More blood for the Blood God!

Screeching gears, rhythmic boot steps, and the soft crunch of fresh snow. These were the first notes of my invasion. I sought the Dwarfen capital of Karak Varn. The Dwarfs, hardy and resilient though they may be, were a thorn for my new allies, the green-skinned Orcs and goblins. I held my siege for weeks, and while my foes’ numbers dwindled, mine grew. After each clash, I wrenched the newly dead from the earth and added them to my fiendish, Vampire hordes. Siege engines ready, and carried yon by fresh Dwarfen zombies, I steeled my undead warriors for the final assault.

Off the Shoulder of Orion

Serenity and wonder fill my ears when I first open Stellaris. Pulling from the same lived-in future aesthetic of games like Mass Effect, Stellaris opens with an invitation. It wants you to explore, it wants you learn, to unearth secrets your galaxy has held for millennia. As I do, astral outlines and nebulae dot my galactic map. Carved out into large chunks are the cosmos’ remaining empires. The Kalaxenen Order. The Sibulan Core Worlds. The Bruggan Consciousness. And my own nascent superpower–the Reaper Commonwealth.

If you’re going to see one movie based on a gaming franchise this year…it probably shouldn’t be this one.

The Angry Birds movie is not funny. It maintains a frantic pace, and it never lets up from desperately wanting you to laugh–there’s hardly a second that goes by without some form of over-the-top slapstick, clumsy pun, or ineffective background visual gag. The themes and juvenile humor are clearly aimed at a very young audience, but some jokes are a little too edgy to recommend for the very young, while none of the ideas have enough bite to register as subversive satire. Angry Birds is instead, an unintentional copy of the mobile game it’s based on: a short, forgettable time-waster.