Friday, July 23, 2021

Game Review: Wasteland Survival

By Bixyl Shuftan

When checking Steam for games the other day, one that got my attention was "Wasteland Survival." It's the sole game offered by Joyloft Co. Limited. The type, a survival game in which one fights zombies. The price: Free to purchase. The game had gotten mixed reviews. Deciding to check it out, I downloaded it, which took only a short time, and started playing.

The opening scene was that of an unconscious man having washed up on a beach being woken up by a friendly dog, happy to find human company. With no sign of the owner, what's left is to look around the area. Going about, you find a few tools and weapons. You also come across a few low-level zombies that are easily beaten. You can equip a weapon by dragging  it from your storage to one of the two weapon slots on your inventory page. You can also wear clothes by dragging them onto your legs, torso, and head spaces. Your main screen has an action bar on the bottom with two weapon spaces and a space that can hold an item such as bandages or food.

Your character has only so many hit points, which are reduced from zombie attacks. Your character also gets hungry and thirsty, with your hunger and thirst levels steadily going down. Once either reaches zero, you will start to take damage. To stave off thirst, you need to drink bottled water or eat food with water content such as berries. To take care of your hunger, you need to eat food such as canned beans, berries, and more. Eating also replenishes your hit points, some foods doing so better than others. While you can find monster meat off some zombies, it's not recommended for eating (but does have another purpose).

You can also craft items. At the start, you're limited to just a couple tools, the stone hatchet and pick, a few weapons such as a baseball bat, bandages, and a couple items of clothing, survivors' shirt and pants. You can also build structures such as floors and walls, storage containers, a garden to grow food, a campfire to cook food, a rain barrel to get water, and the kennel for your dog, which you'll need to finish for it to travel with you. And the way you get the materials for this is to gather them. You can gather grass and an occasional log and stone on the ground. You can also chop trees for wood, pick bushes for edible berries, and pick rocks for stone and iron ore. Zombies can carry cloth and occasionally rope or some other material. Crates can carry bottled water, canned food, glue, bars of iron, and others.

To get items, you'll have to search other areas. At first you're limited to just a few, the lush woods, the small mine, and the novice hunting grounds. The woods has more wood, the mine has more rocks that deliver iron ore, and the hunting grounds has critters that drop meat you can cook, leather and hides you can use to craft, and bones you can feed your dog. Sometimes two other areas will pop up. A crashed plane has a number of suitcases you can open that you can find items from dog food to better clothes and more. This is about the only zone that's zombie free, but one place may explode and damage you for a few points. The airdrop is the most dangerous of these early areas as there are zombies that can quickly rush up to you and quickly kill you. So here you'll need to be ready to make a break for it and retreat.

Of the zombies, the first ones you'll encounter are no big deal, slow, lumbering, and taken down with a few wacks of a baseball bat or one or two. But if you've played "Left 4 Dead," you have some idea what's to come. Later on are "Coneheads" whom require more hits to kill, and the "Ironhelms" that take a lot more. The "Batters" can quickly run over and proceed to pound you with their baseball bats, dealing more damage than the Coneheads and Ironhelms. The "Bloaters" can deal heavy damage in close combat, and will spew acid that not only hurts you but can slow you down. But the most deadly of the zombies you'll run into early on are the "Engineers" and "Spitters." They will quickly catch up to you and kill you with just a couple blows. Spitters in particular are to be watched out for as not only can they outrun you, but they sometimes can detect you from long distance and make a beeline to you. And if they catch you while stopping to eat or drink something from your backpack, you'll likely end up dying - and losing your stuff. I eventually got the hint to put food in my action bar instead of bandages.

Eventually, you'll start to start to stink, or "smell of aged cheese" as your character puts it. It will happen faster if you have to take a pee. This means the zombies can smell you and detect you easier, which can be inconvenient if there's a crate with zombies nearby you don't want to tangle with. Build a shower and have bottled water on hand to take care of this.

Early on, you find a body with a diary. Each page will give you a mission, and in carrying them out, you read more of the diary and get a small reward. If you play daily, you'll be given a reward once a day. Sometimes it's a pickaxe or bow. But once in a great while, you'll get something valuable like a shotgun. There is a trader in the game, offering items like ammo, but he demands high prices for his goods.

If the zombies in the zones weren't bad enough, once a day a horde will head to your base. If not stopped, unless your base has defenses, they will damage it and possibly take some things from your containers. At first, they're just a few not too tough ones. But as time goes on, they get more numerous and some more dangerous. Early on, you have an automatic turret that can help as there's some ammo boxes you find. But it's useless when they run out. Building barricades will cause the zombies to attack them first before nearby buildings (if the obstacles are between the buildings and the horde) and damage themselves. The first ones will be killed, but a horde will eventually smash a barricade. More barricades will stop more zombies. But eventually the horde will have a powerful boss zombie at the end that just smashes them with his weapon. If you're around when they make your attack, you have a chance to stop any damage. You also get a small reward if you stop the attack.

Dying in the game means you end up waking up back at your base, without your clothes or any other gear you had when the zombies caught you. You have ten minutes to get your gear before it vanishes. But if it was a Spitter that killed you, it will be waiting for you. You'll need a gun, preferably an automatic rifle, to take it out. Otherwise you'll have to say goodbye to whatever you lost, which can be very, very, aggravating.

As you progress, you'll get points that can be spent for extra abilities, for you and your dog. You'll also be able to craft more. Some builds allow you to make goods, such as the furnace will allow you to smelt iron ore into iron bars, and sewing machines can turn grass into cloth. Some are two-part builds. One automatic crossbow build turned out to be only the base, with the top requiring materials I hadn't found yet.

Early on, I found a pistol. This made progressing not *too* difficult. That is until a Spitter caught me while I was eating and clobbered me. And in trying to get back to get the gun, it clobbered me yet again. So it was goodbye gun, and slow progress as I had to find the stuff to make my clothes and new weapons. And more than once the Spitters and Engineers would get me before I'd gotten a full set of decent gear and weapons.

The game often offers me a shortcut, dangling items like weapons if I pay up some real cash. Considering the aggravating setbacks, I can imagine players fed up with the slow progress going ahead and paying cash so they'll have a working gun or a machete so they have a chance against the Engineers and Spitters. It would seem this is how this "free" game makes money for it's creator. 

On the plus side, it doesn't seem to take too much processing power to play. I'm able to run it and Second Life at the same time. It also pauses if some things, such as the SL viewer, are what you're using at the moment.

Wasteland Survival will likely frustrate you, but it's unlikely to be boring. If you want fast progress though, it's probably best to pass this game and head for another of the survival genre. This game will have you grinding a lot as you keep searching for supplies to rebuild the gear you lose to the zombies.

You can get the game for free on Steam:

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, July 19, 2021

Reader Submitted: Game Review - Subnautica: Below Zero

By Rita Mariner

I will be commenting on Unknown World's latest release, Subnautica: Below Zero. This video game has been in testing for two years.  I started playing it, on STEAM, in the experimental mode, at that time.  Since then the game has gone through several rewrites, primarily due to change in writers.

Below Zero still plays in the four basic  modes of the first game.  Survival, where you have to watch and manage your air, food, water and health. Freedom, where you only worry about air and health.  Hardcore, where you have to manage air, food, water, health and you get no PDA prompts reminding you, so if you die. YOUR DONE and have to start all over from scratch.  Then Creative, where you worry about nothing, you get everything at the beginning and you just poke around and do whatever you like. I would get bored in like two minutes.

In Below Zero, you play Robin Ayou, a female, Xenobiologist, who comes to Planet 4546B, to investigate the death of her sister Sam Ayou.  You aren't buying Alterra's story she died from negligence. While here you discover and get stuck in your head a rather annoying alien. So between investigating your sister's death, you now have to help an alien, so you can kick him out of your head.

Now for the good points of the game I have found.  The alien world is beautiful, lots of great detail, interesting new plants and creatures you get to investigate. The idea you are playing a female character, this time is a nice touch.  When you get a message to listen to, on the PDA, the face of the person talking will appear in your HUD, I like that. There are several references back to the first game, if you find them. Some of the plants and creatures you will encounter are brought over from the first game, but the bulk of the creatures and plants are all new and you will need to check them all out to see if they are useful, or not. One of the more interesting creatures, is the Sea Monkey, or Sea Thief! They look cute, but if you swim around them, with any of your tools out, it becomes THEIRS! You can swim after them and attempt to get it back.  

There are many bases and wrecks to explore and you will need to do that to collect all the blueprints you will need for the game. Make sure to make beacons to mark them, encase you need to return to any of them later.

Now for the parts of the game I wasn't to thrilled with.  One is right at the beginning.  Our character PLANNED to come to Planet 4546B. She knows where she is going is COLD! Yet the only item she brings with her is 3 bottles of water, 3 nutrient bars and a PDA?  She doesn't bring a full set of basic tools and a COLD SUIT! She is suppose to be this experienced xenobiologist, and planned this trip and brings NOTHING with her?  PLEASE!

The next thing they never explain is, why did ALTERRA leave the planet, no one from ALTERRA is there, period.  Also at the KOPPA MINING SITE, there are no habitats for an office, crew break room, power supply and storage.  Plus they have drillable chunks of Titanium, Copper, Ruby, Gold, Diamonds, Quartz, in the game, but no Lead or Lithium and you need a boatload of those two items, in this game. Since they changed most of the blueprint recipes around.

There are several new leviathans in the game, a couple you want to avoid at all costs, especially if your outside your Sea Truck or Prawn Suit, they can KILL You.  The Chelicarate and the Shadow Leviathan. Even then, they will put a serious hurt on your Sea Truck or Prawn Suit. Unless you have the Perimeter Defense Module for the Sea Truck.

Which brings me to the Sea Truck, I hate it! If All I had to do was haul stuff from point A to point B, it does okay.  Unfortunately, that's not all you need it to do.  You have to explore!  The Sea Truck is ill-suited for that job. It gets caught on everything, plants damage it,  hard to control and clumsy.  I have gotten to the point I explore the Sea Monkey Tunnels, near The Pilot's Last Reported Position, in my Prawn Suit.

Is Below Zero a bad game? No, it's playable and can be enjoyable, but it could have been so much better.

Rita Mariner

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Game Review: Love & Sex : Second Base

By Nydia Tungsten

Steam has lifted it’s ban on nudity and sex in the games it allows, and since then there has been an explosion of ‘adult’ rated games available in the steam store. Now most of them are just "teenagers' wet dreams" put into game form, with not even a plot developed before the humming and humping commence. When you hear movie reviewers refer to a movie's plot line to be as thin as a porno’s, they aren’t kidding. Just a lot of “Wham bam, thank ya ma’am.”

It took a while for me to find a few I thought might be decent enough to recommend. I did not think it would take so long to find one, dear goddess the amount of games out there is STAGGERING. But I did find a few. The best one I found is called "Love & Sex : Second Base."


Just when I was about to give up hope on there being any adult game with any plot, along comes this one. It has comedy, drama and suspense in it. Along with some pretty decent artwork, well… most of it, there are a few that look like Disney and Hanna Barbarra had an Anime love child, I think it was supposed to look sexy. ( it didn’t)

You start out as a self proclaimed “Code Monkey” working for a local company. You meet a LOT of young ladies and 99.9% of them you have a chance with, such as Anne. The two main characters  you have a chance with are your two new housemates Bree and Sasha. If you do everything right, you can marry both of them in the end, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Bree, the blond, her father is the lead character from ‘Die hard’ and he will ruin your day if you hurt his little girl. Another Easter egg is being taught martial arts by none other than ‘Master Roshi’ himself, and yeah it is kinda funny. There are a few other Easter eggs but I won’t spoil any surprise. There is a section when they play their version of D&D. It shows a few pictures of them at their table and their characters in game.

There is a lot of love, a lot of sex, a little bit of violence with a touch of spanking involved. When you have a high enough level with one of the women you have the option of putting a collar on them. And each one is different. Ranging from a cowbell (yeah guess her kink) to a leather and steel one. But each one of them has their own personality that you have to figure out.

The game itself gives you ZERO hints. And without those you CAN die in multiple ways with zero warning. I know that first hand. But don’t despair, there is WIKI, yes there is already a page for it. You will find it here: Without those tips and hints, it can get frustrating very quickly.

That said however, there is also a lot of replayability in this game. There are a LOT of story paths you can take as you play, one for each girl. It is just a matter of finding the right one for the ending you want. BUT, once you marry, there is no going back and it is game over and time to pick your next...conquest? Well pick the next girl you would like. There are a few harem endings as well if you like those and want to try for them.

The game itself can be found here: It is normally $20 usd but is on sale for $14.99 (caution, some picture and animations are Not Safe For Work).

So in my opinion it is worth it IF you are looking for this kind of ‘dating sim’. I will leave off here, if you get the game let me know YOUR opinion and see if we agree.

Until then, may the prize be yours and may you save the princess!


Nydia Tungsten