Tower of Fantasy is a whirlwind of enjoyable combat, exploration and mini-games, mixed with a nefarious gacha system and the annoying proclivity to time and level gate progression. The ability to create your own character, team up with other players, participate in a huge guild, and battle hordes of monsters with a deep yet simplistic combat system tips the scales just enough to warrant the hype that it has been given. Tower of Fantasy dips its toe into greatness through extensive gameplay systems and an accessible game loop that has broad appeal. No matter what you like doing, whether it’s team play, exploration, PvP, or dungeon running, you can find it here. Just temper this fantasy with the realization that you should never spend more than you can afford. Hotta built Tower of Fantasy as a marathon, so there’s no better time than now to enjoy the journey at your own pace.
Riders Republic is the de facto ruler of extreme sports MMOs. There is no denying that Riders is one of the best extreme sports games to hit the market in a long time, but the massively multiplayer portion of the game could use some work. There is very little cohesion that brings all of the various riders together as part of a republic. Even the main story is solely focused on your specific accomplishments in each of the sports. Luckily, the game is still in its infancy, and the year 1 pass plans to add new multiplayer arenas, and a new sport, BMX Biking, which shows that Riders isn’t done expanding by a long shot. There is more than enough variety to keep players coming back and having fun for months, just with the solo and collectible game alone. If you’re an extreme sports fan, Riders Republic is a no-brainer. For MMO fans looking for more than a madcap mass race challenge, I would let the game mature for a few months longer before picking this one up.
Shing! manages to take the beat'em-up genre, throw in some fantastic ideas, and squander it all on a twin-stick combat system that convolutes what would otherwise be a solid combo-mashing sidescroller. There is still a lot to like about this game, but unless you really dig analog stick combat, you may want to pass on this one.
PLAYISM has cornered the market on crab battles with Fight Crab, and while they currently hold the title, uncontested, Fight Crabs cumbersome controls and awkward battle physics my lose its luster quickly for those that aren't enjoying the novelty of crabbiness.
When combat is in full swing and every move you make is gold, Disintegration feels like an experience worth having. Unfortunately, some of the higher difficulties may fail to hold your interest as some missions can take quite a long time, and the combat can feel very repetitive, with encounters rehashing a lot of the same enemies and experiences.
Sludge Life is a first-person, open-world platformer filled with strange sightings, childish humor, and a unique retro windows 3.1 UI. For the right platformer gamer, this divergence from the norm may provide several hours of enjoyment, but with no lasting draw to explore apart from graffiti tags and pictures, and no extenuating interaction with the world or characters, don't expect Sludge Life to grab you for more than a few hours.
Signs of the Sojourner is a slice of life deck building narrative game. If that was more than a mouthful for you, you may consider steering clear of this game as the conversation based game-play will careen you down a narrative driven path rife with haggling and sometimes fleeting relationships. For the right gamer, Signs of the Sojourner will provide the kind of unique game play that you can't find anywhere else. For deck builder fans, you may find it hit or miss to your tastes, but if battling is more your speed, this might not be up your alley.
Fly Punch Boom is a unique take on the fighting genre with a host of over the top combat effects, quick reaction button presses, and some zany characters that are quite entertaining. The rock paper scissors battle resolution system may not appeal to players looking for a more skill based fighter, but Fly Punch Boom is definitely a nice diversion that can keep you busy for several hours.
Cranked Up is an interesting take on the puzzle platformer genre that incorporates some vertical and horizontal puzzle play with a difficult rocket-based movement style. For the right player Cranked Up could be a delight, but for the uncoordinated, this game may not be their best tasting donut.
What The Golf is an enjoyable, imaginative, sometimes satirical take on Golf. Labeled as the game for those that hate golf, most levels keep with the same underlying concept of golf, but you never truly know what you'll end up doing until you're in the thick of it. With plenty of replayability options, including multiplayer, What The Golf is a sweet little diversion that would be suitable to play with the whole family.
Monster Train is a hybrid deck-building strategy game with some rogue-like and tower-defense style features. With plenty of cards and several clans to unlock, and a bevy of difficulty tiers to master, Monster Train is the deck-building game to beat this year, hands down.
The problem is, Phantasy Star Online 2 still feels like a game nearing a decade old mark. Like man MMOs of our current generation, however fun they continue to be, and however nostalgic PSO players may feel when playing, it still has a quality of being a little dated. Still, there is plenty of fight left in PSO2, and if you haven’t played it, or any version of Phantasy Star Online before, then it’s going to be new to you. Phantasy Star Online 2 is a fantastic game with a lot to offer. With a generous Free 2 Play payment model, PSO2 is certainly one of the best options out there for gamers looking to try something different, without overspending.
Despite having some good, and simplistic game play, players may find that it can get repetitive and become frustrating with the one life per level restriction. Luckily for Fantastico Studio, they have done a tremendous job with the ambiance and hilarious levels that may be just enough to keep some players engaged until the end.
As much as I love Animal Crossing, I suppose I expected just a lot more than what we’ve seen in New Leaf and Pocket Camp. I would even throw my hands up in elation if Gyroids made their triumphant return as audible and visual furniture once again. Despite some of these minor misgivings, and lost opportunities in my estimation, Animal Crossing: New Horizons delivers on an island building simulation that will not disappoint. If you’re headed to the island, say “Hi” to Nook for me.
Giraffe and Annika is a rhythm adventure game that is short on rhythm, and too heavy on the tedious portions of the adventure. Still, Giraffe and Annika manages to make the most of this title, with beautiful manga inspired panels, enjoyable dialog, and a very fun rhythmic battles, even if they are in short supply.
Solar Panic: Utter Distress is a humorous adventure title that uses heavy pop-culture and low-brow comedy in a surprisingly effective way. With a short story, awkward game play features, and some low detailed graphics, many players may be surprised to find that Solar Panic: Utter Distress piles on the laughs enough to ensure most people looking for a chuckle will find a few.