What Remains of Edith Finch knows its niche from the beginning and rarely strays, resulting in a cohesive experience that I was never jolted out of. It elicits the strangest mixture of emotions, and its different modes of storytelling are second to none. The controls don't translate seamlessly from PC to Xbox One, but you don't play this game for the controls; you play for the story, and the story is gripping.
The unique premise of Vostok Inc. breathes new life into the tired genre, making this moneymaking game much more than something to just play on the toilet to pass the time. While it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, I urge you to give it a chance if you're on the fence; it definitely didn't seem like my cup of tea either at first, but the embedded humor and interesting mechanics made it relatively easy to suffer through the annoyances.
Pixel Night makes a brave foray into the exploration genre that doesn't quite pan out in the end due to detached storytelling and repetitive mechanics. If you're a dedicated adventure game player, Empathy: Path of Whispers will offer little challenge, except maybe in the way of overcoming boredom. It is, at the end of the day, a walking simulator that knows exactly what it wants to be, but falls a few steps short of actually being it.
Mass Effect: Andromeda doesn’t quite live up to the hype, but it comes close. Considering the situation in which the developers found themselves, they put out an addition to the franchise that really feels like returning home even though you’re millions of light years from Earth. With stunning scenery, a distinct Mass Effect feel, and an abundance of things to do, it’s a worthy investment for any Mass Effect veteran or newcomer—but don’t expect it to be perfect.
While not perfect, Death Squared is pretty darn close to it. This game should be a go-to for any age group who’s looking for a small party game that could keep them occupied for hours. You’ll rarely be bored with the puzzles, rarely be frustrated with the mechanics, and rarely annoyed by anything other than excessive team-killing (which is hysterical in its own right). If you’re looking for a puzzle game to play with someone who doesn’t like puzzles, this is the one.
Alone With You is the perfect game for people who want to sit back and enjoy a story that provokes sadness, relief, foreboding, attraction, and everything in between. It’s not a thriller or a fighter. It takes the concept of loneliness and transforms it into an experience that isn’t nearly as boring as it might sound at first. It could be more interactive if it tried, but the strong and complex narrative helps compensate for that—and makes it worth the money.
A good time passer, imprint-X is worth its reasonable price but isn’t a bastion of breathtaking gameplay. It has its flaws, many notable but none game ruining. Despite that, it definitely requires some brainpower. Don’t expect to be enraptured by days of scintillating gameplay, but also don’t expect to breeze through it on your first try.
Mainlining kills two birds with one stone, fulfilling a childhood fantasy and just plain being a great game at the same time. If you're looking for a unique sort of puzzle/mystery game, definitely give this a try; it's obvious that Sam Read and Rebelephant have worked hard on this, and the result is a truly enjoyable game that's fun for fans of many game genres. Well worth the money.