Despite some noticeable performance issues, utterly frustrating controls at times, and sometimes ridiculously hard sections, I actually found Biped an enjoyable game. I wouldn’t recommend it for a young audience though; it’s too demoralising, as just holding a direction for a fraction of a second too long or sometimes even the game itself flinging you too far off a ramp can mean death. It’s cute, quirky, and I love the idea, but it needs some tweaks and polishing before I’d go back and try for the optional challenges.
While the idea is very simple, the game itself is anything but. Some levels are nice and easy, others are considerably more difficult, and the difficulty progression doesn’t seem to be linear. I’ll barely pass a level, then the following few will be a piece of cake – it keeps me on my toes! I wouldn’t call Pack Master a child-friendly game from a difficulty perspective, but I’m sure it’d help develop logical thinking abilities in older children. Pack Master is a very basic puzzle game that doesn’t try to push harder than it should. There’s an excellent balance between design and difficulty, and something wonderfully relaxing about the simple nature of the game. There’s not much to say about it due to its simplicity, but I’d definitely put it on the recommended list for a younger audience!
I can’t call The Almost Gone difficult, exactly, as the puzzles were generally easy to figure out, but it wasn’t an easy game either. There’s a lot of sequential puzzling, where the outcome from one is required to solve another, and a fair amount of non-linear thinking required – one puzzle required me to obtain numbers for a key-code lock, that were scattered not only across rooms but also across perspectives. The only time I really had difficulty was my own fault; I turned off on my Lite partway through the game saving, so once I loaded on my other Switch the core piece I’d just earned was no longer collected even though I thought it was, so I spent an extra hour looking for what I’d missed! While there are a couple of minor flaws, The Almost Gone was a beautiful and enrapturing point-and-click mystery exploration adventure that I can’t recommend highly enough. Be warned that there are a number of sensitive topics covered, so it may not be one for the easily upset, but otherwise it’s a truly enjoyable yet saddening tale that deserves a spot on anyone’s download list (and shelf if a physical is released – I’m praying!)
I enjoy hidden object puzzle games, I’ve always enjoyed a game where I look at something and can go “Wait a minute… I think I know what I’m doing with this!” so I leap on every chance to review them. I like seeing the variation in the style and difficulty of the puzzles, and Myths of Orion is no exception. Some puzzles I figured out straight away, some took me a good while, and one particular zoom location took me a good hour to find which really annoyed me once I figured it out. Depending on your mindset, I imagine some of the puzzles are easier or harder for various people, but overall I would call them a low to medium difficulty, easy enough to be fun for most people. I enjoyed my time with Myths Of Orion: Light From The North. There were a few frustrations, such as the sorely lacking cutscenes and bizarre UI bug, but overall it was a fun little experience that filled a fair few hours of my time. I might call it a little steep on the pricing, as it only took me around 6 hours tops, but I definitely recommend it for any puzzle fan’s To Play list.
I wanted to love House Flipper. I’m a huge fan of the building and design aspects of The Sims 4 and was looking forward to playing a game dedicated to such, but the limited options tampered my enthusiasm considerably. While the control scheme does feel bizarre – even after a good 2-3 days of play I was still trying to use A and B instead of ZR and ZL – it does work, and it doesn’t feel too cumbersome despite my fingers not being used to trigger work. The task list bug did wind me up, but was thankfully a relatively easy fix so I’m not too upset. I wanted to love it, but in its current state, I can only say I like it. It was fun, and I’ll be redesigning my early houses for ages to come, but for the price tag, I’d expected more options and variation for replayability – even having the DLCs included would have significantly elevated the game. If you’re a more careful decorator though, you could probably sink a lot of time into House Flipper and feel like you got a bargain.
I love ZHED, and am going to keep pushing for that Level 100 completion, but it is far from an easy game. It starts out really simple, and I found some considerably easier levels mixed in as I got further into the game, but there was many a time I had to just put it down and come back the next day because I could not figure out the current level. I did notice, however, that when I came back the next morning I managed to solve it almost straight away, so maybe I was playing too much in a day and not consuming enough caffeine! ZHED is minimalist, challenging, and a thorough joy to play. It may get frustrating at times, but that never stopped me coming back and won’t stop me shooting for Level 100!
A beautiful, atmospheric puzzle game that has proven just how nice a mobile port can be. Unfortunately, it’s a lot shorter than I’d have liked; the main story took me around 3 hours and the Winterfest content took a further hour. I’d happily sit and play that game for days, but at more than a pound per hour of play, I thought it a little overpriced. However, add some more levels in there and I’d easily follow Path Of Giants until the end of its days.
A true throwback to the point-and-click adventures of days past, Black Rainbow takes a good story and decent controls, slaps some sub-par graphics and neutral sound on top, and still comes out as a quite enjoyable game. It took me around 4-5 hours to complete, and while £9 isn’t that expensive it feels a bit much for a lacklustre port. The Switch is capable of so much better, and it’s games should be too.
In the world of puzzle games, the picross/nonogram is as classic as a Sudoku or a Kakuro. The basic premise is always the same; you have a grid, with numbers assigned to each row and column that designate how many squares are filled in. Once you’ve completed the puzzle you end up with a pretty picture. The classic simplicity makes it easy to develop a nonogram game, but hard to do it in a way that impresses.
This Kickstarter project hit Steam in January 2020, then swiftly made its way onto my favourite gaming device. I wasn’t even 10 minutes in and I was already in love with this quirky little adventure platformer. I was zooming about like a madwoman delivering fridges and demolishing castles, laughing like a loon the entire time and completely ignorant of my partner warily edging further away. It was a genuine pleasure to play, and I’m looking forward to introducing my best friend to it next time we’ve had a few drinks.