I really enjoyed my time with Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, it was a casual escape from my lockdown home-based prison which I’ve been stuck in for over a year. Exploring the small island, talking to the inhabitants, saving animals in need, and generally being a very helpful young child was a very wholesome and relaxing experience. I would have liked the game to be a little more educational and informative, allowing younger children to learn things as they play this beautiful game, but the lack of detailed information never affected my enjoyment. If you’re looking for a casual game where you can soak in the atmosphere, charm, and wholesomeness of cleaning up and helping animals in need, check out Alba: A Wildlife Adventure today – out now on pretty much every platform!
Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is a brilliant modernised remake of the 1994 classic, Monster World IV. I personally found the story to be enjoyable, the visuals were beautiful and colourful, and the soundtrack made the experience much more exciting and adventurous. The few changes, such as the save mechanic, makes the game more accessible and user-friendly, yet removes the challenge and programmed frustration we see in the original, so you may or may not like the minor alterations. Speaking of, if you buy the game physically then you also get the original game free (on the Switch cart or via a code with the PS4 version). If you like classic action platforming games but want something a bit more visually appealing than retro pixel-art, Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is for you!
If you’re looking for a game that’ll make you afraid to turn out the lights, Maid of Sker is for you. The constant fear of bumping into something and alerting the blind bag-heads makes the game very tense and nerve-wracking. This enhanced edition provides silky-smooth gameplay, immersive DualSense controller support, upgraded visuals, and introduces us to the new Challenge Mode, although having a gun doesn’t make the experience any less frightening or anxiety-inducing. Considering the game is only £19.99 for both versions, I highly recommend you pick this up if you like horror games – it’ll scare the pants off you!
void tRrLM();++ //Void Terrarium++ is one of the best ‘Mystery Dungeon’ style games I’ve played, the visual design, music, and story are all beautiful and very memorable. Although the game begins quite difficult and frustrating, you’ll soon find yourself getting further thanks to the number of upgrades and abilities you can craft and equip. If you own it on the PS4 already, there’s nothing new awaiting you within the PS5 edition, unless you don’t own the DLC, but if you’ve not played the game – or you want the soundtrack – then I highly recommend picking up the physical copy as that comes with the OST on CD. However, a 366MB game on a 25GB Bluray is beyond overkill!
Manifold Garden is a puzzle game that’ll blow your mind, challenge you, and please both your eyes and ears. Despite looking very simplistic in still images, the game is stunning with its perfect use of subtle colours and non-textured design, delivering a unique-looking experience that will stick with you for a long time. The infinite nature of the game will leave you in awe as you fall into the never-ending depths, forcing you to think outside of the box in order to discover the solutions to the many, many increasingly difficult and tricky puzzles. If you consider video games to be art, Manifold Garden is a masterpiece.
Call of the Sea is one of the best puzzle-adventure games I’ve ever played. Each puzzle requires you to think logically and gather all the clues to figure out the solution, you’re rewarded with a trophy and more context to the story for exploring and finding documents, and your eyes are given a treat by looking at this visually stunning game. This is the first time I’ve played a Lovecraft-inspired game that isn’t focused on horror, jump scares, or disturbing themes, instead it’s a peaceful adventure that uses the influences perfectly to create a very interesting and memorable experience.
Protocol is frustrating, annoying, and anger-inducing – I loved it! Despite the brutal and unforgiving insane A.I., who constantly kills you if you so much as look at her funny, I thought the story was interesting, the dialogue was ‘colourful’, and the combination of many different gameplay mechanics was very creative. My only negative, besides the difficulty spike in the final chapter, has to be the ‘long’ loading times – these wouldn’t usually be an issue, but in a game where you’re bound to die over and over, I would have liked a faster reload. I personally preferred the first half of the game over the second, due to how the focus shifted more onto combat over exploration and puzzles, but it didn’t stop me from wanting to unlock all seven endings – which I will do, someday…
Dark Nights with Poe and Munro is a brilliant FMV cinematic adventure, putting you in the driving seat of August’s answer to Mulder and Scully (Post X-files when they’re forced to run a radio station talking about dreams, nightmares, and the supernatural). Each episode has its own self-contained story, offering choices that will not only alter the dialogue and scenes, but also the ending of each one. There’s replayability for those who wish to grab all the trophies and/or see what the other choices lead to, often resulting in more quirky banter between our protagonists or a random piece of dialogue you’d never have expected. If you like FMV games where you’re in control of the events, you need to pick up this game today – also, go and buy The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker and The Shapeshifting Detective whilst you’re at it!
Terminator: Resistance Enhanced surprised me, it was a solid FPS with incorporated stealth, survival and crafting mechanics, including lore and references from the first two iconic movies. The new enhanced edition offers a smooth 60fps with a whole host of visual improvements, making the game even more fun to play and precise to control. The Infiltration mode finally lets you see the world from the eyes of Arnold, although I would have liked more from this mode – maybe the future DLC will expand upon it? If you like The Terminator and you’ve not yet played this game, you’re missing out on a hidden gem that isn’t anywhere near as bad as the critics initially made it out to be.
This new enhanced version of Judgment is the definitive way to experience the dark and gritty mystery on the current-gen machines. The game is essentially the same as the 2019 PS4 edition, albeit with a few arcade machines swapped out, but it feels new and fresh thanks to the smoother framerate, updated textures and lighting, and increased resolution. You’ll easily lose over a hundred hours if going for the platinum, becoming absorbed within the engrossing narrative and solid gameplay mechanics. The only negative is that the game didn’t offer a 4K/30 mode as we saw in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, but the 60fps mode is very stable and never buckled at any point.