Little Red Lie is a difficult game to recommend without qualification. It's uncomfortable, confronting, and just about the furthest thing away from a rollicking good time imaginable. And yet, if you're willing to go on its journey, sharp writing and a laser thematic focus will force you to re-examine some of the reasons you lie, and some of the things you lie about.
SteamWorld Dig 2 is just about as competent a Metroidvania game as you're likely to find in 2017. Its platforming and combat is solid, and its exploration is always a joy. What this fun sequel lacks in ambition, it makes up for in polish and charm.
Last Day of June is a beautiful rumination on the ways death and fate are indelibly intertwined. It's also a competent puzzler with a winning sense of style. Repetitiveness and a slightly predictable structure stymie the proceedings somewhat, but never enough to ruin what is an otherwise lovely experience.
Nidhogg 2 doesn't change the core gameplay of its precursor in any Earth shattering ways, but it does introduce enough tweaks and refinements to make it well worth a second trip to the cosmic worm's hideous belly. While the single player component isn't especially interesting and the visuals might not be to everyone's taste, as a couch multiplayer experience its immediacy and depth is utterly infectious.
The Silver Case is best enjoyed as an intriguing historical document: a statement of intent from a developer that would go on to bigger and better things. Removed from that context, however, it is difficult to recommend. An utterly glacial pace combined with often nonsensical dialogue means the experience is dull at best – and frustrating at worst.
It's hard to dislike Blackwood Crossing. It makes a valiant attempt at telling a tender story in an unconventional way, and for that its developers absolutely deserve credit. Unfortunately, its attempts largely fall flat. There are some striking visual and auditory moments to be sure but they don't make up for the predictable narrative and spotty voice acting.
2Dark tries to do too many things at once. Its stealth mechanics, while occasionally satisfying, are frustrating and pedestrian. Similarly, its attempts at horror, while presented well, are undermined by bad writing and repetitive gameplay. A lack of clear signposting and a terrible UI do nothing to help this maddening experience.
Loot Rascals is an intriguing and infectiously charming roguelike. Its central mechanics are tense and engaging, and the meta-mechanic surrounding them provide a satisfying gimmick. Unfortunately, its card-based stat system offers little strategic variety, and its procedural generation can be frustrating.
The Turing Test is both a thoughtful meditation on the implications of artificial intelligence, and a competent first person puzzler. Its systems are clever, its graphics make for unambiguous play, and its mechanical focus on logic is satisfying. Structural and pacing issues are certainly present, but they aren't egregious enough to meaningfully detract from the experience.
2064: Read Only Memories tells a haunting story in a stylish way. Its diverse roster of characters, intriguing world, and masterful soundtrack make for an engaging experience from beginning to end. While there are some minor storytelling and structural hiccups, it nevertheless successfully combines a classic genre with modern trimmings.