Calculating The Cost: Budgeting For Holiday 2018’s Game Releases



Each year, the video game industry unloads a ton of games during the lead up to the end of the year. The holiday season has always been a crowded time for entertainment releases, but in the past several years, the game-release schedule has bloated almost to the point of absurdity. With that in mind, I decided to see just how much the holiday season of gaming could potentially cost someone.

I took our release schedule for the final five months of the year and placed the entries into categories. After grouping them, I found the MSRP for each game (and, unfortunately, removed the games that don’t have any prices available). What I was left with was a snapshot of the how much money the most noteworthy releases of holiday 2018 could set you back.

The numbers this feature resulted in are startling. Of course, there are few, if any, people who will purchase games in this manner, but it provides interesting data points that speak to the holiday season in a few different ways. Still, if you’re like me and like to play as many new releases as possible, you’re going to need a plan of attack in order to prevent …read more

‘Phantom Doctrine’ Is A Fascinating And Flawed Cold War Spy Thriller

Phantom Doctrine is the cold war spy thriller of my dreams, spinning an intricate web of intrigue and conspiracy. The game has you staring at a world map, trying to unravel the increasingly complicated plot while sending your agents all over the globe, doing spy stuff in turn-based encounters. It’s a moody, highly atmospheric game that perfectly captures the essence of spy flicks and novels, but sadly, it also has a few issues.

Creative Forge, developers of turn-based Weird West tactics game Hard West, certainly hit all the right beats here. Most of the narrative developments take place in the strategy mode, where you pull the strings of your covert organization – this includes literally connecting documents with strings on a Pinboard to uncover new plot elements, which is all kinds of amazing.

You can develop your headquarters, add facilities to forge money and documents, improve your agents via questionable implants, or brainwash captured opponents. If you mess up too often in the field, your operatives’ covers will be blown, requiring new identities. Likewise, if you let your enemies operate without foiling their plans, your headquarters’ location …read more

Yet Another Exhausting Day Is A Battle To Stay Awake

Have you ever had a day when you just couldn’t bring yourself to stand up? You just wanted to get through the day, inching like a caterpillar? Yet Another Exhausting Day encapsulates the ultimate level of tiredness, with a dash of motivation to get through the day. Players will have to help some sleepy people, protecting them from enticing pillows while smashing things and doing whatever they can to stay awake.

How do you keep yourself awake on a day where if you even rested your eyes a moment, you would fall asleep? Yet Another Exhausting Day explores this idea in silly fashion. Players will have to avoid pillows by manipulating their caterpillar-like people as they inch across floors, up walls, and over desks and computers. Getting sleepy? Try smashing your head against a flowerpot to get that noggin back to work. Anything to stay awake on this exhausting (yet hilarious) day.

Stationary pillows aren’t your only nemesis, as evil beings seems intent on putting players to sleep as they creep through various oddball situations. Players can use damaging pirouettes and crawling smashes to clobber these creatures (or break furniture to keep their …read more

H1Z1 Battle Royale PS4 Review: All Kills No Frills

Battle royale games have established themselves as more than just a fad, and as the space becomes more crowded, games strive to carve out their niche. With the console port of H1Z1, focusing on simplicity and streamlined mechanics is how it stakes its claim. Significant changes were made to H1Z1’s original formula on PC to get you moving and encourage more action, which is further supported by intuitive controls. Where H1Z1’s lacking is in variety, due in large part to an uninspired map that’s missing interesting setpieces for its most intense firefights. But if the thrill of besting 100+ other players is what you seek, H1Z1 delivers just that.

As with many battle royales, your first objective is to quickly scavenge the dropzone for anything to improve your chances of survival. H1Z1 limits what’s available on the ground and in abandoned structures to common loot, but you’ll find enough to stay competitive in the opening minutes of a match. It’s not too difficult to get equipped with a pump shotgun, basic assault rifle, a few healing items, low-level armor, and small backpack, which alleviates the frustration of coming away with nothing even after combing through buildings. However, the good stuff …read more