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The paper-thin narrative and characters may leave some underwhelmed, but ultimately Date Night Bowling does its job as a fun, cute, and stylish mash-up of genres. It’s a short and sweet experience that will no doubt have you smiling with its charming collection of mini-games, along with the solid arcadey bowling tossed in for in good measure.
TOUHOU Spell Bubble blends the familiar Puzzle Bobble mechanics with cleverly fun rhythm gameplay set to the beat of Touhou Project’s absolute bangers. And with the new update’s inclusion of online functionality in both ranked and private modes, this already addicting multiplayer puzzler just got a whole lot more exciting. If you’re looking for that instantly enjoyable Puzzle Bobble fun with a fresh new rhythm feel, TOUHOU Spell Bubble is waiting to work its magic on you.
LOVE – A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories has such a clever concept implemented in a unique way — who would have thought to make a game focused on a building’s past and present, its windows open for players to peek inside and see how love grows or wanes over time? Unfortunately, this labor of love was a little hard to understand, its stories only sometimes resonating through confusing feedback and cluttered scenes. If you’re here for puzzles, you may want to pass this one up (or at least give it a go on your PC); if you prefer sentimental stories above gameplay, then let love conquer all and give LOVE – A Puzzle Box Filled with Stories a shot.
Not every sequel can surpass the original, but it’s safe to say that The Caligula Effect 2 is bigger and better than ever before. I can’t say that I was initially expecting a sequel to The Caligula Effect to even happen in the first place, but The Caligula Effect 2 is absolutely a case of something happening that I didn’t even know that I wanted—and I’m extremely glad that I was able to spend some quality time with it.
Hell Road VR is the kind of game you might play in an arcade for a quick laugh and never think about again. While there’s an undeniable novelty that comes from spearing a zombie through the face with a lance at 60 miles per hour from atop your steel steed, the thrill fades fast. With its disappointingly shallow gameplay loop and needlessly frustrating controls, it won’t be long before even the most seasoned zombie hunters grow weary of this road trip. If you’re just dying to bag some ghouls on your favorite HMD, there are simply too many better options available to recommend adding Hell Road VR to your Steam library. So save your neck and your cash for something more deserving. You’ll be glad you did.
Hermitage: Strange Case Files is not your average visual novel, nor is it your average cosmic horror title. With relaxing-yet-energetic jazzy tunes that’ll have you sipping coffee and pondering the depths of the darkness that resides within the human mind, Hermitage: Strange Case Files feels oddly comfortable and confusing at the same time. It’s not that I didn’t want Hermitage: Strange Case Files to end — it got to a point where I genuinely didn’t think it would, its unexplained mysteries consuming all that’s left of me. If you’re looking for an interactive visual novel to get absolutely lost in (in every possible sense of that phrase), Hermitage: Strange Case Files has a literal bookstore to delve into.
While not all of the features Battlefield 2042 introduces are a hit, and the lack of a single-player component is a little disappointing, the game still manages to deliver the same spectacular skirmishes fans of the series crave with its explosive 128-player conflicts and satisfying selection of near-future weaponry and gadgets. Add to that the impressive Portal Mode, which has the potential to keep a steady stream of community-created content flowing, and Battlefield 2042 could very well keep your itchy trigger finger soothed for the foreseeable future. Whether you’re a longtime fan of the franchise looking to dominate the leaderboards or a greenhorn ready for your first tour of duty, Battlefield 2042 delivers something worth fighting for.
It’s difficult to recommend Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall. While I’m confident comfort settings will be patched in upcoming releases, and the tracking issues with combat will be resolved, it’s more complicated to address some of my other concerns with the game. A dull and impenetrable plot, coupled with uninspiring combat and limited enemy design, make for a fairly meaningless experience. You’d be better off playing The Wizards or Blade and Sorcery for your fix of fantasy VR hack and slash.
There’s genuine fun to be had with Jurassic World Evolution 2. Chaos mode and the sandbox give you a lot of options to really build the park of your dreams. When even the game’s best modes are fairly flawed, though, it becomes hard to recommend all, but the biggest Jurassic Park fans dig into this one. Players who can play on PC will almost certainly find a game that controls better, but while that’s an issue, it isn’t the only problem here. Sadly, a different control scheme isn’t going to solve Jurassic World Evolution 2’s most significant issues.
Ultimately, The Legend of Tianding is a very well balanced and enjoyable game that can be beaten in a few short hours. Combined with the affordable price point, this is an easy one to recommend, especially since it’s a really impressive first outing by the developer. Here’s hoping it’s not the last such historical adventure by Creative Games and Computer Graphics Corporation and Neon Doctrine.
Saint Kotar tells a compelling story that should satisfy horror fans, and there are moments that are genuinely unsettling. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to save Saint Kotar from its shortcomings. The makings of a really great game are present, but it gets in its own way too much. Frustratingly, Saint Kotar’s biggest offender and what holds it back is its own clumsiness, in its execution, characters, performances, and telegraphed final twist.
Where Cards Fall has a uniquely interesting puzzle mechanic with a melancholy vibe that will please those who love to feel their way through a title. While the story is difficult to grasp, those who prefer puzzles over story won’t mind that too much, as the puzzles themselves are the driving force behind the game and more than make up for any perceived issues. If you’re looking for something familiar with a novel twist, play your cards right with Where Cards Fall.
Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One is a title that comes excruciatingly close to achieving greatness. When you are in the midst of one of the many mysteries that Cordona Island holds, cracking cases and soaking in Frogwares’ fantastic writing, Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One is up there with the best the series has to offer. Unfortunately, performance issues hold back the open-world exploration to an extent that drags the overall experience down. Nevertheless, even with the technical drawbacks, the main gameplay loop of cracking cases and solving puzzles is stronger than ever and well worth the price of admission.
Hammerting’s level of character detail and large, explorable areas offer promise for those who love resource management and base-building games. The graphics and concept hold up, and the game runs well. Adding combat, trade, exploration, and an overworld mechanic with faction relationships to a colony sim is a major undertaking that will pay off well if the systems can become fully integrated. However, the game is not polished enough to deliver a dependable experience, and despite its scope, it offers few new ideas to make it memorable. Developers promise more quality of life improvements, but being a small team, the modding community may have to take up the slack as they did with RimWorld. Thankfully, modding is encouraged in C++. Time will tell if Hammerting is a diamond in the rough, or whether it becomes buried under its own ambition.
Although Lawn Mowing Simulator might get a laugh or two in its concept alone, it’s a genuinely good simulation game that allows players to manage the landscaping business of their dreams. While it’s not as satisfying as PowerWash Simulator, it’s just as relaxing — if you enjoyed one, you’ll likely enjoy the other. If you want the satisfaction of a lawn well mowed but don’t actually want to get outside and mow a lawn (and that irony isn’t lost on you whatsoever), Lawn Mowing Simulator is begging you to take the wheel.
There’s some legitimacy to all of the gripes, and that’s why I can’t give The Trilogy the perfect score that these titles would have merited individually when they were first released. Though the teenager in me might balk at giving any of these games less than 5/5, the 35-year-old me can’t deny that they are a bit janky and dated in parts, and much of the work done to update the gameplay has been insufficient or uneven. It definitely seems a big ask to expect folks to pay £55/$60 USD for these more minimal remasters when the Mafia trilogy, for example, was recently given a much more thorough root-and-branch remake of the first game along with the remastering of the other two titles. Still, even though a new coat of paint can’t cover every imperfection (and creates a couple new ugly streaks in the process), Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy is still a serviceable update for three absolute classics. With the quality of life improvements and visual upgrades, it’s still a fine way to enjoy three amazing games beloved by so many.
Despite a few minor quibbles, Forza Horizon 5 is a triumph for its series, taking everything the last several titles set up so well and making a bigger and better game than its predecessors. Any fan of racing games needs to check it out now, and even if you’re not usually into the genre, you may surprise yourself with how well it pulls you in. Forza Horizon 5 is a taste of gaming nirvana that is not to be missed.
Evertried does a lot right — fans of roguelites who have played them all and want to explore something novel might enjoy this unique spin on turn-based tactical gameplay. It definitely instills that “one more turn” kind of feeling from the get-go, eagerly inviting players to die, die again. If Into The Breach was your cup of tea and you’re looking for something with that kind of flavor, Evertried is here to take you to new heights.
Don’t let Alchemist Simulator’s cozy aesthetics fool you — there’s no warm welcome here. Getting your bearings as a fledgling alchemist will take a lot of practice and patience, but once you do, it’s smooth sailing. In fact, some might even find it too smooth, as Alchemist Simulator’s repetitive nature makes it hard to learn but easy to master. A little more communication to the player would have gone a long way in the beginning, and some increased difficulty at the end would have captivated those looking for a challenge. Alchemist Simulator gets warm enough to melt lead, but unfortunately not hot enough to make gold.
Bassmaster Fishing 2022 provides a really in-depth and realistic simulation of fishing at the tournament level, but it is missing a lot of the flair that might have made it more accessible to gamers at large. It’s not a catch that will go down in legend, but for fishing fanatics it’s a hearty haul nonetheless.