If you haven't kept up with your metaphysical thinkers, you might need to play through "The Old City" more than once to master its storyline. Personally, I find it exciting to think that video games have evolved to a point where they can sustain that level of scrutiny.
While playing the game, I thought of my father, who is a far better sketch artist than I am. He is one of those people who is interested in video games but professes to be allergic to dual analog stick controllers. If the game's stylus-driven mechanics can win him over, I might owe Nintendo a heartfelt tweet.
"Ori and the Blind Forest" will tax the dexterity of just about anyone who doesn't eat games like "Super Meat Boy" or "I Wanna Be the Guy" for breakfast. If that disclaimer doesn't give you pause, know that this is a game that made me want to hug the developers.
Though I certainly believe that video games are an art form, there are precious few games that I would hold up as works of art, which for me – in its narrative varieties at least – has something to do with extending one's capacity for empathy or adding depth to one's sense of the human condition. On both counts "This War of Mine" succeeds.
"The Magic Circle" wants to confront you with its imperfections and make you consider why you play games in the first place. It may be the wiliest reflection on the medium to come out of a small studio since "The Stanley Parable" or "Fez." It's the rare sort of game that wants to amuse you, not pacify you.
As an open-world game,"Arkham Knight," on consoles at least, makes fabulous use of the Unreal 3 graphics engine, rendering Gotham in romantically grungy detail. This is the first Batman game that I've played that feels adequate to the comic book's legacy.
As obvious as the game's criticisms are about the encroachment of the police state or the ease of character assassination in the digital age, they're worth reiterating until we, in the real world, find a way out of our predicament. That doesn't make me fault the game less for its heavy-handedness, but I give it credit for having arguments to make.