John Walker


237 games reviewed
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Unscored - Escape Simulator
May 30, 2022

There’s a co-op mode, even, so you can be trapped in these escape rooms with a chum, which sounds absolutely fantastic. But on my own, Escape Simulator offers a far more tangible sense of the feeling of playing a real-world escape room, one spaceship aside, keeping things within the realms of possibility. Ooh I can’t wait for that DLC.

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Feb 21, 2022

This was a risky project, given the automatic assumptions someone might make about a game where dating and invading are conflated. Cast aside all those concerns, because this is a game where consent is primary, yet nonsense is overwhelmingly more important. It’s so funny that this is so lovely, and it’s lovely that this is so funny.

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Unscored - Torchlight III
Oct 13, 2020

Torchlight III feels an awful lot like what it is: a free-to-play multiplayer game that thought better of itself, and decided to become a proper full-price microtransaction-free primarily solo release. If I didn’t already know the path it had taken, I’d have spent my entire time playing the game being gnawed at by wondering just what it was that made it all feel so off.

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Unscored - CARRION
Jul 23, 2020

Most importantly, Carrion’s smart. It’s an extremely finely crafted game, so much so that you’re essentially playing a meat-smeared Metroidvania without a map, and you won’t even miss it. That’s quite something.

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Unscored - Poly Bridge 2
Jun 3, 2020

To me it feels far more like an expansion pack than a whole new game, slightly improving the cutesy graphics and adding in a couple of extra construction materials, but even then it all overlaps a little too closely with the original. A sequel to a game that already looked awfully similar to another series seems like something that should have iterated a great deal further by now. I certainly recommend checking out people’s most elaborate and daft bridges on YouTube – as for creating them yourself, it’s harder to get excited about.

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Unscored - MO Astray
Nov 21, 2019

I’ve absolutely loved this. It’s so refined, so well crafted, so supremely gory for something with such deceptively simple presentation, and has a difficulty pitch that feels always challenging, but remarkably fair.

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Unscored - OUTBUDDIES
Oct 23, 2019

I’ve had a very splendid time with this, and have much splendid time left with it. A proper fine achievement, and a game worthy of measuring against the mighty Metroid.

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Unscored - Pilgrims
Oct 8, 2019

For me, I saw the beginnings of a truly exceptional game, and feel a bit like I just finished its demo. But what a lovely demo!

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Sep 23, 2019

A visually stunning game, belying its origins as a creation of two animators, alongside some delightful writing, weaving a complexity of narrative that completely surprised me. But one that offers the player far too little actual investigating, and in the end, far too much tiresome wandering.

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Apr 18, 2019

This is a good adventure game! It’s actually an incredibly clever adventure game doing lots of very subtle smart things! It has its issues, but don’t we all.

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Unscored - Supraland
Apr 16, 2019

It’s going to take a heck of a lot for anything to beat this game to be my favourite of 2019. What a splendid treat.

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Unscored - Photographs
Apr 3, 2019

Photographs is a very novel experience (well, a very short story experience, fnarr), lovingly crafted, if not fully composed. I don’t love it as a puzzle game, but it’s a vignette of vignettes, and I like it for that.

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Unscored - Baba Is You
Mar 14, 2019

But this is wonderful. Completely wonderful. Original, inspired, challenging, and most importantly of all, that constant sense of “Oh no, how will I ever do this one!” so quickly followed by, “I AM A GENIUS!” It’s a very, very smart game, that has the humility to let you, the player, feel like the clever one

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Mar 12, 2019

There is just SO much to do, to explore, so many secrets I know I’ve missed, and bits I want to return to. This is completely splendid.

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Mar 6, 2019

I just kept thinking of so many different ways this could have been a much more ambitious take on a cheerful anachronism from an ancient 16-bit era. Sadly, I appear to have been the only one.

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Unscored - Vignettes
Mar 6, 2019

Vignettes is a toy. And that is why it’s completely splendid.

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Unscored - Delete
Feb 21, 2019

The result is a very decent puzzle game, that occasionally has completely inspired puzzles within it. If it could have focused on the buttoned levels, gosh, it’d have been a real classic. As it is, it’s a calm, gentle game, with intermittent moments of brilliance.

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Unscored - Tametsi
Feb 20, 2019

I’m 32 puzzles in, and that’s taken me a good long while. That there are 68 more of these to go, plus another 60 that have been released since the game’s initial release, makes me a very happy little man.

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Unscored - Rainswept
Feb 15, 2019

Ultimately, Rainswept has a good story to tell. A sad story, one of grief, loss, murder and small-town cruelty.

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Unscored - Crackdown 3
Feb 14, 2019

It reeks of development hell, as demoralising to play as I imagine it was to make. Yes, clearing a map of its icons can be readily distracting, and it fulfils this role at least.

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