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.
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;
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!’.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
I wanted to love Manifold Garden. It has a gorgeous design, thoroughly unique concept, and is wonderfully challenging despite being frustrating at times. Unfortunately, it just makes me too ill to play in the type of bursts I’d like to. If you’re unaffected by motion sickness then there’s a real gem of a puzzler here, but I’d recommend watching some gameplay first to make sure that you’ll be ok – I’ve heard multiple counts of it negatively affecting people who normally have no issues.