When I don't make games, I play games
And the latest game I’ve played was Halfway by Robotality.
While researching modern graphics engine selection options, I stumbled upon libGDX - java cross-platform library, made for game development. Although, I have chosen to use SFML instead for my first game project, I’ve spotted one title, one game that was made with libGDX. It was in steam greenlight program and got released couple days ago.
I invested in it and I have to say - time and money well spent.
Graphics works well - no glitches, sprites are very well drawn, animated with love, backgrounds are fantastic. Small things, like Jenna playing memory or the dog are adding a lot lo an atmosphere. I would like more combat talking, like in Jagged Alliance 2. This may really add to the game. Dialogs are mostly short and concise. You always know what to do. Game mechanics are understood well and fast, even without the tutorial, only by some first-time-play tips.
Character’s skills are good game mechanic, also the fact that you can’t take too much survivors to a mission, it makes you think about progress and selecting right people for the level. Game’s balanced pretty well, but possibly have more to do with short-range weapons and melee combat. (Fixed in 1.0.5) Difficulty level raises through adding more badass enemies. In my opinion, equipment found until certain point fits the enemies player have to fight. I think removing experience points and leveling was a bright decision. It reminds me of Fallout series, in which physical attributes couldn’t be changed by just killing swarms of enemies.
One will say that the Halfway was shipped as beta version - but I won’t agree with that. The game is evolving, and what’s really great, that developers are actually reading reviews and forum posts and making the game better. I experienced inventory memory leak day prior it was fixed. That Steam upgrade mechanism is a great thing.
Music and sound aren’t disturbing and contribute to the atmosphere. Usually I just turn off the sound when I play - this time I didn’t.
Overall, very good gaming experience. Challenging, interesting, beautiful.
Some mysteries are uncovered, so… waiting for the Halfway 2. I hope :)
Oh, and it works on Linux! :)