Paper Beast allows players to lose themselves inside pastel daydreams of soft shapes and delicate zoology. They could also lose patience with some tedious mechanics and suspicious tests of logic. Paper Beast is full of gratifying ingenuity, beautiful optimism, and elegant communication. And maybe an overabundance of zealous whimsy.
Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash! presents an opportunity to inhabit 1999's idyllic vision of 1960's culture through 2020's virtual reality. Delivering this extremely specific hallucinatory novelty required an alarming price tag and the notice of a brisk runtime. Space Channel 5 remains a lustrous expression of the Dreamcast's ethos, and a chance to actively embrace it merits attention and applause. Space Channel 5 VR is a brief, beautiful celebration of a bygone era.
AO Tennis 2 is this generation's Top Spin 4. It takes over a baton that has been carried through mis-steps and let-downs as tennis fans young and old finally have a game worth their time and effort. It's not perfect by any stretch but up against the competition and its predecessor it stands head-and-shoulders above them.
Kentucky Route Zero is lost in the illusive premise of the American Dream but found in the elusive dream logic of its weird, wild, and wonderful prose. Through it all are characters who conceal pain and loss with whimsical musings of hope and escape and locations engulfed in a meditative haze where brutal reality is indistinguishable from isolated reverie. At the end lies a paradox that suggests a circuitous path was the shortest course to an inevitable destination, and the assurance that Kentucky Route Zero's seven-year voyage knew its direction all along.
As a game, Wattam is a scatterbrained assembly of goofball logic and cumbersome mechanics. As an experience, it's an earnest expression of love, affinity, and forgiveness shared by all of its moving pieces. The product is a game that elicits joy without the videogame-y demand for precooked gratification. Wattam feels like a birthday party where all of your friends actually show up.
Football Manager 2020 manages to improve upon last years outing in enough areas to justify an upgrade for owners for FM 2019 or before. However, I do feel it's getting closer to the point where a marquee feature will need to be introduced or an existing one improved dramatically such as the 3D match engine.