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

Catch a Falling Star

Catch a Falling Star

There’s not much more to Catch A Falling Star than moving a basket left and right to catch falling stars, but it’s a fun little game with a dirt cheap price tag. The visuals are simple, but colorful while the audio fits the mellow theme of the game. It’s not the most addictive game we’ve played, but works perfectly fine for those times where you just have a couple of minutes to kill and want to play something really chill.

Gameplay: Move left and right while catching stars.

Graphics: Very simple, but quite colorful.

Sound: Quite relaxing, but nothing to really write home about

Highway Blossoms

Highway Blossoms

Join Amber as she goes from driving slowly towards a music festival while coming to terms with the death of her grandfather, to joining up with a ditzy treasure hunter named Marina. Highway Blossoms is a great yuri kinetic novel with a refreshing setting, awesome characters and a very compelling story. It’s a little on the short side, but should definitely not be missed by fans of the genre.

Gameplay: No choices to make, but the story is superb.

Graphics: Plenty of backgrounds and great character designs.

Sound: Excellent voice acting and a pretty great soundtrack too

Old Man’s Journey

Old Man’s Journey

Old Man’s Journey is a short casual game with beautiful visuals, emotional story that is told without a single word and very laid back soundtrack. It may be a little too simple for some people’s taste, but if you are looking for something that can be completed in one sitting and won’t tax you too much, then don’t overlook Old Man’s Journey.

Gameplay: The puzzles are very simple, but still enjoyable.

Graphics: Each scene in this game is a work of art.

Sound: No speech, but the soundtrack is great

Major Mayhem

Major Mayhem

Save your girlfriend and the world in this addictive arcade cover shooter by Rocket Jump. Yes, it is another mobile port, but one that has lost none of its charm and addictiveness in the transition from mobile to PC. The action is frantic, the visuals charming and the whole experience is just a lot of fun. Although the 45 levels on offer can be completed rather quickly, there are plenty of mission objectives and game modes to lure you back. Overall, Major Mayhem is not perfect, but it far exceeded our expectations and we think that it will pleasantly surprise players.

Gameplay: Very simple, but also very addictive.

Graphics: Colorful and cartoonish, but there are only three different environment types.

Sound: The sound effects could have used some more punch and the music isn’t exactly memorable