Sara Boardman


25 games reviewed
80.0% of games recommended
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Nov 23, 2020

Reader, I'm not going to lie. As a serious Serious Sam fan it's very hard for me to get on board with this installment. I know they tried with some big ideas, but it just feels like every single one of them fell miles short of the intended mark. If you're a die hard fan of the franchise like me, then no doubt you'll want this--but take my word for it and wait for a deep cut or sale. Otherwise, you'll just find yourself frustrated that you've spent upwards of £30 on what feels like a rushed, buggy mess covered in your favourite coat of Sam paint.

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Recommended - Pumpkin Jack
Oct 30, 2020

Pumpkin Jack isn't just for Halloween despite being perfect for it. It's a fun and enjoyable adventure, full of (undead) life and personality all around. It does have a few short comings like the challenge of controlling Jack, but overall this stuff can be overlooked. The story is cute, there's unlockables, and it's pretty easy on the eyes to look at. If you're looking for something unique, or themed for the holiday Pumpkin Jack is your perfect pick!

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Oct 20, 2020

On the whole, a fantastic game that is bound to draw you in and make you stay. I can fully recommend this if you're a fan of builders, pixel graphics, or management games! It's wonderfully easy to get into, gently teaching you everything you need to know--but has the true addicting staying power to keep you interested for hours on end. I do hope if you're a fan of the genre that you'll check this one out--you'll be very pleased you did so!

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Recommended - Evan's Remains
Jun 29, 2020

The main factor to Evan's Remains' gameplay lies within monolith puzzles. The platforming was something I was really looking forward to watching the trailer, as you're meant to sort out pressure sensitive pads in a certain order to advance along. If you're stumped, you do have the option to skip the puzzles, but I would advise against it--there's a few secrets to find along the way that are actually pretty cleverly done. I will say that they're not terribly difficult in nature, but some will keep you guessing for an extra minute or two, with a nice sense of accomplishment when you finally solve.

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Jun 19, 2020

That said, if you don't have turn based games under your microscope, and like the look of Dread Nautical--this might be a good start for you. It's a good one to enjoy without the jaded lens that I seem to bear, and I even gave it to my ten year old to enjoy...which I'm happy to report they did (and learned it pretty quickly without any help). So, proceed with caution, get a few different viewpoints under your belt and best of luck to you sailor!

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Recommended - Fledgling Heroes
May 7, 2020

Gameplay in Fledgling Heroes is physics based 2D side-scrolling. As you dive off your perch at the starting point, you're meant to keep flapping until your satisfied with the momentary height. A bit better of an explanation: it's a lot like controlling Kazooie in Banjo Kazooie, minus the need for red feathers to stay in flight. You tap to go higher, and do nothing to sink lower with different variations in speed. In each level, there's a multitude of bits and bobs to collect, such as gold coins and treasure chests. As you're always in perpetual flight, measuring your height becomes the trick of the whole game. It's a simple concept--easy to learn, but oh, so hard to master.

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Essential - Exit the Gungeon
Apr 28, 2020

Devolver Digital seems to always bring the goods to the table, and I'm pleased to report that Exit The Gungeon is no different! A pixel roguelite shooter that peppers in a heavy bit of bullet hell, this title will do all it can to make you bend your knee to it. Exit The Gungeon is fantastic, brutal and we've got it in the palm of our hands with the Nintendo Switch version.

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Recommended - OUTBUDDIES
Dec 10, 2019

Outbuddies nautical depths have a colour palette that reflects the despair and loneliness of the deep. Blues and purples are put to stark contrast on your character's reds and pinks. The understanding to have a subtle, yet striking palatte coupled with the pixelated graphics is no doubt a visual recipe for success.

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No Recommendation / Blank - Citadel: Forged With Fire
Nov 28, 2019

Desperately searching for fun, we hung out in the starting zone, hoping to interact with a few players. In the starting zone itself is a safety bubble--like a force field protecting the new players. This is great, but the moment you stepped out--it was curtains for you. Mid to high, and even some braver low level players camped out at the edge of the bubble, waiting for some daft adventurer to cross its threshold. It became very clear that ambushing unsuspecting new players was the fun to be had in Citadel: Forged with Fire. You could make it past one of these malicious players, but once in the wild, you face enemies that never lose aggro, unclear or no instruction as to what to do or build and strange bugs that begged to be squashed.

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Recommended - Planet Zoo
Nov 13, 2019

Let's talk about building! With the career mode, you'll have a pre-built zoo for the first couple of levels whilst you learn the ropes. Slowly, you'll be made to build habitats for your animals, how to fill said habitats with animals, and how to keep them happy behind the glass. There is also small exhibits--things such as spiders and snakes to take care of in the very same fashion. It's not straightforward and there's many factors to consider when bringing the animals in and getting them settled it, but to me that was the fun of it. I loved reading guest comments about how my hippos looked particularly content, or how my tigers appeared well fed as they sat belly up to the Sun.

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Recommended - Deliver Us The Moon
Oct 23, 2019

Unfortunately there's a few hangups I have about the overall game, but rest assured nothing in the way of not recommending it to you! Deliver Us The Moon is a graphical powerhouse, one that if you intend on running it in all it's glory, will require a bit of clever hardware on your computer. There's some inconsistencies with the playable parts graphically as well--incidental cutscenes litter the storyline here and there, and these tend to be of a different, lower quality to the rest of the game's design. Heavy noise filters are good at masking a bit of these lapses in quality, and whilst they don't ruin the game itself in any way, are still there.

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Feb 6, 2019

Each level does take a bit of thinking, and they do increase in the amount of time that you'll have to use your brain for. What sounds like a good idea, might not be, but that's the beauty with a game like this--plenty of trial and error. There's enough variety in the puzzles and different types of levels that if you're anything like me--you'll find yourself glued to the monitor for hours. The music is the right amount of soothing, the graphics the right amount of simple and the physics...the right amount of hilarity.

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An interesting idea in Mage's Initiation is to have the ability to learn and grow through XP and a really smart gem system. You can equip a limited amount of gems at any time, and these gems give you individual buffs that are really useful, especially in battle. The hybrid nature of Mage's Initiation being that of a point and click and RPG, gives us these really cool opportunities to duel and battle throughout the adventure. It's engaging, fun and really adds to the whole thing, giving it a spin on a classic genre.

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Jan 23, 2019

On top of the fantastic experience of simply making your way through the game hunched over in sneak mode (literally my entire time in Skyrim in any playthrough, so I was hungry for it), the lush environments and levels really are a thing of beauty. The detail of this torn world really sets the game up to run a chill down your spine, even in the best of situations. The character models are ridiculously well done to the point where you think you're going to laugh at the fact that you're toting around Howard the Duck in a post apocalyptic world--but it never really seems to cross your mind as everything about them is so convincing and immersive that it's hard not to take it seriously. The enemies are foul and deranged--a real threat. Five minutes with the mutant hunters in your midst and you're guaranteed to know what they're all about without a massive context behind them.

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Essential - Two Point Hospital
Sep 8, 2018

Diving in, you're put into a campaign type mode where you go from hospital to hospital with different scenarios and challenges to work on. As you move from one to the next, you start to notice that you're in a living tutorial that never really feels too heavy or confusing. All the introductions of game mechanics gently trickle in, giving you plenty of time to learn as goals urge you to implement them as you go along. This is something that I'm absolutely raving about--the rate at which you learn how to run new equipment and gather unlockables is at a fantastically thorough pace. Have you unlocked something later down the line but wish to use it in a previous hospital? No problem! Just go back to whichever hospital at any time and you can drop whatever you've earned back into it. All the unlockables and research span across the whole account, which is brilliant and makes going back into your first hospitals so much fun.

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Essential - Dead Cells
Sep 4, 2018

Fighting in Dead Cells is an unavoidable showcase of the game. With every different enemy comes their own flair on how they come at you. Some will have shields that deflect, others throw energy bombs. Even the most simplest of baddies toss their entire bodies at you, like a meaty, gelatinous bullet. Every fight requires careful strategy and razor sharp reflexes. Getting hit even once can send you into a spiral of pain that leads to only one place--back to the beginning of the game. It's a brilliant and brutal system, and I would be lying if I said it wasn't utterly addicting.

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Recommended - Graveyard Keeper
Aug 22, 2018

It's cute to look at, which is a big plus when you're chopping up dead, rotting-by-the-minute bodies. It's colourful, the different parts of the map are distinct, the animations are totally in line and with all this--it makes it a joy to walk around and explore. I never felt lost (even with the map on standby) and I never felt bored of what I was looking at on screen.

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Recommended - Juicy Realm
May 28, 2018

What makes Juicy Realm so much fun is how off the wall it all is. Bullet-hellish in its own right, you have enemies that descend upon you from every direction imaginable--and they have quite good aim too! The challenge is definitely there which is something that's essential for twin-stickers.

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Apr 16, 2018

Warhammer Vermintide 2 is the much anticipated sequel to the violence-laced title sharing game before it. With a bleak outlook of a story, you're meant to take down hordes after horde for the Empire. Various beloved faces make their way into this pre-apocalyptic setting, ready to fight by your side. The entire game tosses you into the idea that you're biting off more than you can chew. Not that it will stop you from gritting your teeth and trudging on.

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Oct 3, 2017

An absolute gem of a game to play--Jettomero doesn't take long to dive into, nor is it too deep. You're a robot who is slightly confused on everything around it, blasted into a galaxy you don't know, and events taking place around you with the human civilization that you haven't quite caught up on yet. It's an adorable story that unfolds like a comic book, with super hero pacing that can only leave you feeling pumped up!

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