Make no mistake about it, Minecraft Dungeons is not a game designed for experienced gamers looking for a challenge. It’s an entry-level dungeon crawler tailored for older kids looking to branch out from the blocky open-world nature of Minecraft. In that respect, the game is worth picking up and certainly holds enough of the aesthetic flair and charm from the Minecraft IP to feel like a natural spin-off. The gameplay is basic so kids should be able to pick this up quickly and aside from a disappointing leveling up system, Minecraft Dungeons is a fun co-op experience that knows who it’s targeting and executes on that perfectly.
Those Who Remain certainly won't be for everyone and there will undoubtedly be a good portion of players that take one look at the early, clunky mechanics and outdated character models and turn this off. That's a shame though because if you can get past some of the initial jankiness, Those Who Remain opens up to produce a pretty enjoyable (albeit flawed) Indie horror experience. The sound design is great, there's some nicely placed jump scares in here and the story is engaging enough to actually answer the numerous questions raised early on about what's going on and why this town is blanketed in a nightmarish veil of despair. This won't win any awards for being the best horror of the year, nor is it likely to be a title you return to in a hurry when you finish it. For £15.99 though, if you can look past some of the graphical issues and bugs and take to the story being told, there's enough here to make for an enjoyable enough play-through that's actually worth experiencing despite its flaws.
Moving Out is one of the best couch co-op games to be released in quite some time and combines the best elements of Donut County and Overcooked to create this hybrid of endless fun. The gameplay tweaks are smartly implemented, allowing both kids and adults alike to enjoy it, and the campaign is fun, full of great humour and increasingly elaborate levels. With a vibrant aesthetic, a simple but effective gameplay loop and plenty of levels to chew through, Moving Out is easily one of the best Indies of the year and a must-play for sure.
Someday You’ll Return is a great 6 hour game stuffed into an over-sized 15 hour package. On the plus side, the story is certainly gripping, the graphics look great and the sound design is some of the best in any video-game this year. Frustratingly, what begins as a really interesting and hellish dive into an adventurous mystery with horror elements quickly becomes bloated and bogged down, throwing in far too many unnecessary stealth sections and obfuscated puzzles.
Overall though TT Isle Of Man 2 offers up a much improved experience over its predecessor. While it still remains a challenging and at times frustrating game to play through, there’s enough improvements to make it worth jumping back into to check out. If you’re on the fence then it’s worth a rental and just like driving itself, eventually it’ll click and the experience is unlike other motorcycle sims out there. It’s not perfect, and the long loading screens and steep learning curve will almost certainly be tall towers to climb but if you can persevere and make it to the summit, there’s a decent enough view that’s worth holding out for.
The Final Fantasy 7 Remake does both the best and worst things to enhance the original. The battle system is a great step forward despite a cumbersome camera and the world building is second to none. Characters are faithful to their original counterparts, boasting some wonderful voice acting from all involved and some of the locations are a joy to revisit all these years later. While the nostalgic slices of the original game are easily the highlight of the entire 30/35 hour experience, Remake is let down by inconsistent pacing, narrative and design choices, ones that have serious ramifications for the second part to come.
As a rental and a possible £25/£30 title, Resi 3 is well worth your time and although limited in scope, is an enjoyable enough experience to blast through. It’s not perfect but much like Nemesis itself, the Resident Evil 3 remake wants you to beat it again and again and again. After a while though, this becomes tiresome and it’s unlikely you’ll return to this one in a hurry when you’re done with it.
Despite its shortcomings, Journey To The Savage Planet is a charming little game, one that utilizes some good humour whilst delivering an enjoyable, vibrant and short adventure worth playing. It's unlikely to be regarded as one of the best games of the year, but it's a pleasant enough journey nonetheless.
Doom Eternal is a bloody good game. It’s a violent, gory, adrenaline-soaked descent into the hellish depths of your nightmare but it does so with such finesse and style that it’s easy to forget how well-designed and complex this game actually is. Between the 12 hour campaign, the plethora of collectables and the evolving combat that organically adds layers of challenge over time, Doom Eternal is hands down one of the best first person shooters of 2020 and, dare I say, a top contender for game of the year.
If you’re a fan of Where’s Wally and other books where you have to scan the pages meticulously to find hidden items, Hidden Through Time is essentially the video game equivalent of this. It’s such an ingeniously developed game and this simplicity makes it the perfect Indie to sit back and relax with. It’s a great coffee break game to play between big blockbusters and one that certainly has a lot of scope to expand in the future.