Firework

Firework

Firework is a Chinese horror puzzle game with a strong focus on story. The game was already a hit in its home country, but a wider audience can now enjoy it thanks to its English translation. Unlike other horror titles, Firework delivers a creepy atmosphere, and compelling story without resorting to cheap jump scares or excessive gore. The unique setting and cultural elements also make for an engaging experience that we highly recommend.

Gameplay: Very linear, and the puzzles are straightforward, but the story is very compelling.

Graphics: Makes good use of color to deliver a creepy and unsettling experience.

Sound: Great soundtrack and plenty of sound effects

Heavenly Bodies

Heavenly Bodies

Heavenly Bodies is a great combination of fun and frustration featuring hapless cosmonauts trying to complete tasks in zero gravity. Even mundane actions, such as pulling switches and wielding tools, are more challenging due to the control scheme. It is certainly not a game for the easily frustrated as the physics-based gameplay and intentionally tricky controls can wreak havoc on your carefully laid plans. However, struggling through the missions with a friend is both hilarious and rewarding.

Gameplay: Requires a controller to be played properly but offers a lot of fun despite the frustration.

Graphics: The whole visual aesthetic of the game is excellent.

Sound: Excellent soundtrack and sound effects

Aspire: Ina’s Tale

Aspire: Ina’s Tale

Aspire: Ina’s Adventure is a 2D side-scrolling adventure that bears more than a passing resemblance to classic titles such as Gris. It features beautiful and vibrant environments mixed with light platforming and puzzle-solving. The game isn’t too taxing overall, thanks to generous checkpoints as well as a lack of combat. Players still need to stay on their toes, though, and some of the puzzles require a bit of thinking. The whole experience is over in less than three hours, but considering the price and lack of pointless filler, this is not bad.

Gameplay: Platforming mixed in with some puzzle solving.

Graphics: Distinct areas with vibrant and detailed visuals.

Sound: Great soundtrack and good sound effects

Lust from Beyond

Lust from Beyond

Lust From Beyond invites players to a world where the occult blends with erotic themes. As Victor Holloway, an antiquarian plagued by dark visions, players will cross paths with two cults tied to the mythical land of ecstasy called Lusst’ghaa. Be warned, though, as this game is filled with sex, violence, torture, and other disturbing elements. Players who enjoyed the original will appreciate the improvements in this game, but there are still some elements that could have been better.

Gameplay: A combination of sneaking, fighting, puzzle-solving, and exploring disturbing environments.

Graphics: Interesting and unique locations, but character models and animations could be better.

Sound: The soundtrack and effects are good, but the voice acting is a mixed bag

The Legend of Tianding

The Legend of Tianding

The Legend of Tianding is a great sidescrolling action game filled with fast-paced characters, great levels, and memorable characters. Everything from the visuals to the audio is superb, and the combat remains enjoyable throughout. The game is a little on the short side, and most of the moves are unlocked right at the start instead of being spread out through the adventure, but other than that, there is very little to fault.

Gameplay: Traversing the trap-filled levels is fun, but the combat really steals the show.

Graphics: The game’s presentation, animations, and overall art style are really good.

Sound: Authentic music, sound effects, and voice acting bring this adventure to life

Pretty Girls Rivers

Pretty Girls Rivers

Pretty Girls Rivers stays true to the series tradition and features six different girls with a variety of outfits to unlock. This is done by playing Shisen-Sho, which is an easy to learn Mahjong-style tile-matching game. The addition of time limits keeps the pressure up, but the game also has an “easy” mode that is perfect for casual players. Overall, fans of the series will enjoy this game even if it doesn’t stray very far from the original formula.

Gameplay: The tile-matching gameplay is easy to grasp, but strict time limits can make later levels challenging.

Graphics: The usual assortment of beautiful 2D character sprites and colorful backgrounds.

Sound: The characters are voiced in Japanese, and the soundtrack isn’t bad either

Alexey’s Winter: Night Adventure

Alexey’s Winter: Night Adventure

Alexey’s Winter: Night Adventure is a classic point & click adventure spread across three episodes. Players must help the hapless Alexey overcome obstacles such as lost apartment keys and a stolen television complicated by the fact that he is a citizen of the USSR during the late eighties. The game is relatively short, and some of the puzzles can be a little obscure, but overall the setting and characters make for a very memorable experience.

Gameplay: Short and a little obscure at times, but very memorable.

Graphics: Unique pencil-drawn visuals, but only three different locations.

Sound: The music is decent but can become a bit repetitive, and the game lacks voiceovers

Nuclear Blaze

Nuclear Blaze

Nuclear Blaze is a 2D firefighting game with beautiful pixel art visuals and fast-paced gameplay. Players must make their way through a mysterious military facility while trying to douse all the fires. There’s more to it than just pointing your house at the fires and spraying away, though, as sometimes a little bit of puzzle-solving is required too. The game is a lot of fun overall, but it is over way too soon.

Gameplay: Very fun, and the difficulty can be customized to make it accessible enough for anyone.

Graphics: Beautiful pixel art visuals and good use of light and darkness.

Sound: The game features a very fitting soundtrack by Pentadrangle

Faraday Protocol

Faraday Protocol

Faraday Protocol is a first-person puzzle game set in the unique testing chambers of an alien space station. The game features very striking visuals and gameplay that is simple to grasp but flexible enough to deliver lots of interesting puzzles. Using the Bia Tool to absorb and redistribute energy is a lot of fun, but the game veers a little too much into button-pushing territory towards the end. Nevertheless, despite some repetition, we really enjoyed Faraday Protocol and can heartily recommend it to fans of the genre.

Gameplay: Easy to grasp but filled with lots of clever puzzles.

Graphics: The overall aesthetics are very striking but a little lacking when it comes to variation.

Sound: The audio is minimal but decent

Sunblaze

Sunblaze

Sunblaze is a precision platformer offering six challenging chapters of action, with some goofy humor and a charming protagonist. The game is unforgiving but fair, so it always feels like victory is just one more attempt away from attaining. The developers have also included enough “accessibility” options to ensure players of any skill level can enjoy the game too. As with all games in this genre, Sunblaze can be frustrating at times, but the feeling when overcoming its challenges is worth the blood, sweat, and tears.

Gameplay: You will die frequently, but it’s hard not to give each level just one more try.
Graphics Beautiful pixel art visuals and neat themes for each chapter.

Sound: Decent music and sound effects