In spite of the complexity of the SokoChess, there is a lot to love about it. I’m not usually a huge fan of these types of games because they require chess-specific knowledge, force you to play against people who are way better then you could ever be, or just aren’t fun. But SokoChess makes its puzzles ramp up in a slow way that makes it accessible. That begin said, this game isn’t for everyone. It’s a very thinky game, and you really have to be on your toes to get through some of these levels. There are very few that can be brute forced. For some, this will make the game less appealing, but for many, I feel like this will be a positive. There are not a whole lot of levels so far, but this seems like a game that could be easily added to if the devs have the time. SokoChess is an excellent puzzle game for anyone who digs this kind of niche title.
This one caught me by surprise. I thought I would like it, then got befuddled by the story so I wasn’t too sure, then sunk hours into it yesterday while listening to podcasts. It’s a little frustrating because every time you fail a map, you fail the whole mission and start over, losing all bullets and items. However, every time you fail new bullets and items become available, so it isn’t a total lost cause. In the end, I enjoyed this quite a bit, but it’s a bit of an odd title. How much you’ll like it depends on how much you enjoy gatcha-games, how much enjoyment (or at least toleration) you have for fan service, and what you think of the genre of games where girls are collectible items. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but I have never had to tear myself away from the game to write a review before, so that counts for something!
Arcade Paradise was quite a nice surprise for me. Trying one of these simulators can often feel like a roll of the dice. Not only that these types of games feel very marmite to gamers, some will love them some will hate them. A few glitches and bugs hold the game back from two thumbs up. However, there is something to be said for a game that turns tedious chores into something entertaining. I loved running the laundromat probably more than one should. But setting that aside the wide variety of arcade games to play alone in this experience is better than some retro collections available out there. 90s kid or not I found plenty to love in Arcade Paradise and see myself continuing to play it in the future.
As Peter steps into the Antarctic snowstorm, he is suddenly an active participant in his own survival. South of the Circle triumphs by interweaving hopefulness and impending doom without feeling emotionally manipulative. It suggests that life is a culmination of sad and spectacular moments, promises, people, and conversations, all inevitably misremembered. It’s the kind of game that could have made me cry, but instead, it led me to a place of sombre tranquillity. Through Peter, we are advised not to judge stories by their destination, but by their precious in-betweens: a sugar cube plopped into a cup of tea, a train ride, a shared summer sunset, and a cumulonimbus cloud stupendously blooming.
Cleo – a pirate’s tale was a delightful surprise for me; I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the game as much as I did. The story is enjoyable, it is one of the games that you want to see the storyline through to the end. It is not a long game, coming in between three to four hours of gameplay time, but it is a few hours of good entertainment that I would recommend you try.
Lost in Play is a fun, feel-good adventure through two children’s fantasy world. There are plenty of enjoyable puzzles to solve and some frustrating puzzle moments. The good thing is that the enjoyable moments far outweigh the frustration. With thirty unique puzzles and mini-games to solve, Lost in Play is a delightfully whimsical game for all the family to enjoy.
LootLite is another example of a roguelike that’s perfectly fine and entertaining but doesn’t tread much ground from what’s come before. It’s an example of a coffee game except this one has roguelike sprinkles and a dash of vanilla syrup in its mixture. It will satisfy you for a short period of time in short gaming bursts but it probably won’t leave a lasting impression. Still, it’s rare to have a coffee game featuring co-op which is always a plus in my book. While I reviewed the PC version of this game I can see this being very appealing on Switch unless, of course, you are lucky enough to get your hand on a Steam deck.
Koumajou Remilia: Scarlet Symphony is a competent action platformer which will most likely satisfy its target fanbase as well as those that like their retro games. It’s well put together but it just didn’t do a lot for me. The level design is a bit bland and there weren’t a lot of stand-out moments that made the experience particularly memorable. By looking and playing so close to another popular game series the game just lacks its own personality. I don’t feel it does anything wrong. I get the impression this is just one of those titles that I don’t get but others will certainly enjoy. If you decide to take the plunge with this title I sure hope you have a good time.
Wobbledogs is odd. Dogs sprout extra limbs, burst from cocoons, and return as ghosts, but none of these aspects feels macabre. Instead, they are marvellously whimsical. There’s always something new happening. Dogs develop personalities, learn tricks, build dens, and play with toys. The breeding mechanics are also surprisingly deep, and while the gameplay loop can get repetitive during long sessions, it’s still solidly entertaining. This world feels alive and customizable, with a perfect balance between randomness and control. Now that Wobbledogs is finally out of early access, I can wholeheartedly recommend it for fans of the sandboxes, pet sims, and all things wobbly.
Moonrise Fall’s story focuses on loss, death and sadness, which are dealt with well in the game. Though, like I did, you might still have unanswered questions at the end of the game. I enjoyed the story, though I don’t think the game would be suited to all players due to the game’s subject matter.
I did find myself walking away in frustration a lot with Frogun. But at the same time, I did come back to try again. It really does get that old school feel down for better and for worse. I don’t feel you need nostalgia for the era of gaming it takes its inspiration to enjoy the game. Be aware though this won’t be a casual platformer that will suit everyone. Where Frogun wins points for me is its original design with the gameplay and Renate’s smile. For all the harm I put this poor girl through she was still smiling through the experience. And that honestly was lighting up my day even if I was getting mad at the game. For all its faults I loved the originality of the game, it’s different from what I have experienced past and present and that in itself gets a solid recommendation from me.
Farm Manager 2022 is the best that Farming Management Sims have to offer, or so I think. It has a lot of improvements over Farm Tycoon and has much more elements to manage. It is less hands-on though, but it does give the opportunity to delve deeper into statistics such as Market prices. Not surprising when you realize Farm Tycoon is Farm Manager 2018 under a different name. The current game I am reviewing now is much more evolved, though the fans might miss the more hands-on element. It’s a pity not all button choices work well nor intuitively. And that it can crash when the farm gets bigger. But with a good tutorial, campaign, scenario mode and several difficulties setting in free mode there are many, many hours worth of farming fun to be had!
Urbek City Builder is a relaxing, chilled game to play. I enjoy working out where to place buildings to get the city to grow. Also watching the city come to life and take over the map adds to the puzzle elements of the game as you start to run out of room. However, it wouldn’t be suitable for all fans of city-building games as it feels more like a mix of city building and a puzzler to me.
Zodiacats is an adorable game that for its price, you do get what you pay for. It is entertaining for a while, a cute and warm experience, and also quite friendly for kids and adults alike. Visuals and sound are harmonically matching. Sadly, as mentioned before, some of its features feel a little vague, as if they could have been much more than it is. It did show me everything it had to deliver very quickly. I still do recommend it, because of its low accessible price and of course, if you like cats and enjoy some astrology combined with it, this might be your cup of tea.
Xel hasn’t had the best launch on Nintendo Switch. The idea of a new contender to the Zelda like genre with a more futuristic feeling is something I have wanted to see for quite some time. But Xel isn’t quite up to the task, yet. The framework is here for a fun-filled adventure with a unique environment to explore but the bugs, glitches and poor performance are just too loud not to notice. There is hope though. We have seen other examples of games released in a bad state and the developers rolled their sleeves up and fixed them later. Hopefully, Xel will be one of those redemption stories. But it is not this day. I’ll keep an eye on this game for future updates. One day I hope this thumb can be turned the other way around.
This cat game is cheap, simple, fun, and accessible. I don’t know how to love this game enough. My major complaint about Ever Seen A Cat? 2 is that it’s too short, but it could have been thousands of levels long and I still would have wanted more. And if that’s the only complaint about a game, I think it deserves two thumbs up!
Avast, me hearties! You didn’t think I would write the review without at least one pirate’s pun added in, did you? Autonauts vs Piratebots is a super fun game, though be prepared for a bit of a grind in setting up everything before you start making pirate bots. Anyone who has played the original Autonauts game should enjoy some more bot action in Autonauts vs Piratebots.
Overall, the game’s design couldn’t be better. I can see myself introducing Puzzle Galaxy to my daughter someday as one of her first ever video games. It’s good for short, relaxing sessions. Considering the base game is free, its DLCs seem reasonably priced, at about 4 to 5 US dollars (each contains between 22 to 54 new puzzles). But I’d like to see a wider variety of themes. The ones available now are space, steampunk, ocean life, cats and dogs, horses, princesses, and city or country landscapes. It’d be nice to have more categories, such as food, home interiors, dinosaurs, or construction vehicles. Meanwhile, I like that there’s a mix of digital paintings and actual photographs.
Train Valley Console Edition is a challenging puzzle game with controls that make playing it on the Switch a tad frustrating. However, I’d recommend Train Valley if you like trains and enjoy a good challenge. I must admit I’d play it on PC over the Switch version. This way you might save yourself having to buy a new Switch after throwing it through the window in frustration.
Lord Winklebottom Investigates is a fantastic first solo game by the developer. So did the game live up to my expectations? Yes, it did, and I loved every minute of my investigation, even when I managed to hit a wall and get stuck for a while. The game offers everything an excellent point-and-click game should. There are many interesting characters to speak to, ingenious clues, and a good time for the player.