Ultimately, for those that enjoy the core shooter element, Radiantflux: Hyperfractal probably delivers value for money. However, it also feels incomplete - a mess of random things jumbled together. While the randomness itself provides some entertainment, it's hard to feel satisfied with the game when it's over. A little more development effort could have gone a long way here.
Essentially, Back to Bed is a game about figuring out how to redirect a hapless moving creature to safety over weird landscapes. If you want to play a game, then, about figuring out how to redirect a hapless moving creature to safety over weird landscapes, then it's hard not to recommend… Lemmings. It's not that Back to Bed does much wrong, it just doesn't quite do enough right to sustain interest.
SteamWorld Heist is a decent length when factoring in the wide range of difficulty settings, and the fact you will be playing some missions a few times. Essentially, this is a well-made squad-based strategy that gives a choice: go in guns blazing…. or go in gun blazing. While the game is heavy on the tactics, it's never heavy on subtlety. It's nice it wastes little time, but it also suffers from a lack of diversity because of it. It's thus probably better for those looking for a game to play on/off rather than binge over.
Freedom Planet adds enough of its own stuff that it doesn't feel like a cheap knock-off, but rather a loving homage in the same "genre" of fast-paced platformers with loop-de-loops. While not revolutionary, clearly a lot of love went into its development, and anyone who has spent the last decade moaning about the state of hedgehogs should certainly check it out.
Worms W.M.D provides enough new features to keep it feeling fresh, with plenty on offer for solo players. Those with friends should also be more than content with the high amount of customisation, plus support for up to six players with eight worms each, potentially making matches of 48 worms. While it might not be a revolution, it is a very solid entry in the series, and at its core Worms is still Worms. It is to the TBS genre what Mario Kart now is to racing - both different and accessible enough for newcomers, in-depth enough for long-term fans, yet also enjoyable enough for those formerly not fans of the games. It's a title that's good to have in anyone's collection, ready for an unexpected batch of friends. For a lapsed player of old (or somehow having lived life to the maximum, without participating in mass wormicide), W.M.D seems a great time to ninja rope on over and join the creative carnage.
Republique is an engaging experience all around, providing intelligent and thoughtful storytelling, despite the occasional cliché here and there. For those who have enjoyed the journey so far (regardless of the ending), it's a solid recommendation to dive into right now. For those that like their tales wrapped up neatly, however, it might be best to wait a bit till the complete experience is out on 22nd March.
Mayan Death Robots is essentially the Smash Bros of ballistic missile games. Almost certainly best played in multiplayer, it's for anyone that loves thinking from moment to moment, and for the results of their actions to immediately fill the screen with unpredictable chaos. The game's single-screen, single-unit nature is what keeps this action fast paced and fluid. However, it also results in a game lacking both the longer term planning as well as the variety offered by the Worms series. Depending on what the player is looking for, this loss may be acceptable.
It's hard to think of any downsides to this DLC. For those that liked Invisible, Inc., this is simply more of it, and for squad-based strategy fans there's even more reason to get it now. The only group to whom this might not be too appealing, is the one that has thoroughly burned out on the original the first time. Contingency Plan is a solid package, but those that have seen everything that Invisible, Inc. had to offer, it's probably not going to be enough to make them come back.
Kyn is a game for people who want to hack, slash, and blast through hordes of monsters without totally turning off their brain. While it never quite reaches its full potential, it's still a very entertaining game and worth considering for any fans of the genre.
The enjoyment of Etrian Mystery Dungeon will be very much dependant on how much a player enjoys the core experience of repeated dungeon excursions. While every other aspect added to the game is well thought out, nothing else is particularly substantial. The city management aspect is very lightweight, the story is fairly simple, and there are little other elements beyond item and weapon management. In essence, it's a very pure experience, which might be very appealing to some players, while being far too repetitive for others.
Invisible, Inc. is a tense squad-based strategy game, simultaneously honouring and reinventing the genre with neat twists and smart design. While the main campaign is short, it's rich enough to want to play again straight way, focusing on different types of missions, going after different upgrades, or trying to free new people to join the team. The only thing lacking, perhaps, is a multiplayer mode, which could have been a fun inclusion. Overall, this is a must-play game for TBS fans, or those that feel like they might enjoy a smartly made game of hacking and heists.
A Story About My Uncle makes some bold design choices, but pulls them off well. While its jumping and grappling mechanics can be a challenge, they can also be highly rewarding, and frequent save points make it easy to dive back in and have another go whenever failure happens. Meanwhile, great atmosphere and environment design pulls gamers through the charming little story. In fact, it's probably a good title to go into knowing very little, as much of the fun is discovering where it goes. Gone North Games is certainly a company to watch as it should be proud of what has been accomplished here.
The plot is also sadly quite predictable - certainly not living up to the superb presentation of the game. Still, at its budget price of just €10/$10/£8, this is a recommended purchase for both newcomers and veterans of the series.
For those with patience to get the hang of the quirky controls, Grow Home provides a lot to like. It's a cute game with nice ideas and a somewhat relaxed atmosphere. It's certainly pleasing to see a big publisher like Ubisoft trying out fresh ideas and, in Grow Home's case, it pays off well. The title only disappoints fundamentally in terms of its length - not because it's bad value at $8/£6, but because it causes cravings for more. With any luck maybe Ubisoft will see fit to take Reflections' project's little seed and grow a more fully-fledged game from it, because the ideas and style shown deserve to be seen again.