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.
A super-sweet little visual novel with some rather dark humour elements, Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet is a good way to while away an hour or two with a cup of coffee. I’m not sure how the game came under PEGI 3: I don’t want to put spoilers in here, but with the naked candy girl and the whole eating-a-sentient-being thing, the age rating is surprising. On the other hand, it’s cutesy enough that it never feels malicious.
I went into this wanting to like it. Unfortunately, while the graphics are nice, the game is just too difficult and navigationally awkward to enjoy for me. I think with a couple of navigation tweaks and more complete numbering this would be a very fun and challenging puzzler, but for me it was bit too frustrating.
Soul Axiom is a really good puzzler; there’s such a variety of challenges and hidden secrets that it really keeps you on your toes, but sometimes things were a little too hidden and I just got annoyed trying to complete a level. I did always feel a sense of satisfaction when I reached an end-of-level cutscene, but sometimes it was more of a ‘Thank goodness that’s over’ than a ‘Yes I did it!’.