Neon Bedlam

Wobbledogs First Impressions ”Is it worth playing?”

Welcome to another spotlight for a different game than Gwent. Today a new game called Wobbledogs is being released on Steam. We of Team Bandit Gang had a look at it and want to share our first impressions with you.

When you start your first game you will be given helpful tips & tricks regarding the game mechanics and you will start in a single room with a single Wobbledog. From this point on you can start feeding the dog and interact with it. Eventually you get a hatching machine in order to breed more Wobbledogs. Wait a minute, since when do dogs hatch from eggs?! Well, these are not conventional dogs but mutated ones and you better forget anything you learned about mammal anatomy in school. Because it’s not only the hatching from the eggs but also the metamorphosis in a cocoon when they grow up. It’s a bit weird in the beginning but you get used to this relatively quickly.

You can tell that the developer had a lot of fun creating this. In fact the breeding aspect is at least as important as the petting itself. By the choice of the diet for the dogs you influence their gut flora, which in return shapes out in the physical appearance of their kids. From then on you can mix and match these features as you like and unleash the creativity within this game. It’s a sandbox game after all.

Another aspect of this sandbox game is the creation of different rooms and decorate them as you like. You can create multiple rooms for your dogs to play in and give them different themes if you like. And if you are hesitant to do so, your Wobbledogs will change their surroundings anyway. For example by building a cave out of mud.

While playing alongside your Wobbledogs you also have challenges to complete. This way you can unlock new features to use. This includes decorations, flowers, carpets, wallpapers and then some. But generally speaking, this game remains very relaxed and slow paced so you can just have fun with these weird ass doggos.

Throughout today, our streamers will cover this new game on their respective channels on Twitch so feel free to stop by if you would like to check the game out! We had quite some fun playing it in advance and we hope that you might as well!

What do you think about Wobbledogs? Are you excited for it? What features are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments down below!

Game Spotlight: Draft of Darkness (Early Access), Bandit Gang’s First Look

Team Bandit Gang is excited to present a first-look into a new early-access game: Draft of Darkness. Bigdaddy843, Dr. Corchit, and Decode discuss their thoughts on their experiences so far and give some helpful tips

Slay the Spire on Newgrounds anyone?

What’s the game about?

843: Slay the Spire is the immediate thought everyone will probably have. I love Slay the Spire and Draft of Darkness (DoD) mimics some key aspects of the game, such as the rogue-like experience, card drafting and turn-based combat with energy management. DoD does add very interesting twists to this formula, particularly in the horror and resource management aspects. 

Decode: I’m not going to lie, I don’t scare easily and this game made me scared! DoD has a neat approach to a card game, but really shines at the atmosphere and spooky effects. DoD successfully captures me with the rogue-like hook, and I keep telling myself “I want to get further”. 

Dr. Corchit: The game reminded me a bit of Throne Breaker, the singleplayer version of Gwent. Exploration and combat were closely intertwined, and it was easy to run into monsters while navigating the game’s atmospherically dark rooms. It reminded me of some of the classic flash games I played back in high school, particularly the Sonny series. I don’t mean that as a bash–many of those games were very well done!

843: Yeah, especially with the pixel-art style, I think the game is heavily reminiscent of games from the 2000s. The atmosphere, turn-based gameplay and slower pace and movement evokes Darkest Dungeon, though that may not be to everyone’s taste. 

Decode: Helpful tip! If you don’t like the pixel-art style, you can turn it off in graphics options. I very much preferred the game in that way and enjoyed the game’s excellent 2.5D art assets in that form. 

Dr. Corchit: The gameplay isn’t anything you haven’t seen before–you run around a map and fight monsters in turn based combat, in a manner reminiscent of Pokemon. What this game brings to the genre is its atmospherically dark theme and card-based combat mechanics.

Pixelation on.
Pixelation off.

What’s the gameplay experience like? Also any advice?

Decode: The bread and butter of the game is actually resource management. While the game system is a rogue-like dungeon-crawl with deck-building/card game-play, the key to succeeding is Resident Evil-like in that if you can use your consumables correctly, you’ll do well. 

Dr. Corchit:  I liked the survival features implemented, whereby the player has to maintain energy, ammunition, and batteries. This was one of the more well-developed mechanics of the game as it was intuitive to understand and hit a sweet spot of complexity. Despite my best efforts though, I was thrashed by the boss on my first play-through. Looking back, I tried to fight every monster in order to gain XP, a strategy that works in most games. It seems that Draft of Darkness may require a more tactical approach when choosing to engage enemies.

843: I definitely agree one should avoid fights initially, at least until you pick up better gear, maybe a companion, and some resources. Dodging fights to explore before engaging for loot is helpful. One has to take care not to over-explore as ticking down some status effects require new ground to be covered. You also don’t want to accidentally walk into an encounter unprepared or in a bad state. I’ve managed to clear out stages fine with this general strategy. Speaking of status effects, Decode, as our key theory-crafter, what do you think of some of these mechanics?

Decode: Hah, I sort of just sped through it with a mix of exploration and some unavoidable fights. On decks, the best way to play is having one draw/tutor card and a boost card or two in the deck. You only need one tutor card, since, starting deck is 10, so you can achieve consistency quite easily, then it’s about stacking boosts and maintaining defenses before getting your finisher. You should also really bear in mind the game’s “conserve” feature that allows you to use weaker attacks without expending resources. 

Dr. Corchit: Personally, I felt that the game could develop its TCG aspect more thoroughly. I found that I wasn’t paying much attention to the cards added to my deck, and many of them were duplicates anyway. In my opinion, a truly challenging and well-designed card game should feature rare cards and precise strategy. Merely drawing and playing the same attack cards every round of combat doesn’t really scratch that itch.

843: DoD’s game-play is super engaging to me, you have to do the math before you execute a plan in terms of energy and resources, a combination of different moves (conserving or not), the order of moves (e.g. performing attacks before using a move that consumes your offensive boost). I really need to think my moves through. 

Decode: Yeah, bear in mind each character’s equipment/weapon specialties and perks as well. These can hugely impact your strategy in exploration and the deck/equipment builds that you go for. Personally I find dual-wielding and specializing in one particular card type to be the best way to play so far. Also, be persistent. You need to finish the game to unlock things, so even if you keep dying, getting more cards unlocked to improve your starter deck, learning from your experiences and getting to completion is the path to success. 

Cards and Resources for Your Precious Pennies.

What’s the state of the game?

843: Ok guys, bear in mind this is early access, so there’s a lot more all-important fine tuning to be done for a deep detailed game like this. How do you feel things are so far? For me, I like what I see in terms of potential, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. The pace is on the slow side for me. I understand that it’s horror-survival, so it sort of wants to be slower? But in terms of frequency of adding/removing cards, getting new items/relics to play with, and having excessive equipment/loot, it could be faster paced like its counterparts. 

Dr Corchit:  I think the game has decent potential. Games in early access are a mixed bag, and can vary from barely playable to virtually complete. This game has a considerable amount of polish and feels almost ready to be released. At the same time, the core game-play is a bit on the shallow side, though the graphics and vibes are impressive. One suggestion I have for the games developers: when you play cards from your hand, it might be interesting to have the player only redraw the cards they didn’t play from the last round. This would encourage tighter deck-building, and would punish players for having cards they never play in their hand. Additionally, I think that some persistence between hands is required for the game to feel like a card game. Redrawing your hand every round ruins that feeling.

843: Yeah I totally agree that this is really good for an early access stage. 

Decode: Same, but there’s some large issues, regarding the procedural room generation. One run, I got an unavoidable boss in the third room.  

843: Hah! I got one in the middle of my first run and died a painful death. So we all agree that pacing and the instance dungeons need work. 

Decode: That said, there are some super cool things that surprised me considering where the game is.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Story-line actions have consequences via a hidden mechanic. Good actions increase the light stat while being evil increases the dark. Also, try staying on a level for a really long time. If you stay still too long, there’s a HORRIFYING surprise waiting for you.

*SPOILERS END HERE*

The game is scary. Yeah. I do find the lore somewhat under-developed, the dots don’t connect yet even though I have completed the existing content twice. I am curious to learn more though. 

Dr. Corchit: Yeah, I don’t know, the cut-scenes don’t make sense? I think I accidentally skipped the first cutscene, though I remember reading something about being a hacker with access to a couple hundred servers. I found my character starting in a rather dark area that looked like an abandoned office building, with little explanation as to who I was or what I was doing. To be fair, I didn’t progress much past the first level.

843: Things do pick up at stage 2 when we learn a bit more about the world. Personally I’m just super curious in general so it was alright. Hah, Decode probably ran through stage 1 so fast he got right to the hooks. Alright, so people will have to be aware that the game is still in development and things are improving. 

Stage 2: The Streets. Where things really pick up.

What do we hope to see moving forward?

Decode: Well we know the developers are going in a good direction. Their Discord says they’re working on the UI and that’s something that sorely needs improvement. For instance, the HUD on the upper left is too small to catch. There’s a lot of unused space at the bottom which can be put to good use. Some UI customization options could go a long way. 

Possible HUD options for the future.

843: Yes I think improving the UI would help with many of the game’s teething problems. There are transparency and clarity issues. Card rarity is indicated but not explicitly explained, nor are any number of mechanics such as dual-wielding and many of the status effects. 

Dr. Corchit: I was confused by the massive number of status effects that I found in only the first level. There was even a status effect for being covered in spider webs! I’d prefer if the devs toned it down, introducing only a few per level. Status effects make the game more complicated, but they don’t always make it more fun. At least that’s an easy fix, and the sort of thing to be expected from a game in early access. 

Decode: Yes I saw all of them on level 1 and it was overwhelming. 

Dr. Corchit: I’m still not sure what the meta objective of some statuses is, such as radiation which is especially confusing. The status effects did have an explanation that displayed when you hover over them, but reading them all–especially when there’s so many in just the first level–can be a slog.

843: According to their Discord, radiation may be made positive later in the game with the right items. I guess it’s one of the added layers of complexity in trade-offs that are present in the game or will be developed further. 

Dr. Corchit: Speaking of complexities, I noticed there was an option to use or conserve ammo. Conserving ammo was often a beneficial strategy, and definitely an aspect of gameplay that I’d like to see in the final version. Yet, I noticed that turning on ammo conservation mode costs one energy, which felt counterintuitive. Besides that, default builds on companions can be really silly, like the cop having flashlight cards but no flashlight equipped. Also, it would be nice to use consumables during battle, perhaps for a modest cost in energy.

Decode: That’s some good quality of life stuff which would be nice. I think we could do away with the need to manually save every time you modify the deck. We also desperately need a profile screen. Having the option to start from scratch, save, override, delete multiple profiles is essential to roguelikes. Enhancing left click functionality will also go a long way, like allowing us to use it to examine things on the map or bring up tooltips/details/explanations in menus, inventory, etc. 

843: Well not to worry, I believe the community has noted the developers’ receptiveness to feedback and no doubt we’ll see at least some of these implemented in the future. We look forward to seeing this game in its full fledged form! 

 

Draft of Darkness by Crawly Games will be available for Early Access on Steam from the 31st of July 2021. Do check the game out here!

Update: The developers Crawly Games have proven immensely responsive, immediately rectifying bugs reported by Decode. 

Weekly Bandit Gang Content Update #2

Welcome to your weekly Bandit Gang content update.

Hello Strays of Spalla!

First of all, thanks to anyone out there that has been watching and showing support to our streamers play the game Trials of Fire live on Twitch, we hope you had a great time in this week of spotlight. Yesterday we concluded it and it was good to see that many of our content members worked closely together, by either hopping onto each other streams or just hanging out in the Twitch chat and helping out by giving tips & tricks.

Speaking of tips & tricks, Enzo has worked on a first impression and guide video for Trials of Fire regarding the Bandit Gang YouTube  which you can check out down below!

If  you want to see more of our videos then feel free to go our videos page on the website, we recently launched it . You can get directed towards it here.

A warm welcome to the latest addition to the Content Team!

Made by: NotKelseyArt

Carrost is the latest addition to the Content Team for Team Bandit Gang. During his 1 month trial we found out that he has quite the skill-set for when it comes to content creation. While he has been playing Gwent for over a year, he is relatively new to streaming on Twitch. His charisma and passion for memes is something that we liked about him. Not to forget to mention that he is a Voice Actor in his daily life and you can expect to hear his voice on a few projects that we have planned on the Bandit Gang YouTube channel. And at last, Carrost is a talented article writer as some of you might have already witnessed, so believe me when I say that you should keep your eyes peeled on this man.

Side Note: There will be an introduction interview released with Carrost this week on the Bandit Gang website.

A new series of columns called ''So You Want To Play!'' has been introduced

With Carrost getting out of his 1 month trial, he immediately put pen to paper and started a new series for the Bandit Gang website. Its a series of columns where he lifts a forgotten card out of the muck of disuse and attempt, just for one moment, to elevate it to something usable. In his first edition he wrote a column about the card Poor Fucking Infantry, also known as PFI. You can check it out here.

A video about the powerful spell Alzur's Double Cross and its creation

In case you missed it, our Lore Blast Episode 4  got published last weekend and has gained over 200 views already, not just from lore fanatics, but also from a lot of other members in the community. It has even received the Hugz Award and Snek Award on Reddit.

Lore Blast is a series of short videos covering various topics in the World of the Witcher through Gwent and the Witcher games. With the voice of Moriarty and the Master Editor Enzo to make it look pretty, this series has gotten a significant boost and more consistency.

We are thankful to anyone that has commented and shared our Lore Blast videos!

Bandit of the Month March

Made by: NotKelseyArt

It might not have come as a surprise to you, but of course we had to give the Bandit of the Month to Enzo who has brought life to our YouTube channel. Enzo is someone that has been constantly improve himself when it comes to content creation and video editing. If it wasn’t for Enzo, the Lore Blast series would not have continued. As Moriarty himself said that he wasn’t happy with his own video editing. Therefore, we want to congratulate Enzo with becoming the BOTM of March! 

This weeks uploads on the Bandit Gang YouTube

Illustrator: NotKelseyArt

Thank you so much for reading, and for supporting our content at Bandit Gang. Next week I will be back with more content to go through. But for now, I hope you will have a nice rest of your week!

Yours,

BJ
Content Manager
Team Bandit Gang

Weekly Bandit Gang Content Update #1

Welcome to your weekly Bandit Gang content update.

Hello Strays of Spalla!

Thank you so much for opening up this article, we hope you’ve had a lovely month so far.

It has been quite the month for Bandit Gang already, with the #SayNoToNetdecking  video that went live on April 1st, episode 3 of Lore Blast and the week of Spotlight for the game Trials of Fire.

The overwhelming response for the #SayNoToNetdecking video on our YouTube  and coverage on Reddit  with receiving the Helpful Award & Bravo Grande! Award  has delighted us at Bandit Gang. Especially considering that it was a group effort, its nice to see that the work payed off.

It has already reached over 700 views and is nearing the 1k views, thanks to all of you sharing and viewing the video!

Every year, Bandit Gang decides to say no to something on April Fools, while its a joke there is always some truth hidden within it. Last year we said no to the card Bribery, this time we decided to say no to Netdecking. While we have nothing against Netdecking itself, we hope to encourage people with the video to simply be open minded and try to build their own decks, even when it means that you will be playing bad cards and fail with them.

Usually when a meta snapshot releases, or a video regarding a deck that gets published by a popular streamer/content creator, you see relatively quickly that the meta starts to shift. Simply because people start Netdecking like a herd of animals, resulting in Homebrews disappearing, and that while encountering those decks in my opinion give me more pleasure when playing against them in Gwent.

One could say that a Homebrew is like a fine pearl. As long as its hidden in the shell, at the bottom of the sea, no one thinks of admiring it. But if you can bring it into the sunshine, this pearl will shine and attract all eyes. Thus the Homebrew, which is hidden from the eyes of the world, will one day shine before the Angels in the sunshine of eternity. A Homebrew, like a pearl, must be brought to the light for people to appreciate it. However, even if no one sees a Homebrew, it will always last in eternity and stand the test of time.

A video about the lore behind Viraxas and the Kingdom of Kerack

In case you missed it, our Lore Blast Episode 3  about Viraxas and the Kingdom of Kerack got published last weekend and has gained over 300 views already, not just from lore fanatics, but also from a lot of other members in the community. It has even received the Helpful Award on Reddit.

Lore Blast is a series of short videos covering various topics in the World of the Witcher through Gwent and the Witcher games. With the voice of MoriartyUK and the Master Editor Enz0Plays to make it look pretty, this series has gotten a significant boost and more consistency.

We are thankful to anyone that has commented and shared our Lore Blast videos!

Bringing spotlight to the game Trials of Fire

This week is a special week for Bandit Gang. We got the opportunity from Neon Bedlam  to bring spotlight to a game called Trials of Fire that is getting out of Early Access tomorrow. Weevil and myself wrote a piece for it which you can check out here.  But, you can expect a lot more from Bandit Gang. There will be an impression video on our YouTube tomorrow and many streams from our Content Creators tomorrow and in the weekend too!

A weekly spotlight is something that might happen again in the future for us at BG, where we are able to give spotlight to a game and work together as a group of Content Creators to give our fans some extra content aside of the regular Gwent content that we produce. In my opinion, its always a good to thing to abroaden your horizon when it comes to gaming in general. Because in the end, Gwent is not the only thing in life. Although Geralt might disagree with me there…

Thank you so much for reading, and for supporting our content at Bandit Gang. Next week I will be back with more content to go through. But for now, I hope you will have a nice rest of your week!

Yours,

BJ
Content Manager
Team Bandit Gang