Torchlight is awesome

The launch of Steam for the Mac came and went with all but one of Valve’s own games notable for its absence, and so the duty of providing a game that wasn’t possible to finish in three hours fell to the third-parties. The obvious winner was Torchlight, and not merely because of its price.

This is my first foray into this particular sub-genre of dungeon-crawling loot-whoring RPGs, having passed by the likes of Diablo, and I have to say that I’m very impressed. For a game that involves clicking for hours on end in order to get stuff that isn’t worth anything, it’s remarkably addictive; likewise, for a game that doesn’t look a long way beyond Warcraft III, it manages to look rather good. And the fact that such graphics mean low system requirements makes it a great game for an ageing laptop. Like Warcraft III, then.

The developer, Runic Games, deserves immense credit for creating such a wonderful little game and some successful early attempts to become one of those companies that’s impossible to dislike. Free updates, extensive modding support, and heartwarming stories like this:

Mere hours after a forum member mentioned that one of the game’s camera effects left her unable to play sections of the games due to an uncommon eye condition, a Runic developer patched in a user toggle for the option — at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning, no less.

Seriously, is it getting a bit dusty in here?

This game’s been a big time sink for me in the last week, able to vanish hours at a time with frightening ease, and this is without multiplayer beyond the promise of the upcoming MMO in the Torchlight universe. Oh, and that MMO? Free to play. God, I love you, Runic.

Diablo III is suddenly much higher up my wishlist, it must be said. But you never forget your first taste…

G1 Transformers + Advance Wars = Win

I’m surprised by how completely this slipped under my radar, but I’ve recently been enjoying Transformers G1: Awakening for the iPhone. With it being only the second Transformers game of reasonable quality – this is the first – and the first featuring the only arm of the franchise worth bothering with, I couldn’t say no for ¬£1.79.

Its form should be obvious from looking at the above screenshot, because it’s pretty much Advance Wars. Most of the mechanics are identical, and it’s only that your units can transform into vehicles to further their movement allowance, the downside being that you’re defenceless in this form – makes sense for a VW Beetle, but not so much for a fighter jet – that really differentiates it at all. Fangasms will be had over the 3D models on the battle screens, there’s a bit of Transformers storyline in there, and there are ‘Showdowns’ that make use of characters traits, like a single Autobot desperately powering up before¬†Trypticon reaches him, but there’s still not much to separate Optimus Prime and an Advance Wars tank.

Who cares, though? I wanted a good Transformers game and now I’ve got one, and it cost me less than today’s lunch did. Awesome.