41 people found this review helpful 15 people found this review funny
67.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 3, 2015
Love the board game and this is a good port. AI is decent enough, but seems to weaken with the added DLC, perhaps due to their complexity? Anyway, got it for 75% off ($4) and it was worth that. I waited for the sale because if I was going to pay $16, I may as well get a friend another board game of it and play offline.
Get it on sale at around $4-5 and you won't be disappointed. You may even want to get the board game version and rejoin the real world (ok maybe not).
31 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 19, 2014
Genre - Board Game Conversion This is a 2 player game that can be played against adjustable difficulty AI, Hot Seat or Online, this covers all bases unless aliens exist or we can some how get monkeys invoilved. It is a game that MENSA backed and I can see why. It has the mechanics to make each game a quick strategic test, the more moves you think ahead the more chance you have to win. Each bug moves differently (like chess) and the aim is to suround the enemy queen. They have included many achievements for those who are interested and different bugs have been added to allow customised games and re-playability.
Análisis en español aquí[tny.cz] I can barely recomend this game. It is good but a small amount of issues makes it not so pleasurable as it should.
*Introduction For start I should explain what this game is about, without going into details about the rules and moves of each type of piece. Hive is a well known tabletop game for two player. It doesn't use a board, instead players take turns to place or move their hexagonal pieces (representing bugs) contacting one another and thus forming the playing area (hive). Each type of piece has its own move (like chess). The goal is surround the opponent's queen bee while we protect our own queen. Hive is a very good game, awarded over here and over there, by these and those people. The description of the Steam store handles make it clear that it is a awarded game. It's a game with not too much rules to learn, easy to play. Still the game has a lot of strategy to consider. Move or place? Attack or defend? Which and how many bugs play or conserve?
*Gameplay The game stays true to the rules of the tabletop game and therefore it's played practically the same, except for the difference we not have to wonder if every move is valid. Just click on on of your pieces and it will be show the places where we can place it with another click. About the AI, it can take too long time to decide to move, especially in higher difficulties, so the match will always be interrupted. Also the AI is not very smart in higher difficulties.
*Graphic user interface The menu is simple and minimalist. That is usually good, but this time it's taken to the extreme scarcing in basic options such as selecting screen resolution. When a match is created you can choose how to compete with our rival (remember that it's a two players game). We can play against artificial intelligence on 5 difficulties, on line through Steam, and two local modes, each player with its own peripheral (keyboard and gamepad) or sharing the same peripheral (pass and play). During the match, the playground is a wooden surface, on which we will place the pieces. The pieces are placed or moved, first by clicking them and then clicking on one of the marked areas. The pieces can't be dragged. We can control the point of view but not the zoom, which is automatically adjusted to make visible all pieces.
*Audio It can be summarized as boring and repetitive. Little choice and very boring. I know it must not distract players, but it is soooo boring that is annoying and you will end up turning it off. As a curiosity I can mention that some sound effects and music are free from Freesound.org and OpenGameArt.
* Online gaming As multiplayer game, online gaming should be an important part. In this section we can create and join public and private lobby, although the private ones can only be joined by invitation. It has an ELO rating system (like chess and go). This is a scoring system to calculate the skill level of the players. So when creating a game we can choose whether we want it to be "rated game" or not. That is if we want to bear in mind that rating system for the match or not. It doesn't have online player waiting to play. It's one of those games you must play with friends since you can not find random players. An important negative point is that the online game often fails, forcing you to restart it. That doesn't always happen, only in matches you think you are going to win. I don't know how that affects your score because I have not played with that option enabled, but I suspect it should not be good since my opponent informed me that the game notify him I abandoned the match when it failed and we had to start another one. One last detail in this section. The game requires Steam to play online. An important detail to note as it is advertised as DRM-free on the dev's website via Humble widget.
*DLC Something you should know is that the game is incomplete, it has missing pieces. These missing pieces are sold separately as DLC. As a result you get an incomplete game and additional parts cost almost as much as the base game ($10 base game and $3 each of 3 DLC, $19 total), although there are discounts for purchasing bundles. Unfortunately, developers planned to sell the game this way from the begining. Probably they developed the game thinking about the DLC. They justify this by comparing it with the physical version of the game (a comparison that does not seem appropriate to me). As if that were not enough to buy an intentionally incomplete game, each DLC gives only one piece which is distasteful (remember that it's about pieces of a tabletop game, not hats or skins). These extra pieces already existed at the time of game release, they didn't have to think and create new pieces. If you own a DLC, you can use it in a match although your competitor doesn't own it, both player obtaining additional parts. That means that content is included for all in the game and is not an optional extra download, but is locked until you shell out more money. Note that we talk about pieces of a tabetop game and not about hats or cosmetic items, for a paid game, not a F2P in which would be acceptable.
Pros: + It's Hive and maintains its rules. + Online multiplayer. + It has artificial intelligence so that those who are "forever alone" can enjoy it.
Cons: - DLC based business model. The game is incomplete and you must pay almost double for the extra pieces (every DLC offers one miserable piece). $19 for the full game is very overpriced for a game like this with all the drawbacks. - Repetitive and boring music. - Few options. Not much to modify to your pleasure. You can not change the game screen resolution, to do this you must change the desktop resolution. You can not control the zoom. - Artificial intelligence is slow. This is more noticeable in higher difficulties. - No online players (though no fault of the game). - DLC. I have already said it, no? - It is only available in English. It is not necessary to know english to play if you know the rules. Conversely, if you do not know them, you must learn them in english. Language can be a barrier and this may impair the growth of the community. - Online matches usually fail. - No low-end system friendly.
I should mention that many of the comments and analysis I read are outdated. Some corrections: - Camara and perspective. Now we can move the camera, but the zoom is adjusted automatically. - Options. You can play in windowed mode or full screen and can also change the volume of music (can be lowered to not hear it) and sound effects. Can not change the resolution yet. - Appearance and aesthetics. Now you can choose the tileset between 3 options: Standard (with 3D bugs), Classic (as the classical version of the game) and Carbon (black and white as carbon edition physical version). Pop-ups are less obtrusive and pieces no longer float, now are sustained on a wooden table. - Artificial intelligence. It has been improved both in their deciciones as in the time it takes. It is still slow in higher difficulties. - Missing pieces. The missing pieces are sold as DLC. - It is not DRM-free. No, it's not. It is advertised as such but to play online you need Steam. You can copy the program files but only work to play without internet connection.
Edit: Since I wrote this review, there was an update that fixes some online problems (some of which I was a victim). I didn't test it yet.
Hive is a fantastic game, and this is a pretty good implementation. However, there is some minor wonkiness with the interface: 1. You can't pan around because it really isn't necessary, but this causes an effect with some tile placements where you have to find the portion of the tile at the top which isnn't being obscured by other text. 2. There are announcements that are displayed when a move repeats a previous hive configuration that are very distracting and practically useless because they obscure the playfield. 3. The developers used this 3D zoom-out display mechanic that automatically scales the playfield to hold the tile configuration, even when there is only one huge tile on the playfield at the very beginning of the game.
Despite these minor problems, the game is very enjoyable and is the perfect distraction for ten minutes between other activities.
While we're supporting Hive we've already begun work on our next game, Khet 2.0. The exciting part is that all of our board games are likely to be built on the same engine we've written... so any new features we add into Khet will likely result in another upgrade to Hive!
...for instance, this week I've been working on teaching the AI to think during the opponent's turn. If that works out, it should be in the next Hive update, also.
We have a bunch of fun stuff planned for Hive in the future. Our only limitation seems to be the 24 hour day... but over time, you should see more and more of the cool ideas we have in our head!
65 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2013
When one measures the strength of a game that is an adaption of a previous title to a new medium, it becomes vital that one takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of both the original and the quality of the implementation of the new game. The version of Hive I played is a pre-release version and thus subject to changes, but with 6 hours under my belt I feel I am able to give at least a reasonable assessment of what BlueLine Game Studios[bluelinegamestudios.com] have done with Gen42 Games' work.
Published in 2001, the original Hive is a strategy board game without a board, like with Settlers of Catan the game uses a hex based tile system to create the environment of play, but Hive differs greatly from the beloved German classic. Hive has no fixed play area, it's tiles are it's units and can be played and moved based on a very Chess-like set of structured rules. The game is an enjoyable and varied one which lets players go through a game quickly against their opponent with no need to set up the board or learn too many rules. An additional bonus to the game is that it is largely language-agnostic, once the rules are known nothing in the game requires any kind of reading to cause issues between players.
This PC version of the game sticks well to the original game and implements the ruleset in a very by-the-book manner that gives no room for house rules, like modifying the unit list of the two players, which is a double edged sword - on one hand you aren't overloaded with a multitude of options in your face from the onset, but you are also limited in what you can do with the game, there are no handicaps. The game comes with the original Hive's expansion, the Pillbug, a single unit that most players would make a cardboard stand-in for when playing the physical game, in the game as purchasable DLC, which most PC gamers will agree has a sting to it, after seeing the PC version of Settlers of Catan, called simply Catan, one would hope all developers put as much love into their titles, including all expansions and many differing options for how to play.
Artificial Intelligence in this game on the lower levels is not overly resource hungry, but suffers from being a little daffy at times, on the highest level the opposite is true however. When playing on the 5th difficulty level you can occasionally wait a couple of minutes as it plays out possible moves it can take before settling on one and it makes for a much better fight, if a sometimes boring wait.
The musical selection is somewhat boring and repetitive, the game has a single and rather short track that repeats before you eventually disable audio playback after hour one of the song playing with your mind. One assumes it is a placeholder awaiting a little more variety in the playlist.
Interface for the game is a rather bare-bones at this stage, clean and responsive, but not overly attractive. The camera auto-zooms and includes the entire play area in your view, this is again both a good and bad thing, as I could find no means to change my camera angle, which is helpful in a game when you are in a difficult situation and want to get a fresh perspective on the game. Tool tips are in your face, unavoidable, and unclosable, you have to wait on them to fade away on their own, which is quite bothersome when you only want to see if a unit can move or not. There is presently no customization to the game, one cannot change the game's colours, nor use alternative tilesets to make the game more aesthetically appealing.
As there are no options to change resolution, modify volume, go to fullscreen instead of windowed mode, or change the graphics of the tiles, the game feels a little more limited than what many PC gamers might expect or even demand from a game. But the game is enjoyable in spite of it's presently simple presentation, one hopes that BlueLine will take what they have and move forward with the ability to control the camera, to change tilesets, unit lists and add a little more polish to the visual and auditory aspects of the title. I can easily say the game is a good one, I am just unsure if Steam users will be able to get past it's aesthetic limitations to the boardgame underneath. For strategy board game fans, this is likely a no-brainer to pick it up, but others will probably be less enthusiastic about the title as when it comes to boardgame adaptions, PC gamers tend to be more into Axis and Allies level complexity, and less into Chess.