At the very least, Orwell’s Animal Farm made me want to read the original book after a decade of resenting its inclusion in my high school curriculum. I can see what the game was trying to do, and I had a passing amount of fun with it, but it’s just not engaging enough to play for more than a few hours. I can recommend Orwell’s Animal Farm only as a curiosity for fans of the novel.
No matter how many times I get frustrated at the little things, I can never stay mad at Bugsnax. It’s got a perfect blend of exploration and narrative, with a story that climaxes in a surprising but satisfying way. It’s not exactly a Blockbuster title for the next generation of consoles, but it’s a delightful adventure with hidden depths. Due to the clunky controls while using a controller, my recommendation is for the PC version, but it’s a great time either way. I’ll be back to Snaktooth Island to catch more Bugsnax very soon.
The great ideas within The Signifier make it all the more frustrating when the overall experience doesn’t leave you with anything memorable. If it were expanded upon, the sum of its parts could make an amazing experience. The game has some shining moments in the memory sequences, but its ending does nothing with the fascinating threads offered up by its middle.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is an amazing experience, and not just for Sci-fi or Mecha fans. Its unique combination of genres is refreshing and exciting, and its art style is the most gorgeous thing I’ve seen all year. The combat doesn’t quite match the majesty of the rest of the game, but it’s more than good enough to see the player through. It’s definitely worth it to see the ending which, while complex and difficult to fully understand, is a masterpiece.
Crusader Kings III is for a niche audience: its own fans, and any new player that has the patience to learn how to play over multiple playthroughs (though it’d be faster to watch tips and tricks videos on YouTube). If you’re not a member of this audience, tread with caution. It’s a lot of looking at menus, clicking options, and waiting for all those in-game years to pass. If you are, however, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss. An imperfect tutorial is an annoyance, but it’s small potatoes compared to the majesty that awaits you on the other side.
For all of my criticisms, I can’t stress enough how much potential I see in Necrobarista. From its fascinating supernatural setting to its amazing and dynamic art style, a sequel to this game would be an instant buy from me. If it’s going to stay as a standalone though, it needs more substance. Either way, I am excited to see more of Route 59’s work. They’ve created an incredible world and an even more incredible visual novel style.
Paper Mario: The Origami King is a great game with plenty of reasons to keep you exploring – it’s just missing that Wow factor that Paper Mario needed to put it back on top of the charts. Just don’t come in expecting it to be like the old games and you’ll have a great time.