It hasn’t been very long since the last one, hasn’t it? Only… five weeks! Eh, what can I say. I have a massive Steam collection.
And how many of those have I reviewed so far? About 35. Which, granted, for a guy who’s been reviewing Steam games for about a year, it’s impressive. The Steam Packs help a lot in filtering out the games that don’t need a full, 2,000-word review. And since I have a lot of quick, short games, I like making these Packs. Thus I bring to you Pack #6, containing 4 more games I’ve played in recent months, games that I believe need nothing more than 500 words. Tales of riding music, collecting upgrades, beating puzzles and… worms eating each other? Ew. No, all four together, that doesn't sound like a good game at all!
Price: 14.99$ USD.
The first Audiosurf game is a legend of Steam, one of the earlier games on the platform, released in 2008. Such massive popularity guaranteed a sequel would eventually be made, with upgrades, tweaks and overhauls of the various types of levels. I remember saying that the Medium difficulty on Mono was pretty simple after a while. Well, this changed. The base concept hasn’t quite changed, you still ride a track based on the song you’re using, going slower upwards when the song has a slower tempo, and going downwards quickly when the song’s speed picks up. The original game had three difficulty settings and multiple modes, including Ninja, Mono, Pusher and more. Audiosurf 2 keeps the modes, but does away with difficulty settings. You’re all on the same page! Why? Because the game now keeps track of your progress and score in a song compared to the progress of others who played it, as the level goes. I suppose it would be bothersome to have multiple difficulty levels on top of that. It’s kinda annoying for those who want to start with an easier difficulty level to get used to the game before plunging into the actual challenge.
Before you start playing, you can also pick among various skins. Tired of the regular look? Pick a skin, any skin! There’s only 5 at first: Stadium, Mystical, Dusk, Neon and Classic. The blocks to collect don’t really change, but the vehicle and obstacles do; as an example, in the Dusk skin, my personal favorite, you drive in a small car and the obstacles are thousands of black cars in the way. In Stadium Mode, they’re spikes on the road.
The best addition to Audiosurf 2, however, is the possibility for players to create new modes and skins and make them available on the Workshop. You can spend hours checking what fans created, and pick in there what you wish to see in the game! That’s sweet.
Of course, once again you can pick among all the songs in your collection, from the shortest to the longest. You want a quick level? A long one? A regular one? A marathon? Enjoy. But that’s not all! Each day, a new song is featured, the Song of the Day, and you can play it – and every previous Song of the Day. To top it off, your options become even more limitless, somehow, as you can input the URL of a YouTube video and use THAT as your level!
However… as much as I enjoy the system overhaul, I have to say I’m not fond of them removing the difficulty selections, nor am I fond of the new way the cubes are set up in a level or the scoring system. The score cubes and obstacles aren’t spread out now, there’s more of them all over the track. The focus has changed from simply collecting blocks to trying to collect 21 and fill the 3X7 grid you’re given, which gives extra points. More emphasis has been put on competition, which isn’t to my tastes either. If you’re playing a popular song, your score will be tracked in real-time… and compared to the Top 5 scores on that song. AKA, you’ll most likely not reach the Top 5 and, so, you'll see the Top 5 scores as they beat you. Not very fun. Otherwise, good game. I can’t say I like it as much as Audiosurf 1, though I can see why many people would prefer Audiosurf 2, what with the endless creative possibilities and tighter timing challenge. Also, some people like trying to beat a high score, which isn't why I was playing the first Audiosurf, to be honest.
Price: 2.99$ USD.
|Thanks! I would have never guessed!|
The joke with this game and its sequel is that your character starts off with practically no abilities, being pretty much only able to walk forward. You collect in-game coins, buy upgrades – like the ability to jump or move to the left. This opens the way for more coins, more upgrades, and so on. As for why you need to get all of these upgrades? The plot is simple: Your girlfriend was kidnapped by the villain. Kill him… that’s all. But since your progress is constantly stunted by the abilities you lack, you have to buy more and more DLC.
|So, what's my quest today?|
|Pop! I prefer the Rock zone myself.|
Pretty clever stuff, and I have a good time each time I play these two games. The first one is too easy, and the second one is long and demands too much backtracking from the player, but that’s a minor issue. Add very funny dialogue to the whole thing, and you get a game that’s worth, yeah, about 3$. And for speedrunners out there, the two hardest achievements to get are all about beating both games in record time.
Is it the year of Picross for me? I reviewed Pokémon Picross early this year, and now… well, I’m getting into another Picross game. This one is bare-bones, basic, as if they wanted it to be minimal for easy transportation to other platforms, like mobile. This take on Picross features large squares, a simple system and fairly small grid sizes, which makes me think that this was supposed to be made for smaller screens. Oh well!
Still not satisfied? Go in the Workshop, where thousands upon thousands of puzzles have been crafted by the community. On the day I published this review, the current number is 8556. You’re reading this review later, the number must have increased. The best part about the Workshop must be that people can make puzzles up to 25X25 squares in size, allowing a lot more creativity.
|This one looks pretty tough!|
This is good! Very, very good! Simple, but sweet. Yeah, I recommend this! If you want to get your fill of quick and easy Picross puzzles every once in a while, this is a nice thing to have in your library.
Worm.is, that’s a title I discussed already on my blog, way back when I first covered my 12 Steam discoveries. I was still an early user at the time, and would just download whatever free title I could get my hands on. This was one of them. This modern, multiplayer take on the famous Snake arcade classic was one of the first games to get me hooked to Steam. Not that it’s that great, mind you, but it showed the kind of creativity I could expect from many developers on the platform.
|Little worm goes big.|
|A level-up system? Huh.|
Now, I did describe this game as a free-to-play experience, although you can pay real money to buy in-game coins, which can already be collected quite easily around a board by a sufficiently tenacious player. Even then, they’re to be used mostly to customize your worm or give it some equipment. Yes, there is such a thing as equipment in the game, and it can make your worm more durable, or a better attacker, or a quicker mover…
|Little worm has gone big.|
Hide your homes, it's gonna devour everything.
I hope you liked this Steam Pack! Now to move on to another Top 12 list… and then… Well…a movie review. Not any movie, either… but you’ll see that in due time.