RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures is a pretty big disappointment for me. As a fan of the series for most of my life, a portable, fully fledged, modern version of the game on a portable console is a dream, but that isn't what this is. This casual approach is too dumbed down for it to be fun for more than a few hours. With the rollercoaster building being so awful, it's difficult to recommend even for casual users, but it might work as something to distract from the drudgery of a bus ride.
The lack of depth in RBI 19's basic mechanics has a crippling effect on the whole experience, first as frustration when trying to get used to timing-based batting, then with boredom after you're familiar. On top of that, it's an arcade baseball game that's presented like a sim, but without the depth to back that up or a hook to set it apart from actual sim games, it just feels barren and empty.
12 is Better Than 6 has good combat and a great art style, but is held back by technical issues, unpredictable AI and some odd design decisions. The issues hamper the gameplay and, whilst there is a story, it's entirely forgettable and delivered in awkwardly written dialogue. It's probably best to stick this game's obvious influences.
Shadows: Awakening ultimately fails to be the action RPG that fans of the genre need. It has some interesting ideas and decent writing, but the story shifts to the backburner after a while and the side missions and combat aren't enough to maintain interest through the grind it turns into. It's not bad, it's just not particularly inspiring either. If you need a new diablo-like and a lack of polish or a glut of grind doesn't bother you, there are definitely worse options out there.
Townsmen is a good game that will keep strategy fans happy for a good while, but it's held back by some awkward controls and its basic aesthetic. Despite this, it gets a solid recommendation if you enjoy the genre and especially if you are itching for some town building on the train.
Unfortunately 8-Bit Armies' attempt at console strategy is simplified to the point that it outstays its welcome after a few hours. Whilst the campaign will keep you entertained for a few hours, the multiplayer is too empty to expect any more game time. Perhaps if you have someone who you can rely on to play against it might be worth picking up, but otherwise it's probably not going to last long enough to be worth it.
Perhaps all three acts together will be a complete package worth a purchase, but this just feels like more of the same, except rushed out to meet an audience and lacking the unerring attention to detail that made the main campaign so special. Whilst Black Cat herself is pretty excellent, the story around her isn't one that is gripping, at least, not yet.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey throws so much stuff at you, it's difficult to sift through it all. It's a beautiful game to look at and the story is intriguing, but it feels like a game that could have been a little more ambitious if given more time to develop. There's good ideas, from the branching story and character choice to the return of ship-based combat, but its ambitions also fray around the edges in a way that Origins didn't.
Marvel's Spider-Man does a spectacular job of making you feel like the ultimate Spider-Man. From swinging through the city at high speed to fighting off legions of enemies by zipping between them and pulling them into the air, its gameplay looks like a scene from the films. It's remarkably well realised in terms of its world, design, and even technically, with short loading times and a rock solid framerate even on the base PlayStation 4. If Spider-Man is your thing then this is an essential purchase.
Airheart presents an interesting idea with hints of brilliance, but fails to deliver a game with staying power. Whilst the upgrade system is satisfying, it's let down by repetitive gameplay and UI issues that get in the way even when playing with the endearing crafting system.
But for a dash of repetition, both in gameplay after a long period and the slightly disappointing variety of enemies, Mothergunship is really a great game. The story takes a back seat to the gameplay, so if you're looking for a story focused experience you're in the wrong place. However if an FPS rogue-lite with gameplay in the vein of Quake and the ability to create a gun that shoots both lightning and floating grenades is your thing, you could do a lot worse than Mothergunship.
As you play more of Conan Exiles and access higher tier items, it becomes more and more clear that there was serious potential here. The survival aspects of the game are fun, provided survival is your thing, and it brings some new ideas and features to the table. The thrall system in particular is interesting, but ultimately fails in its execution. Considering its price, I can't help but feel the package and its quality is a little lacking.
The Sword of Ditto is a good looking, adorable and funny game that is held back a little bit by its time limit. I would love to explore the island and its quirky sense of humour at my own pace, but the constant ticking clock makes it feel like you're being rushed through the environment. It's fun and worth playing if you don't mind time being a factor.
Far Cry 5 is another improvement to a series that hit its stride quite a long time ago. It gets a recommendation not because of any of its individual features, but because they all combine together into a game that becomes paradoxically funny and horrifying, occasionally at the same time.
The crucial factor to take into account here is the sense of humour. Do you like silly, immature humour that has no respect for the fourth wall? If you don't, the gameplay probably isn't strong enough to maintain your interest, particularly in a crowded genre. If you do however, the gameplay is strong enough to maintain your interest for the length of the game, slightly short though it may be.
Ultimately, for all its storylines and RPG elements, Defender's Quest is very much about the tower defence at its core, with all the other systems in the game either informing the core experience or accommodating it. That tower defence gameplay is exceptionally strong, full of options and customisation, and the other missed opportunities do little to take away from that.