I’m a huge fan of Turbo Tape Games. They’ve done so much excellent work in bringing the computer games industry into the spotlight in Norway and doing an excellent job in preaching the value of the industry. These guys have opened so many doors and broken down so many barriers for the future of game development in Norway – I hope that we can do it justice. I remember meeting Fredrik Sundt Breien (Managing Director) at a First Tuesday event about games (OMG! 7 years ago!). He has the charisma and enthusiasm to charm any audience into believing that games are worth investing in – which he’s done! And continues to do so as he’s speaking at (Bergen’s new innovators and The Nordic Media Festival). In many ways I guess I’m kinda jealous, cause I’d like to do the exact same thing some day.
I met the technical director, Jan Haugland, at the Industrial Gaming conference, which was also one of my first presentations of Machinima hungover – thankfully come a long way since then! We had an indept conversation about game mechanics and the genious of Tetris, the details elude me, but I remember the happy feeling of meeting a good friend that day.
So when Turbo Tape Games was established, it was only natural for me to invite myself and the cHixOrs (pre Spillpikene) to visit the headquarters at Pixel Park. My what a long way they’ve come! I remember spending a good hour in their cramped office and still having absolutely no clue what Naval War was about. All I saw was a lot of code I did not understand and a lot of indication that this game was going to be just a tad too complicated for my taste.
But as you may have understood from the long personal rant and reminiscing – I adore them and on launch day of Naval War: Arctic Circle – I wanted to stop by and wish them good luck. I incidently had a meeting next door and thought I’d stop by with the gift of coffee and wish them good luck. They were surprisingly calm and relaxed and I felt like such a fan girl being so enthused and excited for them.
And then … I was allowed to try the game and I was scared.
I was absolutely certain that I would not like this game. Their promotional videos had high testosterone levels that frightened me and I usually end up hating strategy games (definitely RTS games!)within 10 minutes because I don’t want to get into the complicated rules.
I know I’m not the target audience, but I actually enjoyed it! After a few screw ups and a few impatient comments behind me like “Press the REALLY HUGE button!!” – I really got into it. One of the things I was worried about was that the aesthetics wouldn’t appeal to me – that I wanted a more “realistic” view of what was happening, but after a while I really didn’t care. The map was where the action was at and a lot of stuff was happening there! You needed to think of the whole board, consequences, making sure everything was doing something and I dunno – time flew by! I don’t understand the reviews coming out that it’s a niche product. It’s definitely “one of a kind” but they’ve written it so well that it’s easy to get involved with instantly – which I find most strategy games do not! If there’s one thing I wish had been better explained along the way was what the different “machines of war” could do, since my naval knowledge is rather dense. That said, however, I now even know what ASW means! It made me cursious to learn more about these machines and as soon as I get a PC in the house I want to play some more. Perhaps it is my lost love of Tom Clancy books that kicked in, but I surprisingly enjoyed it.
And so are others! Their first week has been so successful! They started off with nr. 1 on steam and they’ve been holding a steady course ever since! I wish them every success in the world and can’t wait for them to bloom in fame and fortune.
Here’s a much better and in-depth review from TotalBiscuit, The Cynical Brit: