We really wanted Wander to be brilliant, but unfortunately, it comes across as half-baked, lacking in things to do, and underwhelming in almost every area. The developer, Wander MMO, had some grand ideas for this title – but for the most part, it's been poorly executed. There is potential here for a compelling experience – perhaps after some significant patching – but for now, it doesn't quite reach the developer's lofty, risky goals.
Ultimately, F1 2015 feels pretty lightweight in terms of content, and if you place it side by side with F1 2014, it's clear as day that what we have is little more than the bare-bones basics. In isolation, though, this year's instalment is still a decent game and worthy of any fan's attention. It feels like a good starting position for the series' run on current consoles, and 2016's iteration will hopefully be a little more fleshed out. For now, though, we have a very faithful recreation of the sport with superb handling and a reasonable step up in the graphics department. It's just a bit of a shame that there's not more to it.
The culmination of a decade's worth of iteration, Metanet's latest is a success in every sense. It's super stylish, feels excellent to play, and has that tough-but-fair balance just right. There may only be a few modes, but within them lie a vast number of levels, and when you're done, you can browse for even more created by players. This certainly won't be a game for everyone, as some people may find it too difficult and possibly a little obtuse. However, for those who like a hard-as-nails platformer and want a fresh compelling experience, you can't do much better than N++.
If you've already played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, it's still very worthy of your time, but there's not much new to see beyond some concept art and commentary. If you're yet to play it, though, you now have no excuse. A well-told and engaging story awaits for those of you willing to forgive the slightly awkward controls.
Thief Town is a great effort from Glass Knuckle Games, with fun, simple multiplayer that has more depth than you might think. If there was a little more to see and do, this would be much easier to recommend, but it will be a little too sparse for some. For others, though, this will be a great little title to put on when friends come over, and that feels like where Thief Town belongs.
A splendid RPG that tests your skills and your brain, Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition is a challenging, sprawling, and enchanting title from the very start. Our only quibble is a complex UI that can sometimes get a little too busy, but it doesn't take away from the game's many strengths. Not only does it have an impressive combat system and interesting quests, it features a reactive world that you can truly leave your mark on. Add in a winning sense of humour, well thought-out gameplay systems, and a charming aesthetic, and you're left with an RPG that would be a sin to miss.
As fun as often as it is frustrating, Poncho is a hard game to recommend, even to 16-bit platformer super fans. You may be able to get some enjoyment out of it, and it certainly has an oddball charm, but ultimately, it fails to impress where it counts. The parallax layer hopping is neat and at times can be fun. Unfortunately, the game falters too often and descends into maddening tedium. Retro platformers may be stylish these days, but sadly, Poncho hasn't quite pulled it off.
Kromaia Ω is a frantic and fun 3D shoot-'em-up, with a focus on arcade action and presented in a vibrant, though sometimes hard to read, aesthetic. With only four levels in which to unleash bullet hell, the game can get repetitive fairly quickly, but each area is massive, with secrets and puzzles sprinkled in to help keep things interesting. A unique, enjoyable game that could have done with just a dash more substance to go with all that style.
Fat Princess Adventures won't be winning any awards for originality, but as a casual co-op game to play over the holiday, it's a solid choice. The combat is shallow, but fun nonetheless, and the game makes it easy to switch classes and items to keep things interesting. It's made the transition to hack-'n'-slash surprisingly well, and while there are many hoping for the traditional multiplayer to make a comeback, this spin-off holds its own as a family friendly action game – so long as you turn the gore off.
This is a game clearly made for long-standing fans, and made by a passionate team that strived to recreate the gameplay experience of the original on modern hardware. In that sense, Amplitude is a total success. The way that the game draws you in with its psychedelic visuals, how your brain switches off and your fingers become one with your DualShock, the satisfying way that the tracks disintegrate when you clear them – it's all here. If you can forgive the game's problems, you're left with a very solid rhythm game, and an experience that's as fresh today as it was 13 years ago.