In Tidbits, we cover games that are difficult to cover in our regular review template. In this Tidbits article, we review Live by the Sword: Tactics, Zombie Derby: Pixel Survival, and Ship of Fools.
Live by the Sword: Tactics
Review Score – 60%
Live by the Sword: Tactics is a semi-top-down, turn-based RPG experience… Phew, try saying that three times fast. Visually, you won’t be amazed. Though it has fluid motions and a stable framerate, I just couldn’t be bothered being wowed by the visual style. And mind you, I absolutely love games that look old-school (Aah Kingdoms, you still hold my heart). It just looks and feels a whole lot of the same jist used over and over again. It tends to lean over into the ‘boring’ category pretty darn fast if you ask me…
Also, the sprites just look the same. Maybe one time you’ll have one wearing a cloak or handling a dagger, but they all just look the same. Sound-wise… Pretty much the same as visual. It’s… okay. It’s passable, but also feels like a lot of the sound design just was the same bit used over and over. So… Nothing much there either. Now, you do have the option to do this game in multiplayer if you choose to, but I didn’t get to test that out so I couldn’t test if the connection is stable or not.
But my biggest gripe with Live by the Sword: Tactics has to be the overall handling. My god does it work to strike a nerve. Since this game doesn’t fully employ a top-down view (which I would have rather had instead of this BS), you have to use a somewhat 3D-like static cam view movement on a grid pattern movement field. And it’s not like an intuitive ‘I want to go to this square so I can just move my cursor to that square’. Oh no, it’s more in the likes of, I want to move there. I have to move the highlighted square to the square that I want my guy to move. If it was top-down or fully 3D this would have been a breeze. BUT since the camera is static you’ll have to wiggle the selection box around JUST right for it to hit the desired square. Ugh… That personally felt extremely annoying and just sucked the joy out of the experience. But it has some humor sprinkled around here and there for it to be passable as a semi-enjoyable game nonetheless.
Written by: Alexis
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Zombie Derby: Pixel Survival
Review Score – 65%
There are a few categories of games. Big open world titles to sink your teeth in, charming mid-length adventures that keep you entertained for a few days and then there is the kind of game you keep installed to play in between when you need to take your mind off things and simply check some boxes to get your dopamine rush. Zombie Derby: Pixel Survival is one such title. You won’t commit a ton of hours to it, but it’s a nice and easy concept that gives you a satisfied feeling of accomplishment, even if you only had 5-10 minutes of time to invest.
The concept is simple: get to the finish line. The setting is familiar: zombie apocalypse. and the gameplay is easy to understand: run over zombies, shoot things that could hurt you, and use Nitro boosts to jump over potholes and other dangers. It takes almost no time to get going and it can become slightly addictive to just go for one more run, as even failed attempts will give you money to upgrade your car.
You can upgrade your speed, your nitro, and the amount of ammunition you have or install some protection around your undead lawnmower to get its durability up. After each level, you get a new car and you repeat the process. There are only 10 levels, which also challenge you to reach a top score and some online competition versions where you can see how others did. The Achievements are very easy to obtain, and I make no illusion of the fact that a large group of people will buy this just to get their effortless 1000G fix, but I’m perfectly OK with that.
The visuals won’t blow your brains out, but they more than do the job, with low-poly landscapes in the back and almost voxel-like square designs in the front. It’s a nice aesthetic and also makes even the gore of destroying zombies relatively safe for coincidental onlookers of the underage kind (= my kids). I had my fun with Zombie Derby: Pixel Survival and I’m sure you’ll be entertained as well, just not for very long.
Written by: Robby
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!