Between the narrative content, progression systems, and team management, Impact Winter is far more than a simple scavenging simulator. It still embraces the joy of exploration, but challenges players to balance a multitude of risks. Like many story driven games, replay value can feel somewhat limited by the adherence to a script and the game’s achievement system adds little to this. Despite these niggles, I adored wandering the wilds with Jacob. If you have a hankering for a survival game that has some depth to it and own a controller, then Impact Winter is a solid choice.
It would be unfair to rob you of the chance to experience Rime first hand. It is not a hardcore puzzle game. It is a moving story, painted on a gorgeous canvas, that absolutely demands your time. While it cannot escape the obvious comparisons to other, more challenging, experiences it still stuck with me. The game’s collectible lullabies and soundtrack are still firmly on repeat and I cannot deny that I was charmed by it. If you have an afternoon or two to spare and are willing to lose yourself in the great beyond, Rime is out now.
Like Wii Sports, Micro machines, or 1-2-Switch, Infinite Minigolf is incredibly easy to play with virtually no skill barrier. If you can click a couple of buttons you can play against friends and that is where this game really shines. Beating your own record, or watching a faceless opponents ball scurry off into the distance is satisfying, but there is nothing quite like swapping insults and game pads with your friends during an overtly competitive round. Infinite Minigolf is not incredibly difficult, it is not a sprawling adventure of epic proportions, it is a good time with friends in the comfort of your own front room and that is why I’ll pick it up time and again.
Recent titles like The Sexy Brutale and Rime sacrifice replay value and unnecessary padding to provide an engaging experience from end to end. The Darkside Detective, similarly, does not suffer any baggage. Writing is witty, striking a balance between goofy and dark that never seems to become threatening. Unfortunately, my time with Detective McQueen and Officer Dooley was far too short. While the tone, writing, and characterization are all stellar, puzzles are little more than filler and I closed cases as quickly as I opened them. Hopefully, the game’s episodic approach will allow for more content to be added soon, because the few hours of enjoyment you will get from The Darkside Detective make it worth investigating.
Despite some great puzzles and an interesting group mechanic, I will be waiting before returning to Hyakki Castle. If you love dungeon crawlers and need something new, give it a try. If you are new to the genre then maybe start with the superb Legend of Grimrock. Hyakki Castle is out now on Steam.
The Red Strings Club is a fascinating exploration of humanity, emotion, ethics, and our own preconceptions of evil. It tackles some huge topics, and while it does not manage to meet all of it’s potential it is worth playing just to visit The Red Strings Club, pull up a chair, and try something different.
Happy Birthday's takes a simple idea, decorates itself with some adorable aesthetics, and somehow manages to weaves together a multitude of different genres. It is an enigmatic experience that can't be categorized, and that is its appeal. If you want something different then this is definitely for you.