Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa

Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa

Uncover the mysteries of Fujisawa Academy by using your special powers to reveal their secrets in this first development project from PQube. The game is a lot of fun and offers a nice mixture of visual novel, match-3 mini-games and even a sprinkling of ecchi content. The story is gripping from the get go and to uncover all of the secrets you are going to have to pay attention and make the right choices or else you might find yourself back at square one. Although it can become a little repetitive and it is a little too easy to miss some vital story branches, the game is a lot of fun and well worth the effort.

Gameplay: The story is interesting and your choices have a big impact on how things play out.

Graphics: Great character designs and some nice Cgs.

Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for all the characters

Baseball Riot

Baseball Riot

Baseball Riot is the sequel to Tennis in the Face and features the exact same gameplay, except this time you will be using a baseball bat and ball instead of a tennis racquet. The game does feel slightly more challenging, especially now that stars have to be collected from the levels themselves while taking down enemies, but overall the game does feel slightly more lackluster. A lot of the visuals feel identical to the first game and the gameplay is the same only slightly more frustrating. If you are a fan of the original and want more of the same, but with an added challenge, then Baseball Riot is worth it, but everyone else is better off with Tennis In The Face.

Graphics: Backgrounds are still bland and the characters are all reskinned from the original game.

Sound: Decent, but unremarkable.

Gameplay: Still fun in short bursts, but more frustrating than Tennis in the Face

Close to the Sun

Close to the Sun

Close to the Sun puts you in the boots of Rose Archer, a reporter exploring the quarantined depths of the Helios research ship to find her sister. The Helios is the creation of Tesla as a haven for the greatest scientific minds, but right from the start it is clear that something went terribly wrong. Close to the Sun is inevitably going to draw some comparisons to the Bioshock titles, but it is more of a walking simulator that has a few puzzles and chase sequences sprinkled in for good measure. It’s not a bad game, but does feature a few annoying bits and never reaches the heights it could have.

Gameplay: Slowly walk through beautiful surroundings while solving puzzles and running away from the occasional foe.

Graphics: The levels look great, but the character models and animations let things down slightly.

Sound: Decent music and the voice acting isn’t too bad either

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

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

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

Mind Spheres

Mind Spheres

Mind Spheres is an interesting combination of physics puzzles, mini-golf and pinball, that is unfortunately a little too short and easy for its own good. The game is quite relaxing and perfect for killing some time when you are not in the mood for more involved games, but it does suffer from a rather nasty memory leak, which requires frequent restarts. If you can put up with all of this, you’ll find a game with levels that are satisfying to solve, but don’t expect it to keep you busy for long.

Gameplay: An interesting concept, but the fifty levels are over before you really feel challenged.

Graphics: Very minimal, but it still looks fine.

Sound: The piano tunes are quite soothing, but they do feel somewhat out of place

Lyne

Lyne

LYNE is a simple, but addictive and quite challenging minimalist puzzle game. It takes a straightforward concept, connecting all the shapes on a grid, and turns it into a game that can become infinitely complex. Don’t worry, though, as LYNE features more than six hundred puzzles to ease you into things and thanks to the randomly generated daily puzzles, this is a game that offers an incredible amount of value for money. While it is definitely a game that is more suited for playing in short bursts on mobile, it doesn’t feel out of place on PC.

Gameplay: As the game states, LYNE is deceptively simple, but infinitely complex.

Graphics: Very minimal, but the focus is the puzzles and the visuals match the style of the game.

Sound: Also very minimal, but once again the audio is a good match for the relaxing atmosphere of LYNE

Hocus

Hocus

Hocus is a nice puzzle game that makes use of Escher style perspective illusions. You simply need to navigate a red square to a marked red spot on the level, but can only navigate along straight lines. Hocus has 100 puzzles to complete and you can also create your own ones or import puzzles created by other players, which means it offers plenty of value for money. It does feel more like a maze game than a puzzle game at times because it is possible to brute force your way through levels, but overall it is a lot of fun.

Gameplay: The puzzles are not as hard as they might seem, but completing them is still very satisfying.

Graphics: The mobile roots of this game are very obvious, but the minimal visuals still look good.

Sound: The music is soothing at first, but can become repetitive while the sound effects are best switched off immediately

Incredipede

Incredipede

Incredipede is a very unique puzzle title that challenges you to complete levels by controlling the muscles of one of the most bizarre characters to ever feature in a game. In easy mode, you are provided with a unique design for your creature every level, but in hard mode, it is up to you to come up with your own working designs. Throw in a sandbox mode as well as level editor and you have a game that can keep you entertained for far longer than expected. This game also has some of the most unique and eye catching visual styles that we have seen in a while.

Gameplay: Quite challenging and frequently frustrating, but always fun.

Graphics: The art style is gorgeous, although the animations can be a little creepy.

Sound: Sparse, but very fitting