Elliot Hilderbrand


92 games reviewed
78.1 average score
80 median score
53.3% of games recommended
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5.5 / 10.0 - Everdream Valley
Jun 15, 2023

Farm sims are a dime a dozen. For every great one, there's a bad one. The problem isn't that Everdream Valley is bad. It's just that there just isn't much fun with the farm life. All the staples are here, and they're fine. What's worst than hatred? Indifference. I feel indifferent about Everdream Valley. Is there a lot to see and do in Everdream Valley? Yes. Do I want to work my way through to see it all? No.

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5.5 / 10.0 - Tumbleweed Destiny
Jan 25, 2023

The game's lack of depth and lack of goals to work towards leaves much to be desired. Tumbleweed Destiny is a simple game where players control a tumbleweed in a desert setting and collect TP to upgrade their tumbleweed. The game's slow start and limited activities, like knocking over cacti and taking down a repeating enemy, make it unengaging and uninteresting. The game also lacks proper communication options, making the online play feel like a solo experience. The end goal of reaching the moon, or going to the second location once you've earned enough TP was underwhelming to say the least. The grind was long and tedious; the juice is not worth the squeeze for Tumbleweed Destiny.

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Jun 29, 2022

Firegirl: Hack 'n Splash Rescue DX is kindling; easily combustible and not much else. A platformer that makes platforming impossible at times. It also wants to borrow from roguelikes and Metroidvanias, but ends up taking all the wrong elements from them. Firegirl feels repetitive well before it should, including a camera that frustrates and leads to cheap deaths. The art of Firegirl is excellent. The 2D-HD made me feel like I was sitting in the living room of my parents house and I was nine years old again. But that's nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

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Apr 12, 2021

They say to shoot for the moon and if you miss you'll be among the stars. Gallic Wars: Battle Simulator shoots for the moon but you quickly realize you're not in a rocket ship but a bicycle with training wheels. Trying to fly a bicycle to the moon has a lot of issues, in this case it's the gameplay elements, the obscure camera angles, and the repetitiveness that has Gallic Wars landing in the grass five feet from takeoff.

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Dec 14, 2023

Despite its flaws, Gothic II remains a fascinating relic, a testament to the ambition and innovation of early open-world RPGs. While its clunky controls, outdated mechanics, and fetch-quest-heavy narrative might not resonate with modern players, its intricate world-building, hidden secrets, and surprisingly complex player agency shine through even today. It's a game that demands patience, but rewards exploration with a sense of discovery and genuine joy in overcoming its challenges. Ultimately, Gothic II's legacy lies not in its polish but in its pioneering spirit. It helped lay the groundwork for the genre we know and love, and for that, it deserves our respect, even if I ultimately choose to leave its clunky controls and endless errands in the past.

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6.5 / 10.0 - MythForce
Sep 21, 2023

If you want the best experience possible with MythForce, play with friends. If you don't have friends, then play by yourself. If you hate yourself, then try playing with strangers. Visually, style-wise, I love MythForce. While there isn't enough dialogue what is there can be amusing the first couple of times. Combat takes some getting used to, but once you have the hang of that the game gets better. I love roguelike elements, I just need more randomness. With the exception of MythForce's style everything falls flat after a few hours. Buy this on sale and convince a few buddies to do the same and you won't be upset you did it.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Graveyard Keeper
May 18, 2023

It comes down to this. Graveyard Keeper: Last Journey does not have enough, "play just one more day" moments to get me to stick with it long-term. Instead of a dark, horror-filled farm sim spin off, I'm left with a dark humor management system. Building anything feels like a chore. Nothing feels explained to you, even the days of the week are needlessly confusing. I was able to have fun with Graveyard Keeper, but it took more time and patience than I wanted.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Sanctuary Saga
Mar 21, 2023

Sanctuary Saga strives for greatness, but just doesn't quite get there. While there are a lot of good elements to Sanctuary Saga, they don't feel like great or amazing ones. It feels like a SNES game from the early nineties in a lot of great ways, but also feels like it is trapped in that style, which is holding it back. I needed more variation in enemies, dungeons, and a bit more focus on story progression to fall in love with Sanctuary Saga. As it stands, I only have slight flirtatious feeling for the game.

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Aug 26, 2022

Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed looks and sounds great, like a well-made game from 2022 should. The issues start to arise with the gameplay. Open world maps feel small, missions are short, and the story lacks depth. I never hated my time spent with Reprobed; it started as pushing a pea up a hill but felt like heaving a boulder up a mountain by the end. There are times when I like to think back to being a 13-year-old boy who finds fart jokes amusing; you just don't see games with the same raunchiness to them as you did back in my youth Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed has kept that level of humor, for better or worse.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Souldiers
May 31, 2022

There isn't much that sets Souldiers apart from other Metroidvanias. A big map to explore, secrets to discover, and plenty of upgrades. But limiting players to one of three unique classes does not make me want to play Souldiers all over again a second, let alone, third time. Dying is a struggle, and loading back in after a minute to die all over again is not rewarding. Puzzles that frustrated me to no end were common enough to keep me away. Souldiers will only appeal to those who are gluttons for punishment with little reward.

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6.5 / 10.0 - No Place Like Home
Apr 13, 2022

No Place Like Home offers a unique take of the farm simulation genre by placing you on a near desolate Earth. Unfortunately it is also void of memorable NPCs and contains little story to sink into. While the addition of a sci-fi element is welcome, the overall gameplay feels like it came from a farm sim made fifteen years ago. There is plenty to enjoy, especially if you want to stick to farming and cleaning up. But since No Place Like Home feels like it is missing modern mechanics that have become mainstays in the genre I'm not sure it's for everyone.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Darksiders III
Oct 22, 2021

The art and story of Darksiders III is engaging and beautiful to look at, even in this remastered take on the game. Adding a new game option to make the game more like its predecessors was very welcome, but not enough to save the game. Controls that don't respond when you want them to make the game frustrating in times of peril. Expecting players to understand what direction to go, or how to solve a puzzle without teaching them mechanics before hand made my time with Darksiders III unpleasant.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Moonshades
Sep 29, 2021

Moonshades drops you into its world and expects you to know what's going on, which is fine. Dungeon crawling is fun, combat can be as well. But Moonshades is being held back due to its controls and use of screen space, an unfortunate product of its mobile phone origins. Controls are confusing, and half the screen is taken up by spells and menu buttons. If you can work through the issues there is a fun dungeon crawler to play. Moonshades doesn't shine bright-it's more like a low glow from a campfire left unattended.

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It's indifference that takes me out of Bandle Tale. I couldn't get into the world building, I couldn't get behind the constant back and forth running that quests have me doing. I never felt like I found my stride. The mini games - especially the cooking - was fun, something that would be excellent to play with a friend. But this single player crafting sim is too cute for its own good. Unlocking new abilities was fun, but the new abilities never felt game-changing, just another new chore to add to the rotation. If you are into League of Legends and want something that feels like a celebration of the cute characters of that game, Bandle Tale might satisfy you in the short term. But as the game spans upwards of 40 hours, I struggled to maintain interest.

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7 / 10.0 - Paleo Pines
Oct 17, 2023

I haven't much negative to say about Paleo Pines. I don't love it, but I do like it a lot. The retail price of $29.99 is more than fair considering what you get – you get a lot of bang for your buck. I was able to overlook the basic visuals to see the magic behind them. While the farming elements feel basic, the dinos make this game stand out from the crowd. Collecting and taking care of them is worthwhile and feels rewarding in the long run.

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Aug 14, 2023

The gameplay loop to UFO: Unidentified Falling Objects is simple enough, but addicting, at least for a while. You can watch a trailer for this game, and you can even play for a little bit and think you know what you are doing, but you would be wrong. The further I dig into UFO the further it gets away from just being a casual puzzler. The online multiplayer would probably help drive that thought if I could find a match. This is a smaller title; its price reflects that, but in a good way. The gameplay is sharp, pixels even sharper, and just a fun time overall, just don't rely on playing online.

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If you are unsure where to begin with this series Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist Of Salburg is a great starting place. It's the first in the series, and the facelift it has been given is very welcoming to newcomers, like me. I'm glad I gave this one a shot before trying something else in the series; trying this one out after might have felt like a downgrade. Combat and gathering, two of Atelier Marie's main elements, can be done automatically, making them feel unimportant when I know that is not true. Focusing on learning about the world's characters is where you'll find most of the enjoyment. Atelier Marie Remake has sold me on the idea of playing another game in the series, I hope they feel more modern, and require more work on my part.

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There is a lot I enjoyed with Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes. When I'm winning, I like the gameplay loop. The art is fantastic, and looks great when I play in hand held mode. Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes starts out as a welcoming game. After a few battles, I begin to see the cracks. Enemy heroes I play against are two, sometimes three, levels ahead of me, something that is not easy to overcome. The random drops of units on my side don't feel equal to the ones my AI enemy gets. I feel like I'm always on the defensive during the campaign. But the multiplier is excellent, pass-and-play is exactly what I want in a game like this.

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7 / 10.0 - Kynseed
Dec 8, 2022

If you want combat that feels unmatched in a life sim, Kynseed has it. If you want to look at beautiful pixel art, and hear a soundtrack that fits a game exceptionally well, Kynseed has that too. You can pick what you want to do in life and go out and achieve it. There is so much to see and do that it can feel overwhelming. But Kynseed lacks too. There's little emotional toll to building relationships, and frustrating gameplay bugs. The attention to detail is massive in places and lacking in others. Knyseed is close to being the groundbreaking life sim of my dreams. But unfortunately, that dream is still elusive.

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Is Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Ultimate Edition the best action RPG that isn't about the devil guy everyone knows about? No. Is this a groundbreaking ARPG? Also no. Is it great for those who are super into the Warhammer lifestyle? Probably. A few gameplay elements felt like frustrations instead of straight-up turn-offs. Text that is hard to read, combat feels less action-packed, and the cover mechanics confused me. But there are plenty of bright spots for people who like ARPGs to enjoy. The way the missions work, you could play this indefinitely if you don't get bored of the repetitive action that most ARPGs tend to provide. Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Ultimate Edition isn't a ground-breaking formula shift to ARPGs. Instead, it's a well-made ARPG that makes you feel like you're playing in the world of Warhammer 40,000.

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