New Horizons is the near-perfect installment ahead of the 20th anniversary of the series. There is so much to do in this game, and Nintendo has really pushed the limits for the series with the amount of creative freedom they've handed over to the player. The only thing that lets it down is the clunkiness of an otherwise delightful multiplayer feature. Still, this is exactly the kind of game I want to be stuck at home with.
When The Occupation works, it's a thrilling investigative adventure that allows the player freedom to explore and chase leads in a way that feels incredibly exciting. Frustrating controls can be overlooked, but unfortunately, the bugs in the game are incredibly persistent and capable of completely turning a promising experience into one that's too annoying to go on.
Astroneer provides a (mostly) tranquil environment to explore with your friends, or by yourself to unwind. The fact that the game doesn't bury you in a collection loop and actually gives you breathing room to explore and tinker will be a downside for some, but for those with the patience, it's a game you could easily spend hundreds of hours unraveling.
Pikuniku is a hilarious game that's oozing with charm. Its single player campaign is full of moments that make you feel like a kid again, and its co-op mode is surprisingly relaxing. Unfortunately its charm is let down by a clumsy control scheme that doesn't always mesh with some of the mechanics, and this can create an experience that ultimately feels unrewarding.
GRIS is an emotional journey through a beautifully crafted world. Featuring one of the most gorgeous art styles we've seen this year, GRIS deserves your attention. Nomada Studios has crafted a truly memorable experience and as the developer's debut game, they've set the bar extremely high for whatever comes next.