Nathan Hermanson Avatar Image

Nathan Hermanson


Favorite Games:
  • Final Fantasy 8
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale
  • God of War (2018)

79 games reviewed
80.1 average score
80 median score
87.3% of games recommended
Are you Nathan Hermanson? If so, email [email protected] to claim this critic page.
9 / 10.0 - Balatro
Feb 25, 2024

Balatro is a simple and satisfying roguelike built on the familiarity of poker to make it one of the most addicting games I've played in a long time. The game's not content to just disrupt your daily routine, but also extends to the genre itself, setting a new standard for roguelike deckbuilders. By not trying to do too much, Balatro achieves gaming nirvana easily and produces an impossible-to-put-down experience that has me still hungry for more after 50 hours of playtime. For those who aren't familiar with poker or used to the cruel luck of the draw, Balatro can seem a bit brutal. But if you persevere, there's a special game waiting for you in Balatro.

Read full review

Feb 18, 2024

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is many things. It's a sequel that enhances everything that came before it. It's a look back at a series with 19 years of history behind it and a step forward into what the series might become next. It features some of the best gameplay the series has had, adapting the free-flowing beat-em-up style of the original games even more beautifully with a few key adjustments to the RPG format. And it contains so much surprising depth in almost every gameplay system and minigame hidden within. If I had to pick one RPG to take with me to a deserted island, it just might be Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. And for that reason, it gets one of the rarest scores we can give.

Read full review

Feb 3, 2024

Pierre Feuille Studio had lofty ambitions with Chronique des Silencieux. While their dreams of making the truest detective game were held back by some perplexing translations and frustrating logic, they accomplished their goals of making something truly unique. Despite the genre's booming prevalence in the last decade, Chronique's historical fiction approach to its mystery and the relatively ordinary mysteries you're solving make for an experience unlike many of its contemporaries. With a great hand-drawn art style and the endless promise of its detail-oriented systems, it does just enough to keep you intrigued across its 10-15 hour story, if you're patient enough to bother with the piles of documents and confusing leads, that is.

Read full review

8.5 / 10.0 - Lil Guardsman
Jan 23, 2024

Lil' Guardsman speaks to all parts of me. The child in me who fell in love with adventure games, the 30-year-old who looks back on them longingly, and the jaded human living in 2024 who needed a laugh. It's so genuinely funny, so full of heart, and it's one game you should immediately allow entry to your gaming library in 2024.

Read full review

Jan 16, 2024

Night Signal Entertainment packed this game with a genuine love for the craft. They hand-made props, recruited their acting friends from a past life, used old photos of themselves to craft monsters. This is horror straight from the heart. That makes Home Safety Hotline a special game — one of the better analog horror experiences we've played — and it certainly showcases the potential of what Night Signal Entertainment's mixed media efforts may achieve in the years to come. If you're up for the kind of horror that crawls under your skin and has you rethinking what the rustling in the corner of your room could be, this game is 100% for you.

Read full review

7 / 10.0 - Born of Bread
Jan 14, 2024

Born of Bread is a colorful, fun-first RPG that fans of the genre and newcomers alike will find a lot to love in. Across its 15-20 hour journey, it'll charm you, it'll remind you of some classics, and it'll set up a superb look and sound for an adventure. But it won't be without its issues. Add in a few progression-halting glitches and you've got a game that doesn't quite reach its greater ambitions, but is still worth tossing in the oven to watch rise.

Read full review

8.5 / 10.0 - Planet of Lana
Jan 5, 2024

When the whole package comes together, Wishfully's debut release truly sings. A straightforward narrative and relatively simple gameplay loop simply feel bigger than they are, made even more engaging when accompanied by an audiovisual experience as strong as Planet of Lana's. Planet of Lana is the epitome of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Every piece taken separately may not seem like something extraordinary, but when Wishfully has each piece of its experience clicked together, it made for one of our favorite experiences of the year.

Read full review

Dec 12, 2023

Jackbox Party Pack 10 would have been worth a look simply for the celebration of a decade's worth of releases. It would have been worth checking out for the ways it celebrates the legacy of each game that came before it, like the return of Party Pack hosts of yore in Tee K.O. 2's character selection. But even removed from that milestone, Jackbox Party Pack 10 offers a package worth celebrating. The artists at Jackbox continue to deliver some of the best looking and sounding pack games yet, whether it's the stellar graphic design and typeface-focused art style found in FixyText or the epic renditions of songs like Pop Goes the Weasel in Dodo Re Mi. After nearly a decade of work, the Jackbox team shows no signs of stopping and the quality is still there 10 games later. Long live Jackbox Party Pack.

Read full review

Oct 30, 2023

Wizard with a Gun is a moody vibes-first, narrative-second survival crafting game that perfectly compresses the most satisfying bits of the genre into an engaging loop. While the light bits of story are delivered through the gaming version of footnotes, the pitch-perfect visuals of its wild and crumbling biomes and twangy music do the additional lifting needed to get players invested in its world. Its approachable and goal-oriented gameplay design are perfect for those who feel out of step with the open-ended approach to many games in the genre. Whether solo or with a friend, Wizard with a Gun has a lot more "review score up" bullets than the "review score down" ones loaded in its chamber.

Read full review

8.5 / 10.0 - Bilkins' Folly
Oct 8, 2023

Bilkins' Folly is a wholesome puzzle adventure that sticks to its strengths and mines so much cleverness out of a few basic puzzle concepts. It centers on the bond between a man and his dog and tells a story that's just as wholesome and lighthearted as you'd expect from something that calls Monkey Island and Zelda its inspirations. Some of the most difficult puzzles may baffle even the biggest puzzle fans, and people who are looking for a more adventure-focused Zelda-like may find the puzzles a bit much. But if a game that evokes the best parts of adventure games, 2D Zelda, and Layton-level puzzles sounds like it might appeal to you, don't skip Bilkins' Folly. Amid the absolute deluge of AAA and indie releases hitting this October, Bilkins' Folly stands there, a shiny and enticing treasure chest just waiting to be enjoyed.

Read full review

6.5 / 10.0 - Paleo Pines
Sep 27, 2023

Paleo Pines' dino-based farming sim experience may make for a great first step into the genre for some gamers, but those who know what to expect from the genre may find more than a few questionable gameplay decisions hidden inside. With its adorable style and recontextualization of a farming sim's relationship with animal helpers, it plants the seeds for some strong ideas that (mostly) do enough to help you push through its most frustrating bits. Mostly.

Read full review

9.5 / 10.0 - El Paso, Elsewhere
Sep 26, 2023

El Paso, Elsewhere is a satisfying '00s-era corridor shooter elevated by a constellation of bold talent that brought to life its audio, visual, and technical artistry. It tells a painfully relatable and intimate story, with a visual style that matches the chaos in its hero's heart and a soundtrack that vocalizes it.

Read full review

8.5 / 10.0 - Final Fantasy XVI
Sep 23, 2023

Final Fantasy 16 is as good as it is not because it strays from what has come before it, but because it embraces its roots. Everything the series has done, gameplay-wise, over the last few mainline releases, has all set up for what FF16 pulls off with its fantastic-feeling combat. For all the focus on its maturity and shocking narrative, the things that FF16 does with its impactful story have been present in games all throughout the series. And by letting a team like Creative Business Unit 3 take the reins, the best aspects of Final Fantasy 16 feel like pieces of one of the most beloved games in all of the franchise: Final Fantasy 14. I won't deny the series is heading in a new direction, but have no fear, the ways in which Final Fantasy 16 succeeds are deeply rooted in the series' greatest traditions.

Read full review

Sep 20, 2023

Stray Gods is messy. The game's story, music... some systems? But they're all so true to its heart and the intentions of the project. Summerfall Studios has delivered a flawed but fascinating musical in Stray Gods. Ambitious but so painfully human. Not unlike the ways the Greek gods are portrayed in the game. The experience is all the more beautiful for it. If you don't like musicals, can't get past a few audio issues, or dislike visual novel-like experiences, Stray Gods isn't for you. But musical fans, Greek mythology addicts, and people looking to make a pathetic sad man happy? Strap yourselves in for a musical rollercoaster.

Read full review

9.5 / 10.0 - Chants of Sennaar
Sep 17, 2023

Chants of Sennaar is a fascinating, once-in-a-lifetime, incredibly human experience that has you doing mental gymnastics to puzzle out meaning from everything you see and everyone you encounter. Through its retelling of a classic parable, its simple and extremely effective art style, and a soundtrack that gently guides you along the path, Chants of Sennaar keeps its focus on the discovery of languages. Even when it tries to distract with less-than-stellar stealth segments and a few puzzles that outstayed their welcome, Rundisc provides a core experience that is so special and rare. It earns its place among some of the best puzzle and mystery games of all time, the likes of Case of the Golden Idol and Return of the Obra Dinn.

Read full review

9.5 / 10.0 - Gunbrella
Sep 13, 2023

Playing Gunbrella reminded me of the first time I played classics like Cave Story, Untitled Story, and Owlboy: games that nailed the vibes in all facets, provided a play experience I could just lose myself in, and didn't overstay their welcome. Games that delivered satisfaction on all levels. Games that more than earn that declarative "video games are GOOD" while playing. Doinksoft had already cemented itself as a studio worth following with games like Gato Roboto and Demon Throttle, but Gunbrella makes them a "no questions asked" team moving forward. It's one of the best games I've played all year.

Read full review

7.5 / 10.0 - Eternights
Sep 11, 2023

I find Eternights really interesting, even if in the end, I recommend it conditionally. It's a game that shows a ton of talent on the side of a new team that already has its eyes on a new project and even more growth. The bones here have me excited for whatever they do next. If you can excuse some iffy bits of writing and degeneracy, if you're looking to enjoy combat but aren't here just for combat, and if you are willing to accept some rough around the edges bits from a team that literally only had one full-time employee throughout most of its development, there's a lot to love in what Eternights is doing.

Read full review

7 / 10.0 - Decarnation
Jul 5, 2023

Decarnation is a game I really wanted to love more. It has an undeniable style. Its grounded and painfully real horrors are genuinely spine-chilling, and the flair of its cinematic presentation is top-notch. It's just a shame that some clichéd writing, a flawed ending, and a generally repetitive gameplay experience (especially in the back half) hold it back from glory. Decarnation is still a game worth experiencing, especially for fans of horror and the inspirations Decarnation wears on its sleeve. But tread lightly. You never know who might be watching...

Read full review

9 / 10.0 - Amarantus
Jun 27, 2023

Amarantus is special. It's a passion project in every way imaginable, a journey started by one person who gathered a ragtag team to help them reach that one clear endpoint: revolut- I mean... creating a piece of art so purely realized on all levels that it coalesces into something that pushes the genre forward.

Read full review

7 / 10.0 - Hello Goodboy
Jun 23, 2023

Hello Goodboy is just a downright pleasant time. I smiled lots, even if I'd wanted and even expected a little more out of it, but at the end of the day, I realized... I just might not be who this game is for. I imagine a parent and child sitting on the couch, doing voices for each character as they read along, puzzling out the ways to get through the game's light challenges, and taking the story's lessons about life and what comes after to heart. For them, Hello Goodboy might be great, but for us...

Read full review