Don't let the endearing protagonist and lo-fi, vintage visuals fool you: Gato Roboto is a challenging, pedigree Metroidvania. But what sets it apart from its peers are the quality of life improvements that redress all of the genre's worst flaws, without blunting any of the barbs. This is a Meowtroidvania worthy of the name.
Like the movie it's loosely based on, World War Z is in no way scary. It's not even particularly compelling as a piece of horror. But like the movie, it is a relentless piece of AA action fluff that, if played with the right group of people, makes for a riotous and frenetic – if shallow – action tower defence game.
Ape Out is a dynamo of a game, simultaneously stylish and meaty, that manages to succeed as both a technical demonstration of procedural generation – particularly that magical audio – and a bloody fun game to boot. Between this, Gris, and Pikuniku, Devolver Digital is absolutely crushing it right now.
As loathe as we are to re-open the old "are video games art?" debate, it's no exaggeration to say that Gris (along with the likes of Journey, Ico, and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture) is one of the examples you should roll out to prove that they most definitely are.
The Golf Club 2019 certainly isn't everybody's golf game, but if you're in the centre of the (admittedly small) Venn diagram of "prefers the intricacy of SKATE to the button-mashing of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" and "is really hardcore into golf" then you're in for a massive treat.
Other than the portability – which, without tilt aiming, feels like an opportunity wasted – there's no compelling reason to pick the Switch port of Hello Neighbor over any others. Worse still is the feeling you've already seen all the best bits, just like an all-too-revealing movie trailer, but that's an issue with Hello Neighbor on all platforms.
It's hard to ignore the unsavoury taste that comes along with The Crew 2's social media-based progression system. That being said, most people will accept that it's just a somewhat topical stand-in for an experience point system – and skip through all of the awful vlogger posturing and horrid presentation – to find at its heart a knockabout arcade racer with the capacity to make you smile.
The cutesy presentation and pick-up-and-play feel of The Swords of Ditto belie its true nature: a fierce, fiendish, oft-frustrating roguelite adventure. You may not want to keep going around that loop forever, but luckily there's enough enjoyment to be found in the (minimum) half a dozen or more runs it will take you to beat the game for the first time that – if you do choose to stop there – you'll still feel rewarded by the experience.
Rugby 18 is a solid, workmanlike first effort at what is probably the most difficult sport to translate into a playable video game. It's not as easy to pick up or as slick as FIFA, but it puts in the hard yards and, for the most part, gets the job done. As a result, Rugby 18 is probably the best rugby game in 20 years.
Dirt 4 has one of the best career modes you'll see in the racing genre, at times closer to the do-whatever-you-want elements of Forza Horizon than the franchised motorsports games it seems outwardly more similar to. If you're a real stickler for speed and technical challenge you'll probably enjoy the 'proper' rally cars more than I did, but the beauty of it is that you can progress your career however the hell you want, which is delightful.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap may be out of its time – it's rock hard, a little obtuse, and won't lead you by the hand – but benefits from a stylish and sensitive makeover that stays painstakingly true to the mechanically perfect original. The Dragon's Trap is a remarkable thing, then. Not only is it a retro remake that's actually not crap, it's as good as the day it first came out and even holds its own against modern releases.
The Signal From Tölva looks fantastic, with an intriguing setting and some interesting ideas working together for an incredibly strong start, but the game is quickly bogged down by it's inability to escape the vortex of open world busywork. Also, it contains a lot of robots.
From the promise of the Kickstarter and the people behind it, you might have expected Yooka-Laylee to be like a great band, getting back together for a new album after a long hiatus. What we've ended up with is something that feels like a cover version – of something a bit old-fashioned, not especially relevant today, and more than a little bit flawed – but if you loved Banjo-Kazooie, then you'll probably love the cover version just as much, and that's just fine.
Mark McMorris Infinite Air is by no means a bad snowboarding game. If you're looking for a challenging snowboarding simulator with a realistic approach to tricks (and failure) then this is absolutely the game for you, but if you're looking to lazily noodle a few buttons and feel like a superhero then you're likely to be disappointed. Additionally, the pretty but somewhat skeletal open world will probably suffer in comparison against upcoming titles like Steep and Snow.