Imaginators feels like the next logical step in the franchise while still maintaining support for the massive library of characters from all previous games. It gives Skylanders the perfect way to survive as the era of kids using games to craft their own heroes, stories, and experiences is upon us. Skylanders has always managed to delight and surprise, but Imaginators struck me as something particularly special, scratching that creative itch that I always have. Instead of coming up with a gimmick, they put control in the players’ hands, and in interactive entertainment, that’s precisely who should have control.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a very smart use of a new technology; it was executed very well, it’s simple to play, and it is fun for everyone. There is a nice progression of difficulty with more complex modules appearing with more frequency over time, and then again with the introduction of needy modules (they can’t be finished or solved, but require constant attention throughout your allotted time). For a game that is to be played with family and friends who might not be gamers, the controls are simple and the VR is comfortable and does not cause dizziness or nausea (you just sit in a chair). I was excited for this game when it was announced, and it delivers the fun that I expected. You, too, can have fun with bombs in your own living room! Go ahead, invite the neighbors!
Toiling away from dusk to the next dusk was extremely enjoyable for many more hours than even I expected, even when it seemed I had done the same thing ten times before. I am patiently awaiting new features and updates to fill the enticing holes I can spot while upgrading a town, and I understand this is the development path that was chosen. The game will only get better, and it's already a feat of unique gameplay coupled with charming visuals and a sense that glory will come to the comrades that work the hardest!
We like to have control in our games, us simulation-lovers. For me, it's because I know I can't control life. So I'm happy to dive in and control fake life. Plus, I have a general life-goal to never actually experience prison. Prison Architect satisfies a simulation need with a topic that is unique, and gives you lots of options to set up your dream prison. Dream prison? Sure.
Adding up all the features in this arcadey game gives it a pretty high value. There's replayability in the different modes like Daily Drive, Infinity Drive, and Boss Rush for those that like to buckle down and test their skills to get top scores on leaderboards. There's the campaign, which has an interesting story with different dialogue per character. There's extra stuff to buy with credits (earned by your scores per level) like game altering fun features, or concept art and codex entries to further learn about the characters and enemies. The soundtrack is very appropriate to the game, and you can go back and listen to any songs you want. I will even say I would love to see an Assault Android Cactus 2 in the future, because I was so impressed with this one. And hey, if you don't like their silly huge heads, just turn them off with the extra feature!
Sony worked with the developers of Dark Cloud to create and code a trophy list for playing on the PS4. It took two to three months to put in trophies, but it won't take nearly that long to earn the Platinum for Dark Cloud. You'll need to complete the game and clean up a few trophies that ensure you'll get the complete Dark Cloud experience, but nothing too difficult like collecting maxed out ultimate weapons is required.
Combine the puzzles with top-notch graphics and plentiful entertaining dialogue, and you have something worth playing. The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is a vast and well-executed game that will satisfy many players and leave them a bit better off than they were before.
Obviously, if you really like testing yourself with puzzles such as those found in this game, you might not even mind the length of the levels. I did, but that didn't stop me from appreciating the premise, which can be summarized as a witty sci-fi puzzle game that combines real-time with turn-based strategies. It achieves that blend well with a huge amount of mechanics and with the very entertaining commentary of Dr. Science accompanying you on your whole adventure.
As a fan of art and games, I enjoyed my stint with Back to Bed. The conversion from mobile to console is perhaps only noticeable in its length, but the surreal art style wowed me, especially on a big screen. It is a tiny game with a unique, yet brief and understated impact.
If you know you'd like a farming simulator game that tries hard to recreate perfectly a small portion of reality, Farming Simulator is just what you need. If you are looking for an all-encompassing simulation game that basically recreates life on a farm, maybe wait for Sims 7: Farming Life. If you're in between, try to score this game when a deal arises, as you may get bored like I did. It's worth trying it out, and I'm glad I own it so I can go back to it when the farming mood arises, but my attention wavered far more quickly than I would have preferred.
Toren felt like it was just trying to check things off of a "how to make a video game" checklist. Monsters? Check. Armor? Check. Jump button? Check. Scrolls? Check. A dragon? Check. Platforming? Check. Varied environments? Check. I could go on, but I'll spare you. Each of these things were only half thought out and glued together haphazardly. No thought was given to creating an enjoyable experience that uses all elements of a video game to form something incredible. There's a good game hiding deep down inside Toren, but it missed the mark in almost all ways and failed to fully realize any of its ideas, leaving it as much less of an experience than it should have been.
Tropico 5 on the Ps4 is the first city-builder we have had for the console, and it thankfully does a great job at it. I won't be getting bored of it any time soon, as there are so many ways to play it. It's flaws are quickly overlooked as you have fun with the gameplay and narrative. The graphics are fun to inspect, because every citizen and building are as detailed as the menu system that rules their lives. From the campaign, to the sandbox, and even to the multiplayer, I'm eager to make sure that the Ivles McKittensby dynasty becomes a ruling force to reckon with in my quest to make and govern the perfect tropical island.
I love a well done noir film styled game. This one has perfect sound design, shocking and unique visuals, and integrates the gameplay with those visuals. Every aspect of the game fits the theme, from the mini tutorials in the beginning, to the sultry piano of the menu, to the way your character is always narrating what you do in true noir film form. The story is always one step ahead of you, with tons of additional information that enhances the insanity, if you are keen enough to find it. The length of the game is slightly shorter than what I expected, but I understand that a good mystery can be hard to draw out with gameplay if it isn't already written into the story. And honestly, when I was done, I was proud to have figured it all out and survived. The controls can be a nuisance, and the way the puzzles have to be solved can be trying, but I would urge you to play through this game if you like any aspect of what you see. I can see myself in the future fondly remembering White Night, that one scary game in only black and white.
Loadout isn't some new breed of free-to-play, but it does a very entertaining job of balancing what you can play with when you can pay. Being a low level isn't painfully boring, and gaining experience or good weapons doesn't require real money. The fun level increases if you pay, but isn't decreased by not paying. All in all, despite the free-to-play model that may make some players look away, Loadout is an obnoxious and discourteous third person shooter worth playing, even if it's not a 'must-play' title, and you might even find yourself willing to fork over a few bucks to get that offensive t-shirt or kick-ass weapon mod just a little faster.
Never Alone is one of those games I want everyone I know to be able to play. It's a really great example of the good that video games can do in the world, and of the artform they really are. Anyone can play it, everyone would find something to enjoy about it, you can play it with a friend, and non-gamers would even enjoy watching you play due to the intermittent documentary clips and the beautiful art style. The future of gaming looks even more exciting due to Never Alone's existence. If this is an indication of more to come, I can't wait to participate in other cultures and stories from around the world in an interactive art form.
The setting, art style, sound design, and balanced characters in a unique gameplay style make this game a really great game to own. I love when games seem to walk into my life and satisfy some gaming desire I didn't know I had. Secret Ponchos is a refined, intricate twin-stick shooter rooted in the Old West that, for those who enjoy simple, yet tactical, online battles, will stand on its own for a time to come.
Chariot is a great addition to my co-op game library, but alone it becomes tiresome.The physics are really new and figuring out the puzzles is entertaining. It has a lot to offer with 25 massive levels, and high replayability with alternate entrances and exits, collectibles, and speed run challenges for each level. The scope of Chariot is much larger than I would have initially imagined, but trying to take on everything it includes can be exhausting. I wouldn't recommend this experience for anyone without a co-op companion, but if you're itching for more couch co-operative games to play, Chariot is an awesome two player adventure.
I absolutely loved diving into the mind of Sherlock Holmes while playing this title. People who have read, watched, or played anything else from his world will no doubt find something familiar and enjoyable in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments. My time as Holmes was extremely exciting, fun, and immersive, and I was impressed with how long it lasted. Every case had some new gameplay element introduced, like getting to play as Holmes' hound Toby to follow a scent trail. Each character was beautiful in detail, but not in animation, and each case elegantly came to an end while Holmes' life went on to the next one, and I was happy to be a part of each and every moment.