Who knew that playing SpongeBob SquarePants: The Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated would deliver such a solid dose of nostalgia? But deliver it does. Having played both versions of the game in the past week, I can attest that this is a rock-solid remake of fun but somewhat flawed game. You take the bad with the good on this one, but for the most part Bikini Bottom holds up surprisingly well.
Iron Man VR succeeds wildly in its mission to put players into Tony Stark's iconic suit of armor. Flying and doing battle is amazing, and even more amazing is the way that players are immersed in Tony Stark's narcissistic psyche. With story-telling without peer in the VR space, and amazing battle sequences, Iron Man VR verges on being the perfect VR game. Only the ridiculous load times are preventing this from being the greatest of all time.
Crayta is a remarkable game-creation game/tool, with just enough fun structure built around it to keep the proceedings light and fun. Crayta is built to appeal to builders of all skill levels, providing simple controller-based construction for newcomers, while allowing skilled users to dig right down into code. While a few starter games are provided by Unit 2, they aren't really the point. Time will tell what the community builds out of Crayta, but the tools are certainly there for this platform to spawn some amazing things.
With two distinct but well-integrated strategy modes, Brigandine offers a huge amount of gameplay that feels both old school and fresh at the same time. A fantastic tutorial eases new players into the game with little friction, and the seeming complexity becomes quickly manageable. While the graphics are nothing to write home about, the care taken in each story thread is evident, and the tactical gameplay offers a ton of replay value. Brigandine is an utterly unique offering on Switch, and should appeal to RPG fans and strategy buffs alike.
Wave Break puts a lot of barriers up to keep players from enjoying it. The disconnect between the visuals and the difficulty will likely be jarring for many players. But sticking with this game yields some great rewards, and the feeling of accomplishment you get is absolutely worth the struggle to succeed.
Beyond Blue is an educational game that delivers its lessons in a very relaxing manner. Players spend most of the game swimming around and looking at fish, and that's totally fine. Though it doesn't nail the story, that's not really the point – the documentary footage is informative and interesting. Beyond Blue is well worth the time for those curious about the depths of the sea, and the subtle ecological lessons it teaches are valuable enough to overlook its shortcomings.
Maneater is a solid first entry in a new open world RPG franchise. Repetitive missions and some fairly severe framerate issues hold the game back a bit, but overall Maneater is a good bit of summertime gaming fluff. You can't beat the feeling of chomping people at the beach, and Maneater provides just what gamers are looking for – fun carnage with just enough structure to keep players motivated.
Hotel R'n'R allows players to engage in an ultimate fantasy – being a rock star and smashing up a hotel room. With solid controls and a fun game loop, Hotel R'n'R will call players back again and again for one more round – even if the progression feels a bit slow. This is a solid game with a wicked sense of humor. If you suspect that you will like Hotel R'n'R even a little, I'm here to tell you that you will love it. Rock on.
The Inner Friend is a game with interesting ambitions that doesn't quite gel together into a cohesive whole. While elements of the game (music and creature design) are quite stellar, other areas (puzzles, controls) suffer enough to hold the game back from what it could have been. The Inner Friend is still worth a look as an interesting experiment, just go in forewarned about the parts that don't work so well.