The simple, pick-up-and-play racing action keeps things tame so anyone can pick one of the several rides and zoom down the masterfully crafted tracks without any fuss and little learning curve. With only a few misgivings to work on as of this review, Hot Wheels Unleashed has first place already in the bag, and I’m eager to see it continue succeeding down the line.
Arietta of Spirits is one seriously charming journey. It exudes the kind of warmth and casual sense of adventure that you can only seem to find in these indie gems. From its stellar spritework to the way the music and ambient sounds wind their way gently through the deep forests, everything comes together to deliver a game that’s easy on the eyes and memorable. And while this spirit’s tale is quite a bit shorter than most, the scene set around it radiates a vibrance that truly lets this fairytale soar. If you have a few hours to spare and got the funds, you’d be remiss not to give this ghost story a fair venture.
Sumire’s themes are deep and challenging. While the gameplay itself is casual, the story and content are anything but. If you need a game that will tug at your heartstrings and that doesn’t shy away from making you consider difficult subjects, give this surprising little gem a chance.
All in all, would I recommend this robot-fueled time travel adventure? Absolutely! Even though the story serves as yet another example of why one shouldn’t trifle with time travel, the fun involved makes turning the clock back to 1995 seem pretty enticing. From solid physics to flawlessly detailed environments, Time Loader takes the player on a wild ride through the past, and launches the neglected 2D puzzle-platformer genre into the future like a speeding DeLorean leaving flame trails in its wake.
When I have to struggle to pry myself away from a game to actually write my review, you know it’s done something very right! Minor gripes such as the lack of a proper title screen and the procedural generation skipping leg day here and there are completely outweighed by how much raw fun can be had from blasting demon hordes away with some of the most creative guns I’ve seen in a long while. With a rocking soundtrack, addicting gameplay loop, and creative progression system, Nightmare Reaper delivers a bloody and bountiful harvest. If you’re a fan of old-school shooters, there’s no reason to miss out on this one.
Developer 34 Big Things hasn’t just given AG Racing a new stepping stone; they’ve gifted us an entire landmass here as proof that they’re here to keep revitalizing a fading genre. While the difficulty spikes are on the tall side, the unlockable system missed a few spot checks, and the AI may be off its meds, I can see far more than 34 big things to love about Redout 2 and I can’t wait to see where this series takes AG Racing to next.
If you’re in the mood for a few good laughs and some great gore, Alien Scumbags has everything you’re looking for. While simplistic and occasionally exhausting, the combat still provides a fine challenge and plenty of rewards for exploring during your alien slaughter. Add to that the staggering amount of references found throughout the campaign, and it’s clear this was a project born of passion and dedication. As long as you don’t go in expecting a revolutionary gameplay experience, you’ll find little not to love about Alien Scumbags.
The ultimate thing to keep in mind if you want to enjoy this game is that it is absolutely vital you play this like an old light gun game. Don’t go in expecting depth or length because there isn’t much here. It’s meant to play like an arcade game: short, sweet, and to the point. That’s the whole idea, and once you get that ingrained in how you play, it becomes the best damn arcade shooter you’ll play in a long while. No complicated systems, no powerups, not even much in the way of plot. Just you, zombies, a bit of witty banter, and the fastest gunplay this side of the urban jungle. I’d say for a mere $20, Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever has more than enough heart to satisfy that arcade itch while leaving more than enough room to grow into something even better down the road.
If you enjoyed Crypt of the Necrodancer to any capacity, then you’ll definitely find a tune to dance to here. For those less inclined to bustin’ a move while you’re bustin’ heads, approach with caution. Boy Beats World won’t hesitate to put you in your place and expects you to get a grip on the groove right from the get-go. The dancefloor isn’t for everyone, but if you still got a taste for that sweet oscillating bitpop, waltz your way over to a walkthrough, ’cause this one could sell on its music alone. The beat drops on May 28th, 2021, so tune in for the mix on Steam!
So what’s the verdict for this trip down the synthwave highway? As an avid EDM junkie, this is the sweetest treat for my eclectic earholes, and this review should prove that Klang 2 dares to grab that fated fruit of masterful rhythm combat. The aesthetic is eye-catching, a raver’s paradise with a perfect pitch of neon, Tron-lines, and vibrant special effects. While the story does more to present itself than the last game does, it misses a few notes in the depth department and needs a lesson or two in conciseness. Most importantly, though, the difficulty spikes can absolutely set back a casual player that can’t catch on to the combat. Fans of EDM should absolutely tune in for the soundtrack bLiNd put together for this, while rhythm game fans should approach with caution if they’re not much for electronic music or the bold color choices. For just $15, you’re getting a serious bang for your buck here.
All in all, there’s a lot of heart to this little gem. It’s got some rough edges, particularly in its refusal to hold players’ hands. Players might find they need the extra help, and for that, we’ll have a plethora of guides to help smooth over that issue. But the fact does remain that there’s a lack of guidance where it counts here. It’s worth keeping in mind that this game doesn’t want, nor need, to take itself seriously, so someone hoping for a long-lasting, deep plot should approach with caution. Lastly, if there’s one thing someone could take from this game, it’s that voxel’s back baby, and Cococucumber proves it in spades. The shading, atmosphere, and vivid coloring make the whole world pop in ways that only Cococucumber could’ve pulled off. If you’re in the mood for an ’80s-inspired sci-fi adventure with solid combat and beautiful, voxel-based visuals, Echo Generation has exactly what you’re looking for.
Would I recommend tuning into Captain Toonhead vs. The Punks From Outer Space? Absolutely! But there are a few things to keep in mind. The game’s eye-searing color palette, the crude, childish humor, and lack of length and depth are going to be a hard swallow for some. But, if none of those deter you, I can confidently say that the gameplay’s fun and well thought out, the story is short, sweet, and to the point, and, most importantly, it is oozing with charm and heart. It’s easy to see Captain Toonhead vs. The Punks From Outer Space was made as a product of passion, and I can think of no better way to spend a Saturday morning than letting your inner child run wild in this cartoonish VR playground.
All in all, would I recommend this dip into the ocean blue? Absolutely, but only if you consider what you’re getting into. There’s no denying this game is eye-candy of the sweetest caliber, with rarely any part of the vine-strangled world lacking vividly colored details. That said, you have to go in knowing that this is a perfect example of peaceful gaming, with no death or combat in sight. Exploration is the name of the game here, and it’s best to go into Submerged: Hidden Depths with low tension, an open mind, and a good pair of headphones. Admittedly, it’s on the short side, but if you’re eager to uncover the secret of these decaying cities, you’ll find the perfect game to scratch that urban exploration itch.
Wife Quest‘s cutesy aesthetic and straightforward mechanics belie a competent yet surprisingly difficult platformer. You’ll need to approach this adventure with patience and dexterity (and an appreciation for a bit of ham and lewdness certainly wouldn’t hurt, either). If you’re up to the occasionally unforgiving challenge this platformer offers and don’t mind some fanservice here and there, then this is a quest well worth undertaking.
You can’t make a premise like this up, folks. You’re a flying saucer abducting alien cows and there’s just something funny and wacky about it all. Yet, I walked away from Moo Lander rather impressed at the level of quality here. While the titular cow battles do need some revamping to bring in the fun factor, I can easily forgive that for the gorgeous art, very competent and solid gameplay, and surprisingly in-depth worldbuilding. If you’re looking for something a little out-of-this-world to spice up your starry night, take a flight to the neatest Metroidvania this side of the Milky Way.
As a love letter to classic PS1 survival horror games, Signalis comes in crystal clear. Its core gameplay loop is tense and immensely satisfying, and the atmosphere and enemy designs make excellent use of the pixellated graphical style. While some errant hit detection and occasionally obtuse puzzles try to muddle this signal, this is one broadcast worth receiving.
While The Entropy Center sticks very close to its Portal-esque roots, the well-crafted puzzles work perfectly with its simple but effective time travel mechanic. There are some sections where too many enemies can be an annoying distraction from the puzzling, but these are forgivable because the temporal manipulation powers provide such unique challenges. Time is our most precious resource, but it’s well worth spending it here.
All in all, Seed of Life has all the tools it needs to sprout a lovely little flower, but it’ll need to take special care to groom and care for itself to get there. There’s a good number of thorns in this garden, so you should approach with caution, knowing this. But you can see where Seed of Life tried its best to shine, so if you’re itching to take a hike through alien lands, Seed of Life is a charming enough indie gem to keep you well-watered for a few hours.
At its core, Faraday Protocol does what it needs to as a puzzler and has all the necessary elements to deliver a compelling experience, but it needs refinement in a few other aspects before it can really shine. I would’ve loved to see a more cohesive tutorial system for guidance, and maybe some more sprinkles of story stuff scattered around. As it stands, if you’ve got the time to sort out the hows and whys to the game’s many mechanics, I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t give Faraday Protocol a good old college try.