StarSector “Redlight, Greenlight?” Review

 

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Type of Game:

Single player open world topdown 2D space sandbox with RPG and strategy elements

Version Played:

0.65.1a via DRM free

Similar Games:

Drox Operative, Star Control and Master of Orion 2

The Good:

  • Plenty of weapons to decimate your enemies with (31 is the exact number)
    • Some rip through shields, some plow through the hulls of the enemy’s’ ships.
  • Great tutorial that explains the basic and advanced mechanics of the game like what weapons do what, and walks you through guiding your fleet in a strategy-like overview (command UI).
  • Fantastic modding community that will help any newcomer create their “perfect” mod.
  • Plenty of in-game updates of where pirates are attacking, updates on price changes etc.
    • With so much to do in a massive space “environment” this is a god send to all space sandbox gamers out there,
  • 13 missions when you want to try and do something out of the sandbox gameplay with varying difficulties.
  • Key mapping is already an option, even though the game is still in Alpha.

The Bad:

  • Make sure you have a pen and paper ready when you go through the tutorial, as some of the help there is VERY valuable like cutting of engines etc.
    • Knowing what each of the buttons do is an undertaking, even with the ability to key-map.

Nitpicking:

While it is in alpha there are bugs (like all alpha games) but I couldn’t find any what-so-ever in my 6 hour play test. I have read on the forums that most bugs have been found (crash to desktop etc) from using mods so beware. as for 

Did I make time to complete it?

I completed 3 of the 13 missions, but most of my playtime was in sandbox mode. The sandbox mode is massive and I sunk a lot of hours into it.

Redlight or Greenlight?

green

This game is currently at a greenlight.

The pre-order alpha price of $15 is 25% off its full release price of $20, which is a great price for something that could be very well be a classic in the making. Fabulous entertainment for 25% off whilst being in alpha, get it while you can… its going to be good!

Reviewer:

Beefy

Game Information:

Link to StarSector’s webpage for full game information

The Last Federation Expansion: Betrayed Hope Review

TLF-promo-image2a

Type of Game:

Turn-based Sci-fi Strategy

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Endless space and to a lesser degree Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond earth

The Good:

  • Massive gameplay with so many different ways to interact with other space races, from co-operating to build better tech, all the way to defending a race from pirates.
  • Clean simple sharp graphics from the UI to the combat stages of the game, which always makes any strategy game look and play much better.
  • Wealth of information all at your finger tips from the get go all the way to mid game and beyond so if your struggling there’s always stats, advisory pages and lots more all very close by in-game.
  • Voice of your AI helper is very well done as she adds humour from a loss of a race or anything that she might say.
  • Combat is great! You need to choose what weapon you’re going to be best with in the situation you’re in, as some enemy ships are resistant to certain types of weapons you choose from. You just need to mouse over the enemy ship and it’ll tell you which weapon or skill is going to have the best DPS against that ship.

The Bad:

  • The reading involved in-game may not be to everyone’s taste as there really is a lot of it. From tutorial messages to finding out how or what you can do next, it is all a bit too squeezed in together, a bit more voice acting would of helped it along better.
  • The combat part of the game is very well done, but after you perform the main objective like kill “X” amount of bad guys, there is no way I could search for more survivors or do anything else. I would have preferred to just mess around for a bit more, but it almost seemed like i was being rushed out of combat area.

Nitpicking:

As with all strategy game you need a lot of time to understand everything as there is a steep learning curve. If you’re a casual player or don’t have that much free time I really wouldn’t bother but once the game does suck you in there really is no letting go as it can be very much of a “just one more go” situation.

Did I make time to complete it?

5 attempts I took, all at the easiest difficulty setting in “invasion” mode and I failed all 5 times.

Recommended Purchase Price:

If you have the time and patience it is worth its current full price $4.99, which isn’t bad for an expansion of this scope.

OR

100% of current retail value of $4.99

Reviewer:

Beefy

Game Information:

Link to Betrayed Hope’s Steam page for full game information

Clandestine “Redlight, Greenlight?” Review

 

clandestine

Type of Game:

3rd person stealth with hacking elements

Version Played:

PC version through Steam (0.1 and 0.1.1 early access)

Similar Games:

Tom Clancy’s Splinter cell games and to a lesser degree Hacker Evolution

The Good:

  • Co-op is a great laugh with the host being on the “field”. That player’s character is Katya, who finds herself doing the missions while the other player is hacking into cameras to disable them and tagging the enemies for Katya to see.
  • Playing as the hacker has a very good retro feel about it. The graphics used are black and white on the cameras and the player’s view while blue on the hacking tree.
  • Tutorial does a good job covering the basics.
  • 4 “challenges” to go through (no story as of yet) and each challenge has 3 game types and these are…

    • Cleaner: eliminate “x” number of bad guys before Katya dies.
    • Exfil: get to the exit before Katya dies.
    • Smash & Grab: grab 3 items before, yup you guessed it, Katya dies.

The Bad:

  • Very jerky animations. Optimization of the game’s animation needs to come sooner rather then later.
  • AI of the enemy is laughable, after spotting Katya they sometimes fight, sometimes run straight past Katya. They running past bug is especially fustrating as there’s no alarm or anything of interest for the AI on the other side of Katya.
  • Clipping of the flooring is very dodgy especially near edges and on ramps, just be prepared to fall through the level. The only way to fix this is to go back to main menu via pausing the game.
  • Tutorial would have been better served if it showed the player a step by step guide for doing the harder things in the game like tagging enemies and bribing.
  • Crouching while in a tunnel and then trying to run via the “shift” key, but then all of a sudden your head is above the tunnel whilst running…which happens in the first part of the tutorial.
  • Only 1 patch since Early Access launch? I’m not sure of the scope of the developer team from Logic Artists, but Early Access success stories usually involve a more frequent patch distribution.

Nitpicking:

Clandestine is chock full of bugs with the main ones commented on in “The Bad” section. I wouldn’t say it was unplayable, but for the asking price it almost seems like Logic Artists released the game with very little bug testing. I’d love to eat my words but from the proof on show…it’s not looking good.

Did I make time to complete it?

Yes, I completed all of what is on offer at the moment with all variants.

Redlight or Greenlight?

 

redt

This game is currently at a redlight.

If you can justify spending £22.99 or $29.99 for a faaaaar from complete game then go ahead, but i would personally say wait till its at least 50% off especially in this form.

Reviewer:

Beefy

Game Information:

Link to Clandestine’s Steam page for full game information

Team Indie Review

teamindie

 

Type of Game:

2D puzzle platformer

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Braid, Offspring Fling!, and to a lesser degree Super Meat Boy

The Good:

  • Clean crisp cute graphics which reminded me of the N64 2D platformers of that era.
  • The overall audio (including the music and SFX) is very child friendly. At one point I found my 2 year old daughter bopping her head with the headset on after I went on a break and left the game running.
  • Controls are nice and tight on a gamepad, which I recommend all platformer games should be played on.
  • Learning curve feels just right, starts nice and simple but gets slowly more challenging.
  • Great idea with different characters that have different abilities like one that can create platforms, another that can blow things up, and there’s 7 more to discover for the main character (a cat) to get to the end of the level.

The Bad:

  • The time it takes to finish a level does not get uploaded to an online leaderboard which is a shame really as it would have added more life to the game for speed running competitions.
  • The game gets very repetitious. I could not face another level after level 12, I’m sorry folks, but i just found the game boring. It was the same thing over and over with little variation.
  • Price of the game being £10 or $12.99 is a bit too much for a simple 2d puzzler with little content.

Nitpicking:

Absolutely no bugs found in my play test, but sadly the play test itself was very boring. 

Did I make time to complete it?

Nope. I gave up after level 12 with the sheer boredom of it.

Recommended Purchase Price:

The level design was really well done, but just the whole package seemed off. The cat getting so much help off other characters is a great idea, but its such a shame the cat didn’t have special abilities itself. I know the cat was from the real world transported into the game, but this is a video game! My 3 children loved watching me play the game as there’s no gore and its only cartoon violence, but here comes my major issue the price…£10 or $12.99 is far too much for a game of this caliber just make sure you watch any gameplay vids on YouTube before you purchase Indie Team. I would personally recommend it at 50% off at the very most or wait for it to be put in a bundle from the likes of humblebundle.com.

OR

50% of current retail value of $12.99

Reviewer:

Beefy

Game Information:

Link to Team Indie’s Steam page for full game information

Ziggurat Review

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Type of Game:

Procedural Death Labyrinth (PDL) First Person Shooter (FPS ) or FPSPDL

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Paranautical Activity, Tower of Guns, HeXen, and to a lesser degree The Binding of Isaac

The Good:

  • FPS gameplay that is frantic and twitch-based, which brings back a feeling of playing old school Quake or an even better comparison Hexen
  • Four different weapon categories, which feature different ammo types for each. All weapons are projectile-based, but some feature area of effect damage or spread functionality. Weapons are varied enough to keep things interesting.
  • Numerous procedurally generated rooms that offer a strong challenge in the sense of number of enemies or traps to avoid
  • Progression is rewarded with abilities that make give the player mild advantages. 
    • For example: Health will restore slightly when entering a new combat room. This is a great ability as health potion drops are very infrequent
    • There are also permanent progression unlocks in the form of new characters, which feature different starting abilities
    • All of these choices drastically impact your play through and add a wonderful level of strategy to the gameplay
  • The game is challenging in a way that requires you to constantly be aware of your surroundings. You can quickly find yourself cornered or stuck on a pillar, which could equal your demise. I found the difficulty suspenseful and rewarding, which are the reasons I enjoy PDLs so much.
  • The art style is Gothic, which lends to the overall archaic design of the maps. You feel as though magic is a common companion to this game world, which appears to be the subject matter
  • There are many different enemy types and some creative ones as well (I’m looking at you weird floating whale creature), which all have different battle tactics. Facing a new enemy is both fascinating and frustrating.
    • There are also boss battles, which offer variations of other enemy-types you’ve faced off against. They are large and difficult to overcome, which again adds to the satisfaction when you beat them.

The Bad:

  • The game has an ending, but doesn’t offer much in the way of end-game content after you do so. There is no New Game+ or added bosses (think Binding of Isaac). Once you’ve beaten the game there is little motivation to return to it. A successful run can take as short as a couple hours, which is disappointing considering how much content this game features
    • Update: Looks like the developers are working on an “endless mode”, which would obviously affect my opinion of the game
  • Puzzle sections feature FPS platforming, which I feel is always a difficult mechanic to pull off. Since you can’t see your feet, timing your jumps with the location of your player’s body is tedious and unnecessarily frustrating.
  • Gameplay itself can get stale, as once you’ve seen all the weapons there is little variation to the strategy. Dash around and shoot at all the enemies then jump around a frustrating platforming puzzle then repeat.

Can you play it while the children are awake?

The monsters are creepy and well designed and as I mentioned above there is a strong Gothic influence, which can create a scary atmosphere. I would say it is fine for older children, but the younger ones may let their imagination run wild and be scared of the content.

Did I make time to complete it?

Yes. It took me a few hours to run through the entire game. Unfortunately, there was little incentive for me to return.

Recommended Purchase Price:

Ziggurat is an easy sell for someone who is both a fan of First Person Shooters and Procedural Death Labyrinths, there is much here to like. Whether it is the well crafted progression system, enemy type variation, random room generation, fast and crazy projectile combat, or the enjoyment of defeating a particularly difficult boss you’ll find something to enjoy! The only caveat to this would be the replayability of Ziggurat, as once you’ve completed the game there is little reason to return. I recommend a purchase price of $12.99.

OR

87% of current retail value of $14.99

Reviewer:

MisterS42

Game Information:

Link to Ziggurat’s Steam page for full game information

Planet Explorers “Redlight, Greenlight?” Review

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Type of Game:

Open World Sandbox Adventure with RPG elements

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Astral Terra, Realm Explorer, and to a lesser degree Starbound

The Good:

  • Fabulous looking graphics, definitely some of the  best looking graphics of any of the Early access games I’ve played to date.
  • Easy to pick up and play, it feels at first you’ve just stepped into an MMO where your given basic tools and told you can do absolutely anything, just don’t try to kill the aliens straight away because you won’t get very far.
  • A very user-friendly tutorial at the start of story mode that teaches you how to play without being overly complicated.
  • Online modes include co-op in tower-defense mode and adventure also there’s build mode if you rather just build without worry about any of the wildlife / aliens.
  • Planets really do feel like they’re a living breathing eco system such as plant life and the wildlife, like if you attack a baby the older wildlife of the same species will come to aid the younger siblings.
  • Using your handheld pc, which you start off with, is a great feature implementation for finding specific minerals to excavate to use in crafting. You just need to click on the mineral your looking for (if you have the update for your handheld pc) then click on scan and it shows a 3d scan of where that mineral is located.
  • Loads of content to be had, even for an alpha staged game, and it’s astounding. There are plenty of quests to do in story mode and even in that mode you can still mess about with creating buildings in building mode, mine, forage for wood etc…

The Bad:

  • Great graphics comes at a price, my Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 se makes so much noise while i’m playing this its near enough deafening so sure you look more at the recommended section of the system requirements more then the minimum section.
  • The melee combat does not feel finished, I know I played an alpha version of this, but the animation looked horrible maybe having a “lock on system” while you do melee combat…but the ranged combat is much better.

Nitpicking:

Only noticed a couple of non-important bugs like standing inside the floor, as in like sinking half an inch into the floor, almost seems the clipping in the game is not 100% all there yet but being in alpha state its forgivable… for now.

Did I make time to complete it?

Yes. I completed the story as far it goes…for the time being, there is going to be more later down the game’s life. Other modes can’t be completed.

Redlight or Greenlight?

green

This game is currently at a greenlight.

Hell yes greenlight! For an alpha it’s great, the price may put some people off, but the game has been discounted a few times but its definitely worth the full price.

Reviewer:

Beefy

Game Information:

Link to Planet Explorer’s Steam page for full game information

Metrocide “Redlight, Greenlight?” Review

metrologo

Type of Game:

Top Down Stealth Action Game

Version Played:

Early Access PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Hitman, Gunpoint, Hotline Miami, and to a lesser degree the early Grand Theft Auto series (I – II)

The Good:

  • Very stylized cyberpunk atmosphere and design, which is fun to experience and explore.
    • While the graphics are pixelated the city is designed in such a way as to remind one of Bladerunner.
  • Fun stealth-based gameplay that involves carefully planning contract-based assassinations, which are satisfyingly difficult to pull off.
    • While all the action takes place outside, the maps are designed in such a way as to keep things challenging.
    • Targets will stop and change directions, stop to smoke a cigarette, be surrounded by civilians, and enter buildings.
    • Early guns require you to “load” your shot by holding down the mouse button, this can create tense moments as you try to time your shots around other civilians and surveillance cameras.
  • There are a handful of weapons and gadgets that can assist you during your assassinations, which keep the gameplay fresh as you accumulate more money.
    • Weapons and gadgets include, but not limited to: shotguns, rifles, flash-bang grenades, remote explosives, and silenced pistols.
  • Permadeath system which adds to the tension and suspense of the gameplay. Every shot counts and being detected is quite enjoyably stressful as you search for a terminal to hack your police history or simply outrun the cops.
  • There are different gametypes, though currently only normal and score attack are available. Future gametypes include: Blaster Only, Dead Trench Walking, and One Chance. Not sure what the future gametypes entail, but it is nice to know that there will be some variety forthcoming.
  • Metrocide is enjoyable difficult and challenging. You will die and often. The satisfaction that comes with a successful kill is made that much more rewarding by this.
  • Developers are currently very active with their updates, which fix many of the bugs that come up (see below).

The Bad:

  • As I say in most of my Early Access reviews, there are a lot of bugs in this title. Some examples that I encountered:
    • I was unable to play the game for a week due to start up crashes that wouldn’t allow me to load up the game. This has been remedied. 
    • Dying sometimes caused a game over state that doesn’t allow the gamer to exit or get to the main menu. Typically the game will just restart as normal, but one in three times you’ll encounter this bug. Developers have added an “access main menu at anytime” function until this is remedied.
    • Game will randomly crashed without reason, though with each update the crashes occur less frequently.
    • Incognito bonuses (killing and hiding a body without being observed) sometimes don’t trigger when they are supposed to.
  • Some key bindings are not very well explained, especially for the gadgets. It took me awhile to figure out how to use the lure (hint: it is the ‘z’ button).
  • There is not much depth to the game. Take a contract, executed contract, get money, buy more weapons, and then repeat. While that is fun thankfully, I imagine it will get tiresome for the long term.

Can you play it while the children are awake?

While there is gun violence, it is highly pixelated. Even if small children were watching, they would probably not be able to figure out what is going on. Context wary children may be able to figure it out.

Did I make time to complete it?

I beat the first map, but had difficulty surviving the second map long enough to proceed. I’ve put in about 4 hours and enjoyed each one.

Redlight or Greenlight?

green

This game is currently at a greenlight.

Metrocide is very blatant about its design. Straight and to the point action stealth game. There are no bells and whistles, but there is a very stylized experience. The game emanates style and as a fan of the cyberpunk genre, I was captivated by it. If you are a fan of the hitman games and go into Metrocide expecting a fun diversion for a few days, you will definitely get your money’s worth. The asking price is just right @ $6.99, though it will apparently be more expensive ($12.99) at full release. Unless there are drastic changes to the depth of the game, I’d be hard pressed to recommend it at that price. I will update this review when full release hits.

Reviewer:

MisterS42

Game Information:

Link to Metrocide’s Steam page for full game information

Life is Feudal: Your Own “Redlight, Greenlight?” Review

life_is_feudal_banner

Type of Game:

First person or Third Person Multiplayer Medieval Survival Sandbox Open World Simulation

Version Played:

Early Access PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

DayZ, Rust, and to a lesser degree the Mount & Blade series

The Good:

  • An epic game world filled to the brim with content, whether it be things to craft or items to use, the game world has no limits on what you can do.
    • Everything you see is reachable and harvestable.
  • A very strong medieval aesthetic, which makes the game stand out more so than the competition (i.e. DayZ, Rust, etc…).
  • Multiplayer is this game’s strong suit with a great enjoyment to be had by exploring the medieval landscape with a buddy or two.
    • The crafting, building, and surviving aspects of the game are much more exciting when experienced with a friend
  • There is a level progression system, which you typically won’t find in games of this nature.
    • I only say this because a progression system is much more fun in a survival type game and brings with it a sense of urgency that you would find in a PDL genre-type.
  • The map is always present, which usually isn’t the case for these games. This makes coordinating a rendezvous with your friends much easier and drastically improves the multiplayer experience. 
  • As you’ll find with other game’s of this type, the relationships with other players is a fascinating experience. For the most part other players typically pursue a Lord of the Flies mentality and will often exert their power over those that have a weak footing in the game’s hierarchy. However, when you encounter other players that are helpful it makes the game much easier to digest and enjoy.

The Bad:

  • Life is Feudal is very clunky and not polished at the moment. Menu and interface options aren’t intuitive and present themselves as overly complex. 
  • Complete lack of a tutorial, which is understandable for an “Early Access” title, but you should be aware none-the-less.
  • Single-player is difficult to swallow as most other players will just grief you over and over again. Playing with your friends is the only way to currently guarantee a good time.
  • Outside of the medieval aspects, this game is more of the same if you’ve played Rust or DayZ. I would argue that the features are much deeper than what Rust has to offer and Rust is Life is Feudal’s closest likeness.

Can you play it while the children are awake?

Due to the nature of multiplayer shenanigans, I often had to play without my sound on. Other players are often rude and mean, which can lead to profane language and crude lingo. There is also combat and violence, but I felt as though the graphics weren’t grand enough to matter in that regard. 

Did I make time to complete it?

As a multiplayer game there is no completion per say. I did build a number of structures and survived for a number of hours.

Redlight or Greenlight?

 

redt

This game is currently at a redlight.

The content that is currently offered is just not worth the asking price of $39.99. If you were a gamer that REALLY enjoyed Rust, then you will be getting your money’s worth in this title as the content is better. Outside of that demographic, I just don’t see the appeal of paying a large amount of money to experience a lesson in human nature (i.e. griefing) and confusing gameplay (lack of tutorial). This may change as the game updates, so please check back here for any changes in my preview.

Reviewer:

MisterS42

Game Information:

Link to Life is Feudal’s Steam page for full game information

Super Win the Game Review

 

header (1)

Type of Game:

Non-violent 8-bit exploration platformer

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

You Have to Win the Game, Legend of Zelda II, and to a lesser degree Super Mario Bros

The Good:

  • Fabulous feeling that your playing an 80’s game, the graphics brought a tear to my eye with the retro aesthetic.
  • No game-over screens. Just make sure you ring the yellow bells to respawn closer to where you made a mistake.
  • Plenty of things to collect especially if you want to 100% the game, like finding all 128 gems.
  • Gentle learning curve, easy at the start, tricky at the end but never impossible.
  • Perfect to play in-front of kids as there’s no violence or gore.
  • Controls feel nice and tight so if you slip off a platform onto a untimely respawn the only person you can blame is yourself.

The Bad:

  • No interactive map showing where you have cleared all the gems from.
  • The graphics wont be for everyone, as an example I loved how it reminded me of the NES and Gameboy era but when my partner saw it she cringed.

Nitpicking:

If you don’t like games where you need to have your hand held finding everything, then don’t buy this as not everything is clear as soon as you enter the room. If you want to try something very similar, try out “You Have to Win the Game” first especially if you’re undecided on getting this.

Did I make time to complete it?

Yes, I did all the story and it took me close to 5 hours (didn’t 100% game)

Recommended Purchase Price:

Definitely worth the asking price of $13 if you’re fond of retro gaming, if not try “You Have to Win the Game” first.

OR

100% of current retail value of $12.99

Reviewer:

Beefy

Game Information:

Link to Super Win the Game’s Steam page for full game information

Road Redemption “Redlight, Greenlight?” Review

 

Image converted using ifftoany

Type of Game:

Action Motorcycle Racing

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Road Rash and to a lesser degree Destruction Derby

The Good:

  • Fast and furious violent action using an assortment of weapons.
    • Weapons include melee weapons (swords, axes, bats and so forth) and firearms (shotguns, pistols, machine guns and my personal favorite the grenade launcher).
  • Levels will keep you on your toes with lots of different way to knock you off your bike such as cars, rival bikers and logs dropping of trucks and that’s just on the road.
  • Shop in-between levels to boost ammo, health, nitro, durability of melee weapons, and much more. Be warned that these upgrades disappear after you lose all your health on the road.
  • There is persistent experience generation (from killing rival bikers and destroying cars) that allows you to get points to spend upgrading your bike, max health, upgrading your starting weapons, and so forth. These bonuses always stay with you no matter how many times you restart a level.
  • Split screen campaign (soon to be online). Works very well with shared bonuses from the shop and also a competitive mode is in the works too.
  • At the time of writing there has been 6 updates to knock out bugs, increase performance and add new content and the game hasn’t been out a month yet, so yes dear reader this is a dev team that listens to its community and keeps an eye out for bugs.

The Bad:

  • There are no key-bindings just yet (there is a placeholder in the options) so just a head’s up if you don’t have a game-pad. You will struggle without one.
  • Aiming your cross-hair to use firearms is very difficult and there isn’t a button to reset your camera. What ends up happening is after you try aiming and want to have your camera dead center you need to do it manually and fast before you go head first into a car. I have faith in the dev team that this is going to be sorted out sooner rather than later.
  • The hit detection seems a bit off from the rival bikers as there able to hit you when they’re in mid air and you’re on the ground, although it seems to happen more on “the rooftop” levels then in the other levels.

Nitpicking:

Yes Road Redemption has bugs, a fair few to put mildly, but only just a few weeks old on Steam and they’ve already released several patches to address the big ones.

Did I make time to complete it?

Yes. 5 times so far in 11 hours.

Redlight or Greenlight?

green

This game is currently at a greenlight.

Thanks to the dev team for handing out plenty of patches in a short amount of time (big company’s take note). I was a kickstarter backer paying $20, but it was money well spent and I’d gladly spend double if not more for this great title. I’m really, really glad its this team (Dark Seas Games) that has made RR and by the time this has released in its final form it’ll be an instant classic and definitely my game of the year. Can you tell I’m biased towards Road Rash style games?

Reviewer:

Beefy

Game Information:

Link to Road Redemption’s Steam page for full game information

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