A Hat in Time

A Hat in Time

Help Hat Girl retrieve the time pieces that fuel her spaceship in this colorful and charming 3D platformer. It is definitely a nostalgic experience for fans of the genre and offers a rip-roaring adventure across large, colorful levels. The hat swapping antics and the way in which the game constantly switches things up certainly makes for an engrossing experience. It is not without its flaws and could have benefited from a bit more polish, but what is on offer should definitely not be missed if you have fond memories of classic 3D platformers.

Gameplay: Solid 3D platforming action and plenty of variety.

Graphics: Bright, colorful and more than delivers on its promise of being “cute-as-heck.”

Sound: The soundtrack is great and the game even features some nice voice acting

Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends

Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends

Mary the botanist is back and this time it is her brother that is in need of rescuing. This means another adventure through exotic locations while encountering interesting creatures from Slavic mythology. Like previous titles in the series, Eventide 3 isn’t the longest or most challenging example of the genre, but makes up for it with its unique setting. Newcomers to the genre will get the most out of this game as it features quite a few minigames that are very familiar to veterans, but makes up for it with some nice hidden object scenes. The lush visuals and imaginative scenes also set this game apart from other titles. If you are a fan of the genre and want a relaxing adventure that will keep you busy for an evening or two, then Eventide 3 should be high on your wishlist.

Gameplay: Not that challenging and the minigames could have benefited from some more originality, but the hidden object scenes are good.

Graphics: The series has a reputation for great visuals and Eventide 3 doesn’t disappoint in this regard.

Sound: Decent voice acting and some nice tunes

West of Loathing

West of Loathing

West of Loathing is a single player role playing game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which results in a wild quest through the west. The world in which the game is set might be made up out of stick figures, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t fleshed out. There are tons of locations to explore, plenty of puzzles to solve and hordes of enemies to defeat. Even better, it is the type of RPG where stats actually make a difference and your choices make a difference. Fans of the genre will love the amount of depth that the game has, but everyone else will appreciate the brilliant sense of humor.

Gameplay: Packed with plenty to see and do, along with a healthy dose of humor.

Graphics: The black and white stick figure style visuals might look simple at first, but definitely has a lot of charm

Sound: Although the game doesn’t feature any voice acting, it has a great soundtrack and plenty of sound effects

Tokyo Dark

Tokyo Dark

Explore the sinister side of Toyko in this compelling point & click adventure / visual novel hybrid. When detective Ayami Itō is confronted by a seemingly supernatural opponent she must put her job and her sanity on the line to figure out what is going. Tokyo Dark features an engrossing storyline and a unique system where every choice and action has an influence on your sanity, professionalism, investigation and investigation. You also have the option to be as professional or reckless as you would like to be, which can alter the story and lead to more than ten different endings. While the game has some minor flaws, these do not detract from the overall experience and Tokyo Dark definitely lives up to expectations.

Gameplay: The storyline is compelling and the game has buckets of replay value.

Graphics: Interesting characters and locations.

Sound: Full voice acting would have been great, but the music and sound effects are great

The Secret Order 6: Bloodline

The Secret Order 6: Bloodline

Sarah Pennington is back and this time her adventures take her to a mysterious jungle where a visit to her mother turns into a showdown with the Dragon Clan over an extraordinary plant. The Secret Order 6 won’t disappoint those who are expecting more of the beautifully detailed visuals that has become a staple for Sunward Games titles. However, the game is also quite short and can easily be completed in a couple of hours. It is still very enjoyable though, and one of the better recent entries in this particular series, so if you are a fan of the genre or previous titles then this will be a good fit for your library.

Gameplay: Short and easy, but definitely entertaining.

Graphics: The scenes in this game are imaginative as well as very detailed.

Sound: Decent voice acting and a fitting, albeit limited, soundtrack

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Observer is a slow-paced, cyberpunk themed thriller from the same developers that brought us Layers of Fear. Despite the change of setting, Observer shares a lot of similarities with LOF, especially during the surreal hacking sequences where you invade the thoughts of other people and experience their worst fears. The incredibly detailed visuals and gripping environments make Observer a game that is hard to put down, but the slower pace and lack of control beyond observing your surroundings and scanning things might deter the action crowd. Overall, it is a title that all fans of the cyberpunk genre will enjoy and it offers an enthralling experience despite some technical issues.

Gameplay: There is little to do apart from exploring your surroundings and scanning things for clues, but the game remains engrossing nonetheless.

Graphics: The abundance of post-processing effects might be a bit much for some players, but there is no faulting the highly detailed visuals.

Sound: The soundtrack is just as tense as you’d expect from a title like this and it is great to hear Rutger Hauer lending his vocals to the lead character

Cat Quest

Cat Quest

Cat Quest is a very tongue-in-cheek role playing game that is sure to appeal to fans of the genre who also loves cats. Don’t be fooled by the bright, colorful visuals, though, as the game is every bit as fun and addictive as its serious counterparts. The streamlined interface and open world makes the game a joy to play and it offers hours of fun, although it can also be enjoyed in short bursts if you don’t have a lot of time. It is obviously not as in-depth as more serious takes on the genre, but remains addictive and entertaining throughout.

Gameplay: A very accessible entry in the action RPG genre that favors fun over statistics and inventory juggling.

Graphics: Bright, colorful and very easy on the eyes.

Sound: The game doesn’t have any speech, but the soundtrack hits all the nostalgic notes

Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders

Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders

Assist Tara the apothecary, Darius the swordsman and Minu the genie as they try and take on an evil vizier in Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders. This hidden object adventure game might be light on hidden object scenes, but more than makes up for it with the adventuring elements. It features a compelling story, plenty of beautiful locations and more than enough to keep you busy. Although a little on the short side and lacking in any kind of bonus adventures, it is still a great way to spend an afternoon and definitely one of the better Artifex Mundi titles of late.

Gameplay: Hidden object fans might find it a little thin on content, but there are still plenty of inventory based puzzle solving to be done.

Graphics: Everything from the art style to the colors used are a perfect match for the setting.

Sound: Great soundtrack and surprisingly good voice acting

Omega Pattern

Omega Pattern

Omega Pattern is a visual novel where you follow the story of a young man named Shaiel who is on the run from a ruthless organization called Bioagora. His psychic skills make him an important target for Bioagora, who has a history of turning gifted people into brainwashed agents to do their bidding. The game doesn’t just tell the story of Shaiel in the present, but also features plenty of flashbacks where you actually get to make choices that influences the route you take to the ending. This gives the game some nice replay value and the different routes are actually quite different and not just minor variations. Unfortunately, Omega Pattern is also quite short and since it is only the first part of the full story, it ends in a “To Be Continued,” which might annoy some fans.

Gameplay: The story is genuinely intriguing and the choices you get to make actually impacts the story, which is a nice touch.

Graphics: Nothing really special, but gets the job done.

Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is really solid

Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child

Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child

Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child is a new hidden object puzzle adventure where players take control of a young woman with psychic abilities. The game starts out as a quest to find her father who abandoned her at an orphanage when she was a child, but quickly turns into a paranormal mystery. There seems to be much less of a focus on hidden object scenes and mini-games in this title, while your exploration is also confined to gloomy areas such as train stations and factories. However, the Gothic style visuals look great and, while very short, the game remains interesting throughout.

Gameplay: The story is interesting, but the puzzles quite easy and the overall game is very short.

Graphics: The Victorian setting allows for some moody visuals, but most of the locations are not very imaginative.

Sound: Standard voice acting and nice, albeit limited, tunes