Russell Archey


158 games reviewed
82.4 average score
85 median score
78.5% of games recommended
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4.9 / 10.0 - XEL
Jul 29, 2022

XEL looks great on the surface, but unfortunately it has too many bugs and technical issues to warrant recommending it to anyone. The framerate drops and slow-loading zone transitions alone can cause some frustrations, but add in an uncontrollable camera that is overly distant from the action, difficult to detect enemies, and terrain that is easy to get stuck to - forcing you to reload from your last save point, and you have a game that is near unplayable in its current state. Patches may resolve these issues, but as of right now XEL is too frustrating to fully enjoy.

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Jun 10, 2022

Wonder Boy Collection may be a bit short on the extras, but the four games included still make for a very solid collection. Wonder Boy and Wonder Boy in Monster Land are great for arcade gamers and the options let you tweak things to make the games easier or harder to suit your skill level. Meanwhile, Wonder Boy in Monster World and Monster World IV are great for console gamers, offering very fluid controls and a more relaxing style of gameplay where you're not rushed by a timer wanting to devour your quarters. Whether you're a fan of the series or just stepping in for the first time, Wonder Boy Collection is bound to have at least one or two games that everyone can enjoy.

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May 26, 2022

Wildcat Gun Machine is an interesting take on roguelike and bullet hell games, but the roguelike aspects feel a bit lacking, especially the story. The game looks and sounds great, but a lot of the time I kind of felt like I was just going room to room, fighting enemies, and then going back to the checkpoint, which mitigates a bit of the challenge. Still, Wildcat Gun Machine is enjoyable, but if you're specifically looking for a roguelike game to keep you busy, you might find things a bit lacking here.

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9 / 10.0 - Wunderling
Mar 28, 2022

Wunderling DX is an interesting take on the "villain becomes a hero" concept in that you're basically a minion setting out to stop the hero.  While I can see some players may be turned off by the simplicity of the game and the easiness of the early-going, there's enough content and collectables to keep things fresh throughout your journey as an underling setting out to stop a hero.  As backwards as that concept may seem, I thoroughly enjoyed my time through Wunderling DX.

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Mar 15, 2022

What Lies in the Multiverse is one of the most fun indie games I've played in quite some time.  The puzzle-aspect of it is rather on the easy side for most of the game with nothing too complex, but where the game really shines is the story.  If you have a few hours and about fifteen dollars to spare, definitely take a look and see What Lies in the Multiverse

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8.5 / 10.0 - Time Master
Jan 18, 2022

Time Master is an incredible puzzle game with great visuals and interesting gameplay mechanics that are executed almost flawlessly.  There are a few minor issues; a somewhat empty story outside of Zeno saving his sister, as well as the need to be pixel-perfect to obtain some of the three-star rankings. But thankfully you can play the game casually and still finish the game's story without too much stress.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Aspire: Ina's Tale
Dec 28, 2021

Aspire: Ina's Tale is an enjoyable platform-puzzler with a great story and a relaxing atmosphere, but it's one drawback is its short length.  If you know what you're doing or are pretty good at solving puzzles that involve platforming, the game should only take you a few hours to complete.  If you don't mind that though, Aspire: Ina's Tale has a great story and a relaxing atmosphere that's worth checking out.

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8 / 10.0 - Tunche
Nov 22, 2021

Tunche can be an enjoyable game, but it may take some time to get there.  Early on the enemies can be damage sponges and you don't have a lot of attack options available, making combat somewhat difficult and quite repetitive.  As you level up each character and unlock new abilities and options for the cores you find, the game itself begins to open up and become more enjoyable.  Tunche looks and sounds great and after some time, the gameplay itself will become pretty good.  You just have to be patient a bit for it to get there.

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Nov 5, 2021

Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is a fun and clever puzzle game, but the story falls quite a bit flat with a pretty dark ending. The puzzles themselves are enjoyable with needing to switch between Emma's and Fenton's perspectives a nice mechanic. The story though is just there and while puzzle games don't need stories to be enjoyable, if you're going to have one at least flesh things out a bit. If you don't mind a story that covers just the bare essentials needed to have a story, Tandem's puzzles are pretty enjoyable and I'd recommend checking the game out at some point.

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8 / 10.0 - Broken Blades
Oct 7, 2021

Broken Blades frustrated me in the early goings but did get better as the game went on. However, the biggest barrier for people newer to dungeon crawlers is that the game can be overly difficult, especially since you lose most of your progress upon death, only maintaining major upgrades. Dungeon crawling veterans looking for a challenge might want to give Broken Blades a shot, but even for only two dollars the game can be very difficult and frustrating for newcomers.

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Sep 13, 2021

Shadowplay: Metropolis Foe is interesting and challenging, but definitely not recommended for players new to deck building games. The amount of strategy needed to progress through even the early stages can be far greater than more basic deck builders such as Ascension and Star Realms. However, deck building veterans should already have the skills needed to properly build and maintain their deck as they play and can work with equipment that goes along with it. If you want a challenging deck-building game, Shadowplay: Metropolis Foe will give you that challenge.

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Aug 11, 2021

A fantastic Metroidvania. The graphics and animation are great and the music is nice and relaxing, provided the occasional difficulty spike isn't stressing you out. There are performance stutters on the Switch version, and a couple of trial-and-error areas that can get annoying, but overall they didn't really sway my overall opinion on the game. If you're a fan of Metroidvania-style games, definitely give Unbound: Worlds Apart a shot.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Curved Space
Jul 18, 2021

Curved Space isn't quite what I thought it would be when it comes to twin-stick shooters, but that's not saying it's bad by any means. The concepts are interesting, flying around and shooting down enemies while on planets that can loop themselves inside-out. However the boss fights can be downright tedious and it's not fun getting bounced around all over the place when getting shot and hit by enemies. The Survival Mode is where I spent most of my time as it felt the closest to a twin-stick arcade-like experience. If you like space shooters you might want to give Curved Space a shot. But for those wanting a more traditional twin-stick shooter experience, you might be a bit disappointed.

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8 / 10.0 - Smelter
Jun 10, 2021

Smelter is a game that's a mix of platforming and real-time strategy, though it's the platforming that shines more. The controls are tight and the challenge is pretty fair though it can ramp up quite a bit later on. Plus the Trials are a great way to test your skills and help unlock new abilities. The RTS segments aren't bad but they feel a little too simplified with no major consequences.

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7 / 10.0 - Tasomachi
May 10, 2021

Tasomachi: Behind the Twilight is nice and relaxing-and that's about it. While the game is nice to look at and listen to, there's very little challenge and, for a collect-a-thon, I can see where that can turn some people off. If you don't mind a simple game then the budget price tag might not seem too high. But if you're looking for a challenge, you definitely won't find it here.

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Mar 31, 2021

Sword of the Necromancer is by no means a perfect game, but it's still enjoyable with a few issues here and there. Tama never feels like she's getting stronger and the monsters you summon are hit and miss as to whether they'll actually be effective in a fight or just randomly run around the room going nowhere near where you want them to. The bosses are also hit and miss when it comes to those that require strategy and those that just have you run away for a bit before getting in one or two hits and repeating. However, the story is great and well voice-acted and the soundtrack has a lot of nice tracks to listen to.

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8 / 10.0 - Cathedral
Mar 3, 2021

Cathedral is a pretty good Metroidvania-style game that can be difficult at times, though that tends to come with the genre.  That said though, the game looks great and for fifteen dollars, I'd say its definitely worth picking up.  As for me, I'll definitely be taking another trip through the game down the road.

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7 / 10.0 - Golden Force
Feb 8, 2021

Golden Force harkens back to the days of difficult Super NES-era games, but the difficulty at times doesn't feel natural. Between some enemies occasionally spawning nearly right in front of you, the occasional dropping framerate with numerous enemies on the screen, and the issues with the camera when moving downwards, coupled with long boss fights–including right at the start–the game can be a bit too difficult for some players and turn them off altogether. Buying things in the shop helps a bit. But as expensive as they are you won't be buying too many in each world without grinding out coins. Overall it's not a bad game, but the difficulty seems a bit high. And with the game as short as it is, you're either going to have issues with its difficulty, or complete the game rather quickly.

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Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm looks and feels like a Legend of Zelda game, which is good. But comparing it to the Zelda series might lead to disappointment whereas, on its own, it's mostly enjoyable. If you're looking for a Zelda-like experience, Oceanhorn 2 should help fulfill that void for a while, as long as you give it some time to do so.

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7.4 / 10.0 - Torchlight III
Oct 22, 2020

Torchlight III is an enjoyable game but is also a bit more simplified than the previous entry in the series. While the Relic system brings some new ways to customize your character, the lack of a regular flowing of skill trees and spending stat points makes it seem like you can't quite customize your character as much as you'd like with stats being tied into your gear. The new fort system is nice but I really only found myself using it to stash gear I wanted to keep and to swap out pets. Overall while I did enjoy my time with Torchlight III, it felt like a downgrade from Torchlight II and fans of the series might want to wait a bit before picking this one up.

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