Desert Child is stylistically fantastic and has some of the more exciting racing gameplay we've seen this year, but it really suffers from its short length. There's an interesting, colourful world to explore in Olympia, but unfortunately things ends when it feels like Desert Child is just getting started. Still, it's an admirable effort from a talented one-man team.
Just Deal With It is another disappointing addition to the PlayLink library. The online functionality will certainly be a selling point for some, but as a couch party game it fails to add any major draws that separate it from physical card games. It may do what it says on the tin, but that's about it.
Knowledge Is Power: Decades is still the solid quiz game that its predecessor was, but other than that it's hard to argue a case for its existence. The visual style is fun and appealing, but the format is still too light on questions and there's not much in this year's edition that wasn't already in the original. It certainly does its job, but not much else.
Chimparty is fun in places, but the repetition and occasional frustrations of its minigames means it's not likely to stay that way for long. As a family game it's too fiddly to be enjoyable for a sustained period of time, though its visual style is appealing enough to soften the blows of the substandard gameplay. Mario Party it certainly isn't – hopefully there'll be some better family games coming to PlayLink sooner or later.
Bar the frustrating Zeeple Dome and a few bugs, The Jackbox Party Pack 5 is yet another fantastic collection of party games. With each game offering something different -- and Mad Verse City in particular being a highlight -- Jackbox Games has made a game that should keep you and your friends entertained for a while.
My Memory of Us is an exciting and emotional trip through a dark period of human history. Its bittersweet story mixes well with its tense stealth-based gameplay, while clever puzzles flesh things out. Fittingly for a game about memories, we won't forget our time with Juggler Games' project for quite a while.
Though it's not very accessible and lacks a bit of polish, the amount of pure heart that has gone into Fire Pro Wrestling World means that it's a fun retro wrestling game once you get used to it. The endless customisation options and deep story mode provide great value, while the game's oddball nature is pretty charming. Like The Rock, Fire Pro Wrestling World is somehow still going after all these years. Unlike The Rock, its legacy hasn't been tarnished by an appearance in the Baywatch reboot.
Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered presents a great opportunity for those who have already played it and those who haven't. For the former, it's a chance to experience its explosive, imperfect glory in a higher framerate and with better visuals. For the latter, it's a chance to play one of the cult classics of last generation at its peak.
Dan & Gary Games has given the Metroidvania-RPG genre a fair crack of the whip with Super Daryl Deluxe, but its needless amount of monotonous side quests and its floaty, button-mashing combat negates the occasional humorous highlights. There is a good game in here somewhere, but plenty of fat trimming is in order before you can get to it.
Containing an impressive adaptation of the Isle of Man's Snaefell Mountain Course, TT Isle of Man Racing: Ride on the Edge will be attractive to motorcycle nuts looking for a new experience. But its high asking price, repetitive career mode, and lack of any online community means that everyone else can simply pass this by.
It might not be too innovative, but Frantics provides an enjoyable party experience that Sony's PlayLink service has been lacking. It certainly isn't a killer app, but the fun variety of minigames and its (mostly) responsive controls show how much of a good time PlayLink can provide when it's properly used.
Milestone's latest is a fun romp through a variety of off-road locations, offering both quantity and variety in terms of tracks, cards, and modes. It's not the most ambitious racer ever, but the non-serious style of the flagship Off-Road Masters mode will be very appealing to those wanting an enjoyable arcade experience.
It's such a shame that Kerbal Space Program is so shoddily ported, because underneath its buggy, messy experience lies a fantastically detailed game with plenty for science nerds. The career mode offers replayability and near-endless depth, while the tutorials are hugely helpful in bringing new people into the complex clutches of physics, but its plethora of bugs and some huge design oversights make it very hard to recommend. The gameplay itself shoots for the stars, but its technical problems bring it crashing back down.
A party title with great visuals, sound, and gameplay, Ultimate Chicken Horse is a great combination of conniving strategy and frantic platforming. With plenty of modes to play, maps to customise, and unlocks to go for, Clever Endeavour Games' PS4 debut is as good for your wallet as it is for your sofa. An essential for any get together, the game's well-tuned mechanics lead to pure animania.
Though Dead Rising 4: Frank's Big Package has noticeably distanced itself from its predecessors - a move likely to alienate series fans - Capcom's latest is still a damn fun game that doesn't take itself too seriously. Its Christmas setting benefits the game's character as a whole, and the wacky weapons and great gunplay, coupled with the new exo suit, ensure that combat is as punchy and enjoyable as ever, and while there is a feeling that it lacks identity, it certainly doesn't lack comedy. Frank West has risen again, and while he isn't as recognisable as his former self, he's been revamped in style.
London Studio's latest karaoke effort may have a decent Party mode and PlayLink functionality, but its one-note tracklist and lack of four-player functionality make it a poor choice for a party game. SingStar: Celebration certainly doesn't live up to its name, then – it's only marginally more fun than a Jehovah's Witness' birthday bash.
While it's not as unique or charming as its predecessor That's You, Knowledge Is Power is a solid, fun quiz game for when you've got friends or family around. While it's a little light on actual quizzing, the Power Plays allow for plenty of game-changing moments and inject some tension into the game as everyone scrambles to wipe virtual goo off of their phones and answer first. With another solid game added to its lineup and many more coming over the next few months, Sony's PlayLink service won't be going away anytime soon.
One of the best detective games of all time, L.A. Noire on PS4 will certainly give you bang for your buck thanks to its improved graphical prowess and neat package containing all of the original's content. It may not be the greatest looking remaster overall, but visuals aside, it's still the engaging storylines and the complex characters that you'll come back for. Team Bondi may have been shot three days before retirement, but its spirit lives on.
Playing LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 is a constant battle between being pulled in by TT Games' charm and being pushed away by the repetitive gameplay. For every excellent moment there are seemingly multiple forgettable ones, but if you can stomach the lows of the story, then there are some fun times to be had. Still, this middling effort shows that the LEGO series is in need of some revitalising changes.