When Ski Lifts Go Wrong is a brightly colored exercise in balancing creativity and gleeful devastation. You get to choose how your patrons get from one end of a course to another by choosing the most elaborate or elaborately janky means to achieve your goal. For the adventurous parents who want to build with their kids, When Ski Lifts Go Wrong does have a gore filter to keep the bloody mayhem at a minimum.
If you are looking for a game that will constantly have you asking yourself what you just experienced, Pikuniku may just be what you are looking for. The main story can take you anywhere from 3 - 5 hours along with nine co-operative levels, trophies to discover, and achievements to unlock. Pikuniku is a truly delightful fever-dream on two spindly legs.
Bladed Fury attempts to tell a tale from Chinese legend, but exiles itself into the realm of the unremarkable with several missteps. Combat is not terribly deep and the precision strike system is no implemented well, though the Soul Sliver system adds a unique touch to it. While the sound design encapsulates eastern inspiration, the art design struggles to find footing in one place.
With the emphasis on choice, Sundered give you the opportunity to unlock multiple endings by pursuing the paths of full rejection to full embrace of the darkness. With the extensive map sizes, fast action pace, and high difficulty, Sundered is sure to keep you exploring and fighting for your survival for 10+ hours per play through. It is a satisfying Metroidvania title to close out a year of stellar offerings within the genre.
Matching pixel stylings with the ambient soundscapes of Jim Guthrie makes Swordbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP a wonderfully weird journey with a good balance of action and puzzle-puzzle-solving. Some of the puzzling can get repetitive, but it's self-aware humor makes these woeful errands less burdensome. With the Nintendo Switch's controller options, Swordbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP finds a welcome home, deserving of a spot on your playlist.
Road Redemption is a violent, but wacky successor to the Road Rash franchise born in the 90s. It's an “over-the-top” biker beat'em up that has some buggy moments, but they make for some of the more entertaining points. If you like the pacing of rogue-likes in a beat'em up wrapper, Road Redemption is worth swinging a pipe at.
The Bug Butcher feels like Earthworm Jim and Alien Hominid met in an arcade to play Space Invaders and the residual DNA collected from their shared joystick and button usage was used to genetically engineer The Bug Butcher. Its frenetic pace and creative arsenal create a humorously fun experience full of equal parts mirth and mayhem. If you enjoy arcade-style side scrolling shooter, The Bug Butcher needs to be in your go-to rotation.
At its core, At Sundown is an entertaining indie game that is fast-paced and fun without requiring a hefty system to run it. Its main game mechanic of using light and shadows is interesting, but the lack of ability to see where your player is can stifle the enjoyment of the game itself.
If you like highly challenging rogue-like games with unique role-playing elements, Soulblight may be a game that scratches that masochistic itch that few games do. Its Taints system is different than any other roleplaying system that I have seen used before.
Youropa came out of Early Access on June 27th and is just as charming as ever before. At $24.99 USD, its gorgeous landscape and mind-bending puzzle will keep you busy for hours as you make your way across a gravitationally-challenged Paris. Its gentle pacing and ambient music would make this relaxing experience if it weren't for the mental gymnastics required to think dimensionally!
If you are looking for a deep Metroidvania game that will challenge you with hours of gameplay, La-Mulana 2 is worth checking out. It is a faithful recreation of the classic genre while telling a fresh story. The characters within have a fun sense of humor that will keep you entertained in the midst of the action. Even though the controls are not perfect, after a few hours of play, I found them less frustrating over time.
Garage: Bad Trip is every 1980s action horror flick power fantasy wrapped up in a bloody retroware wrapper. It tries to balance it's graphic gore with classic tropes and it's suspense with moments of the ridiculous, but leans heavily into its Splatterpunk influences. While its controls are tight for a twin stick shooter, Garage: Bad Trip has some mechanical bugs which diminish the overall experience.
At its heart, this is a street-level view with a focus on people and their relationship more than the politics of the situation - which is saying something with the amount of historical content found within. It reveals a timeless truth that we would be careful to heed in our heightened cultural climate: the fires of revolution always burn hot, but they are uninhibited in who or what they consume.