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Monday, June 15, 2009


Game: 9 Dragons

Publisher: Acclaim

Download or web based: Download

What you get if you pay: Acclaim coins can be purchased and exchanged for items that boost attack or increase experience gained.

Review: 9Dragons takes place during Ming Dynasty Japan, a period of war between many clans. When creating a character one of the 6 clan homes can be chosen as a starting area. Three clans specialize in healing and helping the NPC villagers and three are out to support themselves by any means necessary.

Each clan teaches techniques taken from many kung-fu martial arts. Wu-Tang hand and sword fighting and drunken battle methods are each taught. When techniques are used proficiency in them increases allowing for longer attack combinations and more damage dealt. This also allows for more techniques to be learned from clan training centers.

Shaolin monks and Sacred Flower assassins are the only clans with any specific requirements to join. Applicants to the Shaolin monks must be male characters while the Sacred Flower assassins will only accept females.

As each clan has its own combat style it they also each have their own wardrobes. This makes identifying friendly clans easier as well as knowing whether or not a passing individual will be helpful as healer or for bashing foes in the face.

Self healing is accomplished via medicines taken during combat or meditation between battles. The exact look and motions for meditation varies from clan to clan.

Rating: 8/10 Graphics are smooth and combat is varied enough to not be boring with extended play. Wonderful scenery in small enough areas to not cause major amounts of lag from over-occupation yet large enough to not need constant loading while traveling. An easy tutorial animation could be a little more interactive but doesn't drag out long enough to cause a loss of interest.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Astro Empires

Game: Astro Empires


Download or web based: Web

What you get if you pay: Ads removed from game pages, limits raised on build and research queues and limits removed for number of bases and advanced buildings.

Review: Galactic exploration and exploitation are the basic goals of Astro Empires. Building essential buildings and shipyards allows for fleets of space crafts and planetary defenses. All is accomplished in a largely text-based fashion.

Rating: 2/10 There is little to do and even less to see early in the game while buildings are raised and early research is accomplished. After that fleets can be launched to other planets and more waiting can be done.