overall profit. This adds new layer to the game, as it justifies sacking mechanic by giving it an economical purpose.
Choosing of a looting skill at the beginning seemed as a dominant strategy to me at first, but after finding myself in a dead end with two dead heroes and one unable to progress due to the lack of money on potions, I've understood that this is ultimately the ONLY strategy to successfully progress in this game. After realizing this, game ceased to be of any meaningful challenge, and, especially on the later stages, played itself for me. Shops' goals seemed distant and unobtainable at first, but as soon as the game sets on its rails are achieved with no sweat. Hero hiring cost, again, only matters at the beginning of the game and later loses any requirement for meaningful consideration doe to the giant profits your other heroes are making. Online competition component may be adding some "spice" to the game, but ultimately challenge of gaining the most profit seems like that of stubbornness more than that of skill, since the hiring/sacking mechanic allows for potentially endless play. Overall this game seemed to me all about starting right and then just enjoying a short, fast ride to the end.


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