Chan Khee Hoon
Even though Littlewood is a peaceful town building and farming sim that doesn't offer anything new in the genre, it thrives in the soothing, meditative loop of its routines--from harvesting fruits to mining precious stones from ores. There are plenty to busy yourself with, but there's also plenty of time to get to them at your own pace. This means that Littlewood is mostly devoid of the pressures to optimise the grind--an issue that usually plagues other farm sims like Stardew Valley. It's, in short, a charming little distraction from the stresses of our real world.
It's difficult to assign a score to a title as esoteric as Art Sqool, an art game that seeks to encourage players to tap into their creativity and doodle in the midst of a captivating, candy-coloured universe. Be it ruminating about the themes of your assignment in a cozy corner, or messing up your homework by haphazardly scribbling over your blank canvas, Art Sqool requires you to discover your potential and assign your own meaning to the experience. Even though I've found the game to be a ceaselessly charming one, there are also times when I quickly tire of its lack of incentives and activities. Give this a twirl if you're looking to indulge your artistic capabilities and moments of quiet introspection.
Star Renegades doesn't countenance mistakes, while demanding an inordinate amount of commitment from its players due to its mechanically dense system. This can be a challenging game to get into, from learning about its intricate turn-based combat, to making sense of the walls of text, numbers and symbols it throws at you. Those patient enough to familiarise themselves with what this roguelike has to offer, however, may find this to be a tactically satisfying experience.
Making a sequel to one of the most acclaimed horror games in recent memory may be a tall order for some, but Frictional Games has done it with aplomb with Amnesia: Rebirth. Without straying far from the formula that made Amnesia: The Dark Descent so popular and feared in equal measure-the clever use of jump scares, immersive puzzles and the light-dark dichotomy-Rebirth has reinvigorated its brand of horror with a haunting narrative that's as moving as it is refreshing. Rebirth may still be a bit too much to bear for players who don't usually venture into horror, but it's a sequel that should please ardent fans and horror masochists alike.