Thimbleweed Park is the right kind of throwback and a hell of an adventure game. It adheres to all of the old ideals that defined adventure games while still adding new things to accommodate new players or veterans who haven't reacclimated themselves to that old style. The puzzles can be intimidating, but they make sense, even if you're tempted to use a walkthrough to solve the more difficult ones. It sticks to a classic aesthetic, but it also knows how to deliver a compelling story to bring it all together. Time will tell if adventure game fans can call this a classic, but right now, Thimbleweed Park is certainly worth playing.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is an excellent example of the right kind of remastering for a sprite-based game. Everything from the original is kept intact, with only a few changes that make the game more bearable in the modern era without affecting the difficulty at all. The presentation is what everyone will be talking about, however, as this game surpasses expectations, which is a bigger feat for an indie developer than a larger studio. The game length may be short initially, but the many secrets will keep you coming back, making this title a must-have for platforming fans of all types.
Puyo Puyo Tetris is a chaotic puzzle masterpiece. The mechanics of each of the core games remains untouched, so veterans of either one can jump in quickly. The interaction of the two games throughout the various modes blends in so well that the mash-up feels right instead of strange. The modes gives the player plenty to do, and the multiplayer is so expansive that there's bound to be at least one mode that someone will grow fond of. Fusion is where the challenge lies, and the blending of both core experiences into one hybrid mode is done so well that it's bound to get just as much playtime as the vanilla versions of the games it was inspired by. Though it is the only puzzle game on the system now, it is still the gold standard to which future puzzle games on the Switch can aspire. Unless you absolutely hate puzzle games, pick up Puyo Puyo Tetris.
To put it succinctly, Shovel Knight is great. It pulls off the trick of looking and sounding like a classic game (with a few embellishments here and there) and playing like a mash-up of the best game mechanics of the time. It embraces the old-school mentality wholeheartedly but leaves some room to pick up some modern trappings for wider accessibility. Even though it sports the perfect length for a title in this genre, the large number of extras makes it a title with more than enough staying power for all gamers. Unless you absolutely must have your games made of polygons or completely hate the indie movement, you need to have Shovel Knight in your video game library.
Overall, Mortal Kombat X is great. The small improvements in the fighting system make a huge difference for the better, and the new fighters feel like they fit perfectly with the old cast. Despite missing a few modes and features, this is still one of the most packed fighting games as far as content goes, with enough hooks beyond the Story mode to keep players engaged. More improvements need to be made to the online performance, however, and the constant presence and reminders to purchase DLC characters can be off-putting.
Helldivers is a very good game. The focus on being a more strategic top-down shooter gives it an identity, as does the high mortality rate due to friendly fire. Whether you play solo or with friends, the game remains exciting once you gain access to more guns and stratagems. Though the missions can quickly become repetitive, the contributions made to an overall goal keep things enticing. For those wanting a slightly different top-down shooter, Helldivers is well worth checking out.
Though imperfect, Resident Evil HD Remaster is a good update to a now-classic remake. The core game holds up rather well after more than a decade, and when compared to some of its contemporaries, it's still gripping in the action and scares. The improvements to the controls help greatly, and the various technical options ensure that just about everyone gets a near-perfect version of the remake. The compression artifacts are disappointing to see, especially when compared to the work done on the polygonal elements, and some of the sounds could have been done better. Those elements don't cripple the gameplay, and fans of survival-horror will be happy to experience this, especially if they didn't try it on the Nintendo consoles.
Despite the long wait between entries, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions ends up being a very solid game in the franchise. The core shooting mechanics remain tight, and the addition of new powers doesn't cheapen the experience. The level designs add a fresh feel to the shooting, and the various modes cater to those with specific preferences. Though the presence of progression gates can be frustrating and encourage too much grinding, the various leaderboards and pure addictive nature of the high score hunt mitigate that just a bit. For arcade style shooting fans, it feels almost mandatory to have this in your gaming library.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is an excellent entry in the series. The gameplay is varied, with a combination of decent stealth and very solid gunplay. The levels may sport drab colors, but the variety in location and inclusion of secrets in the level design make up for that. The story works well in a series that's not really known for telling a good narrative, and the dual pathways mean that an already long campaign is made longer for almost all the right reasons. If you gravitate toward a strong single-player experience in your shooters, The New Order should be high on your list of games to play.
Despite its brevity, SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt is an enjoyable title. The premise may initially seem too simple, but the constant feed of tools and power-ups, coupled with speedy platforming, prevent the player from becoming bored. The mix of exploration and combat is blended well to the point where new additions don't feel out of place, and the only lament is how there's not much else to the game once you've finished it.
Strider is a great example of how you can reboot an old arcade game with modern sensibilities and still keep it true to its roots. The fast action is sharp and responsive, and it mixes nicely with the grand setting. The adventure comes in at just the right length, and the various battles, while easy for series veterans, still excite in how they play out — though it would have been nice to have skippable cut scenes. Fans of the series and action-adventure gamers will have a blast with this title.
Super Time Force is a good shooter with some depth. The time manipulation gimmick works great for those who want to use brute force as well as those who want some strategy, though the latter won't be rewarded until the very end. It makes the well-worn genre feel fresh again, and even though the initial game can be short, the amount of secrets and the presence of further difficulty levels give the game some legs. The writing and humor may not be the title's strong suits, but with everything else running smoothly enough, it can easily be overlooked. For fans of the genre, Super Time Force is worth checking out.
In the end, So Many Me is a puzzle platformer that works on so many levels. It has a charming cast of characters that are bolstered by a beautiful presentation and some funny dialogue. The range of puzzles rides a fine balance between elementary and impossible, and the wide variety of goals ensures that players of all skill levels can complete this title. As long as you accept the fact that failure will come often, you'll enjoy this great puzzle platformer.
Luftrausers is a nice little getaway from the story-focused games that populate the landscape nowadays. It's a great game that is both fun and challenging for those who appreciate simpler experiences. Those not interested in chasing high scores will still get some mileage out of the challenge and unlock system, but the game is really made for those who adore points. The short playtimes for each round ensure that you can sneak in a round or two between other things, but the addictive nature proves alluring enough that hours can fly by before you notice. For anyone who enjoys a fun, solid game, Luftrausers comes highly recommended.
In the end, OlliOlli is quite good. It's familiar enough for genre fans to be able to pick up quickly, yet it's different enough that it feels fresh. It's challenging enough to make people work for their high scores, but not to the point where retrying the same level becomes infuriating. It features a good amount of gameplay that can be endless if you like chasing high scores, and though it is best enjoyed in short bursts, playing it in prolonged sessions doesn't hurt. Even if it doesn't cause a resurgence in the extreme sports genre, OlliOlli can stand as one of the better sports games on the PC.
With a striking yet simple presentation, Zenzizenzic is a fresh take on the twin-stick shooter. The slew of new mechanics provides your attacks some diversity, especially with the new bullet hell setting. The idea of trade-offs is a good new addition since it forces you to strategize more in a genre that's not really known for that. The roguelike mode is what will attract players. Anyone looking for a distinctive shooter will be very happy with Zenzizenzic.
In the end, Fallout 4 is essentially Fallout 3 with a few more features and tweaks. That isn't a dig at the game, but that's what most fans of the series will think. The experience is top-notch, as few developers try to pull off something this large and immersive, and fewer still ever do it right. Even with the bugs, Fallout 4 is a highly addictive and fun experience that gamers of all types will enjoy.
Your enjoyment of Doom is going to depend greatly on the mode you're playing and your acceptance of the tweaks to the classic formula. In multiplayer, you'll have fun as long as you keep in mind that this is a blend of every other multiplayer first-person shooter instead of simply being Doom with prettier graphics. If you're playing the campaign, it feels like a welcome evolution of the series, since the classic elements meld rather well with the modern touches. If your attention is on Snapmap, then you'll find that the game has some long legs thanks to an easy-to-learn system that has already produced loads of content for solo and multiplayer situations. Either way, you're getting a complete package that celebrates the pure adrenaline-pumping action that brought so many to the genre in the first place. Doom is absolutely a worthy entry to any genre fan's library.
Your opinion of Planet Coaster will be completely dependent on what you're seeking. As a management simulator, it hits the basics but doesn't introduce anything revolutionary. As a creation game, it shines because the design tools are powerful and the amount of structures that can be used is almost limitless thanks to a vibrant and active community. Ultimately, the game is fun once you get a grasp of the tools, and it's an excellent title to jumpstart a revival in theme park simulators.