She Sees Red is a title which blends the genres of film and video game. This interactive movie from Rhinotales became available to play on the Xbox platform in August this year. I spent some time over the New Year playing through the different storylines to bring you this rapid review.
When the Past was Around conveys a whirlwind of emotions through its combination of award-winning violin music and hand-drawn art. It’s a compelling journey into the thoughts of Eda, the main character, as she processes a devastating personal loss. There’s no doubt that I found this game to be a delight, but is it the game for you? Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.
I have a keen interest in martial arts, Chinese and Japanese cultures and of course, beating up videogame baddies. This gives a fairly comprehensive explanation as to why 9 Monkeys of Shaolin appealed to me in the first place. It has all the ingredients to be a hit for gamers with tastes similar to mine. Read on to find out what I made of this beat’em up from Russia based developers, Sobaka Studio.
Jisei: The First Case HD is not a new game. It’s a port to Xbox One (also to PS4 and Nintendo Switch, although I don’t mention those versions in this review) by Ratalaika Games S.L. of the first game in the Jisei series, created by SakeVisual and released in 2010. Originally the game was available on a variety of operating systems for PC. I didn’t play the first release; therefore, I had no preconception of how the game should look or play. However, did it feel like I was playing an old has-been that should have been left buried, or has the port to a console given the title a new lease of life?
You play with two characters in Lair of the Clockwork God: Ben and Dan. They each have different capabilities which you utilise to complete different parts of each level. Ben can interact with objects, talk to characters and craft items. He also has an inventory where he can store things that you pick up along the way. Ben can’t jump though, so he is reliant on Dan moving objects or standing on pressure pads when he needs to go up or downhill (unless there’s a gradual gradient).
There’s a very simple premise to Isle of Spirits; survive long enough to escape. You must use the available resources on the island to keep yourself fed, warm and protected from the elements whilst also constructing your escape raft. It’s worth getting some sleep every once in a while too, or you’ll find yourself taking impromptu naps – wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!
After finishing my play-though of Manifold Garden, I’ve been left with a strange mix of elation and melancholy; a longing for just one more of those beautifully crafted, wonderfully challenging and intensely peaceful levels. Yes, it’s fair to say that I loved playing this game. Everything about Manifold Garden is right up my street; it has a unique concept, a compelling soundtrack and it’s full of intriguing puzzles and impressive visuals. It fills your mind with the experience it creates so that it’s easy to lose yourself in the game without feeling time pass. All of this combined is my equivalent of gaming catnip.
Blind Men did not seem like the typical type of game I would enjoy at first glance. However, you don’t find new things by sticking inside your comfort zone. So, in the interest of broadening my gaming horizons, I took the plunge and tried something out of my usual taste range.
DISTRAINT 2 is an interactive, visual novel, horror game that deals with some deep issues. I don’t want to give too much away about the story in this review because part of the beauty of this game is riding the highs and lows of the plot. However, I feel it would be remiss of me to write any more about it without first giving a content warning: this game’s events centre on a suicide attempt and past trauma.