When Expedition Zero is at its best, it's a tense battle against the elements as you scavenge and try to get out of the surreal zone. At its worst, it's getting killed by annoying monsters. Unfortunately, you do more of the latter, making it more frustrating than scary. If Expedition Zero still interests you with its problems, get ready to grit your teeth.
If you love the atmosphere of Eastern European survival games but hate the jank, Chernobylite is for you. Its cycle of scavenging and questing is addicting, and its characters are fun to meet. But that also means it becomes too easy once you get a feel for the controls and mechanics. Add that with a story that isn't scary, and you have a flawed game with an engaging core. It held my attention during its full runtime, and I can't say that for a lot of games.
While Orwell's Animal Farm stays true to its source material, its repetitive and unclear gameplay weakens a stylized portrayal of the book. It's not the worst way to spend a couple hours thanks to replayability and excellent narration, but it's not compelling to get every ending and collect every stamp. You'll get a lot more out of reading the book than you will from the game.
The remastering of Sam & Max Saves the World is a delightful return to the comedic antics of our crime fighting duo. Some jokes might not land and a lot of puzzles can feel too easy, but the duo's wit has staying power. Add that with some catchy new tracks and a remastering that makes the game more stylish than less, and you have a proper return to form. If you never had a chance to play Sam and Max Save the World, this is the best way to experience one of Telltale's first games.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is definitely an interesting title, mixing the mundanities of rice planting with 2D hacking and slashing. While an acquired taste, those who like their games unique should have a fun time with Sakuna. If you can forgive an unlikeable protagonist and some repetitive gameplay at times, Sakuna is a solid title that shines even with its flaws.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon reminded me why I loved video games to begin with. I cannot think of a game this year that has gripped me this tightly and didn't let go. Here comes a game brimming with joy and excitement that is earnest with its drama and comedy. It's the sort of game you can gush about for hours, and I will long after this review is published. Anyone who loves RPGs, open world games, comedies, crime dramas, and games PERIOD should have a lot of fun with the newest Yakuza.
Supermarket Shriek has its moments and might be the sort of chaos you're craving, However, its racing thrills can get stale and its longer levels can suck out the fun. There are worse games that use these sorts of novelties, but it won't hold your attention for long.
Even if RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 hasn't aged as gracefully as its predecessors, there's plenty of fun to be had. If you still have the original and can run it fine, you don't need to buy it again. But if you're someone who never got to play it, can't run Planet Coaster, and miss the old school approach to the Tycoon genre, the Complete Edition is a neat relic to a bygone era of gaming. Just be prepared for some outdated features and a shockingly small UI.
Inertial Drift is an espresso shot full of arcade-y goodness. Its approach to drifting isn't just intuitive, but it encapsulates that Initial D fantasy wonderfully. It might be shorter than other games coming out, but that time spent is enthralling and well worth it. If you love arcade racing, you can't go wrong with Inertial Drift's "easy to pick up and tricky to master" style.
I was unexpectedly charmed by Skully. With some excellent controls and a story told earnestly, I was gripped throughout its entire run. Sure, its shorter time might turn off some and its collectables aren't that worthwhile, but it more than makes up for that. It doesn't waste time and it makes for a pleasant romp. Suffice to say, I'm curious to see what Finish Line Games makes next.
With a concept that's insensitive at best, Cannibal Cuisine has a rough first impression to overcome. The mechanics that are under it are fine, but the controls can feel too slippery for their own good. Add that with an average combat system and you've got a game that never shines beyond its sensationalistic pitch. If your mates crave some co-op chaos, there are far worse games to play. However, there are also far better games out there.
Circle Empires: Rivals has something for everyone. For beginners is a straightforward approach to the RTS that's full of options. For experts is a faster RTS that streamlines the process. While personal biases might prevent me from enjoying it as much as other genres, there's plenty to love if you wanted Circle Empires's unique charms with friends.