Mundaun will attract its targeted, tiny demographic: those who can see past the dated visuals and lackluster controls. Fortunately, the hand-drawn textures might rope in a few people, and the sepia-esque colors stand out compared to other first-person adventure titles. Mundaun is technologically impotent but makes up for it with excellent atmosphere, sense of place, and storytelling. If you can see past its flaws, Mundaun is a wonderful, short adventure title.
Despite my grievances, this is a competent, tightly developed game. I would argue it’s played even a little too safe. Although a genuinely enjoyable experience, I am shocked at the lack of surprises or variety in storytelling and gameplay. This is a perfect example of a game that needs more time in the oven. I can’t imagine the developers will leave this project behind anytime soon, but I certainly hope updates are free and don’t come in the form of paid DLC — at least for a little while. Wildermyth feels unfinished, but the core is sound.
A Fumble in the Dark may have lost sight of what made the first iteration great in some respects, but for those who want more of the charismatic duo and excellent observational humor, this is an admirable sequel. More is on the way, as well, so for those who worry we’ll be waiting another three or four years for Francis and Dooley to return, fear not. As for me, I’m okay with the break if it means an assurance of quality in the future.
For dystopian enthusiasts and those who don’t mind getting lost in repetitive minigames, Mind Scanners may be a suitable distraction. I’m sure some people are going to adore everything about this title, but I simply can’t recommend it for most people. It breaks my heart, because I had been keeping an eye on Mind Scanners for a while and had high hopes. After all, I’m a psychologist who loves stories about grim futures, but the execution here just didn’t make the landing. In fact, I might even need a mind scanner myself after binging this one.
I typically favor games that introduce something new to the gaming landscape, because I think trudging through old waters — even incredibly — doesn’t really push us forward as a culture or in terms of design. Dragon Quest XI is just too good, though. In fact, it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. I laughed, I cried, and I’ve felt a part of this cast. I’m actually on hour 140 with no signs of stopping, and I couldn’t be happier. Without question, this is one of the best-designed games I’ve played to date, and I’ve had the beautiful opportunity to share it with my daughter who has adorably pointed at the screen, screaming, “It’s a monster octopus!”
Hades is a game for almost everyone. The only people I could see not getting struck by Aphrodite are those who can’t stand procedural generation or action games at all. If you’ve got even a cursory interest in roguelikes or action RPGs, you absolutely cannot pass this game up. Its only real shortcoming is the less-than-stellar story, which is a first for Supergiant Games. Rest assured, the gameplay, characters, secrets, and customization more than make up for a lack of a gripping narrative.