Category «Review»

Games I played in 2012 – Part 2

The gaming goes on! Part 2 - games I played in 2012 - and a lot of iOS games these are..

Mc Pixel
Mc Pixel

14. McPixel | Sos | Developer's website, iOS | Release: 2012

Sos made this pure adventure out of his Ludum Dare jam game. 100 level of pure clicking madness!

Super Hexagon

15. Super Hexagon | Terry Cavanagh | App Store | Release: 2012

Super minimalistic, brain-breaking fast and intriguing action game with super delicious soundtrack. Perfect for the iPhone / iPod Touch!

Payday - The Heist

16. Payday - The Heist | Overkill Software | Steam 4-pack | Release: 2012

Playing this game in a four-player LAN was so much fun! The easy missions are not really easy, but how many times are you able to replay a heist with changed stretegy?


17. Cubes | George Buckenham | App Store | Release: 2012

This is THE perfect iPad game. A  first-person flight simulator you controll by tilting the iPad.


18. Reprisal | Reprisalgames | Desura | Release: 2012

Reprisal is inspired by Bullfrog's Populous in a new shiny, pixely style. I'm still playing it.

Hunted - The Demon's Forge

19. Hunted - The Demon's Forge | inXile Entertainment | Boxed Edition| Release: 2011

Another Multiplayer (for two) we played a lot. Super clichéd with forseeable fights and boring level design. But still fun to play together.

Cardinal Quest
Cardinal Quest

20. Cardinal Quest | Tametick | App Store | Release: 2012

Small perfectly polished roguelike.

Dwarf Quest
Dwarf Quest

21. Dwarf Quest | Wild Card Games | App Store | Release: 2012

Very nice little dungeon crawler I also wrote a game design review about.

Children Of The Nile
Children Of The Nile

22. Children Of The Nile | Tilted Mill Entertainment | Indie Royale Autumn Bundle | Release: 2004

Anno-like city building game I also wrote a deeper review about.

Rune Raiders

23. Rune Raiders | Retro 64 | App Store | Release: 2012

Super addictive dungeon crawler in a neat visualization.

Games I played in 2012 – Part 1

Here is a list of games I played in 2012. First part - my personaöl favourites!

Batman - Arkham Asylum

1. Batman - Arkham Asylum | Rocksteady Studios | Steam | Release: 2010

This game is one of the best approaches to the original comic. You really feel like being Batman - walking and swinging the cape alone is worth getting this game. The story is quite stupid, but the details of the game and in the whole world design show a huge love for the source material. I also appreciate how Batman becomes a detective again and how his gadgets are used to support the gameplay in an awesome and reasonable way.


2. Botanicula | Amanita Design | Humble Botanicula Bundle | Release: 2012

One of the most beautiful little adventure games with an unique and sweet style. The music is so atmospheric and adorable thanks to selfmade sounds. Just awwwwwwwwww!

To the Moon

3. To the Moon | Freebird Games | Royale Indie Bundle | Release: 2011

One of the deepest, funniest, saddest, most clever adventure game presented in JRPG look I've ever played.

Don't Starve

4. Don't Starve | Klei Entertainment | Steam | Release: 2012

Open world sandbox survival adventure game with a very unique 2D look. The game is extremely fun, especially dying in a thousand ways - except starving.


5. 10000000 | Eightyeight Games | App Store | Release: 2012

This game really got me in its fangs for a very long time. Match-three gameplay combined with dungeon crawling. The minimalism is just perfect and addicting.

Tiny & Big

6. Tiny&Big - Grandpa's Leftover | Black Pants Studio | Steam | Release: 2012

3D platform puzzle slicing rocketing and grappling adventure with an extreme rad look, great indie music and sandboxy gameplay.


7. Cursed Mountain | Sproing Interactive Media | Box Edition | Release: 2010 (PC)

You play a mountain climber on the search for his brother who got missed in the Himalaya. Very atmospheric and thrilling horror adventure game placed in a very unique setting seldomly used by computer games.


8. Proteus | Ed Key and David Kanaga | Developer's website | Release: 2012

Beautiful journey on an island. Find out for yourself what you need or want to do in Proteus. Although there are no elements that introduce the player to the game, there is plenty of motivation for exploration. Inspiring piece of art and game.

Against the Wall

9. Against the Wall | Michael P. Consoli | Developer's website | Release: 2012

3D platformer in first person perspective. Your only tool is the wand you can push and pull stones from the wall to jump on them. The game is still in beta phase, but very intriguing because of the non-linear and minimalistic gameplay.

Sword & Sworcery

10. Sword & Sworcery | Superbrothers | iOS, Steam | Release: 2012

I have to confess that I played this game never very far, because of the gameplay. I wish it would have been just an adventure where you can walk through and enjoy the beautiful music by Jim Guthrie. But the graphics are still very fascinating. Heart-breaking beauty!


11. Bastion | Supergiant Games | Humble Bundle | Release: 2011

This game started as a rogue-like. I'm glad they tried something new and developed a game like Bastion. The gameplay is quite repetitive and hack'n'slash, but the atmosphere and story of loneliness in a destroyed world really got me. The music alone made it for me!

They Breathe

12. They Breathe | The Working Parts | Indie City | Release: 2012 (PC)

This weird little action game is so unique! You play a frog swimming down into the unknown, darkness where strange creatures ("Are these cows?") ascend from. Take a deep breath and find out what they really are.


13. Zen Bound 2 | Secret Exit Ltd. | Steam | Release: 2010 (PC)

Pure beauty combined with intuitive gameplay.



Review – Children of the Nile

Children of the Nile - City

Tilted Mill's Children of the Nile is a city building game. It caught my interest through Desura's Indie Royale Bundle. In fact, I bought the package because of the adventure games in it, like The Dream Machine or Puzzle Agent 2. The building game was the least one I was willing to buy and the first one I installed, ironically.

Why did I play it?

They totally got me with the description of the features: Your task is not only to build a monumental pyramid but to look after every peasant's interest. In every building game you create little economic circuits on the back of your villagers who collect food and manufacture goods. With the time they not only supply food for themselves but also for the wealthier population stratums - the nobles, who often have higher requirements.
For every family you have to supply food, merchant goods, health care, religious worship, mortuary, entertainment and safety. If not fulfilled, the inhabitants get unhappy, make demonstrations in front of your palace or leave the place you built for them.

At this point the game strongly reminds me of the Anno series. But Children of the Nile puts a higher emphasis on families. They have names, children that go studying to climb up to a higher class, clean their houses or go shopping. Even standing around, "deciding what to do" and death are part of their life. They have a daily rhythm that makes the game deeper and the little characters individual.

Children of the Nile - Funeral


Of course this is just another table to calculate in the micromanagement. And it can become an extremely annoying job to arrange, especially when every class and guild wants their own shrine to worship their god - one for the farmers, one for the scribes, one for the soldiers, ...
Another thing that is no fun at all is the prestige system. In order to win you have to gain a certain level of prestige, next to other requirements. You can do this by upgrading your palace, arranging a lot of tombs in your city or building decorative monuments like pyramids. The last one is as dull as the shrine building, regardless how well your city is established, you have to play on for hours to gain stupid points or fulfill everybody's worship desire.

In my opinion these are problems most building games have - The Settlers and Anno both get a very passive experience for the player near the end of every level, letting her just watch instead of build.
At least in Children of the Nile you are encouraged to decorate your whole city with plants, trees, plazas, little gardens, statues and other bits and pieces - that are free of charge! - which helps a lot to be animated over the boring moments the game has.


I can highly recommend this game to everybody who loves the Anno series, but desires to build cities within a setting Anno didn't use yet. It's not as polished as the German pendant, but full of loveable details that let you enjoy the game for hours! And the soundtrack is gorgeous. Moreover both bigger games mentioned in this article are published by Ubisoft. It is good to see a game from another forge that tried a different style.

Tilted Mill exists since 2001, became an independent studio in 2008 and is known for Hinterland - a strategy building RPG game (Loot, Level, Built). I think that's what I'll go for next.

Children of the Nile - Perspective