Subject A-119 makes a strong showing with a variety of abilities, but the puzzles, through mechanical and logical limitations, quickly fatigue the player. Puzzle addicts might be tempted to explore this title but, overall, Subject A-119 mechanics are more confusing than the actual puzzles, ultimately leaving players underwhelmed.
Cladun Returns This is Sengoku achieves what it sets out to be with an apparent abundance of effort on the part of the developers. However, Cladun is not for everyone, and probably not even for most people. It’s intensely focused on customization, attention to detail, and a formidable obsession with stats. In the process, it sacrifices story and the option for casual gameplay; those not familiar with heavy RPG play, might want to think twice before plunging into Cladun.
Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs wins time and again with unexpected surprises, character development, and fresh plot. With a sharp, sarcastic tone like Shrek, and a generally disinterested atmosphere like One Punch Man, Regalia: of Men and Monarchs is a treasure trove of snark, swears, and mild innuendo. An ending that surely comes too soon leaves you hoping for a potential sequel to meet, once more, Kay and his merry band of flawed friends.
The Falling Nights is clearly a passionate undertaking; taking four years of development to make. This feels like an incredibly ambitious title for a studio that is just starting to find its bearings. Delusion Arts Entertainment shot for the moon on this one, but they'll have to settle for landing amongst the not-so-bright stars of inconsistent design choices, cheap scares, and overall graphical muddiness.
RiME is a wonderful experience filled with both light-hearted excitement and touching emotional moments. It invokes the old cliché, “I laughed, I cried,” but, of course, that doesn’t do justice to the amount of effort it took to coordinate the vivid yet dreamlike artwork, the fun and easygoing gameplay, and the dramatic musical score. It’s unfortunate that the graphics can be choppy and the movement can be finicky. Otherwise — especially if you value aesthetics over fun — this is an incredibly satisfying title.
Between the graphics and exploring this abandoned world and piecing together what happened, Empathy: Path of Whispers is incredible and highly recommended, even if you might not usually play an exploration-driven title.
The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker delivers a fresh, memorable, and intricately woven tale of psychological horror. The developer's experience in crafting murder mysteries shows, although investigation of the titular Doctor Dekker's death overwhelms the simulation's promised psychotherapy aspect. Smart, provocative, and a masterclass in acting, this full motion video release falters in its user interface, but the narrative compels you to power through all the same.
In the brief time it takes to complete it, Old Man’s Journey plays out the calm yet deliberate journey of an aging man, set to right the wrongs of his youth once upon a time he chose the call of the sea to that of family. Here is a title that shines a positive philosophy onto a player’s path, reminding us that not everything about life must be hard and complicated. The Old Man’s Journey made me cry, but it also left me with a smile.
While The Franz Kafka Videogame ends up feeling a tad pretentious in its use of Kafka’s name, the artwork and some of the puzzles are worth appreciating. Bits and pieces can be frustrating, and the short play time is a downside, but fans of experimental point-and-click adventures might still want to check this one out.