Posted: October 9
Early Access Review
As is, it is well worth the asking price if you have friends willing to join with you. If you are someone that loves the generic chess, checkers, backgammon, chinese checkers, etc. or if you absolutely love card games such as poker, solitare, or even go fish, this title delivers impressively. It is NOT a single player game, but you could (as mentioned) play solitare with the cards given to you.
The game doesn't hold your hand. It gives you some luxory controls, but it otherwise wont tell you what you can and cannot do. As the video preview shows off, this garuntees chaos if you allow it to happen. This is more of a good thing (I think) than a bad thing, but it does cause somewhat frustrating experiences in the online play. Because it doesn't hold your hand, people might unintentially break the rules in various games or make some up of their own. This is a good thing for people in various cultures with different rules, not to mention those that want to play house rules (such as not having to jump in checkers, something you technically don't have to do if you are okay removing the piece, but programs force you to typically anyways). This is bad because complete anarchy is expected, it really is a simulator and, like real life, some disagreements are expected. Overall, I'd say it's a good thing despite the consequences; I believe you could say it's a double edge sword.
In my opinion, this game's strongest advantage over anything else on Steam that demands much more money for such less content, such as any mediocre chess game on Steam, is the freedom this game gives you. Not just the ability to do virtually anything within reason like the first paragraph poked at a bit, but the ability to create custom games and downloading other's custom games. This, of course, inevitably means about 90% of the time COPYRIGHTED content. This is a huge blow over the board game and card game industry and I ♥♥♥♥ing love it.
Just like the whole "people don't want to buy music on the internet" and then the same morons began wondering why music piracy began to rise, you can expect this tabletop simulator to have a significant role for a similar outcome in regards to board games and card games. We asked for a good *insert trading card game* simulator and we got ignored, maybe humored with half ♥♥♥♥♥ games instead, but now we have an alternative. Some copyright claims have been made, particularly Munchkin, this was to be expected but some are yet the wiser and either ignore this game or don't even realize it exists like (it seems) a good part of the gaming community... particularly the people willing to pay $50 for a chess simulator.
Regardless, I wont ramble on about that nonsense that doesn't matter to us, the consumers (at least not until our "freedoms" start get taken away by lawyers that are smarter, yat greedier, than their own good). No, I will discuss further how custom work *kinda* works, as someone who puts in a heavy load of *cough*copyrighted material*cough*. It is very easy! For cards, you just make a huge picture and put all the cards on it, up to 69 specifically at the moment, and the game cuts it up into pieces. The downside? The quality will be shit unless it is a very big picture. To make matters worse, the game currently requires you to upload said giant image to a random website for everyone to download it from. This is bad, because there isn't exactly a variety of file hosts to use that would allow such a huge file. I currently use dropbox, but it gave me problems recently that I will forgive because I have nobody else to go through, but I will never forget. With that said, it would be nice if Tabletop Simulator uses an alernative last resort file sharing method, have it between the players.
Why wouldn't the game do this from the start? Well, there is the possibility of saving file types with specific names and the game will, for now on, load that specific file instead of the original. If you had it so the game will send the files the players have, this could result in exploits that involve offensive or otherwise illegal materials most of us don't want to see. So, I agree not to have this as a primary form of getting files, but it would be nice to be able to download from the host or whoever upload the item and maybe keep track of the steam id that gave that specific file to you, that way reporting is an option. Hopefully the TTS devs will consider this as a solution to the problem, assuming this problem was the reason they avoided the option of peer to peer file transfer.
The game offers so much, but like any early access games, bugs are expected. They fixed quite a few recently, but some still exist. Despite all of them, the game is well worth it. However, I cannot stress it enough that you plan to do this with friends, for randoms only play a handful of games.
Freedom. For something that is just on a single table, it feels as big as a sanbox (I'm exaggerating, but for what's worth, you have building blocks, something you'd see sometimes in a real life sandbox)
Variety. You get a lot for what you paid for. Try to look up chess games on Steam.
Customization. You can make your own games or copy and paste something else... probably copyrighted most likely. Because of this, you can play virtually anything you dreamed of having in your childhood for the price that is TTS.
Online. You can play board games with loved ones from far away, or with near by friends that don't want to spend hundreds on trading cards or RPG materials.
There is some anti griefing options in place, but maybe we could use more.
There isn't a whole lot of people in the community, a lot of them are griefers.
Players currently cannot just pull card decks out of workshop items without loading it, something that is addressed for other items.
Host is unable to change server settings once the game server is made. Such as server name, player count, etc. This will probably also be addressed in the future.
Lack of file transfering between players with custom items. Of course, this is probably to prevent porn to be traded around rather than monopoly board images by "mistake," but this is something the devs should look into.
Overall, this game is splended. We have building blocks, but could someone for the love of god add in some plastic army men?
This isn't the kinda game you wait for a sale for, this is the kinda game you buy with only one regret: not buying it sooner.
9/10 seems fair, but it will be different for everyone. I ♥♥♥♥ing love Monopoly, Yugioh, Coupe, Tsuro, Chess, Poker, etc. so I make the most of this game. For those that are not so into all of that, maybe you wont make the most of it like I do. Regardless, buy it. Seriously... buy it.
Players, including non hosts, can now upload their trading card decks. Initially, only hosts were able to lost from saved chest items but that is no longer the case. Because of this update, I removed this from the cons list.
It has come to my attention that someone made software on the forums that indeeds allows hosts to send card deck files to others from their own computer. Clearly the game is capable, but I do not personally know the details behind this. I just wish to point it out that it's possible, but I still will leave it under cons due to it being unoffical software and the game doesn't seem to even hint the possibility as well, again, I don't know the details in how it works.
It is worth noting that there is now a tutorial added to the game. It, however, does not teach you absolutely everything players may want to know in the game. Things I recall not being taught includes locking and unlocking items, the L key, changing object sizes with the -/+ keys, or how to navigate the menus which might be a confusing part of the game to newer players. I mention this in regards to my initial comment that this game doesn't hold your hand. Still doesn't, but better.