Void Terrarium is tough, and it can be unforgiving with a lot of different systems to keep track of. But it's always a satisfying experience. It's not the greatest roguelike/Mystery Dungeon title I've played, but it might just have the most rewarding gameplay loop I've seen in the genre.
For many, If Found... will be an interesting story about LGBTQ life in early '90s Ireland. For others, it'll be a callback to the heartache of our own coming out experiences. It tells a very specific story of a very specific girl, but its examinations of families, friends, and how we sometimes need to let go of the past if we want to move forward, are universal. This is a great example of how stories about LGBTQ characters don't have to be aimed exclusively at LGBTQ audiences, and even without my personal connection to the story, it's the most brilliant game I've played this year.
Ninjala definitely has the look of something I should be in love with. It's bright and colorful, and the world-building happening here is genuinely fun. What's not fun are the poorly implemented mechanics that can ruin the fast and fluid combat. There is a solid template for something great here, and if GungHo can iron out all its wrinkles, it might have a genuine blockbuster on its hands.
Despite its age, simplicity, and lack of embellishments, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town proves the Bokujō Monogatari franchise has been on the money since the very beginning. Its content may feel a little sparse compared to its successors and competitors, but I can see myself returning to these lands long after the next harvest moon.
Right now, however, it has not reached that point of player exploitation where I'd recommend deleting it off your phone entirely. Pokémon Café Mix is currently in that sweet spot where it's mostly harmless with only a few bits of frustration. The puzzle formula is entertaining enough to bring me back two or three times a day to try and get past those roadblocks, but really, I'm firing the app up far more often than that just to get a look at those delectable Pokémon dishes.
Like many recent indie games, The Almost Gone isn't afraid to tackle difficult subject matter. And like a lot of its fellow developers, Happy Volcano opts not to get too far into the weeds of the topics it covers. Certainly, there will be players who take the narrative to heart more passionately than I did, but I do find it a curious enough of an experience to recommend to mobile gamers looking for something more melancholy than the newest match-3 puzzler.
With a remake, all of this, along with the often questionable level design, could have been corrected. But with SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated aiming to be as faithful to the original as possible, these issues only serve as a reminder of how much better the industry has become at making 3D platformers.
If you want to get the most out of Good Job!, forget trying to get the best score possible and just have a blast wrecking up your dad's company as this commentary on nepotism slowly plays out. That's when the game is at its best. Save those "S" rankings for a second run through.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a pleasant remake of a pair of dungeon crawlers that, as I can see now, are a bit more dated than I originally thought they'd be. There is still a lot to love about this interesting spin on the Pokémon formula, but not enough for me to lose myself in the experience as I did once before.
Honestly, 18 days is far too little time to generate a comprehensive assessment of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There is still much I don't know about this game, including how in-game purchases will ultimately be incorporated. But based on what I have been able to experience, it's what I've wanted Animal Crossing to be for many years. While it fumbles its camping-inspired opening, New Horizons makes a nice recovery with a strong focus on player accomplishment, creating a potent sense of achievement in this idyllic piece of escapism.