With a post-game this rich and a roster of characters this bizarre, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the galactic sandbox we've been waiting for. Quirks aside, this game is the one that TT Games were always destined to make, and the benchmark for each of their titles going forward. And if the rumoured LEGO Doctor Who game is actually in the works, and will be following suit, we need not worry, because it'll be in safe hands.
Solar Ash combines complex ideas with simple and exciting gameplay in a way that few games are able to, and the final product is nothing short of remarkable. The visual style and soundtrack create the atmosphere, and the excellent writing of Rei and her journey use it to tell a story of grief, and how we can use it to build something better. Heart Machine's passion is clear, and Solar Ash is a triumph that manages to be incredibly fun despite its deeply emotional core. The game's world may be cold and unfeeling on the surface, but that'll only make you want to connect with it more. Solar Ash is an example of Heart Machine's exciting, compelling, lightning-in-a-bottle brilliance, and more than deserves to be considered among 2021's greatest games.
You might be able to stick around for long enough to choose your own main (mine’s Oblina, just FYI), but once you’ve done that, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl will have nothing else for you. Even playing with friends can’t manage to make the game exciting or engaging, and chances are, it’ll end up at the bottom of your gaming pile before you can say “smashing!”.
PixPil deserve to have a stellar career ahead of them following the release of this game, and as long as they can keep releasing games that have even half of Eastward’s visual individuality, compelling narrative and satisfying pan-smacking action, then the studio will be without a doubt one to keep an eye on. The apocalypse might be old news now, but Eastward shows other games exactly how it's done when it comes to presenting dystopia in a charming, fascinating light-hearted way.