It feels like Waves of Steel wants to accomplish a lot with its wartime story and comprehensive shipbuilder. Unfortunately, the actual battle gameplay feels very simple and can be overcome pretty easily by just overclocking your ships. While the game seems to be getting positive reviews from players who love this genre, it’s unlikely to become a favorite among the general gaming audience.
Tails: The Backbone Preludes is a really beautiful noir story that might go over the heads of some of the average player base. The dark themes and conversation mechanics are reminiscent of Disco Elysium but on a much smaller scale. It’s nice to live in this world for a playthrough, taking in the darkness of this dystopian city, but it might not be one players feel like returning to after the credits roll the first time.
While Backfirewall_ might not be the most challenging puzzle game on the market, it makes up with its unique charm and humor. While some of the jokes and punchlines feel like meta-humor from a decade ago, the game does a great job of making you feel hurt when you’re unable to help certain characters. Throughout the five-hour story, players will understand the failure of a boss and his need for preservation.
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a tribute to over 20 years of the show’s history, banking on classic references and memes to impress players. While there is a lot to do in this new version of Bikini Bottom, it largely involves much of the same linear progression as past games. If you’ve followed and enjoyed the last two decades of the show, then this game will likely be perfect for you.
A Space for the Unbound is a great coming-of-age game that presents difficult topics to players in a compelling way. The game’s art style is beautiful, with many detailed scenes clearly lovingly created by the artists at Mojiken. While there are moments where it feels slow, this is a game that will last with players for many years to come.
If you’re into both MOBAs and deck-builders, then you likely won’t find a better game suited for you than HEROish. It offers a great mix of both genres while still managing to be its own thing. While there’s not a wide range of varying content, it’s guaranteed to provide hours of fun whether you want to play alone or battle opponents in true MOBA fashion.
Dwarf Fortress is one of the most incredibly complex games to ever be released, with Bay 12 Games showing no sign of slowing down in the coming years. While the complicated menus and steep learning curve might be too much for some people, this game will be exactly what most colony management fans have always been looking for.
Potion Permit is at best an okay game. From someone who was looking forward to this game for a while, it hurts to say, but it just doesn’t live up to what it’s selling. MassHive tries a lot of different things in this RPG slice-of-life game, but it doesn’t reach the mark on most of them. Players should wait on this title until it has received the necessary fixes and balancing changes, if then.
The Wandering Village is a great management game that has an important message it doesn’t try to jam down your throat. The mechanics will tell your story, whether it is parasitic or mutualistic. Stray Fawn Studio has done a wonderful job of creating a game that teaches the player the importance of being kind to nature before nature leaves us.
Overall, Islets is cute and will offer a lot of fun to those who’ve played other popular platformers in recent years. The cute world and characters offer a lot of charm and it’s always a pleasure when you come across a new creature. That being said, the combat is pretty repetitive and there isn’t enough information provided about your objective when entering a new area.
Fans of Two Point Hospital will likely really enjoy Two Point Campus and the new spin on the model that made the original game famous. While it can be a bit overwhelming at times, the game does provide you with tools to dig yourself out of a hole. With future support for the game likely planned, Two Point Campus is the next logical evolution in Two Point Studios’ development story.
Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim will be a lot of fun for fans who’ve spent the last six years growing with the original Dead by Daylight. While the mechanics can become a bit stale near the end of each path, it’s almost worth it to get a closer look at each of the killers that we’ve become so familiar with over the years. Players who are new to the series may want to play the original before trying this one out.
Bed and Breakfast is an adorable game that manages to create a charming atmosphere through its main character Hank and all his friends. That being said, the world can be hard to enjoy when everything in the world feels like it’s moving at a snail’s pace. Gummy Cat managed to create a wonderful atmosphere for this game, it’s just too bad enjoying it takes so long.
River City Saga: Three Kingdoms is one of the most unique brawlers to come out this year, managing to create something more than its side-scrolling relatives. The art and music help evolve this game into a charming experience that keeps the player interested through the tough battles. While there is a learning curve and the game’s controls are a bit strange, Three Kingdoms is a thrilling fight to be a part of.
Escape Academy is an exciting puzzle game that invites the player to experience around a dozen unique escape rooms. While the world doesn’t evolve into much beyond that, it’s still a lot of fun to progress through the different challenges. Add in that players can experience these puzzles with friends and Escape Academy becomes a proper re-creation of real-life escape rooms.
Overall, Kayak VR: Mirage is a beautiful game that manages to create a kayaking simulator that feels like you’re actually paddling through scenic locations. Not only is it a peaceful way to relax, but your arms will certainly get a workout the longer you play. While the game might be a little light on content at the moment, that is sure to improve as the devs continue to support it post-launch.
Overall, DNF Duel is a beautiful anime fighting game that brings together a roster of 16 unique fighters to the arena. While the game is inviting to new players, it doesn’t feel like there is a lot of content for returning players to engage with. While the game is beautiful to look at, there are reasonable questions about how long players will engage with this game.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong feels like something that might’ve been released five years ago when it would be hailed as something special. However, it doesn’t do anything new besides telling a story that is already too complicated by the time players first take on a role. The mechanics are tightly contained, never allowing the player to fully explore the better parts of this game.
Soundfall is a wonderful game to listen to, even if the combat and metronome mechanic can be frustrating to work with. Soaring through a level because you've found the rhythm is a uniquely cool feeling, but the rest of the gameplay fails to do it justice. While Soundfall was designed around the music and metronome, it feels like a little more complexity would help this game take flight.
Little Cities is a great city builder that provides players with tools and the opportunity to use them. There is a lot of freedom in how you get your city to level up, but not much else outside of that. Whereas some city-builders encourage the constant evolution of a city, Little Cities is much more about solving the puzzle of how to level your town based on different challenges the game puts in your way.