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.
Trek to Yomi is arguably one of the most beautifully staged games this year. While the fighting is simple and repetitive, it’s very difficult to master some of the harder difficulties. Like the main character, the player will need to find their balance as they venture forward, encountering all the demons and monsters that this game has to offer.
Dorfromantik is a peaceful puzzle game that doesn’t ask a lot from its players. Those who enjoy simple puzzles will likely find a lot of fun matching up the different hexagons. Spending time just trying to put your village together is rewarding when you see the final product. However, this puzzle game isn’t for perfectionists or those looking for more complicated city builders.
Cities: VR is what most players have come to expect for the Cities: Skylines franchise. Players will load into a new map each time and attempt to use the land to create a booming metropolis. Unfortunately, while Cities: VR does this well enough, it doesn’t accomplish much over its screen-based predecessor. While the game is fun for a while, it quickly becomes annoying when the systems stop listening to the player.
Rogue Legacy 2 is a leap above its predecessor, which was already great fun. The music, characters, and world blend to create one of the most enjoyable Rogue-likes of this decade. The sheer level of content will allow players to engage with this world for hours and hours, and the House Rules enable the player to make it more challenging after that. Rogue Legacy 2 is a must-have for fans of the genre.
Teardown is a beautiful game set in a world that’s more destructible than anything in games before, allowing players complete control over a voxel sandbox. The detail of the world and physics is nothing short of amazing and will be studied by developers for years to come. With the extensive possibilities of content already in the game and modding, players will never run out of things to destroy.
The Atlas Mystery is a short escape room adventure that players of VR games have likely encountered before. While some of the puzzles are genuinely interesting, they don’t do enough to carry the narrative. Players looking for a spooky adventure through a 1930s movie theatre will likely enjoy it. However, players looking for a lengthy experience might want to stay away.
Painting VR is likely what many amateur and professional VR artists are looking for. Logging in and seeing paint on canvas, the different textures, and experimenting with tools is a unique experience that rivals creating art in real life. In addition, the ease to then export and share those paintings will only allow creativity to blossom further as the community evolves.
Green Hell VR is a fun game for players who are used to VR games. It can be a bit challenging as you’re learning the different plants, but it’s worth it. Solving the problems and getting closer to the end objective feels like a rewarding trek through the rainforest. If only Incuvo had improved on some of the systems from the 2018 predecessor, it would make this game shine.
Cosmonius High is Owlchemy Labs’ best game to date, bar none. The developer took everything that made its past games special and fit it together with master precision to create this one. The sound design, physics, and characters go far to make the player feel like they’re in a real intergalactic high school.
Weird West has a lot to offer fans of the westerns and the supernatural. If you’re a fan of adventures that put all the power in your hands, you’ll enjoy the freedom that Weird West gives you. However, there’s a learning curve that players will get used to as they take on more formidable enemies. Just because you can kill anyone in the game doesn’t mean it’ll be easy for you.
Core Keeper will be a lot of fun for players who’ve enjoyed past games like Stardew Valley, Terraria, and Minecraft since it draws from many of the popular mechanics in those games. There’s nothing entirely new in Core Keeper, just a rehashing of popular mechanics from other games. The only new thing that Core Keeper does is set the survival experience underground. Even still, players have been logging into Core Keeper to explore the underground and enjoy it.
Darkest Dungeon II is a faithful sequel that pays respect to the original while still evolving on many mechanics. While the runs can take a while and the character dialogue in battles can be annoying, it still features an impressive tone and excitement in each twist and turn that it can bring.
For fans of the Indiana Jones movies, Phantom Abyss will feel like something out of a dream. As players slyly avoid traps and use their whip to grapple out of danger, they’ll truly channel the fedora wearing adventure hero. However, not every run will end with the same success, so be prepared to fail until you learn the mechanics.
PowerWash Simulator is a fun experience, due to its addicting mechanics and progression system while acknowledging it is still in development. However, it will likely improve as development progresses, and we look forward to seeing what FuturLab has in store.