Cass Marshall


46 games reviewed
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Bandle Tale is one of the biggest departures in the League of Legends franchise yet, but it’s a hugely welcome respite from the more serious games in my backlog. It does take a bit of a time investment — somewhere between 40 and 60 hours — but it’s enjoyable to amble from objective to objective, taking breaks to host epic parties. It’s a shame that with the end of Riot Forge, we won’t be seeing these experimental titles anymore. While League can be an intimidating prospect, I found myself wholly welcomed by the comfy, silly nature of Bandle Tale.

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Unscored - Homebody
Jun 10, 2023

These small but persistent issues aren’t deal breakers, but they cut the tension. Homebody didn’t terrify me to my core, but I still found myself compelled to uncover its secrets, and it only takes a few hours to complete. The plot leaves key points up for interpretation, and as such, this is the sort of game that I’ll be digesting for quite some time. It’s not the same brand of horror as jump scares or gory deaths, but it’s unnerving all the same.

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But if you go in without the expectations of Arcane, Convergence is a great adventure. Ekko faces off against some great boss fights against champions like Camille, Warwick, and Jinx. These boss fights force you to play differently; Camille uses the high ground and hextech tools to control the battlefield, while Warwick is more of a raw force of nature that is best dodged and controlled. Seeing these champions outside of League is a reminder of the promise of Riot Forge games. As it turns out, many of these characters do best outside the confines of a competitive game. Convergence offers another chance for them to shine in their element.

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May 23, 2023

Auroch Digital has done a great job of deploying retro visuals and the trappings of older shooters alongside modern sensibilities to bring the game to life. The abyss of Chaos looks downright disturbing, even captured through an old-school lens. These trippy environments and crude daemon designs combine with visceral and satisfying combat to make Boltgun a blast, and it’s nice to explore the world of Warhammer through such a ridiculous, blood-smeared filter.

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May 3, 2023

The game currently has a campaign that plays out over the course of a month in-game, and the player is periodically presented with choices — do they stay loyal to glorious Acaristan, or do they cast off their shackles and choose to be an inside man for the rebellion? Developer Crazy Rocks is working on an endless mode with more paperwork and police ranks, which I’m looking forward to. The campaign can be completed in a few sittings, and it’s punctuated by some fun choices — but I’m hungry to keep checking for contraband.

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There are a few typos in the game’s UI, like the status effect ‘inmune’, or receiving a blessing with an extra S. But despite a few small issues, I otherwise found this Riot Forge title to be another smooth ride through League’s increasingly complex canon. The Mageseeker makes the smart move of setting up some truly hateable villains, and then lets me smash their hopes and dreams — what more could I want from a game about toppling the elite?

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Apr 14, 2023

Minecraft Legends is a charming portmanteau of genres that manages to simplify the RTS formula while still demanding a fair amount of concentration and strategy. I’m interested to see where the game goes in the future; players might use its mechanics to create truly terrifying multiplayer strategies that escalate in amazing ways. Or they might just enjoy the campaign and then go back to their own realm, to tame their own wilderness away from the chimes of quest givers. Legends is a charming and colorful adventure, and it’s nice to finally befriend the humble Creeper.

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The Devil in Me doesn’t rank particularly high on my personal Dark Pictures ranking — it comes in just under House of Ashes and Man of Medan, which are great for different reasons. But what the game does do very right is take a famous true-crime case and explore it in a manner that comes across as more interesting than exploitative, even while fitting in jump scares and relationship drama. Supermassive could probably have carved a good two or three hours out of this game and ended up with a much stronger product — just as long as it left all of the Holmes-related stuff untouched, please, because that’s where it shines.

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It just comes across as Psyop being afraid that the player is laughing at them and not with them. The narrative is focused on preemptively reassuring you that the developer knows this is a joke, and is not taking this seriously, and yeah it would be pretty cringe if this was serious but it isn’t. It’s all very unnecessary, and I kind of hope Behaviour and Psyop take another swing at the dating sim genre without all the self-conscious narrative clutter — because the good stuff is very good.

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Unscored - The Quarry
Jun 8, 2022

The Quarry is a blood-soaked, brutal, and janky summer camp rampage

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Unscored - The Iron Oath
Apr 27, 2022

Overall, I’m excited to see how The Iron Oath develops; Curious Panda Games has already laid out a road map throughout 2022 leading to an eventual full release that includes a new class, more points of interest, and more quests. For now, I’m having a lot of fun with the current build — my mercenaries, on the other hand, probably have some complaints with my management style.

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Unscored - Chorus
Dec 13, 2021

Ultimately, I just wish Chorus was pared down. The plot is full of B-movie pulp, but the game doesn’t seem interested in laughing at itself. There aren’t a lot of new ideas in the story, and the narrative isn’t delivered with grace. Will you like Chorus? That wholly depends on how much tolerance you have for everything packed around the spaceship combat.

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Dec 7, 2021

Whether it’s kicking a samurai over a balcony railing or diving at a lady with two shotguns so I can kick her in the face, there are tons of satisfying little moments. Fighting is fun, and doing it in a tight space naturally leads to nicely cinematic moments. If you’ve been craving the small-scale, ramped-up chess feel of a title like Into the Breach, Fights in Tight Spaces is a fantastic game that packs plenty of punch.

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Ruined King is a fun romp through gorgeous environments with a team of likable misfits. Airship Syndicate doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it didn’t need to — Ruined King still manages to serve as a great on-ramp to both League of Legends lore and RPGs in general.

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House of Ashes doesn’t make any great leaps in gameplay or structure, but in terms of narrative, it relentlessly swings for the fences. There are times when the writing doesn’t quite land, but the awkward moments rarely stick around for long thanks to the game’s expert pacing. It’s a fantastic horror social experience, just in time for Halloween, and it’s enough to get me back into the deep lore and hidden secrets of the Dark Pictures Anthology.

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Oct 14, 2021

No single one of these games are worth the cost alone — there are Party Packs that I own as a Tee K.O. or Quiplash machine, and none of the games in this Pack have that same stickiness and ease to pick up for me. But there are no stinkers, either — everything here is something I’d feel comfortable recommending to a friend or bringing out at a gathering. That’s a valuable resource, and I figure wherever I go, at least I can liven it up with some Job Job.

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Oct 4, 2021

Jett: The Far Shore is a simple game, but a beautiful one, and well worth your time. It can make space a little bit scary, without going over the top, and it strikes a great balance between saccharine and grimdark. The Far Shore is a journey I was glad to take, even when the company got a little too chatty.

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Unscored - Nightslink
Sep 2, 2021

Nightslink is a bite-sized experience, but it has successfully used its short run time to lodge itself into the back of my brain.

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Unscored - Cruelty Squad
Jul 27, 2021

Will you enjoy Cruelty Squad? I don’t know. It’s a hard game to recommend. It feels like it rips mechanics wholesale out of slick, satisfying shooters like the old Rainbows Six, Deus Ex, or Hitman. Except it’s also intentionally opaque, refusing to lend players a hand in deciphering its visuals or navigating its oppressive atmosphere. And yet, I’m still here gnawing on this coconut, because the pain is worth the taste of that delicious joy.

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Jun 7, 2021

PowerWash Simulator fits nicely into my gaming lineup as the ultimate low-energy game. When my brain is tired, or I’m not in the mood to compete or struggle in any way, I grab a power washer. It’s become a fantastic wind-down game before bed. I may never be a homeowner, but I can capture the most relaxing bits of home care with none of the hassle, and that’s pretty nice.

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