All in all, most of the issues addressed above happened in the second half of the game. Vaporum almost literally felt like it lost steam the farther I progressed. Which is, personally, the most disappointing aspect. The beginning and most of the mid-section was where I had an actual wonderful time, where the later half continually soured my perception. There was definitely heart put into the project, which only serves to disappoint me even further. The game is priced at $19.99 on both Steam and Humble Bundle, whereas it’s priced at $24.99 on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. I am not sure why there are two different price sets, but even at $19.99 I recommend for the game to go on sale before purchasing. I appreciate Fatbot Games’ attempt, especially at the beginning, but I can’t in good faith ignore the second half of the game.
Overall, the Braveland Trilogy is very middling as far as quality is concerned. Each game is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, just not compelling. For fans of the genre, each game can serve as an okay distraction while on the go, where each adventure ranges from three to five hours of total playtime. There is also the option to duel with friends, but unfortunately I was unable to test this feature out. However, for $14.99, it’s perhaps wise to wait for it to go on sale before purchasing. Best of luck to Tortuga Team in any future endeavors, as they can easily improve on what is established here.
Overall Almost There: The Platformer is merely an okay experience. Far from interesting, it is still structurally and mechanically sound. Having played for about an hour and half, this does make for a decent time waster. For about $9.99, it could very well be worth looking at for fans of hardcore platformers. Bony Yousuf had the idea of a hardcore platformer and has indeed delivered on that idea. Perhaps with more tricks that could be performed or less waiting involved, next time a truly marvelous speedrunning game could be produced. In my opinion, speedrunning is about finding an alternative solution to go faster. As such, if future projects would delve into that, they would most likely be highlights for me.
Overall, HoPiKo is a game with well designed levels and mechanics but is held back by the controls, as far as the Switch version is concerned. If there was far more consistency in regards to going from platform to platform, then going by muscle memory would be viable. As it stands however, many times I felt like I got through a level by mere luck alone. If it weren’t for that, the game would be more along the lines of a 4/5. If the touchpad allowed the player to merely tap on where they wanted to go, then perhaps everything would’ve been more feasible on the Switch. With a standard price of $9.99 and multiple worlds with 11 levels each, combined with good replay value, it’s otherwise worth the price alone. As such, perhaps it might be best to look into the other versions to see how they handle before buying.
In the end, Halloween Forever is merely okay. For $4.99, it’s a perfectly reasonable purchase despite the short length and simple replay value. For what was a solo project, it is a fine enough experience, especially since the artwork and animations were done in Photoshop of all things. As such, many of the issues explained above are far more forgivable than normal. So props to you Peter Lazarski. I hope the game was an excellent learning experience all the same.
Overall, for more avid fans of the horror genre, Home Sweet Home can provide a middling but decent experience. The main issue is that I wish most aspects of the game were developed more. If there were more to the story and environments, the atmosphere could’ve been more unnerving, as everything had more meaning. There are plans for a sequel, so perhaps Yggdrazil Group could do just that to make a more vivid experience. If they were to use more of a variety of superstitions and give them more screen time, it could lead to an interesting development for Tim and what they all mean to him. However, in the end, it may be best to wait for a price drop, as $16.99 is rather steep for what amounts to three to four hours of game. It is an okay game with decent ideas, but there could’ve been more to the package.
Overall, Super Skull Smash Go! 2 Turbo was a relatively dull experience. The game, even when 100%ing it, is only about one hour and a half long. For the asking price of $9.99, it’s best to wait for a significant price drop on Steam or PSN. The game is a platformer but not truly a puzzle platformer as advertised to be. Not a bad game, but it could’ve been expanded on more interesting puzzle elements and ideas. Hopefully, TACS Games can learn from this and improve any future titles they develop.
In the end, Last Encounter is an alright game. It isn’t bad, not exactly great, but it does what it sets out to do decently enough. If the game’s sense of scaling were better, this would be a better title for sure. Exordium Games however do provide weekly patches to the game, so it should be noted that a couple of scaling issues could be addressed by the time of this writing. For about $15, I would advise waiting for a price drop but otherwise this is still a decent purchase. I played about three and a half hours with seven runs, with the first surprisingly good in hindsight. The game can be fun at points but also relatively annoying at others. It merely depends on if one can get a couple friends and just casually enjoy the game for what it is.
In the end, Azure Saga: Pathfinder unfortunately is a sub-standard RPG. It has a good idea going for it, but it is simply the execution and stale style of the game that brings it down. As a writer myself, there are things I would change such as how characters interacted with the world around them. If one doesn’t rush through the game, the game goes for 30-50 hours depending on how much side content the player does. Even for $12.99, a small price drop feels warranted. Overall, I hope MassHive Media’s next attempt fares better, since it is obvious they actually tried, even though they didn’t succeed.
Overall, Bomberslinger is a proper tribute to classic Bomberman games. Despite my praise for the game however, I would like to add a caveat. For fans of the classic games, Bombslinger is a rewarding experience. If one does not follow the classic games however, the experience can very much be dampened, leading to a solid but merely okay adventure. For $11.99 on Steam and Nintendo Switch, it is worth considering what one expects from this game. Overall, I played for about 5-7 hours for this review. In the end, let’s hope this inspires even more developers like Mode4 to provide their takes on other classic franchises.