Toby Andersen


90 games reviewed
66.3 average score
70 median score
52.2% of games recommended
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9 / 10 - Hades
Aug 14, 2021

Hades is the new standard by which we measure roguelites. A stunningly modern narrative scenario told in bitesize morsels perfectly designed around roguelites, it also manages to have infinitely replayable combat full of constantly changing moves and powers. It demands your skill and a lot of your time, but it rewards you by providing meaning to the grind.

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6 / 10 - Imagine Earth
Jul 28, 2021

Imagine Earth is a sometimes overly complex management sim with a laudable penchant for sustainability and green tech, even while it forces you through all the bad tech to get there. It lacks much life and personality, but if you need a new coloniser sim in your life, it’ll scratch that itch.

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Jul 27, 2021

Samurai Warriors 5 is a fresh reinvention for a series that was beginning to feel familiar. A story focussed on Nobunaga’s early years takes the bold choice of ditching many series mainstays. However, the combat and overall presentation haven’t received the same level of new blood and remain as over the top and ridiculous as ever. If you’re a fan, SW5 is as fun as it’s ever been.

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7 / 10 - Cris Tales
Jul 22, 2021

Cris Tales is a stunningly gorgeous indie, with art that’ll make your jaw drop. However many of its time mechanics are relatively skin deep, and it lacks the kind of depth its art inspires. It’s also not the epic it claims to be. It’s a love letter to classic RPGs, if within that same analogy those classics are the full novel.

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8 / 10 - Death's Door
Jul 20, 2021

An inventive isometric slasher, Death’s Door feels like all the best bits of Souls-like structure and none of the bad. Its Zelda-inspired combat and systems are firmly at the challenging end of the spectrum, but are also pretty addictive, and mix well with a bleak yet unique story.

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Jul 16, 2021

A 2D slash-em-up that’s as instantly forgettable as a ninja flashing past in the night, Within the Blade succeeds at fast-paced kills and decent bosses, but fails to design for stealth or differentiate itself in a genre full of superior experiences.

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9 / 10 - Scarlet Nexus
Jul 5, 2021

A triumphant new IP from Bandai Namco, Scarlet Nexus is probably the best RPG of the year so far. Its compellingly dark story will keep you guessing through two necessary playthroughs, while its engaging psychokinetic combat is in a class of its own, albeit with exceptionally streamlined progression. Throwing your toys around has never been so much fun.

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8 / 10 - Stonefly
Jun 1, 2021

Stonefly is a strong indie featuring tiny humans in tiny mechs vying with the bugs of the forest canopy for resources. Its tale is enough to drive you through a 10-hour campaign with little embellishment, and its mech-customisation and mineral-gathering systems are satisfying, intuitive, and purposeful. Pacifist bug combat is fast and frenetic, but also plagued with fiddly controls and a few too many abilities to be comfortable.

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May 28, 2021

Beautiful Desolation may have some gorgeous pre-rendered backgrounds, but its impenetrable plot, two-dimensional characters, maddening indirect quests, and cryptic puzzles make it very hard to recommend to anyone but diehard fans of obtuse point-and-click adventures.

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6 / 10 - Pathway
May 25, 2021

Pathway is a serviceable roguelite built around the fun idea of tailing Nazis across the desert in a jeep. However it lacks personality, character and narrative worth getting invested in. Its combat will satisfy for a time but quickly becomes too familiar for genre fans, and too dull for anyone else to jump aboard.

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6 / 10 - BIOMUTANT
May 24, 2021

Biomutant is an ambitious animal populated open-world with so much to do most players could spend 60-70 hours exploring without seeing everything. However, size is its downfall. The player will get lost, and bogged down in the morass of thousands of side quests, thousands of superfluous items, before they realise there’s not much plot to hang it all from. Add a number of glitches at launch, no lock-on in combat, and a narrator that will drive many players to distraction, and sadly Biomutant does not live up to its lofty ambitions.

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7 / 10 - Retro Machina
May 17, 2021

Retro Machina is a charming and well-constructed Metroidvania about a little robot who dares to question its existence. The beautiful graphics and crumbling art deco world will impress, and its fun but challenging combat and robot slaving puzzles will keep many players satisfied for the entirety of its 10-hour run time.

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May 4, 2021

Though it’s pretty derivative, Devil Slayer Raksasi is a notable take on the roguelike. Its directly overhead camera perspective is novel but serves really to draw you too far out of the action, and its randomly earned drops leave it straddling the line between roguelite and roguelike. The real problem is that most of its other elements have been seen before and in better games.

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Apr 24, 2021

Lasting a few fun hours, Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion is a simple but effective Zelda-like adventure in a colourful veggie-filled dystopia. However, this salad dodger’s gameplay is derivative of dozens of other better games, and it doesn’t really do anything to explore its novel concept.

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Apr 22, 2021

On the surface Poison Control looks to be cut from the same cloth as Persona, brimming with cute characters, witty script and changing hearts. But under the poison mires you need to clear and the poor shooting, the gameplay lacks polish and chokes on repetition, and the story often descends into caricature and mishandles a sexual assault. Its style is really only skin deep.

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Apr 8, 2021

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.

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9 / 10 - Narita Boy
Mar 29, 2021

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.

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Mar 26, 2021

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.

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Mar 19, 2021

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?

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7 / 10 - Synergia
Mar 18, 2021

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.

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