HuniePop

HuniePop

If you are looking for something to be offended by you will find plenty to be outraged about in HuniePop. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a polished and entertaining title that combines a couple of different genres very successfully then you will find that this game is money well spent. Hopefully the developers will flesh out the concept further if they get around to a sequel as there is a lot of potential here.

Gameplay: The puzzle elements are fun and surprisingly strategic, while interacting with the girls is entertaining albeit a little repetitive.

Graphics: Beautifully drawn characters with plenty of clothing and hair variations, but no animations beyond lip synching.

Sound: The professional English voice actresses really bring the characters to life and the soundtrack is rather good too

Rock Boshers DX: Directors Cut

Rock Boshers DX: Directors Cut

Hats off to Tikipod Ltd for managing to create a game that not only plays exactly like a ZX Spectrum title, but a very good one at that. If this game was released back in the heyday of the Spectrum it would have been rightfully regarded as a classic and even in today’s market it is still a lot of fun. Rock Boshers DX: Director’s Cut isn’t a game to show off your hardware, but if you are looking for fun and a challenge you can’t go wrong with this title.

Gameplay: Very challenging, but also very entertaining.

Graphics: Looks just like a high resolution and very polished ZX Spectrum title.

Sound: Catchy 8-bit tunes and authentic sound effects

Tengami

Tengami

The standout features of Tengami are definitely the unique visuals and great soundtrack, but the tranquil gameplay is also quite good. It doesn’t have an epic story or any action, but the gentle puzzle solving and relaxing atmosphere makes for an interesting experience. The game doesn’t have a lot of freedom, challenge or replay value, but it is quite enjoyable while it lasts and definitely leaves an impression.

Gameplay: The puzzles are fairly straightforward and not very numerous, but interacting with the gameworld by pulling or sliding parts of the scenery is quite neat.

Graphics: The pop-up book world visuals are simply beautiful.

Sound: Features an atmospheric and very appropriate soundtrack by David Wise

NEKOPARA Vol. 1

NEKOPARA Vol. 1

If you are looking for something cute, lighthearted, polished and filled to the brim with catgirls then NEKOPARA Vol. 1 is the obvious choice. Even without the h-scenes, the Steam version is an enjoyable, albeit slightly short, romp. The E-mote system works quite well and the artwork by Sayori is absolutely gorgeous. It is not as long or as involving as some other kinetic novels, but serves as a very polished and enjoyable introduction to the genre.

Gameplay: NEKOPARA Vol. 1 is a kinetic novel, so gameplay is restricted to simply clicking through the story.

Graphics: Beautiful artwork by Sayori and the animation is a lot livelier than what is the norm for the genre thanks to the E-mote system.

Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for the catgirls, plenty of sound effects and some very nice tunes

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta

Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Perfecta is absolutely the definitive edition of this great game and an essential purchase for fans of the raising sim/visual novel genre. The plot might not be very epic, but it makes up for it with wonderful characters and gameplay that is a bit more involved than simply clicking through lines of dialogue. With titles such as this and the equally superb Steins;Gate JAST USA is really on a roll.

Gameplay: Some great scenes, characters and a very addictive dice mini-game.

Graphics: Excellent artwork from the very talented Oyari Ashito.

Sound: Great tunes, sound effects and the original Japanese voice acting

Game of Thrones – A Telltale Games Series – Episode 01: Iron From Ice

Game of Thrones – A Telltale Games Series – Episode 01: Iron From Ice

Previous attempts at turning game of Thrones into a traditional gaming experience has had mixed results, but this adventure from Telltale Games hits all the right marks. It’s got a cast of intriguing characters, gripping storyline and plenty of drama to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout its two hour runtime. Interaction is rather limited, but the overall experience is very true to the source material.

Gameplay: Basically a few quick time events and dialogue choices.

Graphics: The game uses a stylish painterly look for its characters and locations.

Sound: Great music and top notch voice acting especially from the television show actors reprising their roles

Loren The Amazon Princess + The Castle Of N’mar DLC

Loren The Amazon Princess + The Castle Of N’mar DLC

The storyline in Loren the Amazon Princess really sucked me in and the cast of memorable characters kept me hooked. The turn based combat also turned out to be surprisingly fun and the game has a ton of replay value. Hopefully with the Steam release the game will receive the attention that it deserves and open the flood gates for more Winter Wolves titles.

Gameplay: A very nice fusion of visual novel and role playing.

Graphics: Although there is no animation the artwork is beautiful.

Sound: Good sound effects and some very memorable tunes

Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender

Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender

Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender might look like a charming, casual game but it has the heart of an old school arcade shooter and will really test your skills. The hand drawn pixel art is beautiful and the whole experience is enhanced by the excellent chiptune soundtrack.

Gameplay: Retro style side scrolling action that packs quite a challenge.

Graphics: Beautiful hand drawn pixel art.

Sound: A rocking chiptune soundtrack that compliments the action nicely

Words for Evil

Words for Evil

Words for Evil impresses with its fast paced gameplay, gorgeous pixel art visuals and large cast of characters. The gameplay is geared more towards stringing together words as fast as possible instead of searching for the longest words which makes for a more action packed feel. Unfortunately, there is no multi-player mode, but the low price tag means this is an easy and worthwhile impulse buy for all logophiles.

Gameplay: Fast paced and quite addictive.

Graphics: Beautiful pixel art visuals.

Sound: Catchy and very fitting

Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate started off quite interesting, and had me hooked with its unique story, but by the end I was literally on the edge of my seat. Although it is quite a long game, there is literally never a dull moment. The use of a mobile phone to make choices, and branch the story is a stroke of genius, and with six different endings there is a lot of replay value. If you want to experience a visual novel with plenty of action, drama, suspense and outstanding characters, then don’t miss out on Steins;Gate.

Gameplay: Not only is the story excellent, but there is actually a surprising amount of choices for a visual novel.

Graphics: The artwork and character designs are beautiful.

Sound: The original Japanese voice acting is very good, and the music is equally great