FeaturesReviews

Quick-fire April 2021, Part Two

Collapsed
Collapsed by Glaive Games was first released on Steam on the 1st of August 2019, with a follow-up release on the PlayStation on the 13th of March this year. Collapsed is a post-apocalyptic roguelike action-platformer. Hunt your prey through vast procedurally-generated levels filled with tough enemies, useful loot and experience points. Fight alone or with a friend – either way, it will not be easy!

In Collapsed you play as one of 4 unique Hunters who have to track down their prey. Each one has its own set of abilities, skills and combat style. You will have to travel through hazardous procedurally-generated levels, fighting dozens of enemy types and challenging bosses. This post-apocalyptic world is filled with useful items, that you will combine to gain new traits, and with experience points, you will invest in a vast skill tree. And you will not lose all of your precious treasure when you will die! You will die a lot, and start from the beginning each time – but all of your loot and items are carried to your next run.

Collapsed is a lot of fun that you can share with a friend via an online co-op mode. It features nine different locations and procedurally-generated levels with a lot of enemies and different traps. You can choose between four different characters that have unique ranged and close combat styles which you use in heavily timing-based encounters. More or less you will not be using melee attacks at all, when you have enough of ammo to shoot almost all the time. There are more than sixty different enemies and fifteen bosses to beat. You evolve through a skill tree that allows you to create a different skilled Hunter for your each replay. It is a rogue-lite game, so you will have to start over when you die, but all of your items and skills will carry on to your next run. Collapsed also has a platforming side to it, as you will be double-jumping, dashing and wall sliding through the environments. It is not the best game out there, but you can certainly have some fun hours with it. Collapsed is a fast paced and a very creative minded game from Glaive Games, but it falls kind of short from what I have expected it to be. If you are a fan of rogue-like action-platformers give it a go, as it is a pretty cheap title.

Mad Tower Tycoon
Mad Tower Tycoon was first released on the 14th of January 2020 for PC, but came to consoles on the 24th of November last year. Design your own skyscraper with more than 100 Floors. Rent offices, apartments or shops and build a financially lucrative skyscraper. Build cinemas, bars or a theater to satisfy your visitors and create an effective transport system with elevators and stairs.

In Mad Tower Tycoon you can build a skyscraper that is high as the heavens. With more than hundred floors available to build, it does not take away your freedom at constructing anything you wish to. You can build restaurants, rent offices, build cinemas, apartments, shops and even zoos, anything needed to satisfy your visitors. There are also random events that happen while you are building – from casual fires and earthquakes to even UFOs that kidnap your visitors, these events provide different mishaps that keep you on your toes and make the gameplay more exciting. Stats of your skyscraper are also important, and the game offers lots of them that will give you all the information you need about the condition of your large building. The game can be compared to Project Highrise, but even more to the 90s hit SimTower, as it brings back the nostalgic feeling of constantly playing that title. If you liked that one, you will sure as hell like Mad Tower Tycoon as it presents similar features. Its gameplay is pretty simple and straight forward, and there are no high amounts of bugs present – I have not encountered anything game breaking. It is a fun and addictive tower management game, and a must buy if you were a fan of SimTower.

Synergia
Synergia was released on Steam on the 27th of July 2020, with a PlayStation 4 release on the 18th of March this year. Developed by Radi Art and published by Top Hat Studios Inc, Synergia is a yuri thriller visual novel that takes place in a cyberpunk future, wrapped up in a beautifully unique, vibrant neon aesthetic. At the end of the world, sometimes love is the ultimate crime.

Cila, a veteran cop with a sour outlook and anger issues expects nothing more from life besides the smell of ozone, blinding neon lights and the ever-present manhole steam. At least, until a shady friend replaces her broken-down housedroid as a favor. Advanced, more efficient and remarkably perceptive, unit M.A.R.A. begins to penetrate Cila’s toughened exterior and possibly even heal her new owner’s old wounds – if Cila can decipher the recurring nightmare the process brings. Soon Cila and Mara forge a unique – if sometimes uneasy – bond. Unbeknownst to Cila, just as her life begins to find its new normal, the technological giant Velta Labs gets wind of Mara’s existence and takes a mysterious interest in the android. A war unlike any before it is brewing on the horizon, its players are silently being selected and one android’s fate may spell the difference between peace, war, the blossoming of a new religion, or a technological singularity beyond comprehension.

Synergia is a visual novel that features more than twenty characters with personalities and background tied into the story. It has a unique dystopian setting and it takes around seven hours to finish. The soundtrack is also worth mentioning as it complements the graphic’s art very well. Choices also matter in Synergia, since it has more than one ending, but they also decide the path your protagonist will take. The game does not bore you for one single moment as it has an extremely well done and interesting story. It will also cost your merely ten bucks, so be sure to get it if you are a fan of great visual novels.

The Bus (Early Access)
Released on the 25th of March in Early Access, The Bus is a game developed by TML-Studios and published by AeroSoft GmbH. The Bus is the next generation of city bus driving simulation set in the capital of Germany, Berlin, on a realistic scale of 1:1. Transport passengers on different lines across the city with various buses. Manage your fleet and team up with other drivers online.

The Bus features a large and detailed map of Germany’s capital Berlin, in a 1:1 scale, which is kind of exceptional. The game features line, timetable, rout and tour editors with boarding passengers that includes ticket sales. It has AI traffic with different types of vehicles, also featuring pedestrians and traffic lights, like a real simulation of a bus driver. The map is full of landmarks, points of interest and sight, just as they can be seen in reality. The Bus also has a full day and night cycle, with different weather and seasons as well. The Early Access period will last from eight to sixteen months, with the price increasing in steps as more content and features will be added. Graphics, textures and map quality are exceptional and very detailed, with minor bugs that need to get polished during the Early Access. The rendering of the city could be better though, as most buildings look flat. I would wait a few months with my purchase, as the game will probably get better in the future.