John Gerritzen is a programmer by education, author by hobby, and game critic by occupation. While he usually favors RPGs, he will play anything that engages him narratively or mechanically. When he's not playing games for fun or profit, he's usually reading or watching anime.
Despite a dry, predictable narrative, Corruption 2029 delivers a mechanically engaging, stealth tactical experience.
While a serviceable dungeon crawler, the lack of polish keeps Conglomerate 451 from being truly engaging.
Ultimately, Mandate of Heaven is more Total War goodness. If you enjoyed the base game, the added elements provided in this DLC are enough reason to pick it up and play again.
An excellent entry into the new Star Wars canon.
While you can pay to skip grinding out a playset of all the skills, you risk nothing but your time by giving it a try. So really, I guess the more apt question is, why haven’t you played Phantom Dust?
An FTL-inspired rogue-lite, Crying Suns falls short of what made that game fun and exciting by being repetitive and boring.
Despite a few technical hiccups, The Surge 2 presents a marked improvement over its predecessors and an all-around good game.
Despite its brutal third act, Metal Wolf Chaos XD is big, loud, and silly in all the best ways.
Edited by: Tiffany Lillie
While not a game that can be readily binged, Legends of Aria is a fine game to sit down and kill an hour or two grinding towards your next skill milestone or crafting order.
Quirky and deliberately cheesy, EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 5 boasts hours of enjoyable if straightforward content.
The Total War series finally takes on land wars in Asia with this latest installment, bringing its signature RTS/TBS hybrid gameplay to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Series veterans will find a lot to love about this new iteration, and fans of the source material will find this a great jumping on point.
Conglomerate 451 is an Early Access title, and it shows. While I didn't encounter anything horribly game-breaking in the current build, many systems are not yet implemented and some balance issues should be addressed before the final release.
While innocuous and stable, this microtransaction-less gacha game will only really appeal Dragonball superfans and gacha enthusiasts.
Those that enjoy sandbox “chaos simulators” will do well to check out American Fugitive. While the story is somewhat predictable and abrupt, it presents an overall enjoyable experience.
While enjoyable mechanically, it’s very much an "Act One" of a larger story. As a standalone title, there's not much here for lore buffs or power gamers.
FromSoftware comes through once more to show they aren’t just a one-trick pony: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an all-around great, engaging stealth-action game.
Fixed camera angles, boring gameplay, wooden animations, and poor localization all mar Eternity: The Last Unicorn beyond the point of being anything approaching enjoyable.
In its desire to stick to the original Fallout RPGs, ATOM RPG disregards the lessons CRPGs have learned in the intervening years. Fallen short of both its predecessors and contemporaries in the genre, ATOM RPG .
Aggressors: Ancient Rome decentralizes the Civilization formula, placing a heavier emphasis on combat. Couple that with an objective system and extensive mod support, and you have a game that can keep your interest for hours.
While it won’t make any new fans of the Giant-Monster-Slaying genre, God Eater 3 introduces enough new with a new coat of paint for fans of the series to enjoy.
Outward, developed by Nine Dots Studio and published by Deep Silver, is a survival open-world RPG. In it, you play not as a chosen one, but a random villager seeking to pay your way out from under a blood debt to their clan. Rather than “a life for a life” sort of blood debt, this one is a mere monetary fee passed down from generation to generation as fiduciary reparation for past wrongs. After your most recent merchant expedition fails, you’re left with a handful of days to make your next payment before your hometown riots against you.
While a fighting game featuring a wide variety of Weekly Shonen Jump characters seems like a no-brainer, the shoddy execution and surprisingly limited roster hinder JUMP FORCE from being the all-star it wants to be.
While there are a few interesting concepts at play in Jon Shafer’s At the Gates, they frequently go underdeveloped, leading to a lackluster experience.
Element: Space, developed by Sixth Vowel and published by Inca Games, is a turn-based strategy RPG that sees you fill the shoes of Captain Christopher Pietham, tactician and leader. You will guide Captain Chris through the galaxy on a mission to stop the evil organization Tempest who are bent on inciting war between the many factions in the galaxy despite it being on the verge of peace. Many challenges await on your path to peace, and only Captain Pietham and his crew will be able to walk it.
An auto-moving strategy game, Swords and Soldiers 2: Shawarmageddon is a comic adventure with surprising strategic depth.
Override is an interesting take on the fighting genre. Sadly, what it has in imagination it lacks in mechanical depth.
A revival of the old turn-based tactics game not seen since Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced, Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark has a bright future ahead of it.
As far as Early Access goes, HellSign has a lot to offer. Clocking in at around twelve hours of content, it has an interesting core gameplay loop that is satisfying to replay.
Underworld Ascendant is surprisingly unpolished and actively difficult to play. Without patches addressing the myriad bugs present in the current product, this one is a hard pass.
While it can be frustrating navigating bunkers and other hazards while you hone your skills, The Golf Club featuring PGA Tour 2019 provides a solid, enjoyable golfing experience.
While it delivers a strong start, Call of Cthulhu starts to stumble and fall near the end, demonstrating a lack of polish and poor localization.
Good graphics can’t redeem some of the poorer design choices in SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption. A very, very rough take on the Soulsborne formula, SINNER is really only for diehard fans that are truly desperate for something new to cut their teeth on.
A tightly designed, fast-paced, top-down roguelite, Synthetik will no doubt entertain for hours. With the release of the new Legion Rising free update, there’s even more to enjoy.
A fantastic way to break an eight-year hiatus, Mega Man 11 is the return that fans of the Blue Bomber have been waiting for.
CrossCode is a decidedly fantastic revival of the old-school action RPG à la Secret of Mana of old, with a high degree of polish and a great story.
Fatally flawed with bugs, soft locks, and incomplete map generation, Deep Sky Derelicts is a fun game when it works. More often than not, however, it doesn’t work.
An interesting take on the isometric ARPG, Shadows: Awakening provides a short romp through the main campaign with three different endings providing some limited replayability.
Two parts XCOM and one part Invisible, Inc., Phantom Doctrine is a fun take on the turn-based tactical genre that struggles with silly pathfinding and an uncertain storyline.
With a few quality-of-life improvements, Two Point Hospital would be a fantastic entry-- as it stands, it’s still a charming and hilarious buy for fans of the management genre.
Headsnatchers is a great time when played with a group of friends. I would have mentioned the music had I been able to hear it over our laughing, taunting, and carrying on. However, with less than that, it can be a little underwhelming. It's a worthwhile purchase if you're looking for an alternative to a board game night or party entertainment for a small group and are willing to support a title still in development.
While City of the Shroud, a real-time strategy RPG, has some interesting design ideas in theory, in practice these designs fall flat.
Darkest Dungeon: The Color of Madness is a fine addition to an already great game that adds perpetual, challenging content fit for veterans.
Free from bugs, but otherwise not having much to recommend it, Insane Robots suffers from a series of poor design decisions that wind up making it exceedingly average.
Cefore is an early access, physics-based puzzler with great potential and a comprehensive level editor to round out the experience after the completion of the main campaign. Fans of the genre should give this title at least a passing glance.