When Our Journey Ends – A Visual Novel

When Our Journey Ends – A Visual Novel

When Our Journey Ends follows the adventure of Mariko, a high school student who ends up stranded at an unfamiliar train station on her way home one day. She quickly discovers that it is not an ordinary place and learns about the spirits that dwell there. This visual novel features a unique graphical style, with lovely animated backgrounds, but it is rather short and the main story is not as fleshed out as much as we would have liked. It does feature a number of side stories that take place after the main story, but even with these the game is over way too soon.

Gameplay: Short and lacking in meaningful choices.

Graphics: Interesting character spirits and beautiful animated backgrounds.

Sound: English voice acting for all the characters and a very decent soundtrack

Darkarta: A Broken Heart’s Quest Collector’s Edition

Darkarta: A Broken Heart’s Quest Collector’s Edition

Darkarta: A Broken Heart’s Quest is the story of a mother who has to brave the Netheworld and rescue her daughter from an age old curse. It is definitely an intriguing story and the game also features tons of hidden object scenes as well as mini-games to keep players hooked. Thanks to the beautiful art style and atmospheric music, it is easy to get sucked into the gameworld, and a lot of effort clearly went into polishing the game to perfection. Darkarta has already won numerous awards and after completing it, it is obvious that all of them were deserved. If you are a fan of the genre, then this is a title that should not be missed.

Gameplay: A lengthy adventure with plenty of puzzles and mini-games to enjoy

Graphics: The art style is beautiful and the game is filled with scenic locations.

Sound: Decent voice acting and a the soundtrack isn’t bad either

Baseball Riot

Baseball Riot

Baseball Riot is the sequel to Tennis in the Face and features the exact same gameplay, except this time you will be using a baseball bat and ball instead of a tennis racquet. The game does feel slightly more challenging, especially now that stars have to be collected from the levels themselves while taking down enemies, but overall the game does feel slightly more lackluster. A lot of the visuals feel identical to the first game and the gameplay is the same only slightly more frustrating. If you are a fan of the original and want more of the same, but with an added challenge, then Baseball Riot is worth it, but everyone else is better off with Tennis In The Face.

Graphics: Backgrounds are still bland and the characters are all reskinned from the original game.

Sound: Decent, but unremarkable.

Gameplay: Still fun in short bursts, but more frustrating than Tennis in the Face

Nightmares from the Deep 2: The Siren`s Call

Nightmares from the Deep 2: The Siren`s Call

Nightmares From The Deep 2 is a worthy follow up to the first game and once again stars the plucky museum curator, Sarah Black. This time Sarah has to contend with an isolated town full of cursed people who are slowly turning into sea critters. To break the curse Sarah will have to take down the corrupt mayor of the town, which is easier said than done seeing as he made a pact with Davy Jones. Fans of the original game will love Nightmares From The Deep 2 as it offers the same type of enjoyable and polished experience.

Gameplay: Not that hard, but very enjoyable.

Graphics: The backgrounds look great and the animations have been improved compared to the original.

Sound: Great music and sound effects, but the voice acting could have been better in some spots

Dark Arcana: The Carnival

Dark Arcana: The Carnival

Dark Arcana: The Carnival is a hidden object game where you step into the shoes of a detective tasked with locating a young mother who went missing at a carnival. Evidence seems to suggest that the manager might be involved, but it quickly becomes apparent that it is not an ordinary missing persons case. If you like hidden object games with creepy locations and interesting twists, then you’ll enjoy this one. Just be warned that none of the puzzles or mini-games are particularly challenging and the game is quite short overall.

Gameplay: Interesting, but relatively short.

Graphics: The artwork is decent, but cut-scenes and animations definitely show their age.

Sound: The voice acting isn’t great, but the music and sound effects are good

Heart of the Woods

Heart of the Woods

An engaging storyline that reads like a modern day fairytale, beautiful artwork by Rosuuri, and a stellar soundtrack makes Heart of the Woods a must-have visual novel. As long as you are not scared away by yuri content, this visual novel has plenty to offer with great characters, sweet romances and a plot that isn’t afraid to take a few dark twists. Overall, this is one of the best western visual novels on the market and one that will be hard to beat by the competition.

Gameplay: Very few choices, but the gripping story makes up for this.

Graphics: Stellar artwork by the very talented Rosuuri.

Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is great

Zombo Buster Rising

Zombo Buster Rising

Zombo Buster Rising is a mindless 2D arcade game where you fend off waves of zombies that are storming your base. Killing zombies rewards you with cash that can be used for upgrades and you are eventually joined by two AI controlled partners. The game is very simple and instead of moving around, you only control the cross-hairs. There is some strategy involved when it comes to activating special abilities at the right time, but overall this is a game that can be completed quickly and easily. It usually sells for dirt cheap, though, so fans of the genre should definitely give it a shot.

Gameplay: Shoot zombies before they overrun your base while collecting coins to upgrade your weapon.

Graphics: 2D, very basic and featuring only one background, but at least there are plenty of zombie types.

Sound: Nothing memorable about the music or sound effects, but thankfully neither is annoying

9-nine-:Episode 1

9-nine-:Episode 1

A serial killer with super powers are on the loose and it is up to two teens to try and track down who it is before the body count escalates. 9-nine-:Episode 1 is a good start for the series, but despite having two endings, it is a fairly linear experience. The story is good, though, and we cannot fault the gorgeous art style and awesome soundtrack. The story is also relatively self contained, but intriguing enough that we can’t wait to see what happens in subsequent episodes.

Gameplay: Fairly linear, but the story is decent enough to keep you hooked.

Graphics: The character designs are beautiful and the game also features some nice backgrounds.

Sound: The soundtrack is great and all of the characters are fully voiced in Japanese

Jewel Match Twilight Solitaire

Jewel Match Twilight Solitaire

Jewel Match Twilight Solitaire is a polished solitaire title with a vampire theme. While it doesn’t feature a gripping storyline or much in the way of gimmicks, it does have plenty of levels, a lot of obstacles to overcome and some nifty power-ups to help you out. Three difficulty levels mean that the game can be as easy or challenging as you want it to be and it even includes a bunch of mahjong levels for variation. This is definitely a great game for fans of the genre and one that can keep you busy for quite some time if you are a perfectionist.

Gameplay: Two hundred levels of solitaire fun along with 50 optional mahjong levels.

Graphics: If you like vampires, then you’ll love the visual style of the game.

Sound: Decent tunes, but they can become a little repetitive after a while

THE VIDEOKID

THE VIDEOKID

THE VIDEOKID is an addictive and nostalgic homage to the eighties in general and Paperboy in particular. It is a lot more chaotic than Paperboy, though, and you will need quick reflexes if you want to make it to the end of your pirate video tape delivering run. It is a pity that the game only features a single level, but the randomized elements along with the huge amount of pop culture references keeps things entertaining. These cameos can become rather distracting, but that’s all part of the challenge. Considering the low price tag on THE VIDEOKID, there’s no reason not to add it to your collection.

Gameplay: Skate around a wacky eighties neighborhood while delivering pirated VHS tapes.

Graphics: The voxel art style looks great and allowed the developers to insert plenty of pop culture character cameos.

Sound: The soundtrack is nice and so is the sound effects, but things can become a little chaotic