Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird's Tale draws elements from point-and-click adventures, visual novels, and turn-based RPGS, blending them with a whimsical world and sympathetic characters to make a wonderful story. The battle system, while at times too difficult, adds flavour and action to the point-and-click formula that some might otherwise find slow, and the characters and their stories pique the player's interest and keep them wanting to dig in more and keep the story going. Where a lot of point-and-clicks feel slapped together to make a quick experience, this is a rare gem that feels like it was designed from the ground up to be exactly what it is. It doesn't try too hard, it doesn't cram in aspects from other genres in ways that don't fit. Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird's Tale is a wonderful story, built into a game that tells it wonderfully.
Curious Expedition 2 offers a customizable gaming experience that can be as casual or as hardcore as players like, with tons of content and options, many of which can be changed on the fly. The game is smooth and solid, and having so much randomly generated content (and so much content to pull from) ensures a different experience on every run-through, even if the gameplay loop gets a little stale sometimes. For a certainly fair price point, players are getting a game they can play a hundred times a hundred different ways. Some of the best games are the ones where developers simply create a space and let players play; Curious Expedition 2 does so wonderfully.
Eternal Hope is reasonably well designed in terms of gameplay, even if the controls feel sloppy and some puzzles do not always make much sense. It is difficult to make puzzle games last very long, but this one definitely has enough length for its low price point. A stronger story or tighter gameplay would have made this game into a great one, and the team behind this adventure certainly has the potential to do it, but as it is, Eternal Hope just lacks focus.
Röki is a lovely game with strong characters and a fun, whimsical story. It shakes up its genres enough to be unique, but doesn't try to fix what isn't broken, and doesn't push itself past what it sets out to accomplish. Environment and creature designs are superb, while their human counterparts (of which there are very few anyway) leave a little more to be desired. It's a game just about anybody can pick up, play, and be immersed in a world they're likely not too familiar with, unless they grew up with the folklore this draws inspiration from. A few graphical glitches crop up here and there, but otherwise this is a solid and a fun adventure filled with puzzles, action, and intrigue.
There are myriad good reasons why Marvel's Spider-Man is the best-selling and highest-rated Spider-Man title in years. While it has a few glaring flaws, they pale in comparison to all of the things the team at Insomniac got right. A well-acted, strong story serves as the backbone for an experience that just plain feels right for Spider-Man, and fans and newcomers alike won't be disappointed by this trip to the Spider-verse.
In the end, Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII is a rock-solid title, but it could have been so much more. Forcing it to fit under the Black Ops moniker was a mistake, and comes across as forced, given its very light relation to the previous three titles. The whole thing smacks of Treyarch wanting to take risks and go in new directions, but stopping just shy and instead tacking older characters or ideas. Longtime fans of the franchise won't want to miss out on this - especially those who love the Zombies experience - but those who checked out of Call of Duty before likely won't find enough here to bring them back.
Final Fantasy XII is a good game that broke a lot of ground upon release, as an RPG, as a work of fantasy, and as a Final Fantasy entry. With that said, The Zodiac Age feels like a bare-minimum up-port, with little besides the textures being improved.
Colossal Order might be asking a little much for what some would consider a small DLC, but there's no denying that it has created something pretty special here. Focusing the DLC on zooming down to street level and getting into the nitty-gritty of placement of pretty much everything in the park was a stroke of genius, and something it will hopefully implement into future DLC releases. In a genre about building a city, it's interesting to get players to come down from the clouds every now and then and really set up something unique to their town, and serves as just another reason why this game is special among others of its ilk.
Devious Dungeon is a solidly built game with a downright ingenious combat system, where the developer has used the retro-styled limitations to their advantage. It struggles in the RPG department, giving players little-to-no reason to care about any of the events, and offering barebones levelling and equipment.
The gameplay isn't overhauled here, but it doesn't need to be. Cities: Skylines - Green Cities adds new content and refreshes current content, making for a more whole and diverse gaming experience, which is just about everything a good add-on needs to do. It might not be a must-have, but it does add to the Cities: Skylines experience, which is one the development team at Colossal Order has kept running strong since launch.
Of all of Cities: Skylines' DLC, Concerts adds the least to the experience. Perhaps the price tag went into audio licensing, but Colossal Order and Paradox should have come up with more content to package with these songs to justify making this a paid DLC. As it stands, barring a huge price cut or sale, or just requiring the full Cities experience, there's no reason to pick up this DLC.
As with the DLC before it, Mass Transit brings very little new to the table, feeling less like an expansion and more like a minor content injection. It's a little worse here than before, as this one doesn't even bring the heavy visual overhaul that After Dark or Snowfall had. Still, the buildings and scenarios present are well-made, welcome additions to a game already rich in content and endlessly fun to play, making Mass Transit another solid addition to the already fantastic Cities: Skylines—but one fans will likely find themselves waiting for a sale to pick up.
King's Quest isn't a graphical powerhouse, it's not a bastion of good gameplay, and it isn't even a particularly excellent puzzler. What it is is one of the best stories found in gaming; the amount of charm and love put into the game, and subsequently poured out of the game, makes it a unique experience just about anyone can get behind. Here is a story that would put most award-winning animated films to shame, and cleverly binding it to puzzles and gameplay segments helps invest players even more into this unforgettable, emotional journey.
Shovel Knight became an instant classic for a reason, and the ability to pack it up and take it anywhere makes it a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch. Available as a standalone app or as a collection of all three campaigns, the titular Shovel Knight has dug his way into the hearts of Nintendo fans everywhere, and the ability to take the game anywhere makes the Nintendo Switch the ultimate platform to experience the Shovel Knight phenomenon.
Snow Place Like Home doesn't do much for King's Quest in the gameplay department, but anyone who has played it this far is probably past caring much on that front. This story and these characters have cemented their place in our hearts, and the game feels like a good book that can't be put down. Lack of per-episode scenery or gameplay variety aside, King's Quest is everything an episodic title should be, as well as a pinnacle of storytelling all game developers should aspire to compete with.