Posts Tagged ‘review’

Wot I Think: Old Man’s Journey

Old Man's Journey

Old Man’s Journey [official site] is a beautiful and thoughtful mild landscape puzzler which is at its best when it focuses on tiny details or on strange delights. The interaction can meander into dullness but there are moments of melancholy beauty to be found and which are arresting enough that it makes the whole thing worthwhile. Here’s Wot I Think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: The Edgelands

The Edgelands [official site] is a minimalist miasma, a quirky combination of IF-like faux text parser and graphic adventure, set in a grimly dying world. And while there’s so much good about it, there’s just a bit too much that isn’t. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Endless Space 2

I can imagine the intervention now, family and friends sitting around me in a circle. “Fraser, we all care about you. You’re in a safe space. But you’ve got to stop falling in love with 4X games. It’s bad for your health.” I’d walk straight out of the room, of course. My new beau is Endless Space 2 [official site], and its got its hooks in me deep. Like its predecessor – definitely Endless Legend and not the first Endless Space – it’s a bold attack on the more staid elements of the 4X multiverse, full of character, weirdness and ambition.
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Review: HP’s Omen 17 is as close as gaming laptops get to a bargain

Honestly: Ripley here walked over and posed of her own volition while I was taking photos. I guess you know what they say about black cats and omens...

When I began my quest to review a horde of gaming laptops, at the end of which I would purchase the one I liked the most, I was reasonably convinced of two things. One, I wouldn’t settle for something that I considered to be graphically underpowered. Two, I didn’t want something gigantic. The first conviction was challenged by the relatively affordable Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming, whose humble 1050 Ti GPU proved surprisingly meaty (sadly, the awful screen ultimately deterred me from purchase there), and now the second has come undone in the face of the colossal 17″ HP Omen. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Brute

Brute [official site] is N with a ship in place of a ninja. That change aside, there’s the same challenge of grappling with the particulars of the game’s physics, the same love of alternating bright colours, and a similar menagerie of deadly pursuing enemies ready to destroy you with a single touch. Luckily, there’s also the same sense of satisfaction to be found in trying, failing and eventually overcoming each of its tricky levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Dead Cells

Every week we decapitate Brendan and throw him into the early access dungeons, and somehow he always comes back. He must have learned that trick from the promising and punishing Dead Cells [official site]

Life is good when you beat a boss. I’ve been toying with Dead Cells for the past week, relishing its roguelite slashing and crunchy pixel art. It’s a tough game, often punching you in the gut with powerful enemies and sending you slithering all the way back to the start with each death. But every time you die, you get stronger, along with a chance to re-roll the dice of fate to see what vicious weaponry you can gather this time. It styles itself after Dark Souls but, really, you should leave those assumptions at the gate. Just there, next to the pile of beheaded corpses.

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Wot I Think: Rakuen

Composer, performer and now developer Laura Shigihara’s first game, Rakuen [official site], is out now, and it is something truly special. In a To The Moon sort of way. A hilarious and heartbreaking tale of loss and redemption, with songs. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Scanner Sombre

A beautiful and novel game suffering from something of an identity crisis, Scanner Sombre [official site] is the latest from Introversion Software, making a play for artfulness after a few years of successfully popularising themselves with Prison Architect. But though Scanner’s central conceit – using a laser scanner to ‘paint’ dot-array colours and shape onto your pitch black, subterranean surroundings – is gloriously atmospheric, it lacks the lightness of touch needed to achieve the emotional clout it so clearly wants to have. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Stable Orbit

Every week we launch Brendan through the atmosphere into the cold, dark void of early access. This time, the realistic space station (mis)management of Stable Orbit [official site]

My first space station is called the Floppy Floater. It is a barren place, so bleak in demeanour that it fails even to qualify as a potential setting for a post-disaster sci-fi shooter, even though it has two whole dead bodies on board. Yet unlike Prey, no alien threat is responsible for these deaths. Only my own hasty and thoughtless decision-making. When will I stop accidentally killing imaginary people using only the dark negligence of middle-management? Never. God-willing, I will never stop doing that. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Birthdays the Beginning

Birthdays the Beginning

Birthdays The Beginning [official site] is a sandbox evolution game from Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada. The aesthetic is somewhere between Harvest Moon, Viva Pinata and a sugarcraft workshop. On paper it looks like the exact sort of thing I’d love – a biology-themed sim with collectible and ADORABLE lifeforms including ferns, velociraptors and turtles. In practice it can’t seem combine the ingredients into a satisfying enough dish. Here’s Wot I Think: Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: Veil of Crows

Every week we launch Brendan from a catapult into the early access fortress. This time, the haphazard RPG adventuring of Veil of Crows [official site]

I’ve just murdered four villagers. I was grumpy and I wanted their village, so I went in with eleven peasants and killed them and took their lumberyard. To be fair, they murdered four of us right back. Sadly, all the bodies now lying on the village grounds are practically indistinguishable – all the same greyish peasant corpse. I own a village now, but I am still grumpy. Is it because the kingdom who once guarded the lumberyard are now sending an army to take back their rightful land? No. It’s just because Veil of Crows is messy, buggy and not very fun.
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Wot I Think: Flinthook

Flinthook [official site] combines everything I loved about Rogue Legacy with far slicker platforming action, based around some of gaming’s greatest icons: grappling hooks and stylish slow motion. It’s a tremendous game that I’ve been hooked on since launch.

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Wot I Don’t Think: Syberia 3

There is a group of people who are going to buy Syberia 3 [official site], and they are going to love Syberia 3, no matter what it’s like. If the released game were just a black screen from which only terrifying abuse were endlessly screamed, they would love it. If playing it caused them to develop sores all over their bodies, grow pustules that bubbled and burned, and wretched sickness and diarrhoea bugs afflict them and all their loved ones, they would refuse to hear a word said against it. If the game came to the homes of their families and stole all their valuables, and then sold those valuables and used the proceeds to take out an advertising campaign in which they stated, “Everyone who loves Syberia 3 is a paedophile”, these people would still love Syberia 3, and send threatening messages to anyone who disagreed.

How do I know this? Because, man, I was there for Syberia 2, man. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Everything

I am a spruce beetle. I call to two other spruce beetles nearby and now I am all of them. I tell them to dance and they begin to skitter of their own volition, making concentric circles and infinity signs and all manner of patterns. Each time a circle fills at the top of the screen – the only visible UI element – I press A in order to spawn another spruce beetle which joins in the dance. I do this for seventeen minutes, until there is a thrumming mass of spruce beetles. Eventually I’ve had enough and so I become a snowball.

This is what Everything [official site] is about.

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Wot I Think: Outlast 2

If you’ve ever wanted to experience crucifixion from a first-person perspective, Outlast 2 [official site] will let you scratch that one off your bucket list. Moving away from the first game’s psychiatric hospital, developers Red Barrels unearth another necropolis’ worth of horror tropes in a splatterfest about apocalypse, antichrists and clashing cults.

The most frustrating thing about Outlast 2 is that it’s few redeeming features deserve a far better game around them. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: What Remains Of Edith Finch

Whatever the screenshot above might have made you think, What Remains of Edith Finch [official site] doesn’t have very much in common with Dear Esther at all. It has a great deal in common with a lot of games I’ve played, but in the end doesn’t feel very much like any of them. It’s a walking simulator for about ten minutes, and then it becomes all manner of other things, including one of my favourite games in years. Here’s wot I think about this extraordinary family saga.

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Wot I Think: Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares [official site] is the story of a little girl in a horrible place. It’s a horror game but it’s mostly bloodless and doesn’t rely on jumpscares or sudden shocks. I’ve loved almost every minute of it.

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