Kaiju Wars is clearly a labor of love from people who love Kaiju, and with it, they manage to take a neat concept and turn it into something great. In most games, it’s you laying slaughter to hundreds of nameless grunts and fodder. In Kaiju Wars, you’re the fodder, and the beauty of it is in the challenge that presents.
The combat is tighter, and the game is prettier. But it failed to iterate on its open-world at all, which is an essential part of the game. It feels dated, and the invisible force field that surrounds the machine spawns feels extremely janky. The most important addition is the wide variety of machines you can now fight, and that makes the game worth it alone.
Despite its flaws, Roguebook is still one worth opening. It’s filled with ink that paints a much different picture than its cover would suggest. It turns many common deck-building conventions upside down making for an enjoyable fresh experience in a crowded genre.
Green Hell is a game that’s going to be great once the developers have maggots eat away all the infected bits and patch the wounds in a lovely update-lined bandage. It just isn’t there yet, and I’m somewhat sad I’ve had my experience soured before it got there.
It’s a faithful remaster that will send old school fans on a serious nostalgia high without tainting your memories of it, and that’s fantastic. Newcomers might not be swept off their feet and its gift of pleasant memories may only work out for fans of the classics. But that’s okay, we’ve been waiting a really long time.
One Step From Eden manages to combine the strategic satisfaction of deckbuilding with the chaotic fever pitch of an action game and wraps it into a snug package of player choice. It might feature all the randomness that the genre is known for, but it puts the ball squarely in the player’s court about what to do with it, and that’s pretty magical.
Red Ronin might not be the turn-based tactical game that its main menu implies, but it is a great puzzle game with a popping soundtrack, nice visual effects, and stellar level design. The real-time elements are really interesting and unique, even if it introduces them with all gentleness of a rampaging rhino. If the technical issues can be fixed, Red Ronin could certainly take a seat atop its throne of blood.
Pawnbarian is single-minded with a specific experience that it wants to offer. That experience is a challenging brain teaser using a classic and timeless game in new ways. Limitation is often king to innovation, and with that Pawnbarian calls checkmate.
Embr manages to be a hectic, yet methodical co-op game about firefighters that can also be enjoyed solo. Its replayable nature through a variety of enjoyable modes keeps the game burning bright when many other party games would have long fizzled out on dead wood.
Sheltered 2 offers an apocalyptic survival experience that will put your planning and management skills to the test alongside nifty turn-based combat. Yet, the tedium of such excessive micromanagement might have you wishing for the world to end again.
In the end. Gears Tactics has the heart, body, and soul of a true Gears of War game that makes it shine in combat with blood-pumping action despite being turn-based. The repetition and linear focus make it a few cogs short of being a Marcus Fenix instead of a Carmine. Fun and lovable, but destined to die quickly.
The fast-paced nature makes Jupiter Hell stand out from the crowd alongside a retro-style interface that’s nostalgic while incorporating all the modern conveniences we have come to expect. The shallowness and repetition hit faster than I would like, but there’s no denying that Jupiter Hell’s combination of rip and tear with chess-like flair is a mixture Doomed to succeed.
The simulation and management elements are almost non-existent. The few that are present tend to be obtuse and poorly explained. Yet, the game within a game is brilliant and will really test your ability to think about strategy in a different way. The fact that champions get nerfed and buffed based on how tournaments play out is clever beyond description. I just wish the rest of the game received the same loving attention.
As you put the hours into Wildermyth, you craft fable after fable that is unique to you. You build up a legacy of heroes that can grow by picking them up in other campaigns. You bond to these characters because they can stay with you forever, even if their stories don’t always have a happy ending. Every path you watch them take feels special, and there’s always a new story to be told.