Stories by Paul Huxley
Little guy in a Roman centurion’s outfit, completely featureless face except for two big eyes, lives on Mars, hell bent on destruction. I’m either talking about the iconic Warner Brother’s cartoon character Marvin the Martian, or the stars of this not too subtle–ahem–’riffing’ on the aforementioned Looney Toon. Well if the art design is borderline infringing on trademarks is down to the lawyers to decide, I’m here to tell you if the game itself is any good. So let’s crack on.
Romans from Mars is a weird mash-up of aliens and Roman gods in a turret defense game where you control a ballista firing arrows from a fixed position at the bottom center of the screen. All you have to do is tap where you want your missile to land. Your job is to make sure that an invading horde of copyright bothering aliens doesn’t make it to your castle. The trick is to anticipate their movement and aim accordingly.
Most enemies go down with one hit, including the bomb carriers that take out several of their comrades, but inflict greater damage should thy reach you. More advanced units require multiple arrows to the head, so luckily you can upgrade your siege weapon. Reload speed, power rate of fire, shot radius, and even the strength of your castle can all be upgraded.
In keeping with the ancient Roman theme you have godly powers to lay waste to the enemy. Swipe across the screen to freeze or burn them, or hold to zap them with Jupiter’s lightning bolts. This last power is particularly amusing as you lay waste to scores of little aliens.
There’s nothing that you haven’t seen before in this game, the concept goes as far back as the old Atari classic Missile Command, but Romans from Mars is one of the better examples of the type. Graphically its good to look at, with enough visual wit to keep you engaged, and the extra powers do add a layer of strategy that you normally don’t find.
If you’re going to steal, then steal from the best.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: you are a lone warrior who enters a grand gothic castle to defeat the evil within by negotiating a maze of interconnected rooms, filled with secrets, monsters, and a lot of platforming. Castle of Shadows is unashamedly inspired by Konami’s platforming RPG classic Castlevania, which in my book is no bad thing seeing as we have yet to see an appearance by the vampire slaying Belmont family on Android.
You are the exquisitely monickered Montanto Cyprus, a man not unfamiliar with the wilder side of fashion. With of all the scowling grimdark emo boys that usually get top billing in this type of game, it refreshing to see a main character that eschews the traditional lank haired gothica for a touch of Liberace. With his sailor’s cap and long flowing red cape, he defies the forces of evil through the very power of costume jewelry alone.
It’s a typically eccentric Nipponism that adds a touch of character to the otherwise rote design of the rest of the game. That is not to say that no thought has gone in to making Castle of Shadows–it certainly measures up to some of the earlier Castlevania games–but it does dwell on familiar aspects we have all seen before.
The oddball hero is only matched by the game’s confusingly bad translation which renders the plot almost uninteligable, which is a pity because there’s a lot of dialogue. Considering that this is a 2.0 re-release, it might have been wise to address that.
The old school platforming–where platforms really are just that, suspended in mid air–is spread over small discrete areas which can be tracked on a map, although there is no fear of getting lost, as the game is decidedly linear until later in the game.
The biggest distinguishing factor is the combat ratchets up the adrenaline compared to Konami’s game, by liberally cribbing from that other perennial grim-athon Devil May Cry. It’s the game’s one moment of inspiration that elevates it beyond just another wannabe cash in. Combining a side scrolling platforming RPG with relentless hack and slash action game boasting a wealth of combo moves gives CoS a real edge. The screen is at times brimming over with enemies so that it virtually impossible not to hit something and initiate an epic combo as soon as you swing your sword. The virtual stick responds well most of the time, with jump and attack mapped to two other buttons. The standard sword swipe can cut through dozens of grotesque enemies, hit point numbers bleeding off them like a number fountain. Holding up and attacking initiates a vertical move that can be capitalized on to start a juggling combo. Aerial combat is equally well served with every blow keeping Montanto aloft, before pressing down unleashes a devastating floor slam.
The enemies are equally up for the task, relying on more than just sheer numbers. Although there is a lot of blade fodder, the occasional rock golem, or armored knight gets in the way and puts up a more substantial fight. Later levels introduce teleporting enemies and even floating eyeballs that resurrect fallen monsters, making them a priority target as soon as you enter a new area. Thankfully there’s plenty of opportunity to level up. Each new level adds hit points and stat boosts, which the game deems to be so vitally important to the player that it interrupts the action to give you a rundown of just how well you’re progressing each time. It happens with such frequency that it becomes an nuisance. And it’s not just Montanto’s leveling that gets a screen filling news bulletin, the equipped weapon also gets an intrusive splash. Occasionally during a particularly intense section, it possible to have play halted twice within seconds for a useless update.
Boss encounters are a highlight, and push your platforming skills to the limit, and require a combination of dexterity and tenacity, but never use cheap moves, which good to hear as it’s the problem we see so often in other free to play games.
The RPG aspect of the game is mainly based around the many new weapons that Montanto finds in his travels. Each new weapon has it’s own attributes, including some devastating and inventive special moves which are limited by a brief cool down period. It’s in getting the most out of these swords that the pay model comes in. You collect generous amount of gold in game to upgrade your blades, but there’s always room for improvement.
From a visual side CoS is no slouch. Bearing in mind the obvious homages to franchises past, the levels make the most of their 16-bit era styled looks. The animation is detailed and fluid, and full of invention. The levels never quite match the best of modern 2D sidescrollers and rely a bit too heavily on cut and paste elements, but the general tone, despite being overwhelmingly gothic, has a decent amount of variation but the game is so focused on the combat that any short cuts are quickly forgotten under the spectacle of sword-swinging acrobatics.
Castle of Shadows manages to become its own peculiar beast, built from the remnants of other games and stitches them together convincingly enough that you often overlook its flaws. By building from a solid framework, it allows itself to go to places that almost seem out of place within the framework that had been set out for it many years ago, but this weird hybrid of measured RPG platformer, and balls to the wall action really impresses, and is above all a lot of fun.
Card based strategy games have had something of a renaissance on mobile platforms. I’m not talking about the endless Mobage offerings that offer no real gameplay, just an excuse to empty your wallet, but the more considered, well thought out games like Ticket to Ride or Magic 2014. It’s the perfect medium for board games to find a new lease of life, where a decent rule set can be made immediate and visually and compelling. Decromancer falls clearly in to this new strategy wave, and is as good a representative of what’s possible, as any full priced game.
The plot revolves around having to escort a Necromancer diplomat on an epic voyage after having been ship wrecked. It’s not long before you are thrust into battle, with the almost universally hostile inhabitants of a strange land where all the animals are sentient.
You are given a limited deck of cards, each representing a particular type of troop. These can be long range like the archer, immobile defensive walls, healers, or standard soldiers. You can check out the stats for each card, but you won’t know what their worth until you play a game against an opponent.
Battles take place on a tile 4×5 grid. the bottom two rows are your, and the enemy at the top. You can summon three cards each turn, slowly building up your army, and place them where ever you want on the board. Obviously working out the best formation goes a long way to securing victory; put the siege walls up front, and archers behind. Any tiles that remain exposed are open to attack, and lead to your army losing morale points, and when these hit zero you must retreat. There’s a great depth to the strategy, and as the battle unfolds, new tactics must be employed and your troops redeployed. New cards must be bought with looted gold, and there always seems to be something available to bolster your deck.
The story plays out over a large map, as you move from encounter to encounter. As this is a free to play game, there are wait times which can be skipped with purchased ‘spells’. Cleverly, even the F2P elements are woven in naturally as travel time, but it can lead to a very slow game if you’re just trying it out before committing to a purchase. Despite the stilted pace, it’s a very satisfying game, that will make you lose hours honing your strategies, and refining your army.
The phenomenon of the ‘Escape the Room’ genre of game has largely passed me by, and although I’m sure most of the ones available for Android don’t come close to the quality of Escape The Titanic, I can see the appeal.
If you can excuse the rather tragic setting for a casual puzzler, Titanic reveals itself to a very inventive series of mini games, wrapped in a linear point and click adventure. The idea is of course to get off the infamous “unsinkable” ship, which can only be done by getting past the obstacles that get in your way. Initially it’s as simple as pushing people out of the way to get to a door, but soon escalates to hot-wiring a car to crash through storage crates. If this sounds like high adventure, let me put you at ease, this is a very sedate game, where you’re given as much time, and as many goes as it takes to solve each challenge.
The game adopts a very simple art style, which is perfect for getting the concept of each puzzle across without any overt prompts. Each new conundrum has a unique method of interaction; the whack-a-mole style furious screen pounding you’re confronted with during a sequence where fire belches out of of pipes, is swiftly followed up by a devious maths problem. It’s a very tactile game too, making you you manipulate the onscreen elements, mostly through trial and error. There is a hint system in place too, but without a strong story in place, it robs the game of it’s only virtue.
Escape the Titanic is not the most difficult game there is, nor is it the longest, but it does offer a surprising amount of variety and ingenuity. While not up to the high standards of the pinnacle of the the genre, Fireproof’s ‘The Room’, it does deliver exactly what it sets out to do: confuse the hell out of you for a few minutes, before the light bulb goes off, then it’s on to the next puzzle. The first few levels are free, and the rest of the game can be unlocked within the game .
Voxel Rush isn’t a simple game. I don’t mean that it’s not easy to understand; it’s an endless runner where you tilt left and right to steer – a setup we’re all familiar with. I don’t mean that it has overly complicated rules either – avoid obstacles for as long as you can, crash, then do it again. Voxel Rush isn’t simple, it’s pure.
The monochromatic visuals are a a large part of the game’s purity. You start in a head long dash through a bleak gray cityscape of solid monoliths, that spread across the horizon as far as you can see. It’s like the world of Tron under an Orwellian dystopic regime. The only hint that things are going to get interesting (asides from the aforementioned monoliths hurtling towards you) is the trip-hop beat slowly gaining momentum.
The first splash of color comes when you avoid your first collision, and the whole world changes to a sold blue. Every time you make a near miss, the world swaps colors, chain a few together and you’ll be cycling through the whole palette in seconds. Maintain the combo and your score rockets, and the beats get more urgent. The reactive music does a lot to propel you forward, and soon you’ll be making risky maneuvers through tight alleyways just to keep the points flowing.
There are power ups scattered around too like invulnerability, and slow motion , although I have no idea why you would want that when the thrill of Voxel Rush is the speed at which you skim through near-gameover experiences.
Adding to the the odd ethereal quality are “The Events”. Every now and then something will happen to disrupt you run. These random game changing intrusions vary in effect, but are always fun. Sometimes the world will start to crumble around you, or a vast wall will emerge from the fog like some thing from Game of Thrones, with only a tiny ravine to slip through.
Voxel Rush is a pure game, and because of that it is utterly addictive. It understands the joy of the highscore, and doesn’t need more than that. Except that you can unlock an anaglyph 3D mode. Which is awesome.
It’s ancient Japan and you’re knee deep in the undead. There’s only one way to stop the zombie hordes , and that’s slice them to pieces. You are Hiro, a zombitsu expert, and one man army against a never ending tide of evil. Armed with incredible agility, and a katana, you’re the only thing to stand in the way of Lord Nakatomi, and his nefarious plans.
Sounds like a great set up for an intense action game until you realize that it’s an endless runner. How could a game in one of the most moribund, yet ubiquitous, genres ever live up to that pitch? Amazingly against all odds, Zombitsu defies expectations and turns out to be one of the most essential games available right now.
Firstly this game impresses on a graphical side. The detailed catoony world is populated by idiosyncratic takes on Japanese archetypes, all zombified, and all rushing towards you. Although they’re not given much to do beyond stagger towards you, it’s the little touches like them falling down stairs, or colliding with other zombies, that make all the difference. The style brings to mind such games as Okami, or Jet Set radio, with bold dark lines and water colors evoking a traditional Japanese painting.
It’s the well crafted and randomly generated worlds which impress the most. Each element is perfectly, and seamlessly stitched together in a way that every level seems like it was hand made. The amount of variety is remarkable too, with levels taking you through floating, cloud bound cities, and treacherous lava flooded temples. Ah, the lava stage, the oldest trick in the book, used here as a true test of your ninja skills. Just when you’re getting used to the comfortable pace of the standard village, or cloud city, the game will drop you in a town sinking in to lava, which requires some of the most precise platforming I’ve had to do in years.
Double jumps boost you up to the roofs of houses, or along tightropes, to access bonus coins and power-ups, all essential if you want to maximize your score. Islands float in the air, tempting you with alternate routes, and doors can be kicked down to reveal new paths.
At all times you’re running head long in to battle, your swords poised to strike. Lateral movement is controlled by tilting, which frees onscreen inputs for jumping and attack. Successfully completing certain objectives on a single run unlocks new moves which all of which can be combined for furious combos. It’s these mini-quests that keep things interesting, giving you something new to do each time you play. It may involve killing a certain amount of enemies in a particular way such as impaling them on a wall of spikes, or be as simple as avoiding conflict until,the first check point.
Combat is exceptional for the genre. Although we’ve seen the likes of Into the Dead dabble with it, Zombitsu is the first game I’ve played that feels like a proper platforming game, albeit one that is on rails. If you’re good enough you’ll unlock new moves, which adds to the initial burst of progression as you develop your arsenal. A simple slash can be chained to perform a 360 attack, perfect for taking out the crowds of samurai. A hammer attack also serves as an aerial brake, which comes in handy when traversing some of the less forgiving environments. It’s also handy for sending enemies tumbling to their doom off the side of bridges.
The dash is the penultimate attack to be learned and opens up a whole new set of possibilities. By double tapping the attack button, Hiro darts forwards with a burst of ethereal energy, spilling the undead like skittles. When used at the top of a jump, this can allow you to navigate across the level more easily, and course correct should you find yourself going down a path that leads to a dead end. Finally the uppercut is the cherry on top of this stack of zombies leading to some advanced moves like juggling.
Power ups play a significant part as well, but never stray from the established runner tropes. You’ll come across the standard coin magnets, attack boost, and even though the bombs and fireballs add brief moments of over-powered fun, I would loved to have seen something a bit more ‘out of the box.’
As a free to play game, Zombitsu gives you the chance to unlock abilities, and new levels earlier, but never forces the player in to a situation where they cannot have fun playing without paying up. Level specific tasks can be skipped for a fee, but its upgrading each of your power-ups that is the most tempting. There’s not a great deal of options in the store at the moment, but this is exactly the type of game that suits alternative costumes, new levels and crazy modes. we can only hope that developers Ruma studios keep the content coming, as I think they’re on to a winner.
Adding a developed combat system to the endless runner formula, really raises the game beyond it’s peers. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a glut of copy cat games in the near future. this visuals alone sold me on the game, but uncovering the deeper gameplay made me stick with it. Zombitsu is an exceptional game, which plays like a mix of Temple Run and Dynasty Warriors, with a unique feel all of its own.
Thor has long been a second tier character in the Marvel pantheon. Although he has his fans, to the mainstream public, the concept of an ancient Nordic god with a preposterous hat was just a little too silly to accept. He’s never been as cool as Spiderman, or as iconic as Ironman, or even as fun as the Incredible Hulk. With the release of the big budget Kenneth Brannagh movie adventure, he has somehow infiltrated the public conscious and become a major player, and so it follows that he would get his very own game.
Timed to coincide with the film of the same name, Thor: The Dark World is a free to play action RPG that combines some interesting concepts, whilst sticking decidedly in the casual gamer camp. In an attempt to appeal to the widest audience possible, developers Gameloft have opted for a radically simplified control scheme that is initially off putting. movement, combat and special attacks are all performed by tapping. Tap where you want Thor to run, and then tap on what you want him to hit with his signature hammer, Mjölnir. It seems like an elegant solution to the necessary simplification of inputs, but it doesn’t take long for you to pine for an alternative like virtual sticks.
The problem is that all too often you’ll be in the heat of battle, and manage to completely miss the enemy you’re aiming for, and walk over to them instead of smack them round the head. Add to this already confused issue, that throwing the hammer to hit an otherwise unreachable switch, or attack an elevated enemy is performed by an often misinterpreted double tap, then you’re left with a super hero who seems to be more keen on aimlessly running around then clobbering Dark Elves.
There is a lot that The Dark world does get right however. This Android game starts out as a standard top down cinematic action role playing game, but soon develops in to something more akin to a stripped down MOBA. You do have a tower to defend, although this rarely comes in to play until later levels, but more apposite is your ability to summon Eiherjar.
Eiherjar are a selection of troops that you can conjure up from nothing to assist you on you trek across various alien landscapes. You start with a limited maximum number to call upon, and only the Fighter class is selectable. Before long you’ll gain access to the Valkyries, your long range warriors, as well as healers, magic users and the tank class, the Royal Guard.
Different enemies are weak against different types of Eiherjar, so it’s a good idea to know what you’re up against.a lot of the fun to be had with your cohort, is the ability to summon them pretty much when ever you want. There’s no waiting around for resources to accumulate, which makes for a lot more dynamic game. In fact it’s such a good inclusion that it almost seems like that they were originally aiming for a more traditional MOBA experience, then switch to a more straight forward action game half way through development. Another hold over from a more strategy leaning title like DotA, are your allies, the other characters from the comics and films, suck as Loki, Odin et al. They can really turn the tide during a particularly tough level, by using their special powers to lay waste to the opposition, but if they get hurt, they have to sit out the next round until they’ve replenished their energy. It’s an interesting clash of styles that I hope someone steals to put in a better game.
With Thor and his mini army, as well as increasingly huge enemies all vying for screen time, things do get a little confusing in the middle of an encounter, and without direct control over your demi-god, The Dark world quickly descends in to a furious case of jabbing at the screen and hoping for the best. The only way to ensure that you come out alive is to upgrade your equipment, your army, and your skills.
This of course can only be accomplished by using coins collected during your travails. Or you could use the Iso-8 to boost your stats. Oh, and there’s Uru to consider too, not to mention real world cash. Quite why there are four different currencies used in this game is inexplicable. It’s best not to think about it, and just do what the game tells you to.
From a graphical standpoint Thor ticks all the right boxes. There’s a lot of variety to the locations you’ll explore, with nearly a hundred levels spread over five worlds. Visuals are richly detailed, and do a great job of recreating the atmosphere of the films, just so long as you don’t pay attention to the oddly black human faces. The camera is the biggest downside when it comes to presentation. It swoops around majestically to give you the most dynamic viewpoint, but in practice this means that half the time you have no idea where you’re going and will run in to trouble before you ralize it’s there.
Thor is not without its charms, the addition of allies and troops to command is a great idea, even if the implementation isn’t perfect. But the control issues, and the artificial situations designed to create a fail state, such as the escort missions where your charges, blindly run after danger with no respect for their own life, soon add up to pull what works, down to a substandard level.
The Lone Wolf series of adventure books haven’t been published since 1998, but still somehow remain popular to a certain avid fan, finding most popularity in Europe. So it’s no real surprise then that French publisher BulkyPix are set to release their own adaptation of the series on Android:
The studio Forge Reply in partnership with Atlantyca Lab, the digital division of Atlantyca Entertainment, and the publisher and video game developer BulkyPix are happy to announce the release on November 14 of Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf – Blood on The Snow on iOS and Android. The story of the game is written by Joe Dever himself, the multi-awarded author of the famous Lone Wolf saga.
I was always a fighting Fantasy man back in the day, but the Lone Wolf series of choose your own adventure books had a unique and more mature voice. This new version isn’t just a text adventure though, it boasts a whole new story, penned by the author himself, as well as Active turn based combat rendered in high-end 3d.
IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good android phone will be able to play a different puzzle game for each day of the year. We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to tetris-a-likes, match three’s, gem busters, crushed candies–you name it we’ve got it.
Jelly Splash does little to distinguish itself from the hundreds of me-too puzzle ‘em ups, apart from being very well made, and incredibly cute. The concept is simple enough, and will be familiar to anyone who has played Puzzle Craft. Different colored jellies litter the board, and the only way to get rid of them is to trace a line through as many of them as possible in one go. The longer the line, the more points you get, as well as unlocking super jellies that will take out whole rows or columns when dispatched.
The Super Jellies add a tactical edge to the Android game that prevents it from being a mindless race to clear the screen. Because their power is activated on the last jelly in the chain, it’s entirely possible for you to stop short of the maximum combo in order to set of the fireworks early so as to remove a specific element, such as the walls of mushrooms that hinder your progress.
It’s little quirks like this that keep Jelly Splash interesting, and you’ll breeze through the first twenty or so levels, and have a great time. Then the obligatory difficulty spikes kick in, this is after all a free to play game keen to follow in Candy Crush’s footsteps. These unnaturally steep learning curves hinder what could have been a superb game, but the flow is so completely disrupted that it struggles to recover. You’ll be forever playing the game in anticipation of the next crushingly hard level, that will sap your limited (and slowly replenishing, save for some IAPs) reserve of lives. It’s a pity that gameplay is so readily abandoned in the name of a quick buck. It engenders a bad relationship with the player. There have been some great examples of free to play games that treat the user with respect. Jelly Splash is not one of them, which is a pity because I was really enjoying it until it became a blackhole.
As the gap between consoles and mobile hardware gets ever narrower, we’re starting to see a lot more ambitious games being released on Google’s OS. Dead Trigger 2 certainly pushes the boundaries of what we can expect on the mobile platform. While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of the best of the first person shooter genre has to offer on PC, it is without a doubt the leader of the pack on Android.
The gameplay of original Dead Trigger has been completely overhauled for part two, but initially it’s the focus on the narrative and mission structure that stands out. You’re still thrust in to a post zombie epidemic world where a rag-tag group of survivors (is there any other kind?) lead an underground resistance to the shuffling hordes of the undead, but now there’s greater emphasis on character, which certainly adds to the motivation behind the missions.
You start by assembling team who will become vitally important as you progress through the campaigns. Each new member of your crew, gained after completing certain missions, brings their expertise to the resistance, whether it be first aid, weapons, gadgets, or tech upgrades. Once you meet the Smuggler, you’ll be able to access the in app store too.
You can visit any of your crew from the Hideout, a base of operations where you can modify guns, level up and buy extras to help you on your bloody quest. Everything can be bought with cash looted from in the the game, but most of the the important stuff comes with a time delay that can be skipped by using gold, a rare commodity than can be purchased in the store. This is after all a free to play game.
This element of RPG-style character progression will keep you coming back for more of the grind, but thankfully the game itself is a joy to play, which isn’t something often said of touchscreen FPS’s. Of course the ideal way to play is with the fully supported gamepad option, but what developer Madfinger has done for the standard input is nothing short of revolutionary, whilst being forehead slappingly obvious. Movement is mapped to the now standard twin virtual stick set up, but firing is done automatically when you put the cursor over a target. The idea that you wouldn’t fire at something you were aiming at is absurd in this type of game, so removing the option allows the player to focus on the important stuff like lining up shots, and running the hell away from necrotic ex-people. Once game designers realized that pressing ‘left’ in side scrolling platformers, or holding down ‘accelerate’ in arcade racers, was essentially redundant, the genre of the Endless Runner was born. Here we have the Endless Shooter: a streamlined, full speed action game that gets to the point.
That’s not to say that Dead Trigger 2 is without complexity. The short missions are varied enough that, while you’ll be returning to the same locations repeatedly, there’s enough variety in the goals that it never gets dull. There are the usual escort, defense, survival, and assault missions, as well as a few wild cards thrown in for good measure. The sniper sections are a barrel of laughs, as you take down clueless zombies with your manually guided bullets. There are even a few mounted gun sequences, but what first person shooter could do with out one of those?
Alongside the main story, there are side quests, the most intriguing of which are the online challenges to free cities. Here you have to kill literally millions of zombies. Don’t worry though, you’ll have some backup in the form of every other player around the world, whose kill count goes towards the final tally. If the players manage to kill all of the zombies in the allotted time, then everyone participating is rewarded with some cool loot.
As expected the icing on the cake is just how good this game looks. There is an option to play the game in reduced quality, which might be a serious option as DT2 really pushes the hardware on older devices. Which isn’t surprising with the amount of zombies onscreen at any given time, including the return of the multistory super zombies. Textures are detailed, and the water and particle effects really add to the atmosphere.
While the levels are quite small, they are excellently designed, with a focus on objectives rather than exploration. The trump card however are the zombies themselves, which come in a selection of terrifying varieties, with the special zombies receiving a special warning announcement, which you will grow to dread. The cannon fodder is bad enough, especially when in great numbers, but it’s character’s like the ‘Scientist’ that really creeped me out. The scientist is a radioactive zombie in a HazMat suit (lot of good that did him) who causes the screen to flicker with static interference if it gets too close, as well as deplete your health. It’s like a mix of Jason Voorhees and the Slenderman.
Dead Trigger 2 comes highly recommended for anyone looking for a decent shooter that shows off just how good Android gaming can be. It will hopefully be an example for other developers, and demonstrate that there is room for hardcore games, in a free to play space.