2081 Published Reviews
Dying Light: Platinum EditionSwitch
Dying Light: Platinum Edition looks surprisingly good on Switch, and even more impressive is that load times are kept short and the framerate stable. So, with a journey to Harran being as captivating today as it was in 2015, there’s no reason why those who love exploring open worlds filled with zombies wouldn’t want to pick this up.
With some serious talent behind its creation, Dungeon Encounters deserves much more fanfare than it has so far received. This might not be as flashy as a typical RPG from Square Enix, but it’s clever, it’s engaging, and its simple but deceptively deep gameplay loop will keep you coming back for more. Add to that a killer soundtrack overseen by Nobuo Uematsu, and you’ve got something rather special on your hands.
Aeon Must Die!PS4
Aeon Must Die looks great in action, and has a fantastic soundtrack. For players who gel with the game’s combat, they’re likely to keep coming back to see the story through to its end. With multiple endings on offer, they might even return, too. It’s just a shame that for many, Aeon Must Die will prove to be a confusing and sometimes overly punishing experience that doesn’t quite fulfil on its potential.
In Sound MindPS5
It doesn’t provide an experience that’s free of frustration or hiccups, but that doesn’t stop In Sound Mind from being one of this year’s biggest surprises – an action-horror game that delivers not only scares, but also head-scratching puzzles and plenty of engaging combat encounters, all wrapped up in a story that makes you think.
Tetris Effect: ConnectedSwitch
Tetris Effect: Connected is perhaps the best Tetris will ever be. If you enjoy the classic block puzzle game and like the idea of playing to a backdrop of beautiful audio and visuals, then you’ll absolutely love it. With a huge amount of content, including a truly original multiplayer mode, this really is an incredible game – and it feels right at home in a handheld format. Sorry Tetris 99, you’re not the Switch’s best Tetris game anymore.
The Sundew isn’t perfect; every so often I ended up shaking my fist at its list of tasks, mocking me with its empty boxes, knowing full well some of them were entirely dependent on others. But this pixel-based point-and-click adventure still had me hooked to the end. All the more remarkable for being a solo effort, The Sundew is a real treat for adventure fans, cyberpunk aficionados or anyone who’s sick of being a chirpy chosen one.
If you have a Switch and love metroidvania games or revel in brutal combat, Death’s Gambit: Afterlife deserves your attention. With its beautiful visuals, pleasant soundtrack and enjoyable gameplay, it’s pretty much the full package. Only the crushing nature of the combat will be a bone of contention here for some, but others will love it.
Far Cry 6PS5
Far Cry 6 is fun, there’s no doubt about that. Yara is a fantastic backdrop, and if you enjoy mindlessly shooting stuff up, you’ll absolutely be in your element. You probably won’t really care much for Dani’s story though, and the game’s tonal dissonance can be somewhat off-putting.
Circuit SuperstarsXbox One
Circuit Superstars is a very nice surprise. It’s accessible and has a delightful visual style. Yet it also has a high skill bar, allowing those who put in the time to master its handling model to run rings around those less skilled. It has plenty of content and modes, too. It’s just a shame that it’s missing some options and features we’d expect to find in some of its multiplayer options. But even then, there’s more than enough here to provide hours upon hours of fun for those who like to race against others.
Back 4 BloodXbox Series X
Ultimately, most levels simply have too much going on to be enjoyable – and each Act would have benefitted from being substantially shorter. Get a competent group of friends together and you might have some fun, but chances are zombie fatigue is going to set in long before you reach the end of the campaign.
Diablo II: ResurrectedPS5
It may be a bit clunkier than I remember it to be, but not offputtingly so, and once you’ve taken your first steps and started developing your character of choice, it’s hard to not be totally consumed by the game’s dark world and all that it offers. Diablo 2 is back, and until Diablo 4 emerges from the bowels of hell, it’ll do just nicely. Though I’ll probably be playing it beyond that, too.
Nickelodeon All-Star BrawlPS5
Ultimately, the success of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl lies in how lively its online community is. We’ve found players easily enough so far, but who knows if they’ll stick around. It’ll be a shame if they don’t though, because this is a competent brawler.
art of rallyPS5
Art of Rally is one of the most unique rally games ever made, and it’s all the better for it. It defies your expectations by being a pretty serious game at its heart, despite being fun and light-hearted on its exterior. And yet while it is challenging, it’s also relaxing at times, with its mix of minimalistic visuals, disarming music and lower-stress rally action almost putting you into a trance when everything aligns.
Those into speedrunning or action-packed platformers would be wise to check Aeon Drive out. While it’s not spectacular in any particular way, there’s little to find fault with here, and it’s fun to jump into if only for a few minutes at a time, attempting to finish new levels or improve your times on those you’ve already completed. And as ever, dashing through levels with a friend or family member by your side makes the action that much more enjoyable.
Puzzle Bobble 3D: Vacation OdysseyPS5
It looks fantastic, and with 100 campaign levels alongside an infinite and duel mode, there’s a generous amount of content for its modest asking price. There’s a lot of fun to be had, no doubt – but you’ll not be able to shake the nagging feeling that it’s just not quite as enjoyable as its 2D counterparts.
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the LeviathanPS4
Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is the embodiment of wholesome gaming. Its messages of hope and happiness might have you rolling your eyes from time to time, sure, but it’s hard not to be warmed by its wonderful optimism. With enjoyable puzzles, gorgeous character design and a world worth exploring, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
BPM: BULLETS PER MINUTEPS4
Needless to say, if first-person shooters, roguelikes or rhythm games are your thing, you might want to check BPM: Bullets Per Minute out. Especially if you also like heavy metal music. And if you like all of those things, well, BPM: Bullets Per Minute might well just be your dream game.
With the usual quality of life features added into the mix, such as screen options, save state support and more, G-Darius HD is easy to recommend to series fans with the skills to do it justice. Its dated visuals and rock-hard difficulty level, however, means it’s not likely to impress newcomers. It’s not a bad game by any means, but it’s hard to not feel like more could have been done with G-Darius HD to make it a more accessible and attractive package overall.
Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axle City RacersPS4
Ultimately, Blaze and the Monster Machines: Axel City Racers is what it is – a simple racing game aimed at young children, with informative loading screens that aim to teach. There’s not much to it, which might make its asking price appear a little steep, but its colourful visuals and basic yet enjoyable gameplay make it a perfect entry point into the racing genre.
Although playable in single-player, it’s hard to recommend KeyWe as a solo experience. This has been very much designed with co-op play in mind, so unless you have someone to play with, don’t bother picking it up. It’s a commendable concept and fun can be had in short bursts, but ultimately the tasks given to these adorable kiwi birds boil down to nothing but repetitive busywork.
Alan Wake RemasteredPS5
If you’ve never played Alan Wake before and love spooky games with strong stories and plenty of action, consider this remaster a must-have. Thanks to its upgraded visuals, ardent Alan Wake fans are likely to want to pick it up, too, and they won’t be disappointed. This is a game that has stood the test of time, and now being available on more formats than ever before, it’s time for it to step into the light and truly be seen.
Super Monkey Ball Banana ManiaPS5
It’s a shame that the camera works against you at times, and pretty much all of the content here may be recycled from previous games, but that doesn’t stop Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania from being outrageously entertaining. Also, while the game’s premise is simple, there’s a great level of challenge here that will keep players returning time and time again to master all of the stages on offer.
It has its flaws in both the action and settlement-building stages, but they’re quite easily overlooked in the grand scheme of things thanks to the fact that it’s still such a unique blend. Add in a fantastic soundtrack reworked by Yuzo Koshiro as well as additional content and multiple difficulty levels, and you have a game that should please the majority of series fans while also possibly bringing some new ones into the fold.
The Plane EffectPS5
Even with its frustrations, there’s something alluring about The Plane Effect. Its art style, its eerie and slightly unsettling soundtrack, its dystopian sci-fi vibe; it all leaves you with questions that you’ll be desperate to get answers for. It’s just a shame that the gameplay you’ll need to endure in an attempt to uncover those answers isn’t as enjoyable as it could be.
HOT WHEELS UNLEASHEDPS5
Bursting with content, it’ll be a while before you’ve grown tired of its many tracks and unlocked all of the 60-plus cars that it offers. Throw in online and offline multiplayer, a track builder, and gameplay that’s easy to pick up but has some additional depth for more skilled players, and you have a package that’s easy to recommend.