Even if you never end up touching the head-to-head online multiplayer, local co-op, ambitious track editor, or any of the ensuing user-made creations, Trials Rising will keep you plenty busy at launch. Some of the out-of-level elements could use another pass, but progression pacing issues, loot-box bloat, and technical hiccups weren't enough to put me off what is ultimately another great Trials game.
In the wrong hands, Pikuniku could have been a shallow and ultimately forgettable experience, but its expressive dialogue, clever framing, and charming, upbeat soundtrack do enough heavy lifting to elevate it into something far more endearing. The characterization, in particular, is delightfully fleshed out. It's a simple game with a ton of heart that'll leave you beaming when everything's said and done.
Some players will relish the challenge, but I just couldn't. Not in this game. Below puts its best foot forward in its early hours and then never stops losing steam. If the experience were somehow compressed into a tighter six- to eight-hour adventure, I'd confidently recommend it to a wide audience. As it stands, the game has a masterful command of ambience, but it comes with too many caveats.
Some people will be disappointed by the lack of competitive modes, and that's fair enough, but don't let their omission bring you down too much. Tetris Effect isn't intended to be a heated head-to-head sort of game. It's more sentimental. Whether you've loved Tetris since the '80s or you've never quite meshed with its status as an all-time classic, you should be able to find something to latch onto here. Seasoned players can tweak the settings just the way they like and tone down the visuals. Newcomers can crank up the extravagant effects and relish the whimsical atmosphere. Everyone wins.
All told, Surf 'n' Turf is a great little expansion, perfect for Overcooked 2 fans who want to feel more challenged. I was worried it was going to be too short or too similar, but none of those fears panned out. The levels are tightly designed and genuinely satisfying to solve. This DLC is peak Overcooked.
In the end, Death's Gambit resonates as a flawed gem, one I'm happy to have played. It's an uneven experience bogged down by technical woes and stilted combat, but if you can enjoy less-than-pristine games in spite of rough spots, it's worth taking a chance on. Just hold out for a few patches first.
If you enjoyed the original or skipped it purely because you needed online multiplayer support, Overcooked 2 should be a no-brainer. While the sequel runs the risk of being slightly too familiar and lacks any big surprises, it's still a winning formula. Co-op gaming doesn't get much better than this.
While this DLC has the kind of silliness I'd like to see the Far Cry series confidently embrace and it mostly sounds good on paper, the end result is bare-bones. Lost on Mars feels like a middle-of-the-road effort when it could've been so much more substantial and imaginative. The premise deserves better.
House Flipper manages to scratch a specific itch, but it lacks long-term incentives and just generally feels like a missed opportunity. With more content, polish, interactivity, and customization, this could become a nice sleeper hit. It's serviceable as is, but it won't hold your attention for too long.
I still think there's fun to be had in PixelJunk Monsters 2, and I won't be surprised if Q-Games cleans up some of the minor frustrations. But unless the studio goes out of its way to expand and experiment with new content, I don't see this having much of a legacy. As it stands, it's an okay-at-best tower defense title that treads familiar ground. Coming off the original, that's a huge downgrade.
Ikaruga is one of those games I'll happily rebuy and replay every time there's a new port, but with this Switch version, I should be set. Being able to easily bust out the Joy-Con controllers for co-op and flip the system on its side for a vertical screen orientation is the real deal. Ikaruga is a timeless classic, and for those of us without a swiveling monitor, the Switch is just about the ideal way to experience it.
The foundation is great. The fundamentals are there. It doesn't take much imagination to see how this game could blossom into something magnificent. But so long as it's missing long-term depth and incentives to stick around past the first few weeks, Sea of Thieves will feel like a missed opportunity.
As far as I'm concerned, The Behemoth is now four for four. And while Pit People doesn't quite nab the crown as my new favorite game from the studio, I love the risks it takes to shake up strategy RPGs. It's a wild, creative, occasionally erratic game. Pit People is imperfect, but it's so worth your time.
The Inpatient is a much quieter game than Until Dawn. It adopts a straight-faced tone, opting for psychological horror rather than grisly thrills. There's nothing wrong with that approach, but coming off the last game, it took some adjusting. I couldn't help but wish it was more, well, exciting. It's a technical marvel, but at times the experience feels hollow and uneventful. In the end, even though I'm glad to return to this universe, The Inpatient comes across as a bit of a missed opportunity.