Blue Estate The Game

Blue Estate The Game

Blue Estate is an on-rails shooter that is filled with violence, obscenities, and plenty of very politically incorrect humor. It is based on a comic book license, so if you are a fan of these and enjoy the genre, then you will have a blast with the game. Unfortunately, it is rather short and its brand of humor will definitely not appeal to everyone. However, despite its flaws, it is certainly an entertaining title and addictive enough to keep us coming back for more even after completing both the story and arcade modes.

Gameplay: Light gun games are not exactly common on PC, so if you have the right peripheral you will have a blast with this one.

Graphics: Colorful, detailed and quite humorous in places.

Sound: The voice acting is decent and the soundtrack isn’t bad either

9-nine-:Episode 1

9-nine-:Episode 1

A serial killer with super powers are on the loose and it is up to two teens to try and track down who it is before the body count escalates. 9-nine-:Episode 1 is a good start for the series, but despite having two endings, it is a fairly linear experience. The story is good, though, and we cannot fault the gorgeous art style and awesome soundtrack. The story is also relatively self contained, but intriguing enough that we can’t wait to see what happens in subsequent episodes.

Gameplay: Fairly linear, but the story is decent enough to keep you hooked.

Graphics: The character designs are beautiful and the game also features some nice backgrounds.

Sound: The soundtrack is great and all of the characters are fully voiced in Japanese

Jewel Match Twilight Solitaire

Jewel Match Twilight Solitaire

Jewel Match Twilight Solitaire is a polished solitaire title with a vampire theme. While it doesn’t feature a gripping storyline or much in the way of gimmicks, it does have plenty of levels, a lot of obstacles to overcome and some nifty power-ups to help you out. Three difficulty levels mean that the game can be as easy or challenging as you want it to be and it even includes a bunch of mahjong levels for variation. This is definitely a great game for fans of the genre and one that can keep you busy for quite some time if you are a perfectionist.

Gameplay: Two hundred levels of solitaire fun along with 50 optional mahjong levels.

Graphics: If you like vampires, then you’ll love the visual style of the game.

Sound: Decent tunes, but they can become a little repetitive after a while

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

Psyvariar Delta

Psyvariar Delta

Psyvariar Delta is not just a brand new version of the arcade classic, but also comes packed with high definition remakes of Psyvariar Medium Unit as well as Psyvariar Revision. In addition, it comes with a slew of addition content that makes these titles more fun to play than ever before. It’s not the best looking bullet hell shooter by far, but thanks to buzz system, that sees you trying to skirt as close as possible to the deadly bullets you are supposed to dodge, it is definitely one of the most exciting. This mechanic also provides the game with a lot more depth than what is initially apparent, so there is definitely value for money here despite the higher than usual price tag. If you are a fan of the genre or still have fond memories of the original games, then Psyvariar Delta is an essential purchase.

Gameplay: A bullet hell shooter where you still have to dodge bullets, but if you want to level up you must do it in the most reckless way possible.

Graphics: The visuals are a definite improvement over the original titles, but still looks a little plain compared to more modern offerings.

Sound: The soundtrack is excellent and the sound effects pretty good too

Serment – Contract with a Devil

Serment – Contract with a Devil

Serment is an interesting hybrid of visual novel, dungeon crawling and dating sim style management elements. It actually ties all of these genres together nicely, but the dungeon crawling definitely takes center stage. You do get to choose between four different heroines and all of the dungeons are hand crafted instead of procedurally generated. The fact that you are on a strict time limit to earn enough cash to pay back the devil who resurrected you can make it feel like you are forced to fight in the dungeons most of the time. However, the game does give you the freedom to continue playing after completing the main story.

Gameplay: Plenty of dungeon crawling along with some visual novel segments and even a bit of dating sim style time management.

Graphics: Beautiful character designs and backgrounds, but the dungeons look a bit bland in comparison.

Sound: The game features no voice acting and the music is decent, but unmemorable

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

Citrouille

Citrouille

It is easy to mistake Citrouille for a casual game because of the adorable visuals, but players who underestimate it are in for a shock. This game feels like it was ripped straight out of an ’80s arcade and given a brand new lick of paint. Citrouille is best played with a friend in local co-op, but even on your own it is a lot of fun. It is a pity that it lacks any online features and that the co-op as well as versus modes are restricted to local only, but other than that it is a great game and definitely a bit of a hidden gem.

Gameplay: Tough as nails, but very easy to pick up and play.

Graphics: Everything from the designs to the animations are superb.

Sound: The tunes are good and the sound effects more than decent

THE VIDEOKID

THE VIDEOKID

THE VIDEOKID is an addictive and nostalgic homage to the eighties in general and Paperboy in particular. It is a lot more chaotic than Paperboy, though, and you will need quick reflexes if you want to make it to the end of your pirate video tape delivering run. It is a pity that the game only features a single level, but the randomized elements along with the huge amount of pop culture references keeps things entertaining. These cameos can become rather distracting, but that’s all part of the challenge. Considering the low price tag on THE VIDEOKID, there’s no reason not to add it to your collection.

Gameplay: Skate around a wacky eighties neighborhood while delivering pirated VHS tapes.

Graphics: The voxel art style looks great and allowed the developers to insert plenty of pop culture character cameos.

Sound: The soundtrack is nice and so is the sound effects, but things can become a little chaotic