TL;DR – A fantastic addition to the base game that really improves the exploration phase.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Review – Last year I got back into Stellaris a 4X space strategy game, a combination that feels like a video game designed just for me. Over the years it has had a lot of improvements building upon the strengths of the base game. Since then there have been a couple of expansion packs and DLCs and today we are looking the latest addition for the game Ancient Relics.
The core component of this new story pack is the addition of archaeological digs and from this the addition of minor and major artifacts. As you explore out at the start of the game you may stumble across archaeological digs on random planets. These require a science ship to work them much like anomalies but with a little twist. There is a random element in the process where you have a chance to improve until you crack the next level. Most of the digs have multiple levels that you have to progress to before you can complete it and earn research points, resources, or more.
TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time of posting) in one map, this time with Lakes, Seas, and Oceans
This week we got the latest update to
Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, and along with the boosted Industrial Zones
and several pages of patch notes there was the announcement of the game adding
water features to its growing list of geographical features. We have mapped Civ
VI in the past as part of our Map-It Project, and I
am always a completionist, so I thought it would be quick to add in a couple of
lakes. Well three solid days of work later and it was not the quick job I
expected, but it was a rewarding one as I got to learn more about the geography
of the Earth while brushing up on my Māori.
Now as always, a couple of notes before
we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on
clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern
counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political
borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some
judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been
made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together
meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as
such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here
We will be mostly going over the new additions and changes to the map in this update, if you want to learn more about some of the location choices that we made you can find more detail in our First Full Civilization Big Map and out Gathering Storm Update Map.
Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data. Also a quick shout out to sonicmyst, God of Kings, Eagle Pursuit, Zaarin and SeelingCat over at the Civfanatics Forum for helping me with some of the obscure lakes I was having trouble locating.
– I look at the highs
and lows of the last 10 years of my Minecraft story, the video game I have
probably spent more hours playing than anything else.
This year is Minecraft’s 10 year anniversary, and if you are like me and can remember when it first came out, well that is one of those numbers that will just make you feel old. In those 10 years, Minecraft has gone from this small Indy darling that you heard about through whispers on the internet to a full-on industry juggernaut. There have been countless videos and tutorials, and while there have been a lot of imitators, nothing has ever reached the heights of the original.
As I thought back through the last 10 years, I had the sudden realisation that I have probably spent more hours in Minecraft than any other game I have played, bar maybe Civilizationthankfully Minecraft was never on Steam so there is not a tracker out there with the exact hour count. That was of course then a prompt to get all nostalgic about a simpler time, a time of dirt and cobblestone, and when zombies dropped feathers for some reason.
– It builds on everything that worked in the base
game and then adds features that make it a must play
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Last year I had a look at a really interesting strategy game about starting the first ever colony on Mars. Just in its name, Surviving Mars, it told you just how hard it would be to build and sustain life on a hostile planet. You could set up a colony only to sit there and watch it die because you accidentally set up a negative feedback loop. But while this can be devastating, the game is always there tempting you to try again, and when you succeed there is so much joy in that moment. While I enjoyed my time in Surviving Mars, it did feel like it had yet to reach its full potential. Well, today we are going to look at the newest expansion Green Planet to see if this helps to fill in the gaps in the base game with copious amounts of Martian concrete.
So to set the scene, you are the commander for the first colony being sent to the red planet. When you arrive Mars is a bleak, hostile, but also a deeply beautiful place. It is a planet filled with promise but also death. You need to build up resources, construct domes to protect your people, provide oxygen and water, and keep it safe from all the disasters that can strike. However, while surviving is fine, there is a next step that you could take. Because what if we can shape Mars to be friendlier, what if we could turn it into a green planet?
– A visually beautiful and fun game, even though
there are still a couple of rough edges in places.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Last year the world was introduced to Sea
of Thieves a game about sailing the open seas, digging for buried treasure,
and sinking pirate vessels. As a concept, it looked like a great idea, and I
watched a couple of streamers like Stephanie Bendixsen have a lot
of fun on the open ocean. However, while it looked like a really fun game the
price point was just too high here in Australia for me to be able to dive into
it myself, something that has only be amplified by being out of a job for four
months. Recently the game released its one-year anniversary update which seemed
to add in a lot of the features people mentioned were missing, so I was glad the
game was getting continued support. But one day I opened up my email to find a
surprise, my friends had bought me a copy of the game. This meant that for the
first time I got to explore the world and discover the highs and lows of Sea of Thieves.
TL;DR – I had a smile on my face for the whole film, filled with joy and heart.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Before we start I should mention that I am probably the easiest sell when it
comes to a live action Pokémon movie.
I grew up with the show and the video games, so this is honestly the perfect
setting for me if you want to hit that rose-tinted nostalgia that people in the
industry crave. With this in mind, I walked into the cinemas with a sceptical
mind, but I have to say it got caught up in the world almost instantly.
So to set the scene, we open in on Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), there was a
time long ago when he wanted to be a Pokémon trainer, but that time has passed
and now he is happy being an insurance claims adjuster (which I think they
chose because it sounds like the most boring job in the world if you were a
child … or adult). His best friend Jack (Karan Soni) is about to leave town to
be a Pokémon trainer and he fears for his friend being left all alone, so they
try and catch a Cubone, this way he will have a companion. After that all falls
apart they walk back into town only to discover Tim has several missed messages
from Detective Hideo Yoshida (Ken Watanabe) from Ryme City where his dad works.
There has been an accident and his father has been killed in the line of duty
and Tim needs to come to the city to settle his affairs. However, when he
arrives he finds someone lurking in his dad’s apartment, a Pikachu (Ryan
Reynolds) that only he can understand.