Reviews by Elias Chapelle

Master of Orion Icon
An update of MOO 2
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Nov 15th 2017

It is really tough to update a game classic such as Master of Orion 2. This is a noble attempt that almost, almost, captures the excitement and playability of the original. It plays almost like the original with updated graphics, more races, and more involved empire building. It look best if you play it on a large monitor because it requires more screen space than the original, but a 13" laptop will suffice. Some of the best changes to game play seem to have been borrowed from another of my favorite 4x games that is no longer available, 'Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain'. And one the worst ideas was that this new version concentrates more on space battles than the original. I really liked the idea that you could win the original MOO 2 with much less use of space combat.
The new MOO is well worth your time but keep in mind the the original MOO 2 still works on most modern Macs, if you can find a copy, and if you don't mind the fuzzy graphics.

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Glowfish Icon
Go Fish
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Nov 15th 2017

A freebee not worth your time. Beautiful graphics will fool you into thinking that this is a kid's game. Do not be deceived. It is difficult and frustrating.

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Journey of a Roach Icon
Much ado about nothing
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Nov 15th 2017

An interesting concept that quickly gets difficult as well as boring. The puzzles are often very hard to figure out because the 'clues' are obtuse and practically useless. I cannot see how you can complete this puzzle without some kind of help. This game was priced correctly. It was a freebee.

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Hitman: Absolution - Elite Edition Icon
Almost Great
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Aug 30th 2017

After playing tbis game for a couple of hours I decided that it was very good and that I would go back to it later. I put it aside and when I tried it again I immediately ran into problems. A few I anticipated. For example you must have the function keys set to numbers. This mean that you lose keyboard control to functions such as screen display, brightness, and sound level. But I did not expect rhe messages that popped up that said that my Mac was not supported, although, it certainly was, and far exceeded even the minimum requirements for this game. Other keyboard problems occurred so I quit and decides to try again another day. Perhaps Steam was having a bad day.

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Dragon Age 2 Icon
Sabotaged by DRM protection
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Jul 12th 2017

I purchased Dragon Age II when it was first released. Recently, I attempted to reinstall it on my MacBook Pro only to be blocked by hidden file checking software within the program called 'securom' which would not let me install the software. I soon discovered that this 'securom' was a long standing irritant to buyers of Dragon Age II (for that matter other EA and Origins products as well). All attempts to fix this have failed. Perhaps you will be luckier than I, My purchase of Dragon Age II was via an online retailer that no longer exists.

UPDATE: It has been a frustration couple of days but I finally got my Dragon Age 2 install working. However if you ask me how, I doubt that I can recreate the convoluted method I used to get it done after 3 more unsuccessful attempts. I also remembered why I vowed never, never, never to buy a game from EA/Origins again as I sat glassy-eyed examined other EA 'games' I own that no longer function. The secret to installing Dragon Age 2 on a Mac is first to change the current date on your Mac to '3/11/2014' in order to bypass the securom date check. You can put the correct date back later. Next, you need an account both at EA and Origins to complete the authorizations neccessary to actually play the game. Beware that both EA and Origins verification methods for registration are not user friendly. And last of all, I changed the rating above - The game itself is truely a 4-5 star game; but Mac support from EA/Origin however remains a 1 star.

I also installed my Dragon Age: Origins for Mac (purchased back in 2009) with no problems whatsoever and without the idiiotic stumbling blocks of Dragon Age 2.

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Europa Universalis IV Icon
The King of Strategy Games
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Apr 21st 2016

Europa Universalis IV, like most Paradox games, has a very steep learning curve. Dipping into the game requires a commitment of time and energy that is unlike other strategic games. It helps if you have a good understanding of history and if you are a history fanatic. If you are willing to spend the energy to learn this game system, you will be rewarded with what may be the best computer simulation of history available.

There are many DLCs for the game but you should not tackle them until you develop a good understanding of the game mechanics. Once you learn the game mechanics of this game you will easy transfer your knowledge to other Paradox games.

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Pillars of Eternity Icon
Perfect RPG
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Apr 20th 2016

I don't particularly like real-time RPG and miss the old school turn-based RPG games such as Balder's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights. Older RPG allowed you to think about your actions before committing and to spend more time absorbing the background of the fantasy world you were playing in. Older RPG also let you become more involved in the characters you were playing and allowed you to feel like you knew them as real people. Luckily for us fans, some of the older RPG games have been updated to run on newer computers. Although these updates were great to see, we were still only replaying a game we played before. But now we have something completely new.

'Pillars of Eternity' is a return to old school RPG games and fans should be forever grateful. It is not the only turn-based RPG that has emerged recently (think the Shadowrun series) but it is certainly the most immersive RPG gaming experience you will have to play since the games of the old days.

The storyline is not the usual juvenile hack and slash formula. The characters you meet will tend to be memorable and the developer offers you a fully fleshed-out story that will remind you of a very good fantasy novel.

If you are a fan of the turn-based RPG, you should strongly consider this game. Highy recommended.

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Airport Madness 4 Icon
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Apr 17th 2016

There are a number of other 'land the plane at the airport' games that are more fun then this tedious version. To summarize, you land aircraft and hope that they do not crash into each other. No cute graphics as in other games, no bouncy music, and certainly not even close to the reality of what air traffic control is actually like.

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StarDrive 2 Icon
Not the Star Ship I was Looking For
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Feb 22nd 2016

It took me a long time to get into this game and, after several days of play, eliminated it from my list of games worth playing. I was attracted to it at first because it was described as a 4X game of eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate which has always been my favorite sub-genre of computer games. The classic 4X game is Master of Orion 2. Other famous 4X games for the Mac are Civilization and Endless Space. Starbase Orion is another very good 4X game for the iPad and other mobile devices. Unfortunately, StarDrive 2 is more of a 1X game and concentrates more on the eXterminate mode more than the other three modes of game play.
I like 4X games because the player does not have to rely exclusivey on combat to win the game. True 4X games can be won by economic, diplomatic, and technologic means as well as combat. The multiple paths to victory make 4X games enjoyable for many repeat plays and gives the game a sense of reality as opposed to simple slash and burn. In StarDrive 2, it is only combat that is important. It is a cruel universe out there and all other aliens are your enemies and they will destroy you if you do not kill them off first. With this in mind, the game plays very well as a combat simulator but not as a true 4X game.
The heart of the game is actually the older StarDrive 1 in which you are tasked to design and build warships to fight and conquer every other alien species. This section is very good and relies on your abiiity to build combat worthy warships over the game's timeline. The other 3 'X's of this game are there but seems to have been tacked on to the basic game of build, hunt, and destroy.
StarDrive 2 is a graphical outstanding game and will you will see quickly that it is an excellent graphic upgrade of Master of Orion. In fact several parts of the game will remind you so much of parts of Master of Orion, Galactic Civiizations, and Imperium Galactica, that you would swear that you played some of these sequences before in those older games which are no longer available or playable on modern computers.

A manual is included but it is not downloadable. The included game tutorial is very good though often hides the game screen beneath it. Luckily the tutorial window can be moved which you will do often. Also, the instructions on game play is incomplete. Nowhere in the manual will you find out how to set the game play computer settings. One setting option that is critical is screen size. The game sets the screen to '1080p'. This is not an option for Mac users and it makes the game unplayable. However all you need to do is press the 'option' key on your keyboard when you start the game to bring up important setting options such as screen display sizes and mouse controls. You may have to fiddle around wih the settings to find the right ones for your Mac.

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Breach and Clear Icon
Too Many Bugs
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Feb 21st 2016

'Breach and Clear' seems to be part of an unfinished game and not a complete game.

The basic game is an exercise in getting your team to breach a doorway and cleafr the area or rooms of all bad guys. The game is turn based. You are given the task of forming a team of 4 special forces operatives. You choose each member's speciality and individual characteristics like traditional role playing games. When you complete each scenario, the user gets points and cash which can be used to upgrade your characters and purchase new and better equipment. You are also given the option to play with 'real death' of your characters which means that once they are killed, they are gone,

The operation of each character in each mission is a bit tricky. Although you can direct each character's movements, you do not have control over each characters combat actions.

There is no plot or motivation for your assigned missions. There are no instructions or manual. Most operations will be obvious during game play but some ction choices are either missing or hidden within the game. For example, you will search a long time to try to figure out how you take back a movement you have given to your characters. The game is also buggy. When you quit the game, your progress and equipment purchases will often have disappeared when you re-start. Worse, your entire team may also vanish forcing you to create a new team.

This is not a good game. It appears to be incomplete and I suggest that you avoid it. I am no longer listed as a purchaser because I returned the game to the MacGameStore.

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The Promised Land Icon
Lots of Fun
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Jan 23rd 2016

'The Promied Land' is a simply enjoyable game in the mold of Virtual Village style games but a lot more fun and less difficult. It is ideal if you want a simple break or want to introduce the young ones to something more complex than Angry Birds. Your colonists arrive in a new land and must build houses, farms, and other constructions. You must find items you need to progress your tiny settlement into a larger one and build up a larger population. Along the way you meet natives, trade with the motherland, and battle pirates.
The only negative point I have is that the game has not been updated to run under newer Mac OSes. If you use anything above OS 10.10, you are out of luck.

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Tales from the Borderlands Icon
Humorous and action packed
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Jan 15th 2016

To be clear, 'Tales From the Borderlands' is like other Telltale games in that it is not a traditional 'game'. it is not likely to attract hardcore gamers who like to shoot things. Borderlands is a animated graphic novel that allows the user to interact with the plot and make choices that are later compared to the choices made by other users. Nothing you do will actually effect the final outcome because, like other Telltale products, the storyline is pre-determined and linear. This does not mean that is not a great deal of fun.
'Borderlands' is very well written and voice acted. It is superior to Telltales more popular "Game of Thrones'. Credit for this needs to be given to the great scripting of the writers who unleash their imagination with wit and humor.
The action sequences, of which there are many, are superior to all other Telltale products released so far.
If you like the interactive book format, you need to get this. It is Telltales' best story game yet.

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MAKING HISTORY II: The War of the World Icon
Interesting Concept
by Elias Chapelle, USA - May 9th 2015

An interesting concept marred by too much complexity and not enough information given to understand how to play. Making History II will remind you of games such as Europa Unversalis; highly complex and difficult to get into. However, unlike the EU series, there is little historical context to wrap your head around, no instructions, and no tutorial. You might give up after futile attempts to understrand the game as I did. Worse, there seems to be a problem with how this game actuslly operates: it uses Java which has been a problem on many versions of Mac OS. If you want to play this game make sure you download and install the appropriate version of Java for your Mac OS. Apple does not do this automatically anymore because of security issues with Java.

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Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition Icon
A Fun Shooter
by Elias Chapelle, USA - May 9th 2015

Borderlands is a very good SF shooter that places your character on a very interesting world filled with dangers and surprises. The graphics are comic-like which might turn off those who want a more realistic shooter filled with blood and violence. This one is filled with humor and is an excellent intro to the even better sequel and prequel. Recommended.

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Sid Meier's Starships Icon
Simple 4x Game
by Elias Chapelle, USA - May 5th 2015

Starships is a simplified but enjoyable 4x game in the mold of Master of Orion II, the gold standard of space 4x games. Although it appears incomplete, it is still an enjoyable game of exploration, expansion, economic development, and combat. It's appeal rests primarily in its clean game play with little complexity or a long lisf of things you need to remember that has made other games of this type such a dreary exercise of game play. There are other 4x games that play much better, such as Starbase Orion, but few that are as relaxing as this non-real-time turn-based game.
It needs many improvements though. 1) The little triangle you need to click on to sell goods at the market to speed up sales is easy to miss 2) Your game progress and the progress of the other civilizations are not displayed very well which makes it difficult to make decisions. (3) The ending of the game is too abrupt and unexplained. (4)The game seems to be incomplete as well- the mechanics work well but the deeper elements that are needed for this type of game appear to be missing.
The game is also overpriced at its $15.00 sell point.

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Enigmo 2 Icon
Frustrating Arcade Game
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Apr 11th 2015

Enigmo 2 is an exceedingly difficult arcade game that relies on lining up objects to complete a reflective path of either/and/or lines of water, light and plasma. The controls are nearly impossible to use even if you have the suggested (actually needs to be required) 3-button mouse. Regular Apple magic mouse users will ve unable to play this game. A further complication is that there is no indication how well you are progressing to your final goals. Not recommended.

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7 Wonders: Ancient Alien Makeover Collector's Edition Icon
A Fun Time-Waster
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Apr 11th 2015

This Match-3 style game is just the right type of game to play for a short period of time to help wash out the frustrations of a busy day. No need to think much here - at least for the beginnings of the game. Just point and click your way through pretty graphics and mind-numbing music, watch the colorful screen and feel the day's travails disappear as your score and rewards pile up. But don't get too complacent because as you progress, the screens get tougher and require some thought and advanced planning in order to progress to the next monument. Very much like my other favorite Match-3 time waster, Bejeweled, but a lot tougher as you play on. Recommended.

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The Walking Dead: Season 2 Icon
Great Graphic storytelling
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Apr 4th 2015

How do you top The Walking Dead Season 1? With The Walking Dead Season 2! Another great example of a graphic novel brought to a computer platform. Fans of 'Point and Shoot' games will be disappointed but if you like interactive storytelling, you must buy this game.

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Rebels & Redcoats Icon
Skip It
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Mar 24th 2015

'Rebels and Redcoats' is a major disappointment. Like it's sister game 'Peninsular Battles', the game uses a non-intuitive menu interface unlike other simulations from Hunted Cow. Everytime you play you will have to think about what button to select as well as where the active button actually is located. The game buttons themselves aren't much better. The tutorials lack crucial information about the mechanics of the game and are hard to understand even if you are a seasoned player of other Hunted Cow games.The game mechanics are sufficiently like other Hunted Cow products but oddly detached and a bit of a bore. And last of all, if you think 'Peninsular Battles' is overpriced at $10.00, take a look at R&R. PB offers 35 campaigns plus a tutorial; R&R offers 10 campaigns plus a tutorial. R&R is an overpriced letdown.

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Torchlight II Icon
A Great Update
by Elias Chapelle, USA - Feb 23rd 2015

Torchlight II is a great update to a fun and easy to play game that requires little user thought. Just hack and slash. The intuitive play is a perfect remedy if you are tired of trying to figure out the large number of overly complex games that require hours of study.

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