Your mileage with Treadnauts will vary wildly, depending on how much you make use of multiplayer and how determined you are to unlock everything. From my experience, maxing out at level 30 took a little over 11 hours. While it requires a fair amount of time to complete, the single player Target Test mode loses its luster after the first couple dozen stages and devolves into a chore. If this is the kind of game you plan to regularly spring on unsuspecting friends or break out at get-togethers, the $10 price tag might just be worth it. Otherwise, waiting for a price drop, or a patch for some of the performance issues, is likely the way to go.
Whether or not Jet Kave Adventure is worth it comes down to whether you think you’ll replay the stages to complete all the extra challenges. My initial playthrough lasted just short of four and a half hours, but I completed almost no challenges and missed several trophies. I want to recommend it to people who just want a nice platforming experience, but between its other shortcomings and the asking price of $19.99, I’m leaning more toward waiting for a sale. It’s functional fun, though not necessarily a total package.
Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san! A River City Ransom Story is a fun, if not frustrating at times, spin-off of the Kunio-kun games. However, as a game designed to be played through several times, often completing vague objectives to get certain endings or rankings, it quickly lost its charm for me. If you’re confident the gameplay loop won’t get old, the $13.99 asking price will probably seem like a good deal. Otherwise, I’d look elsewhere to get your fix of high schoolers beating up other high schoolers and/or time travelers.
I want to like Bookbound Brigade more than I do. I like the concept of working in several references to classic literature and historical figures in a big ol’ side-scrolling adventure. As is, it’s a serviceable Metroidvania with somewhat awkward combat and levels composed of rooms that blend together and stretch on for way too long. It took almost 18 hours for me, in large part due to navigation problems. Like how every word in a good book is written with purpose, this game needs to better apply that methodology to its level design. It could easily scale back some rooms and/or improve navigation and trim a few unnecessary hours off its run time. If monotony isn’t an issue, you’ll probably find the $19.99 it costs to be worth it in the end.
Colt Canyon does many, many things right. The core gameplay is addictive. The visuals and presentation are wonderful, in spite of brown being the dominant color much of the time. I wasn’t bored for a second. However, I also feel no need to go back to it again, even with the slew of unlockables. Fans of rogue-likes and semi-top-down shooters will likely have no regrets shelling (heh) out $14.99 for this. Perhaps I’m jaded from playing the unpatched version at first, but after riding off into the sunset once, I’m content to drop the six-shooter, rifle, shotgun, bow, knife, and whatever other weapons I found in this game and move on.
I have mixed emotions with Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break. There are nagging technical issues and the game design incorporates a game genre I despise, but I can’t deny how much fun I had with most of it. I got about six hours of entertainment out of the single player campaign alone, close to an hour of which was me begrudgingly playing the modes more focused on tower defense. $30 might be a bit much if you’re like me and aren’t as into the tower defense aspects of the game. If it goes on sale though, go right ahead and be prepared to rock and/or roll.
All in all, I spent over 15 hours going from Zama to the farthest reaches of the game’s world and back. It’s extremely ambitious for Kiro’o Games to dive into the deep end with a game of this scope right off the bat, even with the framework they built up from years prior. Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan is a game which shows tremendous heart and dedication to making a legitimately fun and beautiful game, but also some of the pitfalls of a developer’s first big title. That said, in spite of the technical issues, I do recommend playing Aurion. It’s available right now on Steam for $14.99. For those who want more of the lore behind the game, there is also a comic which delves deeper into the game’s events.
It only took me about an hour and a half to finish Classic mode on normal, then another half-hour to get the other secret items and finish the final stage. That doesn’t sound like much, but there’s enough to do in Venture Kid that I played through it a couple times and went through Survival mode too. Also, there’s next to no downtime in this game; it’s almost constant action, and it just feels good to clear a room of spike pits or avoid flame jets and the like. It’s a pleasant retro-styled experience, one worth the $10 price tag if you’re planning to do all there is to do. Whether a veteran of the genre or just getting into it, there’s room for both to enjoy this.
If this were just a review of the first ninety percent of Unruly Heroes I’d give it a higher score. It’s enjoyable and challenging enough to keep wanting to see what’s next. However, the perfect storm of problems near the end left a bad taste in my mouth. It’s still a fun experience, one that lasted almost seven hours for me, though one that comes with a big asterisk. If having friends along for the ride helps, there is local and online co-op, inexplicably called “Player Vs Player” in-game, for up to four people (though I couldn’t find anyone to try it with). At $20 across all storefronts, I’d recommend it as long as you’re patient enough to make it through the endgame.
As much as I like the world and story of The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters, as well as most of the gameplay, I can’t overlook how much it felt like the game was being padded with fetch quests and picky event triggers. I lasted eight hours on the first go, but had to keep taking breaks every 30-40 minutes or so because I could only do so much backtracking or scanning of every wall in every room for hints before needing to do something, anything else. For those with a higher tolerance for it, the $15 asking price (or about $23 for a deluxe bundle with the artbook, soundtrack and two DLC costumes) should be well worth it. After all, someone needs to help Mina out so she doesn’t have to settle for a disappointing B on her exams. Yes, really.