Chess is an iconic board game that is steeped in history and has stood the test of time. I remember constantly playing a version that was pre-installed on our family computer when I was younger. It comes as no surprise that its strategic and methodical concept lends itself well to the puzzle genre. Many puzzle games over the years have regularly been inspired by chess and Chess Knights: Viking Lands is no different.
Supermassive Games made a name for themselves with Until Dawn, the PS4 exclusive horror game that was inspired by classic slasher films and their cliches/tropes. It was loved by both critics and players alike, compelling the developers to start work on an anthology of games that would continue its legacy. The first of these games, Man of Medan, was a solid adventure, but could not recapture what made its predecessor so great. Little Hope offers a similar experience in many ways. This is a sinister game full of excellent scares, improving some aspects, but also suffering from the same issues.
When we were young, we were told in many fairy tales that the hero saves the day from evil. Fighting monsters and saving the captured princess in a tower has been ingrained in our heads from day one. What if I told you that those stories got it wrong and that the hero was actually the monster? That’s what A Hero and a Garden seeks to show us.
I’ve always loved puzzle games, despite them often being a niche genre. They can provide a relaxing experience that also keeps the mind engaged. In some cases, they are also able to weave memorable narratives and characters, such as the Professor Layton games. It can also be difficult to make a game stand out when puzzles are the main focus. Unfortunately for The Pillar: Puzzle Escape, while offering a short but enjoyable journey, it relies too heavily on its inspirations to leave much of an impression.
Post-Apocalyptic settings are such a common backdrop in video games. Where it used to be a fresh and exciting aspect, it can often feel a bit overdone in the modern landscape. Paradise Lost, however, developed by PolyAmorous, attempts to set itself apart from those that came before it, with mixed results. This roughly 3-hour, story-driven adventure, has you exploring underground locales as you uncover mysteries of the past.
Who didn’t love balloons when they were younger? They can provide endless amounts of fun until the air inside, gradually withers away. I remember spending so much time trying to keep them from hitting the floor as part of a game. But there was one thing that was weirdly satisfying about balloons…popping them. Just like with bubble wrap, it was only a matter of time until the dying urge to burst the balloon became too much. It’s no wonder then that Tamiku, developed by Josyan and published by Ratalaika Games, is a game that takes this idea and runs with it.
Over the last few years, we have seen some exceptional Metroidvania games take the spotlight. Hollow Knight and more recently, the phenomenal Ori and the Will of the Wisps have pushed the genre forward in many ways. Unfortunately for Micetopia, developed by Ninja Rabbit Studio, it’s an adventure that has little going for it in comparison to its contemporaries. Let’s get into it.