Spider-Man 2 is a sequel that is superior to the first game in a lot of gameplay ways, but also falls short in the narrative and writing. It’s a more streamlined experience that still offers a ton of blockbuster action, but then it hits you with some head scratching character decisions and pace killing side activities. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man then it is still an absolute must play game, and I would hope that at this point a lot of the issues I had while playing have been ironed out.
DreamWorks Trolls Remix Rescue is so close to being a game I would have recommended to any platforming fan, regardless if you’re a Trolls fan or not. While there is a competent 3D platformer here, featuring some fun moments moments from the movies that the kids will love, unfortunately there are some issues here to keep in mind.
Survivor: Castaway Island feels like a cash grab title banking on the popular franchise name of Survivor. Considering this is even just a reskin of their previous game, with even less content, it feels even more soulless. The gameplay is dated, the visuals aren’t pleasing, and there just isn’t any fun to be had from any of this game. Much like all the characters on the island, Survivor: Castaway Island lacks any real personality.
Cocoon was an utter delight to play and a shining example of what the indie scene can provide in creativity. While it didn’t have the level driven purpose of LIMBO or Inside, it more than made up for it with its smart puzzle design. It doesn’t treat you like you’re stupid, and expects you to have to really think, but it also doesn’t throw obtuse puzzles at you. This is absolutely a must-play game for anyone looking for a unique puzzle experience.
While I can appreciate the direction of making PAW Patrol World an open world adventure, there just isn’t a lot going on for it. I loved the idea that it sold me on with it being a co-op adventure and working together with unique abilities… it’s just unfortunate that there’s nothing unique about the gameplay at all. There are no different mini-games or activities that require different thinking or gameplay, it’s just always the same bland QTE.
Party Animals is a really fun time to play, whether online with others, or sitting with some friends and family on some good, old-fashioned local multiplayer. This truly feels like a next step up from previous silly physics-based brawlers, even if it does have its own bits of frustrations. However, I think if you don’t try to take it seriously, and are in it for some lighthearted fun, Party Animals can easily be in your rotation of fun party games.
I Expect You To Die 3: Cog in the Machine really hammers home just how great this series is and that there is still so much they can do with the formula. It’s the third game in and not a single aspect feels repetitive, stale, or tedious. Schell Games continues to push themselves and the series forward with great new ideas, more demanding puzzles, and better visuals.
Dave the Diver, needless to say, was an absolutely delightful surprise that I would recommend to just about anyone. It offers so much variety in gameplay ideas that there is something here for everyone. I’d love to express everything I absolute loved about the game, but what impressed me so much was not knowing all the things this game offered, and I wouldn’t want to strip you of that. This may have not been the mindless fishing exploration game I was expecting, but it became so much more than I even initially wanted.
Farming Simulator 23 was clearly made for mobile in mind for the good, but mostly bad. While I can accept cut backs in complex physics and streamlined processes to make playing on a phone easier, removing a ton of the customization and economy options I don’t feel is worth that trade.
Unfortunately, Redemption Reapers did not live up to the expectations of a cool genre twist from Binary Haze I was expecting. Instead, I feel like I received a fairly by the book SRPG with a couple of decent ideas, but ultimately feels rushed. The team dynamic is a cool strategy addition, but the balancing of everything else and lack of features like not being able to zoom out the battlefield, make this feel rushed. At $50 I would expect more, and while there is a lengthy campaign, it still feels lacking.
Dredge is a fantastic game that offers some laid back exploration, but enough depth and tense moments to not become boring in its simplistic at times design. The slow build of horror is perfectly balanced as you start to uncover the truth about what is going on, and who this ominous collector is. There were times I was taken aback as a revelation happened, and I understood certain characters. If you’re looking for something easy to sink your teeth in and like horror, but not jumpscare or gory horror, I highly recommend Dredge.
Clash: Artifacts of Chaos is one of those games that doesn’t come along often. It definitely won’t be for everybody, but it’s so unique with its world, designs, and gameplay focus, while also offering a truly great narrative experience that I would recommend to anyone. If you love melee focused combat, and enjoy a strange world that will keep you in awe in each level, I can’t recommend Clash: Artifacts of Chaos enough. Just don’t be put off by its bit of learning curve, because once it clicks, it feels so good whooping on enemies.
Peak Blinders: The King’s Ransom gave me a few brief moments that made me smile with happiness, being within that world and its characters. Although, much of that is only because of the things that are ripped right from the show. Unfortunately, it’s every where else that it fails. The boring general gameplay and the one note gunplay wasn’t fun, and it left me with a sour taste, even during the ceremony joining the Peaky Blinders and getting my hat.
Scars Above impressed me and it left me satisfied in the end. I’m glad it didn’t just try to be Returnal or a straight roguelite, and instead had its own unique ideas on how to take on bosses and puzzles. There are some flaws here, but I think that is due mostly to a smaller team and it being an AA game.
Dust & Neon is a well-made roguelite with some satisfying combat that is only let down by its lack of level variety and movement capabilities. It hits all the boxes of a roguelite that is well-made, it just doesn’t quite do enough to stand out from the pack for me. We are at a point in the genre where we have so many hits that I just wasn’t wowed by a run of the mill twin-stick shooter. I do think this IP has more potential if it could expand some gameplay ideas, more mission structures, and different weapon types, like at least dynamite or a shock grenade.
Choo-Choo Charles is a hard one to review since everything but Charles is lacking that polish in design, animation, and certain mechanics. However, it is still done well enough to stay engaging to get you to the fun moments. There aren’t any performance issues or glitches I ran into either. With its bad character models and some silly side missions, Choo-Choo Charles is simultaneously silly and scary. At one point you’ll be collecting pickles, and the next you’ll be in a heart pounding fight with a demon train engine with spider legs.
Session: Skate Sim is one of the most rage inducing games I have ever played, and not because I didn’t want to try and learn to get better. It simply felt like overcomplication just for the sake of it. The inputs make sense, what they show on the trick sheet make sense, but it just doesn’t translate into the game.
At its heart, Scorn is a puzzle game with a clear design and structure that knew exactly what it wants to achieve and in that aspect it achieved it perfectly. It’s not a game that will please everyone, but these are the type of art games I enjoy. The weaving of the art design and puzzles is so cohesive that I could truly believe these could be part of some living alien world. Combat does drag the experience down quite a bit from the controls to the enemies, but if you’re looking for a macabre puzzle game, there aren’t many games that do it this well.