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

Gatling Gears

Gatling Gears

Play as Max Brawley and take on the evil Empire from the cockpit of your Gatling Gear in this top down shooter by Vanguard Games. It features vibrant visuals, tons of explosions and plenty of action. Since the game pretty much only consists of shooting everything in sight, it can become a little repetitive, but blowing things up remains satisfying and with three difficulty levels, you can challenge yourself no matter what your skill level is. It’s not the most memorable or impressive title in the genre, but it is very solid and very enjoyable.

Gameplay: Blowing up everything in sight stays a blast right throughout.

Graphics: The levels are varied and packed with detail.

Sound: So-so music, but the sound effects are really good

Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! HD

Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! HD

Whether you already played The Fowl Fleet or fondly remember Nelly Cootalot from the freeware version, you definitely don’t want to miss out on this HD revival of Spoonbeaks Ahoy! It’s a charming point & click adventure with a wonderful protagonist and a cast of interesting characters. The humor is still great and while the game is very short, it is also very cheap and all revenue goes to a good cause, so there is no reason to miss out if you are a fan of the genre.

Gameplay: Short, but amusing and entertaining.

Graphics: The HD upgrade looks good, but the visuals are still very simple.

Sound: The soundtrack is decent and the voice acting much better than what we expected

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

Heroine of the Sniper

Heroine of the Sniper

Heroine of the Sniper is a very simple sniper game where you have to guide your little animated heroine through fifteen challenges. Most of these involve shooting at targets from a long range, although there are also a few levels where you get to move around a bit or where you man a machine gun while inside a vehicle. It’s not the most polished game on Steam and ends all too soon, but still manages to be quite entertaining while it lasts.

Gameplay: The challenges are fun and varied, but the game definitely needed a few more.

Graphics: The 2D animated heroine looks nice, but the 3D visuals are fairly simple and levels look very bare.

Sound: Unobtrusive music, but the sound effects are pretty good

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