Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice might not have the best combat or puzzles in the genre, but it is hard to beat in terms of storytelling and immersion. There are not many other games on the market that can hold a candle to it when it comes to visuals and animation, while the way it realistically portrays psychosis is also groundbreaking. The game still features plenty of combat, but it is not the primary focus, so players expecting something closer to previous Ninja Theory titles will probably be a little disappointed. However, if you can appreciate something with a strong narrative focus and willingness to tackle subjects that few others dare, then Hellblade is your game.

Gameplay: The combat and puzzles are a bit weak, but the overall experience is superb.

Graphics: Although the game is very bleak overall, the detail and animations are top notch.

Sound: This is definitely a game that must be played with headphones thanks to the awesome binaural sounds

Unhack

Unhack

Team up with your AI partner, Weedy, and take on the 5K Worm that is rampaging across cyberspace. Unhack is a short, but the unique blend of visual novel and puzzle game that features an interesting story and great voice acting. Although it only features ten levels that can be completed in an hour if you are good, it is definitely fun while it lasts and worth trying out if you can find it for cheap.

Gameplay: Short, but sweet.

Graphics: Not the best, but serviceable enough.

Sound: The soundtrack is good and so is the voice acting

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

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 Eternal Castle [REMASTERED]

The Eternal Castle [REMASTERED]

The Eternal Castle [Remastered] definitely looks the part of a game from an era where CGA visuals were the norm, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it is a dusty retro title. Instead, it is a fast paced and challenging adventure that makes use of the limited color palette in ways that real games from that era could only dream of. The animations are also top notch and so is the soundtrack, but the controls can be very challenging if you are not used to this type of game. Overall, it’s a great game if you remember early PC platformers with fondness, but modern players will also enjoy it if they can learn to appreciate the visual style.

Gameplay: Although short, the game is a lot of fun despite some occasionally frustrating bits.

Graphics: The art style looks very primitive in screenshots, but has to be seen in action to truly appreciate the detail and animations.

Sound: The synth soundtrack is incredible

Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey

Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey

Help Mother Bilby to navigate some treacherous underground passages in an attempt to find her lost children. Macrotis is a non-violent puzzle platformer with a couple of tricky platform sections, but overall the emphasis is firmly on the puzzles. Some might find the lack of hand holding from the game a little frustrating, but figuring out the puzzles, even if it takes a bit of trial and error, is very rewarding. Anthropomorphic animal platform heroes is not a new concept, but Macrotis does a good job with making Mother Bilby’s quest a memorable one.

Gameplay: A puzzle platformer that isn’t afraid to let you mess things up badly enough that you have to restart the puzzles.

Graphics: The 2.5D visuals are vibrant and detailed.

Sound: Full voices for the characters and some nice background tunes

Arcade Spirits

Arcade Spirits

Arcade Spirits is a visual novel that is packed with romance, great writing and plenty of nostalgia for anyone who grew up practically living in arcades during the eighties. It features a diverse cast of characters that are all interesting enough that you want to spend more time getting to know them. The story is perhaps not the most original, but it still managed to draw us in and keep us interested right to the very end. It is also one of the most inclusive visual novels that we have played, but nothing about it feels forced or tacked on, which is even better. If you love visual novels and want something a little different from the usual fare, then Arcade Spirits is highly recommended.

Gameplay: Plenty of choices that actually matter and a very engaging storyline to keep you hooked.

Graphics: Bright and colorful with plenty of backdrops and great character designs.

Sound: The synthwave soundtrack is great and the voice acting even better

Ammobox Studios Launches GoFundMe Campaign For Legal Battle Against Rogue Publisher

Ammobox Studios Launches GoFundMe Campaign For Legal Battle Against Rogue Publisher

Early in January of this year, something very strange happened to Eximius: Seize The Frontline on Steam. Users who opened the Steam store page for this unique first person shooter / real-time strategy hybrid found that the game could no longer be purchased. It turned out that the reason for this was that the developers of the game, Ammobox Studios, were forced to issue a DMCA Notice to their own game

Citrouille

Citrouille

It is easy to mistake Citrouille for a casual game because of the adorable visuals, but players who underestimate it are in for a shock. This game feels like it was ripped straight out of an ’80s arcade and given a brand new lick of paint. Citrouille is best played with a friend in local co-op, but even on your own it is a lot of fun. It is a pity that it lacks any online features and that the co-op as well as versus modes are restricted to local only, but other than that it is a great game and definitely a bit of a hidden gem.

Gameplay: Tough as nails, but very easy to pick up and play.

Graphics: Everything from the designs to the animations are superb.

Sound: The tunes are good and the sound effects more than decent