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Arcade Paradise is fun for management sim players, arcade cabinet lovers, or even new players.The sim management gameplay is simple and light, the cabinets are all fun with natural progression, and the 90s nostalgia, while only effective for some, is spot on.
Mothmen 1966 brought me back to a different time in my life. When I was a young girl, I used to pour an ungodly amount of time into ‘Give Yourself Goosebumps’, R.L. Stine’s horrific (heh) take on the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure genre. Not just with the series but even with the individual books themselves. I was not finished with a book until I had soaked up every possible scare, from front to back.
Endling is a heartbreaking, yet honest and necessary take on the human effect on natural habitats. The harrowing tale is masterfully paired with this fresh take on the survival genre. Despite a few minor critiques when it comes to navigation and occasional unlucky scenarios, Endling is a dime a dozen type of experience worthy of your attention.
Coromon is a nostalgia trip down memory lane while simultaneously forging its own path. The 100+ creatures, wide variety of characters, and beautiful pixel art made me want to explore and delve deeper into the Velua region. The past few years’ examples of monster-taming games had me wishing for more, and my wishes were answered with Coromon.
Stray is simply captivating. Between unmatched world building, outstanding aesthetic design, intuitive cat physics, and immersive gameplay, BlueTwelve Studio and Annapurna Interactive have crafted an engaging and awe-striking experience from start to finish.
Squish is an absolute must-have with a group of friends or for social events. The two-button gameplay and movement is easy to grasp and can result in loads of fantastic moments of engagement. Though there isn’t much in the single-player-sphere, what’s there can be a fun challenge for those who chase high scores. Regardless, you’re bound to have a sensationally satisfying time in the world of Squish.
Shredder’s Revenge is a new gold standard for the beat ‘em up genre, and by far the best of its class. It is a thoughtful and deliberately designed experience with both causal and hardcore audiences alike in mind. Across the board, it is an awe-striking presentational marvel featuring superb visuals and an outstanding musical score. And most importantly, it is such a delight to play for hours on end either solo or with friends. Tribute Games has crafted one of the most special arcade experiences in recent memory.
Time Loader is a great time traveling game with a satisfying story, fair puzzles, and emotional undertone. The concise story gave me an opportunity to play over a few sittings and still feel like I was getting a meaningful experience. Time Loader is certainly worth your time (no time traveling required).
Cat Cafe Manager is a great game that locates an intricate balance of catty cuteness with catchy game mechanics. The quick start up and lack of complication early on allowed me to rapidly weave the intricacy and cater to my inner cat cafe-designer. Cat Cafe Manager is my game equivalent of catnip; I will likely not be able to duplicate nor stop enjoying anytime soon.
35mm misses the mark when it comes to its survival adventure experience. The grayscale Russian countryside conveys the lonely brutality that comes with the game’s particular brand of post-apocalypse quite well. However, due to sluggish mechanics and all-too-similar repeated environments, the intrigue of exploration runs its course quickly. All of these things considered, I 35mm is challenging to recommend to any player that’s not seeking a niche type of “survival” game. Even then, there are much better experiences within the genre to be found.
A Memoir Blue blends contrasting visuals in dazzling fashion while supporting an emotionally impactful narrative with purpose. While the gameplay fails to deliver on that same notion, Cloisters Interactive’s debut is an aesthetically creative showstopper.
Never Alone tells an impactful tale of native culture, delivering an experience that is both unique and influential. Though a lack of stark puzzles and technical bugs does hinder the experience as a game, the alluring narrative is well worth the price of admission alone.
Infernax is a love letter to the action-adventure games of old while simultaneously excelling in the modern definition of the genre. Delivering a balanced experience, Berzerk Studio sticks the landing within the sweet spot between challenge and downright fun.
Grapple Dog is an accessible, fun, and charming collectathon platformer with a great sense of challenge - but it’s missing a core driving force with missteps in narrative. As a love letter reminiscent of the beloved Game Boy Advanced library, Grapple Dog is worth sinking your hooks into.
Excelling in tone, aesthetic, and creative vision, Sloclap delivered an experience I want to love unconditionally with no caveats. But with its punishing complexity atop the core systems and gameplay loop, as well as the lack of accessibility options, my relationship with Sifu is a complicated one at best.