Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Review

Now, you can color me surprised when I say that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle actually turned out to be an exceptionally well-crafted game with intelligent tactical gameplay design that has enough depth to scratch the itch of hardcore turn-based tactic/strategy players. It also made me eat every scathing word I had spewed about it.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Review

Bleed Review

Bleed is a game that ends before it should. The silver lining to that statement is that it's an absolute blast while it lasts, with tight, satisfying gameplay and an unforgettable protagonist. And while its levels don't provide enough content, its flexible difficulty and upgrade options will compel even non-completionists to stick around after beating them.

Bleed Review

Knock-Knock Review

Knock Knock is driven by a neat idea and an evocative presentation. It’s a shame, then, that its goodwill is hampered by gameplay that feels a little broken. To give it the benefit of the doubt, the issues I ran into seem to be a result of the game not going far enough to give the player a proper explanation outside a few needlessly cryptic notes in between stages.

Knock-Knock Review

SteamWorld Dig 2 Review

SteamWorld Dig 2 is a sequel that does more than simply update the original. It creates a larger world structured like a Metroidvania by adding more mazelike corridors and open rooms. On the flip side, the digging segments feel more tedious this time around, especially when compared to the excellently designed challenge caverns and environmental puzzles.

SteamWorld Dig 2 Review

Windjammers Review

A wonderful relic of the past (seeing the Data East logo pop-up after all these years brought a tear to my eye), Windjammers is an awesome and unique sports game that, having survived semi-obscurity, might have the cache to become a staple of modern competitive gaming.

Windjammers Review

Flip Wars Review

Flip Wars has a simple premise: ground pound tiles to flip them over to your color. The player with the most colored tiles at the end of the round is the winner. Two alternative modes let you focus on knocking out other players by flipping the tiles they’re standing on, but really, that’s all there is to the entire experience. Flip Wars is a Nintendo Switch eShop game with as much depth as a minigame from Mario Party.

Flip Wars Review

Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2: Episode 3 - Jailhouse Block Review

Damn, Minecraft: Story Mode goes places. Not satisfied with just opening flaming holes in the ground and attacking small towns with giant, possessed stone statues, Episode 3, perfectly titled “Jailhouse Block,” takes us all the way down to the bedrock, essentially the bottom of the Minecraft world, and then we go lower.

Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2: Episode 3 - Jailhouse Block Review

Sundered Review

The game rewards the time spent on it, and the more you put into it, the more awesome it gets. Just like Eshe, who in the beginning is a mere shadow of the lean, mean killing machine she’s to become. To me, she is the Starkiller that never was and the caverns are her proving grounds.

Sundered Review

Wrongworld Review

There are more than enough indie games that involve survival and crafting. That Wrongworld can enter into this crowded genre and still provide an experience that is unique enough to be worth playing says a great deal. Despite containing many of the conventional trappings of a survival game and some significant flaws, it still feels fresh for at least a dozen or two hours.

Wrongworld Review

Boost Beast Review

Boost Beast is an underwhelming take on the established match three formula. The few attempts Arzest make to set it apart backfire, making much of the game dependent on luck. You either lack the correct colors to defeat the zombies or you score ridiculously big boosts with very little effort, making even victory unsatisfying.

Boost Beast Review

Theseus Review

Adding to that, it fails to do anything meaningful with VR, using it only to create tension through a series of fixed camera angles whose transition are jarring and disorienting. It pains me to say that this is one game that should have been sacrificed to Hades.

Theseus Review

Life Is Strange: Before The Storm Episode 1: Awake Review

Life Is Strange was an episodic adventure game released in 2015 that took me completely by surprise. It came to me after I had grown weary of the format, popularized by the numerous releases from Telltale Games. Instead of adapting a popular media franchise, DONTNOD’s game told an original story about an eighteen-year-old Maxine Caulfield who, out of the blue, was given the power to control time.

Life Is Strange: Before The Storm Episode 1: Awake Review

Time Recoil Review

The Finnish developers behind the well-received Neon Chrome come back with another top-down twin stick shooter. At a quick glance, you'd be forgiven to mistake Time Recoil for some Neon Chrome DLC, but it turns out the game has an identity of its own. Time Recoil isn’t as much a blast fest as it is a thinking man’s shooter. At times, it could almost pass for a game of chess - deadly chess with bullets, explosions and time-warping super powers.

Time Recoil Review

Chess Ultra VR Review

Though, it seems a bit bare-bones, with VR being its niche feature. It isn't necessarily a great tool for learning the subtleties of chess, but in most ways, Chess Ultra VR rises above baseline competence to something much better. And owners of virtual reality headsets can dust them off and enjoy a game that never loses its challenge.

Chess Ultra VR Review

Killing Floor: Incursion Review

Killing Floor: Incursion is an atmosphere-and-action-heavy game, so most of its flaws will be subsumed by the moment-to-moment need to survive the next wave of enemies or to solve the puzzle that opens the next area. Relative to the short, demo-like products that continue to populate the Oculus store, Killing Floor: Incursion feels substantial.

Killing Floor: Incursion Review

Albion Online Review

You could kindly call Albion Online "old-school" or "hardcore," which might appeal to gamers with a nostalgia for the days of corpse runs, griefing, and ganking. Less graciously, you could say it is repetitive, cynical,  uninspired, and opaque. In truth, MMORPGs that survive their infancy often grow into very different games than they were at launch.

Albion Online Review

Phantom Trigger Review

Phantom Trigger is decent at being the top-down hack-and-slash game that the developers at Bread Team set out to create. The compelling story, stunningly pixelated neon world, and challenge are its strengths. If it weren’t bogged down by dull dungeon design, a limited move-set, and tedious gameplay, this action title could have stood out.

Phantom Trigger Review

Tiny Trax Review

There are a lot of talented and patience content creators out there in video game land, and I bet they could produce some stellar race tracks using in-game assets. Tiny Trax is a celebration of slot car racing, and with its great track design and worthy adversaries, I didn’t realize how much fun I was having until I stopped.

Tiny Trax Review

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Review

Everything I had ever expected from a modern day JRPG is still present in Final Fantasy XII - the open-ended exploration, well-designed interconnected areas, sprawling cities with various NPCs which change as the story progresses on, and seemingly endless side-quests and optional enemies, dungeons and hidden treasures. Final Fantasy XII is nothing short of a timeless masterpiece that I cannot recommend enough.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Review

Graceful Explosion Machine Review

Graceful Explosion Machine is a twitch-based shooter that is one part mentally stimulating and another part emotionally exhilarating. It’s not for everyone, though. You have to play through levels over and over again, trying to achieve combos and the best grades, to get the most out of this title.

Graceful Explosion Machine Review

StarCraft Remastered

StarCraft is a masterpiece, a landmark game that remains as entertaining as it was in 1998. The question is whether Remastered's cosmetic upgrades are worth the $14.99, as the unvarnished original and Brood War expansion are already free from Blizzard. There are fans that would like to see the original game entirely remade with StarCraft 2-quality units, effects, and graphics but until that unlikely event happens, StarCraft Remastered will have to do.

StarCraft Remastered