First Impressions of A Closure & A Free-for-the-Weekend Game
Alien 911 and Golf With Your Friends are two flawed but enjoyable games definitely worth their respective price tags!
Golf With Your Friends
Golf With Your Friends is free for three days starting Thursday, July 29th. Over 90% of nearly 40,000 reviews on Steam are positive — a quite impressive score for a mini-golf title. A wide range of modes, highly customizable maps, and a level editor help with tailoring the experience to be fitting for all age and skill levels.
The graphics and sound aren’t going to blow anyone away, but they are quite good nonetheless. The art direction for visuals, sound and music are coherent, fitting each of the course themes appropriately.
And best of all, the controls are precise and predictable. When you miss a shot, you feel like you missed a shot due to lack of skill not because of varying controls. The occasional poorly designed hole will leave you frustrated, but an occasional bad hole is worth the remaining content and is still quite rare.
Even prior to the free weekend, the active player count was quite strong. Finding players shouldn’t be difficult and even if it is for some reason, the single player experience works!
Definitely a recommend!
Alien 911 is probably closed when you read it. It closes July 31st, 2021 after less than a year open.
The game description definitely points to some oddities, with the most apparent being that this was developed by someone and their children prior to them going off college with the end concept and release being finalized after they left for college. This isn’t necessarily an issue, but considering it is a buy-to-pay title already closing after 9 months, it really doesn’t seem like it was as much of a near-and-dear passion project as marketed. The player counts are low enough where there’s nothing preventing this game from downsizing to a single server. It’s still closing after 9 months of very little communication with the community.
Alien 911 takes the tower defense and third person shooter genres and fuses them together. The shooting mechanics work but lack much feedback, with sound effects, recoil, and other sound and visual design choices doing very little to create visceral feeling. The amount of content is also lacking, with 2 planets of 7 maps and difficulty settings to make each more difficulty — not enough for long-term play.
Despite it’s shortcomings, it’s still an enjoyable experience — especially as a free-to-play title. It needed another year in early access with development put into it. It’s abandoned though, but perhaps it will be relaunched in the future. Considering it had nearly 2 months of not even being accessible earlier this year, nearly no communication with the community, and a plethora of other management and design issues, it’s unlikely this will be revived. Hopefully the developer learns from mistakes made here and can carry forward the great concept to a better title in the future!