Super Mega Space Blaster Special Turbo is a fun and simple shmup which was clearly inspired by the classic Asteroids arcade game. With another player, you have access to five gameplay modes, three as a co-op partner (which can be played in single-player) and two in face-to-face combat situations. Despite having limited progression within the game, you can purchase new ships and upgrade the power-ups you find as you destroy the various missiles and debris which are hurling towards you as you defend your Mothership or save the colony. Great for short-burst gaming which will keep you entertained for a while as you try to get better every time you die.
Despite the short length and simplistic combat, Arc of Alchemist was a very fun Action RPG to play through. The combination of Hack ‘n Slash, RPG, Base Building, and puzzles all came together to create an interesting game, although the story is a little generic and predictable at times. If going for the platinum trophy, the grind is quite intense and will take you roughly twice as long as you spent completing the game for the first time. I would have liked a longer narrative, as the game was over when I had just really got into it, but the story had a definitive end (for now) so I hope we get a sequel or prequel sometime in the future to expand upon the world the developers have created.
Despite being a co-op focused game, 39 Days to Mars is fun to play both with another person or on your own. The puzzles are all fun, creative and work well with the two-player aspect, with only a few puzzle types repeating themself as part of the humorous narrative. If playing with another human, the journey you take is more than simply trying to get to Mars, it’s all about working together and co-operating in order to overcome the obstacles thrown at you. It may only be a short experience, at around 2-3 hours, but it’s a journey you’ll remember and want to play again.
Despite the casual and simplified nature of the game, Spaceland is a competent and solid tactical RPG which everyone can enjoy. The fact you only have a choice of five teammates may have initially surprised and confused me, as I’m used to having a whole bunch to pick from, but the unique skills and personalities add a level of strategy into the game which I wasn’t expecting. If you’re looking for a more casual Xcom-like experience, which short missions that you can pick up and play in short bursts, then you need not look any further, buy this game!
Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions easily sits up there as one of my favourite puzzle games. The new ‘hard mode’ really spices things up and stretches out the time it takes to complete a puzzle, making the overall experience much longer and better value. However, despite it getting a little frustrating as the hour approaches and you’re still looking for any pieces that fit, the satisfaction you get at the end is worth it.
Bridge Constructor: Ultimate Edition simply hands you a spanner and tells you to “get on with it”. Your imagination, and the budget of each level, are the only limits to what you can build and how to build it – as long as the test vehicles cross the line, it’s a success. The additional two DLC packs, Slopemania and Trains, both offer hours of content on top of the decent-sized main game, and the three timed mini-campaigns are equally as good although strangely locked behind a date-lock. If you thought bridges were all about simple triangles and boring designs, pick up this game today and see just how creative you have to get.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is by far my favourite zombie-based game of all time. I’d even go as far as saying that I believe this is Rebellion‘s best game this generation – I love Sniper Elite and Strange Brigade, but this is on a whole new level as it combines the best aspects of both and adds nazi zombies and undead sharks! Although the game is clearly designed for co-op, it scales perfectly for single players and those wanting to play with only one or two friends, rather than making it impossible to proceed without all four players active. Not only is this one of the most satisfying and fun third-person shooters I’ve ever played, the accessibility options, control choices, and performance options further enhance the experience to one which won’t be easily beaten.
Journey to the Savage Planet is a fun and rewarding exploration-based FPS with the option to play with a friend. It’s an adventure which you’ll be thinking about when you’re not playing it, wondering what lies ahead in the areas you can’t yet explore whilst imagining the kinds of creatures you’ll find living there. The colourful and whimsical nature of the game will leave a smile on your face, whether you’re kicking around creatures smaller than you or simply burying the remains of your previous attempt at life, it’s just so much fun! You’ll come for the colourful adventure and you’ll stay for the addictive and charming gameplay.
Shenmue III is exactly what I would have expected to see fifteen years ago, only with much prettier graphics. Newcomers to the series may find the controls, mechanics, and dreadful QTE segments a little frustrating and not at all what you’d expect from this type of game in 2019, but those who have played and loved the originals will feel right at home. I feel the developers have delivered everything they promised within the Kickstarter campaign, offering a new and exciting chapter into the life of Ryo in the search for the man who killed his father. If you go into the game knowing that it’s much slower than titles such as Yakuza, then you’re going to enjoy it a lot more – I honestly had fun despite the abundance of QTE and fund-raising moments.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is one of the best Sherlock Holmes-based games you can buy, thankfully reinstated on digital storefronts by developer Frogwares. This is basically a Sherlock Holmes simulator, become the infamous detective as you solve six mysterious cases ranging from murder to the disappearance of a train – no two cases are the same. The innovative Mind Palace and Sherlock vision are modes which the developers still use today in their recent games, further enhancing your experience and enjoyment. If you like mystery adventure games where YOU decide the outcome, ensure you pick up this game – you won’t be disappointed.