Despite the sometimes clumsy controls, though, Birthdays is still an incredibly easy-to-play game that serves as a great go-to for a quick bit of gaming. My entire family was intensely interested, and it became something that we got to explore together.
While I can't say that my time with the Butterfly Sign was entirely wasted, it's tough for me to recommend the title. Wonderful graphics aside, the game's decision to focus solely on its narrative becomes cumbersome given the half-baked feeling of the story itself.
Unfortunately, classic arcade flair and humor-filled story and loading screens can only carry a game so far. Old Time Hockey is definitely trying to fill a spot that hockey-fan gamers know exists, but the dragging controls and other in-game inconsistencies leave it far from the mark.
All around, Toukiden 2 feels like it takes a lot of what made the earlier games feel a bit flat and fixes it up. New features and open-world exploration set it further apart from the Monster Hunter franchise — not because there’s anything wrong with Monster Hunter, of course, but because it’s important for a game to feel like it’s own unique thing.
All in all, The Crow's Eye is an interesting title with an interesting enough story, but with some hurdles to uncovering that story and the world in which it's set. Its dedication to dangling the carrot of freedom — and the conclusion of the convoluted tale — is commendable, and players will spend much of the game feeling as though the end is just around the next corner or past the next locked door.
Suffice it to say, Franchise Hockey Manager is by no means an all-audiences game. You’ve got to be a certain sort of fan to enjoy any management sim, I think, and slogging through FHM3’s difficult interface is likely to turn away even those who would otherwise serve as its core audience.
Detention’s only real drawback is its length. Most of the puzzles are pretty straightforward, and I completed my initial playthrough in just over two hours; that said, they were two very well-spent hours, and the game’s unique setting, gorgeous aesthetic, and emotional story were more than enough to make the experience worthwhile.
All told, Epic Manager is a great fusion of two genres that I wouldn’t otherwise expect to go together. The complexity of its underlying systems is well-masked by the ease with which players interact with the game, and there’s plenty of replay value with so many different paths to choose from to help your agency succeed. Epic Manager is available now on Steam for a pretty fair $17.99.
All together, Anthology does a masterful job of adding to the existing story without being caught up in what came before. The two pieces of the game’s whole are separate entities tied together by common threads, but capable of standing alone in their own right.
If you’re into the retro thing or enjoy a good, not-too-lengthy Metroidvania, Exile’s End may be just the ticket. I put in about eight hours on my run, with some allowances for getting lost a time or two in the game’s pretty open and directionless approach.
While Oh…Sir! isn’t a particularly extensive or detailed game, it’s a blast to play if only to see how ridiculous and over-the-top your insults can become. A colorful cast with full voice-acting support, a small yet varied selection of stages, and the unique humor come together to create something that’s a fun time-killer and easy to get the hang of.
All in all, Reus is a deceptively complicated game that seems to get more complex the longer you play. Completing more games and earning achievements allows longer play times, unlocks new abilities for your Giants, and generally gives you a deeper experience.
Describing its world as an “ancient German future,” Lichtspeer is filled with amusing overtones, and the enemies themselves are often ridiculous and fun. Whether it’s viking penguins aboard longships or blue-skinned giants in sunglasses, there’s a comical feel to the whole thing that helps keep it entertaining.
While its story and approach play it safe, the smooth gameplay and optional “perma-death” Hard Mode still bring plenty to enjoy. With a wide variety of weapons and spells to choose from and a unique experience behind each randomly-generated door, it keeps things fresh without stepping too far outside of established comfort zones.
So if you, like me, occasionally need a rest from fast-paced, action-first gaming, I truly cannot recommend Seasons after Fall enough. The art alone is sufficient to offer a unique and worthwhile experience, and the light yet engaging gameplay offers a wonderful way to experience it.