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Endless Entertainment

May 9, 2015

Dear Reader,

Do you remember Black Isle studios?  Or Microprose?  Or even the early incarnation of Bethesda?

Those studios, to me, spoke of a kind of quality that made it safe to buy virtually any game they made.  They knew their niche, knew their strengths, and were good at producing games that we fans enjoyed.

It’s been a while since I’ve had such a strong loyalty to a particular studio.  Perhaps this recent distance is due to the apparent consolidation of small studios under huge corporate roofs; I don’t know.  However, over the past few months, I have noticed a new, recent attachment to a newer gaming studio: Amplitude.

If you’re familiar with Amplitude, it will be from one of their three Endless titles: Endless Space, Dungeon of the Endless, and Endless Legend.  Endless Space and Endless Legend are 4x games; I bought Endless Space years ago and played it quite a lot.  I enjoyed the complexity of the 4x game without the complication that some “grand” strategy games end up with.  I played it for many hours, eventually moving on to newer fare.  The game – and the company behind it – slowly left my awareness.

Until recently.  I had been playing Dungeon of the Endless without realizing its connection to Endless Space.  The resource system is actually the same – industry, food, science, tech – but, honestly, that could be a resource system for any 4x or RTS game.  DotE is an interesting mix of an RTS, a rogue-like, a tower defense, and an RPG.  In it, you play a party of adventurers who’ve crash landed on a strange planet and must escape the underground substructures in which you find yourselves.  To do this, you must explore the dungeon, find the exit, and – and this is the real key – then carry an energy from the first room you’re in to power the elevator exit while being under constant attack by monsters.  It’s a hell of a game, and it’s a lot of fun.

Then Steam offered up Endless Legend for a free weekend and cross-marketed it with Dungeon of the Endless.  Endless Space, which had fallen from memory, was there for sale, too, and it finally struck me: these were from the same company.  I decided to give Endless Legend a try and have found it extremely enjoyable; it seems to have all the strengths of Civ 5 with an added level of city and combat strategy.  The empires you choose to play are also extremely different, moreso than just a bonus to culture or a special building that gives extra faith.  More on that in another post.

How much have I enjoyed it?  Well, I planned to write this post two weeks ago, which was about a week after the free weekend.  Each weekend I’ve opened up WordPress and a few sites I wanted to link to, sat down to write, and loaded up Endless Legend “to play while I write.”

And this is just now getting written.

I think you see my point.

So, if you’re looking for an excellent 4x game or an intriguingly different RTS/RPG/Tower Defense, check out Amplitude Studios’ games.  I think you’ll be impressed!

Sincerely,

Stubborn (not Endless at all)

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