American Arcadia is a sharp, snappy production that could make for an entertaining film if it wasn't peppered with ingenious puzzles and platforming challenges. The dual character scenario is exploited brilliantly, adding variety, originality and humour, and even if some sections lack a real sense of participation, the visual design of Arcadia, along with some smart turns in the plot, ensure momentum through to the end.
Robocop: Rogue City reflects its protagonist's qualities. It's well-built and robust, a few glitches aside, and capable of triggering explosive action. Yet it's also mechanical in its design, its dialogue slow and plodding, and limited in its forms of interaction. Short on engaging mission design and the film's punchy satire, Detroit's finest needs better backup to enliven this drawn out adventure.
Endless Dungeon is an entertaining, polished, and finely-tuned roguelike, expertly blending action and tactics to fill each trip with dozens of impactful micro-decisions. While visibility can be an issue during packed battles, presentation overall is bright and clean, and supported by some classy character design. Co-op play is the icing on an already tasty cake.
It's a joy and a relief to realise that Sabotage hasn't merely mimicked classic '90s JRPG, but committed to understanding what makes them tick. Its nostalgia is neither gratuitous nor cynical, instead working disparate references together with original ideas into a coherent whole. While it's a little disappointing to discover that there's isn't great depth to the turn-based battles and other systems, the immense quality and detail in the pixel art, soundtrack, location design, characters and plot ensure that Sea of Stars remains a stunning achievement to the end.
Armored Core VI: Fires Of Rubicon's stylish main character, varied level design and effective story are balanced by a few out of place boss fights and too many similar battles. Like a mech itself, Armored Core VI is versatile and packs a real punch, but also somewhat bulky and not always perfectly balanced.
Filling a game based on dialogue trees with mythological musical numbers turns out to be an inspired idea in Stray Gods, as it has the quality of writing, composing and character design to pull it off. Its bulges with both comedy and tragedy, and while some of the songs lack punch, overall Stray Gods puts on one hell of a show.
The Bearded Ladies have been working their formula of turn-based tactics and real-time stealth for three games now, and it shows for better and worse. Miasma Chronicles is the studio's most ambitious effort in scale and depth, but carries over the flaws of previous titles as well as their strengths, and wraps its clever combat in dated humour and world design.
After Us combines stunning vistas of environmental decay with a dreamlike flow to its light platforming challenges. Despite some missteps, such as ill-fitting combat, exploring and affecting its world is a gratifying process that comes with a wave of emotional ups and downs.
The Last Worker's comically exaggerated vision of the future of work is highly relevant. Yet its story focuses on showcasing the talents of its stellar voice cast at the expense of offering meaningful things to do, and its satirical punches rarely leave lasting bruises.