- Deus Ex
- Fallout 2
Foregone, being a 2D action platformer with a Metroidvania structure, looting mechanics and a smattering of soulslike tendencies, is certainly part of a crowded genre. The fact that it manages to stand out from the pack is a high recommendation indeed. This is a fast, fluid and beautiful action title that will keep you playing until the very end. I may never be able to retrieve that planet orbiting pair of socks, but it was totally worth it.
Cake Bash has provided my family and I the most fun we've had in front of the telly all year. It's a wonderfully enjoyable and completely hilarious party game, one that is accessible to all players. The argument can be made that it's a little light on content but then isn't that that the way with the best of cakes? Sweet, delicious, moreish and gone all too soon.
Tamarin may look like the ideal nostalgic fix - evoking fond memories of Rare's Jet Force Gemini - but this is not the game you are looking for. Tamarin's external charms hide flawed and deeply dull gameplay. What's most frustrating is the squandered potential of Tamarin, this could have been a game worth playing, but sadly you're best keeping a safe distance from this particular monkey.
Dog Duty is certainly an experience, I'll give it that, though not exactly a good one. There's a grand parade of issues here, from poor visuals to inept path finding and everything else in between. I'm not saying Dog Duty is the worst game I've ever played, but it's certainly up for contention.
If you'd have told me before I played Shing! that I would like a control scheme that see's you launch combo attacks with an analogue stick, I would have karate chopped your kidney in anger. Ultimately, you would have been right. It's a control scheme that innovates, is accessible and offers a degree of combo flexibility not seen in more traditional beat 'em ups. In a stellar year for nostalgic side-scrolling beat 'em ups, Shing! is a new IP that absolutely demands your attention.
Minoria is an exemplary Metroidvania, offering enjoyable combat, fantastic boss fights and stellar exploration all wrapped up in a narrative that is worth paying attention to and with resolute old school sensibilities. I wouldn't say it's the best Metroidvania I've ever played, but it's certainly in my top 10. In short, if you're a fan of the genre, Minoria is essential.
For content starved fans of the classic point and click adventure, it's hard not to get excited about a new entry in the genre, particularly one whose visuals inspire a feel good nostalgic hit for all things LucasArts. Dig a little deeper though and you'll find this is an underwhelming imitator of the legends of yesteryear. Too many obscure puzzles and too many unfunny jokes prevent Darkestville Castle from being the Secret of Monkey Island successor it so obsessively wants to be.
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind offers one of the most essential puzzling experiences of 2020. The masterminding may come to an end far too soon, but when it does the the sublime gameplay mash-up you've just had will make you realise that Futurlab have forged an entirely new genre: rewind time strategy. Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is so good that it compelled me to go and watch the original TV show. Now, how many games based on a franchise can say that?
At its heart, Void Terrarium is a delightful, charming and compelling Tamagotchi-inspired 'keep them alive 'em up.' Sadly these magical moments are coated in so much tedious and overly-difficult combat and exploration bloat that it is exhausting to find them. There's magic hidden deep in this game, just be prepared to grind long and hard to find it.
Lost Wing is a hugely enjoyable and exciting arcade mash-up of endless runner, roguelite, Wipeout and Tron. There's a bit too much grinding for content and the nauseating screen-rotating anomalies, but these are sufficiently offset by thrills of the rest of the game and a budget price point. It's a game that managed to make me both punch the air and slap my face in despair on a regular basis; how many video games can you say that about?