Daniel Nye Griffiths
Ultimately, the recreation of Rapture is work worth doing, and Irrational Games deserve the credit for the sweat of their brow. Anyone thinking of playing this already has a sunk cost in BioShock Infinite – if three hours of the upper quartile of that game's level of world-building and combat justifies the expense, you should not be disappointed.
Luftrausers is a beautifully balanced exercise in frustration and release – a simple but excellent instance of what can be done with slippery physics, simple graphics and a lot of guns. A lot. Deeper and longer games are on the market for $9.99, but few will match Luftrausers' addictiveness or its knife-sharp balance of frustration and elation.
If you have already been bitten, hopefully metaphorically, this season is unlikely to disappoint. Although the rushed, relentlessly downbeat ending of "No Going Back" may feel like a somewhat necessary clearing of the board for a new cast and new dilemmas in the third season.
There are criticisms to be made: whether or not a player will enjoy Gravity Ghost depends to a significant extent on how much they enjoy the core loop – which in this case often means actual loops. It can be finished in a single sitting – the game's 90-odd levels can be completed in three hours at a canter, or four with a more leisurely pace. And $15 for such a short game may be a sticking point for some, although I felt it passed the popcorn test – whether it provided as much value as a movie ticket and popcorn – handily.
It is also an interesting melding of the episodic adventure popularized by Telltale, the Doublefine puzzle game and the emergent genre of Cascadian environmental and self-exploration of which Gone Home is the definitive example. Fans of these forms are likely to find much to enjoy. Gentle, unhurried and with an ambient layer of puzzle-solving, this is a so far very successful melding of genres.