Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is an exciting stealth strategy game that allows players to build a crew of varied personalities worth exploring. While the levels may be complicated and take a large chunk of time per mission, it’s enjoyable enough that fans of strategy and past Mimimi Games’ titles will likely enjoy the new time-based mechanics that allow for the ultimate strategy gameplay.
There were many moments in The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood that had me audibly react, be that cheering in support or laughing at vengeance enacted perfectly. The freedom to create and see the future of those who rely on you feels like the pure power that it is, but the weight and consequences will weigh on you after the credits roll. As with previous Deconstructeam games, the appeal is more in the mechanics and narrative than the visuals.
Just like with the horror movie genre when the original was released, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is trying to change the way this type of game is played. It’s a game that can be as tense as it is beautiful, with each match introducing you to something new from the world of the movies. While the balancing isn’t perfect and makes escaping a much harder goal, there’s enough here that asymmetrical horror fans will enjoy.
If you’ve got a friend or two, Moving Out 2 is a good game to pass some time and challenge your friendship with a multitude of houses to move. The title evolves on the moving concept in its most literal forms and those who enjoyed the first time will have a lot of fun exploring each new level. It doesn’t evoke the same anticipation other titles have, but SMG Studio and Devm Games do enough to keep players and their friends entertained for hours.
Turbo Overkill is a dark and grungy FPS adventure from Trigger Happy Interactive that takes advantage of its scenario to provide hours of interesting and exciting levels. The fast-paced movement and variety of ways to defeat your enemies almost make up for some of the slower moments as you try to figure out where to go. However, these issues are minimal and FPS fans are sure to enjoy it nonetheless.
While it’s unlikely to win any Tonys, Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical is a great attempt at bringing soulful ballads and endless drama to games. Summerfall Studios has captured the magic and emotion of its actors, creating a world that’s ripe with possibilities. Those who are interested in either musicals or Greek mythology will likely find something to love about Stray Gods.
Let’s School may be remembered as the most in-depth school simulator ever released, even towering above what Two Point Academy tried to accomplish last year. While there can be a lot of information force-fed to you at once, Panthea Games has done a great job of simulating the complexity of running a dynamic operation like a school. Even if it does feel less approachable because of that sometimes.
While it does try its best to pull your attention away, the core gameplay and added depth in Pikmin 4 will leave it remembered as the best in the series to date. It takes any repetitive gameplay and throws it out the window with new Pikmin, dungeons, mini-games, Oatchi, and more. There always seems like there is something new to discover in Pikmin 4 until the very end. However, Nintendo has made a game that is so engaging that players will take as long as they can to get there.
Sticky Business is a cute and creative take on the desktop simulator genre, allowing players to get out their best ideas using pre-made stickers. The game is as cute as it looks and its ability to run so well creates such an adorable experience that’s really easy to lose yourself in. While it’s pretty shallow, it’s also exactly what it promises to be and does a good job of doing it.
As much as I wanted to enjoy Remnant 2, I don’t think that a game should be that level of hassle just to get through the first experience it offers. It’s not a bad idea to make boss fights a little harder when more players involved, but your game has to be approachable by players or it will not make a wave among similar titles. Paired with the technical and extreme connectivity issues that we experienced during gameplay, it’s hard to recommend this game to anyone who wants to play without Google open for guides and server status checks.
Full Void offers a tense pixel-platforming adventure that will see players jumping across a variety of urban areas as they work to fight off an AI that’s taken over the world. While the gameplay is basic and the runtime short, it’s interesting and varied enough that most players will enjoy the time they spend with it. It would be interesting to see OutOfTheBit evolve on this concept further in the future to really flesh out these ideas.
My Friendly Neighborhood likely started with a brilliant idea of creating a Sesame Street-like horror game, but it feels as if that vision has been muddied. Through redundant puzzles, an overzealous attempt to be kid-friendly, and characters that are more annoying than frightening, this title is likely to be one of my bigger disappointments of the year. The idea is still worth checking out if you really like the concept or get the title on sale, but full price is a hard ask.
While Testament does some really fun stuff with puzzles, it doesn't really get interesting until you're several hours in. Whether it be the bland combat or seemingly endless lore the game wanted me to learn, I just never felt engaged by the world that Fairyship Games was trying to build around me. Testament is trying to do too much and falls short of an engaging experience because of that.
From start to finish Oxenfree II is able to evolve in every aspect from the original. Night School Studio has created another exceptionally spooky story that ends with an even stronger emotional gut punch than the original. The puzzles are fun, if not challenging, and the way the game reacts to players' choices is not only a boon to the story but also seems as if it could encourage several playthroughs without getting stale.
Only Up! is the kind of viral game that gets a lot of attention due to the fact that an audience’s favorite streamers are playing it and raging. However, it’s a poor imitation of Getting Over It at best and feels like a rushed cash grab at worst. While SCKR Games manages to get the basics right and promotes a basic sense of accomplishment, it feels like this title has a long way to go before it can be considered even good.
Kingdom Eighties is beautifully repetitive and simple while still managing to be a lot of fun to play. While it might not look like it from afar, developer Fury Studios does a lot to ensure that the player never gets too comfortable inside this greedy new world. If the developer were to refine and improve on this concept, I could honestly see myself playing future titles like this, guiding my children to victory.
Final Fantasy XVI has over 25 years of history to live up to, largely acting as the culmination of the battle systems and dramatic storytelling from that time. While the animation and combat are truly extraordinary, the pacing in the quests and drawn-out cinematics often left me hungry for the next fight.
While it has all the hallmarks of the popular entries in the genre, Brotato fails to capture the same magic and overwhelming threat of previous action-roguelike titles. There are moments when the action is fun, unfortunately it largely becomes a bore when you spend too much time with it.
While Trepang2 might suffer from some technical issues at launch, many action FPS fans are going to find a lot of fun with the weapons and abilities that this title gives you. Its industry-standard story might not be the most exciting, but the constant hail of bullets more than makes up for it.