Beholder: Blissful Sleep is an interesting prequel wrapped up in the package of DLC. Other than having more dialogue and changing one mechanic, it's essentially the same gameplay as the original. That doesn't bother me in the slightest, though, because I love the narrative style with its subtle humor and overarching feelings of hopelessness under an oppressive government.
Outlast 2 has all the makings of a good horror game: alarming visuals, intense situations, menacing antagonists, and an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness. Though I would have liked the world of Temple Gate to be developed more beyond Knoth's Gospel, I loved every minute of my playthrough.
Beat Cop is meant to be a tribute to cop shows from the 1980s, complete with snarky dialogue and questionable characters. When it comes down to it, however, it's a stressful sim that's heavy on time management and largely unforgiving. There are multiple endings you could discover, but after several hours with the game it's hard to muster the patience for even one.
Beholder is a management sim and a moral quandary all in one. It’s easy to become consumed by the lives of Carl Stein and the apartment dwellers he’s been hired to spy on, with a story full of twists, turns, and terrible fates.
Bon Appétit is one part rhythm game, one part cooking, and endless amounts of grimy sexuality. The more time you spend with it, the more likely it is you’ll come away feeling dirty and depressed. If you want to both enjoy a game and look at boobs, there are plenty of better titles out there.
Orwell is a thought-provoking game about privacy, politics, and ethical dilemmas such as sacrificing a few in favor of the whole. With immersive visuals and a multi-layered story, it will instantly pull you in. This game offers high replayability and starts much-needed conversations in this age of technology.
Typoman: Revised is definitely a step up from the original iteration. It has more of its own style, and the gameplay mechanics rarely feel clunky. Though it hints at a meaningful narrative, ultimately it isn’t very substantial.
If roguelikes are your cup of tea, you probably won’t find much gripe with Lost Castle. Seeing all the characters you could possibly be is enjoyable, and working through your skill tree feels rewarding, but the grind and repetition of much of the gameplay make you question whether it’s worth the hours.
While it may look simple and even a bit silly on the surface, The Final Station is quite the captivating game. The story and survival aspects have been blended wonderfully, and it leaves you with plenty to mull over long after the credits roll.
Kelvin and the Infamous Machine is a fresh take on time travel, with a diverse cast of characters thrust into hilarious scenarios. The puzzles aren’t so difficult that they’re maddening, but just enough to feel rewarding when it all clicks into place. You’ll be laughing out loud or scratching your head, but you won’t ever be bored.
Road to Ballhalla is an insanely difficult rhythmic puzzler. It’s enjoyable and agonizing in equal measure, tossing a variety of trials at you then teasing you when you don’t overcome them on the first try. For those who can fight their way through and remain cool-headed, dozens of neat features and hours of playtime await.
Hunter’s Legacy is another platformer in a sea of platformers. Some of the puzzles are clever, going beyond jumping around to involve intriguing elements, but otherwise not much about it stands out from the crowd.
Human: Fall Flat has its endearing, satisfying moments and its aggravating moments. The physics are fun to play around with and present a challenge, but the wonky camera movement is a weakness that’s hard to overlook.
Though the visuals sparkle and small improvements have been made, overall Dead Island Definitive Edition isn’t different enough from the original to be worth a purchase. In fact, it seems worse in some ways. Only give it a buy if the arena mode sounds appealing, or if you want to show off how powerful your new graphics card is.
TurnOn is an enjoyable and heartwarming little game. With electrical wires instead of platforms, it offers gameplay that feels fresh, piquing your interest at every turn with whatever new adventure or obstacle you’ll face next.
The Town of Light is a thoughtfully written, painstakingly designed walking simulator set in an early 20th century asylum. Though load times and sections that are less than intuitive cause frustration, they do not dissuade my recommendation. You'll quickly become caught up in the story of Renee, a young girl whose circumstances were depressingly real for many women during that time.
Cyber City 2157: The Visual Novel is a strange and vibrant game about an ever-changing futuristic city. The branches of the story give you a lot to chew on, but most threads are never tied up. Give it a try if you enjoy open-ended stories that leave you pondering.
LOUD on Planet X truly is the indie kid’s rhythm game. While the way it decides the beat of each song can be frustrating at the start, the incredible music catalog aims to keep you coming back.
UnderDread is a Slender Man game disguised as an 18th century horror game, but there are no Slender Man appearances and it isn’t scary. If you dig far enough down, it has a redeeming quality or two, but at the end of the day it’s an unpolished game with a weak story that doesn’t do much more than waste your time.
Though it may look like nothing special on the surface, DISTRAINT is a worthwhile adventure game about the toll greed can take. Horror imagery is used to display the main character's all-consuming guilt, and the smart sound design amplifies it perfectly. While the story isn't especially long, it's absorbing and gives you a lot to think about.