Stray is simply captivating. Between unmatched world building, outstanding aesthetic design, intuitive cat physics, and immersive gameplay, BlueTwelve Studio and Annapurna Interactive have crafted an engaging and awe-striking experience from start to finish.
Coromon is a nostalgia trip down memory lane while simultaneously forging its own path. The 100+ creatures, wide variety of characters, and beautiful pixel art made me want to explore and delve deeper into the Velua region. The past few years’ examples of monster-taming games had me wishing for more, and my wishes were answered with Coromon.
Tinykin is a great 3D-platformer that wonderfully encourages exploration through it’s charm, engaging traversal, and cute creatures.
Leaving your hometown can be a difficult and scary decision. Fear of the unknown terrain, people, and challenges can force a hefty emotional toll. Layer this with premonitions of the end of the world as you know it, and it almost sounds too insurmountable. SEASON: A letter to the future, beautifully encapsulates this sense of doom while also pushing the player to see the beauty when closing a chapter in someone’s story.
Dead Cells is already a masterful game with precision gameplay, visuals, and music, but Return to Castlevania not only highlights these fantastic features but elevates everything with the addition of the Castlevania franchise. The 6-8 hour quest is an absolute delight from start to finish, and just like the original Dead Cells, the loop is drawing me back in for one more vampiric-infested run…
5AM Games delivers a fun, concise game where the written words are the puzzles themselves. Explore the wonder of a burgeoning pen pal friendship in the ‘90s in the ever so charming Letters.
Squish is an absolute must-have with a group of friends or for social events. The two-button gameplay and movement is easy to grasp and can result in loads of fantastic moments of engagement. Though there isn’t much in the single-player-sphere, what’s there can be a fun challenge for those who chase high scores. Regardless, you’re bound to have a sensationally satisfying time in the world of Squish.
Time Loader is a great time traveling game with a satisfying story, fair puzzles, and emotional undertone. The concise story gave me an opportunity to play over a few sittings and still feel like I was getting a meaningful experience. Time Loader is certainly worth your time (no time traveling required).
Cursed to Golf is a good rogue-ish golf-like with an adorable art style and intriguing abilities. Though the repetitious levels in the beginning can offer a tarnished start-up, the enjoyment rises significantly as you putt on.
Usually, the New Year starts off with a quiet introduction to new games. Gamers typically enjoy their holiday gifts from the previous year and cozy up to some new hardware all while sipping some delicious hot chocolate. 2023 is a bit different though. Super Rare Originals and Cuddle Monster Games are hitting the ground running with their captivating, thrilling, and fun roguelike title, Lone Ruin.
Tchia is a beautiful game that kept me engaged from beginning to end. The beautiful score, art style, and characters were distinct and memorable throughout my time with the game. Though there are numerous repetition actions throughout the game, the other mechanics pushed me forward to see the conclusion of Tchia’s story. If you’re given the chance, go enjoy everything Tchia has to offer.
Cat Cafe Manager is a great game that locates an intricate balance of catty cuteness with catchy game mechanics. The quick start up and lack of complication early on allowed me to rapidly weave the intricacy and cater to my inner cat cafe-designer. Cat Cafe Manager is my game equivalent of catnip; I will likely not be able to duplicate nor stop enjoying anytime soon.
Summertime Madness is an earnest attempt at making an emotionally appealing puzzle game, but ultimately misses the mark. The beautiful art style, paired with a melodic score couldn't elevate the overly bloated puzzles and sterile storytelling.
Dire Vengeance is a tough-as-nails action-platformer that has recently made its debut on the Nintendo Switch. The two-person team at Magic Shot Games has crafted a beautiful game with a rock-inspired score. However, with the overwhelming difficulty paired with slow progression, Dire Vengeance may be a bit too constrained for some players.
Despite a strong score and fantastic mythological inspirations, Aztec Forgotten Gods is a flawed game with uninteresting combat and flat story.