Anno 1800 can become confusing and complicated over time, what with the in-depth nature of this civilization sandbox franchise. But those willing to step up to the challenge are rewarded with a gorgeous and comprehensive game, built on micro-management and period-set obstacles and factors that nudge you along in your mission to build the next great island metropolis. For what gaming experience it represents, the franchise looks and feels great.
The Mystery of Woolley Mountain certainly serves up rewarding mental challenges, but they're paired with a constant challenge of another sort: the game's unsophistication in almost every other department. Stilted in its art style and comedic choices, it will test your nerves as much as your brain.
Islanders is simple and straight-forward but still manages to make each of its city-building runs engrossing with a high-score to chase and procedurally-generated spaces to explore. It's the charming visuals and meditative soundtrack that make your brief stays worth it, enrapturing you in a relaxing aesthetic as you try to survive as long as you can.
Xenon Racer harks back to the simpler days of arcade racing. It includes all one might need and expect from a game of its genre. Buts it starts to choke thanks to a compromised handling of the vehicle. The races are unappealing, despite you being in a drop-dead set of wheels.
FromSoftware proves yet again that they're masters of their craft. Every aspect of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is just so lovingly crafted that any flaw feels like a droplet in an ocean of brilliance. Sekiro is the full package with immensely satisfying combat and an intriguing world to explore and discover.
As a first step towards a future of more live service content, The Division 2 already feels amazingly complete. It works from day one, its various systems are staggeringly deep and its combat is in a class of its own. Everything else that's still to come over the next couple of years? That's a satisfying cherry on top of an already massive sundae of excellence.
Life Is Strange 2: Episode 2 is a disappointment. While it contains a number of revelatory moments and a couple of scenes that pack real tension, thanks to its lousy pacing and absence of agency, only the most committed fans of this series are advised to pick it up. Here's hoping Episode 3 picks up the pace.
With sumptuous hand-crafted visuals and a throwback LucasArts approach to puzzle-adventure gaming, Trüberbook is a treat for genre fans. Well, in part anyway. It's a pity that all the goodwill the game generates is drained by an unsatisfying story that doesn't bother to answer even half of the questions it's raised.
The Wizards: Enhanced Edition wrestles with the limitations of PSVR and never wins, deeply undercutting its enjoyable spellcasting with inaccurate motion tracking. These issues are only made worse by uninteresting missions and repetitive combat, making the initial splendour of this spellcasting adventure fade very quickly.
Devil May Cry 5 is a masterpiece in action. It has heart and charm in its epic story that comes full circle on the series. It looks sexier than the sun setting over a billionaire's collection of cars that are parked on a Santa Monica strip in California. It plays phenomenally well and will leave you drenched in sweat and satisfaction when the end credits roll, while wishing for more of its sassy attitude.