I was taken back by how much I enjoyed Creaks. For a game I had never heard of, it quickly has become one of my favourite experiences of the year, It's beautiful, enjoyable and everything about it screams quality. Tracking down the paintings and completing their short stories is enjoyable. Along with a great and achievable trophy list, you have a short, amazing experience like no other in recent times. Enjoy people, games like this do not come around very often.
Chaotic, fun, addictive, and rewarding. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 retains everything that made the games amazing in the '90s. It then adds a coat of fresh paint, better physics, and a more modern progression system to keep you playing after completing the classic objectives. This is an amazing package of games that will please old fans and new fans alike and I am so happy it turned out so well.
Witty, charming and full of character, Psychonauts 2 manages to keep what made the original so memorable, and add worthwhile additions to improve the experience. It tackles dark subjects with tact, humour and is like nothing else on the market. There are not enough of these types of games these days and Psychonauts 2 stands tall, proud, and nearly alone in its field.
Inscryption is an amalgamation of deck-builder and escape room games, and is unlike anything I have ever played before. In an age of video games where uniqueness is at an all-time low, it was amazing to be so surprised at regular intervals. Inscryption will test what you think a card battling roguelite is and its constant twists and turns will keep you on your toes. It's a game where I fully feel like I have sculpted my deck myself; it's wild, it's dark and it's utterly brilliant.
I loved the freedom My Friend Pedro gave me. It gives you the tools to succeed but how you use them is up to you. Once you get to grips with its various gameplay systems you are free to create artistic murder. When My Friend Pedro is in full flow, it's like watching a ballet, the game rewards skill and finesse and it is truly beautiful to see. Just go and play it. You will not regret it.
Brilliantly designed, deep and rewarding, Dungeon of the Endless will be something I will play for a long time to come. Every time I play I learn something new, some nugget of experience to improve my next run. There are so many ways to play, so many things to manage and every game is unique in so many ways. It is a mashup of genres that will please a lot of players, roguelike, strategy, tower defence or RPG. If you like any of those genres then you will love this game. Dungeon of the Endless has a lot to offer and I love it.
In a world of icon-strewn maps and point to point gameplay, The Pathless encourages discovery through environmental clues and great design, setting you free of modern game shackles. It's beautiful, touching and the fast-paced gameplay is brilliant. There is nothing like The Pathless on the market at the minute and I think most people will find something about it to love. I certainly did
Fast, fluid and fun. Until You Fall came out of nowhere and blew me away. The combat system is so moreish and addictive, rewarding and well designed you will not want it to stop. While the story is lacking and the enemies can get repetative, everything else more than makes up for it. Great VR implementation, amazing music and super-fast load times create a really enjoyable VR experience and one of my favourites this year.
Well thought out puzzles and a fantastic art style really propel The Pedestrian to the top of my list of recently played puzzle games. It is so different and that is something I really admire. While it will not be for everyone I think it does enough to even tease non-puzzle game fans into trying it. Striking and clever, The Pedestrian never overstays its welcome. It's short, sweet and I enjoyed every minute of it.
While not too much has changed, everything we love about Isaac has been expanded on. With a massively improved multiplayer mode, new bosses, items, paths and challenges, Isaac is at his tearful best. The PS5 version is the best console version of Isaac and contains everything ever made, and while it may be pricey, you get a hell-load of content for your money. If it sucks you in - and it probably will - you'll be treated to one of the best roguelikes ever made.
For a mish-mash of genres, Cult of the Lamb does an excellent job of making both parts feel significant and dependent on each other. It's gorgeous, rewarding and made me laugh throughout. As your cult progresses and you move on from cleaning up everyone's poop, you will see your followers flourish. Designing and maintaining your base is excellent and I enjoyed the rogue-lite runs that can be completed in easily in under 15 minutes. Highly recommended, cult-based, rogue-lite shenanigans.
Risk of Rain 2 is fast, fluid and a lot of fun. This is amplified vastly in multiplayer, which works flawlessly and is very enjoyable. If you enjoy roguelikes you will enjoy Risk of Rain 2, even if you don't, you may want to try something that is quite different from what is currently on the market.
A roguelike that gives the player this much control over their character build is a rare thing. Rather than depending heavily on random drops and loot, Demon's Tier+ lets you spend your gold on what aspect you want to improve. It's a small change that makes a massive difference. Along with that, you have a well-designed game that runs really well, not too long, and has a really nice trophy list. What's not to love?
PGA Tour 2K21 is a great golf game. Yes, it has a few weird design choices, especially the XP and levelling system. This does not, however, overshadow an enjoyable golf game that you can tailor to your wishes. The game retains its great Societies feature along with a robust course designer and has a plethora of game modes and multiplayer options. If you are in the market for a golf game then PGA Tour 2K21 is a sure drive up the fairway and definitely worth your time and money.
Hard as nails, beautiful and rewarding. ScourgeBringer may take some work to adapt to but it is well worth the time and effort required. The combat is poetry in motion and you always feel you are progressing, albeit, at times, slowly. Either by your skills improving or through the persistent upgrades you unlock you are rarely standing still. In a crowded roguelike market, ScourgeBringer is towards the top end of the list of games you should give a go.
Full of character and charm, Lost in Random is a witty and enjoyable tale that at times, mimics our own. It's eerily beautiful, well made and fans of board games will fall in love with it. The combat system is rewarding and has just enough nuance to keep it interesting until the end. So roll your dice and take a chance on Lost in Random. It is a unique game amongst its current peers.
Weird, unique and brilliantly designed, Backbone is a game like no other in 2021. The narrative is both mysterious and absorbing, the characters and dialogue are fun and it never overstays its welcome. I wish I was given a little more information in the second half of the game and the ending a bit more fleshed out but I was left wanting more. Backbone surprised me massively and I enjoyed it a lot.