Alfonzo’s Arctic Adventure manages to stay fresh throughout the entire experience – it finds a decent balance between challenge, frustration, and a sense of accomplishment upon completing a level. There’s not much to say about the plot – largely there isn’t one – but the brief bits of dialogue between the heroes and villains get a good chuckle every now and then. The gameplay takes centre stage, and it’s good and solid. Just be prepared ahead of time to resist hurling your controller through your screen as you lose yet another life to a bird shitting on you at exactly the wrong moment.
Tails of Iron is a solid, confident entry to the genre. The tightly focused encounter design, meaty combat and enjoyable world-building and storytelling with adorable rodents who think they’re people, I didn’t find much not to like. The difficulty may be a turn-off for some, but the game keeps to the core soulslike tenet of playing fair and making sure that when you die (and you will die), you’ll know what you did wrong to bring it about. If you’re looking for a challenging, rich adventure then I’d highly recommend joining Redgi to reclaim his kingdom and his crown.
Golf Club: Wasteland is a strangely compelling experience. I found the gameplay frustrating, yet your protagonist isn’t playing golf through the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Earth to “win”, and to get the most from this game neither should you.
Overall Minute of Islands is a deep, thoughtful narrative experience with just enough weight to its simple gameplay to keep interest as you push through to its conclusion. It deals with some difficult subject matter in an engaging and challenging story, and while there are aspects I’d have liked to see it go a little deeper on, for the length and scope of the game I really can’t fault it.
Lake is certainly not for everyone. It’s a very specific experience that tries as hard as possible to take as much ‘game’ out of the game and leave you only with the relaxing story element. And on balance, I’d say I enjoyed my time with Lake; I breezed around that leafy town not knowing if what I was doing mattered or if I really cared about that or not. It’s like having a day off work without any plans – the world is your oyster and there’s absolutely no pressure.
Narita Boy delivers in almost every facet and I thoroughly enjoyed my time facing down the Stallion threat. But while it’s positively dripping with 80s nostalgia and style, there’s a lot more to it than just a trip down memory lane – and the fun sword fighting and exploration into a spectacular universe is only the half of it.
Comparing Innsmouth with other games is a little bit like comparing apples and oranges. It’s certainly a well-made choose-your-adventure book and is perfect for a bus journey or train ride on a mobile gaming device, but is not something I would say is suited to a fully-fledged console experience like the Xbox One.
All-in-all, I was thoroughly impressed by everything Axiom Verge 2 offered and would probably have devoured the entire thing in one sitting had adult life not gotten in the way. Yes, the combat could have used more variety and the story was a little head scratching at times, but that’s entirely worth it for the masterclass in retro graphics and sound that you get in return, along with some thoroughly enjoyable world building and exploration too.
Trigger Witch feels like it’s trying to blend too many styles together at once and doesn’t blend them well enough. The game can feel challenging due to overly strong enemies but the lack of good puzzles is disappointing. That said, Trigger Witch feels like the start to a solid franchise and at the price point it is an enjoyable game, but it has some flaws that just can't be ignored.
Overall, Fire: Ungh’s Quest is a great point-and-click puzzler that keeps you warm for a couple of hours, but doesn’t have the longevity to hold back the icy fingers of boredom through the night and see you safely to the morning. Dedicated fans of the genre might find Fire a little on the simple side, but the playful style, well thought out puzzles and the short run time make it a great entryway into point-and-click puzzle games. More like a firework than an inferno, Fire is pretty and will certainly make you smile, but is sadly over all too soon.