Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon could easily have ended up as a promotional novelty to tide players over until the release of Ritual of the Night, but thankfully this is not the case. Instead, Inti Creates has crafted a compelling and enjoyable title featuring everything that made the 8-bit Castlevania titles so create. It does veer dangerously close to the Castlevania license at times, but considering how Konami is doing nothing with the series, fans certainly won’t mind.

Gameplay: As close as you can get to the 8-bit Castlevania titles.

Graphics: Captures the 8-bit style perfectly.

Sound: Great, but not quite as memorable as the classic Castlevania tunes

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro

My Friend Pedro is a violent platform shooter with an emphasis on stylish action. Taking down enemies in slow motion is a lot of fun and the game has no shortage of props like frying pans, skateboards, glass panes, zip-lines and more to make it look even more impressive. The last half of the game skews perhaps a bit too much towards puzzles and platforming instead of stylish mayhem, but apart from this the game is a blast to play.

Gameplay: Violent, over the top and lots of fun.

Graphics: A few wonky animations and generic backgrounds, but overall good.

Sound: Decent sound effects and a great soundtrack

Monster in My Pocket

Monster in My Pocket

Back in the nineties we were huge fans of the Monster in My Pocket franchise, so the opportunity to see the mini monsters come to life on our screens was awesome. However, after looking past the nostalgia, it is clear to see that Konami was probably expecting a little too much from the N.E.S hardware, which resulted in plenty of sprite flickering and slowdown when things got too intense. Still, this is an enjoyable title with a wide range of enemies and completing it is not as frustrating as some other N.E.S era games. It is a little short and has its fair share of frustrating moments, but overall it is decent.

Gameplay: Fairly straightforward platforming and monster bashing that can be done with a friend.

Graphics: The monsters all look great, but some of the later levels are a little generic and sprite flicker as well as slowdown is a big issue.

Sound: Nothing exceptional, but the tunes are good and fit the style of the game

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

If you enjoy platform games, then Klonoa has a lot to offer. The 2.5D visuals sets the game apart from the 3D titles of the era and there are lots of extra stuff to see and do while playing.

Gameplay: Pretty straightforward platform fare.

Graphics: A bit pixelated, but bright and colorful.

Sound: Upbeat

Tower Princess by AweKteaM

Tower Princess by AweKteaM

Remember the good old days when you could just storm a dungeon and rescue the princess? Well those days are well and truly behind us as modern princesses demand a little more from their would-be rescuers. At least, that’s the premise behind this intriguing looking 3D action platformer by AweKteaM. Tower Princess will give players the opportunity to step into the armor of one of the knights and knightesses who are brave enough to take on the procedural dungeons

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

Unruly Heroes

Unruly Heroes

Unruly Heroes is a gorgeous looking 2D action platformer that is loosely based on the Chinese epic, Journey to the West. It gives you control over a motley crew of four characters as they travel the land in search of the sacred scroll that will restore balance to their world. Unfortunately, the controls are not always responsive, which means this is a game that often looks better than it plays. However, it still features plenty of clever touches and variety, which elevates it above a lot of other games in the genre. It’s not the easiest game out there, but it’s definitely worth sticking with it to the end.

Gameplay: Unresponsive controls mar the experience slightly, but it is still a great game.

Graphics: Everything about the art and visuals is top notch.

Sound: Not the best voice acting, but the music is very good

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

Whether you fondly remember the original 1989 Master System version or simply enjoy good platform games, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap should not be missed. This updated version is a true labor of love and features great artwork, brilliant re-orchestrated versions of the classic tunes as well as the ability to switch to the original audio and visuals on the fly. The gameplay is also still every bit as addictive as it was back in the day and can now be taken up or down a notch depending on your skill level. It is definitely no exaggeration to say that Lizardcube has pulled off one of the most impressive remakes of a retro classic that we have seen to date.

Gameplay: Still plays great and showcases why this game is widely regarded as a classic of its time.

Graphics: The new hand-drawn visuals look great and are also beautifully animated.

Sound: The original soundtrack is catchy, but the re-orchestrated version sounds even better

A Rose in the Twilight

A Rose in the Twilight

Help a young girl and her giant companion navigate a treacherous castle while unraveling the mystery of the thorns in this unique puzzle title. With its somber visuals and blood drenched gameplay, it is probably not a title that is going to appeal to everyone, but puzzle fans are in for a treat. A Rose In The Twilight can be a little frustrating at times, but makes up for it with challenging puzzles and captivating characters. If you don’t mind your puzzle titles infused with equal measures of cuteness and creepiness then this one comes highly recommended.

Gameplay: Making progress requires teamwork, puzzle solving and some light platforming.

Graphics: Dark and moody, but very stylish.

Sound: No voice acting, but the music is suitably somber