I may not have any desire to return to the game, but I enjoyed my time with Biomutant. I think most fans of the genre will too, jank and all. Its world is a beautiful one worth exploring, even though it’s a bit static. Evolution wasn’t entirely kind to it, but Biomutant still grew up to be a respectable but flawed fur-filled adventure.
Legend of Keepers nails the gamblers high of unpredictable randomness while putting the player’s agency at the forefront to actually use that randomness in a meaningful way, that’s the hallmark of a good rogue-lite game.
The reality is if Insurmountable were a real board game, I’d be interested in picking it up, and the price would be much steeper due to the physical pieces. The digital experience it offers is a unique one worth having for any fans of slower-paced strategy games, even if its freshness is shorter-lived than I would like.
Returnal’s shooting mechanics are solid, the game is gorgeous, the enemy variety is nice, and the boss fights are stellar. So, it’s a shame that literally everything else kind of falls apart. The rogue-lite aspects are sub-par at best and outright bad at worst.
Outriders is still a great game. In a lot of ways, it’s the absolute best iteration of the looter shooter genre out there. The repetition is a bummer, but the combat, class, and loot system are worth riding it out for. The amount of playstyle customization you have access to is a true anomaly.
It doesn't stray far from its inspiration but still delivers key improvements with stronger replay value, better visuals, and an experience that's fresh enough to feel new while staying true to itself. If it could have ditched some of the flaws that plagued the original it would have been perfect. Regardless, Evil Genius lives To Die Another Day
For Sparta is a small but mighty game with a ferocity to honor its namesake. The gameplay is fantastic, and it very cleanly side steps the repetitive pitfalls the genre sometimes falls into. Its laser-focused direction does it a lot of favors. It’s not a long-term grinding game with a billion things to unlock, and it doesn’t try to be.
The phobias themselves have a fantastic aesthetic design and animation too. The rigid and puzzlelike nature gives the game a unique playstyle that’s a lot of fun to solve. The lack of polish is very apparent, however. Between the bugs, strange design choices, and lack of cohesion the game feels like it needed more time in the oven, and maybe some focused direction.
Space Otter Charlie is cute, fun, and easy to play with, clever but simple puzzles, enjoyable old-school boss fights, and plenty to explore, find, and craft. It’s a game aimed at a more casual demographic that I’m really not a part of, but that’s okay. I still found a lot to appreciate.
Curse of the Dead Gods boasts some very compelling and unique game mechanics combined with a fantastic combat system that demands mastery of the content it offers. Hades may be the social pretty boy of the genre, but Curse of the Dead Gods is that disciplined old adventurer ready to whip you into shape. Fortune and glory kid, fortune and glory.