Some people are going to dig into this game, absorb its extremely passive gameplay and have a curiosity which leads them to discover these things that I have not. I'm sure of that. If ambiguity and self-directed discovery are aspects of games you appreciate when they exist, and can handle one where you'll spend most of your time not doing anything, you're the audience RymdResa is looking for.
The challenges in Traverser are not poorly designed, merely underwhelming. To Gatling Goat Studios' credit, many can be approached in a couple of different ways and it's enjoyable whenever the player has an opportunity to feel as though they have subverted the intended solution. As there's only light violence and Valerie's capabilities are mostly defensive, the game's content could work for a younger audience. Parents may want to do a solo playthrough (which should take 3-4 hours) or watch a video of the conclusion before sitting down with the kids, though.
Stealth Inc. 2 is by no means a bad 2D puzzle platformer, but it doesn't stand out in a genre which has had some impressive entries in the past year. Attempts to improve the experience of its predecessor by adding an overworld feel more like padding than an increase in scope and many of its levels necessitate foreknowledge to complete them successfully. Still, there are pleasures to be found in discovering the many facets of the tools and the puzzles do an admirable job of squeezing out their individual potential in clever ways.
Axiom Verge is a fun, challenging game. While some aspects of the narrative -- particularly its protagonist -- have rough edges to them, it remains intriguing and mysterious through to its climax. It looks and sounds great, and offers a diversity of weapons rarely seen in games of its type. Easy to get lost in, its sizeable world has a density to match, with hidden rooms and collectibles only available through creative application of acquired abilities. And while the basic gameplay will likely be very familiar, there are a fair few fresh touches which should pleasantly surprise players.
Obsidian has crafted a game full of challenge, intrigue, betrayal, and heart. The Eastern Reach is bleak and hopeful at the same time, and the main plot is packed with twists and surprises with staggering ramifications for a world players will feel they have become part of. Its combat is tense and relentless despite the capability to pause at any point, the mechanics offering complex strategic challenges with difficulty settings to accommodate most levels of skill. Pillars of Eternity proudly carries on the legacy of the classic computer RPG, and those who remember them with fondness should find in it a welcome addition to the genre.
While there was clear opportunity in the buddy cop formula LA Cops attempted to create, the end result is a mess. Totally undermined by poor teammate AI, the central strategic hook is lost, resulting in a bland game confused about what it wants the player to do.
It would be more accurate to say that White Night is an exploration adventure, an interactive story in the "weird tale" tradition. Just enough obstacles exist to make that story feel as though it was earned, that the player participated in the telling, but conveying the story is the priority. From clever exploitation of gameplay mechanics to the pages and pages of rich exposition which carefully unravel and the moody jazz soundtrack, everything exists in service to the fiction. In that, it succeeds, and it's a story worth experiencing and deserving of praise.
Unrelenting and brutal, Helldivers delivers fast-paced combat, epic standoffs and a comical approach to death. Its enemies are varied, powerful and a constant threat to the players. While the full impact of the larger multiplayer experience remains to be seen, it still adds a nice little scratch to the progress itch. The strategem system provides great flexibility in squad building with many ways to build out team roles to maximize defensive and offensive capabilities. With procedural map generation and just enough mission and enemy variety to prevent a sense of repetition, the twelve levels of difficulty ought to keep players challenged for a good long time.
Between its charming premise, beautiful graphics, and demanding gameplay, Harold is a winner in the end. Players who appreciate auto-running platform games should find it to be a fresh approach to the concepts found in such titles and a worthy challenge.
Fast fun and devilishly hard, Luftrausers shows once again that Vlambeer understands how to make classic arcade mechanics feel fresh and exciting. It's great in short bursts, the speed of each round often terribly brief, but lends itself to hour-long sessions of hammering on the controller to start a new game. While the pacing occasionally runs into a few issues, this is still a phenomenally fun shoot-em-up that will challenge players to meet its demanding difficulty.
When it comes down to it, Infested Planet is a fun spin on sci-fi real-time strategy that makes good use of tower defense mechanics in an offense-focused game. A little rough around the edges, it still manages to succeed in creating an experience that is challenging and unique every round while providing options which accommodate a wide range of skill level.