Baldur's Gate 3 is a gold standard for RPGs, setting the bar incredibly high for future games in the genre - and it's something I know I'll be coming back to time and time again in the future. With a cast of fleshed-out, fully realised characters; tactical turn-based combat that presents an opportunity to stop, think and plan your attack strategically; and a dizzying amount of customisable choices, BG3 is truly a roleplayer's dream.
Hooked On You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim is something that, as a long-term Dead by Daylight fan, I never knew that I needed until now. This alternate universe version of these Killers and Survivors turns what we know about them on its head while we try to stay alive, uncover the mystery of Murderer’s Island, and axe any unfavorable possible romances from the running in slick, self-aware, and completely over the top reality-show style gameplay.
Evil Dead: The Game is a faithful and bloody horror that combines plenty of gameplay systems from across the multiplayer genre in tight, impactful gameplay. A variety of game modes and classes mean that there’s something for everyone, but it’s let down by quick-to-tire and repetitive finishing moves, limited accessibility features, and restrictions on earning experience. That being said, I’m incredibly excited to see what Saber Interactive has got in-store in the future, as with such a well-designed, lightning-in-a-bottle type formula, Evil Dead: The Game will either survive the test of time or be banished to the deep recesses of player’s minds depending upon the quality of the game’s future updates and how many it receives over time.
The Sims 4 Werewolves includes everything that fans of The Sims’ quirky sense of humor have come to expect with its anthropomorphic styling for the occult state, alongside the inclusion of fun and well-thought-out unlockable abilities and Temperaments that can be used to weave unique stories for your Sims. Moonwood Mill feels incredibly open despite its small size with only five lots and is only held back by the limitations on the set pieces that cannot be explored. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of occult life states or not, the unique CAS items and fantastic Build/Buy catalog make this Game Pack one that we’d definitely recommend you to pick up.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly Episode 2 is the perfect pick-up-and-play title whenever you're looking for an escape from the bustle of everyday life. Delivering everything you'd expect to see from the previous instalment alongside enough small changes like a new outfit for a returning character, new drinks and ingredients, and the addition of Stories on Tomodachill, it feels familiar yet fresh. With an incredibly relaxed, ambient atmosphere, and a cast of fully realised, memorable characters with storylines that echo the real world, this fantasy-based visual novel is an absolute treat to play. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to practise my Coffee Talk latte art.
Disney Speedstorm, even in its early access form, is shaping up to be a great kart racer that can shape up to other top-tier titles within the genre. With plenty of challenges, racers, and modes to try out and unlock, completionists out there have a multitude of reasons to hop into the game again and again while burning rubber as your favourite Disney or Pixar character. While the sheer amount of quests and challenges to complete can get overwhelming at times, personally, I can't wait to see what Disney Speedstorm has in store for us - and I'll be right there at the finish line cheering them on.
Saints Row is everything you’d expect from a new entry into the franchise: It’s full of larger-than-life story beats, a LARPing subplot, oodles of customization, and outlandish Skills to take down your enemies with. While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, your Boss and their three companions are where this reboot truly shines — and it’s a joy to experience Santo Ileso and all that it has to offer with them.
The Sims 4 High School Years is executed well when looking at what’s on the surface, and the features included with the expansion have undoubtedly fleshed out the teen life state to keep things interesting for a while. However, elements that could be taken much further — such as a funfair full of rabbit holes and a classroom that includes situations that are just tied to pop-ups — keep it from truly flourishing as an Expansion Pack.
All in all, while I am not a Simmer that prefers a generational style of play (I typically play with aging turned off and mostly as Young Adults, Adults, or Elders), Growing Together still has plenty of features that appeal to me, from its wide range of catalog items in CAS and Build/Buy through to the gorgeous (albeit shallow-feeling) world of San Sequoia, and an all-new Soul radio station to listen to. If a generational style of play does interest you, however, then The Sims 4 Growing Together will be exactly what you’re looking for. It brings much more (very needed) depth to the systems already in-game, with new likes and dislikes, Milestones, and Family Dynamics fleshing out how your Sims interact with one another. Storytellers will likely have ample fun utilizing all of these new features, and it has to be said that removing these gameplay elements would take a lot away from how individual Sims are now starting to feel all these years after its original 2014 release.
If you’re looking for a cozy game bursting at the seams with things to do that will have you whiling away the hours, Disney Dreamlight Valley is definitely worth it: it’s shaping up to be one of my favorite games of 2022, and it’s not even out of early access yet. The ability to live alongside some of Disney’s most memorable characters, raise their Friendship level and design the world that they inhabit is truly something that I never knew I needed until it arrived.