Alan Wake

Alan Wake

Five years in the making and still impressive, Alan Wake is one of the best exclusives on the system. The story is utterly compelling and the gameplay has just the right amount of action and tension to keep you hooked to the end. There’s a few minor issues here and there but overall this is a solid game that deserves to be played by all fans of the genre.

Gameplay: Tense flashlight and firearm battles with the Taken and some good story sections.

Graphics: Nicely done and really gives the impression of a large gameworld even if you are mostly restricted to a linear path.

Sound: Good sound effects and good voice acting

Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink

Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink

Clockwork Tales lacks a compelling plot, but makes up for it with a unique steam-punk setting and some lovely hand-drawn visuals. It also veers a little too close to being short and easy for our taste, but it is certainly entertaining while it lasts. Anyone looking for a change of pace from all the supernatural themed hidden object games will definitely enjoy this game. Clockwork Tales is also very newcomers friendly, so if you are unfamiliar with the genre, it is a great place to start.

Gameplay: A nice gentle introduction to the genre with relatively easy puzzles and mini-games.

Graphics: The same high quality hand-drawn artwork that we have come to expect from Artifex Mundi.

Sound: The voice acting is decent enough and the music is rather good

STAR WARS™ – The Force Unleashed™ Ultimate Sith Edition

STAR WARS™ – The Force Unleashed™ Ultimate Sith Edition

With so much potential and clearly a lot of work put into the audio and visuals, its hard not to be disappointed by the lackluster level designs and imprecise controls. This Ultimate Sith Edition includes all downloadable content from the console versions plus an extra level set on Hoth, but the rather large download size (30GB) and host of annoyances makes this one for the die-hard Star Wars fans only.

Gameplay: Ultimately could have been so much better. Still playable, but not living up to the standards of the Jedi Knight series.

Graphics: Excellent art style and some visually stunning locations.

Sound: Decent voice acting and stellar audio

Eventide 2: The Sorcerers Mirror

Eventide 2: The Sorcerers Mirror

Eventide 2 unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to the high standards set by the original game, but it is still an imaginative adventure with some great visuals. This time it is your niece that requires rescuing after being kidnapped by an evil sorcerer with sinister intentions. The game features much less mythical creatures than the first and the absence of a bonus chapter makes it feel even shorter than it is, but a new moral choice system adds some replay value. If you are a fan of the genre or would like to get your feet wet with hidden object games then Eventide 2 shouldn’t be missed.

Gameplay: Less mythical creatures than the original, but the story is still entertaining and the Eastern European setting is unique.

Graphics: Nice hand painted backgrounds and great use of color.

Sound: Not a lot of background tunes, but they are all good and the voice acting isn’t too bad either

Memory’s Dogma CODE:01

Memory’s Dogma CODE:01

Memory’s Dogma: CODE1 kicks off with a very interesting premise as far as visual novels go and initially seems like it is going to be an epic science fiction yarn. While the story doesn’t exactly live up to expectations, it remains interesting throughout and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger as one would expect from an episodic release. The visuals and audio in the game are surprisingly good for an indie title, so it is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre. The characters and story didn’t’ exactly blow us away, but does have a lot more depth than all the fan-service oriented slice of life visual novels that are all the rage these days.

Gameplay: No branching paths and the story doesn’t quite live up to its initial premise, but overall very decent.

Graphics: Polished, detailed and featuring some nice character designs.

Sound: The music is varied while the Japanese voice acting is top notch

Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood

Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood

The Mists of Ravenwood is another solid hidden object game from Artifex Mundi, one of the most respected developers in the genre. It takes place after the events of The Ghosts of Maple Creek and features another gripping adventure for the detective protagonist to solve. Improvements, such as the polished visuals and fast travel system, make the game more enjoyable to play while the story remains engaging throughout thanks to the “evidence board” feature. If you are a fan of the genre and enjoyed the original then The Mists of Ravenwood should not be missed.

Gameplay: Not too difficult, but remains fun to play all the way through.

Graphics: The hand drawn scenes are stylish, detailed and very interesting.

Sound: A little too similar to the original for our taste, but the sound effects are great

Sakura Nova

Sakura Nova

The setting and characters are all good, but nothing ever happens to really make you care about either. The game does feature a free patch to add back all the censored content, so anyone looking for a nukige title will probably enjoy Sakura Nova. Unfortunately, those looking for a memorable story or plan on playing without the patch are likely to be disappointed.

Gameplay: There are choices to be made and three different endings, but the story is a bit lacking.

Graphics: Like other titles in the Sakura series the visuals are beautiful, but static.

Sound: Not much to say about the music, but the voice acting is pretty good

Lichtspeer

Lichtspeer

If you are looking for a game that is easy to pick up and play, but challenging enough to keep you coming back for more then you’ll get a kick out of Lichtspeer. It only takes one level to learn everything you need to know to stay alive, but thanks to the overwhelming odds against you it never becomes boring. The difficulty ramps up very quickly, but because the game is so addictive you’ll be back after every rage quit.

Gameplay: Easy to pick up and play, but hard to master.

Graphics: The retro futuristic visual style is a nice match for the setting.

Sound: The soundtrack is great and you’ll encounter some hilarious speech samples too

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek is definitely starting to show its age in terms of visuals, but the story still remains compelling. The game is also stuffed to the gills with challenging hidden object scenes, although the puzzle scenes are nothing to write home about. The game is still a great example of the genre though, and well worth checking out before moving on to more recent entries. Just be prepared to put up with some annoyances, such as a lack of fast travel option.

Gameplay: Plenty of challenging hidden object scenes although the puzzles are a little weak.

Graphics: Plenty of varied and well-drawn locations to explore.

Sound: The soundtrack and ambient effects are very atmospheric, but the voice acting could have been better

Nurse Love Addiction

Nurse Love Addiction

Nurse Love Addiction might look like a typical yuri visual novel at first glance, but it actually has a lot more to offer. The story starts off very light, but depending on the choices you make and route you take it can become quite dark. It is also one of those games where it is better to experience the plot twists and turns for yourself instead of having them spoiled for you, so play the game and find out what all the fuss is about.

Gameplay: Features a branching storyline with plenty of different endings to reach.

Graphics: No animation and limited locations, but the art style is very good.

Sound: Full voice acting and a great soundtrack