No coins are necessary when taking on the difficult challenge that is Battle Axe. It’s visually and audibly stellar, likely to please anyone looking for a hit of nostalgia. However, the promised features and improvements of the PS5 version are missing and half the game doesn’t work as intended. With that said, the core gameplay is adrenaline fuelled and satisfying, hacking up the overall fun factor.
Goat Simulator 3 nails the ridiculousness in a bigger, more intuitive way. The humour hits in every corner of the huge open world you’ll be exploring, culminating in hours of fun. The controls not feeling as modern as its peers, alongside small performance issues dampen the overall package, but if you’re looking for something truly off the wall and friendly for all ages, this game is one to check out.
This nautical roguelike is chaotic, frantic and sometimes frustrating if you’re on your own. There’re too many variables in the trinkets/weaponry via RNG to squander your enjoyment and an AI that can feel unfair at times. But with a co-captain, there’s some treasure to be had, and a presentation that could cure scurvy.
For those wondering where the great classic survival horrors have gone – Signalis is right here, ready to welcome you. Rose Engine have taken inspiration from the greats in the genre. In some ways it pushes the genre forward. You may not vibe with how it plays on occasion but beyond that is an incredible story, with a memorable dystopian sci-fi aesthetic you’ll find hard to let go.
A rough start that continues for hours may put some off, but if you love the Jurassic franchise then this could be for you. The stealth isn’t translated well from VR but it’s serviceable albeit one-note. However, the presentation and music compliment the franchises ethos exceptionally, making it a competent Jurassic experience.
Tanuki Sunset is fun to play if you take it as seriously as a Raccoon on a Longboard. The visuals and colour palette pop and there’s a nostalgic but limited soundtrack to shred into the sunset. Those looking for a mechanically sound Arcade game won’t find it here however, with a little too much randomness bouncing off rigidly set challenges.
Confused puzzles, a convoluted story, poor use of lighting and no real scares makes Charon’s Staircase a good reason for taking the escalator instead.
The presentation and the fear factor of Yomawari: Lost in the Dark leave a great first impression. The beautifully crafted visuals and moment-to-moment potential horror you face makes it an unnerving experience that’s hard to shake. However, the more you play, the less you’re rewarded with actual reasoning from the story. It’s a gut punch to persevere in the final act. This may be appealing to fans of the series but it didn’t make a new one of me by the end.
This kart racer is for the Nickelodeon fans and families alike. It’s an approachable entry for newcomers as it has a lot of reimagined content from the first two games. It’s also accessible, with a low skill barrier for entry that admittedly can go surprisingly high for experienced players. There’s a lot of content to get through but you’ll have seen the best of it after a hours and it doesn’t stand out amongst its peers, outside of featuring a load of Nickelodeon IPs.
Splatter Zombiecalypse Now feels lost in time. It plays solidly enough but it lacks innovation and feels dated, surrounded by better games in the genre on Switch. If you look past the presentation and concentrate on the modes you can enjoy, it could make for a decent evening of entertainment.
Being a step beyond inspiration and dated in its mechanics, Airoheart is an obtuse yet magical game to delve into. Pixel Heart Studio’s debut is great but often hindered by its imitation. Though the unique aspects are what kept me playing, I just wish there was more originality.
Penko Park plays mechanically better than others in its genre and is a strange blend of the cute and unsettling. It’s a little bit on the short side, but there’s never a dull moment when you’re taking snaps of all the weird and wonderful wildlife.
With better game design choices and no hard crashes – Moonscars would be a great addition to the 2D Soulstroidvania genre. It’s hard to enjoy the bleak aesthetics and the rich lore of the world when the game doesn’t let you finish it however. The combat is fresh yet familiar but every mechanic outside of that isn’t really needed. But this may be one to perserve with, if you need that Souls itch scratched.
Alfred Hitchcock Veritgo takes some steps to tell a mature story that has an incredible mystery behind it. Certain parts are difficult to play through due to the subject matter, but if you’re after a narrative adventure that shares thematic depth of cinema, then you’re in for a treat. The gameplay doesn’t compliment the story telling too often and a few performance issues hold it back. However, if you can look past those flaws there’s a unique story to unravel.
Crea-ture Studios have achieved a great feat by making the most authentic skateboarding game to date, seconded only by going out and practicing kickflips yourself. The physics-based controls are incredibly intuitive and satisfying to learn. There’s a steep learning curve that may put players off but if you stick with it, there’s no other game that does skateboarding as well as this. It’s not without its minor flaws, but look past them and you’ll find a game with endless replayability.
Akane’s break-neck pace and cyberpunk setting is not one to overlook. The lack of variety isn’t a huge issue when everything it presents is impeccable and you get as much as you put in with the game. The arcade elements make for an addictive game play loop that’ll keep you repeatedly fighting through the night.
World War I returns with the Italian theatre authentically recreated for some grounded, methodical FPS action. The real war was a grind and Isonzo maybe captures that feeling a little too well with a lack of variety in maps and modes, coupled with some major technical and visual issues. Even so, it’s an earnest effort that’ll draw in appreciators of history and those who like their FPS experiences to be more tactical and threatening than the Battlefield 2042s of the world.
Svoboda 1945: Liberation defines why some stories should be told in the medium of games. This multimedia experience is filled with impactful emotions and hard truths that are long overdue in lesser known war stories. Although its short lived as far as games go, the lessons you learn are so unique that Charles Games has set a precedent in storytelling.
Mutropolis evokes the same feelings its older and most revered predecessors do. However, the technical problems and clunky sometimes nonsensical puzzles holds the title back from being a point and click that stands out of the ever-growing crowd.
NBA 2K23 has something for everyone to get stuck into – whether you want to get engrossed in the Jordan era or have your own come up in MyCareer, all provide a lot to work with. With some of the best visuals to hit consoles and deep gameplay that plays so solidly, NBA 2K23 is a great iteration of the franchise.