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Posts tagged “review”

Feature: Call a somnambulance

Superliminal review

It must be daunting, making a first person puzzle game about messing with physics. Do I even need to name the shadow looming over this whole genre? Superliminal is a short, linear showcase of puzzles built around the creative use of perspective. You're a volunteer, testing an experimental sleep therapy based on inducing dreams you can muck about in. Gentle, soothing jazz plinkles away in…

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Feature: Embrace the octopus

Unity of Command 2 review

The awesome destructive might and continent-shrinking mobility of a WW2 army came with strings. While an antique army could fragment at will and locust everything it needed from the countryside it passed through, its 1939-45 equivalent was an essentially indivisible organism, a tangle of dangerous tentacles emanating from a cumbersome organ-clump of vital support staff, equipment, and stores. The unmissable Unity of Command 2 recognises…

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Feature: Bigger than before

Age Of Empires 2 Definitive Edition review

Age Of Empires 2 is, as far as I’m concerned, the greatest real-time strategy game of all time. And with the release of Age Of Empires 2 Definitive Edition, it’s… well, it’s still that. But now, there’s a lot more of it. It’s brilliant. Still, virtually every design decision its quality rests on was made twenty years ago, and what few changes have been to…

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Feature: Make the hive look alive

Bee Simulator review

I flew into a cobweb to see what would happen. There was a game in a magazine I had as a kid, you see, where you played as a spider. And if you caught a bee, you had to cut it loose in a panic before it could hurt you or damage your web. Here though, albeit seen from the other point of view, it's…

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Feature: Mountains out of molecules

Premature Evaluation: Molek-Syntez

A chemistry teacher once tried to teach me what a molecule is, but it didn’t stick, thanks to my chronically slippery brain which refuses to retain useful information. Please correct me in the comments below, but as far as I understand the situation, molecules are like atoms but larger and with some fun accessories. If atoms are footballs, let’s say, then molecules are those big…

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Feature: How the west was fun

Red Dead Redemption 2 review

Reviewing Red Dead Redemption 2 a year after its console release is like happening upon a frontier homestead after it's been attacked by bandits. It’s a game that has been subjected to every take under the sun, and stripped to the bone by internet vultures; every last secret dug up, every mechanic scalped and scrutinised, until no magic remains. I, adopting the role of world-weary…

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Feature: Not much to sea

Abandon Ship review

I cruised through dozens of fights before disaster struck. A scuffle with a cultist saw my ship scuttled, thanks to me forgetting to man the water pumps. A foolish oversight, but I’d at least had the foresight to buy a lifeboat, which saved me and my crew from a quick and merciful death. The days dragged in that tiny boat, as we drifted in diminishing…

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Feature: Head banger

MO Astray review

I’m almost tempted to celebrate the appallingly named MO: Astray for not being a Metroidvania. I loves me some Metroiding, but it’s proved a real pleasure to play an action-platformer that focuses on continuous progression without a trace of backtracking. It’s especially a pleasure when it happens in a game as precisely designed as this.

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Feature: Turn again

Manifold Garden review

Manifold Garden has been described as a 3D puzzle game, but everyone who says that is wrong, because it is actually a horror game. Oh, it might be in disguise as a puzzle game. It has special doors and pressure pads, and you manoeuvre the right coloured blocks onto the right coloured things by walking up walls and changing the gravity and what have you.…

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Feature: Always wear your meatbelt

Premature Evaluation: 10 Miles To Safety

Just outside of my hometown there’s an air rifle shooting club owned and operated by large men whose disposition barred them from joining their local territorial army. You know the men, they smell like sawdust and are all named Colm and wear tattered promotional t-shirts from a local shotgun pellet and rat poison manufacturer called “MAD DOG FIREARMS AND FARMING SUPPLIES” and whose logo is…

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Feature: Beast mode

Planet Zoo review

Planet Zoo is a game where you can build your own zoo. It’s buggy, intermittently opaque, frequently saccharine, and - barring an eleventh hour miracle - it’s my undisputed game of the year. Because here’s the thing: it’s a game where you can build your own zoo. And by thunder, it delivers on that promise. Usually, by the time I review a game - especially…

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Feature: War is hell, if you haven't heard

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare review

Of course Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare has nothing interesting to say about war. Of course its guns feel good, and its explosions are many and impressive. Of course the multiplayer is essentially the same game we've been playing for over a decade, only prettier and in more flavours. Of course a part of me likes it, and of course part of me is jaded…

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Feature: Other people, etc.

Afterparty review

If you've played Oxenfree you probably already know a little of what to expect from Afterparty: a smart, walking--and--talking adventure game where optional speech bubbles appear above the characters' heads; naturalistic dialogue between characters whose relationships grow in complexity as the game goes on; some weird supernatural stuff. Afterparty does all these things, but Night School Studio's second outing also feels stronger and punchier --…

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Feature: Not the Samus the rest

Outbuddies review

The last few years have seen quite the coming together of gaming platforms. Walls that seemed eternal have come tumbling down, as publishers like Capcom and Konami have brought console exclusives to PC, cross-platform play has become more common, and even Nintendo has released its own IP on non-Nintendo machines. You can even get Mario Kart on your telephone. But sadly, as much as this…

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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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Feature: “WTF is going on out there?”

Radio Commander review

Radio Commander is a lit thunderflash tossed through a barracks doorway at two in the morning. It's arriving at the firing range and finding all the rifles in bits at the bottom of treacle barrels. It's John Wayne dressed as a coelacanth conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. It's Dad's Army dubbed into Swahili. It's Polio The Musical... wasabi toothpaste... a Slush Puppie enema... Ho Chi Minh kicking…

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