After the success of the first episode of The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle, it is great to see that Episode 2: A Bleaker Predicklement does not let the side down, delivering more of the same point-and-click adventuring goodness, complete with sufficient doses of comic relief and some smart puzzling antics. With any luck, a third entry is currently in the works!
Hollow Knight in its original PC form was exemplary, but now it has landed on Nintendo Switch, complete with all the bells and whistles that have been laden upon the gorgeous adventure since launch, as well as fresh post-release content. This proves to be the perfect antidote for those suffering from Super Metroid withdrawal symptoms. Team Cherry's ode to Nintendo's great may well have edged past its original inspiration. It truly is the game that just keeps on giving; absolutely sublime, in every sense of the word.
WadjetEye Games has done it again! Unavowed does not disappoint at all, relying on the tried-and-tested formula that has worked so well in the past, but now taking that and polishing it beyond belief, and then expertly blending in themes from popular titles, sprinkling a whole host of fresh ideas into the pot to make for one of the most engaging experiences of the year.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is an absolute joy to behold, from its cute visual styling and delicious soundtrack and audio utterances from the main characters, to the expertly crafted self-contained stages, jam-packed with smart puzzles to solve and a plethora of goodies to uncover. This was one of those Wii U gems that thoroughly deserved another shot at the limelight, and with its excellent new additions now, it is indeed time to shine bright.
Unforeseen Incidents is a complete breath of fresh air in what is fast becoming an over-crowded genre once more, standing head and shoulders above many other point-and-click adventures available. With its perfect mix of macabre and comical scripting, as well as the highly engaging puzzles and entertaining fetch quests it throws the player's way, the hours really do fly by despite this being one of the longer journeys on the market right now.
If you want to get away with sticking a book on a console, it is pretty important to make the actual tale an intriguing one, and - better yet - add in some useful interactions. This all feels so empty, even when attempting to drive the conversation in certain directions. Mundane is the perfect word to describe Three Fourths Home, and its Extended Edition post-game story content is simply more of the same weak melodrama. There are so many alternatives out there vying for your attention; check them out instead.
Illusion: A Tale of the Mind is a marvel to look at and enjoy from a puzzle standpoint. However, it starts to bog itself down with a quirky storyline that carries the action along well enough to start with, but becomes increasingly convoluted and eventually downright boring, to the point where the ending will leave most sighing with relief, which is a massive shame as the core gameplay is very intriguing to start with, but is dragged down by an over-reliance on switch-hitting towards the end.
The Thin Silence hits all the right notes when it comes to the puzzling situations faced, with extremely smart ways of working through the various stages faced, continuously crafting new objects to aid with progress. Sadly, it does hold itself back too much with a painfully slow walking pace for the lead character, and some weighty prose that misses the mark, too often proving to actually be boring and/or confusing. A sequel more focused on the puzzle adventure element would be welcomed with open arms; just ditch the convoluted story-telling aspect, please.
Late Shift is a great attempt at reviving FMV-led gaming, avoiding the pitfalls of The Bunker by choosing to opt for a purer movie direction rather than including unnecessary forced interactions, making it almost visual novel-esque with its decision-making route and multiple endings inclusion to encourage repeated play-throughs.
There is more than enough depth included in the Touch series to make this perfect for those looking to delve into the intricacies of management either at home or whilst on the go, but also stripped back enough to appeal to the wider audience that lapped up earlier editions of the team's venerable series.
Burly Men at Sea is a very quaint and surprisingly enjoyable twist on the point-and-click genre, with lovely visuals, an impressive-and-quirky soundtrack, and more replayability than first thought. However, saying that, the whole experience can be breezed through in an hour or two, and it lacks enough real meat to be it a truly satisfying dish, especially given this is the highest priced version on the market right now. In the end, it is undoubtedly a pleasant experience, but one that will be forgotten quite quickly upon completion, unless extremely motivated to spend more money on the digital or physical storybooks offered post-game via a web-link. It is definitely worth trying, but just be mindful of the price and check your expectations before diving in.
The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1: A Dreadly Business is a breath of fresh air in the point-and-click genre, bringing with it fantastic art work and excellent voice acting, along with tough-but-not-overly-so puzzles, a wonderfully intuitive inventory and control system, as well as bucket-loads of charm and personality. Spiffingly good work, ol' chap!
This is a back-to-basics, side-scrolling puzzle effort that will draw people in with its addictive gameplay and cleverly-crafted stages, and then test even the most hardcore with its extra challenges later on. The balance is perfect, and gets the old grey matter working hard throughout, proving to be extremely inventive and charming, in equal measure. Toki Tori deserves to shine, and hopefully on Nintendo Switch it will now get the attention it deserves.
Last Day of June is a great example of how to turn a short tale into an engaging interactive experience, one that importantly does not overstay its welcome. There may be one or two frustrations along the way but, all-in-all, it tugs at the heart strings in the right places on the story front, and also engages the brain on the gameplay side of things enough to make everything feel extremely satisfying once it reaches its conclusion.
Fun for all your friends and family, Kirby Star Allies is a Kirby-by-numbers, sticking to the formula that has worked for so long, and proves to be just as fun as ever before. Mixing in the four-player element makes for some hilarious antics, and the augmented powers that can be utilised make for some extremely exciting scenarios. The only drawback is the age-old concern of things being a bit simpler than desired, but HAL has packed in plenty of entertaining content to appease fans new and old alike.
What a way to end the Little Nightmares saga! Tarsier Studios has taken its original fantastic experience, and split up the core concepts to craft some sublime DLC episodes, and this final one, The Residence, brings with it some real thrills and chills, whilst also delivering on the puzzles front. Admittedly shorter than the previous two, yet more satisfying overall, it leaves gamers thirsty for more, with an eventual sequel hoped for.