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Joshua Vanderwall


30 games reviewed
82.7 average score
90 median score
80.0% of games recommended
Scores 6.5 higher than average

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Jun 5, 2017

If you loved Tekken in the 90s, you'll love Tekken 7. It's a beautiful paint job, rather than a functional redesign, and it is glorious.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
May 18, 2017

Endless Space 2 doesn't sugarcoat the 4x experience, and it can be daunting when you realize that all 600 icons on the screen have a tooltip you need to read to make just this one decision. Despite all that complexity, none of it seems unnecessary, which means every one of those tooltips has essential information.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Mar 9, 2017

Puzzle fanatics will enjoy it, even in solo mode. Players looking for some widely-appealing games to play with non-gamer family and friends will definitely find value here, and may discover they're no longer the best player in the room.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall

If Civ VI doesn't count as a Great Work, I don't know what should. I'd display it in my Hermitage.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Sep 20, 2016

Chime Sharp is an incredibly simple game, just like the original, but the dynamic soundtrack and mesmerizing gameplay makes for an exceptional experience.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Sep 1, 2016

Master of Orion delivers exactly what it promises, but the depth of strategy games in the mid-90s does leave a bit to be desired.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Jul 12, 2016

You don't even have to really like the match-3 genre to enjoy Tumblestone. Barring some sort of moral or principled objection to the genre, you definitely need to play it. It is a rare breed of game that offers exactly what it promises, and does so flawlessly.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall

Ashes of the Singularity has limited depth in some aspects, but as an RTS experience, and particularly as a first showing for its Oxide Engine foundation, it is absolutely stellar.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall

I can't imagine a game so fundamentally about number crunching being universally appealing, but the audience it will appeal to will absolutely love it.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall

Stories is the perfect game for a story explorer, but the inherent repetition of levels will be offputting to gamers less keen on replaying games.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall

Epistory doesn't try to do too much, instead focusing on perfect execution of what it does. The world is gorgeously crafted around you as the narrator lulls you into contentment, but the creeping insect enemies will keep you moving and actively entertained.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Apr 5, 2016

Enter the Gungeon is an exhilarating experience, but the difficulty often comes from the game refusing to provide you the necessary tools, which offers its own unique challenges.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Mar 30, 2016

Leap of Fate offers a challenging rogue-lite experience without making it unapproachable to less serious gamers. The combination of unique characters, randomized skill trees, and an abundance of interesting Glyph effects makes every run feel like a different game.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Oct 5, 2015

Like many, I've been a fan of Rock Band for years, and Rock Band 4 fills all of those gaming inclinations. The several minuscule issues coupled with the primary, yet still small concern of ambiguous song difficulties mean it's imperfect, but not by much.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Oct 1, 2015

Extreme Exorcism will have a fairly broad appeal, given the simplicity of the mechanics. You'll likely need to explain to your non-gaming friends how it works, but even the most staunch luddites will be able to grasp what's going on.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Sep 25, 2015

The cartoony appearance might throw you off, but there's no shortage of violence in this retelling of a folk legend's homegrown rebellion.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Jul 21, 2015

Guild of Dungeoneering is simple, light-hearted fun with an adorable sketchbook aesthetic and delightful humor. It's not perfect, but as obscure indie games go, it's certainly top tier.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Apr 12, 2015

Mortal Kombat X offers the best story mode I've ever personally seen in a fighting game. Its cohesive plot and extended cinematics makes you feel much more like a participant in a film than a player on the couch. The fighting is frantic, fluid, and dynamic, with the glorious goriness of the X-Ray moves often turning the tides of battle.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Mar 18, 2015

Sid Meier's Starships lacks the strategic depth of Civilization, but the added tactical layer, and shorter game times make it a fair substitute, especially if you're looking for bite-sized strategy.

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The Escapist
Joshua Vanderwall
Feb 4, 2015

Grey Goo is, frankly, fantastic. From the opening scenes through the entire narrative thread of the campaign, you'll want to improve your game if only so you can see what happens next as quickly as possible.

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