LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a playful and colourful depiction of a galaxy far, far away, and one that boasts about as much play time as you’d ever want to get out of a single game should you be willing to endure some significant repetition in order to wring every drop out of it. With hilarious retellings of all nine movies and some new gameplay elements, there’s a lot to like, but clunky camera angles and the head-scratching decision to leave out online multiplayer hurts the overall impression. This might just be the definitive LEGO Star Wars game that fans are looking for, but since only Sith deals in absolutes, I’ll leave that judgement to the will of the council.
Silt is a truly stunning game, with dark visuals that draw you in and impressive sound design that underpins a murky and sinister world. The simple puzzle solving acts more as a conduit for the artistic vision than to offer a legitimate challenge, but the experience is undoubtedly enjoyable despite the gameplay offering little in the way of difficulty. The story is a little vague and open to interpretation, but artistic-types will find it genuinely intriguing – the only real downside is that you’ll certainly be left wanting more, with the story reaching a haunting crescendo just when it feels like it could open the door to so much more. I would play another game set in the universe of Silt in a heartbeat.
While the controls might feel a little unwieldy for Switch players using Joy Cons, players using a pro controller (or playing on a console with more player-friendly peripherals!) will have a whale of a time blasting their way towards the tower to regain their memories. The risk-reward mechanics make every decision really count, and with a host of memorable bosses, awesome randomly generated encounters and boat loads of unlockables, it’s a title that you’ll be hooked on for hours on end despite some slight teething problems.
Superliminal is quite simply a masterpiece. Pillow Castle Games have taken an interesting premise and ridden it to a place that no developer has gone before, resulting in an impeccable game. The perspective-based mechanics are just incredible, and there’s a level of innovation in the puzzle design that deserves recognition alongside some of the greatest games of all time – truly, Superliminal is to visual trickery what Portal 2 is to physics. I cannot recommend this game enough.
A charming experience from start to finish, Onde is an odyssey through the abstract mysteries of the world that’s described with evocative imagery and thought-provoking music. The score and visuals beautifully align to tell a story without a single word being uttered, and it’s a credit to the developers at how immersive the experience is. The artistic nature of the game and its limited gameplay mechanics will not appeal to everyone, but that’s okay. I may not know art, but I know what I like, and I certainly liked Onde.
What Lies in the Multiverse is a playful and meandering adventure through time and space that manages to offer a real sense of drama alongside its simple puzzle-platformer mechanics. Shifting between universes to plot your route through each level is fun (if not a little easy), but there’s plenty of interesting tweaks to the gameplay to keep you interested throughout. The enjoyable story, while a little scattershot in tone, is carried by a quirky cast of characters that help make What Lies in the Multiverse an entertaining way to wile away an afternoon or two.
It’s been a long time since I played an RPG that I enjoyed as much as The Cruel King and the Great Hero. The mix of charming storybook visuals, memorable characters and sweet plotline is simply wonderful. In combination with a rapid-fire combat system and some quirky (if never groundbreaking) mechanics, and a host of interesting enemies, this was an experience that pulled me along from start to finish and I had me smiling all the way - I’d recommend it in a heartbeat.
Egglia: Rebirth is a fun, if repetitive, turn-based JRPG that wears it’s mobile origins with pride. With some pretty graphics, catchy soundtrack and simple mechanics, it’s easy to lose an enjoyable hour or so here and there between more substantial games. Had the dungeons had less of a cookie cutter feel and shown some gameplay (rather than just aesthetic) differences, it could have been a great little game, but the repetition turns things stale long before you’re finished. That said, I’d still recommend this to players who are fans of a mobile RPG and looking to transition to console with something familiar, or to younger fans who are dipping their toes into RPGs for the first time.
The Company Man is a short lived rage against the machine that is funnier than it is fun, if that makes any sense. I did absolutely enjoy my time with the game, and Forust’s beautiful cartoon styling that has made an accurate mockery out of big corporations is incredibly well thought out. But while hacking through familiar lackeys and poking fun at business tropes is uproariously enjoyable, beneath a veneer of well crafted jokes is only some pretty easy platforming and combat, and when coupled with a run time that’s shorter than some appraisal meetings, the gameplay ultimately keeps the overall experience from breaking the glass ceiling.
A wonderfully simple game with just enough complexity to make it incredibly addictive, SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash is a nostalgic blast from the past that’s as fun to play today as it was 20 years ago. The playful art style and masterful pixel art really bring your favourite characters to life, and completionists will get a tonne of playtime out of the ‘collect them all’ aspect of the game. With some slightly better sound, a few modern quality of life improvements, and some online features, this game
From the beautiful visual style and catchy music to the throwback level design and tight mechanics, Grapple Dog is a blast all around. The gameplay is easy enough to pick up but difficult enough to feel rewarding, and the light-heartedly story and adorable characters round out the experience really nicely. Having watched Grapple Dog swing around social media for a long while, it’s incredibly fulfilling for me as a reviewer to finally get my hands on it and enjoy it so much - I can only imagine the sense of achievement that the Medallion Games team are feeling at creating such a wonderful experience.
All-in-all, Gang Beasts is a fun multiplayer romp that’s best enjoyed with a few friends after a couple of beers, but doesn’t hold up nearly as well once you try to take the party online. The derpy characters, intentionally awkward controls, and daft physics will bring plenty of laughs in a room full of pals, but become more frustrating as a solo experience. Ultimately, once you’ve played a few rounds in each mode there isn’t an awful lot of meat on the bone; Gang Beasts is an admittedly tasty morsel, it just carries the price tag of a prime cut.
Broken Age is a shining example of the point-and click adventure genre, and is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The gameplay delivers on a tried and tested recipe and while it doesn't take any risks, the rewards are in the story, visuals and voice-acting. The pastel-style imagery and playful characters are truly memorable, and the stellar voice-cast deliver a script full of laugh-out-loud moments. Another Tim Schafer classic.
Picking up Knights of the Old Republic is absolutely still worth your time and money in 2022. There’s an engaging story with a timeless focus on good versus evil, and mechanics that allow you to choose your own destiny – something that modern-day players still absolutely love. The audience shouldn’t be limited to Star Wars fans either, with KOTOR standing out as a fantastic RPG experience regardless of setting. Sure, the graphics and menus haven’t aged well, but that’s entirely moot when you consider just how enjoyable this game is to play. Like rewatching the original Star Wars trilogy today, forget your seamless CGI effects and high definition screen for a few hours and enjoy KOTOR for what it is – you’ll have a fantastic experience that leaves a seriously lasting impression.
6Souls isn’t the most original of titles but there’s enough fun platforming, tricky bosses, and well considered animation and sound to keep you happy for the whole of its duration. Had the level design been a little more varied, with some of the older mechanics brought back a little later in the game, and there been less reliance on the Soul Boost, it would have gone to another level still.
As a lover of both wildlife documentaries and videogames I absolutely wanted to fall in love with AWAY, but the rough edges of the gameplay and some bugginess proved just too much of a burr under the saddle to be entirely enjoyable. The frustrating gliding controls, a rogue camera, and a smattering of weird and wonderful bugs throws salt on the rich earth of a great idea. The premise is a marvellous one and I applaud the team at Breaking Walls for doing just that – smashing down another wall of what can be made into a videogame. I hope that the team continues with their ‘Survival Series’ and works to bring more playable nature stories to life in the future – I have every faith that this could be a wonderful franchise with only some refinement.
While I feel like I’ve had more negative things to say about Disgaea 6 than positive, I definitely enjoyed my first foray into the Netherworld. The characters are great fun and make up for a rather well-worn plot by quite simply being well presented and entertaining. The combat is a little long-winded for my tastes but once you’re in the thick of battle there’s really a lot to like, and I can see why the series has so many admirers. There’s plenty to enjoy for returning fans and newcomers alike, though I warn first-timers to be aware of the emphasis on grinding to a ridiculous rate, and to be ready to have AI completing more battles than you in the long run. If you’re someone who enjoys fine tuning party management and are happy to leave the hands-on battle management to the robots, I think Disgaea 6 is definitely one for you, dood!
Metroid Dread is a wonderful addition to a storied but long-dormant franchise, and offers some modern shine on a traditional experience. The stunning visuals and some simple but fun new mechanics make it a joy to play, even through the sometimes punishing difficulty level. The busy controls might bamboozle some players in heated moments and others will argue that it’s too short to justify the price tag, but there can be no mistaking the overall quality of the title.
I can’t call G-Darius HD anything other than a run-of-the-mill arcade shoot ‘em up. While the capture ball and beam duelling are fun wrinkles to the gameplay, they aren’t enough to make the game stand out against a myriad of other titles in the same genre. The achievements and graphics updates are nice but I struggle to look past its short run time and genesis as an arcade cabinet that’s designed to eat your money. Sadly, this just isn’t an ideal console title. Fans of the genre will be overjoyed to have G-Darius HD available in their games library, but I don’t think it will capture many hearts outside of those players who forever yearn for the glory of the arcade High Scores table.
Corpse Killer is a decaying relic of its time, with few redeeming features that would encourage anyone to unearth it. The full FMV levels are hilariously bad and the point-and-click shooting is the dictionary definition of rinse and repeat gameplay. B-movie aficionados or former Sega 32X players seeking some nostalgia may be slightly more inclined to resurrect this one, but the cheesy plot, poor production, and miniscule amount of gameplay will not appeal to many modern players at all. It’s an amusing time capsule to my misguided, zombie-enthused youth, but this is one that should absolutely have stayed buried.