Category Archives: Play It Now

Play it now – Dwarf Fortress

Play it now! Seven dwarfs, a wagon with tools and supplies, and a landscape rich in raw materials. Set up a colony, protect your dwarfs, expand and grow rich.

That’s Dwarf Fortress, perhaps the deepest and most intricate sandbox simulation game I’ve seen, and I have been meaning to write it up for a long time.

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Play it now – Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Play it now! Or maybe don’t play this one, actually. I likes me a good horror game, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a very good horror game. It’s so very good, in fact, that some of you will probably hate it.

It’s from the folks who did Penumbra, so I pre-ordered this without much in the way of hesitation.

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Play it now — Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale

Once upon a time there was a girl and a fairy.

The girl, Recette Lemongrass, lived on her own because her father had gone adventuring and not returned.

The fairy, Tear, worked for the Terme Finance company, and Recette’s father’s debts were about to come due.

Reasoning that getting the money back was better than taking Recette’s house and auctioning it at a loss, Tear helped Recette set up a small item shop on the main street of the town. Just the sort of thing to cater to locals, and the hordes of hopeful adventurers and treasure-seekers needing supplies.

Working off your debt retailing doesn’t sound very exciting, but Recette and Tear’s adventure is only just beginning.

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Play it now — Alganon: After the Dawning

Way back when, I wound up with a place in the Alganon MMOG closed beta. I really liked it. I haven’t really played it since launch, though, and there’s been a lot of water under the bridge at Quest Online, the developer. A change of management, bringing in Derek Smart (of whom I understandably have mixed feelings), lawsuits and more.

Anyway, Alganon went free-to-play last Friday, so I figured it was time for another look.

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Play it now — Thief

Before there was Sam Fisher, there was Garrett.

An orphan in a sprawling ancient city that teeters on the uneasy knife-edge of steampunk technology and magic, Garrett grew up on the streets picking pockets and cutting purses. One day, he tried to cut the purse of a Keeper.

The Keepers are a secretive organization that strive to maintain a balance of the various forces and factions, their own powers revolving around mysterious, powerful glyphs, and a jumbled series of prophecies foretelling what is to come. The Keepers have a substantial complex within the city, but it is guarded by their glyphs, and nobody ever notices that it is there.

Likewise, a skilled Keeper may pass unseen through a crowd, not invisible, but unnoticed. So, that Garrett saw the Keeper at all, let alone got close enough to try to snatch his purse, it was remarkable indeed.

The Keeper lured Garrett with the promise of a better life, and Garrett became an acolyte in the Keeper order.

There, he was trained, was subjected to the Keeper’s strict rules, learned little of their secrets, and heard much of their lies.

Garrett abandoned the Keepers and returned back to the streets, exercising his new skills as a professional thief. An amateur steals for themselves, a professional steals for another, and the decadent old city was full of intrigue, and jealousy, and all manner of things that people with money wanted for themselves, but that could not be bought.

Garrett delivered. When he was hired to acquire something through his network of fences and contacts, that thing softly vanished from its place. Walls and guards and locks and hiding places did not stop him.

He was, as some said, the greatest thief the city had never seen.

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Play it now — Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online (Aeria Games)

Yesterday, Kerry Johnson was fishing around for alternative MMOGs and asked me what my favourites were. Well, top of my list right now is Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online, operated by Aeria Games.

SMT:IO (which everyone more or less just calls Megaten) is a free-to-play/freemium Eastern MMOG based roughly around the console games of the same name (Shin Megami Tensei). It’s post-apocalyptic, a few humans struggling on in what was once Tokyo, in a world now infested with spirits and demons.

Right at the moment it’s on my every-day playlist, though – as you’ll see – it isn’t for everyone.

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Play it now — Elona

Elona is a delicious and free little graphical roguelike RPG for Windows. It’s lightweight, attractive enough and has a delicious sense of humour.

Technically, the game is Japanese, and the art-style reflects that, with cute anime styling, but the game offers English as an option, and by and large the translation is superb – with only occasional grammatical and typographical problems.

Roguelike games are often rather unforgiving or monoquests. Elona breaks from those traditions and gives you an open world to play around in, and allows you to evade death with only relatively minor penalties (some dropped equipment and lost cash, and after level 6, some experience-point loss).

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Play it now — OpenTTD

Play it now!Back in 1994, Chris Sawyer released the game Transport Tycoon, which was published by Microprose. The following year (1995), a revised and updated version of the game called Transport Tycoon Deluxe (with the option for one-way signals, and some added environments) was released.

Transport Tycoon was a very popular simulation game which allowed players to build road, rail, sea and air transportation networks, moving passengers, mail and a variety of goods, either in free-play form (with or without computer opponents) or in an attempt to meet targets specified by scenarios.

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