The Dream Machine is a meaty, psychological adventure that looks like nothing else you've ever played. It's a game of surprising balance: surreal, yet familiar; humorous, yet deeply morbid; bizarre, yet logical; subdued, yet striking. Through it all, the game cuts a straight and narrow line of being consistently entertaining. Not unlike the best of dreams, then.
If you're an absolute sucker for life simulation games based on crafting and building, Graveyard Keeper will certainly be to your liking. Even if you're a genre tourist like myself, you'll find it hard to deny the game's ability to make you keep coming back for more. Whether you'll stick with it or not depends on how much you're able to tolerate busywork and planning without much of a narrative return.
Thanks to its pleasant palette and meditative sound design, The Gardens Between is a calming experience. It may not have too much to say, but at least it doesn't overstay its welcome. A little sadly, I doubt I will be getting all that nostalgic over a game about nostalgia.
Rough design, a lack of polish, a discombobulated story, and hard-to-bear battles make it hard for me to recommend YIIK to anyone but the most fervent collector of 'odd' games. Save yourself the time, and replay the Mother/Earthbound games instead.
Whether it's the joy of reaching port, the excitement of engaging with a marauder, or the wonderment of the creatively-written fantasy, Sunless Skies filled my head with adventure and took me on a tour of marvels and monstrosities such as I'm glad to have encountered. It still has me itching to return to the High Wilderness for another go.
Peeling back the layers of its mystery, I found a game that is deeply thoughtful and very, very sad. It's a game that pulls its sense of fear out of everyday emotions, out of love, ambition, and of course, devotion. In doing so, it emerges as a horror game that reaches far beyond trying to startle or unnerve you. It becomes a deftly told story about the nature of fear itself.
Fimbul is a case where I have to commend the developers for effort, but I also have to advise the customer to steer clear of this bland, snowed-out adventure. Literally everything Fimbul attempts to do has already been done better by a different game. It's best if you leave this one buried in the snow.