For a platformer puzzler hybrid, Etherborn ticks most of the boxes in terms of having complex puzzles that are neither too easy or too difficult. The soundtrack and environment both compliment the game’s theme, but you don’t really spend enough time with it to be wowed. An interesting mechanic with the gravity-based puzzles means it’s recommendable to genre fans, but it’s not for everyone.
Developer Adam Robinson-Yu began developing A Short Hike when he was feeling burned out working on another project. It’s fitting, then, that what began as an act of self-care for the game’s developer has blossomed into a welcome respite from the modern world that everyone should experience.
There are definitely elements of Summer Catchers that work. The visuals are astounding, the music is brilliant and, when you get lucky, there’s some solidly fun endless runner gameplay to be had. However, its strange focus on luck over skill means every element suffers, the fun level design never given the chance to shine as it should. In the end, Summer Catchers feels so insistent on being deeper than a simple runner that it ends up stumbling at every hurdle instead.
I can’t say I’ve ever played something quite like Pathologic 2. The systems are intricate, the choices have serious consequences and the story is perhaps the most mind-boggling I’ve ever experienced in a video game. At times, it’s too much, the unforgiving learning curve and hard to follow story making it wildly inaccessible. However, if you are patient and stick with it, Pathologic 2 opens up into a completely unique, surreal and harrowing experience that I can assure you won’t have played anywhere else.
My Friend Pedro is one of those activities – like skateboarding, or playing the guitar, or any form of dancing – that always looks that much cooler when someone else, someone more proficient is doing it. Don’t let that discourage you, though. You’ll still have a lot of fun playing a slick, stylish game built almost entirely out of those brilliant, cinematic, single-shot hallway fight sequences.
Don't let the endearing protagonist and lo-fi, vintage visuals fool you: Gato Roboto is a challenging, pedigree Metroidvania. But what sets it apart from its peers are the quality of life improvements that redress all of the genre's worst flaws, without blunting any of the barbs. This is a Meowtroidvania worthy of the name.
Overall, Feather’s a tale of two audiences. Those looking for a deep experience with a complex story akin to Journey will likely find its short runtime disappointing. However, if Feather’s serene gameplay loop appeals to you, the intuitive mechanics and beautiful soundtrack mean it’s hard to not recommend.
Wastelands dishes out some of Life Is Strange 2’s strongest moments as well as its weakest. Sean gets some welcome character development and the darker tone fits well, however, Daniel’s repetitive plot arc simplifies him into a whiny brat, and a series of scattershot sub-plots seriously bloat the story. A strong finale does set up a dramatic hurdle in the brothers’ road, but Life Is Strange 2 still has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to match the quality of its predecessor.
Yuppie Psycho may not look that scary on the outside, but there’s a lot more lurking beneath its charming aesthetics. An amazing story, strong writing and an eerie atmosphere make this a creepy comedic gem that’s rich in personality. It’s not all smooth sailing, but this surreal nightmarish odyssey has enough smart scares to make it work.
Like the movie it's loosely based on, World War Z is in no way scary. It's not even particularly compelling as a piece of horror. But like the movie, it is a relentless piece of AA action fluff that, if played with the right group of people, makes for a riotous and frenetic – if shallow – action tower defence game.
While Dangerous Driving desperately wants to declare itself Burnout’s successor, it’s simply too hollow to ever truly earn that title. It’s buggy, repetitive and lacks all the depth that made Criterion Software’s acclaimed franchise such a phenomenal hit. There are the fundamentals for an explosively fun driving game within this barebones arcade racer, but ultimately Dangerous Driving is more a knock-off Burnout clone than a worthy spiritual reboot.
Tropico 6 is a visually impressive, unbelievably charming and ruthlessly enjoyable role-playing city-sim. It lacks the depth of the genre’s more intricate modern hits, but its fun political systems, tongue-in-cheek moral choices, and challenging task management make it a worthwhile investment for genre aficionados.
Ape Out is a dynamo of a game, simultaneously stylish and meaty, that manages to succeed as both a technical demonstration of procedural generation – particularly that magical audio – and a bloody fun game to boot. Between this, Gris, and Pikuniku, Devolver Digital is absolutely crushing it right now.
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a rare exception to the iconic tabletop game’s line-up of video game offerings. The combat is engaging, the visuals are striking and, most importantly, it’s a blast to play. Its attempts to diversify itself from other examples of the genre don’t always land, but it’s a solid RTS that’s as deeply addictive as it is ruthlessly entertaining.
Much like the previous games in the franchise, Metro Exodus isn’t perfect. Yet, despite that fact, this threequel’s bold decision to take its world in a new direction means that its glaring positives outweigh its lack of refinement. The gameplay is solid, the visuals are terrific and Metro Exodus’s decision to try new, courageous gameplay mechanics makes it a thrill to play, overall, meaning that this is not only a fitting culmination to Artyom’s story, but also 4A’s studio-defining work on the franchise as well.
The Switch may not have the power for a game as expansive as Observer, but even with its technical faults and the occasional gameplay misstep, it’s still an incredible experience. Whether it’s the morbid story, the disturbing atmosphere or the deeply involving detective gameplay, this is a genuinely brilliant horror-thriller that works its way under your skin and lingers long after you put the controller down.
While Life Is Strange: Episode 2 has a lot of much-needed character-building, it suffers from some significant pacing issues and occasional technical trouble. It’s by no means a major failure, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next, but after the four months we’ve anticipated seeing the brotherly companions return, it’s not quite worth the wait.