Reviews by João Costa

Prison Architect - Perfect Storm

Has great ideas BUT poor tutorial.

This DLC is a great option to increase the challenge of your prison. Not only will you have to take a lot of new things into account such as pipes freezing during winter but also new tools/mechanics to deal with problems.
Personally the main issue of the DLC is the lack of a tutorial or information check.
For example if your cleaning isn't too god you can get rats. You can call the pest control to eliminate them. What the game doesn't tell you is that you can have traps to capture the skaven. But for the traps to work you need to get a staff training going on.

You see that is the major problem of this DLC. every new cool mechanic has a small text explaining half of what it has, it puts the player on the spot to learn them.

by João Costa, Portugal - Sep 15th 2022
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Stellaris: Overlord

Subjugate the galaxy

Stellaris overlord heavily changes vassals in stellaris. This expansion makes it fun to have vassals and not just an afterthought. the ability to negotiate the contract you have with vassals as well as the ability to steal disgruntled vassals from other empires makes for fun dynamic.
This also makes that being a vassal isn't game over and instead are able to growth under the wing of your overlord whom you can help or maybe get a better contract with a powerful neighboring empire
It also brings a mercenary system, 5 new origins, new megastructures, etc.

by João Costa, Portugal - May 20th 2022
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Hearts of Iron IV: No Step Back

Excellent review if you want to play in USSR sphere

This DLC expands the USSR, the small baltics and Poland national focus. It is great if you enjoy those countries.
Alongside this it adds train artillery and a tank designer. IMO these additions are all rather fun; although the train artilelry with only be possible to build as a major.
IMO tank designer is great for small countries as you can make 2 designs, with one heavy armor/tank destroyer while a small nimble one to stop enemy infantry.

I highly recommend this DLC if you want to further expand HOI IV

by João Costa, Portugal - May 8th 2022
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Hearts of Iron IV: Eastern Front Planes Pack

A good cosmetic DLC

This DLC brings quite a few new airplane models for several countries. Having USSR and the Nazis with new planes make for a much more interesting eastern front.
The new hypothetic models are well done too and fit right in.
I am only giving it 3 stars because of 2 reasons:
1) i feel like Nazi germany and the USSR should have been free to the base game
2) I think the price for a few airplane models is a bit too expensive. Specially when you consider that you will barely see the models in game.

IMO this is a good DLC if you want more planes to look at but otherwise feel free to skip it

by João Costa, Portugal - Apr 17th 2022
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Stellaris: Aquatics Species Pack

Aquatic cuties join the Galaxy!

I highly recomend this DLC. Without spoilering too much i enjoyed:
- the portraits are gorgeous! the 3D models are beautiful!
- the new origin ands its events are worth the price of admission
- the new colossos and aquatic events are fun

This DLC feels closer to a minor content pack that a cosmetic pack. Yes the cosmetics are a big part however combined with the new content it makes for a 1 or 2 novel campaigns.

by João Costa, Portugal - Apr 17th 2022
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Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond

Worth buying if you want to expand the mid game.

Personally i really like this DLC because it makes the mid game less monotonous. Usually the mid game is basically just expanding what you already built in the early game; until you have enough resources and tech to terraform.

This DLC adds underground mars in a special map. The transition is made in certain points on the map so it isn't accessible at the start. The underground has several precious resources that you can bring to the surface to help. It has different threats than usual. This DLC also requires to use rovers a lot which IMO is a plus because they are barely used in the normal map.

If you like surviving mars i think this DLC will add enough content for a new run.
If you didn't like surviving mars i don't think this DLC will change your opinion

by João Costa, Portugal - Nov 7th 2021
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Stellaris: Nemesis

Expands the end game in interesting ways

This DLC has 3 fun mechanics at its core
1) you are able to become a "crisis" . The cool part is navigating the thin line between having the whole galaxy wipe you out to slowly grow. It is fun to slowly become a galatic threat and seeing the galaxy reacting to that
2) You can be a protector of the galaxy, similar to how turians were the military of the council.
3) Once you are the protector of the galaxy yo ucan usurp the powers and form a new galatic empire, similar to how Palpatine star wars rouse to power.

Alongside the mechanics above you also get spying and a new ship model set.

All in all it is a very cool DLC that expands the end game to stop it becoming stale.

by João Costa, Portugal - Oct 16th 2021
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Surviving Mars: Mars Lifestyle Radio

Good music

A few new music tracks for the game. I'd recommend you listen to the samples to see if they are your cup of tea.

by João Costa, Portugal - Sep 18th 2021
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HUMANKIND™ Digital Deluxe Edition

A good 4X game!

IF you like 4X chances are you will enjoy this game.
if you want a CIV Clone this isn't it and you should give it pass.

The strenght of this title is twofold. Has a big map and the military is interlined with the economy part of the empire. This means that unlike CIV by focusing on military you lose acess to some economic power (because each unit requires pop; although you can get the pop back if you disband the unit).

The weakness of the game is faith and polutions , both of which feel very underwhelming and "useless"

Knowing that amplitude usually supports their games I think with 1 or 2 expansions this game can really shine.

by João Costa, Portugal - Aug 19th 2021
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Hearts of Iron IV: Eastern Front Music Pack

New musics for the game

I don't really have much to say. It is a few new musics to HOI IV. I'd recomend you give youtube/spotify a jump and hear them before buying.
I like them.

by João Costa, Portugal - Jun 25th 2021
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Space Crew: Legendary Edition

An interesting management title

You manage a spaceship and go on missions. You move the crew around to the several stations. It is good game but can soemtimes feel very unfair.

For those that played the previous game bomber crew; IMO bomber crew is a better game. While the mission variety is much smaller in the bomber crew game I think it captures the stress much better than in this space game.

by João Costa, Portugal - Apr 5th 2021
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Prison Architect - Going Green

It is okay.

This DLC expands your prison activities by adding agriculture and green energy to your prison.
these new funds are great for more alternative types of prisons so you no longer have to treat patients badly to have a lot of profit
I give it 3 starts because it is rather small. These new activities are good but they don't change the prison or expand the way the game plays.
In short buy it if yo uwant more content for the game but ignore it if you aren't starting a new prison.

by João Costa, Portugal - Mar 16th 2021
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Stellaris: Necroids Species Pack

Cool Portrait pack but few new ways to play

Necroids adds a new type of portraits that try to invoke death/undead feelings. They are really well done with lot of varied from vampires , zombies to dealth cultist.
THe new 3d models are also very cool to look at!
The major issue of this pack is the new playable mechanics. 1 new origin and 3 new civic traits. While this new content is good it seems to be lacking when compared to other portrait packs such as machines and lithoids.
It still has more content that Plantoids and humanoids.

I'd say if you want more portraits to have a more varied galaxy this pack is exactly what you are looking for.
If you want to experience a new way to play Stellaris it might be wise to wait for a sale

by João Costa, Portugal - Nov 22nd 2020
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Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition

A worthy heir to CK2!

Crusader kings 3 is an excellent sequel to CK2.
CK3 doubles down on roleplaying and increasing the depth in the relationship of characters.
The UI revamp also makes the game much clearer to understand and important mechanics no longer are hidden behind menus. ALongside this the tooltips being much more informative makes for much easier to follow why something happens.
While CK3 doesn't bring every mechanic from ck2, IMO, what it does is done better than in CK2.
If Ck3 is supported for years like CK2 was i can see this game become one of the most impressive strategy titles every done.

by João Costa, Portugal - Sep 8th 2020
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Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance

Spanish civil war make this DLC worth buying

IMO Spanish civil war was really the weakest point in HOI IV. with this DLC it brings iberia into WWII in a really interesting way. With spanish capable of having a 4 way civil war! THis DLC also allows for spain to be able to join late WWII and catch a little those that don't have the civil war to deal with
Portugal is also interesting to dabble in.
France and vichy france national focus trees are also ok.

IMo this DLC is a must have as it makes Iberia a part of the map that does compete eventually in WWII (if historical focuses are not turned on)

by João Costa, Portugal - Aug 13th 2020
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Hearts of Iron IV: Man the Guns

A nice expansion to the USA and British

This DLC expands the naval part of the game as well as the USA and british tree. It also adds National focus to the netherlands and Mexico.
The new trees for USA and bristish are really nice allowing you a lot of freedom on how to shape your country.
Netherlands is really hard since managing a middle ground between allies and axis is almost impossible.
Mexico is a bit easy sicne as long as you don't attack the USA you can expand your territory in central america then join one side of WWII.

IMO i think this DLC is good as long as you want to play with the above.

by João Costa, Portugal - Aug 13th 2020
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Hearts of Iron IV: Waking the Tiger

Heavily revamps CHINA and Japan.

This DLC is great for making the east Asia a much harder to predict conflict which makes WWII much more interesting.

by João Costa, Portugal - Aug 1st 2020
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Cities: Skylines - Parklife Plus

Allows you to make your own zoo

I found this DLC ok. I think while making a zoo interesting and fun it feels inferior to games dedicated to it.
Alongside this the tools are a bit clunky and you almost have to fight them to do what you want.
That said when it works it makes your city feel very different

by João Costa, Portugal - Aug 1st 2020
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Mecha strategy title. what more needs to be said?

You take control of a merc company in a universe that uses mechs to fight.
the tacticval combat is very detailed and makes for very interesting fights.
Graphics and animations are ok but the fun of the game is all about managing your company and your mechs. As you slowly advance through the story and build your own mechs the way you like them.
it is an excelent game for strategic enthusiasts!

by João Costa, Portugal - Aug 1st 2020
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1954 Alcatraz

An average point and click

I found the game to be average. It has some interesting puzzles and story beats but on the whole it is nothing new to the genre.
I'd recommend it if you want a point and click and have played the more unique ones.

by João Costa, Portugal - Jul 12th 2020
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