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PC Game Reviews

Draugen review

Don't be a wet blanket, eh?

27

5 days ago

Feature: Pull the other one

Devolver Bootleg review

What have those scoundrels at Devolver Digital gone and done now? Oh look, it’s Devolver Bootleg, a mixtape of the Punk IPA publisher's classics that someone left in their jeans pocket before a wash and now the musics all fuzzy and the track list is garbled nonsense. Also it’s one percent off, yeah, because screw…discounts? So, is this a delightful slice of performance-art-as-consumer-product brilliance? Or…

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6 days ago

Feature: Incy wincy

Premature Evaluation: Dungeon Munchies

A friend of mine works for an insect farm, raising crickets and fly larvae as an alternative protein source for livestock feed, as well as for human snacks. His job is to distract each cricket for just long enough so that a colleague can swoop in from behind and humanely murder the cricket with a tiny hammer. Or at least that’s how I understood it.…

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1 week ago

Feature: Crunching the numbers

Octopath Traveler review

As I climbed the steps toward the final, final boss of Octopath Traveler, I knew I was done for. Over the past 80-odd hours, I'd battled my way through this exquisite 3D pixel diorama the only way I knew how: with my three favourite and strongest characters doing most of the heavy-lifting. The fourth and final character in my party was whoever out of the…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Once more, Into the Breach, with feeling

Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest review

I can go one of two ways with turn-based tactics games. Give me something like XCOM, where you’re thrown situations full of random variables and asked to make the best of them with inadequate resources, and I’ll go at it like John Henry, digging away in a doomed attempt to beat the machine. Give me something like Into The Breach, however, where there’s less element…

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Feature: Not worth the hustle

Premature Evaluation: Metro Sim Hustle

There was a time when only a privileged few were given the opportunity to create art. While the less fortunate were out tilling the fields, court-appointed portraitists were funded by royal patrons to immortalise their subject’s likeness on canvas. While us regular folk gnawed on potato peels, married our cousins and died of a cough at the ripe old age of 28, an enlightened few…

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Feature: More like wastedlands, am I right?

Life Is Strange 2: Episode 3 verdict-o-chat

Alice Bee: Hey Brendy. Why don’t you spark up a massive spliffer of weed-grass and join me here to talk about Life Is Strange 2: Episode 3. It’s called Wastelands, which I think might have a double meaning of some kind. Brendan: Oh wow, it does. [Inhaling] Whoa. Contains spoilers, dunnit

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Feature: Don't be a wet blanket, eh?

Draugen review

Draugen has definitely reaffirmed my belief that any era before the present was a more annoying time to be alive. Just, the logistics of it. In this case, the 20s seem to have been an absolute waste. Imagine getting a letter confirming you’re going to stay with someone, sending a letter back, and then travelling for an actual month just to get there. And then…

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Feature: Crunchy houmous

Warhammer: Chaosbane review

Oi. Mate. See that skull? That is the skull of a demon who stood betwixt my axe whirling dwarf and a nice new pair of trousers, for I have been playing angry Topman visit simulator Warhammer: Chaosbane, a serviceable ARPG that’s a fair bit more interesting than Diablo 3 but probably slightly less interesting than a top end hand blender. Confused? Excellent. Let the merciless…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Turns out you can spell 'dungeon' without 'fun' after all

Vambrace: Cold Soul review

I wince when people dismiss bad films as “just a load of CGI-heavy garbage”, because I know people who work in the visual effects industry. Thanks to their harrowing anecdotes, I know just how much talent and graft goes into making blockbusters look pretty, and so I always feel bad when their efforts get sidelined as a footnote to an utter roaster of a flick.…

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Feature: BioShock: The Roguelite

Void Bastards review

If Gone Home is the answer to the question, "What if BioShock without guns?", then Void Bastards is the answer to the question, "What if BioShock without story?" On a series of post-disaster spaceships, each rendered in a slick comic book style, you fight or avoid grumpy mutants, circumvent security systems, hack turrets, and rummage through bins like yer da after that time he accidentally…

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Feature: Ace of spades

SteamWorld Quest: The Hand of Gilgamech review

Image & Form have jumped from one genre to the next during their twenty-odd-year history, but they've done it with such confidence and consistent brilliance that I was fully expecting to fall head over heels with their new card-based RPG, SteamWorld Quest: The Hand of Gilgamech. And yet, there was a time when Quest almost lost me. As I kept playing the same bunch of…

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Feature: Astronomical

Outer Wilds review

For a story about everyone dying, Outer Wilds is full of enthusiasm and hope. You’re a space pilot sitting by a campfire next to your spaceship, and you have 20 minutes to explore the solar system, before the sun explodes in a white-hot ball. But with that supernova you are reborn into a seemingly endless cycle. You are sent back in time to the campfire,…

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Feature: Das early access

Premature Evaluation: UBOAT

You know you’re in for some serious submarine business when there’s an option to toggle the curvature of the earth on and off. I’m still not entirely sure what a flat earth would mean for a submarine, in any practical sense. Perhaps if the submarine wandered too close to the edge of the world it would spill over the precipice of a cosmic waterfall and…

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Feature: Dummy horror

Layers Of Fear 2 review

There’s something about mannequins that makes them such prime fodder for horror games. The dead-eyed stare sans pupils, the unnaturally rigid poses and angular elbows, and the perverse mimicry of human behaviour hurls them right into the trough of the uncanny valley. Like many horror staples, these are strategically placed to unnerve players and elicit a quick scare, with a plethora of games placing them…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Plagued with difficulty

Pathologic 2 review

Pathologic 2 is cursed. And me too, because I’m saddled with reviewing the follow-up to a cult favourite. Pathologic was a first-person plague doctor simulator that was badly broken and refreshingly unusual. Depending on your sensibilities, you’ll be glad to learn that this reboot is also a godforsaken mess littered with interesting ideas, none of which will be appreciated because it is hobbled by a…

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Feature: Worth a look

Observation review

I can't think of another game that has so quickly made me care so much. I'm staring at Emma Fisher, adrift in zero gravity after (another) unknown calamity has buckled our space station and briefly disabled my camera feed. I'm looking at what might be a floating corpse, aghast at the idea that I'm responsible for it. She isn't moving. She isn't telling me what…

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Feature: The reviewening

Thea 2: The Shattering review

God does not play dice with the universe, I once read on a Mini Milk stick, but Thea 2’s pantheon of Slavic-inspired deities seem well up for a game of cards. You don’t play as a mortal in this hybrid strategy role-playing game, but an all-powerful entity guiding the life of a hapless schmo in their quest from wanderer to chosen hero of a blossoming…

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1 month ago

Feature: Quaid, start the reactor

Surviving Mars: Green Planet review

I’m trapped on Mars, and it’s getting cold. Despite the reflective sheeting I’ve hung up to insulate my workspace, night has long since fallen, and the heat is leaching from the glass walls. I’m eating boiled potatoes yet again, and I miss my family like crazy. But there’s no way I can see them again, until I’ve solved a lot of problems So I put…

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Feature: Where Total War meets Crusader Kings

Total War: Three Kingdoms review

My eldest son died horribly at the Battle of Yangzhou in 198 CE. Cao Ang led a small retinue in General Xiahou Yuan’s army. Xiahou’s army was the best I had: disciplined troops, carefully selected and commanded by heroes. At Yangzhou they were mauled by a massive army of peasant rebels led by the Yellow Turban He Yi. My defeated army escaped, but He Yi…

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Feature: Knife to meet you

Once Upon A Crime In The West is a funny murder mystery in a snow-covered bar

Everyone is dead when you arrive at The Mount Inn. Well, almost everyone. Only the bartender is left alive, among a scattering of cowboy corpses. “My memory is little hazy” he says. “Don’t know why.” It’s probably because he has a knife stuck in his head. This is Once Upon A Crime In The West, the third murder mystery game from the folks who made…

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