Wednesday, 8 October 2014

First Impressions: Flockers/Prison Architect

This game, in the vein of Lemmings, tasks you with using sheep as building block, to solve puzzles in order to get their sheep friends to the end. Building blocks are made by placing semi-transparent squares onto the landscape that the sheep will then walk into and fill. The other sheep will then jump up their buddies in order to get to the top of a platform/sheep tower. The sheep can also be used to form barriers as well as stairs which, combined with some of the landscapes own mechanics (such as a weighted lift) brings about some interesting challenges. The game can also be, mercifully, sped up by pressing the fast forward button which will make your sheep bound over (or past) to the next puzzle, and therefore means that you don't have to wait for that one straggler that was left behind. I mentioned Lemmings at the beginning and the other way that it was similar is the harshness of the deaths and the general stupidity of the sheep. For instance, a sheep that was left behind decided that it would be a good idea to walk off a cliff and explode into a bloody pile of guts. Great. It adds a reason to keep them alive, I guess.

Prison Architect:
Well, what to say about this game. Well, I'm pretty sure that if you got into it (and had the motivation to do so) you could play this game for hours on end without realizing. However, as a quick demo, it wasn't great. This is because of two things. One, I didn't really know how to play. I tried going through it logically (placing the foundations and then the walls, rooms etc) but it kept wanting me to do it in a different order. And then I found out that you have to wait for the builders to build your prison and that it has to be to a certain spec and that you only have a certain amount of time and money and... it was a lot to take in, in a five minute playthrough. This leads onto the second reason: it's all about micromanaging. This is the games ace in the hole (I imagine that micromanaging a prison to the best standards would be great fun) as well as being the reason why I didn't enjoy it at EGX. If I've got a spare day or two (which isn't very likely) then I might pick this up but, for now, I didn't really enjoy it too much.

Goodbye for now, Harry 

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