Caromble! (Crimson Owl Studios)

Caromble! (Crimson Owl Studios)

Fancy a rather destructive take on the brick break genre? Well, Caromble from Crimson Owl Studios has got you covered. The five members that make up this talented team of Dutch indie developers have apparently been working on the game for a few years already while also juggling other jobs, so clearly they are committed to getting it right!

Deathsmiles

Deathsmiles

Combine the gothic art style of the early Castlevania games and mix it with the frantic bullet hell gameplay CAVE is so good at and you get Deathsmiles. Although it has been many years since the game first graced arcades and the Xbox 360 its arrival on the PC is still a cause for celebration. The loss of online coop and lack of PC extras is a pity, but the game will still put a smile on any shooter fan’s face.

Gameplay: Not the hardest game in the genre, but attaining a highscore still takes skill.

Graphics: The arcade mode visuals look a bit dusty, but the rest of the game still look good considering its age.

Sound: The soundtrack is nice and energetic while the sound effects are good without being overwhelming

Hitman: Codename 47

Hitman: Codename 47

While Hitman: Codename 47 was a good game in its time it requires a lot of patience to get the most out of it. The lack of checkpoints or save spots means that one mistake can take you all the way back to the start of a mission. I also encountered quite a few bugs and crashes during my time with the game which is a pity. Check it out to see where it all started, but don’t expect it to blow you away.

Gameplay: Entertaining but expect lots of trial-and-error as well as needless repetition.

Graphics: Looking very dated at this point.

Sound: Flat voice acting, but the sound effects are good

Shardlight

Shardlight

Guide Amy Wellard through a post-apocalyptic world where the poor try to eke out an existence under the oppressive rule of the aristocracy. Shardlight features an interesting setting, memorable characters and some great pixel art visuals. The fact that the puzzles are logical and the audio is superb also makes it easy to recommend to point & click adventure fans. Overall, this is yet another fine release from Wadjet Eye Games and is sure to please fans.

Gameplay: Not too challenging, but enjoyable throughout.

Graphics: Nice pixel art visuals depicting a variety of locations.

Sound: Great soundtrack and stellar voice acting

Knotmania

Knotmania

Knotmania is an addictive puzzle game with a difference. Not only do you have to untangle tricky knots, but the “Strings” are actually worm-like creatures who resist you at every turn. The strict time limits and stubborn worms make for quite a challenge, but the game also features a Zen mode for a more relaxing experience. If you are looking for an innovative and unique iOS puzzler this is it.

Gameplay: The premise is very straightforward, but untangling those worms is easier said than done.

Graphics: The 3D visuals and lifelike animations give the game a unique feel.

Sound: The audio is a perfect match for the surreal visuals

Plantera

Plantera

Plantera is a very straightforward game with simple, but addictive mechanics. You simply grow your garden, harvest crops and sell them to repeat the cycle. It is a casual clicker title with plenty of things to click, but you can also kick back and leave it to its own devices. If you are not a fan of clicker titles it can become repetitive, but considering its price it is hard to fault.

Gameplay: Very straightforward to play and features a bit more variety than typical clicker games.

Graphics: Bright, colorful and quite charming.

Sound: Nice, but could have benefited from a few more tunes

Blue Rider

Blue Rider

Blue Rider is a game that will make you remember the days of encountering bosses that actually served as a challenge and not just a minor speed bump on your road to finishing the game. And while the game is far from easy it is addictive enough to keep you coming back for more. Thanks to the vibrant visuals and excellent enemy designs, especially the bosses, it is also a very good looking game. If you are not scared to be challenged and in the mood for a very polished shooter then get yourself a copy of Blue Rider.

Gameplay: Tough and uncompromising, but still very entertaining and addictive.

Graphics: Vibrant and varied.

Sound: Nice music and booming explosions

XBlaze Code: Embryo

XBlaze Code: Embryo

XBlaze: Code Embryo is set in the same universe as the BlazBlue fighting titles, but no prior knowledge is required to enjoy the story. The game features an intriguing storyline and multiple endings, but reading news articles to influence the path you take is a little confusing at first. Once you figure out the system, it is a lot of fun though, and the stylish visuals as well as great soundtrack make it easy to recommend.

Gameplay: A typical visual novel with a rather unusual system for choosing your path to the multiple endings.

Graphics: Not a lot of animation, but very detailed and colorful.

Sound: Plenty of music tracks and some great Japanese voice acting as well

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV

Its hard not to harbor some resentment for the delay and lesser port that PC owners have received with this game, but at the end of the day it’s still a lot of fun to play and a great game. As long as you can look past the technical issues that is.

Gameplay: The technical issues and more “mature” feel detracts a bit from the gameplay but it’s still good.

Graphics: With the right hardware this game looks stunning.

Sound: Decent voice acting and loads of good tunes

Fallout 3 – The Pitt

Fallout 3 – The Pitt

The Pitt offers a more compelling story and better gameplay than Operation: Anchorage which is good news for Fallout 3 fans craving more of what makes the game so great. The new areas are interesting to explore and less linear than the narrow corridors of Anchorage. While not very long there is some replay value and even a scavenger hunt with loot rewards to keep you coming back for more.

Gameplay: More of what makes the base game so much fun.

Graphics: Only one new enemy, but the new locations are quite cool.

Sound: Good but nothing to rave about