Most Recent: Reviews

Tetris 99 Review: Nintendo Transforms the King of Puzzle Games Into Battle Royale-ity

How do you talk about video games in 2019 without mentioning the “Battle Royale” genre? While players have been fighting to be the last one standing since the early 90s, it’s obvious that games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite have transformed how people play multiplayer games.

But it was only a matter of time until Nintendo entered the fray and shook up the “Battle Royale” genre with their own take. The consolemaker has never been quick to react to gaming’s biggest trends, but their unique style has been moving the conversation around games in wildly divergent directions for decades. They zig where others zag, and we’re all better off for it.

Which brings us to Tetris 99, a 99-player variant of the popular puzzle game that’s now available to download through the Nintendo eShop. (more…)

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Jumpgrid Review: Pac-Man + Super Hexagon = An Addicting Action Puzzler

All the way back in 1980, Pac-Man took the world by storm with its grid-based gameplay around dodging ghosts and munching dots. A little over 20 years later, Terry Cavanagh helped kickstart the fledgling mobile game boom with Super Hexagon, his geometrically-based keepaway game.

And now here we are in 2019, and Australian developer Ian MacLarty has combined the two into a wonderful little gem known as Jumpgrid. (more…)

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A Few Hours With… Graveyard Keeper

I have no idea what the daily grind of being a medieval graveyard keeper actually entailed, but I somehow doubt it involved digging up bodies to appease an angry ghost and helping an Inquisitor hunt down witches. Thankfully, Lazy Bear Games wasn’t striving for accuracy when they developed Graveyard Keeper, or “the most inaccurate medieval cemetery management sim of the year.”

I’m not sure “inaccurate” goes far enough to describe the events of Graveyard Keeper, but after spending a few hours with the game, it’s weirdly absurd world is starting to grow on me. (more…)

Posted in PC, Reviews, Top Story, Xbox One | Tagged

20XX Review: Batterystaple Games Has Perfected the Ability to Generate a Great Mega Man Game

Back in 2015, we all got to relive the instantly recognizable beats of the first six games in the Mega Man series thanks to the Mega Man Legacy Collection. It was surprisingly easy to slip back into the familiar patterns of the franchise, but at the time I wondered if we’d ever get the chance to apply that muscle memory to something new. So while we continue to wait for this Fall’s Mega Man 11, the newly-released 20XX is here to fill the gap… and to prove that games inspired by the Blue Bomber can feed your nostalgia needs just as well. (more…)

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Gorogoa Review: A Museum-Worthy Puzzler

Nearly five years ago, at my first IndieCade East, I was amazed by what games could do. The feelings they evoked in me, the anxiety, the joy – that weekend helped solidify in me that games were more than just an activity. Sometimes, they could be an experience, one that was unique, evocative, and memorable.

Unsurprisingly, one of the games I played that cold weekend in New York City was the hauntingly beautiful Gorogoa. (more…)

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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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