All posts by Betty Martinez

Technomancer- New RPG for Mars fans

Casting you as an robot enabled soldier who works for the corporations in battles on the planet Mars, The Technomancer has quite a different setting for an action Role Playing Game. IN fact it can also be considered as a Serious Game, especially for those keen on learning strategy.


The first requirement is to survive on Mars first, before you can begin the battle. To do this you need to twat the mutants with an electric prod!

Being an RPG though, there’s a big emphasis on choice. You can do lots of things like creep through areas  or set up traps and mines, or zap everybody with the electric prod.

There will be skill trees for the three melee disciplines – sword and gun, staff, or mace and shield – as well as for your electrically-charged powers, on top of general stats.

The game is slated to be available for release on June 28 this year.

Medal of Honor-Pacific Assault to be free?

We really love EA’s On The House program for Origin on PC . It is cool, having given away some superb games for free in the past. The latest game that will be offered free under the “On The House offerings” scheme is rumored to be a n old favorite Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault. Though the game is old, having been first released in 2004, it is still immenely popular among PC gamers worldwide for its action packed sequences and scenarios. In fact, some universities have reportedly used it as a serious game for training.

Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault sells for about $15 US or so. The game itself is pretty good, too, so it’s something you should look into downloading- for free, who can complain? There are no strings attached or any fine print at all- you get the game for free, as long as you have an Origin account. We have not tried it ourselves and have no idea if this is just a rumor or actually true. If you love the game then its worth going to Origin and seeing if it is really available for free.



The main feature of this new rogue game from Skyshine,  is a vehicle that is named the “Dozer” (looks like a modified bulldozer). You man this special vehicle as you are trying to escape from your home in the city of Bysantine (a reference to the Byzantium of ancient times, perhaps?) and safely reach the city of Aztec (referring perhaps to the ancient South American civilization?). Anyway, the raison d’etre is to somehow escape the tyranny of a local warlord-king, who goes by the name of King Viscera. The journey is not smooth however (its an action game, remember?) and you are accosted by various characters such as wandering warriors, groups of fiendishly hostile marauders, mutants, cyborgs and even rogue AI. Also you may run into hostile events that keep you from reaching the safety of Aztec city.

Every turn that you get allows you two actions, that including moving around or attacking an enemy. You use the characters with you to accomplish this however and they may get killed while fighting the enemy. They may use weapons such as “puke” (LOL really) and shotguns to make them into a pile of bones, literally! Many of the powers that you have are from the Dozer itself and you can use these to heal your compatriots, find hidden food and fuel and locate maps.

Bedlam game

If you battle the various enemies and defeat them, you can capture their dozers as well. These are different from your dozer in that they have special powers. For example a cyborgs dozer can have teleportation powers. Sometimes you also run into special characters called as “Elites”. They are tougher to beat as they have more strength and powers-but it is worth battling them because if you beat them, they join you! Yes and that increases your chances of winning manifold as they now fight for you.

However be sure not to lose all the passengers and compatriots on your dozer, because once that happens, the game ends.

Our review: A very interesting game with lots of twists and turns. It does getting used to, but you start enjoying it after a while. The educational value is not so much ,since there is little strategic depth that the game offers. It is more entertaining than informational.


This is another in the Detective game genre. You are a Police Inspector named Fredrick Jenks (incidentally the name is similar to the Inspector Jenks in the Enid Blyton Five Find Outers childrens adventure book series). You have to find out the real cause of death of a doctorate student in the village, that is shown as a suicide. Your only leads are a handful of clues and some interviews with locals, who are surly and non co-operative in general. The skill lies again in organizing the statements of the locals and listing them in a way that brings out conflicts in different statements and in the body of every statement itself. This is in fact how real detectives work.

If you catch a lie, then you get more information. This allows you to ask more questions and get more answers, all of which may not be truthful. You again try to trap the contradictions and nail the lies, to get at the truth. One advantage of the learning aspects of this game is that it is a ”thinkers game” and not based on some split second pushing of buttons. There is no time pressure at all, allowing you plenty of breathing time to review information, make hunches and proceed.


Contradiction has been filmed in a remote village in Cheshire County in England . When you walk the streets at evening or nighttime, it does give an eerie and scary feel to the game. The music is haunting by Tim Follin.

The only disadvantage of the game is the lack of a good system for keeping track of testimonies of people, by which you can easily spot contradictions. But then I suppose, this will really sharpen your memory and the learning quality of the game is enhanced because of it.


Another game that is excellent and is also new, is Volume, designed by Mike Bithell. The game relies heavily on “pattern recognition” to score points. Now this skill is very useful, in a lot of fields, right from forensics of cyber security to stock market trading (e.g. technical chart analysis, which IMHO is nothing but recognizing different patterns and acting on them to predict market movements). Most people make good use of their pattern recognition skills to make a ton of money or a rewarding career. Volume requires this kind of skill as well as a sense of geography, to win.

The game itself is set in England several decades ago. One Guy Gisborne has managed to corrupt the country’s political systems to create a rapacious and malevolent corporatocracy. Robert Locksley is a hacker and activist who breaks into the simulated nerve-centers of Gisborne’s power apparatus to steal incriminating data, which is then shared with the downtrodden people. The whole exercise is transmitted via some futuristic video channel and hence the camera angles and view from top that is shown.

The game itself is a series of about 100 or so Isometric (in laymans language, 3 –D) maps of different places, with the view from an angle at the top, as if you are watching a CCTV camera. The map has a series of obstacles, structures and guards. The hero is actually a thief, who has to dodge the obstacles, guards and booby traps to win the booty. The Hero gets nice gadgets to escape and trap the guards, such as lures, decoys and even an invisibility cloak!


Another theme that comes through is a kind of Robin Hood type setting, where he “robs the rich” and “rewards the poor”. In this game the rich are the corporatocracries, who have captured money and power by corrupting the political system.

There are plenty of text notes that help in giving a contextual feel while playing.

Several educational benefits are available. One is the usual skill of collecting information, trying to gauge the adversaries skills and assets, manipulating adversaries to have advantages over them, decision making when confronted and so on. Also it also has a well themed economic lesson that is hard to miss.

The same technique that is used in such games is also used in serious games that are used to teach concepts of process safety, such as HAZOP.

All in all, an excellent addition to your PC collection!