6180 the moon is a dreamlike journey through the stars, where every individual component of its delicate soundtrack, minimalist visuals and graceful gameplay mechanics work together to form an extremely compelling experience. [OpenCritic note: Conor McMahon separately reviewed the Wii-U (9) and Switch (8) versions. Their scores have been averaged.]
Puzzle Puppers is a very simple game about some very cute dogs. Its bright colours and bizarre premise are endearing, the gameplay is easy to grasp, and you'll be in hound heaven for the first 20 stages or so. After a while however, this old dog shows that it hasn't learned any new tricks, and the repetitive visuals don't do anything to elevate the equally repetitive gameplay. It's good clean fun, straightforward to an absolute fault, and for the low asking price there's enough here to make this worthwhile. If you're expecting a magical doggy story mode, or some imaginative level design however, you'll be left feeling a little ruff.
Mercenary Kings: Reloaded takes some serious steps to breathe new life into the gun-toting, fast-paced arcade shooter, resetting your expectations by adding RPG elements such as weapon crafting and loot drops into the mix. It's ambitious, but also sorely repetitious, lacking in mission variety and the kind of enemy AI needed to make the grind feel worthwhile.
Oh...Sir! The Hollywood Roast expands slightly on the original title, but for every minor improvement it makes, it stumbles over a list of missed opportunities, poorly-handled references, and a script that really could have used a few more rewrites. One-on-one verbal battles are still fun enough for the first hour or so, but beyond that it gets repetitious and even downright intolerable. We don't really recommend either title, but if you had to pick one then we'd recommend the original over this tasteless B-movie.
Oh...Sir! The Insult Simulator is a pretty silly experience, even when it doesn't mean to be. The concept of choosing words and phrases to form an insult out of is clever enough in isolation, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly once you've played through a couple of matches. Any kind of strategy or technique is hampered by some iffy rules on point-scoring, so the online multiplayer - while a welcome addition - is dragged down by that same awkward repetition, whether your opponent is human or AI. For what it's worth, there's maybe an hour or so of decent fun here if you don't mind your insults making very little actual sense, and the price is just about in line with that. Not to be insulting, but it feels like maybe this game could have used a little more work, and its mother was a louse-ridden socialite who married an ambidextrous vole.
If you threw a party and invited all of the adventure/roleplaying games along, Unepic would be the one in the center of the room blurting out jokes, laughing too loudly and making sarcastic comments about all of the other guests.
Human Fall Flat recognises a simple truth - People falling down is hilarious, and when they're seemingly impervious to damage that's just an added guilt-free bonus. Playing as a wobbly, awkward avatar takes a lot of getting used to, and perhaps you never really get used to it at all, but the game leaves each level wide open to a variety of solutions to suit your own personal style. Tackling the five-to-six hour long adventure solo isn't entirely recommended, so if possible we'd definitely encourage getting a second player to join in on the fun, even if the game's performance takes a hit. While online multiplayer is sadly missing, we reckon that you and a fellow human might really fall for this little puzzler. Over and over and over again.
Kid Tripp is a polished, simple little platformer that will put your skills to the test from the very beginning. It's a no-frills experience that's light on ceremony, giving you 20 levels of rapid gameplay that's perfect for short sessions and high-score chasing, but falls a little flat in terms of creativity and content. While it's undoubtedly a fun ride while it lasts, the whole game can be beaten in under an hour, so don't expect much in the way of post-game content or extreme replayability, unless you really want to dig into the nitty gritty of mastering each level. That being said, it's a solid budget title and one well worth looking into if you want a delightfully punishing dose of retro gameplay. It's a Tripp worth taking.
Spellspire is simple, unique, and will make you feel like your English skills are on par with a 10-year old. The fun blend of word puzzle and fantasy adventure is enough to flesh out hours of content, and the snappy interface makes it easy to jump in for a few floors of spellbinding action. Longer play sessions wear a bit thin due to the need to grind, and the inconsistent difficulty makes progression feel less satisfying than it really should. It's not out to impress with its story or visuals, but if you want something quick and easy to play in handheld mode then it's a pretty solid choice. At its current price we'd only really recommend it to players who enjoy word games in general, and maybe keep a dictionary close to hand...
Super Beat Sports casts the player into a world ruled over by inhuman alien lifeforms, obsessed with physical, brutal gladiatorial events under the oppressive droning of a harsh synthetic rhythm, without any explanation of why or how things have come to be this way. Aside from all that though, actually it's really rather cute, the games are fun for newcomers or veterans alike, and the local multiplayer options are top-notch. While score-chasers will find plenty of medals to earn for perfect performances, casual play will end up being pretty repetitious, especially with the lengthy load times. Because of this, even though it's broken up into bite-sized chunks it isn't always an ideal single player experience. We'd still recommend it however, especially at a budget price, so if you're looking for a fun party game to try out then assemble your crew and go whack some spaceballs!
This Is The Police asks players to step into a career that's already on the rocks, in a city beyond saving, and then demands that you try and make things right regardless. It's a mature, compelling experience that combines elements of strategy, resource management and text adventure games, while telling a gripping story of corruption and withered hope - albeit with some muddled attempts to deal with real world issues. The meat of the game is solid, if extremely repetitious after some hours, so we can't help but feel if it was a shorter, more tightly focused game with a bit more variety, it would have felt more satisfying overall. As it stands there's hours of gameplay here for any budding cop, it just outstays its welcome a little.
88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition took on the gargantuan challenge of cramming 98 playable characters into a single game, and while we commend the attempt the results have been a little shy of heroic. There's so much diversity to the size, shape, and moveset of each hero, that it comes at the cost of a more tightly designed set of levels and challenges. There's a lot of personality to every aspect of its presentation, and the heroes themselves are fantastic fun to mess around with, so it's just a shame that it falls a little short overall. If you're looking for something thoroughly silly and don't mind it being a short lived experience, then this is almost gr8, but don't expect much in the way of replayability m8.
Brave Dungeon + Dark Witch Story:COMBAT is an uneven package. Stripped bare of any superfluous elements, one game presents a decent dungeon crawl while the other relies far too much on luck to make it feel worthwhile. For anyone who enjoys the grind of turn-based combat, un-tethered to any arbitrary plot, then there's certainly enough here to justify the budget price, and the additional card game can be viewed as a bonus distraction or mini-game. If the basic mechanics hook you in then there's hours of snappy gameplay to enjoy, but the sheer repetition will potentially turn away anyone still on the fence.
Despite its intimidating outer layer, Culdcept Revolt is something of a hidden gem that deserves the attention of anyone with an interest in card collecting, strategy, or even just board games in general. It's wildly addictive, and boasts a robust single player component as well as both local and online multiplayer to satisfy any craving for its unique, genre-blending mechanics. While Revolt's unflinching dedication to these core mechanics does hurt its story somewhat through repetition, new players will be welcomed by a wonderfully-implemented tutorial, while returning cepters have plenty of new tweaks and features to check out. It demands patience, and a lot of luck, but if you like the sound of a monster-fighting twist on Monopoly then you should take the hand you're dealt and check this one out.
Lichtspeer is mechanically simple but stylistically demented. Set in a world that throws more neon at you than a dodgy warehouse rave, its arcade style gameplay is certainly repetitive, but satisfying enough to keep your interest for a while with the solid spear-hurling gameplay at its core. The addition of co-op multiplayer is well implemented, both enjoyable in its own right and extremely easy to jump in or out of. It's a short, repetitious experience, well-suited to the Switch's portable nature, but its occasionally unfair difficulty is used to pad the game out. Additional content and a bit more variety would make this über compelling, but it's still a good time so long as you keep an eye on your blood pressure.
Darksiders: Warmastered Edition may be a bit late to the party, and borrows some material from other guests, but it's a welcome addition that still has a few good stories to tell and a trick or two left up its sleeve. It's a remarkably solid experience that combines a distinct aesthetic with varied gameplay, satisfying combat and fast-paced exploration, all centred around a story about the apocalypse. After you really click with a few key abilities early on the game opens wide up, and for anyone who hasn't already played the original this is a solid port of a hidden gem. The visual upgrades do make a big difference, but a slew of gltiches, crashes and software issues go to some lengths to unravel that through sheer frustration alone. Overall, then, it's not the ultimate version of Darksiders currently available, but it's a reasonable attempt for those that want to experience how it all began on their Wii U.
While Sky Force Anniversary doesn't do much in the way of re-inventing the shoot-em-up genre, it's a testament to just how well this style of game still holds up today. It's addictive, it's satisfying, and it encourages you to hone your skills to score perfect runs across a limited variety of levels. There's a good amount of replayability here as a result, though that doesn't make for a great deal of diversity or exciting set-pieces to look forward to. The mechanics are sound, but feel weighed down by the need to grind in order to progress, along with a serious dose of deja-vu from the environments.Still, at its low price this is a flight well worth taking, even if it only lasts a couple of hours. If you're happy to grind and enjoy a well made shooter, it's a welcome option on the Wii U.
Mario Sports Superstars straddles that unfortunate line of mediocrity that makes it difficult to actually score. It's certainly not a bad game, as it has plenty of variety and content to offer with a robust multiplayer mode for anyone that wants all their Mario sports in one convenient package, but we'd struggle to call it a good game either. It merely exists; sitting uncomfortably in a space that Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games has been eyeing up for years now.By offering five games in one it fails to offer a definitive version of anything, and even a pretty decent take on horse racing isn't worth the price of admission unless you're planning on really diving into the other sports as well. As a multiplayer title it could be fun to climb the ranks online, but as a single player experience it's totally functional yet painfully lifeless. It's laid out the groundwork, but Sports Superstars just needs to take a few more risks.
What's frustrating about Toby: The Secret Mine is that it feels like it's actually trying to offer more than the sum of its parts, but just doesn't quite pull it off. It feels too bogged down in its inspirations to present any exciting ideas of its own, and while it's visually stunning at times, even this apes off superior titles that came before. Some challenging platforming and decent puzzles make it one to consider if you're looking to give your Wii U one last Nindie hurrah, but otherwise we'd recommend waiting on a digital sale before diving into this dark adventure.
Blasting Agent: Ultimate Edition is like a little trip back in time to when graphics were blocky, gameplay was simple and story was almost non-existent in video games. It's got the look of a retro game, the feel of a retro game, and due to its repetitious nature, some of the shortcomings of the era as well. Without any particularly interesting mechanics or set-pieces to mix things up mid-game, it has to rely on its admittedly solid foundation of run & gun gameplay, which wasn't quite enough to consistently hold our attention throughout. That being said, what's there is still an enjoyable romp in its own right, and well worth checking out for fans of the genre.