Category Archives: Games

Let’s Play EU4: Common Sense! Pt 2: East Meets West

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

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IVReport of the Spanish ambassador to Meiguo, 1600 In the three months since I departed Your Majesty’s presence, I have travelled first to our colony of New Spain, … 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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Let’s Play EU4: Common Sense! Part 1: Welcome to Meiguo

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IV

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Europa Universalis IVIn 1402, the Ming Emperor’s uncle usurped the throne. The imperial palace burned. According to one legend, the Emperor survived, and fled overseas; Zheng He’s fleets were dispatched … Continue reading

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Very Early Impressions: Battle Academy

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Battle Academy

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Battle AcademySo far1, I’m impressed by Battle Academy, the 2010-vintage World War 2 TBS. The vibrant, comic-book aesthetic charmed me straight away, while the game mechanics present tactical concepts in … Continue reading

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Strategy Games and the Post-Apocalypse

Just as I associate post-apocalyptic video games with one franchise, Fallout, so I associate post-apocalyptic strategy with one game, Vic Davis’ Armageddon Empires. It’s an excellent game, whose design I dissected several few years ago. It’s also a unique game … 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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Endless Legend & Age of Wonders 3: One Year On

The two expansions to Age of Wonders 3 have brought new races, a new character class, and (together with patches), assorted features and balance tweaks. They have also addressed my single biggest complaint with the game: the victory conditions (and … Continue reading

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A spiritual successor to KOEI’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms?

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Oriental Empires

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Oriental EmpiresThat is my initial impression of Oriental Empires (press release here), a newly announced 4X game that will be set in China between 1500 BC and 1500 AD. The … Continue reading

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The Roman Experience in Total War: Attila

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

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Total War: AttilaAfter 100 turns, I threw in the towel on my attempt to save the Western Roman Empire. The legions, and my treasury, had finally reached their limit. The … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Cities: Skylines

This entry is part of 1 in the series Cities: Skylines

This entry is part of 1 in the series Cities: Skylines My first city made as much sense as a noodle-bowl. At one point, I went nuts building high-rise apartments without ensuring adequate road access. The result was a mess. … Continue reading

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Only a Flesh Wound! Total War: Attila impressions

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Total War: Attila

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Total War: Attila War has come to Rome. Lands that were Roman for centuries are now desolate or in enemy hands. Northern Spain and the tip of Italy are smoking … 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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Total War Rome II DLC Campaigns: The Buyer’s Guide

Matchsticks for my Eyes is pleased to present the latest guest post by Rachel “frogbeastegg” McFadden, author of Frogbeastegg’s Guides to Total War. Rome II has smartened up considerably since its release; the article below discusses its add-on campaigns. I … 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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Star Wars: Empire at War — Quick Impressions

Every so often, I play a game that’s more fun than its mediocre mechanics would suggest. Ni no Kuni was one such. Star Wars: Empire at War is another. Empire at War was a 2006 RTS whose Galactic Conquest mode, … Continue reading

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My Games of 2014

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

This entry is part 5 of 5 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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Endless Legend: a better toy than game

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Endless Legend

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Endless LegendBack when I wrote about Tearaway last January, I quoted Jesse Schell’s distinction between a toy (something that’s fun to play with) and a game (a problem-solving activity approached … 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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The Lantern Bearer: revisiting Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Crusader Kings II I thought I’d cracked it. Over and over again, I attempted one of the greatest challenges in Crusader Kings II – play a Zoroastrian and restore the … Continue reading

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Observations on Xenonauts

Xenonauts is a generally inspired homage to the Gollop Brothers’ X-COM, let down by repetitive ground combat. After six or seven hours back in September, I loaded up Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Within… and since then, I’ve haven’t looked back. Comparing … Continue reading

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Now THIS is how you make a memorable faction: Endless Legend’s Vaulters

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Endless Legend

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Endless LegendIn several ways, Endless Legend feels like the game Civilization: Beyond Earth wanted to be. The two games share several design choices, such as non-linear tech trees and a … Continue reading

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Crusader Kings II: Snowballing on the Steppes

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Crusader Kings II

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Crusader Kings IIAfter many attempts to restore the Persian empire in Crusader Kings 2, I have learned two things. First, playing a Zoroastrian is hard. The first three times, I … Continue reading

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Sherlock Holmes vs the Cat-Hair Moustache

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is an adventure game that doesn’t feel like other adventure games. Typically, adventure games give the player several tasks: exploring the environment, gathering items, talking to NPCs, and solving puzzles. The challenge comes from the … Continue reading

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Civilization: Beyond Earth first impressions

This entry is part of 1 in the series Civilization: Beyond Earth

This entry is part of 1 in the series Civilization: Beyond Earth I’ve just won my first game of Civilization: Beyond Earth1, and I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. The problem is not that this is “Civilization V … Continue reading

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The problem with espionage in strategy games…

… is that it tends to boil down to a single die roll. The key word is “single”. Consider spies in Civilization, agents in Total War, and paid assassinations in Crusader Kings. Even in games without tactical combat, where battle … Continue reading

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EB Expo 2014: Bloodborne, Far Cry 4, Lara Croft & the Temple of Osiris, and more!

I spent Friday at the EB Games Expo in Sydney, walking the floor, playing games, and keeping an eye out for what seemed interesting. For me, it was a chance to catch up with the “AAA” space and chat to … Continue reading

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