Author Archives: Kate Balding

About

Kate works during the day as a teacher, attempting to enthuse teenagers with English Literature. By night, she reads, writes, pretends to play guitar and plays games. She grew up on the N64 but will now play anything that wouldn't normally require hiding behind a cushion. She's married and is the happy muma of two guinea pigs called Man Bear Pig and David Beard (Manny and Dave for short).

Mellifluous Melodies: Top 5 Game Soundtracks

When I think about some of my all-time favourite games, I realise that part of the reason I love them so much is because they feature beautiful, diverse soundtracks. Music is integral to immersive and memorable gameplay experiences, not just as a tool to build ambience, but as a way of physically connecting with a game in a way that transcends language and visuals. It raises the hairs on our arms. It takes our breath away. It empowers us to [...]

Talisman: Digital Edition Review – Shoulda Stayed at the Tavern

I’ve played a number of geeky board games in my time; I enjoy anything from the farcical race of Greed Quest to the grand strategic planning of Risk (and everything in between). Though there are board games that have recently enjoyed the success of being adapted to a digital platform, I was unsurprised to find that Talisman, a classic board game almost entirely based on luck of the dice roll, did not translate well. Talisman: Digital Edition allows you to [...]

Temple of Doomed – Adapting Video Games to the Silver Screen

Why is it that movie adaptations of games are always, without fail, so terrible? And why do they never deter producers from trying? With the recent news of Minecraft in talks with Warner Bros, and films like Splinter Cell already on the way, it seems like so many are willing to make a dive into the fray that many would label suicidal. It’s clear we’re in trouble when the no-man’s land between the two media seems to be strewn with [...]

Hegemony Rome: Rise of Caesar Preview

I have to say, I was expecting the worst when sitting down to this game. Not only were my haunches raised because this was an Early Access version that charges you thirty dollars for the privilege of playing, I was about to play an RTS that charts the expansion of the Roman Empire. Got the t-shirt doesn’t even start to cover it. However, despite tempting comparisons to titles like Total War, amongst many others, Hegemony Rome stands as a unique [...]

ARGH: The Top Five Most Frustrating Games

In the light of recent controversy over the takedown of Flappy Bird, which allegedly happened as a result of incessant hate-mail pertaining to the hours gamers ‘wasted’ trying to beat the incredibly difficult mechanic, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the most frustrating games I’ve come across. There are only two criteria that apply here: The game must have made me shout at the screen and/or throw something The game must have been [...]

Assassin’s Creed IV: Freedom Cry Review – Breaking Away

Assassin’s Creed IV: Freedom Cry, the first expansion episode for Ubisoft’s pirate adventure, tells the story of Adéwalé, previously Edward Kenway’s Quarter Master and now Captain of his own ship. Though a recent convert to the Assassin brotherhood, Adéwalé must face a different threat to the one posed by the insidious Templars. Freedom Cry opens by throwing you into the middle of a naval fire-fight and you soon find yourself re-treading the core mechanics and gameplay of Black Flag. However, the buccaneering [...]

Day-Z coming to consoles?

Dean Hall, game designer of widely popular zombie mod Day-Z, has said he is open to the idea of releasing the game on consoles and has already had “extensive” discussions with Microsoft about the possibility of an Xbox One version.

Love is in the Air: Top Five Co-op Games

Today is Valentine’s, and what better way to commemorate the stoning and decapitation of the blessed Saint than a countdown of the best five games for paired co-op. So lock the doors, light the candles, and team up with a loved one to shoot other people in the face.

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