Pacer is definitely a match for Wipeout in so many ways. The gameplay is fantastic and the sense of motion you get from the smooth anti-gravity racing feels very satisfying. The customisation options allow you to personalise your ships and create loadouts which are both the best and worst part of the game for me. I love the option to design the ship I want and being able to chop and change on the fly, but locking out all the upgrades makes the game too much of a grind for me. If you’re a fan of other high-speed racers I genuinely can’t recommend this enough. There’s enough content to keep you going for ages and it definitely lives up to the inspiration of Wipeout. If I had to call a winner, it’d be a photo finish, so just play both of them if you can.
Hellpoint is far from a bad game. In fact, it more than holds its own in the genre and gripped me a lot better than Demon’s Souls (PS3) did when I started playing that. It does the important parts extremely well and despite not being as pretty or as popular as other games out there, it’s a really solid entry. The platforming required adds unnecessary difficulty but the combat, the co-op, story and bosses are all brilliantly implimented. The story is slowly drip-fed, making it not the easiest to follow, but there’s enough there for you to eventually make sense of it – more so than Bloodborne, in my experience anyway. The addition of the timed features in the game is an interesting addition to the genre and one that I think should be used more in the future.
Cuphead is a game that really should be played by everyone. If you’re someone who likes to work hard to improve at a game, like Crash Bandicoot, for example, this game is definitely for you. If you’re also someone who just likes shooting stuff in the face while enjoying a boppy soundtrack and appreciating some fine art, it’s also for you. Cuphead really is a masterpiece of simplistic game design. I’m not the most patient person in the world but this game just grabs you and releases a hidden determination to beat its challenges and I had an absolute blast while doing it.
Dirt 5 is a great arcade racer without all the depth of Dirt 4 or Dirt Rally. If you’re looking for a fast-paced racing game which you can play with friends locally, online with people, or on your own to pass the time, I guarantee you’ll love what this game has to offer. I was a little upset that there’s no detailed customisation outside of the visual aspect, but if you go into the game knowing that it’s more pick-up-and-play rather than tweaking and customising, then it shouldn’t bother you too much.
The Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV delivers the perfect conclusion to the epic saga of Class VII. All our questions are answered, we get to reunite with every character we’ve bonded with over the years, and it all comes together into a spectacular finale which won’t disappoint fans of the series. There’s so much to see, do, interact with, and ‘collect’, the world is massive and the game actively encourages you to explore and investigate every location as if it’s your last chance to do so – providing addictive mini-games and funny events to keep you occupied between slaughtering enemies. If you’ve played any of the previous games and you liked them, this game is an essential purchase.
If you’re looking for a casual game with an interesting story and a car AI which was once a dog, Cloudpunk is for you. Despite the few technical issues I had with the game, I can easily highly recommend the game to anyone who likes games they can just put on and relax whilst playing. The voxel art design combined with the cyberpunk theme works really well, delivering a futuristic dystopian city to explore as if someone’s recreated Blade Runner in Lego or Minecraft!
Mythic Ocean contains an interesting premise but, ultimately, didn’t use its full potential. While it creates a stunning world, the gameplay is rather lacking and nonexistent after finding all the pages as all that’s left to do is talking. I genuinely felt like this game turned into a pure Visual Novel and it doesn’t help that that game ‘fast travelled’ me right to the Gods, removing the need to manually swim to them. However, I loved interacting with each God and getting to know them better, although that was sadly the only thing I truly enjoyed about this game as I didn’t care much for the main story.
Despite the fact that Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is a game aimed at children, I really enjoyed playing it and can’t wait to finish the incredibly long Story Mode! The combat within the game is really smooth, each Zoid has its own attacks and unique special moves, there are multiple colours and variants to unlock, and even a secondary set of mini-stories for each character! The game is bursting with content, offering hours upon hours of enjoyment and entertainment. The bonus extras were also a nice touch, rewarding you with various media just for simply playing the game. Fans of the show will love this game and people who want a casual fighting game that’ll last a long time should also seriously consider picking it up.
Little Big Workshop is exactly what it says on the tin, a big sandbox experience set within a small table-top workshop. Although you can play the game casually, the fun begins when you get in-depth and begin to micro-manage and oversee all of the various jobs either by getting hands-on or automating the production line to the highest efficiency possible. I do feel there are a few mechanics, options, and features missing, which would open the game up to more casual and less-skilled gamers, but those who love to get their hands dirty will love the number of things you can manually manage.
Despite being seven years old, Game Dev Tycoon still stands up as one of the best casual simulation games of all time. If you’re a couch-dev who likes to abuse real-life devs over their creative choices and decisions (don’t do this), now you can put your money where your mouth is and take a shot at creating your own games – albeit via a much more casual and simplified process. From your single-person studio in a garage to a multi-million dollar console manufacturer and publisher, 35+ years will simply fly by due to how much fun you’re having.