Enter the Gungeon is one of the most polished games I've ever played, especially considering the multitude of items that are available. Just when I thought that the rogue-like genre had been done to death, this game comes along and completely turns me around. I'm not sure I'll ever master the Gungeon, but I'm not sure if I'll ever want to leave, either.
I love difficult games, but The Flame in the Flood didn't test my resolve—it tested my patience. A stellar look and an awesome soundtrack made me want to love The Molasses Flood's first release, but with so many technical setbacks, I could hardly even stomach my time with it. I won't be returning to the flood.
It might be tempting to write off Unravel as another indie-made platformer, but you'd be denying yourself a surprisingly deep puzzler with an unmeasurable amount of charm. There might not be much replay value, but you'll be glad you took the time to see it to the end.
Even though all of its individual pieces did their job, there wasn't much that made me want to keep playing Final Fantasy Explorers. Even scenic landscapes and potent sentimentality can't save the game from bland combat and repetitive missions.
Whether you're in the mood for stealth or all-out action, Rise of the Tomb Raider has got you covered, but when it comes time to put down the guns and start talking, the game screeches to a halt. Even so, it's hard to deny what a blast it is to slip into Lara's shoes once more.
Rebel Galaxy is a robust trek through the stars, even if it is bogged down by a heavy reliance on repetition and a weak narrative. A host of systems that are all built to generate organic emergent moments, no matter what your play style, make Rebel Galaxy one of this year's biggest surprises.
Yoshi's Woolly World brings an astounding amount of features to an aesthetically impressive title. It stands as one of the best Wii U titles this season, constantly delivering creative twists on what the platformer genre that Nintendo has been tapping for so long. It's an absolute must buy for fans of the Yoshi series.
It's an absolute feat that Nintendo was able to retain the trademark Animal Crossing charming feel without including many of the tropes that have been present since the series began back in 2001. That novelty, however, is fleeting, and after a few hours of play, you're left with a shallow feeling that your work has gotten you nowhere. Even when viewed through the lens of "just a spinoff," Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is disappointing.
Big Boss' supposedly final outing puts players in the middle of the most ambitious entry in the series yet, and it delivers on almost everything it promises. If this is Hideo Kojima's final game, then he is stepping out at the top floor of the industry.
It's not quite a triumph, but Zen Pinball 2's Portal table is a stand out in the series' expansive table list. While there may not be enough meat here to thrill Portal fans with a passing fancy for virtual pinball, it's definitely a solid choice for anyone who has enjoyed Zen Pinball 2's other games.
The many unique twists of Magnetic: Cage Closed do so much to set it apart from the other first person physics puzzlers that have tried to dethrone the genre mainstay. Its carefully constructed puzzles, accompanied by clever world building, make it intriguing and sophisticated, but never to the point of pretention.
Zen Pinball 2's Age of Ultron table doesn't offer enough fan service to appease any level of Avengers fan, and there aren't enough interesting mechanics to excite a virtual pinball fan. The satisfaction of knocking a ball around is present, but you can find that along with a better table elsewhere in Zen Pinball 2's library.
Crypt of the Necrodancer offers just about every feature imaginable, and each one is executed absolutely masterfully. It's wholly unique and provides a tension found nowhere else, offering up some rhythm to the roguelike genre just as it started to feel like it was getting stale.
While Hand of Fate can get aggravating, the novelty and personality oozing through it is undeniably alluring. The game's simple but satisfying combat and risk versus reward card game will have you coming back for one more hand, waiting for your luck to turn around.