I finished up Monster Slayers last night. As I mentioned, I'd already completed it with about half of the characters (I think there are 12 in all), so it was just a case of playing through with the others. Monster Slayers is a living card game where you start with a small deck (dependent on class) and then refine it as you play the game by adding some cards and removing others. It pays a heavy debt of gratitude to Dream Quest than I played a while back. You have a basic level layout and you move it around it open up new pathways by visiting locations and defeating opponents. That means you have some choice over the order you do things, but ultimately you're going to be visiting every node on the grid anyway to maximise your chances of progressing through the game. There are three 'levels' per run, but you're essentially doing the same thing in each, the only difference being that the monsters get harder and you get help in the form of companions (that add time-limited abilities) that grow stronger as you progress. As you fight, you also gain experience that allows you to level up, gaining more hitpoints and unlocking bonuses like new cards, a larger hand size, or more action points, etc. The aim of each fight is to bring the opponent's hitpoints down to 0, while keeping yours as high as possible. You don't heal (much) between fights, so you really do want to be as efficient as possible in each fight. You begin with a set of basic attack cards and a few others, and upgrade and remix your cards as you progress. Cards basically have two costs, either Action Points or Magic Points, with different classes specialising in different cards. Warriors will have AP-dependent high damage attacks, mages will have MP-dependent spells, rogues have high-speed moves - low-power attacks that allow you to draw another card after playing them, so chaining lots of attacks together, priests can heal, archers have high-precision critical attacks, and so on. There's a lot of variety in their card sets, and merchants allow you to buy new cards that enable you to blur the lines a bit, tailoring your deck in a way that suits you. There are a lot of different cards and a lot of variety, so no two classes feel the same. I'm a big fan of card games, and this definitely scratched an itch. The current darling on the card game scene is Slay the Spire, which I haven't tried yet...one day. For now, though, this was great fun, and I'd recommend it to anybody. Onwards!
Next up on the randometer is...Las Vegas Tycoon! Hmm, I'm not the biggest fan of tycoon games, but I'll give it a go.
...And, you know what? I'm done with Las Vegas Tycoon (or Vegas: Make it Big, as it's known over here). I had a quick go over lunch but it's really not my cup of tea. It's the type of hardcore, micro-management sim that chills my blood. You build a casino, it starts breaking down. You build a mechanic station. You then need to tell the mechanic where you want him to go... Ugg, no. It did look lovely with all its zoomy spinny roundy-ness, and I did like the fact you could go into your casinos and fill them with individual tables, etc. to make punters happy (though with even more micro management), and the fact you could theme your casino in different ways, like ancient Greek (just like the real Vegas!!), but it's just not for me. The subject matter doesn't appeal (I hated the real Vegas) and the bad-menu micro-management just killed it. I'm sure it's a great game if you like that kind of thing, but for me...no, sorry.
Next up on the randometer is...Space Bucks! Really?!?! Another management game. Ah well, something for the weekend.
And, I'm sure you'll all be as upset as I was to discover that Space Bucks is an early Windows game and it doesn't seem to run on modern systems. Ah well, can't say I'm that bothered. Let's quickly skip ahead before anyone tries to get me to emulate Win 95 and get it running there.
Next up on the randometer is...J.R.R. Tolkien's War in Middle Earth! No idea what this will be like. Sounds slightly strategy-ish.
In other news, I've also been playing a bit more of Infamous on the PS3, and I think I'm close to the end there. It's the first major PS3 game I've played in ages, and it's been quite fun. Doom 3 has taken a bit of a back seat, but I'll get back to it soon.