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boxart
Game Info:

Wizard of Legend
Developed By: Contingent99
Published By: Contingent99/Humble Bundle
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Available On: Windows, macOS, SteamOS/Linux, Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Action Rogue-like beat ‘em up
Number of Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
MSRP: $15.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Humble Bundle for sending us this game to review!

I have to admit, when I first saw this game I thought ‘oh joy, yet another pixel art game’. And yet, when I started to play it, it became pretty clear that this game is not just a cheap cash-in, but instead a carefully crafted, tough-as-nails action beat ‘em up where you try to defeat the three elemental wizards, and then the ultimate one to become a Wizard of Legend – one of the very few to complete the Chaos Trails. It also helped that the music was fantastic, and not a lazy chiptune effort; it's an orchestral and electronic hybrid, and is simply wonderful.

The story is fairly simple: there is a museum about the titular wizard, and part of the exhibit is you can pay to spend time with a basic set of arcana, a.k.a. spells or skills, where you go through a small recreation of what a chaos trial may have been like. At the end, you touch a monument, and you are unexpectedly magically transported to a new place where you have the chance to actually become a real Wizard of Legend – by partaking in the actual Chaos Trials.

The action takes place on a 2D plane, where you see your hero fight from up above, and you use your basic, dash, standard, or signature skills to pound the enemies into little bits. Thankfully, they just disappear when they die. Enemies include other wizards, ninjas, suits of armor, various blobs, zombie-like shadow creatures, golems, and so on. It’s all very fast-paced, and very, very, difficult.

Wizard of Legend
Highlights:

Strong Points: Excellent music; very nice pixel art; action feels great; levels are unique each time; lots of loot to look forward to; extreme difficulty
Weak Points: Extremely difficult
Moral Warnings: Fantasy violence; magic is used by both enemies and the player

What struck me about this game soon after playing it is that it’s really all up to the player in order to progress – you can and do earn new arcana (which are spells/skills that you use in combat) and relics, which make you stronger. But at the end of the day, the difference on success or failure is almost completely reliant on player skill. It’s not a super long game; you can easily beat it in one sitting, and in less than two hours. But the chances of that happening are extremely slim unless you are superhuman, or had tons of practice (or you’re cheating).

The general pattern of the game is like so: there are three elemental masters, of fire, ice and earth. (Air and electricity are also in-game arcana, but do not have a master. Chaos unlocks as playable after beating the game; again, no master.) Each element has two levels, and then a boss battle. On each level there are three shops to discover, where you can use gold you earned that run to buy temporary arcana, relics, or sometimes other things like heals or cursed items. Then there is a miniboss to get to the next level. Once you clear both levels of an element, you have the elemental masters. Once all three are defeated, you have the final boss. Good luck – you are going to need it.

This game is quite difficult. It is fun the entire time – I never felt like I was wasting my time, except when I died before gathering a good amount of gems, which are the only things in a run that stay with you if you don’t beat the game that time through. Level layout, enemy order, and loot/store contents are all randomly generated. I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I have ever installed Cheat Engine; I love challenging games, but the player improvement curve is such that equipment alone is not enough.

Wizard of Legend
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 90%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 86%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 6/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

In most games, there is a balance between training the player and equipping the player, such that as you get stronger, the game gets easier, or stays approximately as difficult, but the earlier areas get easier. In this game, the earlier areas get easier less because you get better equipment (though you do), but more because you get more skilled. The result is that a moment of laziness or lack of caution can doom that run such that you need to start again. While there is better gear to get, honestly the starting arcana are good enough such that if you had to, you could do quite well with only that if you have the skill; and, if you don’t have the skill, you won’t get all that much farther even if you have a loadout that lead to victory for another.

Wizard of Legend is quite an excellent rogue-like action RPG. Each run, despite following a similar outline, is largely unique; enemies, treasures, shops, and more are all randomly generated. Combat is tons of fun, and finding the perfect combination of arcana, relics, and armor can make a significant difference, even if it all comes down to skill in the end. I agree with the ESRB’s E10+ rating; there is magic and fantasy violence; the strangest magic spells were ones that summoned a circle with a geometric shape inside; there were no pentagrams that I saw. The rest are common elemental spells like fireballs or icicles. Co-op is fun too, though surprisingly didn’t make the game all that much easier since the other player was less skilled. Overall, Wizard of Legend gets an easy recommendation – as long as you are willing to put in the time to learn the game to its fullest.

 

boxart
Game Info:

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Developed by: Digital Eclipse
Published by: Capcom
Released: May 29, 2018
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
Genre: 2D Fighter
ESRB rating: T for Teen (mild blood, mild language, suggestive themes, violence, alcohol use)
Number of players: 1-8
Price: $39.99
(Humble Store Link)

The original Street Fighter came out in 1987. The game didn't really stand out at the time, aside from its difficulty. The player could use one of two karate fighters to defeat a variety of other enemies in order to become champion. It was certainly nothing that really stood out from other one-on-one brawlers, and had been done before (including another classic I remember called Karateka).

But then, Capcom released Street Fighter II in 1991. In this game, players could choose one of eight different characters! With different martial arts styles and moves! At the time, it was an original approach, but it ended up launching a legendary franchise – and a huge host of imitators. Now, 30 years after the original Street Fighter hit the arcades, the game has a massive cast of nearly 100 playable characters, a dizzying array of sequels and spinoffs, and even a (poorly-received) live action movie. White Wolf even released a tabletop roleplaying game based on Street Fighter (I own most of the books, but sadly, have found few people to play it). Thirty years of Street Fighter... and Capcom doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

The 30th Anniversary collection compiles 12 games as they appeared in the arcades, including the original Street Fighter, the many iterations of Street Fighter II, the three different Street Fighter Alpha games, and Street Fighter III and its two immediate sequels. Some may argue that this actually is four games and its “upgrades,” but some of the character movesets and attacks vary significantly between the different chapters (for example, Dhalsim didn't originally have his teleportation ability).

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Highlights:

Strong Points: Nice collection of games; lots of fun details about the history of Street Fighter; smooth online gameplay; great music and graphics; summons plenty of nostalgia
Weak Points: Difficult; “widescreen” format leaves much to be desired
Moral Warnings: Violence; some skimpy clothing on both male and female models; some blood; minor language issues

For those that haven't played, gameplay consists of two characters facing off within a colorful, animated arena. Each character has a selection of three different punches and three different kicks (usually). Combining different controller movements with button presses can release special moves, which may include fireballs, flaming uppercuts, deadly body slams, and more. Pulling away from your opponent can make your character block attacks. Players can use the keyboard for these actions, but as with most fighting games, a game controller will be found as much more useful. The winner of the match is determined by a best two-out-of-three format, where the loser is determined either by knockout, or if the timer runs out, whoever has the most life at the end of each round. Each character has their strengths, weaknesses and strategies, and for those who get drawn into the games, there's bound to be a character that fits any player's desired play style. Experimentation will lead to the discovery of favorites, and with a detailed story and world, Capcom has created an entire genre that is almost addictive to study and enjoy.

The collection goes into further detail than just those presented in the games. Also included is a timeline of the games, concept art, a sprite viewer, details about all the fighters, and a music player. The individual games can be customized to different difficulty levels, screen formats, and even filters to make the screen look similar to the resolution found in the original arcades. This collection does a great job in replicating the original games, and I got a huge feeling of nostalgia while playing them. The 30th Anniversary Collection captures the originals perfectly. The one issue I do have is with the “widescreen” format. Instead of opening up the edges to allow you to see more of the background as you fight, the game stretches the characters and the background, which makes all the characters look slightly squished. The music, as usual for a Capcom game, is excellent. The voice acting seems odd at times, but it stays true to the original games; it's interesting to hear how many of the voices change over the years based on expanding technology and the hiring of new voice actors.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 94%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 78%
Violence - 6.5/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

Co-op is an option, and for those with two game controllers, any of the games can be played against each other. For those who desire to battle online, only four games can be chosen: Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting; Super Street Fighter II Turbo; Street Fighter Alpha 3; and Street Fighter III: Third Strike. It isn't difficult to find opponents online, and private rooms can even be set up. I battled against one of my fellow editors, the handsome and talented IBJamon. Despite some initial hiccups due to a poor Internet connection and my laptop battery running out, we were able to connect, and the game ran smoothly. He managed to beat me in more matches – I said I liked the Street Fighter games, not that I was very good at them. But along those lines, even if you can lower the difficulty ratings on the games, they still can pose a significant, sometimes frustrating, challenge. The arcade versions are designed to munch quarters, after all. I have read that the Nintendo Switch expands the co-op challenge a bit further by allowing up to eight people to participate in a bracket tournament; I haven't had a chance to explore this option, though.

The games are largely clean. Certainly violence is a factor, since the game does consist of fighters beating each other up, but there is very little blood involved. Some of the losing portraits feature bloody, bruised and battered martial artists, though. Some characters – both male and female – wear tight-fitting or revealing clothing. There is some swearing, but not much. Some of the characters do seem to be a bit over-the-top in terms of sexuality, but not to the point of pornography, at least. One of the characters has the unfortunate name of Sodom; fortunately, that is the only thing he has in common with the Biblical city destroyed by God for its sins.

Altogether for fans of Street Fighter, this collection is a must-have. For those who enjoy the history of video games, this should be added to their library immediately. And for those who enjoy retro-style games... well, you can guess what I recommend. This is a must-have title for multiple reasons.

 

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Game Info:

Half-Life
Developed By: Valve
Published By: Sierra Studios/Valve
Released: November 8, 1998
Available On: Windows, PlayStation 2, macOS, Linux
Genre: FPS, Horror, Sci-Fi, Adventure
ESRB Rating: Mature for Animated Blood, Animated Violence
Number of Players: 1 offline, 20+ online
Price: $9.99

What can I say about this game that hasn't been said before? If you've somehow been on the Internet and haven't heard of Half-Life yet, I applaud your ability to not hear of one of the most popular shooters of all time. For the uneducated, Half-Life is a game made by Valve, released in 1998. However, it is so, so much more.

Based off a modified version of the Quake engine, which Valve then called GoldSrc, Half-Life was another revolutionary shooter to come out of the '90s. Because it was based on the Quake engine, it had the same beautifully smooth and buttery fast-paced gameplay. As you play through Half-Life, you'll discover that this game encourages daredevil-like speed. Even 20 years after it launched, Half-Life's gameplay is still the template for FPS games. The movement is crisp and almost lag free. The guns are balanced with good hit registration and damage. Not to mention, Half-Life's AI was light years beyond what they had at the time. The enemies don't feel aged, and respond about 2/3 as well as what we have today. Half-Life's gameplay, in my opinion, has aged better than any game in history. Certainly better than other old popular games like GoldenEye.

And just like its gameplay, Half-Life revolutionized gaming with its stunning 3D graphics. And although they aren't the prettiest nowadays, Half-Life set the bar on intuitive textures, and models with their horrific aliens and monsters.

The sound of the game hasn't aged [i]horribly[/i]. Playing with my headphones that, I'll admit, aren't the greatest (not a $200 pair) but can hear really good quality, the game is missing high frequencies, or they sound very dampened. The panning is still great, and you can tell where sounds are coming from. The ominous (and sometimes loud sounds) most certainly add to the atmosphere of this game. It can make it feel empty or packed with action. While the bit-crushed and lower quality sounds are a bit dated, they certainly aren't horrible like some other old games can be, with a very present terrible quality.

The music in this game also is pretty good. While some of the instruments may sound dated or compressed, the melodies are awesome and the music goes great with adding tension or additional feeling to the ambience of this game.

Now onto the actual story. Half-Life follows the life of Gordon Freeman (not to be confused by his uncle from marriage Morgan). Gordon Freeman works at the Black Mesa Research Facility in Arizona. Black Mesa is a giant testing ground filled with creatures, robots, scientists and more. As a graduate in theoretical physics, Gordon specializes in the scientifically unseen. Aliens, time travel, things that no one should mess with.

Half-Life
Science going to far
Highlights:

Strong Points: Great gameplay, level design and character AI
Weak Points: Graphics have aged not as well, and the movement speed/controls can be finicky at times
Moral Warnings: Moderate/borderline severe language (S***, D***, A**, blasphemy), strong violence and bloody gore, light references to cigars/alcohol

When a mysterious object appears in Black Mesa that nobody knows anything about, the obvious answer is to experiment with it! Because they're scientists! When the experiment goes wrong, because, as we all know, all experiments fail in games, a rift between Earth and an alien planet is opened. Gordon now has to find his way out of Black Mesa while battling aliens, monsters, soldiers and even the world around him.

In addition to the graphics and gameplay, Half-Life boasts a huge world full of challenges and enemies at every turn, with ingenious level design (we'll come back to it) and an array of guns. Such as, but not limited to, a shotgun, a pistol, a crossbow, an RPG, grenades, and more. And with Half-Life 2's invention of the Source engine, the gravity gun and more, Half-Life is the franchise that kept on giving.

Half-Life's level design is also as good as its gameplay. With great design choices, Half-Life encouraged players to either run through it at full speed, or take their time to catch their breath, or maybe look at their surroundings. Half-Life's levels were huge and had great ideas such as radioactive waste, pits, low-gravity sections and more. The amazing thing this game did for me, was be able to create a sort of perfect labyrinth of technology and science and tear it apart. It was because of these revolutionary things that made Half-Life an amazing FPS and something that raised the bar for the future of gaming. Now, on to the cons.

While most things aged well, the graphics did not. While they aren't horrible today, they still look like a game from the '90s. Blocky environments, fuzzy textures, lacking detail and washed out colors. Overall, they aren't bad, but they certainly have aged the worst out of this game. The gameplay is also hit or miss. While it is good and still holds alright today, some things about it can be specifically annoying, such as friction and movement speed. The level design is good but sometimes the placement of characters or enemies can lead to things being not so obvious or overly challenging.

Half-Life
Great environments, but poor graphics
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 81%
Violence - 3/10
Language - 6/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 5.5/10
This game displays the consequences of evil and/or messing with the occult. (+3 pts) 

Half-Life does have some moral issues. While the killing of aliens/monsters could be written off, the killing of human soldiers cannot. This game could have simply made them aliens or something else. I understand they wanted to portray a government cleanup, but it doesn't justify it. The game also allows you to kill innocent scientists, or let them go to their deaths.

While very few main characters in the game (if any) swear or use crude language, the soldiers you encounter in the game can drop almost all language except an F-bomb. In addition, sometimes characters or enemies can be blown up, and depending on the character, they may be blown into graphic chunks of 5-10 pieces of flesh. When killed, all characters' bodies hit the floor and don't disappear for a short time.

The aliens in this game can be seen as scary, and this game does have a horror side to it, so it isn't for the easily frightened people. However, if you can handle horror/dread decently, this game won't scare you. Some characters can have cigars, and there are some references to beer.

In closing, Half-Life was and still is a staple of Fast-Paced FPS Adventure games, with amazing graphics for its time, great gameplay and AI, and perfect level design, despite its moral and aging issues.

- God's Gaming's Contempt, signing off.

 

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Game Info:

Kingdom: Classic
Developed By: Noio, Licorice
Published By: Raw Fury
Released: October 21, 2015
Available On: Windows, macOS, Linux
Genre: Survival, 2D, Strategy
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Number of Players: 1 offline, no online play
Price: $4.99
(Humble Store Link)

Kingdom: Classic is nothing short of well, a Classic. But let's start simple: The gameplay.

Kingdom's gameplay is an amazing mix of build-em-up/survive the night. To start off, you're a king or queen (you can choose after you start the game) who is trying to stay alive. If you lose your crown, the game will end. But we'll come back to this. In addition, this game runs on a currency system of gold coins. In the beginning, you're given an ample amount of around 10 coins. You can build your camp for 3 coins, and that will allow you to recruit members to join it. Now, let me explain how this game works.

Your world exists on a 2D sidescrolling plane. What this means, is that you can only travel to the left or right of the screen. And, don't get me wrong, this world is large, and it uses this mechanic in a great way. In the (rough) center of each world, is your camp. You can explore a good distance to the left and right of your camp. Along the way, you'll find buildings that can boost your fighters' strength, how fast you build things, upgrades for your buildings, etc. Another thing you can find is a peasant camp. Now, let's explain this mechanic. Every member of your group starts as a peasant. You can give them 1 coin and they'll join your camp. In the beginning of the game, you get 2 peasants at your camp you can recruit. After this, you have to try to find peasant camps to the left or right of your camps, and give them a coin to join your group.

There are 3 types of members you can have in your group. In the beginning of the game, you have the option to buy a hammer for 3 coins, or a bow for 2 coins. When a member of your camp picks this up, they become a builder, or an archer respectively. Builders, well, build. Builders can build walls (for a price) around the left and right sides of your camp. They can also build catapults, archer towers, farms and more.

Well, you've recruited 4 archers and a builder. You've built a wall on each side. But, now comes the night. Can you survive it?

Kingdom: Classic
The Greed attacking at night
Highlights:

Strong Points: Beautiful pixel graphics, polished gameplay with great music and ambiance
Weak Points: After 15+ hours of gameplay, it can get a bit stale. Poor AI on some characters
Moral Warnings: None!

This game runs on a dynamic day/night and weather cycle. It can rain, it can be cloudy, it can be sunny, and it can turn from day to night. After each day/night cycle, one day passes. In the night however, comes the main enemy of the game: The Greed. The Greed are a sort of goblin-like enemy, that want nothing but money, or your crown. This is how you lose the game. If you're caught outside of your camp at night, there's a chance the Greed could catch you. If you have no more coins in your bag, they'll knock the crown off your head and try to take it. If they succeed, you lose, and the game restarts from the very first day, with nothing built. This is where the challenge of the game comes in. You have to explore, to try and recruit more members, while also making it back home. This gameplay isn't very unique, but it does it in such a unique way that it makes this game a lot of fun, even for a short time.

Now, how do I earn coins, you might be asking. It's simple. In this game, you earn coins via three different ways. Chests are one of them. At the end of each night, and the beginning of a new day, you'll receive a chest full of around 8 gold coins. In addition, there are chests hidden in the world (usually two) that can give you 10+ coins. You find these by simply walking the world and discovering them. The second way is to kill animals. If your archers kill a deer, you get 2-3 coins from it. They can also kill rabbits, which give 1 coin each. The third way, and the third member of your group, is farming/farmers. Builders can create a farm outside of your farm, and you can recruit peasants, and buy a scythe for 5 coins. When they pick up the scythe, they become farmers. Then, they go to work on the farm planting crops. After a few days, they harvest the crop and give you 4 coins. Usually 4 farmers can operate on one farm.

Phew, that was a lot of work. Now, let's move on to something more interesting. Those graphics.

The graphics in this game, are quite literally, pixel perfect. For lovers of the NES/SNES/Genesis style of graphics, this game takes that art style and turns it up to 11. It takes a simple pixel art style, and makes it absolutely beautiful. The hand-crafted foliage and architectural detail make this look great. With amazing animations, clean colors, and entrancing water effects, shaders and light make this game something like a cinematic masterpiece. For fans of games like Hyper Light Drifter or Stardew Valley, you will with utmost certainty love this game, if only for its looks. I'm giving this game a 7/10 for it's looks, but this is my opinion as I love the pixel art style and how detailed it is.

Time to talk about this game's best feature: The music. Where do I even start with this? Classic's music is an amazing mix of nostalgia, swelling synths, ominous undertones and perfect chords that can change your entire view on this world. After each night, usually a song starts playing, one of the several great songs in this game. It seems that although there are huge differences between each song, they all come together to make your experience even better and more memorable. I said up there that this music feels almost nostalgic, because the composer was so good at this it feels like you already know it by heart once you've heard it. Here's a little example.

Kingdom: Classic
Those beautiful graphics
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

In addition, the game's ambiance is good. With little sounds like your horse galloping, the water running, the grass ruffling as you run by it, the sounds of people as you come into your camp; it all comes together to make a strong atmosphere that you can feel and envision.

The controls in this game are very precise, and simplistic. All in all, you only use 4 keys in this game (5 if you count Escape to pause it). You can choose to use the standard WASD or arrow keys to move and interact with people and objects. The controls have no perceivable input lag and feel very fluid. In addition, controller support for this game is A+. If you're the kind of person that likes to play from a couch, know that this game works fine with controllers. Now, let's get onto the general and moral cons.

Generally, this game has a slight issue with AI. Sometimes it can work well, and sometimes it seems like your villagers are monkeys with keyboards. Graphically, there are also some issues. It appears that light sources put off an abnormal amount of light that make character sprites look really bright, almost white. While this issue (most likely bloom) was fixed in Kingdom: New Lands, it's still a slightly annoying thing to look at, and as such I will dock a point for it. In addition, the gameplay does get a little stale after your first or second win. There really is a point where the content runs out, and you simply can't find more to enjoy. Kingdom: New Lands has almost 3 times the content of Classic, but it also has even less intelligent AI, when it comes to some characters.

Morally, I see nothing wrong with this game. There's no language, there's no sexual content, there's no real violence or gore, but you do kill the Greed in self-defense as they want to take your crown and harm your villagers. Its pretty much a clean game. The Greed, I suppose, are the only real suspicious part of this game, as they are sort of dark goblin looking characters that come out of red/purple portals.

So, in closing, Kingdom: Classic is an underrated gem that combines polished gameplay, dazzling graphical technology, enchanting music and atmosphere to create one perfect package.

- God's Gaming's Contempt, urging you to play this gem.

 

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Game Info:

Drift Tuner 2019
Developed By: S&COR Games
Published By: S&COR Games
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Available On: Windows, Android, iOS coming soon
Genre: Arcade Racer
Number of Players: 1+
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
MSRP: $9.99

Thank you S&COR Games for sending us this game to review!

I remember checking out Need for Speed: Underground many years ago and thinking how different it was from the other games in the series at the time. It took place at night, in an urban setting, with a focus on street racing and drifting being major parts of it. Over the years it gained a bit of a cult following, with many calling for a resurrection of the series. While that hasn’t happened yet, some games have been inspired by it – and while I can’t prove it, I would hazard a guess that Drift Tuner 2019 is one of them.

Like many racing games, you can drive either from the view of behind the wheel or from above and behind the car. The 3D rendered graphics are pretty good for a small team, though clearly rough around the edges. The lack of anisotropic filtering is kind of obvious, but otherwise it looks pretty good. In the level you race in, it’s a rainy night in the city, and you drive around in your low-riding car. If you earn enough credits, you can buy upgrades to your ride, or get a new one.

Drift Tuner 2019
Highlights:

Strong Points: Nice atmosphere; decent but not great graphics; fun to race around
Weak Points: Interface is clumsy, as a keyboard and mouse is required in certain areas, despite supporting gamepads while racing; no default configuration for gamepads; a lack of polish in many areas; I got stuck sideways once
Moral Warnings: Gambling; girl wearing tight clothes and showing midriff 

You earn credits by driving with skill – either by going really fast, doing crazy stunts, or drifting. If you can drift for long enough or go fast enough for enough time, you can rack up multipliers that help you earn those credits even faster. If you can manage to go fast, chain it into killer drifts, and so on, Bob’s your uncle. Once you collect enough cash, you can then choose to gamble it all away in street races. What I found frustrating is that there is nitrous available – there is even an icon for it on screen – but I have no idea how to activate it. What button you are supposed to press is not obvious, and there is no ‘nitrous oxide’ button that you can map to your gamepad. So of course I lost lots of money, trying to figure this game out…

And that’s really my big complaint with this game: it’s really unpolished. It appears that there is just one medium-sized area, and the core gameplay is fun; there is plenty of potential here. The racing is fun, the drifting can be fun, if a little awkward at times. But the main menu cannot be operated by a gamepad, there are no default gamepad controls, the mapping function does not work if any of your sticks have even the slightest deadzone issues, and really, I could go on. It’s a game I want to like – but they need to spend some time polishing things up – quite a bit.

What I find interesting is that Drift Tuner 2019 clearly has a decent following, especially on Android. It has over five hundred thousand downloads from the Play Store! That’s quite impressive. I am glad to see that it has a solid backing, and the Steam version has thirty-two active topics on the Steam forums, as well as nearly fifty reviews. So it’s a game that has decent exposure, and has a great potential upside. I hope that the developers keep at it.

Drift Tuner 2019
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 64%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability/Polish - 2.5/5
Controls/Interface - 2.5/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 9/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

It does have an online mode, and I even saw some people were playing, but it wouldn’t let me start racing for some reason, so I played in free play mode. Most of the game is basically whatever the online mode is (the store page tag includes ‘massively multiplayer’, so clearly that’s the intention) as well as the single player free mode. If the interface was better, it might have been more clear what mode I was actually playing at the time.

Drift Tuner 2019 is a game with a lot of potential. It’s mostly clean morally, except for the racing girl with tight clothes and exposed midriff, and of course the gambling. The graphics are pretty good, and there is a good base for fun here. Right now the game has quite a bit of polish needed before I could easily recommend it. I hope they do so, as I think there could be something quite special underneath that paint. At least the price is right!

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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