A charming and amusing way to spend a spare hundred hours managing your own bath house and meeting troublesome spirits. This is the kind of game that Xbox Game Pass is perfect at getting into the hands of players. Spirittea is a small and quirky but otherwise amazing adventure you shouldn't miss out on.
The Talos Principle 2 may be approachable and forgiving without combat or fail states, but that doesn't mean the puzzles are easy to run through. As the player makes their way through the gauntlet of challenges, the puzzles become increasingly more complex. From moving boxes to bending gravity, things can escalate quickly.
The gameplay can get a little repetitive, but overall, the core experience of finding and befriending dinosaurs is well worth your time. There could certainly be some improvements, such as the ability to fast-travel back home or between biomes, and a limited supply of quests is disappointing.
A vibrant and saccharine sweet world of possibilities awaits where you can manage every minute detail of your theme park to your liking without being burdened by everyday problems like gravity and public safety. Limbic Entertainment and Bandai Namco presents a world where you can create the theme park of your dreams—or nightmares—via the power of impossification.
NotGames has managed to create a propaganda simulator that touches on some incredibly dark and distressing content in a way that can still be enjoyable to interact with. The world can be cruel, and the road to hell is often paved in good intentions. There are still bright moments, however, and we can find distractions and humor in those bright spots that help make the bitter bits go down a little better. You can have high risk, intense narratives while still having a game that is fun to play.
Unwording only has an approximate run time of about 2 hours, and while the game does offer both an easy and normal difficulty there’s really very little difference with the exception of the availability of hints. The solutions to the puzzles are often pretty transparent and straightforward. It’s easily a one and done type of experience, unless you unintentionally miss a few of the interactions and want to see them on a subsequent playthrough or are trying to mop up missed achievement.
I don’t regret a single moment I spent with Romancelvania. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hopeful for future improvements to the gameplay and I certainly acknowledge that it has its shortcomings, but for every misstep in 3D modeling or janky boss battle there’s 10 brilliant lines of dialogue that will no doubt put a smile on your face. The characters, their backstories, the ridiculous nature of everything going on will have you coming back for more. Every rose ceremony will leave you in strife as you must decide which monster you’re going to miss out on for the rest of your run. You’ll 100% want to replay again just to have more time with those you cut off the first go around. You can not help but have fun with Romancelvania.
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.