Stonehearth: A Short Alpha Review

sunset-1024x576

Stonehearth | Souce: http://stonehearth.net/screenshots/

I will admit, I haven’t played as much Stonehearth as I would want before making a review, but I absolutely love this game and wanted to share it.

The game sat on my wishlist for a long time before I finally got around to buying it and I’m glad that I did. Still in alpha stages, the game is far from finished but I’m happy that I will get to be a part of its development and I will get to actively watch the game grown over time.

-And believe me, the game is growing.

I’ve spent some time watching the development streams and am astonished at how dedicated Radiant games is. On their website, they have a road map including a multiplayer aspect, game master, world generation, monsters & denizens, classes, buildings, engine & tech. (Found: here)

The team seems very focused on listening to their community and making a very interesting and fun game that I would highly recommend. Although, if bugs and kinks bother you, you might want to wait until the game is fully released to buy the game. If you like to be a part of something as it grows from development, I suggest jumping on the wagon now.

Either way, you can check it out on Steam and see what you think or, if you want to see the game before playing it, check out the dev stream on twitch: here.

I hope to be able to give a better review in the future when there are more features and as I follow the development of the game. But, for now, I’ll leave it at this.

Have you tried Stonehearth? Let me know your thoughts!

Advertisements

Why Video Games Aren’t Childish

According to a study done by Pixwoo, a gaming social network, the average gamer is approximately 30-35 years old. (**More stats are cited here on the average gamer, if you’re interested.) Interesting, since the stereotype is either an obnoxious 12 year old kid or a grown man living in his mother’s basement, but the survey shows that both of these are far from that.

Statistics aside, I remember seeing a post on facebook a while back accusing gamers of “not growing up” and becoming a man (or woman). This accusation bothered me. What about gaming makes so many people think it’s childish? Can’t we game and have a perfectly normal life? Is gaming just a hobby? Are hobbies childish, then? Is anything that we get immersed in, enjoy, do in our free time, etc. childish?

I think it’s seen as childish partly because of the stereotype associated with gaming: having no life. The reality is so much different but for some reason people associate gaming with people who can’t socialize, work, or survive on their own. If we look at the actually picture of a gamer the situation is so much different.

Myself as an example, I’d an full time college honors student taking anywhere from 16-18 CH a semester, I work 10-15 hours a week, I’ve been active in clubs, I volunteer, and do a slew of other activities. On top of all of that, I also game at least once a day for several hours a day, if I can. I don’t think that doing so knocks me down a few maturity levels and automatically makes me a childish person. As I said in a previous blog post, I game because I love all the different aspects of it: the story, world, community, character building, etc. etc.

Maybe it’s the addictive quality of video games that makes it something people perceive as childish? We picture gamers who can’t, don’t want to, or won’t get up and pursue real life interests just because they’re gaming. Which, I also think is a common misconception. You can argue the addictive quality of video games (WebMD has an article that points to it here, but they also state that 80% (approx.) of people can game just fine). However, I think that less people are “addicted” than everyone seems to assume. As for the children and adults that are addicted, however, I think there’s arguably a lot more to the situation than statistics let on. But that’s my opinion.

Overall, I think video games are a modern hobby/past time that just happens to have a lot of  negative connotations. I think people need to push past their stereotypes of gamers and understand that there’s more to it than just hitting and killing things.

I’m not childish, less educated, or less than anyone for spending my time gaming in the same way that not all jocks are stupid and not all people who knit are old ladies. I think those who judge gamers need to push past their stereotypes, preconceived notions, and judgments and recognize gaming as something a mature, responsible person can do and not be considered a child for doing it.

**This article gives a small critique of the study.

Indie Games

I am by no means an expert on Indie games. I have only recently been more heavily traversing the world of indie games while browsing online. I can’t give any full reviews or talk too much at length about the topic. But I’d like to touch on it a little bit.

Now, I’ve played Minecraft back when it was still technically an “indie”. Obviously, now it isn’t. But it’s one of the finest and most well-known examples of an Indie. In addition to Minecraft, I’ve also picked up a couple random self-labeled indie games and given them a shot. That’s about the extent of my Indie-playing.

I think Indie games are overall a major hit or miss. Before I buy them I try to look up reviews and gameplay.

Last night, even, I was considering buying an indie called “Forced”. (The indie studio that made it has a very interesting story if you want to read it: here) It got my attention because it was 85% off on Steam, a co-op, and had mostly positive reviews. It looked at least somewhat interesting and is a play style I’ve never necessarily tried before. So I decided to go for it. My friends and I played about 40 minutes last night before retiring. Though that certainly isn’t enough to get a good idea about the game my overall impression is just like the reviews – mostly positive. Though the controls are something to get used to I find the game to be pretty polished for an indie game. I want to play more and get to the harder levels before I have a final opinion on the game. The first few levels were pretty easy, but according to the actual reviews the game is going to get much harder later on down the road.

It’s sometimes hard to tell if an Indie game is going to be worth it or not. I think that the majority of the time you’re going to be going out on a limb when buying an Indie. Sometimes, this is incredibly rewarding while other times it can be very disappointing. But, I think if you’re going to try them out you’re going to have to be prepared for it to go either way.

Of course, you can always make an educated purchase of an indie game by researching it and paying attention to reviews that you trust. (In the future I hope to be reviewing all sorts of games, including Indie titles!)

What indie games have you played? Are you overall impressed by them or disappointed? Would you buy indies again? Which ones would you recommend? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!