Toem is an enjoyable and charming game where you get to look at a beautifully hand-drawn world through multiple perspectives. There’s the right amount of challenge offered to keep players engaged in a chill experience that also tests their knack for capturing that perfect shot. This is a game to relax with, where the destination is as picture-perfect as the journey.
Deathloop is for detective nerds who just want to blow shit up. Each moment of this game offers some insane new plot twists and discoveries that further highlights how amazing the writing is. Players are rewarded through exploration, but at the cost that they could lose it all if they die in the process. It’s an experience that demands a keen eye and patience at times to unlock everything it has to offer, but at least the dumb enemies will rarely get in your way.
Life is Strange: True Colors presents a great adventure in this beloved series with significant choices and player-driven interactions. The result is a beautiful story of empathy and new beginnings where players have the freedom to shape the narrative the way they want and deal with the consequences along the way. The character animations and voiced dialogue only elevate it to new levels of quality, but long loading times and strange responses can hurt the pacing tremendously.
F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch is a gorgeous Metroidvania that tells a much better story than any anthropomorphic narrative has a right to tell. It’s emotional and engaging during each scene brought together with challenging moments of action and puzzle-platforming. This game respects your time, but some moments can drag on due to limited fast travel and some confusing objectives. Who cares though, you’re a rabbit with a robotic fist attached to your back; how cool is that!?
Kitaria Fables is a laid-back experience of item collecting and farming, all brought together by a decent narrative and a responsive action system. Pace yourself, though, because getting the most of this adventure requires it. However, the artificial padding on the gameplay found in the limited fast travel, lack of universal storage, slow-moving characters, and much more causes some confusion and endless backtracking. This won’t replace your love for Rune Factory, but it’ll definitely supplement your craving for a charming adventure.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite is extremely fun to play once through with your friends, but when you’re expected to play the same stages multiple times, the gameplay wains on the player. It becomes more tedious than anything because the stages themselves just aren’t that interesting. Playing higher difficulties provides more challenge to your crew, but it gets repetitive. You’re expected to want to do this for more gun customization, but that’s barely interesting. Regardless, I have to admit, shooting down waves of aliens with friends sure is entertaining.
Hoa doesn’t want to be a challenging, head-scratching puzzle adventure, and that’s okay. What it provides a gorgeously designed experience with a brilliantly executed soundtrack. The gameplay never hinders the player’s progression through this beautiful world made even more immersive due to its beautiful sound design. It’s easy to lose yourself in moments of gameplay as everything comes together for a wholesome experience.
Tormented Souls knows what it wants to be during each moment of gameplay, and that’s shown in its puzzles and deadly enemies. The developers prove they are fans of the genre as the game feels like it was created to even test their skills. The lack of direction works for what they are going for, but some elements just feel like they unnecessarily pad on the game’s runtime. Still, this game is gorgeous with genuine moments of survival horror. Caroline has what it takes to become a recognizable face in this beloved genre.
Madden NFL 22 is meant to deliver a simulated and engaging experience to fans of football. Its animations are great, and you’ll likely only gravitate to one mode that you prefer over the others, but it all acts as a way for fans to connect, and sometimes a rare glitch won’t impact that. There’s a lot of demand for some growth of the series, and this game has a long way to go, it seems, but seeing my dad pick up a gaming controller for the first time in years and can’t be overlooked.
Yuoni doesn’t break new grounds in the first-person horror genre, but it offers an interesting premise of folklore that will definitely have you engaged for its short runtime. Its sound design is at the forefront of its jump scares, which is the crux of the most heart-racing moments. Still, repetitive level design, confusing direction, and limited exploration elements dampen the overall experience.