Most Recent: Reviews

Iron Crypticle Review: A Nostalgic (But Middle-of-the-Road) Twin-Stick Shooter

Iron Crypticle is a medieval-themed twin-stick shooter that evokes the look and feel of several classic games from yesteryear. Developers Tikipod and Confused Pelican even tried to stoke the memory of players by namechecking Smash TV, Gauntlet, and Super Ghouls N Ghosts in the game’s marketing. But while this kind of comparison can often be used to puff up a slight game, Iron Crypticle really does its best to resurrect that trio of titles. (more…)

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SteamWorld Dig 2 Review: Groundbreaking

It’s hard to believe that four years have already passed since the original SteamWorld Dig first graced gaming systems. Image & Form’s platformer came out of left field and garnered attention and praise from gamers and critics alike (it was even in the running for the “‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson Award” in our annual Golden Pixel Awards roundup). At the time, we couldn’t wait to return to the SteamWorld universe and see the characters “fleshed out” in a sequel, so-to-speak.

Instead, the next entry we got in the series was a spinoff, SteamWorld Heist. It was still set in the same universe as Dig, but Heist wasn’t a direct sequel, and took place much further in the future. Gameplay was also different, as Heist took on a turn-based strategy approach as opposed to Dig’s resource-collecting, mining, MetroidVania style. While fun in its own right, many wanted to see a return to SteamWorld Dig’s roots.

And almost half a decade later, we got our wish. (more…)

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Distrust Review: Go a Little Mad in the Cold

Distrust is a game about survival in the harshest of climates. The game opens with a mysterious bright light and a helicopter crash. From there, you are stranded in an unforgiving Arctic environment with limited supplies and an ever-growing sense of dread. You take control of two survivors trying to make their way to the safety of an abandoned scientific research facility, and along the way you have to make harsh decisions that will lead to your success… or doom. (more…)

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Arms Review: Limber Up For Some Smackdowns

When the Wii first arrived, Nintendo teased motion controls that seemed like a natural fit for sport games. A whole new generation of gamers were entertained by Wii Sports after it arrived alongside the console, but what Nintendo actually achieved was closer to a waggle-fest. Two consoles later, the company has managed to deliver on those initial expectations with Arms, a bouncy and bright brawler that aims to be the next Splatoon.

But will Arms have “similar legs to the ink-splashing shooter (which already has a sequel available in stores)? Grab your boxing gloves and find out! (more…)

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Review: Grab Some Coins, Race to the Store, and Buy it Again

Aside from a rather shoddy Battle Mode, Mario Kart 8 set the gold standard for Nintendo’s venerable franchise when it launched for the Wii U back in 2014. The racing game was already bursting at the seams with characters, courses, and customizable kart parts before the consolemaker expanded it with two DLC Packs and added crossover characters like Link and Animal Crossing‘s Villager. However, the public’s poor reception to the Wii U lead to the sad realization that three times as many people had purchased Mario Kart Wii versus its sequel. So Nintendo has decided to re-introduce the game to a new audience on the Switch as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe… and with a real Battle Mode, too! (more…)

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Mr. Shifty Review: Not Ready to Shift Into the Spotlight

Mr. Shifty is a top-down brawler from Team Shifty, a new development studio out of Brisbane, Australia. As Mr. Shifty, you are able to shift/teleport your way through walls and bullets, taking down your enemies at lightning speed while trying to break into the world’s most secure facility. There are 18 levels to shift your way across, all with varying difficulty. New enemies help keep the gameplay fresh and exciting, but the replayability of the title is lacking a bit.

So, you’re a teleporting thief who has embarked on his biggest heist yet. What could possibly go wrong? Well, if you are Mr. Shifty, the answer to that is everything. (more…)

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</Reality> Review: A Fresh Take On A Controversial Genre

Interactive novels tend to get a bad reputation, but it’s understandable. Because video games are such a young medium, there still remains some confusion surrounding the definition of what exactly a “video game” is. </Reality> is not one of those games that further muddies the waters by barely walking the lines of interactivity. No, </Reality> is, by far, one of the most “interactive” interactive novels that I’ve ever played.

</Reality> centers around a socially withdrawn young woman in her early 20s named Lilya. Lilya, a virtual reality enthusiast, is selected to beta test the Penta, a state of the art virtual reality neural device. What looks to be an exciting weekend spent traversing through the Penta’s Vitalia simulation quickly turns in to something far more complex that forces Lilya to question her own perception of reality. (more…)

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Flinthook Review: Retro Platforming and a Space Pirate With a Grappling Hook… What More Do You Need?

Have you ever wanted a game that was roguelite and also had RPG elements? What about a game where you’re a pirate with an anchor you use as a grappling hook? And did you also want it to have gorgeous retro art, a hyper-catchy and upbeat soundtrack, and maybe a little slime guy for a compass that you feed coins to?

Is this too specific a dream? Is this exactly the game you wanted? Because if it is, I have really amazing news for you… Flinthook is here, and it’s going to make all of your dreams come true. (more…)

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