Mafia III is the type of game that fuels arguments about the lack of artistry and innovation found in today's AAA titles. It's plenty competent, with lots of content and functional game mechanics, but it's safe and repetitive and often feels like it's just going through the motions.
Event  leaves you wanting more. It makes you wish for a bigger ship, for a more robust chat feature, and for a few more puzzles. Obviously that means the game is doing something right, but it also feels incomplete. That said, Event  is a commendable experience, because it ventures into a new and exciting place.
Any and all gripes related to RIVE are minor, and none should obscure the fact that it’s a solid game filled to the brim with high-impact action. The game’s high points are thrilling enough to melt its flaws into a glowing hunk of molten metal. It’s a great little reference to the arcade shooters of yesteryear, recalling what was great about those games while firmly establishing an identity of its own. RIVE is not a game to miss.
Western Press is fun, but only for a short while. The mechanics are every bit as simple as they sound, and no amount of customization can really change that. Some of the modes and options result in an unbalanced difficulty, which is particularly damning for a game that has so little content from the get go.
As video games mature as a medium of expression, it is understandable that stories outside of the conventional heroic yarn will become more common. The Final Station, alongside games like The Last of Us and, more humorously, the Grand Theft Auto franchise display the shadows of human nature so that heroism can be acknowledged and appreciated properly.
N++ is an unabashedly punishing game with tight controls, great level design, and enough content to last for ages. The momentum-based platforming provides a wide array of challenges sure to satisfy fans of the genre. If you're on the fence, just remember that you get to play as a ninja.
Mutant Mudds: Super Challenge is a fundamentally solid platformer with difficult gameplay that will appeal best to hardcore gamers. The levels and challenges are well-designed, testing players’ skill in a number of ways that makes for a tough, satisfying game. It’s not narratively complex nor particularly pretty, but for a gameplay-first experience, this one won’t steer you wrong.
Valley is a game of strong fundamentals that is mired by the execution of its grander ideas. Though it never comes together into a cohesive whole, it sometimes rises above the sum of its parts. I enjoyed playing it despite its issues, and I believe that Blue Isle Studios has a wonderful game in their future.
Headlander doesn’t rise above the genre in every respect, but it honors it and enhances it through clever gameplay and inventive new mechanics. It succeeds because it adds a wonderful new spin to the action-adventure side-scroller while maintaining a distinct aesthetic and personality. It’s quirky and fun with a big dose of silly humor. Fans of the genre shouldn’t miss it.