Bloodroots Review – Bloody Looney Tunes

Have you ever seen an old cartoon where a fight breaks out and the brawlers turn into a cloud of punches that flips tables and breaks everything it touches? Bloodroots, a breakneck action-puzzle game from Quebec developer Paper Cult, lives inside that cloud. A short, speedy tale of mayhem and revenge, Bloodroots dares you stab, bludgeon, squash, and otherwise murder dozens of thugs with the ruthless efficiency of the Wild West’s greatest outlaw and the zany gusto of Bugs Bunny trolling Yosemite Sam. Whether you do this for the sake of its well-written story and/or the thrill of a score chase, Bloodroots can be stylish, graceful (once you know what you’re doing), and surprisingly easy to pick up despite demanding a tremendous attention to detail. In its pre-release state, however, its most elating moments are easily and frequently disrupted by technical issues, keeping you from really hitting your stride as often as you should.

Bloodroots puts you on the warpath with the Wild West outlaw Mr. Wolf, who’s out for revenge against his gang, the Blood Beasts. The Beasts, who all wear animal skins and go by Reservoir Dogs-style code names like Mr. Boar and Mrs. Crow, betray and nearly kill him after murdering an entire town in the name of their new leader, Mr. Black Wolf. From the moment he recovers from his attempted assassination, Mr. Wolf has one goal: to kill his former gang and anyone who gets between them.

The story, though simple and predictable, is made compelling through strong dialogue that forges complex characters. Though Mr. Wolf rarely speaks, you learn a lot about him; his story and the history of the gang are told in carefully constructed interactive flashbacks and through his encounters with the Beasts. You don’t spend too much story time with any one character–this is an action game and the gameplay comes first–but in tracking down each former partner, you come to understand and savor your time with them. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in Bloodroots is a bad guy, but you come to see that every character has their own perspective on how the gang rose and fell. In hearing about Mr. Wolf’s past from the Beasts, in their own unique voices, you not only understand the situation better, but come to understand that there’s more in their lives than a single act of vengeance. That isn’t to say you won’t have reservations about your mission–they’re bad guys through and through–but you understand why they made their choices, which makes your hunt more satisfying.

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Wolcen: Lords Of Mayhem Review – Choking On Ambition

There’s an air of familiarity to Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem. It’s an action role-playing game with heavy inspiration from Diablo and Path of Exile, from their high-fantasy gothic settings to their destiny-bound protagonists and plethora of abilities to dabble in. Wolcen wears its influences on its sleeve, and while it makes changes to their established foundations, it stumbles so many times along the way that it just feels lost by the end of it.

Wolcen’s opening obscures some of its more novel ideas, with a stale and predictable narrative that makes it feel generic. You play as one of three siblings born and bred for battle, but cast out from the only family you know when an unknown power awakens within you. It’s a plot filled to the brim with exposition, riddled with vaguely explained fantasy jargon and worldbuilding that never clicks into place. It’s easy to forget about entirely after the first few hours, with only the stilted dialogue and awkward cutscenes reminding you of the uninteresting events dressing Wolcen’s main draw.

The setting, however, doesn’t fall prey to the same oppressive medieval look. Gloomy caverns and bright, colorful forests are equally impressive backdrops for the equally outstanding visual details buried within them. The variation across Wolcen’s three acts is impressive too, as it whisks you between the opulent, gold-laden halls of an ancient sacred ground to the blood-drenched trenches of a chaotic battlefield.

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Bloodroots Review – Howling Good Time

Have you ever seen an old cartoon where a fight breaks out and the brawlers turn into a cloud of punches that flips tables and breaks everything it touches? Bloodroots, a breakneck action-puzzle game from Quebec developer Paper Cult, lives inside that cloud. A short, speedy tale of mayhem and revenge, Bloodroots dares you stab, bludgeon, squash, and otherwise murder dozens of thugs with the ruthless efficiency of the Wild West’s greatest outlaw and the zany gusto of Bugs Bunny trolling Yosemite Sam. Whether you do this for the sake of its well-written story and/or the thrill of a score chase, Bloodroots can be stylish, graceful (once you know what you’re doing), and surprisingly easy to pick up despite demanding a tremendous attention to detail. In its pre-release state, however, its most elating moments are easily and frequently disrupted by technical issues, keeping you from really hitting your stride as often as you should.

Bloodroots puts you on the warpath with the Wild West outlaw Mr. Wolf, who’s out for revenge against his gang, the Blood Beasts. The Beasts, who all wear animal skins and go by Reservoir Dogs-style code names like Mr. Boar and Mrs. Crow, betray and nearly kill him after murdering an entire town in the name of their new leader, Mr. Black Wolf. From the moment he recovers from his attempted assassination, Mr. Wolf has one goal: to kill his former gang and anyone who gets between them.

The story, though simple and predictable, is made compelling through strong dialogue that forges complex characters. Though Mr. Wolf rarely speaks, you learn a lot about him; his story and the history of the gang are told in carefully constructed interactive flashbacks and through his encounters with the Beasts. You don’t spend too much story time with any one character–this is an action game and the gameplay comes first–but in tracking down each former partner, you come to understand and savor your time with them. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in Bloodroots is a bad guy, but you come to see that every character has their own perspective on how the gang rose and fell. In hearing about Mr. Wolf’s past from the Beasts, in their own unique voices, you not only understand the situation better, but come to understand that there’s more in their lives than a single act of vengeance. That isn’t to say you won’t have reservations about your mission–they’re bad guys through and through–but you understand why they made their choices, which makes your hunt more satisfying.

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Bloodroots Review – Wilder West

Have you ever seen an old cartoon where a fight breaks out and the brawlers turn into a cloud of punches that flips tables and breaks everything it touches? Bloodroots, a breakneck action-puzzle game from Quebec developer Paper Cult, lives inside that cloud. A short, speedy tale of mayhem and revenge, Bloodroots dares you stab, bludgeon, squash, and otherwise murder dozens of thugs with the ruthless efficiency of the Wild West’s greatest outlaw and the zany gusto of Bugs Bunny trolling Yosemite Sam. Whether you do this for the sake of its well-written story and/or the thrill of a score chase, Bloodroots can be stylish, graceful (once you know what you’re doing), and surprisingly easy to pick up despite demanding a tremendous attention to detail. In its pre-release state, however, its most elating moments are easily and frequently disrupted by technical issues, keeping you from really hitting your stride as often as you should.

Bloodroots puts you on the warpath with the Wild West outlaw Mr. Wolf, who’s out for revenge against his gang, the Blood Beasts. The Beasts, who all wear animal skins and go by Reservoir Dogs-style code names like Mr. Boar and Mrs. Crow, betray and nearly kill him after murdering an entire town in the name of their new leader, Mr. Black Wolf. From the moment he recovers from his attempted assassination, Mr. Wolf has one goal: to kill his former gang and anyone who gets between them.

The story, though simple and predictable, is made compelling through strong dialogue that forges complex characters. Though Mr. Wolf rarely speaks, you learn a lot about him; his story and the history of the gang are told in carefully constructed interactive flashbacks and through his encounters with the Beasts. You don’t spend too much story time with any one character–this is an action game and the gameplay comes first–but in tracking down each former partner, you come to understand and savor your time with them. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in Bloodroots is a bad guy, but you come to see that every character has their own perspective on how the gang rose and fell. In hearing about Mr. Wolf’s past from the Beasts, in their own unique voices, you not only understand the situation better, but come to understand that there’s more in their lives than a single act of vengeance. That isn’t to say you won’t have reservations about your mission–they’re bad guys through and through–but you understand why they made their choices, which makes your hunt more satisfying.

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Snack World Review – Cheers, But I’m Full

From the Minestrone Mines to Gumbo Grotto, Snack World is an RPG universe entirely founded upon various types of cuisine. But although this base is admirably creative, Snack World’s failings outweigh its strengths. Although it is conceptually innovative, the execution never quite lives up to ambition.

Right from the get-go, Snack World acknowledges the tropes it attempts to riff off of. You awaken as an amnesiac hero, conveniently discovered just outside the castle gates. You earn an audience with the king, who is simultaneously jovial and relentlessly selfish, and he tasks you with a variety of quests to satiate his daughter’s fleeting desires–most of which she no longer cares for by the time you retrieve your boon.

Once you embark on an odyssey to regain your memory while becoming a dungeon-crawling virtuoso, you’re quickly bombarded with a hefty amount of information tied to the game’s various systems. Although they are relatively straightforward and conventional–character traits, codex entries, and opportunities for dungeon co-op–the explanations are buried under esoteric apps on a phone-like device called a Pix-e Pad. It’s an interesting idea, but they’re unnecessarily facetious, confusing nuance with jargon.

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