Purple Lamp showcases a clear adoration for SpongeBob SquarePants, with jokes, deep cuts, and characters that brought me back to my childhood. And when they weren’t forced or overused, they worked well in the narrative. I especially loved hearing that one fish scream about his love of chocolate, and hearing “My leg!” brought me great joy. When The Cosmic Shake is at its best, it sounds, looks, and plays like the kind of game I would have begged my parents to buy me growing up. But when it falters, it’s boring. It’s a game I recommend to fans of SpongeBob SquarePants with ease; for those looking for a great platformer, though, better options lie elsewhere in the sea.
Players looking for deep customization, expertly crafted strategy RPG combat, and a heartfelt story with adoration for more than 30 years of Fire Emblem history will find that and more in Engage. It’s one of the most gripping games I’ve played on Switch and, ultimately, one I struggled to peel myself away from.
With The Entropy Centre behind me, I’m fascinated by what Stubby Games accomplished with its debut. It’s full of excellent puzzles, but the stuff around them, like bugs and narrative pacing, stop the entire package from coming together in an equally impressive way.
At times, it feels too long and oddly sadistic in its focus on inflicting fakeouts, pain, and suffering on the de Runes. Other times, I admired Asobo’s command of this series, its rat-infested stealth mechanics, and its grandiose storytelling. Fortunately, the latter edges out the former, and Requiem feels like much more than just a follow-up.
Still though, because most of my eight hours with Dig were spent spelunking through stages leading down, I rarely had to think about the game’s roguelite efforts. I spent most of my time playing through beautiful stages to the tune of chippy synth tunes, fascinated with how far Nitrome and Yacht Club were able to stretch the “dig” aspect of this game. Perhaps the roguelite nature of Dig will play a bigger role in my post-game excavations because I’m rearing to jump back in to discover all of its secrets. Even if it doesn’t, though, I know I still have at least a few more hours of great Shovel Knight gameplay ahead of me and in the world of platforming, that’s a treasure worth digging up.
I likely won’t remember my minute frustrations with the game a few months from now, but I will remember “Dissolution,” a Two Feathers track with cathartic vocals from Bjorn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork, the realm of Hell known as Nihil, and the way my shotgun obliterated waves of enemies there. I’m so glad Metal: Hellsinger ends with the promise of more to come because I already want more from this series.
Three Hopes runs a few chapters too long, and some late-game twists don’t carry the impact they should as a result, but my 36 hours were a great time. Three Hopes successfully and expertly integrates everything great about Three Houses into its musou format, both in narrative and in gameplay; it’s been one of my favorite Switch experiences in recent memory as a result. If you like Three Houses, you should play Three Hopes, and I’d recommend it to you even if you aren’t familiar with the musou genre. And if you haven’t played Three Houses, there’s a good chance that’ll be your next game after rolling credits on this one.
While Industria’s atmosphere certainly nailed what it was going for, the monotonous gameplay and rushed story left me dissatisfied. Still, I loved the ambiance and backdrop, and I wouldn’t mind if Bleakmill took another crack at it – the rest of this world just needs a few more cogs added to its machine.
In the end, though, Citizen Sleeper is less a critique of capitalism itself, which in its defense has been done countless times in the cyberpunk genre, and more an opportunity to showcase how those under its thumb persevere and succeed despite it. Its hopeful and inspiring message is backed by a branching, heartfelt narrative, and a great gameplay loop, making it tough to put down. Add in its enriching visual style and my favorite musical score of 2022 so far, and Citizen Sleeper is a game I'll be thinking about for years to come.
LKA made the best recreation of an Italian setting I’ve ever seen in a game and I wanted nothing more than to enjoy it. However, LKA’s love of Italy is the only warmth I felt in Martha is Dead. The rest left me feeling as cold as Giulia’s dead sister.
From the moment you step onto these demon-infested lands to the moment you deal the killing blow to the game’s final boss, you’ll experience plenty of surprises – the Konami Code does something really cool, for example. Infernax’s retro soundtrack that rips from start to finish, beautiful art, challenging gameplay, and a fun Castlevania-inspired design, make it worth the price of admission.