As a turn-based strategy game primarily aimed at kids, its hard not to view Transformers: Battlegrounds as anything other than a success. It’s streamlined, but not so much so that older Transformers fans won’t be able get a kick out of the action, especially if they crank up the difficulty. And while its presentation isn’t the best, it’s bold and colourful enough to excite its target market.
Supraland pushes boundaries to try to create something unique, and for the most part, it succeeds with gusto. It’s a game where you really feel like you’re exploring someone’s imagination; a hodgepodge of wonderful ideas that combine together well to create a delightful experience. Its combat may feel superfluous, but its excellent puzzle design and beautiful world more than makes up for it.
There seems to have been a number of brilliant Rogue-likes released in the last few months, and ScourgeBringer is among the best of them. Its retro-styled visuals may not be to everyone’s tastes, but everything moves at such a quick pace that you hardly have time to fixate on them. Besides, I think they have character. The game’s soundtrack certainly does, moving between airy, atmospheric melodies when you’re exploring, to full-on metal that will make you want to bang your head as you obliterate any enemies that stand in your way. This is a must-play for fans of the genre.
Disc Room is incredibly difficult. It definitely won’t be for everyone. If you lack patience and find yourself getting frustrated in games where you die frequently, it’s probably not for you. But for those of us that enjoy being furious, who let that fury push us further and faster because we crave a challenge, Disc Room is fantastic. You’ll find yourself going back again and again, getting a little bit further each time until you reach its conclusion. And you won’t be sorry when you do.
Cook, Serve, Delicious 3 is an excellent title. A few tweaks to the holding station mechanics could help the game feel a little more challenging, but even as it is, when you get towards the end, your fingers will be moving so fast that your brain will barely be able to keep up. And that madness is what the Cook, Serve, Delicious series is all about. If you’ve enjoyed the previous games, then Cook, Serve, Delicious 3 is a must-play. With a strange but entertaining story, new mechanics, new foods and more, it’s a delicious feast of challenging, foodie fun.
If you’re up for a challenge, then Double Pug Switch certainly does offer that. It’s nicely presented, too; the short animated story scenes telling the tale of Otis, Whiskers and the scientist, are a welcome touch. As are the purely cosmetic hats you can place on Otis’ little puggy head. It’s short and utterly brutish in its difficulty, but if you like equal amounts of cuteness and cruelty in your games, then look no further. Especially considering its pocket-money price.
In the grand scheme of things, Shadow Gangs is an accomplished reimagining of a seemingly forgotten series. While its gameplay is rooted in the past, the visuals have modern-day sheen – Shadow Gangs‘ HD sprites really pop out of the screen, and the environments are both varied and detailed. It’s far from perfect, but there’s plenty here to delight any classic Shinobi fan.
Still, this gripe (and iffy translation) aside, Vigil is a joy to play; challenging but rarely frustrating. With its sprawling locales, creative but unsettling foes and missing daughters, it’s a gorgeously grim fairy tale. Its Soulsborne influence may be a little too apparent from time to time, but Vigil: The Longest Night is a title well worth taking up your sword for in its own right.
Ultimately, G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout is a team-based third-person shooter with poor aiming, atrocious enemy A.I., and no online multiplayer options. That should tell you all you need to know, basically. It’s not the worst game you can buy right now, so if you’re a huge G.I. Joe fan and pick it up on a whim you might have some fun with it. Anyone with more self-control, however, should either wait for it to be deeply discounted, or simply forget it exists. You won’t be missing out on anything worthwhile if you never play it.
You’ll have to leave any run-and-gun sensibilities at the door when you jump into Crown Trick; it’s a game about thoughtful manoeuvres and carefully-planned attacks. But it results in combat that’s extremely rewarding, and a challenge that’s a lot of fun to take on. Progressing in Crown Trick may be tricky, but it’s never insurmountable – and you’ll be enjoying yourself so much that you’ll want to keep jumping back in, seeing if you can get that bit further next time.