King Oddball is an incredibly competent puzzler. While it's certainly not going to blow your mind, it will provide you with a couple of hours of rock solid, if slightly uninteresting, physics-based gameplay. Comparisons to its high-flying contemporary are inevitable, but a gleefully absurd premise combined with equally bizarre presentation go a long way in differentiating it from the competition. Hail to the king, baby.
Transistor is an absolute triumph: a stunning sensory experience that buoys its lofty ambitions on a rock solid strategic core. It spins a tale of love, technology, and political and social unrest that speeds confidently towards a magnificent crescendo. What's more, the razor sharp combat remains thrilling throughout, and the visuals and music display an almost superhuman level of polish. While niggling complaints can certainly be levelled at the gorgeous indie, a trip to Cloudbank comes highly recommended.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a poignant and powerful reminder of the significant human toll borne of the wars that we so often act out in our favourite video games. It doesn't exaggerate or embellish its subject matter, but rather tells a story rooted in historical accuracy and human emotion. And while the puzzler's gameplay isn't revolutionary by any means, its awe-inspiring visual design, clever soundtrack, and thoughtful plot will break your heart in the best possible way.
Crimsonland is exactly one video game: a perfectly competent twin-stick shooter, and nothing else. Unfortunately, the title's quests feel a bit half-baked, and the whole thing could do with a facelift. However, with an addictive survival mode, a proliferation of interesting perks, and a host of guns to collect, those in the market for some mindless action are likely to find a lot to like here.
The Swapper is an indie puzzle platformer with a gameplay hook which is cleverly married to a grand operatic narrative. Its strange visuals and atmospheric soundtrack augment this vision, creating a wholly unique and cohesive experience. While some of its later puzzles are a bit too fiddly for their own good, and the overall pacing sometimes feels a little off kilter, this is still a space voyage that comes highly recommended.
Despite its seemingly vanilla exterior, CounterSpy is a remarkably ambitious title. It makes an admirable attempt at creating a new kind of 2D stealth game, but unfortunately the results just aren't particularly compelling. While its presentation is dapper and divine, its gameplay is clunky, and the whole experience gets tiresome very quickly.
With tight gameplay, sharp shooting, and a remarkable sense of style, Futuridium EP Deluxe is a delightful 3D shooter. While there are certainly moments of frustration to be had here – predominantly stemming from misjudged aiming – the gorgeous graphics and stellar soundtrack more than make up for any misgivings. Oh, and if you do decide to play it, be sure to use headphones.
Stating that 'you'll enjoy this game if you're a fan of the genre' is arguably the most meaningless and overused video game review cliché of all time. But in the case of Pier Solar HD, it's startlingly accurate. This is a retro RPG down to its very core, and if you aren't prepared to accept its charmingly archaic quirks, you probably won't relish your time with it. However, if you are willing to embrace its idiosyncrasies – some amiable, some aggravating - you'll find a veritable wealth of content to explore.
Pix the Cat is a fiendishly addictive arcade experience. Featuring a bevy of different modes, rock solid core mechanics, and a ludicrous level of polish, it has the potential to devour gaping chunks of your time. Unfortunately, slightly shonky controls let the title down, but if you can look past this misstep, you'll find hours of leaderboard climbing action.
Someone considerably more famous and intelligent than us once said that simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication, and Race the Sun is the interactive embodiment of that idea. This is an incredibly humble game, both in gameplay and presentation, but one that is tense, satisfying, and totally hypnotic.