Exploding Kittens is a card game claiming to be “a highly strategic kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette.” Until I started this review, I was going to file Exploding Kittens under Tier Two – not bad, but not anything there to keep you entertained past an hour or so. After reading that elevator pitch, I am inspired to write a bit more. The premise of the game is pretty simple: draw cards until all but one player has drawn an Exploding Kitten with no Defuse card to stop it. Everyone starts with one Defuse card, and there are chances to draw or steal more Defusal cards. There is very little content beyond just that description, even with the advanced rule options.
Four! Tier Four! Haha, okay, okay, it’s Tier 3 but I can’t make that joke otherwise. It is of course…
I once read in a gaming magazine, you know your stock is worthless when it arrives and your employees shout, “Hey guys! Looks like the new Frisbees are here!” I can’t help but feel that same way every time I hold a sports game in my hands. Actually wait–I can go deeper. Deeper. DEEPER.
You can’t save everyone.
The longer you play games, the more you fall into the pattern of genre expectation. We have certain expectations of body counts in our FPS’s, an acceptation of grinding in our JRPG’s and if we play hour Horror games and don’t experience at least a couple jump scares, we would consider ourselves misused. It is these patterns that form a groove into which the unknown becomes known, and wonder is replaced by predictability even before the game is played. Pathologic on the other hand, is what makes you remember that games can be anything but predictable.
Believe it or not, I don’t have any screenshots of this game. Then again, I probably don’t need any, as popular as this game is. You’ve likely seen it before. Look. I could go into the big long anecdote about hours of soda-infused midnight shenanigans I pulled off in this game with friends howling in laughter behind me. I could tell you how I’ve waited 10 years to finally own a copy, so I could finish the damn thing. But I’m not going to. I’m just going to tell you, that this was not and is not one of the best zombie games I’ve ever played. It was and is one of the best games I’ve ever played. And here is a laundry list why.
Ah, yes. Chroma Squad–another game sadly lowered from Tier 1 to Tier 2.
It’s hard to quickly pin down the problems with Chroma Squad–in fact, there’s a lot of things that are great about it. I mean, we’ve got…
- Generously customizable mock-power ranger team creation
- A light-hearted atmosphere that leads to shenanigans
- A bear who does the dance of death
- A customizable Zord built out of cardboard boxes
- A surprisingly tactical combat system & character stat/skill/equipment customization mechanics
- A reasonably challenging final boss at the end
- Powerups in the forms of hiring different advertising companies
- Optional “quests” in the form of director’s instructions