Princess Maker Refine

Princess Maker Refine

Princess Maker Refine is not as complex or feature packed as its sequel, but this also makes it a little easier to get into for newcomers. In addition, the game is priced at half the cost of Princess Maker 2, which makes it a more lucrative impulse buy for players who are curious about the genre. Guiding your adopted daughter on a path to one of many endings is surprisingly addictive and while the game can become a little repetitive, it offers plenty of replay value. There are still some rough edges that will need to be smoothed out with future updates, but overall the game has lost none of its charm.

Gameplay: It looks a little complicated initially, but is easy to get into.

Graphics: Sadly no animations, but the overall visuals still look nice.

Sound: Features some nice tunes and full Japanese voice overs

Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks is a game where you get to search large, detailed, hand drawn landscapes for people and items. This is repeated across four different landscapes made up of 14 levels. The gameplay is simple, but addictive, while the monochrome visuals and mouth-originated sound effects further add to the charm. If you are looking for something that is easy to pick up and play, but challenging enough to keep you busy for a while, then we recommend you give Hidden Folks a chance.

Gameplay: Very simple, but finding all the hidden folks is quite a challenge.

Graphics: The art style looks great and some of the larger scenes are really impressive.

Sound: Instead of traditional audio the game uses mouth-originated sound effects for everything

Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

Among the Innocent: A Stricken Tale

Among The Innocent features a very unique setting, interesting story and puzzles that are immensely satisfying to solve. It also manages to keep you on edge the whole time, despite your idyllic surroundings, which is impressive for a game with no jump scares. There are some rough edges, but nothing that should deter you from grabbing this game and helping its protagonist crack the mystery.

Gameplay: Explore a desolate farmstead while solving puzzles using everyday objects.

Graphics: Nothing mind-blowing, but gets the job done and sets the mood perfectly.

Sound: The audio is rather low-key, but definitely enhances the creepy atmosphere

Queen’s Quest: Tower of Darkness

Queen’s Quest: Tower of Darkness

Queen’s Quest: Tower of Darkness is a decent enough hidden object puzzle adventure starring a royal heiress on the trail of an evil sorcerer who kidnapped her infant daughter. The colorful and detailed artwork is certainly very eye-catching, but the animations could have used a bit more work. The story never really takes off either, but there are plenty of hidden object scenes and mini-games to sink your teeth into. While far from the best that the genre has to offer, Queen’s Quest has its heart in the right place and can still provide an entertaining experienced, provided you don’t expect too much from it.

Gameplay: The story and puzzles are a little lacking, but there are plenty of hidden object scenes and mini-games.

Graphics: Colorful and detailed, but the character animations are a little off.

Sound: Decent enough for the most part, but some of the voice overs could have been much better

Sweetest Monster

Sweetest Monster

Sweetest Monster is the latest release from ebi-hime, which means interesting characters and memorable situations. It is defintely a much darker title than what you might think, but one that kept us hooked right to the very end. At only about 40,000 words it is slightly shorter than the average visual novel, but the story is good and the price very reasonable. Anyone looking for something with a bit more substance than the typical lighthearted cat-girl visual novels should definitely give this kinetic novel a try.

Gameplay: Beautifully written and definitely very memorable despite the lack of choices or story branches.

Graphics: The game only features a limited amount of character sprites and backgrounds, but they are all great.

Sound: There is no voice acting, but the background music and sound effects are of a very high standard

Ellipsis

Ellipsis

Don’t be fooled by the beautiful minimalist visuals that Ellipses sports. It isn’t just another Geometry Wars clone, but a polished and very addictive title where your avoidance skills and puzzle solving abilities are needed instead of an itchy trigger finger. Ellipses features tons of great levels, spread across eight worlds and in addition to plenty of replay value it also ships with a level editor and Steam Workshop support. If you are looking for something fresh and unique this is definitely not a title you want to miss.

Gameplay: Simple, but very polished and highly addictive.

Graphics: Makes great use of minimalist, but striking visuals.

Sound: Complements the on-screen action perfectly

Left in the Dark: No One on Board

Left in the Dark: No One on Board

Left In The Dark: No One On Board is yet another hidden object puzzle adventure with a supernatural storyline and some spooky locations to explore. Unfortunately, it faces some stiff competition and feels a bit lacking compared to other similar titles in terms of puzzles and hidden object scenes. It is certainly not a bad game, but being short and average definitely counts against it when there are so many other titles sharing the same genre. Only considering picking it up if you are a big fan of the genre or find it on sale at a great price.

Gameplay: The story failed to really grip us and feels a bit generic.

Graphics: Decent enough artwork, but not that really sets it apart from similar titles.

Sounds: The music is unmemorable and some of the dialog sounds very unconvincing

Imprint-X

Imprint-X

Imprint-X is a unique entry in the puzzle genre that not only requires memorization and pattern recognition, but some quick reflexes as well. The entire game is based around the concept of pushing buttons, although accomplishing this feat is a lot trickier than you might think. It is a game that leaves it up to you to figure out what is required to succeed, but sadly it is not quite as addictive as some of the best titles in the genre. Regardless, it is definitely different and well worth checking out considering its price tag.

Gameplay: The game starts off very easy, but later levels will thoroughly test your memorization and reflexes.

Graphics: The cut-scenes and art style probably won’t appeal to everyone, but the overall look of the game is quite nice.

Sound: The background music is great and never becomes annoying

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City

If you enjoyed GTA IV then you will love these two new episodes. It might have taken a while to reach the PC, but the wait was definitely worth it and together these two games represents excellent value for money. A must-buy for every Grand Theft Auto fan.

Gameplay: Same awesome new additions to an already great game.

Graphics: Needs a hefty PC, but is worth it.

Sound: Still one of the best soundtracks and voice acting in the business

Enclave

Enclave

It might be a typical console port, but Enclave has enough action to keep players hooked. Don’t play this one for the puzzles as you will be disappointed, but if you want some nice hacking and slashing you can’t go wrong.

Gameplay: A typical console port but still fun.

Graphics: Very good for their time.

Sound: Epic music score and decent voice acting