Review Roundup: Victory Road, Legend Of Keeps & More

How is it still March?

Honestly, this year has been exhausting, and video games are one of the few things we can all rely on to help us through. So, here is a little list of five games that may or may not be worth checking out depending on what you want from gaming.

Green: An Orc’s Life

An Orc’s Life takes the popular game format of Tinder and turns it into a narrative device. In it, you play as an orc who goes from being a cute little baby all the way to a 124-year old demi-god/living legend. Well, at least, you can survive that long if you’re lucky.

You make decisions by swiping left or right whenever you’re given a new scenario. It’s an interesting idea, and it makes for some very fast gameplay. The only issue is that you don’t always get a solid feel for the consequences of your decisions, which can leave things feeling a bit disjointed. It also has a few little technical issues too.

That being said, it does have some entertaining writing and can be a good little time sink if you fancy playing a “choose your own adventure” style game. Especially if you’re just really into orcs, which is cool, we’re not here to judge and neither should you. Well, this is a little review, so we’re judging the game, but not you.

[Reviewed on PC]


Legend of Keepers

Legend of Keepers is kind of like a 2D Dungeon Keeper. It has you looking after and managing dungeons in an attempt to rise up the corporate ladder and eventually maybe one day own one of the dungeons yourself. Ignoring the inherent flaws in capitalism that our current real-world plight is very efficiently revealing, it’s a fairly good laugh in a dark setting, and the humour alone is a good reason to play it.

It’s not the only reason though, as the gameplay is fairly simple, but also rather enjoyable. You get to manage the happiness of your demonic employees, train at a gym, set up traps, and crush your foes in turn-based combat. There are lots of silly little scenarios that make for some genuinely laugh out loud moments, and the gameplay is varied enough that you’ll have fun spending an hour or two crushing adventurers night after night.

[Reviewed on PC]


Victory Road

Victory Road is what you get if you mix Pokémon, Boxing, and a really detailed nutrition plan. You get to train your boxers, put manage their nutrition, upgrade their stats by training them, make hotdogs in a mini-game, and eventually fight your way to a championship title. It’s a really satisfying gameplay loop that has you doing the “oh just one more action” thing until you’ve whittled down your remaining hours in real-life to zero.

It’s got a wonderful aesthetic too, and the music is great. Every track is reminiscent of a different classic game, and the fighting system is a lot of fun to learn and master. The whole thing is wonderfully charming, and as much as the nutrition kind of stresses me out, there’s incredible attention to detail in the systems too. That being said, the swallowing sound makes me want to tear out my own eardrums and play them like bongos. Weird, I know, but it’s a very specific feeling.

[Reviewed on PC]


Kana Quest

Every so often a game comes along that is designed to inform rather than entertain. Education is an essential thing in any culture, and while many of us know that games can help teach things like language, reasoning, and sick kung fu moves, not everyone is aware of this wonderful resource. Kana Quest is an incredibly cute tile swapping game, one which slowly teaches you katakana through the medium of gaming.

You can click on each of the tiles to hear the pronunciation and be reminded of what they mean to. The game itself is fairly simple but does require you to pay attention and actually learn what each of the katakana means, and it makes for a great experience as a result. It also has the most wonderfully soothing soundtrack, which is something that is hard to manage in a game where you’re forcing your brain to learn stuff. Kana Quest isn’t the most traditional game, but it is a very important one.

[Reviewed on PC]


Artificial Extinction

Artificial Extinction is a first-person shooter mixed with a tower defence game. This is a concept I adore, and I was incredibly excited to get stuck into it and lose a chunk of my life doing so. However, the flaws in the game made it very hard to enjoy. The visual design has some cool moments, like with the enemies, but overall the levels feel a little bit too much like they’ve been pulled from early open-world games.

The music is good, but the AI drone made me wish for every overdrawn explanation to be ended instantly. Each time you unlock something new you’re treated to a minute-long lecture on the size of the bullets they’re firing or something similar, and I’m just not into that. Tower defence games, for me at least, are about cool upgrade trees and working out a strong strategy. The first-person viewpoint here makes upgrading our towers incredibly tedious, and the whole thing just doesn’t hold together well. It’s a shame because there is a good level of polish here, but it’s simply not a game I enjoyed.

[Reviewed on PC]