Valendis is a beautifully pixelated world with a rich history in this story-driven RPG. The initial introductions drag on a bit long, but once the story picks up it pays off in the end. Chained Echoes manages to introduce useful mechanics to its combat with the Overdrive system that work with the player while challenging them to change up their gameplay and strategy at the same time while still affording plenty of room for customization and accessibility.
The Call of Duty franchise needed a buffer between its past and its future, but Infinity Ward may have bitten off more than they could chew. Ultimately, Modern Warfare 2 has extremely promising multiplayer and co-op gameplay that feels good to play on the surface but woefully underbaked due to a lack of features and overall content in general. The campaign shines the brightest for those with a bit of nostalgia for the characters.
Dressed up as an unassuming blue-collar employment simulator, Hardspace: Shipbreaker actually clamps down on the injustice of a capitalist system where the health and safety of employees is overlooked in favor of just getting the job done. Gameplay can be a little slow, but the narrative payoff is worth the wait.
The Wandering Village launches into early access as a complete city-building simulator experience, but with plenty of room to grow. Minor bugs and quality-of-life improvements can go a long way to complete the player experience for this otherwise beautiful world that offers a unique look at the way humans impact the world around them.
While I expected Stray to be a cyberpunk-themed walking simulator about a day in the life of a cat, I was unprepared for the deeply emotional adventure that this little cat was going to take me on. This stunningly beautiful world left me with a mountain of questions and has undoubtedly earned a place in my mind for some time.
Regardless of whether you're just dipping your toes into management simulators for the first time, or you're a hardcore experienced management tycoon, this game has something to offer you. Let’s Build a Zoo: Dinosaur Island is the sort of simulator you load up for half an hour only to look at a clock when you’re done and realize you’ve lost half a day.
FAR: Changing Tides is the follow-up to FAR: Lone Sails, following a little boy named Toe as he leaves his home in a makeshift boat after an unseen apocalyptic event. There is no dialogue or combat, leaving all of FAR's storytelling to be interpreted by the player as they solve puzzles to overcome obstacles on their travels.
Nobody Saves the World is a humorous romp through a 2D world where the hero is little more than a pale, pantsless shell that players can magically transform into a colorful cast of characters. RPG elements let players customize the experience even further as they rack up a body count of baddies.
Designed with the hardcore simmer in mind, Farming Simulator 22 continues to build upon the foundation of previous games in the franchise to provide a realistic open world where players can put their green thumbs to the test in a variety of agricultural industries.
The Gunk is a satisfying puzzle-adventure game where two down-on-their-luck space scrappers must help save an alien planet from a destructive black goo. The combat in The Gunk does feel frustratingly underbaked, but solid story pacing and excellent puzzle challenges help overshadow the struggle.