I want to like Olija much more than I do. When the game works it truly works. The gameplay is slick and brutal and fluid. I will never deny the enjoyment that this game provides. The problem is quite simple, which is that there are only so many fresh, exciting encounters the game can give you. They are a finite supply. However, the time wasted through unclear instruction and a lack of accessibility to information is unforgivable. Perhaps other players will find the ambiguity to be less of a problem, but for me it was a real obstacle.
Whilst not a true tragedy, Twin Mirror didn’t live up to expectations in my book. The visual and auditory style of DONTNOD is fantastic, and the way it ties into the gameplay is nice. However, it doesn’t stack up to its peers both inside and outside the developer’s library. The magical realism is a bit confusing and lacking in context and the eleventh hour save doesn’t pull it above criticism. A mystery existed but there just wasn’t enough meat on that bone. I can see this game aging well for me, as I remember only the nice parts and filter out the bad stuff. But as it stands, as I write this review, there is just too much of a gap between me and unqualified praise to be able to give it a proper stamp of approval.
Disc Room is a great example of a little indie game doing a damn fine job. From a small idea of bullet hell meets dungeon crawler, the developers have polished the concept up quite nicely. The variety of design ensure that each room feels unique. The innate difficulty of the game provides a satisfying challenge although it can also lead to some frustration. But thankfully the difficulty settings here are highly customisable and allow for great accessibility. Sure there are some confusing rooms, but they’re balanced out by amazing boss fights that left me wanting more. Overall, whilst there are some missteps, it’s definitely one game that’s well worth a try.
Let’s not mince words, Street Power Football is just not up to scratch. Sure I love the representation and I love that recognition of actual members of the sport. But that doesn’t really sway me if the game isn’t up to par. Every element of this game has at least one major flaw that makes the game frustrating to wrestle with and takes the fun out of a certain moment. This game has a real arcadey feel to it. It’s cartoonish and colourful. But it’s also arcadey in how cheap and disposable the experience feels.
A Fold Apart goes on a sadly well populated pile of games that suffer from “good idea, poor execution”. The use of perspective gameplay gels well with an interesting idea for a story. But the gameplay is less than fun, and the story loudly and busily goes nowhere. Not quite up to scratch I’m afraid.