Aaero

Aaero

Aaero is a rhythm shooter that sees players flying through stylized environments while blasting enemies to the beat of electronic music. It is a very challenging and unforgiving game, but also very addictive, and depending on your musical taste has a great soundtrack. The lack of support for things like Steam Workshop and custom songs limits the replay value a bit, but mastering all the songs should keep most players busy for ages.

Gameplay: Challenging, intense, and very addictive.

Graphics: Beautiful and varied.

Sound: Features a great electronic music soundtrack

Aozora Meikyuu

Aozora Meikyuu

Aozora Meikyuu is a short and simple visual novel featuring a protagonist named Aoi who has given up on women. His plans to resign himself to a life of eroge games instead of actual relationships are shattered when a naked girl named Sora falls out of the sky and lands on top of him. After Sora forces herself into his house and life, Aoi has to choose whether to embrace this change or fight it every step of the way. It’s an interesting if a little cliched, premise for a visual novel but the game is just too short and mundane to make it very memorable.

Gameplay: Timed choices make things a little more interesting, but the story itself is rather humdrum.

Graphics: Decent, but somewhat lacking in good CGs.

Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack isn’t too bad

Zombie Derby

Zombie Derby

Zombie Derby is short, dated and a little grindy, but the basic gameplay can still be entertaining as long as you are not expecting too much. Plowing through zombies with different vehicles while earning the cash for upgrades is fun, but it’s a pity that the game only has eight levels. There’s nothing groundbreaking or original about Zombie Derby, but it’s dirt cheap and put a smile on our face, so it cant’ be all bad.

Gameplay: Short and repetitive, but also rather fun.

Graphics: Rather dated.

Sound: Not much in the way of music or sound effects

Pyrite Heart

Pyrite Heart

Pyrite Heart is an Otome visual novel that looks great, but the story is very short and lacking in depth. The heroine is also a spoiled rich princess, which might not be that appealing for players who are not fans of tsundere characters. It’s not a bad game, but there are far better titles in the genre.

Gameplay: Short and the story is not that interesting.

Graphics: The artwork is very good.

Sound: No voice acting, but the music is decent

Wheels of Aurelia

Wheels of Aurelia

Wheels of Aurelia is a narrative road trip game that takes players along the winding roads of Italy during the seventies. The focus is on the conversations you have with the people you run into on the road and the choices you make can lead to one of sixteen different endings. Each playthrough only lasts about fifteen minutes, but the stories are quite enough and things can go very differently depending on your choices. The game is a little rough around the edges and won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s certainly not without charm.

Gameplay: Very simple, but with plenty of replay value.

Graphics: Not exactly dazzling, but quite stylish.

Sound: No speech, unfortunately, but the soundtrack is good

Creature Romances: Kokonoe Kokoro

Creature Romances: Kokonoe Kokoro

Creature Romances: Kokonoe Kokoro is a typical slice of life visual novel, with one exception, the love interest is a grotesque humanoid grasshopper. Unfortunately, the game simply ignores this fact, so the story progresses just like a typical, bland high school romance. The game can also be completed in less than an hour and features one choice that leads to one good or two bad endings. Overall, this game can be skipped as it has very little to offer.

Gameplay: Short, simple, and extremely bland despite the monstrous characters.

Graphics: The CGs are rather disturbing, but that’s probably the point.

Sound: The music is unremarkable, but the game does feature full Japanese voice acting

The Gardens Between

The Gardens Between

The Gardens Between is a relaxing and charming puzzle game based around friendship and memories. It features time manipulation for puzzle solving but never becomes too complicated or convoluted. The visuals are detailed and beautiful while the audio complements the dreamlike atmosphere nicely. While it’s not a very lengthy or particularly challenging game, it still makes for an enjoyable experience.

Gameplay: The puzzles are clever, but never too taxing.

Graphics: Very detailed and beautifully animated.

Sound: The soundtrack is very soothing

Time Tenshi (2015)

Time Tenshi (2015)

Time Tenshi is a short and simple visual novel featuring time travel. Unfortunately, the whole time-traveling aspect of the game is simply a convenient excuse for the ecchi effects it has on the women make use of the technology. This would have been fine for a nukige title, but for all its fetish content Time Tenshi is a very tame game with no sex or nudity. Unfortunately, this middle of the road approach means it is unlikely to really appeal to anyone especially with so many other options available.

Gameplay: Very short and only features one meaningful choice right at the end.

Graphics: The visuals have a very low budget look to them.

Sound: No voice acting and the music isn’t very memorable or catchy

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

Ori and the Blind Forest catches the eye right away with its hand-painted visual style, but beneath all the visual gloss beats the fiendish heart of a platformer. It is a joy the explore the vibrant game world, but the occasional spike in difficulty can also cause some frustration. The Definitive Edition of the game comes with plenty of enhancements and improvements that make an already great game even better. If you are a fan of the genre and up for the challenge then you won’t be disappointed with Ori and the Blind Forest.

Gameplay: Nothing drastically new or different, but still fun.

Graphics: The art style is downright beautiful.

Sound: The orchestral soundtrack is very fitting

Sweet Galaxy Adventure!

Sweet Galaxy Adventure!

Sweet Galaxy Adventure! is a visual novel with an interesting premise and beautiful character designs, but it is let down by a poor translation and story that goes nowhere. The game can also be completed in less than an hour and plays like an adult title with all the adult content removed. All of this makes it hard to recommend Sweet Galaxy Adventure! to anyone except the most ardent fans of the genre.

Gameplay: Short and ultimately pointless.

Graphics: The character sprites and CGs look rather good.

Sound: The music is bland the game lacks any type of voice acting