Underneath it all, Pathologic 2 is an engaging and disquieting game, one that has the potential to be something really quite special. But its survival mechanics are unnecessarily suffocating and take much of the joy out of it. Until Pathologic 2 is cured of that particular problem, be prepared for an uneven slog.
Lovecraft’s Untold Stories is a fun shooter, for the most part. It doesn’t gain much from mining Lovecraft lore; you could swap out the foes for any other number of pixellated nightmares. But slaughtering your way through the hordes is a satisfying and challenging experience, and there’s enough replayability here to keep you diving back into the abyss.
If you’re a steampunk aficionado then Vaporum will doubtless hold some appeal for you; it’s smartly presented and tells a tantalisingly haunting tale of man’s folly. But for those who aren’t as taken with steam power, Vaporum is a rather average dungeon crawler.
Even if you’ve already played the first three Ace Attorney games, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy offers the opportunity to experience all those legal shenanigans on the big screen. And if you’ve never seen Phoenix Wright bluff his way to victory, it’d be criminal to miss out.
Devotion succeeds because it’s an understandably human tale with misery, not murder or monsters, at the heart of it all. It is a tad short, particularly when compared to Detention, and while the somewhat ambigious ending might prove a turn-off for some, it’s still chilling, unsettling and heart-breaking in equal measure.
Deviating from the series’ formula and taking the adventure above ground was a bold move for 4A Games, but it’s paid off. Metro Exodus can be unforgiving at times but it’s a rollicking, radioactive road-trip that’s sure to scratch that post-apocalyptic itch.
Etrian Odyssey Nexus is an excellent dungeon crawler, overland locations and all. It’s not only the perfect antidote to grimmer adventures but it’s an addictive, creative, appealing outing that will have you coming back for more and rarely regretting your return.
Bury Me, My Love isn’t always an easy trek, perhaps reflecting its subject matter, and it’s still better suited to mobile phones. But it’s so emotionally engaging that, despite multiple, doomed playthroughs, you won’t leave Nour’s side until you’ve guided her to safety.
Override: Mech City Brawl may not quite nail the grand sense of scale, and I would certainly have loved to see some more organic monsters added to the roster, but it’s an entertaining little fighter to dip into. And, if you can drag a few friends into battle, it makes for one hell of a fun party game.
Nevertheless, unless you’re thoroughly sick to death of post-apocalyptia, you’ll find that Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a charming, entertaining outing; one that gives the turn-based combat genre a much needed shot in the arm.
The Shapeshifting Detective may lack the colossal budget of AAA games, but it nevertheless creates an intimate, skewed world that will draw you in. If you’ve ever fancied yourself an amateur sleuth, albeit one with an distinct biological advantage, then The Shapeshifting Detective will be right up your street.
Even if the game’s visuals don’t appeal to you and you’ve never tackled any other games in the series, it still warrants investigating. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows’ frequently disconcerting and often bloody payoffs, as well as periodical dollops of psychological horror, make it worth tolerating the game’s less engaging moments.