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PC Game Reviews

Kine review

Top of the blocks

Disco Elysium review

My uncle told me "disco biscuits" is slang for bad drugs

131

Today

Feature: A gentle, but knotty murder mystery

Tangle Tower review

I love a good locked room mystery. The best ones aren't so much about the 'whodunnit', but the 'howdunnit'. The former's still important for a satisfying ending, of course, but unravelling what appears to be the impossible (how did they get in? How did they leave?) is a much more brain-pleasing knot to unpick than figuring out which of the many shifty faces in front…

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Feature: The clunkman cometh

Premature Evaluation: Chernobylite

Chernobylite, right, is what's known as a technogenic compound. We found bits of the "lava-like glassy material" in the ruins of the Chernobyl powerplant after it exploded, slopped into a continually melting, still hot structure called the Elephant's Foot. Wikipedia informs me it is a "crystalline zirconium silicate with a high (up to 10%) content of uranium as a solid solution". What horrors man hath…

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Feature: In space, no one can hear you meme

The Outer Worlds review

There are a few times, during Obsidian's rootin' tootin' shootin' lootin' first person space cowboy RPG The Outer Worlds, where the game lampshades the tropes it uses. One of them really stood out to me. An information broker asked me to clear the airwaves he used for his radio signals, meaning I had to convince two rival faction leaders to stop broadcasting. This meant having…

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Feature: King of Dragon Surpassed

Six Ages: Ride Like The Wind review

The war chief is dead. Aminai, our wisest herder, took her place but was struck with a deadly illness. Crop after crop failed as the world became darker and colder. Our herds are pitiful, barely half of our people have a horse. Our neighbours, once toasting our clan, raid us without mercy, burning defences and stealing precious cattle. Storm worshippers from the south sense weakness…

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6 days ago

Feature: Top of the blocks

Kine review

Kine! What a wonderfully opaque, wide-ranging word. It apparently means “cattle” or “excellent” in Hawaiian Pidgin English, but I'm guessing the nod here is to “kinematics” as in “abstract, mechanical motion”. That explains about half of Gwen Frey's swish, challenging puzzler -- her solo debut, after leaving Flame in the Flood developer The Molasses Flood and founding new studio Chump Squad. At its most elementary,…

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1 week ago

Feature: One man's trash

Premature Evaluation: Flotsam

Depending on who you ask, the apocalypse is not happening, extremely close, or already here. There's already been at least one casualty in the form of usual premature evaluator Steve Hogarty, who has either been raptured or is away for two weeks. No other explanations are possible. I have filled the time this week with post-global flood city builder/Waterworld simulator Flotsam, a special favourite of…

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Feature: My uncle told me "disco biscuits" is slang for bad drugs

Disco Elysium review

So, then. Disco Elysium, like Planescape: Torment, or even Fallout or Arcanum, is an isometric RPG with a lot of text. You, an alcoholic, probably drug-addicted cop in early middle age, wake up to face a new partner, a lynching that needs solving, and an apocalyptic hangover that has wiped your memory. So, you start the work of learning... well, everything. I managed to stumble…

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Feature: Danse Macabre

Felix The Reaper review

Felix The Reaper is a master of distraction. Instead of making him rush to move shadows about so he can set up elaborately fatal traps, all I want to do is watch this chubby lil' reaper bust endless moves to the beat of his Walkman. and I mean moves: it would be ridiculous to call these "idle animations", because this groovin' dealer of death simply…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Moon's still haunted.

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep review

To be a Destiny player is to consume. To voraciously devour great wads of Content, like one of its giant inter-dimensional space worm gods gorging on a planetoid, and then, never sated, moving on to the next. The newest feast is Shadowkeep. It’s as beautifully crafted as ever. We get to eat the Moon! It looks stunning and it’s fun and weird and I love…

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Feature: A clone in the dark

Premature Evaluation: Conglomerate 451

Conglomerate. Even the word sounds sinister, like it might throw a burlap sack over your head and bungle you into the back of a blacked out minivan, then pop you in the temple with a silenced pistol and throw your corpse out in the street in front of your mother’s house. Whether it’s the militaristic association of the glottal “cong”, or the overcast bleakness of…

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Feature: Wicky Wicky Wild Wild Hex

John Wick Hex review

You don’t play as John Wick in John Wick Hex. Not really. Instead, you play as Keanu Reeves’ choreographer, in close negotiation with the great man’s agent. Want Wick to dash behind cover while throatslamming a goon, then toss them to the floor, grab their gun and shoot a second goon’s ear off before yeeting the empty pistol at a third? That is absolutely within…

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Feature: Requires more progress

Pilgrims review

The surprise announcement of a new Amanita game, while we were all happily waiting for the announced Creaks to appear, is almost certainly to do with the clandestine nature of Apple Arcade. With so many developers sensibly taking advantage of Apple's pouring money tap, and with the exclusivity arrangement extending only to screwing over Android, us PC players are enjoying a sudden windfall of meant-for-telephone…

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Feature: The Disgaea of action platformers

Indivisible review

This here is a game with one of those plots. You know how it goes: our hero — a hot-headed girl called Ajna, in our case — lives in a peaceful fantasy village. One day, the forces of evil arrive, destroy everything, and kill the hero's beloved mentor figure. The hero then sets out for revenge. During their journey they unlock hidden powers, learn shocking…

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Feature: Bash the fash

Warsaw review

As your tree trunk-limbed mechanic, his oaken legs rippling under his dungarees, sets a row of sunken-cheeked, hollow-eyed Nazis on fire with a makeshift flamethrower, and your lab-coated doctor follows up by yeeting a vial of debilitating probably-not-piss-but-I-like-to-think-it’s-piss at an SS officer’s forehead, a thought may occur. Considering history is a design constraint here, brutal but poignant turn-based tactical RPG Warsaw does a fantastic job…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Droning on

Ghost Recon Breakpoint review

As I flew our helicopter towards yet another near-identical slice of Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s drone-infested, “libertarian utopia” turned hellhole, RPS vidbud Matthew pointed out something much more interesting than anything in the game. There was a time, he observed, when Breakpoint’s vast, meticulously-crafted jungles and mountains would have been gob-smacking. We’d have rejoiced in the possibilities offered by a seamless open world, merrily meandering between…

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Feature: Just drive

Neo Cab review

We're having a bit of a cyberpunk moment. I've seen and played and received emails about loads of games that include the word somewhere. Lots of dystopian megacorp skyscrapers. But I can't remember seeing a game that's set in the liminal stage before, the time between the now and when the mass surveillance, holograms and AR implants take root. Neo Cab is set in that…

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Feature: Everything is on fire

Premature Evaluation: Noita

As you might have already surmised, Noita is a side-scrolling roguelike in which every pixel is meticulously simulated, from the fanciest molecule of glowing gas down to the lowliest granule of common dirt. Each pebble, spark and drop of water interacts dynamically with everything else. Liquids slosh and flow and form pools, steam and smoke billow upwards and gather along the ceiling in suffocating clouds.…

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Feature: Played their cards right

Magic: The Gathering Arena review

Even though there’s been a digital version of Magic: The Gathering in some form for more than seventeen years, it’s not the game that I, a casual but long-term devotee of the physical game, am recommended on a near-monthly basis. By now, I’ve lost count of the number of friends who have approached me with wide-eyed enthusiasm and told me ‘mate, you need to play…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Miracle gro

Premature Evaluation: Atomicrops

It speaks to the uneasy balance between humankind’s pessimism and optimism that we’re all fairly certain we’re going to nuke one another into oblivion at some point, but that it will also be loads of fun for those who survive the blast, with mutated trees and cool trucks and glowing green goop flying everywhere. Atomicrops is one such vision of a cartoonish radioactive future, a…

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