The Long Journey Home [Steam store page]
The RPG elements of this game are really well done - exploring the galaxy, meeting and interacting with other races, finding random items and trading them, or showing them to alien races in an attempt to discover what they do.

But the lander mini-game to harvest resources to repair and refuel your ship is more of a nuisance than a pleasure. It's fairly challenging to get right at first, but once you get used to it there are still planets where you come in way too hot and get unavoidably damaged due to the gravity or terrain. And even once you're good at it, it isn't enjoyable, just a chore.

So while a segment of the game is good, there's far too much of the rote lander upkeep missions to make the entire experience appealing to me.

This feels much more satisfying and well-tuned than the original Sanctum - and the addition of co-op takes it to a whole new difficulty level.

I want to like this game, but while the graphics are gorgeous and the flying feels good, the content is lacking and inconsistent. The difficulty curve is polar opposites most of the time, either you're dominating the enemy or dying very quickly, and there's little to do besides pick up resources and shoot enemies.

The EVERSPACE - Encounters DLC pack sounds like it adds some actual mission content, but I haven't played that so I don't know if it's actually satisfying, and it's silly to be charged extra for what should have been part of the base game. Granted the game+dlc is $40, not $60 like AAA titles, but it also has a lot less content than one too.

I give them credit for the weapon design and feel though - each of the main ones is unique and feels powerful if used correctly. And although there are only three ship types they each play completely differently. It's just too bad they didn't add a decent variety of gameplay to go with them.

A great combination of music, nice visuals, and a unique style of light strategy. Easy enough for casual players, with Bastion type difficulty settings.

Although the controls are really rough (it really should be point-and-click instead), it's still an intriguing story in an interesting environment.

Deus Ex: The Fall [Steam store page]
This isn't relevant to the rest of the Deus Ex series, and is a trash mobile port with rough graphics and shallow mechanics.

Saints Row IV [Steam store page]
While Saints Row: The Third was fun madness, this sequel adds a superhero twist with great new abilities and much easier travel than the previous game.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut [Steam store page]
While the story is weaker than the original, this FPS-RPG still offers many viable playstyles - and a visually stunning world. And the Director's Cut does a slightly better job of integrating the DLC, although they're still sort of an independent experience.

You also get a few other perks like developer commentaries, although these don't have any visual indicators to show where they are, so they're hard to locate and activate as you're playing. The redesigned boss fights are a nice touch though, and definitely a welcome change compared to the originals.

Furious Angels [Steam store page]
Simple yet elegant gameplay. This is a great example of how to make a game engaging but super accessible.

Space Pirates and Zombies [Steam store page]
Slow but solid gameplay, though there are some major balance/difficulty issues - and to counteract those you need to grind quite a bit. The graphics are similar to a space RTS, though you have far less units than a normal RTS.

Simple, but enjoyable. I find the enemies more distracting than fun - but love the collecting aspect of the game. It reminds me of the gameplay from N64 titles like

ActionArcadeFirst-PersonFPSIndieSci-fiShooterLink
A game for people who want to pretend to be hackers. Unfortunately this is only slightly more authentic than Hollywood movie representations of hacking.

Dead Space 2 [Steam store page]
Much better and scarier than Dead Space, good atmosphere. The camera isn't sluggish and not as close. Combat also seems more responsive, and melee is somewhat possible. The 'Force' is useful, though sometimes the item you're holding disappears.

This feels like a console game - smoothed movement, unchangable (close up) third person perspective. The combat is also poor and frustrating - with guns that seem like they were meant to be used with auto-aim. Melee combat is completely useless.

This is a well polished and reasonably innovative machine building puzzle game. The interface is complex yet easy to use, and the game can be challenging. The graphics are clean and simple, but fitting. A well done indie.

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