Pulstar

Pulstar

Pulstar is a very straightforward arcade shooter so depending on your taste you will either find it a refreshing blast from the past or become frustrated after only a few minutes. It definitely packs quite a challenge and the difficulty ramps up very quickly, so quick reflexes and a bit of luck is required to make the most of it. If you enjoyed games like Geometry Wars and Beat Hazard you will have fun with Pulstar.

Gameplay: Straightforward and challenging arcade shooter.

Graphics: Nice, but it can be hard to distinguish the enemies from the background at times.

Sound: The sound effects lack punch, but the music is very catchy

The Novelist

The Novelist

While The Novelist is rather limited as a game, it does pack a great story that is engaging enough to forgive the repetition involved. Playing as a ghostly presence that becomes embroiled in the lives of the Kaplan family is engrossing stuff and the game knows how to tug at the heartstrings. Although short you will want to go back for more if only to see the consequences of making different choices.

Gameplay: The focus is definitely more on the story than on the gameplay.

Graphics: The painterly look fits the game well.

Sound: Mellow music and decent voice acting

METAL SLUG 3

METAL SLUG 3

I have to confess that I am a huge fan of the Metal Slug series and number three is one of my all time favorites. It has been fourteen years since the game was originally released in arcades, but it has lost none of its charm or playability. It once again hooked me right from the start and prompted quite a few playthroughs even though I am very familiar with the levels. Veteran players are in for a nostalgic blast from the past while newcomers have a chance to see why this game is so highly regarded by fans of the genre.

Gameplay: An action packed run and gun title with awesome vehicle and huge bosses.

Graphics: The 2D visuals looked excellent way back in 2000 and still hold up great to this day.

Sound: As chaotic as you would expect from an arcade title

LocoCycle

LocoCycle

LocoCycle is a game that revels in it’s cheesy b-movie plot and backs it up with some nice arcade-style gameplay. Alternating between shooting cars off the road or beating up flying bad guys with martial arts moves is as entertaining as it is wacky. It’s not the longest or most in-depth game we’ve ever played, but it is definitely worth the low asking price.

Gameplay: An arcade-like experience which lacks depth, but is a lot of fun.

Graphics: Nice character detail, but the environments feels a bit sparse.

Sound: A nice performance from the Prague Symphony Orchestra and solid voice acting

KickBeat Steam Edition

KickBeat Steam Edition

I have played many Rhythm action games over the years and KickBeat is definitely one that is as entertaining to watch as it is to play. Defeating opponents to the beat of the music is exhilarating stuff and it is made even better by the smooth animations. If you tire of the included music you can also import your own giving this game a lot of replay value.

Gameplay: A unique take on the Rhythm action genre.

Graphics: The visuals have been enhanced for the Steam release and look better than ever.

Sound: Six new tracks boost the complete list to a total of 24 tunes

Guacamelee! Gold Edition

Guacamelee! Gold Edition

I was immediately drawn in by the charming visuals, but it was the gameplay that really hooked me. Combat remains entertaining without becoming tedious and the platform sections manage to mix in some brain teasers along with the precision jumping. It is very encouraging to see gems like this emerge from an already crowded genre, so don’t hesitate to snag this game.

Gameplay: This game is a joy to play.

Graphics: Crisp, detailed and very stylish visuals.

Sound: Packed with earworms!

Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle offers an interesting mix of genres that all combine to offer a compelling gameplay experience that is also much more challenging than you would think. In the versus modes, city planning turns into a vicious game of sabotage and dirty tricks, while the solo mode requires players to think ahead in order to survive. Multi-player is unfortunately local only, but even so this game will keep players busy for ages.

Gameplay: The game is very addictive and truly a joy to play despite sometimes being as hard as nails.

Graphics: When zoomed in the visuals look a bit fuzzy, but overall the amount of detail and variety is top notch.

Sound: Great tunes and some surprisingly good voice acting

Dear Esther

Dear Esther

Dear Esther is definitely more of an “experience” than a game which makes it very hard to review it objectively. Some people are going to love the thought provoking subject matter, while others will wander around aimlessly looking for something to do. One thing is for sure, you cannot enter this experience expecting everything is going to be laid out for you in an easy to understand manner. The visuals are beautiful, but they are just part of the narrative. Definitely destined to be a love/hate title.

Gameplay: Pretty much a two hour stroll on a beautiful island.

Graphics: Gorgeous and dripping with atmosphere.

Sound: The voice acting is good and the music is hauntingly beautiful

The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac

Very simple to play, but the difficulty varies greatly depending on your luck. There is reason for multiple playthroughs which, along with the random elements, give this game some longevity. It’s a good game, but definitely won’t be suited to everyone’s tastes.

Gameplay: Randomly generated dungeons, tons of enemies and loads of loot gives this a lot of replay value.

Graphics: Cute in a sick, twisted kind of way.

Sound: Nice soundtrack and disturbing effects

Ten Questions With… The Team (Golden Gear Games)

Ten Questions With… The Team (Golden Gear Games)

Golden Gear Games recently caused some tremors in the strategy genre with their release of Fate Tectonics. The game combined some very interesting genres, but somehow managed to pull everything together in a very unique and addictive package. To find out more about what went into the creation of the game we got in touch with the hard working team