At its roughest edges, The Bard's Tale IV shows its retro revival roots in some not so positive ways. It may not be special enough for me to easily overlook these technical shortcomings entirely, but it's an RPG that's brimming with enjoyable, challenging fights, elaborate and entertaining puzzles, and plenty of visual and musical flair. And that was more than enough to keep me humming along contentedly to its tune more often than not.
Two Point Hospital revitalizes the business management genre with flair, character, and enthusiasm. Easily understandable tips and icons make it relatively stress-free to get a working urgent care center running smoothly, while the potential for deep optimization through tweaking building layout and making wise hiring and training decisions leave plenty to munch on for the micromanagement lovers among us. If we're on the verge of another classic genre renaissance, this is a great first foot forward.
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr gets a lot of things right, but drops the ball where it matters most for an action RPG. We're left with a repetitive, not very tactically exciting combat system and itemization that arbitrarily forces you to gear for item level rather than better stats. Everything else is just a nice house built on a shaky foundation at that point. Even the Emperor can't protect this clumsy shoot-em-up from its own sins.
More often than not, Ancestors Legacy showed me a good time watching my berserkers, Teutonic knights, and Slavic tribesmen hack their way through forests, marshes, and the occasional open field. The weakness in the core infantry combat, which tilts a bit too much away from quick, tactical thinking and into correctly guessing how the enemy line will be arranged, was the main issue that kept me from really coming to love it. Historical inaccuracies aside, though, it scratched my itch for a traditional RTS in a way that will probably keep me coming back.
I've never been terrorized, stalked, or fascinated by enemy AI quite like I was in The Forest. It's a harrowing survival ordeal that knows how to play with tension and create the sense of a real world with complex inner workings and mysteries I was eager to discover. It's I Am Legend told in the depths of the hinterlands, with a meaningful story progression that doesn't overstay its welcome. Disregard the warnings on the walls and hidden between the trees at your own peril – and if you want a unique and memorable survival horror experience, then you should absolutely dare to do so.