- Deus Ex
- Fallout 2
Smelter's opening cutscene got me very pumped for what was to follow, but what did follow left me despondent. I'd been set up and felt ready for an awesome 16-bit experience that, thanks to its promised smelting of genres, would feel genuinely fresh. The game that followed wasn't fresh, it was past its sell by date and starting to smell like feet.
Equal parts puzzler, platformer, fighter and cutesy collection of pixels, Jumpala is certainly an intoxicating concoction. It is also equal part superb. For those prepared to put the time in to find online rivals then this is a competitive experience to be savoured.
Blind Drive is like no game I've ever played before, which, having played video games for the last thirty years, is certainly saying something. Lo-Fi People has delivered one of the most compelling and plainly weird video game experiences of 2021. Your ears will love this game.
Cyber Shadow is a compelling modern retelling of the iconic retro classics of yesteryear. Sure, there are issues; the pacing feels off and 'knockback' really should have been consigned to the dustbin of unwanted gaming mechanics. None-the-less, Cyber Shadow is basically Ninja Gaiden if it had been released in 2021. Not sure I can think of any higher praise than that.
Tiny Lands offers an eminently charming game of virtual spot the difference. The fact that there's no time limit, no pressure and no stress result in a delightfully relaxing video game. A chilled, tranquil experience that stands out on an island of calm in a sea of action-packed video game stress-fests.
Moving Out: Movers in Paradise has left me excited for the future of this puzzle 'em up, I can't wait to see what DevM, SMG and Team17 add to the formula next. All too often DLC can prove to be an unimaginative and unnecessary extra, but not so here; Movers in Paradise is the kind of joyous video game fun that can bring a family together.
It's difficult to sum up Conspiracy! On the one hand it's a great concept and the meta approach is fascinating. It's a game with many interesting things to say about online culture, the news cycle and how we perceive the world we have constructed. This is a game with lofty ambitions, but it also happens to be a dreary experience that, despite a short run time, was an absolute slog to play.
Rigid Force Redux delivers an R-Type emulating experience to be proud of. Fast, fluid and with smooth action, this is the type of shmup that makes you want to smother it in exciting and complimentary adjectives. If only there was more content, then perhaps it would be Rigid Force Redux that future side-scrollers try to beat.
Windfolk is a game so turgid that it almost managed to put me off video games. Painfully flaccid combat and boorish level design both serve to undermine any fun that flying might offer. The subtitle promises that 'Sky is just the Beginning', but after this showing I'm rather hoping it's the end instead.
Habroxia 2 makes me erupt with positive and overly excitable adjectives: entertaining, fun, delightful, near-perfect. I could go on, and I will: fast, frenetic, fluid, confident. This is a game that demands the attention of any fan of 2D retro shooters and offers a seismic improvement over the original. You'll be hooked from beginning to end.