Even for someone who’s a casual observer of Supercross, Monster Energy Supercross 3 is quite a joy ride. It’s feature full, fun to play and deeply gratifying when things come together. There’s a steep learning curve, somewhat hampered by a tutorial that expects you to know the ins and outs of a Supercross track from the get go but once you’ve got the hang of it, you can get a lot out of it.
There’s no shortage of top down, pixel art, fantasy roguelike’s out there vying for your attention and many of them are enjoyable. It’s a genre I’ve spent far too much time with over the past few years so the thought of playing another was daunting when I first got my hands on Children of Morta. The thought of re-treading the same ground for hours, something of a staple for this genre, had put me off. I couldn’t have been more wrong about this game though. It’s visuals, narrative originality, the vast array of content and the sheer amount of polish that’s on display here has shown me that Dead Mage and 11 Bit Studios have created the roguelike to end all roguelikes, combining the best of the genre in a package which feels familiar yet refreshingly fast moving.
With simplistic systems, a run time of less than an hour and sections that feel unfinished, Dreaming Canvas is a relaxing yet shallow experience. There’s virtually no replayability with you being able to see everything this game has to offer, warts and all, in a single sitting. It’s environments are gorgeous at first glance but a lack of content means this game becomes bland and uninspired very quickly and it’s aim to inspire creativity falls flat.
A few niggles aside, Headliner: NoviNews is a smart and impactful game with a tonne of replayability. While it’s set in a fictional land featuring fictional characters and fictional news, it’s easy to draw parallels with the news agencies of our own countries, holding up a mirror to the way news is reported and the spin that is applied to facts. Exploring the ramifications of your decisions and what information you disseminate to the public, whether that’s becoming a state sponsored outlet or sticking to your responsibilities to provide impartial news, is fascinating. Headliner: NoviNews is an easy recommendation to anyone who fancies something a little bit different.
Afterlife falls into those cracks between game and cinematic creations and is worse for it. Without a UI or any indication on how to experience its branching narrative without blindly stumbling through it, it fails as a VR game. Without the set cinematic frame, of the direction that all standard movies have, you can miss some of the better moments in the because it’s going on behind or to the periphery of your vision. The performances and the more powerful moments of this experience make it easy to see it has been nominated for a number of high profile awards – but for me, this virtual voyeuristic experience lacks the clarity provided by the staples of either medium to really capitalise on its more powerful moments.
The combat, side missions and boss battled are all a triumph of that original pitch I was served a few years ago, combining the best of mobile gaming wrapped up in a highly polished and visually spending package without any adverts or micro transactions. Unfortunately, It’s just too short. Clocking in at 2 hours for a straight forward play through and ~6 hours for a 100% run, it feels like there could have been more before the formula had ran its course.
Riverbond breaks no new ground but is an enjoyable romp through a highly detailed and eye-catching voxel world that accommodates younger players better than most in this genre. The bosses, as menacing as they look, aren’t quite up to scratch and in co-op, you can easily lose yourself in the action, but if you’ve got a brood of kids to entertain and a few Dualshock 4 controllers handy, you can easily get 7-10 hours of fun out of this game before the repetition sets in. Perfect for a rainy day.
Roarr! Jurassic Edition on PS4 is a budget title for a budget price. It’s 5-6 hours of family friendly, repetitive button mashing in a clean but simplistic world set to a half-decent soundtrack. The occasional bug, the difficulty that goes from too easy to cheaply unfair and zero replayability beyond butting a dress on a T-Rex mean any potential the game has is squandered however.