There are so many great tactics games out there, that any new one that enters the fold has to give me a good reason to spend my time with it over the others. While Legends of Kingdom Rush isn’t truly a bad game, it really doesn’t bring anything notable to the table. It simply exists.
Startup Panic is charming and its soul is there, but the body it occupies is just incredibly shallow. I didn’t dislike my time with it, I was always interested in what was to come. At the same time, however, I had to ask myself what I was doing. The reality was, I was just hitting the same few menu buttons over and over again with no real engaging agency. I was reminded of things like Farmville, where you are hardly playing at all.
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.
Returnal’s shooting mechanics are solid, the game is gorgeous, the enemy variety is nice, and the boss fights are stellar. So, it’s a shame that literally everything else kind of falls apart. The rogue-lite aspects are sub-par at best and outright bad at worst.
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.
The phobias themselves have a fantastic aesthetic design and animation too. The rigid and puzzlelike nature gives the game a unique playstyle that’s a lot of fun to solve. The lack of polish is very apparent, however. Between the bugs, strange design choices, and lack of cohesion the game feels like it needed more time in the oven, and maybe some focused direction.
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.
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.
I may not have any desire to return to the game, but I enjoyed my time with Biomutant. I think most fans of the genre will too, jank and all. Its world is a beautiful one worth exploring, even though it’s a bit static. Evolution wasn’t entirely kind to it, but Biomutant still grew up to be a respectable but flawed fur-filled adventure.
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.
It retains the same charm, fun physics, and team coordination that made the base game great. It’s on the short side with just a couple of hours of content, a problem that often plagues many party games. The DLC is on the cheap side though, so it may just be worth moving in on.
The reality is if Insurmountable were a real board game, I’d be interested in picking it up, and the price would be much steeper due to the physical pieces. The digital experience it offers is a unique one worth having for any fans of slower-paced strategy games, even if its freshness is shorter-lived than I would like.
Outriders is still a great game. In a lot of ways, it’s the absolute best iteration of the looter shooter genre out there. The repetition is a bummer, but the combat, class, and loot system are worth riding it out for. The amount of playstyle customization you have access to is a true anomaly.
It doesn't stray far from its inspiration but still delivers key improvements with stronger replay value, better visuals, and an experience that's fresh enough to feel new while staying true to itself. If it could have ditched some of the flaws that plagued the original it would have been perfect. Regardless, Evil Genius lives To Die Another Day
Space Otter Charlie is cute, fun, and easy to play with, clever but simple puzzles, enjoyable old-school boss fights, and plenty to explore, find, and craft. It’s a game aimed at a more casual demographic that I’m really not a part of, but that’s okay. I still found a lot to appreciate.