If you really like your punishing hack and slash platformers, then Slave Zero X might be for you, but it doesn't feel as rewarding as it should when progress is made. You hardly feel like the killing machine you are as you run into difficulty spikes, and the near constant swarms of enemies just gets a bit dull when you are not learning any new techniques to fight them.
The Legend of Steel Empire is a fun side-scrolling shooter set in an interesting alternate history timeline. The gameplay is easy to get to grips with, allowing people of all skill levels to deal with enemies. However, the short length of the campaign is not truly worth the asking price, so I'd recommend waiting for a sale to pick it up.
Lil Guardsman's mix of border control and adventure is a whole heap of fun, with genuine comedic moments combined with great acting. There are a few issues with the story, with the occasional inconsistency or predictable moment, but all in all this is a great addition to the genre.
The Cub is a really good platformer with an excellent use of the soundtrack to really immerse you into the world. While some platforming bits are a little frustrating, overall the experience is tight with a smooth flow. The story is engaging, the world interesting to explore, and the themes touching on climate change and how society deals with it relevant.
nGolf is one of those games that will fly by without much, if any fanfare. It offers a competent mini-golf game, but there have been others that have been more challenging and entertaining. It is not worth the full price, but at a steep discount it's a charming choice if you really need to play through some simple golf puzzles.
Yuki's Wish and Zagan's Ritual are two good pieces of DLC that adds to the overall lore and gameplay of Shadow Gambit. Both provide quite a few additional hours of content, with six missions each, plus their badges to earn too. If I were to pick one of the two to go with first it would be Yuki's Wish.
SteamWorld Build will scratch that itch of town builder and dungeon crawler alike. It's an easy game to pick up and play, gradually introducing each layer of society and underground mining at a steady pace. A few elements could be improved to help levels flow better, but overall it's a very good experience that digs up yet another new genre for the SteamWorld franchise.
Invincible Presents: Atom Eve is a fun blend of visual novel and combat, with a decent and well-written story and very good artwork alongside. The combat is good too and the whole package really adds to Invincible lore, even if it is not canon.
There's a lot of depth to Football Manager 2024, but how deep you go is up to you. You can sit back and just focus on the basics of the match day and transfers, or you can all the way to managing individual player training and using the new player targets feature Whatever approach you choose, Football Manager 2024 offers a near full package to start or continue your managerial career.
The Invincible is a novel brought to life, blending its story and stunning visuals with engaging exploration. The Invincible goes back to the roots of sci-fi, offering something both classic and new when it comes to exploring the relationship between humanity and the final frontier.
UFC 5 is a very good fighting game with a lot of depth to it, and will provide plenty of entertainment for UFC fans. The career mode feels quite basic though and a bit more depth to it would have been welcome. There are also bugs that need addressing and the flailing of limbs when fighters get tangled makes things look a bit comical. Still, this is worth stepping into the Octagon.
Sonic Superstars is a decent Sonic game, but it is not the return to former heights that some would expect. It offers entertainment and fun, but is marred by the action being slowed down quite a lot, interrupting the flow, and boss fights that drag on and feel like a throwback instead of an evolution.
Hexarchy takes a bold step by blending 4X strategy with deckbuilding, but it works well to create a fun tactical game to enjoy in short bursts. Do not expect tons of depth when it comes to diplomacy or a slow burn, but if you want to enjoy a quick tactical game then Hexarchy is for you.
The Lamplighters League doesn't quite live up to its promise and expectations. There's a fun mix of real time exploration and turn-based combat, but it's a step short of the best strategy games of the year – others like Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew have done it better. Given more time and more engaging narrative The Lamplighters League could have been great. It will have to settle for decent at best.
Chants of Sennaar and the way it explores the relations between different groups of people is really engaging as a game. With language at its core, it highlights both the differences and the similarities between people and cultures. Chants of Sennaar is a puzzle game that deserves attention.
Sports FC 24 is not the complete departure from FIFA that its name would suggest. Most of the fundamentals remain in place and the career modes have barely been updated. Then again, Ultimate Team is the series' real money-spinner, coming with the addition of evolutions and mixed gender teams. Overall, the on-pitch gameplay is good, and you can see the extra animations enhancing the football sim, but it isn't a massive evolution of EA's flagship series.
Regardless of what this review says, NBA 2K24 will sell millions of copies, and generate millions of dollars through VC. That is because basketball fans who want to play a basketball game have nowhere else to go. The on court action is really good, but without competition to keep them honest, 2K's monetisation has got out of hand and made modes like MyCareer near unplayable without extra investment from players.
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is a challenging tactical game with a fun story and characterful crew. The varied missions do a good job of giving you plenty of options for how to tackle them, leaning into different crew abilities. There's a few rough edges, but Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew's treasure hunt is well worth partaking in.