Bus Simulator 18

Bus Simulator 18

Bus Simulator 18 walks a fine line between being a full-on simulator and offering an accessible experience for newcomers to the genre. It features a fairly sizable city, a number of licensed buses as well as the opportunity to not only drive your buses, but also manage your company and create new routes. A couple of areas of the game could still benefit from some improvements, but what is on offer is still very enjoyable, especially if you have a hankering for coasting around in a bus. A steering wheel is highly recommended for the most immersive experience and you need fairly beefy hardware to run the game properly, but overall we can definitely recommend it.

Gameplay: Create bus routes, drive them and make money while trying not to mess up.

Graphics: Plenty of good along with a couple of not so good.

Sound: Authentic sounds and decent music, but those chattering passengers become repetitive a little too soon

Prototype

Prototype

Prototype is one of those games where you can have hours of fun just messing around with the gameworld. Add in a bunch of gruesome and over the top moves and you have yourself quite an adventure. It is not without its flaws, but overall it is a very enjoyable game.

Gameplay: Lots of fun to be had.

Graphics: Quite gruesome.

Sound: Good voice acting and sound effects

Portal

Portal

Playing Portal is a awesome experience and while the earlier levels might feature a bit too much hand holding you’ll really be proving your skills towards the end. With only its length really counting against it, this is a great game that should be experienced by all gamers. Portal 2 can’t come soon enough.

Gameplay: A refreshingly different take on the genre and an absolute brain scrambler. You’ll love every second of it though.

Graphics: Minimal but stylish..

Sound: Outstanding voice-overs

Dead Space™ 2

Dead Space™ 2

Dead Space 2 is a thrill a minute rollercoaster ride through an infected space station and while some people might be put off by all the action it does make for a very gripping game. The frights are less this time round, but the tension is still high and as far as sequels go this one is good.

Gameplay: The same core gameplay as the first game just way more action packed.

Graphics: While not the best I’ve seen the art style is good and the locations way more varied and interesting.

Sound: Ominous

F.E.A.R. 3

F.E.A.R. 3

The series is moving away even further from its creepy horror roots and starting to feel a bit like a typical “Call of Duty” style shooter. There’s still a few nice ideas, but the scares are thin on the ground and the story isn’t exactly gripping. The co-op seems to have been the main focus of the game and works well.

Gameplay: The shooting mechanics are solid but it loses that spooky “F.E.A.R” feeling along the way.

Graphics: Looks good and the environments are a bit more varied than before.

Sound: Nothing but silence from the lead character, but overall the voices and music is decent

Portal 2

Portal 2

Portal 2 proves that sequels doesn’t have to be lazy cash-ins on the original game’s success. Everything in this game has been expanded and made better in some way and playing it is a blast. The humor and dialogue are spot on and the puzzles while not too complicated for veteran players still provide a few head scratching moments.

Gameplay: More story, more puzzles, more of everything.

Graphics: More detail and variety than the original game.

Sound: Outstanding voice acting all round

Trace Memory

Trace Memory

Trace Memory is a interesting take on the very scarce point & click genre which actually fits the DS very well. Ashley’s tale of reuniting with her long lost father might not be the most gripping one but there is enough here to keep players hooked. If you have been playing these type of games for a long time however most of the puzzles will not pose much of a challenge and the game is very short overall. Newcomers should brace themselves for some head scratching however.

Gameplay: Traditional point & click gameplay mixed in with some DS centric twists.

Graphics: Basic but functional

Sound: Somber tunes and sparse sound effects

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Crayon Physics Deluxe is a charming little indie game that will suck in anybody that gives it a fair try. It’s loads of fun to just mess around and draw different things to see what contraptions you can come up with. With 70 levels and different challenges you’ll be playing this one far longer than you might think.

Gameplay: Extremely simple, but very impressive at the same time.

Graphics: Intentional crayon scribbles.

Sound: Not outstanding, but not annoying either

Morph Girl

Morph Girl

Morph Girl combines nineties style FMV and Japanese horror in an interesting visual novel. The game deals with a woman who is mourning the death of her wife, so the story might be a bit too somber for anyone looking for a lighthearted visual novel. It is also rather short and the acting could have been better, but even with all its flaws Morph Girl still offers a unique and compelling experience.

Gameplay: Passive for the most part, but there are some choices to be made.

Graphics: Morph Girl makes use of FMV to convey its storyline.

Sound: No voice acting and a haunting soundtrack keeps things interesting

Endless Fables: The Minotaur’s Curse

Endless Fables: The Minotaur’s Curse

Play as a descendant of Ariadne and prevent the return of the Minotaur in this hidden object puzzle adventure from Sunward Games. The Greek mythology storyline offers a perfect excuse for visiting some exotic locations and while the game is quite easy, it still offers plenty of entertainment. It shares a lot of similarities with the Secret Order series from the same developer, but overall it still has plenty to offer fans. As long as you don’t expect anything groundbreaking from this title, it will provide you with a couple of hours of relaxing entertainment.

Gameplay: A solid, Greek mythology themed hidden object puzzle adventure.

Graphics: Varied locations featuring detailed visuals.

Sound: Good, but not great