Posts Tagged ‘RPS Recommended’

Wot I Think: Slime Rancher

Slime Rancher

When I go to my exercise class in the evening sometimes the matter of what I do for a living comes up in pre-class chat. Usually I can be like, “This is a credible grown-up profession. I absolutely pinky swear this to be true!” The last few days I have spent 30 hours corralling adorable bouncing blobs and selling their poop on the stock market or funnelling it into science. Maybe I’ll pretend I’ve lost my voice at class this evening. But Slime Rancher [official site] is so cute I also want to tell everyone about it! Here’s Wot I Think… Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Kingsway

Goodness me, Kingsway [official site] is clever. It’s clever in so, so many ways. It’s clever in its absolutely spectacular presentation, but it’s far too clever to let that just be a gimmick – its peculiar appearance as a mid-90s Windows desktop could so easily have been a cute idea that hid an ordinary roguelite RPG, but instead it so very brilliantly influences how you play, and indeed the foibles of such an interface become crucial to how you experience it. It’s also really bloody tough. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Yonder – The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

Ignore the silly name, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles [official site] is pretty special. A combat-free, risk-free game of exploration and meandering, farming and cat-gathering, questing and lazily fishing. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Diablo III – Rise of the Necromancer

I’ll be honest, I couldn’t really see a space in Diablo III for a Necromancer. Another class that’s based on raising gross minions and smashing up mobs from afar? The Witch Doctor seemed to have that amply covered, commanding zombie dogs, harvesting souls and erupting towers of zombies from the ground.

Oh but it’s great to be completely wrong. I’ve been having a wonderful time, raising the dead and casting dark curses. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Nex Machina

I can’t think of a better collaboration than the one that’s brought Nex Machina [official site] to life. The blindingly-fast twin-stick shooter is the spawn of Resogun developer Housemarque and the creator of the entire genre, Eugene Jarvis. It has a great deal to live up to, then, and the legacy of Robotron, Smash TV and Resogun hovering over it. Clearly the pair were up to the challenge.

All of the above games are inside Nex Machina. They are in both the foundations and the bricks — the teeming swarms of robots, the linked rooms, even the voxels. Combined, however, the construct something new; something that’s full of its own tricks and quirks, challenges and surprises. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot We Think: CrossCells


Reviewing games of the sort Matthew Brown creates – Hexcells, SquareCells, and now CrossCells [official site] – can be a strange task. His niche is numerical logic. There are elements of things like Sudoku but basic maths creeps in, making it closer to a subgenre of Sudoku: Killer Sudoku. Their pleasures come from whether you can sink into the deductive mindset you need to find a foothold and then to progress and the difficulty curves vary from person to person. When I reviewed SquareCells, once I’d described how the basic elements worked it became more a task of communicating how a solution made me feel and whether the UI was any good lest I spoil any of the actual game by talking about specific niggles or posting screenshots.

Given the puzzles are so much about individual feel it felt like a good idea to make this review more of a chat between John and me. We were both supposed to be doing other things when the code for CrossCells turned up and it’s a testament to our mutual fondness for Brown’s work that we pretty much instantly booted it up and sidelined our actual work. Here’s Wot We Think: Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Steel Division – Normandy 44

There are two wars raging within Steel Division [official site]. While the Axis and Allies are going at it hammer and tongs in the très jolie fields and lanes of NW France, behind the scenes ‘Plausibility’ and ‘Populism’ – or ‘Wargame’ and ‘RTS’ if you prefer – are scrapping just as energetically for control of the soul of Eugen’s latest offering. Most of the time the fight is close and the game is great as a result. It’s only when Populism/RTS starts gaining the upper hand – something that happens most noticeably during the three short singleplayer campaigns – that things go awry for the mostly excellent Steel Division. 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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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: 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 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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Wot I Think: Learning electronics with Bomb Squad Academy

If there’s one thing I’m sick of, it means I’ve had some sort of head injury and forgotten the many, many, copious things I’m also sick of. But amongst their number is the cavalcade of recent games that feel the need to try to trick me into learning computer programming. You know, I’m good thanks. I’m 40 this year, my brain has pretty much established over multiple attempts that it just isn’t willing to let in computer programming, along with French, the difference between “affect” and “effect” [not to mention “defuse” and “diffuse” -ed.], and the HTML for embedding an email address. You program the games, I’ll play them. Ta.

Anyway, so there’s a nice new puzzle game out called Bomb Squad Academy [official site], a game about defusing bombs against the clock, and – WAIT A SECOND! This game’s teaching me electronics! Why I oughtta… Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Nier Automata

Nier: Automata [official site] is unpredictable, from beginning to end(s).

What begins as a robot-smashing action game with gargantuan bosses soon becomes an open world RPG, then a bullet hell circus nightmare with confetti and corpses, and then something else entirely. To describe all of the things that Automata encompasses, even in vague terms, would be to spoil its greatest asset: surprise. For that reason, I’ve avoiding the specifics of almost any of the wonderful and horrible things that happen. This is important.

Let’s stick with the basics then. Automata, at its best, fuses Platinum’s mastery of stylish action to a framework that works as both a tour and deconstruction of various genres, and a story both stranger and more interesting than it first appears. It’s awesome. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Cosmic Express

Cosmic Express

Here it is! The space game review you’ve all been waiting for on this, Monday the twentieth of March, 2017: Cosmic Express!

Cosmic Express [official site] is an adorable-but-also-rock-solid puzzle game from Alan Hazelden. He’s working with Ben Davis who was his collaborator on RPS favourite, A Good Snowman…, and with Tyu of the Klondike collective. The result is a really satisfying puzzle game where you lay the track for a train in order to transport little alien blobs to their destinations. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Stories Untold

Gosh, we’re living in brilliant times for interesting games. It seems barely a month goes by now without something novel and fascinating appearing, pushing at the edges, upcycling old ideas for new minds, and messing with our brains. The latest that fits all these categories is the really very splendid Stories Untold [entirely pointless official site], ostensibly a collection of four novella-like adventures linked by an opaque theme. It’s part parser-based text adventure, part horror peculiarity, part 80s TV show… It’s unlike anything you’ve played before, despite being built from the half-remembered remains of a childhood of gaming.

So a familiar caveat to accompany such a review: if you trust me, if you want to experience the game with as little information as possible so everything’s a surprise, then take the above paragraph as everything you need and spend £6 on this. If you want more details (wonderfully written and spoiler-free), then read on. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment: Tides of Numenera [official site] is a weird-fantasy roleplaying game and spiritual sequel to 1999’s revered Planescape: Torment. After being successfully Kickstarted a couple of years ago, it is released to the world today.

1. I’m new to all this. Tell me whether this is where I want to be.
2. I’ve been here before. Tell me what’s changed. Tell me whether I can trust this.
3. [Anamnesis] Let the memories come.
4. [Smashing] My time is short. Brute-force my way straight to a conclusion.