I really wanted to like Bookbound Brigade, but its flaws are too great to overlook. There are moments when it all comes together and you get a real sense of achievement from navigating a tricky section of traps or figuring out a nice environmental puzzles, but these are too often overshadowed by boring combat and the chore that is getting around the world. Unlike the books and stories that Bookbound Brigade is inspired by, good writing is not enough to salvage this story.
The Inner Friend isn't a bad game, but it never really rises above mediocrity. As a result, it's difficult to recommend unless the narrative premise attracts you. There are some moments of greatness amidst an interesting take on trauma and the idea of replaying unresolved memories from one's past, but the overall feel is distinctly average.
Waking is a fascinating experiment that tries, but ultimately fails, to combine two radically different ideas together. Less would certainly have been more here, as the clunky and overly confusing action parts get in the way of the interesting narrative and psychological aspects. While I was drawn in by the central conceit and the use of meditation, the end result is more likely to leave you in a coma than drag you into the light.
Old Gods Rising takes a great premise, but unfortunately does very little with it. The barren, but confusing campus leads to pointless wandering that does little to reward exploration and the narrative is delivered through generic exposition. The one successful aspect is the sense of uncertainty and unease that permeates the experience, yet this isn't enough to maintain interest. The Old Gods may have been better off staying put.
Those Who Remain is difficult to recommend, but there is an interesting meditation on guilt, redemption, and judgement hidden amongst an unfortunate mass of clunky design and gameplay. It might even be that watching someone else play the game is the best way to enjoy it, so you won't have to fight the controls and frustrating checkpoints. Ultimately, the game itself fails to live up to the potential of its ideas. This is one that should remain on the shelf.
Woven could have been a welcome addition to the family friendly game catalogue, but the finished game just lacks any kind of polish or fun. The controls are unresponsive, the design decisions at odds with the presumed audience, and the few moments of interest lost in a sea of mediocrity and meandering backtracking. Unfortunately, Woven is just knit very good.
Pandaball is a silly idea that plays ok but is just too lacking in content to really recommend. There is fun to be had here but I don't understand the decisions not to include multiplayer tournaments or online play. The end result is a game that will prove mildly diverting for younger players but has little to no long term substance. Unfortunately for these pandas, the game itself is more boo than bam.
I went into Street Power Football hoping for an enjoyable take on the sport and was genuinely astonished by how bad the whole package is. This would be unforgivable were it a budget title, but to then have the temerity to stick a full retail price on this just takes the biscuit. I have wracked my brains but couldn't find anything positive to say about this title. Even my kids (who are not fussy when it comes to multiplayer gaming) only managed about 10 minutes before turning it off. Perhaps the best thing to come from playing this abomination of a game is that it encouraged me to dig out my GameCube and Sega Soccer Slam to try to cleanse my palette.