If Two Point Hospital was a triumphant return of the Theme Hospital style management sim, then Two Point Campus is a true heir. It takes the same tongue-in-cheek tone and applies it to a new setting, it learns from the journey its predecessor went through, and it deepens the experience for anyone that wants it.
Hard West 2 comes with an enjoyably aggressive twist on XCOM-like turn-based combat, and with a fun way of upgrading your characters alongside, but it's wrapped up in world exploration and characterisation that just leaves me wanting to get back in the fight. There's a lot of fun to be had in Hard West 2, even if it's not blowing minds as a complete package.
Frogun is old-school bliss. This is a 3D platformer that doesn't just capture the feel of a PS1 classic in one area, it captures the magic in every part of the package. From vivid low-poly art to simple yet satisfying gameplay, it's a must-play for anyone itching to experience another classic 3D adventure.
South of the Circle is a fantastic exploration of a complex and realistic character. The engaging and multi-layered story kept me engaged and definitely helped me forget I wasn't actually doing much playing. Unfortunately, the ending rather takes the shine off the rest of the game's eminent achievements. Just like the drunken pilot crashing his plane in the opening scene, South of the Circle fails to stick the landing.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is another impressive and entertaining RPG experience from Monolith Soft. Its ever-deepening mystery plays out across one of the most beautiful fantasy landscapes of recent years, while its approach to party building and classes means that the experience continually evolves. For a game that asks questions about how you spend your time, you won't want Xenoblade Chronicles 3 to finish.
Live A Live is hands down one of the most interesting games I've experienced in a while. A neat little package made up of completely disparate elements, it shouldn't work but it does. Add in some truly clever gameplay mechanics, the gorgeous HD-2D visuals and phenomenal soundtrack, and you have a game I would urge any JRPG fan to play.
As Dusk Falls caught me by surprise, taking a genre of game that's become a bit too familiar and injecting it with a tense crime drama and a singular flair. My hat goes off to Interior/Night and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they do next.
AI: The Somnium Files - Nirvana Initiative is a gripping blend of murder mystery and goofball antics. The game perfectly blends absurd humor with gripping sci-fi storytelling, and the way it breaks up dialogue-heavy moments with bits of investigative gameplay or exciting fight scenes keeps things fresh right up until the credits roll.
The Delicious Last Course is the perfect DLC for Cuphead – successfully building on the best aspects of the main game whilst also providing a whole new character with their own abilities to offer a fresh spin on things. Combine all of this with a bargain price and you have an absolutely essential purchase. Just don't think about running a swear jar or you may find yourself going bankrupt before the credits roll.
Escape Academy captures the spirit of escape rooms in excellent fashion, wrapping up a string of thoroughly enjoyable puzzle-filled levels in a light and quirky story. Puzzle aficionados might find it a little easy, but it's a commendable first effort that left me wanting more.
Outriders Worldslayer brings a fresh campaign and endgame to People Can Fly's game, but likely won't move the needle for those not already gripped by this third person looter shooter. The chaotic front-foot combat is fun, the boss battles challenging, and some of the weapons and abilities gloriously excessive, but many of the underlying flaws remain.
DNF Duel is a ridiculous fighting game in the best way possible. Simple inputs and meaty one-button attacks provide an easy entryway for beginners, but the advanced defensive mechanics and powerful properties of your attacks create fast & frenzied action that I can't get enough of. More importantly, the simplified inputs don't sacrifice the skill-ceiling - this game is full of depth and a ton of fun even at the highest level of play.
Spellforce 3 Reforced is a relatively successful combination of two genres. Though each of them separately might be a bit too simplified to please die hard fans of them, they complement each other well. They also tell an interesting story in a world that's pretty interesting, even if it isn't that novel. If you're in need of an RTS/RPG on console, you could do much worse than Spellforce 3. If you've got a PC though, you're probably better off playing on there.
I've been eagerly anticipating Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge ever since it was announced. My lofty expectations were ridiculously sky high and surely a bar that could never be reached. So, it is a statement of the game's quality that it exceeded even my wildest dreams. This is the best scrolling beat 'em up since Streets of Rage 4 and in the top ten of all time. A nostalgia-injected nunchuck whack of love to the brain, Shredder's Revenge It is not to be missed. Cowabunga indeed.
F1 22 is like a slice of birthday cake a couple days after the party. Someone (probably your dad) has pinched the glacé cherry from the cream splodge on top of your Black Forest Gateau, but your mum's put some regular cherries, banana and apple slices on the plate to it to make up for it. The fruit doesn't make sense, but the cake's still pretty good. Still, you're left dreaming of what next year's cake will be like. Maybe your cake engineer will be smart enough by then to actually know who you're racing against, and maybe Will Buxton will get some new jeans that don't look like they've carved out of stone. Maybe it'll be a carrot cake.
ANNO: Mutationem's sublime blending of 2D and 3D visuals is a delight to behold and a joy to experience. Fast-paced combat and competent RPG systems all deliver so, as long as you can accept the incomprehensible plot and naff dialogue, there's a lot to enjoy.