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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Far Wilds

Game: The Far Wilds

Publisher: Code Collective

Download or web based: Either. Can be played on web only, but has better graphics and sounds if downloaded.

What you get if you pay: Gold can be purchased and used to buy packs of cards or individual cards themselves.

Review: Far Wilds is a turn based strategy game in which the player tries to defeat their opponent on the battlefield. The ultimate goal is to defeat opponents and become powerful enough to be a major in the “kingdom” of The Far Wilds.

Victory in each battle can be obtained by gaining 20 “Glory.” Glory is gained by controlling more “flux wells” than the opponent. Constructing bases and other buildings near flux wells places them in the player's control, as long as the opponent doesn't also have a building in range. If both combatants have buildings close to a flux well then neither controls it.

Controlling flux wells also produces the energy required to call forth the army of characters held in the player's hand. Spells that enhance or weaken characters on the field are also available. The exact nature of the spells varies from race to race in the Far Wilds universe.

Three default army decks can be used upon starting with temporary bonus cards won from victories over computer opponents. These can be used in tournaments. Victory in tournaments earns gold which can be used to purchase other cards and packs. This is an alternative option to purchasing the gold directly.

Rating: 7/10 While the graphics aren't all that wonderful playing the game web-based, the downloaded version's 3D look is fantastic. Being able to play against computer opponents with varying difficulties allows for a newer player to get a feel for the game and develop a few strategies. With varying opponent decks and terrains the variety of game play is almost endless. Sealed deck tournaments and matches are also available that put new and experienced players on equal footing with unseen cards to build their decks from.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Free Realms

Game: Free Realms

Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment

Download or web based: Web-based, but requires an installer to be downloaded.

What you get if you pay: Packs of cards for the trading card min-game.

Review: Free Realms is a fantasy game with a storyline that ties together many types of mini-games and areas of play. Various “jobs” are avaliable and can be changed between on the fly.

Rating: 3/10 Gorgeous graphics. However this leads to rough gameplay and can cause problems with the patience levels of those in the target age range. Requiring frequent load times for mini-games and to update the view when traveling leads to much waiting instead of playing. This game would be greatly improved by making it a medium sized download game instead of the constant loading of small packets again and again.