Shin Megami Tensei V is an incredible and memorable experience. It does some extraordinary things, both in terms of gameplay and its story. I’d even say the experience could be daunting, but in the most positive way. It is going to test you and make you think.
A lot of puzzle games involve finding the right place for things. In Tetris, you try to organize tetrominos to create perfect rows. In Puyo Puyo, you want the puyos to fall into the right places to trigger combos. Upon closer review, Unpacking is a game that is sort of similar, though the item placement involves no competition, no stress, and almost no worries about doing things “wrong.”
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars, the new game from NieR creator Yoko Taro, is a peculiar little game. It knows what it wants to be! And its aesthetics definitely come first. But if you’re at home in its slower pace and tavern feel, you’ll have a good time.
Impostor Factory is a surprisingly beautiful game that questions what it means to have a meaningful life. It tells a cyclical narrative that still manages to feel honest and emotionally raw. It works best if you go into it with as little information as possible, so I won’t say much more than that on how the story unfolds.
There’s so much to Dungeon Encounters. People might not even notice at a first glance. But the systems at play are so compelling and rewarding. Finding a new item. Beating a party of foes that stumped you before. Managing to track down a wandering adventure. Saving a party of fallen allies that died earlier because you overestimated your abilities. It’s enthralling.
Like its predecessor, The Caligula Effect 2’s greatest sin is that it is entirely average. The soundtrack is incredible, to be certain. Progress is clear, given that the dungeons work so much better. The general story feels stronger as well. But the supplemental elements, generic enemies, and need to only take advantage of the tactical parts of battle when facing bosses leave it feeling a bit lackluster.
Metroid Dread is constantly offering a player a challenge, then providing an appropriate reward for their efforts. It forces you to be better. You’re put in situations where it will be difficult, but paying attention and trying usually means you can get through it.
New games have moved from the obvious to the truly weird. And, perhaps most importantly for this installment, the world has become much more about video calls than house parties. The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is the first one fully developed in these conditions, and its collection of games feels like it wanted to be deeper and more involved to fit in a little better.
There is just a lot to do in The Good Life, which means that players can potentially sink upwards of forty-plus hours taking pictures or running mundane, everyday tasks. And while I like life simulators, I don’t like them when they can barely run at over 3 FPS.