Etherborn is one of those games that defies easy scoring. From the number and the negatives, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is game you should run away from. But if you're a puzzle fan, enjoy thinking in 3D or just want to try something new and have a good bit of patience, it's worth checking out.
Super Mario Maker 2Switch
If online co-op worked worth a heck, Super Mario Maker 2 would be an easy 10 out of 10 GOTY hoedown throwdown; it'll still probably be my game of the year. I have a serious weakness for this game. However, even with the (totally optional) less-than-optimal online multiplayer, it's still a fantastic time for both casual and hardcore gamers with a soft spot for Nintendo's mascot.
Blazing Chrome is an instant classic. In no small way has JoyMasher lovingly captured the sound and fury of classic Contra in a way that feels truly authentic. Despite the lack of online co-op, my biggest gripe with Blazing Chrome is that the sequel isn't already out. I'm already yearning for more, which is nothing short of a good thing for JoyMasher, and the potential for future DLC or sequels.
Stranger Things 3: The GameXbox One
If you like neither retro games nor Stranger Things, you're probably safe skipping this one, but for anyone who likes either and everyone who likes both — likely a great number of people — Stranger Things 3: The Game is a fun homage to the old school and a proper tie-in game that will hopefully bring about more similar projects. The TV series appeals to a wide age range and the game surely will too. Bring someone skilled for the boss battles and this will be a frustration-free extension of your season three binge.
TINY METAL: FULL METAL RUMBLEPC
There's also one big plus here -- its coming to the Switch as well as Steam. If you want an all-ages friendly strategy game for your console, do yourself a favor and pick this one up, while keeping your fingers crossed that big patches arrive shortly and multiplayer is actually available one day 1.
Dragon Quest Builders 2PS4
At the end of the day, you probably already decided whether Dragon Quest Builders 2 was for you from reading the features list summary on Wikipedia or the storefront page of your choice. This doesn't reinvent the blocky cube wheel, and it doesn't do a whole lot to stand out other than refining its existing formula, but for fans of the original, that should be more than enough.
Terraria is an entertainment experience that seems rather simple from screenshots alone, but hides a lot of charm underneath with literally dozens (or hundreds!) of hours well worth your time. The Nintendo Switch version has the potential to grant it new life, both on singleplayer and multiplayer, even if the actual building isn't as natural as one would expect.
SolSeraph never quite overcomes its sluggish, deliberate pacing and odd design choices to become what you'll want it to become. With a few small tweaks, it could be a fantastic diversion and admirable tribute to the 16-bit days. As is, it feels like a tragic case of "almost got it."
Sea of SolitudeXbox One
Ultimately, Sea of Solitude is a worthwhile though inelegant conversation piece on the dark recesses of our often self-deprecating minds. Visually, its vibrant and unique world would be enough on its own to serve the game's laundry list of metaphors. The voiceover and dialogue then only get in the way by spelling it all out in unsatisfying ways. Still, if this is your first stop at the intersection of games and mental health, or if you know someone who needs to hear what Sea of Solitude has to say, it's certainly worth leaving the shore.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-FueledXbox One
Like the N. Sane Trilogy before it, by building on top of the original games, players can preserve all that was good in the first place, but that approach also means some legacy issues ride shotgun. Still, it only means the game has a steeper learning curve than it should, not that it's irredeemably broken. Crash Team Racing is still well worth the ride for most genre fans.
You still feel like you're unraveling the case yourself, but since the story is so deep and intertwined with itself, you miss a few of those "I knew the killer all along!" moments. Having said that, as a video game adaptation of a crime procedural, I can find very little on which to fault Judgment. It's packed with content, adding 50 "Friend Events" to the requisite 50 side missions, insanely stylish, and a promising start to Ryu Ga Gotoku's future without Kazuma Kiryu.
The Sinking CityPC
It's significantly longer than Call Of Cthulhu, especially if you go around trying to find all the hidden brain cylinders or completing side cases around Oakmont. FromÂ unlocking outfits to finding random side stories of terrible things that have happened to people since the town started going mad, you can easily sink dozens of hours into the game and won't ever run out of things to do. With an excellent re-interpretation of the Lovecraft mythos and solid open world gameplay, The Sinking City is just about everything you could ever want from a Cthulhu game.
Dragon Star VarnirPS4
Dragon Star Varnir actually has a lot more going for it than the slightly stilted opening scenes and skimpy witch outfits might initially suggest. The setting and overarching plot are reason enough to see the journey through to the end, and the combat and customization make it easy to overlook some of the other problems you might encounter on the way.
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of ZeldaSwitch
Cadence of Hyrule is a fresh approach to the classic 2D Legend of Zelda adventure that looks lovely and sounds even better. The rhythm and roguelike elements blend seamlessly into the established universe and enrich the experience. Its simple controls are easy to pick up but it’s brutally difficult in places, and ultimately feels too short if don’t plan on returning to Hyrule more than once.
You likely know whether this game is for you or not simply by the title and the elevator pitch. Do you want a sandbox style game that plops you in the kitchen with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ingredients and equipment and allows you to do whatever you want with them? Then yeah, buy this game. It's a no-brainer. If you have no interest in cooking, then why are you even reading this review?
Trover Saves the UniversePC
Though the initial offering may be a little short for some, Squanch Games has also pledged future support for Trover Saves the Universe. They announced that they’ll release free DLC to extend the experience, but don’t intend on dropping the price for a while. The satirical comedy and vibrant world-building are enough to recommend this at full price, anyway, so more adventures to look forward to is a cherry on top. This is a game you’ll want to come back to.
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth3DS
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is a worthy successor to Shadow of the Labyrinth and improves on it in many ways, despite a rather shaky plot up until the end and some questionable localization in places. There's almost endless customization between experimenting with party setups and sub-Personas, not to mention a ton of content outside the main story. All of this is wrapped up in a stylish and engaging package that naturally invites continued gameplay for a long time. It might be the 3DS's last hurrah, but it's certainly a fitting way to bid farewell to the dear handheld system.
SpellForce 3: Soul HarvestPC
At the end of the day, I'm also assuming that all this difficulty stuff won't matter to a lot of you, because the game really is great, and worth playing no matter whether you're a fan of the series, a fan of real-time strategy games, or even a fan of role-playing games. It's unique, fun, and challenging in all the right way. And hey, if it stresses you out, you'll know early enough.
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S VR: HELP WANTEDPS4
That tiny number of people who have never played (or more likely watched) a FNAF game before and the diehard fan base who agonize over lore details and salivate over the prospect of anything new will definitely get more out of Help Wanted than any other type of player. For anybody else, this is aÂ fun diversion if you've already got all the other party style games for PSVR, but it can definitely wait for a PS Store sale.
You'll find humor, crafting, and cool weapons. You even get to explore different stations that carry their own challenges and rewards. But it's mostly tied to how you get from Point A to Point B to retrieve the item you need, along with resources to not starve to death on your way to the next destination. If you're just looking for a new roguelite, though, Void Bastards is certainly worth checking out.
Virtually every action, whether crafting or hunting creatures, will grant you XP. Then, you can distribute them across your stats, and there are no limits to what you can do. In this regard, PixARK solves the problem of arbitrary RPG elements, but otherwise just enjoy it for what it is - a cute survival sandbox game full of dinosaurs.