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PC Game Reviews

2 days ago

Feature: Get your ass to Mars

Premature Evaluation: Rover Mechanic Simulator

You can keep your trendy meditation apps and your Himalayan pilgrimages to remote temples where ascetic monks ding little bells and dispense timeless wisdom, because I’ve just discovered something a thousand times more effective at achieving a semblance of inner peace. The absolute best salve for an overheating brain is to quietly dismantle a Martian rover. Just sequester yourself away in the spare room for…

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1 week ago

Feature: A mammoth task

Premature Evaluation: Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

When I was seven years old, my dad broke our Atari ST. We had been playing about with some primitive CAD software, plotting out simple shapes to render low polygon urns when he fell eerily silent. His face slackened, transfixed. His eyes became locked to the screen. Clicking over and over, the man began adding vertices anywhere they would fit, hundreds of them, tracing the…

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Feature: Sounds good

Tales From Off-Peak City Volume 1 review

So, let’s be real up front: I was dreading playing Tales From Off-Peak City Volume 1.. For whatever reason, my brain has barely any appetite for unlocking locked doors, solving mysteries, unravelling conspiracies or piecing together intricately implied backstories. A lot of adventure games just ain’t for me, because I’m a brute and a philistine. Added to that, I’ve got an abiding fear of being…

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Feature: Hell of a commute

The Pedestrian review

For good or ill, it feels like puzzle platformers are a dime a dozen these days. Stand on a thing, jump up to another thing, bounce off a trampoline - oh whoops, there was a circular saw in the way. Try doing the jump slightly differently this time, idiot. They're like the kind of fitness benchmark tests that all PE teachers secretly dream they could…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Let slip the crafts of war

Warcraft 3: Reforged review

Warcraft III was an immensely important game for a lot of people. A fantasy RTS that lead right into the start of World Of Warcraft, it left a big, war-booted footprint on the landscape of games. Odds are, you will have felt its impact even if you never played RTS games, since the original Dota grew out of a mod for Warcraft III's multiplayer mode.…

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Feature: We'll do it live

Premature Evaluation: Not For Broadcast

Television, that prehistoric broadcast medium of unrequested shapes and noises spilling out of a furious little box that all your furniture points towards. That wretched hutch where tiny Cilla Black made her nest, where Anneka Rice routinely slipped the surly bonds of earth and a seven inch Matthew Kelly taunted families with all expenses paid trips to Costa Brava, if only dad could identify twenty…

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Feature: Starch contrast

Zombie Army 4: Dead War review

Some games are like chips. Sin imparted these wise and useful words as I stared at this empty intro, struggling to convey the mildly-satisfying beigeness of Zombie Army 4: Dead War. It's about shooting many zombies, in a way that you may have done many times before. The zombies pop and crumble, as they should. The guns have punch and the punch has gumption, and…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Banner banner

Commandos 2 – HD Remaster review

When you send your Renoir nude off to the restorer for a spruce-up there's no danger it will return with the nipples painted out because the restorer thought they might cause offence or arousal. Things work a little differently with computer games it seems. Much-loved isometric sneak-em-up Commandos 2 has come back from refurbishment missing a few aesthetic details. German flags have shed their swastikas,…

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Feature: No logo on the foam

Coffee Talk review

Mellow. I see little value in reducing games to a single word, but here that word is inescapable. Coffee Talk is a light visual novel with a drink mixing system, that lets you gently nudge its subplots towards good or bad outcomes. I can't tell you it was a particularly gripping, dramatic or funny story. But it was very mellow. That may sound like faint…

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Feature: Just because it's over doesn't mean it's really over

Kentucky Route Zero: Act V review

This is the story of a journey’s end. But no homecoming can have meaning in isolation from the voyage that preceded it. This is why offering some critical judgement upon the fifth and (as far as we know) final Act of the interstate dream odyssey that is Kentucky Route Zero is an exercise in absurdity. It cannot be separated from what came before, nor from…

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Feature: Praetorians Delenda Est

Praetorians HD Remaster review

Ave, citizens! Although October (the month of Ghoastus) is still far off, a game about Romans has been released, which means that, as per the terms of my binding, Nate has been forced to summon me to review it. When I heard about Praetorians - HD Remaster, I couldn’t wait to enter Nate’s PC via the floppy disc drive and haunt it for the weekend.…

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Feature: Wait for more toppings

Might & Magic: Chess Royale review

I'm used to autobattlers giving me a headache. They're a swirl of intense decision-making - puzzle boxes you've got to pry open and reassemble, while your opponents do the same thing. My first dozen hours with Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords were painful, but rewarding. I remember hacking away at an edifice of shifting understanding, slowly mastering the nuances of gold and wizard management. It…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: It's not easy being green

Premature Evaluation: Eco

Ask anyone what Minecraft is missing and they’ll all tell you the same thing: an impending sense of climate doom, the pervasive fear of a warming globe that haunts the modern psyche like a crap ghost who keeps showing you scary looking graphs. Eco is an open world co-operative survival game that manages to do just that, incorporating that now-familiar sense of creeping dread which…

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1 month ago

Feature: I swear it's not Fire Emblem.

Vestaria Saga I: War of the Scions review

Look, do you like Fire Emblem? If so, do you believe the series peaked with the release of Thracia 776, twenty years ago? Well, if that's you, then great. You're gonna adore Vestaria Saga I: War of the Scions. On the other hand, if you've never played a tactical RPG of this broad type (think Disgaea or Banner Saga) before, it might be wiser to…

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Feature: Wattave I just played?

Wattam review

There's a certain degree of weirdness you'd expect from a Keita Takahashi game. Whether it's creating planets by rolling up the world's detritus (with the occasional screeching human and puzzled animal in tow) in Katamari Damacy, or using an LED controller to get naked while brushing your teeth in Tenya Wanya Teens, Takahashi's games have always baffled and bemused me in equal measure. They also…

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Feature: The machine stumbles

MiniLAW: Ministry Of Law review

"I have ninety minutes to stop a nuclear bomb from going off, so I've given up on arresting and just started throwing people off buildings," I told the RPS hivemind. This was a half truth. I'd been trying to figure out how to throw people off buildings all day. That is the problem with MiniLAW: Ministry of Law, the hectic dystopian action game from Lasso…

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Feature: Hot as hell

Premature Evaluation: Hades

Let’s take another look at Hades, the rogue-ish-action-hack-n-slash-n-chat-em-up by Supergiant Games, developers of Bastion and Transistor, in which you play Zagreus, the immortal son of the lord of the underworld on a quest to repeatedly run away from home. Home, in this case, is a giant-ass castle in helltown where the tortured souls of the deceased languish while they await processing, like an infernal waiting…

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Feature: It's the court that counts

AO Tennis 2 review

Dennis Brawl was crap at tennis. She could barely tell her flats from her tennis elbow, which she had not played nearly enough to develop, but nevertheless felt afflicted by on a deeper, more spiritual level. Shots sailed passed her unwitting eyeballs. Lobs confused her, spin perplexed. Nobody would explain what an Inside Out was. I wish I could tell you she got better. That…

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Feature: Get out of my dreams, get onto my cool motorbike

Sayonara Wild Hearts review

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a sort of rhythm action arcade game, and as I played I kept getting flavours of different things. In terms of video games I felt Thumper, then (less obviously) Fe, plus SuperHot and Persona 5. Oh, and that mine cart level in the first Harry Potter game. But Sayonara wild hearts is also the drag race scene in Grease, the "Get…

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Feature: Mourning wood

Premature Evaluation: Lumberjack Simulator

January. Hell month. My powerful brain – usually a throbbing, high-performance organ capable of doing several sums per minute – has atrophied to a wet walnut, a sodden grey scrap of cauterised flesh that ricochets around inside my skull like a horrible slug. The excesses of the holiday season have left my wretched body brittle and hollow. My eyes are sunken into my cadaverous face,…

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