Tennis World Tour 2 is an undeniable improvement on the original release and it's also arguably a great tennis game for those who can get into it. Aesthetically, it looks good from afar, with fluid animations and speed that honestly gives the feel of a tennis match and features a wide number of game modes, giving you a lot to play through. The problem, however, is that the core game mechanics are inaccessible and unapproachable, offering no settings to reduce the reliance of awfully specific precision-based button pressing which can ruin the core career mode. A mixed bag, this will appeal for fans of tennis, but the opaque nature of the gameplay makes it too hard to recommend.
BPM: Bullets Per Minute is an old-school shooter with a twist, adding in roguelike mechanics as well as rhythm-based gameplay. Jump, dash, shoot and reload to the beat to advance through a host of monster-filled levels, collecting keys, coins, equipment, and stats to try and get through the seven stages that constitute each playthrough. The gameplay is fun, fast, and frantic, it looks good and sounds great, with a perfect heavy-metal soundtrack, though there are a few flaws. A lack of enemy variety, particularly bosses, as well as level variety starts to show quickly.
Windbound wants to offer a deep story backed up by rewarding exploration, crafting and survival in a beautiful open world. However, it only really lands the beautiful open world part of this, with it getting close to the line with the rewarding exploration and crafting aspects. The problem is that for all it wants to offer, Windbound is just too shallow and repetitive and offers no real replay value.
WRC 9 is yet another step ahead for the WRC series from KT Racing and Nacon. However, unlike last year's outing which was a massive leap, this seems to be content to simply refine. In keeping with that, the visuals, audio, and general racing have seen improvement, as have the physics, and although there are a few bugs here and there, they're fewer and further between. There's no doubt that WRC 9 is a strong contender and should certainly be on the list for anybody who wants a great rally game.
Iron Harvest could be best described as Company of Heroes with Mechs. That's high enough praise in itself and Iron Harvest lives up to it. Featuring great RTS combat across an extensive and engaging, campaign, skirmish levels, challenges, and multiplayer, you'll have a lot to bite into and enjoy. It's well balanced and at a pace which rewards tactical thinking over simple fast gameplay. There are a few slight issues, aesthetically it does feel like more could have been done, but it's still a decent enough looking game. There are also a few very minor bugs here and there, but nothing that can mar your enjoyment. Iron Harvest is a game I heartily recommend for strategy fans, particularly those who like the Company of Heroes style gameplay.
Project Cars 3 is going to annoy some people and I completely understand why. This is a huge deviation from the series that people are aware of, it honestly is like the series has lost its identity. However, this doesn't mean it's a bad game. An undeniably less sim-like experience, this is infinitely more accessible than earlier Project Cars titles and it doesn't completely drop the elements that made the series great, featuring a massive number of cars and tracks with a huge amount of customisation and detail throughout. It isn't without flaws, such as the first third of the campaign, but the pros far outweigh the cons and this is, simply, a very fun game.
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is an average game at best. It features interesting puzzles and a decent enough art style, but the story feels shallow, offering nothing major to draw you in. It does feel like Peaky Blinders at face value and the puzzles, with the time-travel mechanics allowing you to create the perfect plan, makes you feel like you are part of one of Tommy Shelby's schemes, but this is still mostly superficial. It's short and inoffensive but, at the same time, it doesn't do anything to make it feel more than 'average'.
With a focused approach, looking at the Trojan War, Total War Saga: Troy offers you the choice between following the story of the war or forging your own path, each time feeling different. This is enhanced by unique game mechanics for each faction within the game, though there are sadly a limited number, as well as adding mechanics that all factions work with like the favour of gods. This is backed up by a brilliant resource and city-management system, making this one of the more strategic Total War titles out there. There are some flaws, such as agents mostly feeling useless and a few small niggles with diplomacy and allied AI, but these are outshone by the aforementioned positives and a fantastically tactical combat system due to enhanced units and new terrain, as well as mythical units. Put simply, Total War Saga: Troy is an outstanding first entry from Creative Assembly Sofia and a fantastic entry to the Total War franchise, highlighting what the Saga spin-offs can bring.
Skater XL is, simply put, an unfinished product. It's a Skateboarding Simulation Game without the game. A barebones five developer-created maps and three user-created maps have no path, purpose or direction with just a handful of 'challenges' that are identical to tutorials. The skateboarding itself is great, the tricks satisfying to perform and a joy to pull off, particularly due to the control scheme. Will you enjoy it? Possibly, if you're happy making your own fun and you like skateboarding. If you expect a video game, you're going to be sorely disappointed.