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.
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.
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.
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!’.
Short but sweet, just that introductory screen already screams Resident Evil, and the rest of the game plays up to that. You’re running around a mansion, killing/avoiding zombies and solving puzzles in an attempt to get out. As you traverse the mansion you’ll find notes and diary entries that help flesh out the background, which is always a nice touch, but it didn’t quite go deep enough. Unfortunately, nothing really made me empathise with or connect to the main character which for me is a big thing in any game. It feels like Heaven Dust has tried so hard to emulate Resident Evil that it’s stunted it’s own potential;
It’s a good thing I managed to follow the music by sound because, while the graphics are fun, I really wish there was an option of a plain background while playing. I have an eyesight problem anyway and the bright, cartoony, and constantly shifting background was playing absolute havoc with my sight, often making it impossible for me to see notes coming until they hit the piano keys and then it was too late to respond. It’s a shame because I love the art style in the cutscenes, but during play it’s just overwhelming and headache-inducing.
Just A Phrase is a very simple game, with a very simple premise, that can easily be picked up and put down over your morning coffee. It’s a hangman-style game where you’re given 4 letters to choose from at a time. It’s nice to have a game that I can play one-handed while I consume my morning dose of caffeine with the other, and would probably be highly educational for younger children learning about homophones and spelling, but I found it a little too simple to really be engaging.
While the stat-raising portion was sometimes frustrating, and the background music did occasionally become annoying, I found Roommates an enjoyable experience on the whole. I’m looking forward to replaying the game and hopefully reaching the ideal ending with every character. The progressive stories are fun to follow and the characters are oddly compelling. I’m not sure I’d have paid £20 for it, but at the time of writing it’s on sale, so I’d still recommend giving it a go if you’re a fan of the visual novel/simulation genre!
It was a fun game while it lasted, and the variation between the characters was lovely to experience. While I wasn’t a huge fan of Standard mode, I can appreciate a lot of people will enjoy that style of gameplay. The inclusion of visual novel mode is something that I wish I’d see more of in games like this, so that people can enjoy the story without needing to be good at the balancing act. I’d have liked the game to be longer because it didn’t take me that long to go through every story in visual novel mode – I understand and appreciate that it was an experimental add-on, but it should’ve been carefully tested and potentially expanded before being included in the final product. That said, if there happened to be a fully-fledged visual novel version I can see myself double-dipping without much hesitation! I had a lot of fun with Nicole, and would definitely recommend it for any visual novel fan.
Do you ever pick up a game with the intent to play just a level or two, then look at your watch and realise you’ve been playing for hours? That’s what Depixtion did to me, and I’m not even mad about it. I absolutely love this game, and can’t recommend it highly enough for any fellow puzzle fans!