First Looks// Post-PAX Impressions: Redshift, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Skyling and Sneaky Sneaky

Posted 30 Sep 2014 11:00 by
Sometimes Chris gets so busy the rest of us start to sweat just from following him on Twitter. He dug into a LOT of games over the course of PAX Prime 2014, and over the next week or so we're going to be bringing you his impressions. For Part 6 we've got Redshift, Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Video Game, Skyling: Garden Defence and Sneaky Sneaky...

Redshift by Belief Engine

There are days in everyone's life that things just don't seem to go right. Everything seems to be conspiring against you and there just doesn't seem to an end to it all. With that opening I bet you can't wait to hear about Redshift right? Redshift tells the story of a maintenance engineer in a power plant that has started to go into meltdown.

The player must control this engineer as they make their way to various parts of the plant, shutting down systems in order to prevent a disaster of catastrophic proportions. All of this has be done while putting out fires and dashing from one corridor to another within a time limit. Because for some inexplicable reason all of the controls for the reactors are scattered throughout the installation, the player has to dash from one to the other quickly, which is no mean feat when you have no idea where they are.

Redshift is a 2D puzzle adventure game that creates procedurally generated environments that are different every time the game is played. The player moves from left to right and interacts with various items in the level by simply touching them.

There are resources they need to collect, primarily in the form of fire extinguishers that are needed to get past areas into control rooms to prevent the meltdown from occurring. The method of representing the world in Redshift is not dissimilar to old ZX Spectrum titles made by Gargoyle Games in the 1980's, which included Dun Darach and Marsport. The major difference being the short time periods the player must work within and the fact that it's somewhat more visually impressive.

I found the game to be one that is extremely well-suited to its platform. Mobile gaming sits well with titles that allow for small snatches of time as they are normally the only periods one has to play them. The added bonus of varying levels that encourage repeat play is also something to be applauded.

Redshift is currently available on all iOS and Android devices.

Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Video Game by Handelabra Games

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a phenomenally successful tabletop card game. It features a co-op mechanic with all of the players taking the role of a spandex wearing super-hero who must thwart a powerful villain attempting to take over the world. Or destroy it. Or even both. As is the norm with the best of the vast array of tabletop games, it was inevitable that it would appear in a digital format, and here it is.

And so, PAX Prime 2014 held host to the unveiling of the cryptically-titled Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Video Game. It is being developed by Handelabra games, the same people who made Sentinels Sidekick, a companion app for the tabletop game.

Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Video Game has been designed to mirror the tabletop game as closely as possible, without compromising its pacing or the sense of humour that runs throughout it. For the uninitiated, play takes place over a period of defined phases, during which heroes take actions by playing cards and drawing new ones, all of which can either attack the villain and his minions or aid their fellow heroes, or even both.

While very straightforward to play, Sentinels of the Multiverse is extremely difficult as the villain has a great deal of resources to draw upon. So much so that the game can seem to be unbalanced somewhat, but in reality it is actually finely-tuned to ensure the players work together. The key is to enhance each other's abilities and not try to be the lone-wolf, as that will only end in failure.

From the time I spent with Sentinels of the Multiverse I was really impressed by the presentation of it and how it replicated the tabletop game. I'm a big fan of the analogue original so to have it on a tablet is an extra bonus. The visuals have a comic book-like styling, with the villains having set pieces as they describe their diabolical plans to the heroes (while being punched in the face). Or something like that.

Sentinels of the Multiverse: The Video Game is due out on iPad 2 and above and Android tablets on 16th October 2014.
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