Ultimately, Gone Home is the same game no matter what platform it is played on. It brings the same emotions, anxieties, and intrigue to the table now as it did years ago. There is no denying, however, that the versatility offered by the Switch version fits the calm nature of the walking sim, whether it is played docked or not—plus it's just plain cool to experience the story in such close quarters.
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.
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.
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.
Moonlighter is a delightful rogue-lite shopkeeping sim game (because that's a common combination) that can either take up one day of your time or multiple weeks, depending on your playstyle and preferences. If you're looking for a mild challenge, but want to have an overall relaxing experience in a lovingly crafted environment, then I can't recommend this game enough.
If you're a fan of literature, games with meaning, or unique art styles, then you won't regret playing The Wanderer: Frankenstein's Creature. A calm, sorrowful, and beautiful adventure awaits you, with poignant storytelling from the very Creature you control. The landscape will splay out around you in vibrant watercolors, and the music will guide your emotions. There is no thrill, no fast-paced adventure, no strategy, so if that's your cup of tea you may want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, this game is a beautiful book come to life, and is absolutely worth the play.
To no one's surprise, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is visually and audibly beautiful. Once you get the hang of Ori's abilities, the platforming is fluid and satisfying, the combat is cool, and the game rewards your exploration even when said exploration is a result of getting lost. Through it all lingers a feeling of accomplishment that makes it so easy to keep playing, even through the frustrating parts.
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.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is great for veterans and tough for newcomers, but a joy to play for either party once you get a hang of the mechanics. It gets tedious at times, and there are missed opportunities here and there, but the Nemesis System that was a beacon of success in the first game has come back bigger and better than ever. It's definitely a return to Middle-earth that is worth the play, and an homage to Tolkien's works that everyone can appreciate.
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.
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.
The Journey Down's story is captivating, confounding, and lovable all at once, with its roots in real-life culture making it all the more unique. Chapter 3 especially feels engaging and exciting, though the tone of the game never strays from its intention. There are plot details that could do with some patching up, but ultimately it was a pleasure to play, and I would definitely recommend it for somebody looking for a point-and-click puzzle game that carries with it a breath of fresh air.
If you're looking for a mobile puzzle game worthy of your time, then Umiro is where you should turn. It's short, with admittedly low replay value, but hey—it's a mobile game, primarily. It's not the place to look for a fully-fledged, complex plot, but it does the job on the puzzle front, and is great at keeping you engaged for however long you have to play it.
The Pillars of the Earth has its mechanical flaws, and it doesn't translate seamlessly from medium to medium due to technological constraints, but that aside it's a truly gorgeous experience. The art, music, and voice acting all come together as one to blend this story into one that transcends the pages upon which it was originally written, making it a very unique and interesting experience.
This historian notes the progression in the pirate's attitude. At the outset, she is optimistic at best and infuriated at worst. Her outlook seems to peak when she first joins a crew and sails with friends, but she cannot maintain that energy, and eventually devolves once again into frustration—primarily, it seems, with other pirates of the time, who show little to no restraint in their violence for no reason. However, she maintains a constant love for the sea, and seemed to greatly enjoy the time she spent in a full crew; even throughout misfortunes, such as lost ships and chicken mishaps, there seemed to be great amusement. Perhaps, had she a more accessible and constant crew, her piracy might not have ended so soon after her arrival in the Sea of Thieves.
Not Tonight is a good, solid game. The mechanics are fun, the characters are memorable, and the setting is well executed. However, for its satirical approach, it should have gone a few steps further, and taken the risk in order to become the truly biting, funny, and meaningful social commentary that it wants to be.
Fe is a beautifully ethereal game that, despite its flaws with plot comprehension and spatial organization, is a pleasure to play. If you're fine with wandering, and don't mind the feeling of being swept along on a journey rather than pioneering the journey yourself, then the weak points of this game will seem a lot less weak.