With a fun addictive gameplay loop, Astro Aqua Kitty is often a purr-fect sequel. It features expanded level design and enhancements over the original. If you liked the first, you’ll like this, but seven out of ten cats would say it’s missing anything to truly make it memorable, rather than just a quirky shmup.
Narita Boy is a feat of imagination, one of the most conceptually interesting games I’ve ever played. The retro world of the Digital Kingdom – its pixelart, design and art direction – are some of the most eye-catchingly beautiful ever committed to code. Its soundtrack is mesmerising, truly special synthwave. Narita Boy ends up more than the sum of its parts, going beyond the source code to deliver a game that should take its place alongside the greatest indies.
A unique and complex gem, Spacebase Startopia is an engaging and constantly interesting take on the management genre. The Sims in space is selling it very short, because it is much much more. On console however, it’s intricacy and scope are its undoing, causing severe slowdown, frame-rate issues and regular crashes. Its campaign is a fun set of tests, but free mode (just running your station without parameters) is easy to get completely engrossed in.
Kaze and the Wild Masks bounces right into that 2D platforming void left by Rayman. It’s full of vibrant level design, challenging and varied gameplay, ambidextrous ears, and lovely pixelart that will satisfy even the most demanding players. There’s not a lot left to do after you’re done, but the experience is a good one. Perhaps we’ve found a new platforming mascot?
What Synergia lacks in play, confining its players to a single advance-dialogue action, it makes up for in engrossing characters and story. Its cyberpunk world, lore, mysteries and soundtrack will draw you in, even if the central android/human love story is problematic and its ending very abrupt.
A satisfying reimagining of the classic ice-block puzzle with ninja and a revenge narrative, Red Ronin adds a slew of interesting takes on a formula thought exhausted. It’s tightly designed and demands your concentration. Revenge is a dish best served ice cold.
While its lack of any narrative and tangible reward is a shame, Curse of the Dead Gods is a strong and well-crafted roguelite experience with a meaty soulslike combat system, and a remarkable number of mechanics and systems all working seamlessly together.
Redout Space Assault feels like two games; an enjoyable arcade shooter on rails, and a free-movement space-sim with no exploration. Glitches, unbalanced difficulty, and a lack of any worthwhile story weigh down what could have been much better.
Gods Will Fall should have been so much more fun. An average action-adventure with a few roguelike elements, it’s combat is both fiddly and too simplistic to engage. Its Gods fail to inspire, and its world lacks tangible reward, while hurting the player with its high-stakes warrior loss mechanic.