Dicey Dungeons is the sort of game that looks inviting, then seems a little silly, and then gets lodged into my head like a song I keep humming. These basic ideas are being explored in many games right now, but Dicey Dungeons proves once again that execution, not originality, is often the most important thing.
Special items come rapidly, through many different means. I am gifted a boombox early in the game that I can turn on to force my enemies to groove to the tunes. Each item offers genuine strategic options while maintaining the general sense of goofiness and surprise.
The lack of map diversity doesn't take away from the visual splendor of the game, though. While much of Three Houses is seen from an overhead perspective, initiating combat zooms the camera in, showing off gorgeously animated soldiers in combat. During a particularly tense battle, Claude, the house leader of the Golden Deer, tosses an arrow into the sky before catching it and firing off a critical hit to take out a pesky enemy pegasus moving in on my healer. These flashy moments happen all the time and are unique to the two dozen classes in the game, so there's always some new animation to get pumped over.
Youngblood is a meat-and-potatoes first-person shooter where all the systems work well, the enemies provide a brutal challenge, and a friend can come along with you through the whole thing. It seems like it was designed as a relatively inexpensive crowd-pleaser of an FPS, and I will admit that I was very entertained.
In the end, Chinese Parents is ultimately a tribute to, well, Chinese parents — their tremendous expectations on their children, the unconventional ways they express their form of tough love, and all the familiar eccentricities of Chinese parental love.
I encounter other space explorers of my own kind. They are bizarre, likable clue-givers who provide moments of comic relief. I perpetrate no violence in this game. I am never required to fire a laser gun or grapple with enemies. (How few are the games, set in space, that absent themselves from combat.) Yet, the worlds I visit can be hostile, releasing their secrets with the greatest reluctance.
All sports video games are educational in some way; even MLB The Show will teach me new things about hitting every year. But the video game that both educates me and develops me as a fan of the sport is really doing its job, regardless of the visuals and gameplay fidelity (which are still take-it-for-granted impeccable in F1 2019).