7 Days to Die has a compelling premise, but it withers within minutes. The gameplay here is fundamentally not fun, and having to deal with technical issues every few seconds becomes extremely grating. The multiplayer injects a little entertainment, if only because you'll be observing the release's shoddiness with others. In all, this is a bit of a rotter.
Leaving Lyndow has some promising aspects, but overall it's a frustrating experience. The puzzle sections are poorly thought out and mostly implemented to impede the player's progress and extend the running time for a little while longer, while the technical hiccups shatter your story immersion.
Slain: Back from Hell has one of the very best pairings of stunning visuals and amazing audio that you'll find on the PS4. Unfortunately, it's let down by a dull combat system and a horribly unfair level of difficulty, meaning that the game never picks up the momentum that it should. Wolf Brew Games had an awesome idea here with stacks of potential, but the complete package is hell to play through.
There is an awesome world that has been built here, with so many interesting characters and areas to explore, but poorly thought out gameplay makes Dex a dull affair. Melee combat has no nuance to it, weapons control too poorly to be of any use most of the time, and hacking is repetitive and bland. There is real promise here in the world building and character development, but the terrible gameplay is too much to make up for.
Away: Journey to the Unexpected begins as a fun and lighthearted romp with a few very unique wrinkles to its gameplay. Unfortunately, this quickly unravels and is severely hampered by poor design choices that sour what was first an enjoyable experience.
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is a lacklustre effort after last year's promising start. It attempts to address some of the issues but these end up being unforced turnovers that makes the game actively worse. When you couple this with only one of the major gameplay problems being addressed, you find yourself with a disappointing sequel. This is a series that definitely does not need to be on a yearly cycle, and most people who bought the original last year will find they have already had their fill.
Way of the Passive Fist starts out strong with an interesting concept, but that interest soon wears off thanks to poor execution. Once you've played the first chapter you've pretty much played all 10 as there is never any variation on offer. Combine this with the fundamental flaws of basing the gameplay purely around blocking and dodging and you have a recipe for a promising and unique but ultimately disappointing game.
There is an extremely interesting world on display in Impact Winter and there are traces of greatness scattered throughout. Unfortunately, there are far too many examples of cumbersome, clumsy, and frustrating execution that end up melting away the game's frosty facade. With such a heavy emphasis on multiple playthroughs, most players would be lucky to stomach their first 30 days of survival.
Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island is a sound gameplay experience, but lets itself down in a number of other areas. The humour and dialogue fall incredibly flat and there's really no rapport developed between Skylar and Plux during the game. The game's also very short, and while this isn't a terrible effort by any stretch, it begs the question why you wouldn't just play Ratchet & Clank instead.
Toby: The Secret Mine has plenty of great ideas that could make it a great game, but it quickly plummets down a mineshaft thanks to a number of missteps. It generally succeeds as a puzzle game, but the heavy focus on platforming doesn't work well and hampers the overall experience. By following the basic visual style and gameplay from such a highly regarded game like Limbo, The Secret Mine sets itself a standard it's never able to reach.