Category Archives: Features

Author Q&A: Django Wexler, author of The Thousand Names and The Forbidden Library

I am pleased to present my first author interview. Django Wexler is the author of the Shadow Campaigns, a “gunpowder fantasy” series where clashing armies echo the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, while magic-users wage a covert war in the … Continue reading

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Arcadian Atlas Q&A, with Taylor Bair

Update: Arcadian Atlas‘ Kickstarter campaign is now live and can be accessed here. Arcadian Atlas is an upcoming indie tactical RPG inspired by two of the greats – Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre. Read on for a Q&A with … Continue reading

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Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter Q&A, with Wael Amr

2016 is due to see the release of Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter, the next entry in Frogwares’ long-running series of Sherlock Holmes adventure games. As a fan of 2014’s Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments — which I called an … Continue reading

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My games (and memorable moments) of 2015

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Game of the Year Awards

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Game of the Year AwardsWelcome back to my Games of the Year list. This year, I’ve highlighted notable achievements, as well as favourite moments from games old and new. Favourite … Continue reading

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Kim Q&A, with Jeremy Hogan

Rudyard Kipling’s Kim is one of my favourite classic novels, a picaresque set in nineteenth-century India. When the Secret Games Company launched a Kickstarter for a video game adaptation, I was keen to find out more. Read on for my … Continue reading

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From the archives: What five games say about violence

I originally wrote this in 2013, contrasting the approach taken by five big-name games towards violence. Arguably, recent years have seen greater awareness of what’s possible for a non-violent game, such as “walking simulators”, a renaissance in adventure games, the … Continue reading

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Crisis of the Confederation Q&A, with Gregory Hayes

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Crusader Kings III am pleased to present an interview with Gregory “Galle” Hayes, project lead for Crisis of the Confederation – the “Crusader Kings II in space” mod I recently … Continue reading

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Oriental Empires Q&A, with Bob Smith

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Oriental Empires

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Oriental Empires Oriental Empires is an upcoming 4X strategy game that will cover most of Chinese history, from 1500 BC to 1500 AD. My interest piqued, I conducted an email … Continue reading

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Guns of Icarus Online: Adventure Mode Follow-Up Q&A

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Guns of Icarus Online

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Guns of Icarus OnlineGuns of Icarus Online is one of the most unique games I’ve played – a team-based dieselpunk airship game, in which rival crews try to shoot each … Continue reading

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Let’s reunify Japan in Total War: Shogun 2! Part 3 (Final): Ride Forth Victoriously

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2Welcome to the final instalment of my Let’s Play of Shogun 2. Previously, I stood on the verge of Shogun 2’s endgame — “realm divide”, in which … Continue reading

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Let’s reunify Japan in Total War: Shogun 2! Part 2: Patience and Preparation

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2Welcome back to my Let’s Play of Shogun 2. When we left off, my Takeda clan controlled a modest slice of Japan, to the north and west … Continue reading

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Let’s reunify Japan in Total War: Shogun 2! Part 1: Awakening the Tiger

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Total War: Shogun 2Introduction Hello, and welcome to my Let’s Play of Total War: Shogun 2. Shogun 2 casts players as a daimyo, one of the regional warlords of sixteenth-century … Continue reading

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My Games of 2014

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Game of the Year Awards

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Game of the Year AwardsWelcome back to another Game of the Year list. This year, I’ve tweaked the format again — many of the games I played in 2014 were … Continue reading

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The Qing in the North: Reflections on Europa Universalis IV: Art of War

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IV

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IVThe Manchu conquest of Ming China, in which a much smaller, younger state managed to overthrow the greatest empire in the world, is one of those episodes in … Continue reading

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Offworld Trading Company interview with Soren Johnson

Offworld Trading Company is an upcoming RTS where, to quote developer Mohawk Games, “money, not firepower, is the player’s weapon”. Its stated inspirations include board games, Railroad Tycoon, and conventional real-time strategy. Below, I am very pleased to present an … Continue reading

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Ayutthaya Universalis: Building an Empire in Southeast Asia

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IV

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IVThe Kingdom of Ayutthaya was the major power in Southeast Asia in the 14th and 15th centuries. Based in the capital of Ayutthaya on the Chao Phraya River, … Continue reading

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The Beginner’s Guide to Wargame

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Wargame: European Escalation/AirLand Battle/Red Dragon

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Wargame: European Escalation/AirLand Battle/Red DragonWargame is one of my favourite RTS series. It can also be daunting — I know several readers have picked it up on sale, only to … Continue reading

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From the archives: A game that could have been: Emperor of the Fading Suns

Emperor of the Fading Suns was a mid-1990s PC strategy game from the days before the space 4X genre calcified into Master of Orion 2 wannabes. It was ambitious, sprawling, buggy, flawed — yet I remember it fondly. In 2011, … Continue reading

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From the archives: Conquest, Plunder and Tyranny: Explaining Dubious Morality in Strategy Games

I originally wrote this post around the time Civilization V came out, and it’s interesting to look back in light of subsequent releases such as Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis IV. One of my arguments was that 4X games … Continue reading

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From the archives: Storytelling in Star Control II: Playing space detective

Star Control 2 is a classic of the early 1990s, with a great sense of humour, robust gameplay, and unique, non-linear story progression — the player had to gather clues and do his or her own footwork in order to … Continue reading

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Ni no Kuni: a tale of Mite and magic

    Ostensibly, PS3 RPG Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is about the adventures of Oliver (pictured, right), an ordinary boy who becomes the wizard-saviour of another world. But it’s not, not really. Meet one of Ni … Continue reading

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Hearts of Iron IV Q&A, with Dan Lind

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Hearts of Iron

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Hearts of IronI am a long-time fan of Hearts of Iron, a grand strategy series in which players control all aspects of a World War II nation, from armies and … Continue reading

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The Banner Saga: Turn-based tactics with a twist

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Banner Saga

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Banner Saga“The gods are dead.”   So opens Stoic Studio’s The Banner Saga, a low-fantasy tactical RPG with a cool and unique combat system. It’s so different as to … Continue reading

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Games of the Year: 2013

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Game of the Year Awards

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Game of the Year AwardsAs promised, here is my list! As with last year, I’ve highlighted noteworthy achievements, as opposed to trying to single out favourites (so you will see … Continue reading

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I played, I thought, I wrote: a design analysis of Rome II, the Total War series, and what makes a good 4X game

This is not a review of Creative Assembly’s Total War: Rome II, but if it were, my opinion would be, “Worth a look… but wait for the <$10 Steam sale.” I’m around 30 hours into Rome II, spread across two … Continue reading

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Dominions 4 Q&A, with Johan Karlsson and Kristoffer Osterman

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Dominions 4

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Dominions 4Johan Karlsson and Kristoffer Osterman of Illwinter Game Design are the creators of indie masterpiece Dominions 3, a strategy game of near-unrivalled imagination, depth, and player choice. With Dominions … Continue reading

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Occult Chronicles Q&A, with Vic Davis

  I am very pleased to publish an email interview with Vic Davis, the indie game designer behind Armageddon Empires (one of my favourite strategy games), Solium Infernum, and Six-Gun Saga. Read on for our conversation about Vic’s latest title, … Continue reading

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Race to Mars Q&A, with Szymon Janus

Inspired by tycoon games and the classic Buzz Aldrin’s Race into Space, indie developer INTERMARUM is raising funds on Kickstarter for its upcoming turn-based strategy game, Race to Mars. RTM will task players with helming a private space company, with … Continue reading

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Europa Universalis IV Q&A, with Thomas Johansson

This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IV

This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IVEuropa Universalis IV is an upcoming grand strategy game by Paradox Development Studio, set during the early modern era of world history (roughly 1450 to 1800). When it … Continue reading

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