Review: RoadWage

Review: RoadWage

I guess RoadWage, by the freshman gaming division of Real Systems (the aptly named RealGames) is technically a “game” — I mean you do use the keyboard to move around a car in an attempt to get it to go somewhere and not die in the process.

 

However, RoadWage is not really fun, with gameplay that seems like it was invented as the programmers went along (or when they figured out how to perform a new graphics programming technique).

It’s obvious that the game designers (if there were any) were attempting to create a mindless arcade-type game — there are really only three controls in the game: left, right, and fire. Your job as a taxi/delivery driver is to get to the end of the board before the time runs out. Along the way, you collect power-ups (there are tons, none of which are original) while attempting to deliver packages to targets along the sides of the roads. It comes off like an odd mix between the arcade classics Road Blasters and Paperboy, but executed quite poorly.

The game fails right off the bat for its horrible controls. Your car, viewed from above, can change lanes by pushing left and right, but moves far too quickly. At some times (like around turns) the car oddly drives itself, which is quite disorientating, as most of us wh have played video games in the past are used to actually turning the car ourselves.

RoadWage does have at least one good aspect: …

Cinematic inspiration for armies

Cinematic inspiration for armies


Leaving the cinema the other day after seeing “Gladiator” I suddenly realised how I had been influenced by such epics in my choice of wargaming periods and armies. Over the past few years I have built up 25 mm sets of Old West townsfolk, 5th Cavalry, Apache/Plains Indians and Mexicans for wild west skirmish games as well as DBA and Warhammer armies for Feudal English, Scots Common, Feudal French, Vikings, Pre-Feudal Scots, Saxons and Normans.

 

The influence for my wild west skirmish games are a range of westerns including my all-time favourite “Silverado” as well as many of the John Wayne and Clint Eastwood flicks. I tend to use The Rules With No Name for this, mainly because when I’d finished buying the figures I had no money left for a set of rules – these came free, straight off the ‘net.

My choice of figures, Foundry and Dixon, was heavily influenced by a visit to Salute, a London wargaming show. The former because I was able to get an excellent deal on their otherwise high prices and the latter because the miniatures exhibit so much character. Dixon also do a range vignette figures like photographers and painters, as well as baggage, camp fires, wagons and even a stagecoach!

The first two DBA/Warhammer armies owe much to the screening of the film “Braveheart”. Although I’m originally from the Galloway/Borders region of Scotland and fully aware of the gross historical inaccuracies in the film I was entranced by the story …

Review: Chicken Shoot Demo

Review: Chicken Shoot Demo

Chicken Shoot Free Download for Windows 10, 7, 8 (64 bit / 32 bit)

In their desire to attract non-gamers to the games market these ridiculous hunting games are popping up more and more by developers hungry to make a quick buck. These so-called game designers are making a mockery of the gaming industry but those who actually buy these games are supporting them. Some of the biggest selling games, I’m ashamed to say, have been hunting games.

With that I bring you, “ Chicken Shoot.” This piece of programming trash features your bad self armed with either a pistol, a shotgun or a bomb lacing chickens. These aren’t your ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill, garden-variety chickens. No, sireee bob! These are super flying chickens who happen to have a sense of fashion sense. These Rhode Island Reds are decked out in cool sunglasses and Santa hat! Yup, you read that right. Santa hats!

Sure the demo is set in wintery wonderland, complete with mountains, a snowman and falling snow so you might think the Santa hats are cute. Well, they are not! Of course, not much about this game is cute.

The muzak is an annoying disco-polka combo that gets annoying after three beats! Playing this stuff would make even the most hardened criminal confess to whatever you wanted him to just to turn it off. My ears still ache at the thought of it.

Then there are the sounds of the chickies as you cream them. “ Yikes” is a popular exclaim, as is “Oh no”. If you are really lucky you might hear …

Book review: Armies of Medieval Russia 750-1250 by David Nicolle

Book review: Armies of Medieval Russia 750-1250 by David Nicolle

Armies of Medieval Russia 750–1250 by David Nicolle
This is one of the latest in Osprey’s magnificent Men-at-arms series. It is unlikely that there is a single wargamer out there that has not come across this series of 48 page, soft-back books, covering the full range of periods from ancients to modern. Each one filled with useful information about the history (both social and military) as well as the various uniforms and equipment of a specific military force.

 

The author, David Nicolle, has become well known for his work on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has written other books in the Osprey Men-at-arms and Elite series. He has also written a wonderful couple of volumes with the joint title “Medieval Warfare Source Book”, published by Arms and Armour Press. All this is to say that David Nicolle is a well qualified author. He has also travelled extensively in Russia doing research – many of the black and white photographs are from his own collection.

The preamble discusses Russia before the Rus – the nomadic hordes, the Slavs and the Ugrians (From beyond the Ural mountains). The latter were considered so terrifying that they had been locked behind a copper gate until judgement day! Perhaps another link to the Apocalyptical Four Horsemen riding horses whose colour relate to the cavalry of the nomadic hordes.

A chronology follows for all those wargamers who like to set up authentic battles. There are many possibilities for battles against the Byzantine empire, the Khazar, the Slavs, Kipchaks, Volga Bulgars, Ugrians, and the …

A First Look at Command & Conquer: Ranegade

A First Look at Command & Conquer: Ranegade


Unless you were a gamer the year 1995 was nothing too out of the ordinary. Unless you were a gamer 1995 was really no different than 1994. Unless you were a gamer. If you were a gamer 1995 was a truly significant year. Westwood Studios just happened to release of the more monumental games of all time. The game: Command and Conquer. But you wouldn’t know this, unless you were a gamer. If you were a gamer you know. If you were a gamer you understand the significance of both this one game and of Westwood Studios.

 

Command and Conquer is perhaps the most important real-time strategy ever made. While not the first real-time strategy game, that honor belongs to another Westwood game, Dune II, Command and Conquer was the game that thrust real-time strategy gaming into the forefront of PC gaming, and the landscape would be forever changed.

Given Westwoods history of real-time strategy games one would be allowed to concerned about the direction Westwood has decided to take with Command and Conquer: Renegade. Westwood is attempting to turn that 2D world we all know and love into a 3D environment that immerses the player with a sense of depth and heft that Command and Conquer gamers have heretofore only dreamed of.

Command and Conquer Renegade is a third person action game but you aren’t limited to a third person view of the action. At any time you’ll be able to switch to a first person mode if …

A Look at the Demo: Clive Barkers' Undying

A Look at the Demo: Clive Barkers' Undying

Clive Barker's Undying Demo DownloadClive Barkers’ Undying.

I’ve only been able to grab the demo on this one and it is huge. This one weighs in at nearly 100 megabytes! Of late, a 100 meg download is almost common place. As time progresses the demos get larger and larger, it must be a pain in the gluteus maximus to have a dial-up connection to the net.

Back to the game, Electronic Arts elected to use a modified version of the unreal Tournament engine and it is well suited to Undying. Some of the interior architectures are simply stunningly rendered, realistic is a word that pops to mind. The game is really a visual feast. With huge textures and 32-bit color support you might find it dragging on your machine if you don’t have the horses. Fortunately, my Radeon 64meg DDR video card can handle this Undying beast.

The monster models are complex and elaborate. Arguably, they are some of the best models created for a PC game. Including those created for Quake III.

As for the gameplay, it’s pretty much a typical first person shooter but with a touch of horror. Horror-meister Clive Barker was brought in to help with the creepy atmosphere and it works. Some of the scarier moments involve not what you see but rather what you hear. You often hear enemies before you see them and when you’re playing this game the first time around it is spooky! Sometimes you’ll hear disembodied voices and then you’re on alert only to …