Dave The Diver is a true indie gem. The story acts as the glue that holds things together while most of the weight of the game is on the shoulders of gameplay mechanics that are gradually added, new areas that are unlocked in each chapter of the story, and new weapons and equipment that can be found in boxes scattered in the Blue Hole. This game is a simple delight like a cup of coffee in the morning or an ice cream in the summer heat; its true value is felt only when you taste it yourself.
I believe the best way to describe this game would be a survival horror isometric tactical shooter in the Alien universe. Aliens Dark Descent perfectly establishes its own rules and stays true to the Alien franchise and what made it one of the greatest modern sci-fi works: the heart-wrenching fear of the unknown and the thrill of fighting against all odds.
Returnal is a great experience for those who love bullet hell games or sci-fi roguelikes. Though the difficulty spikes and unbalanced weapons sometimes make it hard not to rage quit, sticking with Selene in her mysterious and symbolic journey is truly rewarding. With the co-op and endless modes being available at launch, Returnal's arrival on PC can be celebrated long because of its replay value.
Although some levels are too long and the hidden secret ending that is actually the only reason for going through New Game+ is even more disappointing than the original ending, that cannot stop even the most hard-to-please gamers from loving Tango Gameworks' latest marvel.
The Legend of Tianding is a great indie title. The game has the true spirit of indie gaming: it tells a story that could still be relatable considering the political climate of Taiwan, represents the cultural and social aspirations of a nation, has a unique visual identity, and knows its limitations. The Legend of Tianding is a short game, but it provides such a memorable experience that makes it difficult to wait for the next title from the team behind it.
With a critical view of modern spiritual cults and quite a few good jump scares, The Chant's story-driven adventure is a remnant from the old days when AA survival horror games such as Alone in the Dark and Fatal Frame were not forgotten. The game definitely has its flaws, but it has the potential to turn into a modern AA horror franchise.
As a person who played all the Spider-Man games since Sega Genesis' Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, Insomniac's version of the New-York city's wall crawler is the best Spider-Man game ever released. The game holds up pretty well both in visuals and gameplay mechanics. Though there are some drawbacks and shortcomings, they are not game-breaking or in any way stop the players from enjoying the title. To make a long story short, Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered is a diamond in the rough.
The Tale of Bistun is not perfect, but it is original. The romantic story with masterfully incorporated symbolism and plot twists along with the exotic art style makes the game a sensational experience; it is short and does not overstay its welcome as well.
Dominion Biosyn Expansion is not perfect. It adds some new quality of life features such as hyperloop while taking away some well-placed challenges like the guests. The campaign length and new dinosaurs also make it a worthwhile experience for those who enjoy being around 60 million years old dragons; especially if you are a paleontologist turned video game critic like me!
Trek to Yomi is Flying Wild Hog's best game. Unlike Shadow Warrior 3, the studio's first title in 2022 that was a huge step backward, Trek to Yomi is aimed at a niche audience. It's short, violent, and poetic. The one-hit kill Kensei mode that's unlocked after finishing the game for the first time also adds more replay value for the game while creating the potential for attracting hardcore gamers and speedrunners. The game can be enjoyed by many, but a very small group of people will hold on to it for a very long time. That's why Trek to Yomi has the chance to become a cult title.