Paratopic is a brief trip through an unnerving twist on reality and it admirably packs in so much atmosphere and mystery into that diminutive framework. The most telling sign of its quality is in how its scuzzy psychological creepiness stays with you, whether you like it or not.
Sagebrush aims to look at the humanity behind the subject matter, and while it doesn’t always work as well as it could, it does reach dark and revelatory heights from an unexpected angle. Its slow pace should be its greatest strength, but there needed to be a touch more environmental storytelling to make the most of the wandering you do.
Transference is in some ways, a tighter twist on Bloober Team's Observer (with a dash of that company's Layers of Fear in the mix). But it never reaches the loopy and inventive highs of that game's head-messing. Not that there isn't merit to the strange and disturbing places Transference goes because it definitely has a good line in loopy. It just needed a bit more substance to the quieter moments.
But what makes Life Is Strange 2 such a great experience is the brothers. They have fully fleshed out characters; their actions hold a tremendous weight, their journey a means to start a new life together. Their humor and love for one another are sincere, making for characters you could see yourself hanging out with. So far Life Is Strange 2 looks to be a road worth taking; from the dawning of the sun, into the late of night, there’s so much more to experience.
What Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics does well is offer a fairly approachable turn-based strategy for fans of the tabletop RPG, and also act as a nice introduction to that RPG for the uninitiated. It lacks an extra bit of polish and a few more bells and whistles, but it’s still an enjoyable enough tactical adventure.
The direction The Exorcist Legion VR takes virtual reality horror in is one I’d love to see more of in future. This very much feels like the nucleus for something more elaborate as the hardware grows and adapts. It doesn’t do anything revolutionary, but it does understand what can be done with VR horror so much better than most. It doesn’t outstay its welcome and rarely resorts to cheap tricks to unnerve and unsettle you.
So the port itself is fine, but clearly not much more than that. While the games look great for their age, they’re simply not designed for modern televisions and it shows. A visual overhaul could have done wonders and truly made Requiem an essential purchase. Instead, we have fairly basic ports of one very good game and another that is in the pantheon of the greats. Given neither are on current-gen consoles before now, there’s merit to this collection for that alone, but it should have been so much more.
There’s a criticism to be made for Friday the 13th Killer Puzzle being more of the same with a horror license slapped on top. It’s absolutely true, but in fairness to Blue Wizard, more of the same is a-ok when it was great to begin with, and having Jason and so much of his history packed into a compelling selection of bite-sized puzzles is a huge plus. The addition of daily kill competitions adds a bit of longevity to proceedings too. With all the uncertainty (and craziness!) surrounding Friday the 13th in recent months, it’s nice to have something that so successfully celebrates Mr. Voorhees’ baby boy attached to a great puzzler.