The Greater Good may not appeal to those scouting for intense systems, strategic play or hefty challenges, but like it did me, it just might win you over in spite of its technical hitches.
Final Days fully embraces its identity as a predictable co-op romp, and in so doing will likely provide genre fans with a comfortable mutant-mashing session.
The Inner Friend was in much need of adding risk to its puzzles and encounters, if it hoped to create the eerie, unsettling atmosphere of which its subject matter and visual design are more than capable.
Less a Gaiden successor and more a general love-letter to its look and style, The Messenger allows fans to hop gleefully between cheery gaming memories without being bound by the rigid controls and punishing precision of a prior era, while somehow managing to remain entirely accessible to newcomers as a fun, unmistakeably wholehearted 2D platformer.
Fans of the story-driven adventure game will likely find parallels with previous successes like Life is Strange and SOMA, though State of Mind's reductive puzzles and constant tone fail to match the level of personality in either. This said, the developers are committed to exploring transhumanism in relation to very pertinent contemporary concerns, and ensure there's enough sci-fi fluff to distract from the simplistic gameplay structure.
The Path of Motus is ambitious in what it seeks to communicate about the relationship we often share with games, and includes several notable spins on traditional gaming components of the puzzle platforming genre. But its arguments need to be embedded within a more rigorous gameplay structure if they're to truly land.
With an unrelenting sense of character, Chasm successfully works the Metroid formula into a procedurally-generated fantasy platformer, producing an intricate, challenging and enduring treasure hunt that more than justifies its five-year development.
Garage: Bad Trip is an unrelenting barrage of camp horror and ridiculous action sequences whose grungy VHS aesthetic will likely appeal to cult-movie enthusiasts, while also managing to be well-structured, accessible top down shooter with its very own grotesque thrills.
If you'd like to experience the sense of flow of iOS rhythm games or runners without the touch controls, Lost in Harmony's isolated keys and horizontal scroller may prove attractive on the PC. But alas, it's better suited to the smartphone, and with its rich, painted aesthetic and surprisingly grounded story, it's probably amongst the strongest on that market.
Inked tries in earnest to make a small folk tale into a wider allegory about creative expression, and though admirable in theory, the self-reflexive bent ultimately hinders the sense of unease it creates through its pleasantly hand-drawn realm.
Well written, quaintly designed and only occasionally fatiguing, Towards the Pantheon fully embraces RPG convention, using the genre's familiar narrative themes and battle systems to provide an unavoidably charming fantasy quest.
Jumping Joe and Friends embraces simplicity, requiring enduring vigilance as it challenges the player to accumulate as many points as possible. The result? Not only a tense arcade platformer, but a reasonable party game that suits the Switch's pick-up-and-play charm.
Shio evidently understands the appeal of gliding elegantly between obstacle-riddled levels like an invincible pro, and often comes across as a more casual Super Meat Boy. Yet, the foggy storyline feels distanced from its rapid-fire level design, which can make the attempts at a meditative atmosphere feel forced and alienating.
Copy Kitty exemplifies Nuclear Strawberry's emphasis on fun, and through an accessible control scheme and periods of glorified heroic power, it could very well open the action platformer genre to wider audiences.
Attentat 1942 provides an insightful history lesson into the events of the Czechoslovakian occupation, while its cinematic interviews prove a crucial gateway into understanding the impact those events had on human life. It doesn't provide the interactivity of Her Story or This War of Mine, but it's pleasing to see the game format being used to educate.
Though not entirely devoid of the repetitious, occasionally aimless gameplay that afflicts several narrative-driven adventures, Last Day of June quite often redeems its down periods as a filmic, affecting examination of grief.
The occasional design issue aside, restoring Hob's ramshackle world is satisfying, with its cel-shaded art style and tech-infused nature concealing a complex network of pulleys, valves and hidden paths.
With a rigorous control scheme and tweaked level design, Balthazar's Dream could have offered a quite adorable puzzle-platformer to complete in a few hours. Yet its attempt to give each mechanic its own doggy bent results in a toilsome, repetitive experience that feels disappointing against its charming concept.
If Double Dragon, Final Fight, Streets of Rage or Golden Axe were your go-to coin-ops on childhood trips to the arcade, 99Vidas might well resurface some fond, pre-millennium memories. But alas, nostalgia only gets a game so far, and once the thrill-ride is over, there's very little reason to return for a second playthrough.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is every bit as vicious, epic and dramatic as its predecessors in the Ninja Theory library, but interweaving a delicate storyline through simple, yet ruthless mechanics makes it one of the most visceral portrayals of psychological turmoil in recent video gaming.