With Divinity: Original Sin 2, Larian Studios creates a title that brings together the best aspects of table-top and classic roleplaying games. The graphics, along with the score and voice acting, are painstakingly detailed and are truly awe-inspiring. Every decision you make, from character creation to dialogue, will affect your experience, giving you a slightly different playthrough every time. This is not a game for the casual player, however. The sheer size of the game and the difficulty of some battles will require dozens of hours and have you loading quicksaves time and again. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is primed to be on many all-time favorites lists; few, if any, have succeeded to this degree.
Tangledeep is like the platonic ideal of RPGs: it has everything you want in a dungeon crawling roguelike without all the mess of outdated graphics or frustrating UI. This gem evokes memories of 16-bit Super Nintendo RPGs from back in the day. Do yourself a favor, grab Tangledeep before it gets more popular, and just try it for a couple twenty hours. Did I mention there’s great replay value?
With deadly bugs that prevent key gameplay mechanics, zero replayability, and an astonishingly small amount of content (<30 minutes to complete), Beat the Game is a visual masterpiece more akin to a brief bad trip at a Tomorrowland than an actual game. If you’re into audio or music production and are looking for something that will let you develop and explore it in a different light, you will be disappointed. However, when it comes to cinematography, BtG is a high nine. With a bit more care and effort from solid game and sound designers, this novelty release could have been great. And if you need drugs to enjoy music, you’re doing it wrong.
Suicide Guy caters to the underserved demographic of people who enjoy 3D puzzle platformers, except this serving is more of a home-cooked meal from Grandma’s house after she had gotten dementia. It’s made with love, and is good at certain parts, but in the end, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Graphics and level design can be clever at times, but are essentially ruined by the frustrating physics and collision, lack of any good music, repetitive sound effects, half-finished animations, and stale platforming. I want to love Suicide Guy, and I do, in a way -- I appreciate the effort that was made, but when I was done I felt unsatisfied and dead inside.
Neofeud's futuristic, Bladerunner-like world, its thoughtful dialogue that's entirely voice acted, and its fresh point-and-click puzzles make it a title worth trying — as long as you're aware that it has some annoying flaws along the way. After a slow start, Neofeud develops into a complex tale that approaches profound ideas about what it means to be sentient, what it means to care about someone who may or may not be alive, and how it could be a big problem our society could face someday soon.
Your quest to quench your thirst while maintaining good relations with every other student is bigly entertaining, though occasionally you’ll speed through some of the more monotonous parts. On the surface, there is a lot to look at and dive into. Between the bunch of boys, to the mall at which you can shop, to the jobs you can work, it seems like there would be more variety to each choice, but each decision feels trivial; the repetitive nature of some of the conversations exacerbated this and, over time, XOXO Droplets lose its shine. However, the jerk characters of XOXO Droplets promises to entertain.
Trackless is a neat little experience. The puzzles are not very challenging, and it doesn’t take long to get through them, but the message is unique and thought-provoking somewhat. This title offers minimal raw entertainment, but the art and music have their own characteristic appeal, and the ending is a fair payoff for a brief time investment.
ICY: Frostbite Edition takes you hostage with a compelling narrative rife with tragedy, mystery, treachery, and danger. With an extensive variety of story arcs, endings, and random encounters, IFE offers excellent replayability.
The same elements and design choices in Observer that make it a cerebral and provocative failed-future experience are those that prohibit satisfaction in its gameplay. Detailed world-building shines through in-game dialogue and lore, yet falls drastically short in any actual spatial embodiment of forces and institutions. The small space in which you're trapped is a quaint microcosm of Observer's world, but after rich promises of variety and exploration, it's ultimately too micro to satisfy.
The Long Dark is imperfect, but it could be one of the best experiences in the survival genre. For the impatient, single-player gamer, The Long Dark holds little promise. However, if you relish the challenge of isolation and the feeling that you’re fighting against an environment that isn’t trying to kill you, but rather just doesn’t care about you, then you must try The Long Dark.