A few niggles aside, Jackbox Party Pack 7 is another cracker of a party game. It’s a great mix of word play and creative or collaborative challenges which anyone who’s familiar with a mobile phone can inuit quickly. From your nan to your little (teenage) brother, there’s giggles to be had here.
Röki blends the mythic with painfully real, the supernatural with the human to tell a story of reconciliation that’s spellbinding for its entire 12 hour length. A few foibles with its point and click roots are the only blemishes on an otherwise exemplary and accessible adventure that’s one of the best you’ll play this year.
Death Ray Manta SE is laser targeted to a very specific group of players. If you long for the heydays of the Llamasoft games, this game gives you the feeling you had playing these games back in the day but with spruced up visuals, a plethora of fish puns and a more accommodating nature. There’s some required repetition and the visual presentation might immediately repel some, but for those it’s aimed at, Death Ray Manta SE is an excellent “just one more go” game. Only now, it’s “just one more go, on the go” with the Switch version.
Even for newcomers to the franchise, there’s plenty of arena brawling fun to be had in Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed. It’s sorely missing online multiplayer and the story mode is of inconsistent quality but it’s never not exciting to smash giant robot apes rode by anime villains with a Mecha shaped like a Lion. Never.
A visual novel that stands shoulder to shoulder with the giants of the genre, Along The Edge is a fantastic and fantastical story that’s delivered eloquently and masterfully. It’s missing some modern quality of life innovations but that doesn’t spoil what it one of the most majestic hidden gems I’ve ever had the pleasure to review.
Ben 10: Power Trip delivers an adult sized game with a child friendly veneer. The co-op might be partially hamstrung with technical issues and a large chunk of the game might feel mundane but this is the best Ben 10 game to date with an open world that kids love to play around in.
A series as imaginative and as entertaining as Trollhunters deserved a better tie-in video game. Defenders of Arcadia has a few enjoyable moments and it certainly looks the part but uninspired combat, tired level design and a story which feels more like a TV clip show than a cohesive narrative means it falls well short of fan expectations.
If you’ve never played a solitaire video game, The Solitaire Conspiracy is the perfect gateway into them. Bithell Games have created an accessible yet deeply strategic twist on the classic card game that includes an espionage narrative delivered via FMV’s featuring famous faces. There’s some ludonarrative dissonance between the drama of story told and the relative calmness of the game play but it does little to spoil one of the best this genre has to offer.
A unique narrative framing and art style give Stilstand the tools to tell the story of one woman’s summer long existential crisis in a compelling and original way. It’s a short experience but one that’ll be deeply relatable and darkly funny to those who know the sting of anxiety and depression. This is one of 2020’s hidden gems.
Whether you know the stories of Arthur & the fall of Camelot or not, this game allows you to build your own Arthurian legends step by step. Pendragon is a near-seamless blend of procedurally generated narrative and a strategy game that could have carried itself alone. Combined, they make one of the most unique games of 2020 and while it’s not without its flaws, it’s a game I highly recommend you try.