Lori is an avid video game enthusiast who enjoys blending her love of gaming with her work as a writer. She first cut her teeth back on the NES and Sega Genesis systems, and continues to be a Retro-gaming advocate with a soft spot for Point-&-Click Adventures. She's also a Survival Horror and Psychological Horror game collector, when she isn't coercing friends into any number of Co-Op multiplayer titles. If she isn't gaming you can find her working as a journalist and social media consultant, or perhaps dabbling in video game design among other hobby-with-big-dreams endeavors. Born in the heart of the Midwest, she's currently living in Colorado, where she prefers to avoid skiing, snowboarding, and other Mile High City attractions.
The Journey Down: Chapter Three is the sort of title that leaves me saddened by its completion, but eager to see what the crew at SkyGoblin will do next. The Journey Down feels like a love letter to the genre, and its legacy – there are elements of LucasArts, Sierra On-Line, and other industry giants present here. But it manages to stand alone as a memorable trilogy that only improved with each new chapter. It is a worthy addition to any puzzle-loving, soundtrack-blasting, humor-embracing point-&-click fan's library, and Chapter Three is a conclusion to the tale that's just what the doctor ordered.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – Episode 5 is a gripping, emotional ending to this chapter in the series, but it's also one that doesn't quite hit the mark as well as the prior seasons of this successful franchise have. When it comes to the grand finale, players simply deserved a bigger, more satisfying resolution to Javier's story and the outcome facing him and his loved ones. And, while I did enjoy Clem's ending – again, I'll keep it vague – Clem's presence alone isn't enough to carry this piece of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier to the heights that prior episodes in this saga could reach.
Late Shift is interactive storytelling at its finest, a Full-Motion Video (FMV) title where Choices Matter. This gripping "crime thriller" puts players in the hot seat, allowing them to make decisions that drastically affect the course of events that take place in the London night. With seven different conclusions and choices that are genuinely difficult, Late Shift delivers on what it promises: An "interactive, cinematic experience."
While not everything works, the cartoonish world of Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure shines, and the comedic-relief factor makes it an even more worthwhile addition to a point-and-click library. Although it's a relatively short journey – roughly four to five hours, give or take a few mini-games – the lasting quality of the humor and overall narrative make this title stand out in a sea of puzzle-laden adventure games.
The Wild Eternal might be an acquired taste for some players, given its spiritual undertones and mystical themes, but the witty dialog and gripping plot combine with the scenic milieus to make The Wild Eternal a solid recommendation for fans of the genre.
A New Frontier Episode 3 leaves you eager for more, delivering compelling, engrossing new details in the unfolding story, with great potential for the next two installments. Without a doubt, the finale of this season of The Walking Dead will be utterly gut-wrenching and satisfying, and players with love for this franchise – or even just Telltale Games on their own, as storytellers – shouldn't hesitate to take the plunge with The Walking Dead: A New Frontier.
In all, Beat Cop is a sharp, retro-centric look at 80s Brooklyn, with all its exciting cocaine, prostitution, gang wars, and overly synthesized tunes, but Beat Cop doesn't rely on nostalgia to succeed. It's a title that stands on its own, and casual racism and sexisms aside, it handily competes with similar time-management titles that have been released in the last few years.
Thimbleweed Park is a shining example of the ideal in the point-and-click genre, featuring the puzzles, storylines, dialog, and other goodies that bring players back, time and time again. It is a must-play, purchase-immediately release. The stellar comedy, gripping mystery, and polished design set a new standard in the genre, and prove that even classic themes, like those of it's spiritual fore-figure, Maniac Mansion, can be revisited, revised, and perfected for a new generation of gamers.
Andromeda is robust and delivers effectively on the key elements it advertises, and then goes above and beyond regarding play style tailoring and experienceable customization. That said, the characters look more at home in the Sims 3 era, and the dialog fails to be more than lackluster - cringe-worthy at times. Nevertheless, while Mass Effect: Andromeda proves a quality example of its genres, diehard fans of the Mass Effect universe and its original story should wait until BioWare patches the technical bugs, and the price point lowers.
Without a doubt, few things are more appealing than a good excuse to log online and murder random opponents with my friends – and, typically, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) variety is preferable to salty, overly-competitive strangers. Streets of Rogue is a refreshing, action-RPG-adventure-stealth-shooter conglomeration developed by Matt Dabrowski, and it's a title that promises to be an excellent addition to the line-up of hits from tinyBuild Games. Released on March 10th, 2017, this Early Access title stresses that it is all about choices – but will gamers choose it, when there are so many other chaotic, anarchic alternatives?
Waking the Glares - Chapters I & II feels like a good first try, but the soft, soothing music and pleasant voice acting weren't enough. The series could grow, as Wisefool Studios gains more experience and support from the community; sadly, though, these are steep requirements for players that already have a score of immersive, truly fascinating walking simulators from which to choose, not to mention puzzle games that actually require deep contemplation.
The puzzles are satisfying, if not overly challenging, and although the maneuvering issues and movement speed are a source of frustration, I never had a lapse in gameplay when the momentum stalled because I couldn't figure out a solution. Bear With Me – Episode 2 is polished and sophisticated, with a refreshing take on point-and-click themes, and while Episode 2 is relatively short – it took me less than 3 hours to beat it – I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quality adventure title.
The Wardrobe manages to pull off a fulfilling, novel story with artistic flair and only a few setbacks, setting it apart in the sea of retro-inspired, pixel-laden, nostalgia-inducing point-and-clicks. The story is witty, the vast cast of characters is intriguing, and, while the ending isn’t very satisfactory, the journey is a worthwhile one.
All in all, The Wild Eight is a relatively inexpensive addition to the Survival genre, and it's one that comes with a lot of potential. Even as it stands, The Wild Eight is an excellent choice for players who want to face the wilderness with a group of friends, and watching your loved ones’ avatars get gored to death by wild boars certainly breaks up the monotony of foraging.
Phoning Home is an excellent example of what happens when developers think outside the box of their genre(s). While there are dozens of Sci-Fi themed Survival game option for players to choose from, ION LANDS has blended a remarkable combination of elements to create a saga that stands out from the crowd.
Ashbourne is a title that I would love to have enjoyed and recommended. Sadly, I didn’t and I can’t. Despite its promising premise, the game severely lacks any substance, it feels like a Beta, if not an alpha, and so much work needs to be done to transform it into a compelling, memorable addition to the Action-RPG genre. While we understand this is a low budget production, some attention to detail and much-needed refinements are direly needed to improve the experience overall. Unless heavily patched, Ashbourne will be forgotten as a jarring, clunky experience of the 2017 year in PC gaming.
Resident Evil 7 is as near to perfection within its genre, and its legacy, as any game I have ever had the pleasure of reviewing; it is a must-buy, especially for loyalists of the franchise. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy, and help all of us send a clear message to Capcom: More of this, please, and soon.
Super Death Arena does a good job at delivering the gameplay which makes the genre great: death arenas, hordes of opponents, fancy weapons, and lots of bloodshed. Unfortunately, it’s also much too thin in terms of content. That’s an encouraging thought for the developers, I suppose, as its mediocrity isn’t caused by a lack of quality but quantity instead. If anything, grab this one when on sale. A big sale. That is, if there’s anyone left to play.
As much as I wanted to recommend Don't Chat With Strangers, your time and money are better spent elsewhere. Accumulating Steam Achievements which are, essentially, a scrapbook of the many ways in which Lucy killed you, is undeniably fun. Sadly, these aren't enough to make the title shine: Don't Chat With Strangers is another retro, point-and-click adventure with much novelty and a great premise to begin with, yet it ultimately fails as a puzzle horror game.
Telltale Games is back again with yet another chapter in the ongoing The Walking Dead saga, which combines elements of the original graphic novels along with aspects of the hit TV show. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is another shining example of Telltale’s ability to weave compelling storytelling with an interactive, visual novel type of experience. One intriguing aspect of A New Frontier is the options players have to either start fresh with a new save or to import previous saves from the other two seasons; importing alters some of the events of Season 3, especially when it comes to the behaviors of returning cast members!
King Lucas is a straight-forward, fun platformer that brings a lot of old-school fun with it. The options between single and multiplayer is a great boon, and I love that the individually-designed castle rooms are always in different combinations – something that lends well to replay value. With full controller support, Steam trading cards and achievements, there’s a lot going on here; you can even enable subtitles in English or Spanish. The price point is a little high, considering that multiplayer is basically non-existent, unless you happen to have a friend who owns the game already on your friends' list. Changes to the system, plus stability improvements, could fix that in the future, but currently, I recommend looking at King Lucas as mostly a single-player adventure.
Agony has done a great job thus far of making a version of Hell that is complex, unsettling, or even outright disturbing. I dare to say that Agony isn’t a title most people will pick up for its intriguing plot, and it definitely delivers on what it promises thus far: Demons, Hell, gore, and a desperate fight for survival. I look forward to seeing what the creative minds at Madmind Studio accomplish before Agony releases in its final version.
Neptune’s Flux feels like an incomplete demo, or at least a project that’s still in beta testing, but the current status is completed. It’s a fast game to play through, which isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker on its own, but on top of that the landscape is boring and the storyline is lukewarm. I fear this story-driven saga will fail to be memorable past those initial two hours of playtime.
A compelling – if occasionally dark and twisted – storyline with challenging, varied puzzles, while still keeping the Point-&-Click style. Rusty Lake: Roots is one of the best Adventure Point-&-Click titles I’ve played in recent memory.
I’d love to see them add a few more maps, and even some more monster types, but as it stands White Noise 2 Early Access has a great foundation. It’s ready to play, providing fantastic teamwork and plenty of scares, and I will certainly be coaxing more friends into playing with me in the near future.
A nostalgic, Buffy-worthy trek into the past, with fairly challenging supernatural creatures, fun weapons, and a decent amount of strategy to be had. Ultimately, Slayer Shock is a great Retro-style choice, especially for us ‘90s kids who still love our supernatural fluff, but fans looking for a hardcore FPS game or something with more finesse might want to wait and grab this one on sale.
While Pankapu isn’t the most revolutionary or novel Platformer I’ve played in recent years, the entire package makes it a worthy addition to any platformer collection, or perhaps even a Steam Library full of beautifully illustrated, compelling, plot-rich video games.
Agenda is polished, visually appealing, well presented, and the soundtrack has a lovely, understated James Bond feel to it. If you’re looking for a sophisticated game that allows you to gradually take over the world, this one would make for a worthy addition to your Steam library.
The world of Armello is incredibly charming, and Elyssia, Ghor, Magma, and Sargon look sophisticated, complex, and utterly charming. I suppose the $9.99 USD price tag could a bit high for a DLC, the base game being at $19.99 USD on Steam, but it remains indisputable: The Usurpers Hero Pack is a valuable addition to my Armello addiction.
I have loved my time in Project Highrise, designing skyscrapers and keeping my buildings running smoothly, and that says a lot from someone who isn’t proficient at turning a profit and keeping things working orderly! If you’re a fan of simulation and strategy, not to mention the ability to create custom content and upload it into the Steam Workshop, then I highly recommend this title as a fantastic addition to your time-management library.
Tadpole Treble is a deceptively difficult, music-driven adventure and side-scroller, complete with a level editor mode, which combines cute graphics, an impressive music score, and a surprisingly high amount of challenge to create a unique experience.
There’s certainly a lot of work that could be done to spruce The Garden up further, like a graphics overall and some more compelling sound effects, but it’s not a bad little game to tinker around with when you want something fairly low-key and casual. I only had one incident where the program crashed, but I that indicates there could be a risk for ongoing bugs and glitches, so please consider this a cautionary recommendation heavy on the quantifiers.
If you love the genre, then Talent Not Included will make a worthwhile addition to your Steam library. The script is humorous, and the environment and atmosphere blend to create a charming, appealing title; the difficulty level is substantial enough to be challenging, even for experienced platformer fans, without being utterly overwhelming to those who rarely indulge in the genre.
Obduction needs more love from Cyan to be able to compete with competitors of the genre, and it needs a lot of changes to ever be in the same category as Myst in terms of charm, depth, and immersion. Nostalgia, I'm afraid, just isn't enough to make Obduction a noteworthy gaming experience.
It needs a lot more pizazz to be considered an attractive, interesting, smooth-running strategy title, otherwise it’s just another simulation that leaves players wanting a bigger, better picture.
Corinne Cross’s Dead & Breakfast is an enchanting, entertaining, and relaxing quest to maintain a B&B for ghosts. It combines a compelling storyline and a fun heroine, with quirky townspeople, and tasks that never seem like a chore.
Squad 22 needs some more features, polish, and originality for it to become a classic within the popular RTS genre.
I absolutely cannot recommend the Lucius Demake highly enough, for anyone who enjoys macabre storylines, a riveting, intriguing Point-&-Click adventure, or even just for fans of the original two Lucius titles.
Bear With Me isn’t a stand-out example of a Point-&-Click adventure, but the fact that it’s episodic makes me hope that some of the bugs and complications in this first chapter are ironed out in later additions. The dark humor and Noir vibe of the game are a great contrast to the nostalgia of playing through a child’s imaginary adventure, and it reminded me of Among the Sleep and Fran Bow with all the toys, puzzles, and make-believe.
There’s essentially no story-line to speak of, and Francisca is just a stationary, ghostly model of a character that flickers in and out of existence; it’s only creepy because it’s supposed to be. And while this is a cheap addition to any jump-scare Steam library, it needs more content, more scares, and more motivation to survive if it wants to be a contender with bigger, better FNAF rip-offs.
Technomancer is utterly fantastic, even if it does have a few minor kinks that need to be worked out. It's wicked fun with satisfying combat, and it offers a clever leveling build with full customization. With a decent story and a convincing landscape, what's more to enjoy than a post-apocalyptic world where options are plenty?
I definitely think this one is worth picking up on sale, even if I wouldn’t recommend it at the $19.99 USD price tag. If you can grab this under for a quarter of that price, or pick it up in an Indie Game Bundle somewhere, I absolutely would go for it. I don’t regret my decision to plunge into the world of Firewatch, I simply wish the resolution would have been far, far more satisfying; I feel this video game was one that hovered right on the cusp of being a spellbinding example of interactive, immersive storytelling, only to fall just short of the prize.
Unfortunately, due to a persistent and particularly nasty bug in the game, I was unable to complete Act 4 and the final chapter of Room 404. However, there have been numerous bug fixes since launch day, so I am hopeful that we can revisit Room 404 at a later date to see the conclusion of Alex’s quest to find his family.
Released by Hourences and Grip Games on June 7th, 2016, The Solus Project is a surprisingly addictive, beautiful package of an Indie Adventure experience that I definitely enjoyed.
XCavalypse is a clever, quirky blend of the popular Zombie Apocalypse theme with the Simulation genre, in which players must use heavy machinery to combat the plagued hordes rather than the usual arsenal of weapons. This opens up a whole array of additional destruction, from knocking down walls and buildings, to thrusting cars and dumpsters into the throng of opponents, all without becoming overly complex or demanding.
I really wanted to recommend GiAnts, but perhaps too much of my anticipation was thanks to my hours and hours spent as a tiny character in other gaming worlds, and that “bug’s eye view” perspective made me too optimistic. I’d have been a little more lenient with a lot of these issues, but I simply must say that it is better left avoided unless you really enjoy bug-based simulation platformers.
Back in 1995 is heavily inspired by video games of a bygone era, complete with low resolution models, “tank” movement controls, static camera angles, and a rudimentary inventory system. All of the components here are dated for the sake of a nostalgic trek into an important moment in gaming history, but does it deliver enough modern, original content to be worth playing in today’s sea of Action-Adventure titles?
Shriek-inducing, suspenseful, and cute. I certainly don’t regret the 3 hours it took me to get through the week; I actually think the difficulty scales really quickly, especially as you unlock access to more rooms, so please don’t let Monday Night disappoint you if it’s “too easy.” Besides, there’s just something nostalgic about running up the stairs, yelling at goblins not to hurt the baby, who I affectionately nicknamed Toby for my play-through.
In a world where technology has become so commonplace that many of us are reachable 24/7 – assuming we bother to answer those texts, of course – could we be taking for granted the invaluable tool of online gaming as a long-distance social interaction? With countless apps available on our cellphones, the popularity of Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, not to mention the success of hundreds of Steam-based multiplayer games, it’s obvious that many of us are using these digital platforms as a means of interacting with friends and strangers alike.
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet has some of the best voice acting I have found in a point-&-click adventure. It’s extremely compelling, and arguably one of the best elements of this chapter in Nelly’s ongoing saga. There’s tremendous variety in the character voices, and the line delivery is witty and endearing – it’s certainly one of my favorite aspects of the The Fowl Fleet.