July 2014

As the fall release season approaches, Snackbar Games is looking for a new writer to join our reviews team!

Applicants for this position would need to have access to games to review (at least initially), as well as a clean, smart writing style. A gaming-capable PC is helpful, too, as is a willingness to check out smaller, offbeat titles.

Interested in applying? Send three writing samples and at least one review in Snackbar style to [email protected] You can also send a message to that address if you have any questions!

For more ways you can be a part of our crew, check out our Join Us page.

fp2p_rayman

In From Pixels to Polygons, we examine classic game franchises that have survived the long transition from the 8- or 16-bit era to the current console generation. This time, Chris Dominowski and Graham Russell look at Ubisoft’s mascot platformer: Rayman.

Starting in the late ‘80s, it seemed like every gaming company had to have a cartoonish platformer mascot. The trend kicked into high gear in the ‘90s, when advancements in hardware allowed for more expressive characters and worlds that couldn’t have been done on past machines. Many mascots fell to the wayside, failing to live up to the sheer dominance of Mario and Sonic; to be fair, none of them ever did approach that level, but many did at least survive. This is the tale of one such survivor that beat the odds to deliver some superb platformers that a crueler market would have forgotten. READ MORE

gu_ascensionRU1

I was disappointed in last year’s Ascension offering, Rise of Vigil. The energy/treasure mechanic made the set too insular when applied to older releases, and getting the most treasures seemed to have a direct correlation to winning more often than not. When its expansion, Darkness Unleashed, was released, my local store had difficulty getting a copy in and yet I made no effort to pick it up elsewhere. I just didn’t care for more of that kind of gameplay, so I let it slide by.

This year’s new set, Realms Unraveled, feels more like the Ascension I’ve come to love, to the point where it almost feels as basic as the original release, Chronicle of the Godslayer. Of course it isn’t quite that simple, thanks to some new tricks I’ll get to in a minute, but a lot of the extra additions from previous sets are nowhere to be found. Unfortunately that includes Trophy Monsters and Events, two changes I enjoyed, but you can’t have everything. READ MORE

oddworldnewtasty2

The Oddworld series has returned to its roots with New ‘n’ Tasty. Original 1997 classic Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee has been fully remade for new platforms, and returns to Abe’s original adventure as he frees his fellow workers. Abe is a janitor at RuptureFarms, a meat processing plant that is responsible for driving the creatures providing the meat for its products into extinction. Having run out of animals to harvest, the company’s newest scheme is to turn Abe’s species into its next product. Abe overhears those plans, and realizes he must escape from RuptureFarms as the game begins. READ MORE

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Snackbar Games’ column carousel wraps up with Graham Russell taking a break from Multitap and Gaijin Guide to pen this edition of New Game+.

When faced with taking the baton from Andrew for a week and delving into the deeper sorts of topics in game design, I knew I had to write something about menus, because the topic is a very crucial one to everything I love. Set aside for a moment my graphic design day job, too: menu systems and general interface design can make or break local multiplayer experiences, as new players need to be able to dive in immediately, and they’re also crucial to playing import games, as if it’s done right, you know what each button and item does without having to understand any of the language. But even outside of those contexts, it’s a crucial thing, because the easiest way to keep people from enjoying a fundamentally good game is to frustrate them before they can learn the ropes. READ MORE