Ten Dates is a great game to play alone or with a friend to navigate the world of speed dating. The savagery of some interactions is great, and finding that perfect match is highly rewarding (and hard!). I'm hoping that there is a way in which the two protagonists, Misha and Ryan, would just get together, but I'm yet to find it, if it even exists. Although, much like the real world, you can't always get what you want or say the right thing!
HEROish is a fun take on the MOBA and card-based combat genres. My expectations were low, given that I had first heard about this as a mobile release; however, I was pleasantly surprised with its charming and cartoony combat and deeper-than-anticipated gameplay, sinking more hours than I thought. My only gripe is that the campaign is short, and the multiplayer gets repetitive very quickly. It has so much potential to be a great game that many would return to it daily.
DRAGON BALL: THE BREAKERS incorporates a niche but successful formula into a similarly successful franchise, which should be a match made in heaven. However, due to graphical and technical issues paired with the unbalanced gameplay and unclear progression and menus, it results in a bit of a mess of a game. It was worth a shot, but I feel as though Dragon Ball should stick to what it knows best.
Splatter – Zombiecalypse Now is a wild, over-the-top, trigger-happy shooter where your ZR button will be worn out if you stick with it for more than a few levels – and well done if you do! Don't get me wrong, the visuals are gory and chaotic, but they clash with the dark, gritty setting and zoomed out top-down view, resulting in a pretty messy and 'gets old pretty quickly' experience.
It brings back the stiff and awkward controls, giving the impression that you're playing on a very muddy pitch. The CPU, even on the easiest difficulty, feels one-sided at times. I imagine this being a fun pick up and play with a friend, but the poor controls and bizarre aesthetic aren't making it easy for me to want to even try.
What starts as a challenging and potentially exciting management sim, Idol Manager fails to keep your attention in the long term. Once you overcome those early financial hurdles and the money starts rolling in, the challenge ends, making for a stale simulated day-to-day experience.
undefined.River City Saga: Three Kingdoms feels like an incredibly nostalgia-driven game, aimed specifically at those who hold classic beat-'em-ups, the River City games in particular, close to their hearts. And for that audience, I think they'll be very satisfied with what River City Saga has to offer. For people like me, who have less nostalgia for the franchise, they may struggle to understand the repetitive nature and overall appeal of River City Saga: Three Kingdoms.
Youni is a very short and unfortunately lackluster experience. Once you've played the first few levels, you have essentially seen it all. Whilst some of the jump scares are great and some moments are very eerie, there isn't much else to keep you invested or wanting to play. The poor visuals impact the smoothness of the gameplay, causing frustration on top of the slow pacing.
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? is exactly what you expect it to be – a carbon copy of the television show it is based on. With that, you get a simple and not particularly challenging trivia game that is accessible to the whole family. Sadly, it's let down by the slow pacing, annoying character hosts, and performance issues mentioned. Hopefully, the latter can be sorted sooner rather than later!
Cursed to Golf is a wholly unique golfing experience that is well worth checking out. The mechanics shake up the golf formula, allowing it to stand out among its peers and breathe new life (ironic, huh?) into this sports genre.The visuals and sound design across the board are a marvel, yet its frustratingly difficult gameplay can deter certain individuals from the key replayability this golf-roguelike offers.If you're anything like me, your little golf would-be champion will be spending more than eternity in purgatory. If that's even possible.
Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star is an artistically impressive visual novel that compliments the darker narrative and theme. A theme that is rare to come by, that many people will relate to on some level. Unfortunately, this narrative is presented with a lack of depth, and the slow pacing harms the user's overall experience. Additionally, the 'sex sense' sections could have been presented far better, and just come across a little hollow.
My Friend Peppa Pig is not a game for the masses. Instead, it carefully caters its gameplay, visuals, story and controls to those they know will play it most. However, without my assistance and some online help, Potato City would have only ever been a dream for my daughter, and I imagine many other children around her age. And in all honesty, it isn't worth the trouble! Aside from this gripe, it is an impressive looking game with easy controls that puts the individual in their own episode with one of their most beloved characters, Peppa Pig.
Digimon Survive took a risk in its gameplay, presentation and narrative, and for me, it paid off. It genuinely feels like a new era of Digimon is upon us. A more mature, dark, and ferocious Digimon that could see the start of a truly great visual novel RPG hybrid series. This won't be for everyone, and I completely understand if you pass on it, however, if Digimon is your jam or visual novels are, and you have plenty of time to sit and soak in this wonderfully written narrative - you're likely to strike gold with Digimon Survive.
MADiSON is a genuinely terrifying psychological horror game and does its job very well, making it stand out in the genre on Nintendo's hybrid platform. Unfortunately, this is dragged down by the poor inventory system and unclear puzzle direction, causing far too much backtracking. Aside from these gripes, MADiSON expertly uses every tool at its disposal to unsettle you and create a horrifying experience I am keen to return to again.
Mothmen 1966 manages to blend a creepy yet oh-so-fun tale into the visual novel formula, with a sprinkle of choose-your-own-adventure and puzzles to create a retro story that I had a really, really fun time with. Despite the clunky controls in the puzzle sections, Mothman 1966 has more than enough to entertain you in its bitesize narrative – I only wish there was more! Thankfully, LGB Game Studios has announced Varney Lake coming later this year. Sign me up!
Despite the few technical and graphical issues, the action, controls, and epic, high-octane combos make for a truly enjoyable, yet frustrating short experience. If you are craving a solid FPS action game on your Nintendo Switch, you can't go wrong with Bright Memory: Infinite for the time being. Just make sure you're here for a good time, not a long time.
Endling - Extinction is Forever tells a sad story that is guaranteed to suck you in and trigger any maternal/paternal instincts you may have. Herobeat Studios has done a great job conveying an environmentally conscious story through the eyes of the lives affected most, and seriously delivers a brutally honest view of how humankind is harming the environment and natural ecosystem. Despite the repetitive nature of the gameplay, Endling is a powerful tale with a lasting, dare I say "forever," effect.
With the lack of true musical and aesthetic variety, and either too easy or too challenging difficulty modes, LOUD feels like how my dad describes my music taste – just noise, with no substance. At the heart of LOUD is a fun arcade-like rhythm game that falls short in comparison to many other releases of the same genre. Big props for the Soccer Mommy shoutout, though
If you aren't but a fan of anime-related fighters, you'll definitely enjoy this for the combat alone, and the Story Mode is deep enough for you to understand the characters, their relationships, and the journey they have been on. This is the first Demon Slayer video game, and developers CyberConnect2 have knocked it out of the park. I am very excited about the DLC and any possible further instalments.
Wonder Boy Collection is stacked with four classic titles that are all worth your time to a degree. Fans of the franchise will likely be disappointed by the omission of other titles that hold much more value in terms of critic appeal. The two standout games for me, Wonder Boy and Monster World IV, have both been remade on the Nintendo Switch as their own standalone video games with updated graphics and some quality-of-life features. After playing through this collection, I'm now tempted to revisit these via their remastered counterparts. Wonder Boy Collection feels more like a collector's item rather than an item you'll purchase because you genuinely want to play these classics.