Member Game Reviews 2023


Community Contributor
Game: Big Ambitions (Early Access)

What and where: A third person business tycoon game that sees you opening businesses across a sizable chunk of New York City. The game is in early access.

What do you do? In a third person, isometric view, you select locations to start and run businesses, anything from a variety of retail outlets to different office-based businesses.

There are optional survival-type mechanics of hunger, energy and happiness. Travel around the city is done by several means: on foot, driving, taxis and subways.

Don't think you'll get away with only a little work. After you select your type of store and store location, you'll need to go to business furniture outlets to buy things like cash registers, product fixtures, decorations, security products, speakers (for in-store music), etc. Set these up in your store as you like and remodel the walls and floors to be more attractive. Now you can either go to a recruitment service to hire employees or use your company's headhunters (if you have any).

While your employees are in training, you can set up your supply chain. Choose where you are going to buy from and set up your orders. If you have a warehouse, they'll ship your orders there where your logistics specialist and delivery drivers will ensure the products get to the store (you'll have to decide how many you want of each).

You can work in the stores yourself if you like. Running the cash register for awhile is a great way to see what your customers think of your store. Is your store attractive? How are the prices. After running your store for awhile, you may want to make some changes.

The goal of the game is simple: amass your fortune and become the business/Real Estate king of New York.

Some of the businesses you can run are:
Liquor Store
Gift Shop
Clothing Store
Jewelry Store
Fast Food Restaurant (various types)
Coffee Shop
Hair Salon
Law Firm
Web Development Company

New types of businesses are being added with each update.

The Good, The Bad
The game works remarkably well. Occasionally after updates there will be a bug here or there, but they are quick to patch it.

The gameplay stays fresh due to their being so many different types of buildings and businesses to put into them. And if setting up businesses begins to wear thin, you can always contact an installer and have them set up the business for you. You can find blueprints for businesses made by other players from an in game menu.

The only negative, really, is that the game is in Early Access and can theoretically change for the worse (which it temporarily did after the second major update). If you have a tolerance for Early Access and what all that entails, then I have no doubts about recommending the game if you like business tycoon games.

The Graphics:
The graphics are nothing special. They are very serviceable.

Performance and Bugs:
The game runs very well even in large stores with tons of products and customers. As far as bugs go, just expect that there may be a few immediately following major updates, but that they will be patched pretty quickly/
Great idea for a thread! I'm usually too lazy to write proper reviews, but I do like to read other people's opinions. Sometimes I'm in the right headspace to write a review, but for the most part I've never been particularly talented at conveying my thoughts/experiences/feelings.
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I've never been particularly talented at conveying my thoughts/experiences/feelings
I disagree, I think you did very well here explaining how you suck at this ;)

I doubt I'll have time to gather, organize and write good stuff like Zed, but I do have a few rough n ready in my notes :)

Picross Touch free

This is a great intro to the Nonogram sub-genre of puzzle games, and very well done for a free game. I finished all 366 levels and can confirm that they are all solvable logically, ie without needing to guess. Ideal for a quick play in between other tasks or bigger games.

The interface is simple, functional, and just works. The levels are:
♣ Tutorial.
♦ 57 very easy 5x5, each doable in 10-20 seconds going quickly.
♥ 122 medium 10x10 levels.
♠ 187 hard 15x15, which can take 10 minutes towards the end.

Here's Wiki's short explanation of the genre.

Definitely recommend if you're new to the genre, it's my time-filler of choice at the moment. There are tens of thousands of community levels, so it can be your game for life if it clicks for you :)


Community Contributor
Game: Super Mega Baseball 4

What and Where: A baseball game on PC and consoles. Mine was bought on Steam.

What Do You Do? You play baseball, but there is an optional franchise mode where you can draft players, sign free agents, and allocate money for player development. You can play official teams, but everything can be edited, so you can make your dream team if you like. Sort of has co-op and multiplayer (see below why it is "sort of").

The Good, The Bad: Mechanics wise, playing a game is absolutely fantastic. You can learn to play quickly, but getting good at it will take awhile, and you can never be too good or too bad because there are 99 difficulty levels.

Personally, I found it harder to play with keyboard/mouse, so I use a controller, but I know that a lot of PC players do use their kb/m.

The franchise system is improved over SMB3, giving you the option of drafting your team at the start of franchise play, and giving you more control over which players stay and which players leave at the end of the season (you can offer more money if you have it).

SMB4 also introduces real life baseball players for the first time, though not in a way that would let you recreate a full MLB league. I don't know the number of real players, but it's enough to fill 8 teams. Most of these real players are older players like Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, etc. I found it pretty fun to make an all time MLB dream team.

Graphics: Graphics are stylized cartoon graphics.

Performance and Bugs: Ah, here's your problem. There aren't any bugs that I've noticed, but performance issues make the game unplayable in multiplayer, as you will suffer non-stop stutters and rubberbanding. Just to make sure, I asked players on reddit whether they had the same problems, and they did. Single-player runs smoothly enough most of the time, but will have some stutters here and there.

Recommendation: If you just want to play a fun, single-player baseball game, this will be a good purchase. If you are primarily interested in multiplayer, I can't recommend this game at all at this time. If they ever fix the multiplayer, I'll update this review.
Amazing Pyramids: Rebirth $7

I like this 2021 game a lot, far better than the 2010 prequel . If you like word games, and especially Hangman, this is worth a look. It consists of a main game with 55 levels, plus 3 mini games, and has a leaderboard.

Each of the 55 levels consists of a pyramid of 7 words, from 9 letters down to 3. You're shown the category the word belongs to, eg Animals, Countries etc.

After a few levels you start to accumulate 4 power-ups, which:
♣ Fill in one letter in the position you select
♦ Fill in all the vowels
♥ Knock out 5 unused letters from your alphabet selection
♠ Discard the given word and give you a new word

You earn game points and power-up points from:
♣ Quick word completion
♦ Making no mistakes after your first correct letter
♥ Picking X-in-a-row letters without a wrong 'un
♠ Guessing the word correctly before you have all the letters

Mini Games
The 3 mini games are:
♣ Guess the jumbled words put on screen, one at a time for 3 minutes;
♦ Make as many words as you can in 3 minutes from a random 12 letters;
♥ A pyramid without a category clue or power-ups.

Main downside is a few words are in the wrong category, like say a fruit in vegetables, but it's not a big deal—dev's name is Oleg Sereda, so probably not a native English speaker.

Very decent value for $7 imo.
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Community Contributor
You asked for it! (Though I think I may have done this before.) My favorite game of aaaaaaalllll time (excluding MMO's, which are more about the people I play with than the game itself) would be

X3: Terran Conflict

This is a space rags-to-riches game that's pushing toward "sandbox" but isn't quite in that category, IMHO. There are storylines to follow - fairly big ones, in fact - but they're pretty different than in an RPG that keep you more-or-less constantly engaged with some side quests to provide some variety. These quests will often leave you with something like "come back when you have five freighters full of iron ore" when you've only got one freighter and only enough cash to fill it half way up. You're expected to spend the next 10-20 hours figuring out how to get those freighters all by yourself. While these quests do certainly add a much needed narrative (and sometimes tutorial elements) to the game, their main purpose seems to be more like that of trail markers in the big sandbox, giving you goals that will lead you toward building up a mighty space empire.

I should get one thing out of the way right at the start: this is a BIG game that requires patience and a willingness to learn several game systems. Plenty of people aren't going to ever be interested in a game like this. When you say you want more depth, you mean games should get off the continental shelf, not the fraggin' Mariana Trench! Fine, check the pretty screenshots and move along, this isn't a game for you. Many others will be very interested but just don't have the free time needed to play something like this. Also fine. Note the funny "X Series" name and try to remember to look it up when the nest gets emptied out. See you in X5 or 6. If you've got the time to invest, though, this game is really something special.


Space is divided up into many sectors. Each sector is a block of space that's connected to other sectors via jump gates. Different sectors have different resources, different space stations, may be filled with thick nebula clouds, and could be owned by one of a few existing races. They have different music and skyboxes that may show planets or other interesting space things, but those don't have any effect on game play.

(Terran Tyr M2 Destroyer leaving a gate)
The different races all have space empires of their own, complete with their own ship types and weapons. Pirates typically use ships from the races around them only with crazy paint jobs but the Yaki faction actually make a bunch of their own. This gives rise to a huge variety of ships and weapons in the game. And, surprisingly, if you do a few jobs for these factions, they'll let you buy them! Try doing contract work for the US government and see how they feel about letting you buy a fully operation tank from them, never mind a battleship!

Besides the pirates, there are also a couple of "evil" races in the universe: the Xenon and the Kha'ak. Both are machine races and, unlike the pirates, there's no reasoning with them. Naturally, they also have their own ships and weapons.

Moving around the galaxy is done via the gate system at first. However, driving from one corner of the map to the other can take a long time. There's a couple of things to help with this. The first is the SATA system, which is pretty straightforward: you turn it on and the game plays 2 to 10 times faster than normal. The second is the jump drive and it comes a bit later. That lets you jump directly to any jump gate that you've discovered. It costs a bit each time you use it but it sure does get your fleets to a battle fast if every ship has one.

What to do for Step 2

So you start up the game and complete Step 1: pick your starting option, get handed a ship, and go through a quick tutorial on how to fly it. Step 3 is, of course, rule your newly founded space empire that you built using your starting ship as the seed. What are you actually doing in between? There's quite a few options:
  • Hire yourself out to defend a base from attackers.​
  • Follow a ship to see where it goes (probably a pirate base).​
  • Ferry passengers from station A to station B.​
  • Buy stuff from station A and sell it for a profit at another station. (You'll want to set up some satellites to keep track of prices at various stations.)​
  • Tell another ship you own to buy stuff from station A and sell it to station B.​
  • Pay somebody to fly a trade ship around buying from some stations and selling to others.​
  • Use a very large trade ship to place a station somewhere.​
  • Buy your own station and tell your traders to sell what it makes for even more profit while other traders by the raw material to make the goods.​
  • Buy your own raw materials station and link it into your other station to make even more profit.​
  • Deliver a ship of a certain type to another station.​
  • Shoot up small ships until the pilot bails out then take their ship and (possibly after repairing it) sell it off.​
  • Hire marines to capture bigger ships. Train the marines (a lot) and you can capture bigger war ships! You can then either keep the ships for yourself or sell them for a whole bunch of cash.​
  • Find abandoned ships. These are pretty rare and not very big but are sure nice at the start of the game.​
You'll likely be doing a lot of these. Some of these get a bit dull but, as the game goes on and you come to own more ships and stations, you'll find yourself spending more and more time managing those. Doing a dull passenger missions is a nice way to make a little extra money while still giving you time to deal with errant trade ships and pirate attacks.

The simple act of outfitting a new ship can be quite a task, too. When you buy a big ship, it doesn't come with any weapons. You'll need to buy (or otherwise acquire) your own. Missiles, torpedoes, and weapons that require ammunition aren't going to be of much use for very long if you don't have some way of keeping supplied. This is definitely not the kind of game where, when you get a lot of extra cash, you simply upgrade to a ship that's 50% bigger without a thought!


There's a strong set of mods for this game! Some... less patient folks have made mods so the game is not so much "rags to riches" as "designer jeans to riches" or even easier. Others have added ships which would get Egosoft sued into oblivion...

(from the DDTC mod, which no longer appears to be available)

Other X Games

Terran Conflict is actually the second X3 game. X3: Reunion was the first game but I haven't actually played it. As I understand it, X3:TC is a bit more advanced so I don't see much reason to play it. X3: Albion Prelude showed up as I was finishing X3:TC. It added even more to the game and, from the looks of the store page, added quite a bit more after I left as well.

Following X3 was X: Rebirth. This was a bit of an odd bird as it actually has a main mission that keeps you engaged a lot more. It was also a complete re-write of the game's engine. Egosoft's games have always shown up in a fairly weak state which they then patch up over the course of a few years while also adding more content. This one, however, showed up in a state that was nearly unplayable, never mind fun. It took them a good year before the game started to get good and, even after two paid DLCs, it still had some nasty bugs and a small talk system that's an absolute horror. Mods to Rebirth have helped out quite a bit but the fans, many of whom bought on day 1, felt really burned.

X4 is the current game. It's about to release its second DLC and is getting far better reviews than Rebirth. I haven't played it yet but I plan to soon!

X3:TC can be bought along with Albion Prelude for $20 even when there isn't a sale on Steam.
Last edited by a moderator:
Jan 14, 2020

Ship Graveyard Simulator 2

What and Where: Scrap ships, upgrade tools and scrap even bigger ships!

What Do You Do?
Take ships apart bit by bit using mostly a hammer and cutter. Just don't forget to turn off the gas or electricity. Call in a crane to get rid of containers and other cargo before finally using it to take away the hull elements.

You make money from the value of scrap and fulfilling Contracts. Each ship has three which requires certain scrap. As long as extract all of the elements that you can by crane and collect the rest of the scrap this is easy.

Recycle any leftover scrap and use it to upgrade your tools or sell it off for more profit.

The Good, The Bad:
If you've played the original Ship Graveyard Simulator then this is a bit of a simpler game, which I think is actually better. The ships get really big and working out the best way to take them down is interesting. Just be careful as you can cause a ship to completely implode on itself.

Before you can sell your scrap or use it to upgrade your tools you have to recycle it by playing a minigame to get each different type in the correctly coloured bin. If you get a long run of these you get some bonus cash. However with even medium sized ships this takes forever and the bonus cash is not worth doing it.

Upgrading tools gets expensive once you get to the highest tiers. It's a bit odd that going up to the most difficult ships means your tools are less effective. E.g. you have to hit a bolt twice rather than once to break it and cutting takes longer.

The physics aren't realistic. You can break certain connectors and have stuff on top crash down but can also leave a connector in place and have half the ship floating off on top of it.

It has a cheat mode! Just buy a few explosives and blast through a wall or two . Good for getting inside a room to turn off the electricity supply.

Actually quite nice. With my 6700XT I even had to turn a few settings down, although I expect the game isn't the most optimised.

The graphics and effects are better than I would have expected.

Performance and Bugs:
The game released on the 16th August and has recently had a large patch that has fixed a number of issues and added some features requested by the community. For instance you can now turn the Night time cycle off. Unfortunately it seems to have introduced a nasty bug that stops you switching tools. If this happens you have to go out to the main menu then back into the game, which resets your position back inside your hut.

I've had no crashes at all and it runs smoothly on my system, Ryzen 1600X, 6700XT, Sata SSD, 1440p resolution.

There are still some issues with hit detection when using the hammer but these are being fixed.

It has a demo and the normal price of £16.75 is a good deal for this type of game. Rated Very Positive on steam and I've sunk 45 hours into it already.

If you like relaxing games that you can pop into and out of and don't mind repetitive
like gameplay then this could be for you.

There is also a good looking roadmap for the game

Score: 70%
I'd score it a bit higher if the tool freezing bug wasn't present.

RoboQuest - Fight to survive!

RoboQuest is a first person roguelite shooter. There are different characters with unique abilities, branching paths, and so, so many weapons. Each run has you start in a zone with randomized weapon drops, pick a weapon and enter through the doors. As you enter the arena, there are enemies already waiting to shoot you. You have to be quick and have fast reaction speeds, because you really want to save as much health as possible. As you progress, you have options on which zones you want to progress through. Each level is fairly short, often filled with secret rooms and multiple paths, and when you reach the end you load into the next zone. The main objective is to stay alive for as long as possible, fighting enemies and bosses along the way.

The randomization is awesome. There are so many guns and they have different levels of quality and different perks/abilities. You will probably be changing weapons often as you keep finding better drops during your run. It does take a while to find weapons you like, and sometimes you will get a weapon you like but with abilities you don’t. Throughout the levels, there are pitstops, little rest areas where you can refill a tiny bit of health and upgrade weapons. Here you can add new abilities or reroll the abilities already on a gun. You find the items used to upgrade your gear on enemy drops.

The enemies are a bit slow and telegraph their attacks, as well as having large bullets easy enough to see to be able to dodge, and they have a good amount of variety in their attacks and appearance. This all helps you learn what each enemy does and what you need to do to survive. Once you learn the different enemies and their attacks, you can plan your fights a little better.

Movement is great, it’s very fluid and fun to fly around the levels while dodging bullets. You can dodge, slide, grind on rails, and double jump. You are a ballerina amongst robots, and you must dance to survive.

At the end of each run, you return to your base with a pocket full of wrenches. You find these randomly throughout levels. These wrenches are used to upgrade your home base which adds to the core gameplay. For example, you can upgrade one of your shacks to provide a larger number of weapons to choose from at the beginning of each run, which offers better variety from the start.

The difficulty isn’t too hard, but it is challenging enough to keep you wanting to try again. It does get hard once the levels fill up with more and more enemies, keeping you on your feet and dodging as often as you can. You never run out of ammo so you never have to worry about anything other than shooting and surviving.

I would rate this game 9/10. It is amazing if you like twitch-shooters, something where your reflexes are really put to the test. You can play single player or 2 player co-op.

Check it out!
10x10 … I'm sure they actually require thought
Not much once you get the hang of it, you'll almost develop brain muscle memory for them after a while. But it takes a bit of getting used to.

I've settled on the 15x15 as the happy medium. 10x10 are too easy, and many 20x20 are just too much work I don't want to do in a time filler, eg:


I wish the 5x5 dividing lines were heavier—or my eyes were better!—so it was at-a-glance easy to count a row or column. That becomes a real pain in 20x20 with many lines having 5+ separate blocks.

The grid goes up to 35x35, I suppose I'll have to do one of 'em sometime just cos :eek:


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