Chris Shooter

Chris Shooter

Big Aussie living in the Lovely UK. Network Admin, Linux Lover, Musician, Part Time Cartoonist and Video Game Addict

Sep 022011

Amongst the games I’m playing at the moment is this little gem on the iPhone

Game Dev Story from Kairosoft.

Set in a fictional world, GDS doffs it hat, and also pokes a wee bit of fun, to the real world games industry ( for eg. I’m currently developing games for the ‘PlayStatus 2’ ) The game is controlled from the screen seen in the screenshot above and focuses on the aspects of project management where you have to hire the right devs for your studio, such as a graphics artists,  sound engineers, programmers – you can even train them and level them up in their particular skills when they gain experience with the inhouse currency of  ‘Research Data’.

The objective is that you have to produce a game, on the platform that you have bought a license for, with your dev’s skills ( or outsourced if you have the cash ) that is a good balance of Fun, Creativity, Graphics and Sound. You have a variety of game genres to choose from and unlock more as you get better skills: – produce good games, get more fans and fame, generate hype by advertising through diffrerent channels and make cash to produce more games. Hopefully you might even win a prize at Gamedex, the annual awards – such as my record shattering adventure fantasy title BunnyCraft. It’s simple but has a depth that is quite suprising.

Available for iOS and Android

Aug 312011

Now if you’re a gamer like myself and my geeky pals here at Geekzine UK, then you should have heard of the U.S based video gaming website Sarcastic Gamer (and if you haven’t then shame on you and click that link RIGHT NOW!) Sarcastic Gamer has a great community and is an excellent site for reviews, opinion, sarcasm, forums and most of all great podcasts.

It’s not all Stateside though and good ol’ Blighty has it’s own podcast crew: Sarcastic Gamer UK. Hosted by Captain Average, Mighty Mutt and Yamster they bring their own reviews, opinions, discussion and good ol’ sterling British humour to our podcasty devices and let’s face it, Brits know how to do sarcasm better then anyone.

Coming up on October 15th is Sarcastic Gamer’s Extra Life charity event aimed at raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through a sponsored 24 hour video gaming marathon. If you’d like to sponsor a gamer or even participate in this exciting event then go over to the Extra Life website.

SGUK’s Captain Average was kind enough to spare some of his time to answer some quick questions for Geekzine UK:

So who is Captain Average?

A spiffing chap, a master of mellifluous vocal chords and a person who’s very, very modest.

Where are you from and where are you now days?

I was born in a city called St Albans in Hertfordshire – where I went to a school that vaguely resembles Hogwarts (seriously).  I then moved to London for University and evidently got so lazy that I’ve never moved away from the city.

So podcaster and gamer by night, what are you by day?

This is something that I often get asked – and the answer always vaguely puts people somewhat ill at ease!  I’m a medical doctor and a researcher at one of London’s universities and am currently working towards a PhD.  So I’m doing my best to be an eternal student!

How did you come to get involved with Sarcastic Gamer?

It all started when I submitted a vox pop to Respawn Radio back when it was hosted at Achievement Hunter.  For some reason, Lono, 8 Bit and Knuckles liked what they heard and asked me to do one every week.

I then followed Respawn Radio over to SG, then blundered my way into podcasting proper by doing a Community ‘Cast (On Her Majesty’s Sarcastic Service) with MightyMutt and Yamster and that then evolved into the Sarcastic Gamer UK podcast.

All of this was possible thanks to the fact that I have a face for radio.

So you play Video Games (duh…)?

Yes.  DERP.  Next question!

What are you playing at the moment?

At the moment, I’m playing my way through Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  It’s ace.

Do you have a favourite game?

Final Fantasy III/VI (depending on whether you go by the US or Japanese numbering!).

Favourite book?

Memoirs of a Geisha.

Favourite Movie?

The Godfather (Part 1).

Favourite Actors?

Sir Patrick Stewart – mainly for the stuff he did with the RSC and great BBC series such as I Claudius.  He was also the best Captain of the Enterprise ever.

Do you ever roll dice?

I used to back in the day – I haven’t for a while.  But if I did, it’d be a D20.

Do you ever trade cards? ( Magic the Gathering, WoWtcg etc…)

Again, I used to back in the day.  Was a bit of a dab hand at Magic: The Gathering and the Star Trek CCG.

Most exciting/dangerous/coolest thing you’ve ever done?

Oooo.  That’s a tough one.  I think it’d have to be delivering a kid.  As far as non-work stuff is concerned, jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet was pretty awesome.

Do you have a current project you’re working on?

Mainly continuing on with SGUK at Sarcastic Gamer – but have a couple of things that I’m working on that I have to keep close to my chest at the moment too!  Yes, I know I’m a tease.

Burning ambitions?

Being a movie trailer voice-over guy.  That’d be soooooo awesome.

What’s next?

EuroGamer Expo and Extra Life – it’s going to be a busy few months!  Also, if you want to sponsor me for Extra Life, where I’m raising money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, head on over to

Sarcastic Gamer UK Podcast available through iTunes or RSS feed – go have a listen


Aug 252011


This piece was submitted by Mary ‘Maizcat’ Surawski, a massive Dragon Age fan as you may have guessed. You can check out more of her excellent stuff @ Keep an eye on the Geekzine site to see and read more about local talent Mary in the coming weeks.

Aug 242011

Developer: Supergiant Games
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Designer: Amir Rao
Platform: Windows, XBLA

In recent times video game narratives have become increasingly complex, crafted not solely by writers, but rather by close collaboration between artists, designers and musicians in harmony with the actions of the player. Experiences like Limbo and Machinarium mirror the style of Pixar’s Luxo, in which a story unravels without uttering a word. Unlike film, however, they embrace the interactive qualities of the medium, allowing the player to control the experience. Yet for all the innovation in interactive story telling, narration, remains for the most part static and predictable. Often times stories are delivered in scripted sequences as control is yanked from the player. While many developers have made efforts to avoid this construct, none have done so in such an enchanting fashion as Bastion.

The player controls the actions of the Kid, a baby faced warrior, uprooted by The Calamity. Before the Kid stirs for the first time a suitably coarse voice begins to speak. The voice, immaculately spoken by Logan Cunningham, then proceeds to punctuate the Kids every move with thoughtful narrative. It’s almost three thousand lines of dialogue, not insignificance for an eight hour experience, speaks for everyone and everything. It speaks the Kids mind, justifies his actions and relays his feelings. The voice weaves history into present actions and embellishes the world with stories of what its mere platforms once represented.

The narration, however, plays just one part of the experience, supported by Jen Zee’s beautifully illustrated world and acoustic frontier trip-hop soundtrack by Darren Korb, Bastion feels complete. In contrast, its regions are fractured, torn apart by the Calamity. As the Kid walks they are rebuilt underfoot one detail at a time from a deep void. The void surrounds the newly formed platforms as the sea surrounds an island, providing a sense of vastness and an inspired alternative to walls. Falling from the platforms costs a little health, but the Kid soon drops back to ground as if in a work by Escher to continue on his adventure. He slashes and plunders his way from region to region, surrounded by gleaming crystals, lush jungles and falling embers. Visiting each only once, which adds gravity to the choices he faces. Periodically he checks into Bastions’ name sake to upgrade weapons and manipulate bonuses. This sanctuary also holds it’s own secrets and some of the most challenging encounters in the game.

For all this, Bastion is at its core a humble action adventure title. A story of distraction and redemption in a post apocalyptic fantasy world. Only that it has been crafted with such care by it’s designer Amir Rao, it’s a joy to experience. It’s innovation deserves praise, but perhaps it is Supergiant’s passion that is most important.

Now available on Steam, with its native 1080p image, improved load times and three customisable control schemes.

– Bjorn Rust Geekzine Game Reviewer

Aug 222011

Planeswalkers, they're not all that keen on each other...

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 (DTOP2012) is the 2nd go at bringing the popular trading card game Magic the Gathering to consoles and PC’s (on Steam) the first version (just called Duels of the Planeswalkers) was realeased in 2009 and was one of the most downloaded XBOX live arcade games of the that year.

This is Magic the Gathering aimed at the beginner / novice / casual market as this iteration of the game automatically takes care of all the fiddly bits and pieces involved with the real life card game that can stump people at first, such as counters, hit point count, damage rules etc. It lets the player just get on with playing the cards. The graphics are good for this sort of game and the rendering of the cards themselves is truly wonderful. Magic the Gathering has some of the best fantasy artwork around.

The game play board has a nice easy understandable layout and you can't spill your drink on the cards...


The cards are beautifully rendered

Single Player mode consists of playing through a ‘tree’ of opponents with only a certain amount of decks available at the beginning. As you beat the AI opponents you get to unlock other decks and also different bonus cards to customise your decks a little bit. There are different challenge scenarios that you can play as you progress where you are put into a custom situation against an AI player with only certain cards and a limited amount of turns to win. This is easy at first but get progressively harder. The mode that is new to this version and I find most interesting is Archenemy. This is a 3 against the one AI battle where the AI gets to stack the odds against you with special oversized turn modifier cards. Can be frustrating and elating!

The implementation of the game engine itself is just a bit disappointing and I’ve found it a little buggy in some respects with the selection and playing of cards and as with the first title, I play it with the music turned off as it tends to get on my nerves after about 3 minutes.

Having said that it’s an awful lot of fun and worth the £7 or so that it costs on Live, Steam or PSN and you’ll get a fair bit of replayability out of the title with different modes of play with Archenemy, double headed giant (2v2), cards to collect and decks to alter and a well implemented multiplayer system.

Verdict: Solid implementation of the card game but aimed at the casual / beginner. Hardcore fans may enjoy the multiplayer and Archenemy modes.

Geekzine Rating: 4/5

Available: Now

System: Xbox, Steam and PSN

Aug 192011

Hands up if you can remember Westwood Studio’s Dune II, what is widely considered as the first Real Time Strategy game that kick started the genre and the studio went on the become Kings of the RTS World with their following titles, Command and Conquer and Red Alert.

This game somehow had found it’s way onto the very first PC I ever bought and i seriously played it to death at the time, until I also discovered Warcraft: Orcs v Humans was also installed on it too.

Well if you do remember it from the first time around you can now put your hand down go and have a look at this. It’s a project dedicated to bringing you Dune II in HD. High Def resolution. I’ve been enjoying spice mining, avoiding worm and killing Harkonnen in 1600 x 1050 on my XP Gaming machine. Awesome.