Deadstone

Deadstone

There aren’t that many titles on PC in the top down shooter genre and even fewer that offers as much as Deadstone. It’s got a meaty campaign mode that can be enjoyed in a serious or light-hearted fashion as well as a very addictive survival mode. Throw in the co-op mode, which is unfortunately local only, and you have the recipe for a great game.

Graphics: The visual style of the game is a little dated and lacking in variety, but overall it’s quite polished.

Sound: Nice voice acting during the cut-scenes and the music fits the atmosphere of the game well.

Gameplay: Plenty of content and an addictive experience throughout despite the repetition

Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold Collector’s Edition

Melissa K. and the Heart of Gold Collector’s Edition

If you are not a fan of the genre then Melissa K. And The Heart of Gold is probably not going to change your mind, but it has plenty to offer those that do enjoy these type of games. Considering its mobile origins the visuals are actually pretty good and the gameplay is diverse enough that you are not only spending your time scouring screens for hidden objects. The story didn’t have us complete hooked, but as a whole we can recommend this title to anyone that enjoys a polished casual gaming experience with plenty of replay value and extras.

Gameplay: A nice blend of adventuring, puzzle solving and hidden object scenes.

Graphics: Very detailed and featuring some exotic locations.

Sound: Good music, nice sound effects and solid voice acting overall

Team Indie

Team Indie

Team Indie features an all-star lineup of characters taken from some of the best indie titles of recent years. You’ll also have to put these characters to good use as while the game is a platformer at heart it also features a heavy puzzle element. The game doesn’t quite live up to its full potential though and unfortunately there are some annoyances that drag it down. However, if you enjoy the genre and like the characters it should keep you busy for quite a while.

Gameplay: With its large cast of characters and challenging levels it will take you a while to see and do everything.

Graphics: Nice character designs, but the backgrounds are a bit bland and the animation could have been better.

Sound: None of the tunes, except for the one during boss battles, are exactly memorable

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

Ask fans of the genre to name some of their favorite classic point & click adventure titles from the nineties and you can be sure that the name Gabriel Knight will crop up. Thanks to the dark and mature nature of the game it is perhaps not as well-known as the family friendly Lucasarts titles, but offered an experience that was memorable to say the least. From the voodoo steeped setting of New Orleans to the cast of memorable characters and enthralling storyline, Gabriel Knight was, no make that IS, a bona fide classic.

Gameplay: A great version of a classic game.

Graphics: Not perfect, especially the animations, but very good overall.

Sound: The new voices take a while to get used to, but the soundtrack is superlative

Ef: The First Tale

Ef: The First Tale

As far as visual novels go, Ef: The First Tale is one of the best that I have played to date. There isn’t much in the way of choices but the story is engrossing and kept me hooked until the end. Ef is also one of the longer titles I have played in the genre but remains polished and charming throughout. For a feel-good story with likeable characters and some great dialogue you can do far worse than Ef.

Gameplay: A visual novel with very little choices but a touching story.

Graphics: Beautiful artwork and plenty of scenes.

Sound: Original Japanese voice acting and an amazing soundtrack

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky

Clear Sky is definitely a love/hate game and the larger emphasis on all out action might even alienate fans of the first game. While I missed the lonely atmosphere that the first game had in droves this one still kept me hooked right to the end. It still has its fair share of annoyances but overall is a good game.

Gameplay: A lot more action oriented than the first game.

Graphics: Some very nice new effects bring the zone to life.

Sound: Good ambiance and decent voice overs

The Last Door – Collector’s Edition

The Last Door – Collector’s Edition

Despite the fact that you can play most of the chapters for free online I still recommend this collector’s edition of the game. The story is superb and the low resolution visuals are not as big a hindrance as you might think. The audio steals the show however with great sound effects and some outstanding tunes. Hopefully the wait until season two won’t be too long as the adventures of Jeremiah Devitt is still far from over.

Gameplay: Some nice puzzles, but nothing that is too obscure or frustrating.

Graphics: Very low res, but once your eyes adjust you will barely notice.

Sound: The audio really carries this game with bags of atmosphere from the great tunes and spooky sound effects

Cloudbuilt

Cloudbuilt

Cloudbuilt is one of those games that will cause you to rage quit quite a few times until you wrap your head around the mechanics. Traversing the levels takes a lot of skill and the game doesn’t hold your hand. Check-points are sparse and enemies are fierce so make sure you are up to the challenge before taking on this game. The beautiful art style and catchy soundtrack are highlights but the controls take time to master.

Gameplay: Very fast and very challenging.

Graphics: Beautiful cel-shaded visuals with a unique cross-hatch effect.

Sound: A great soundtrack that matches the frantic pace of the game

Guilty Gear X2 #Reload

Guilty Gear X2 #Reload

While most fans would have loved to see a PC port of Guilty Gear Xrd, the latest installment in the series, appear on PC instead of #Reload, it doesn’t mean that it should be dismissed. This game still has just as much to offer as it did ten years ago and fighting game fans that somehow missed out on it are in for a treat. There are a ton of modes that will keep you busy for ages and the huge cast of crazy characters offer something for every fighting style. Considering its age the game has held up extremely well and hopefully garners enough interest to prove that there is a market for more of these games on PC.

Gameplay: A huge character roster to select from and fast paced fights makes for an adrenaline pumping experience.

Graphics: The visuals might be old and 2D, but they still look very impressive and the game is not afraid to take things over the top.

Sound: Some of the character voices can become annoying after extended playing sessions, but the soundtrack is still great

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter offers the perfect blend of immersive storytelling, atmospheric music and jaw dropping visuals. The gameworld is not just beautiful, but also compelling to explore. I would have loved it if the world was a bit more interactive and the whole experience slightly longer, but overall the game delivers on all its promises. It is also best experienced without knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into, so don’t be tempted into ruining any surprise for yourself before playing.

Gameplay: The supernatural talents of the protagonist allows for some interesting, but not too taxing, puzzle solving.

Graphics: The use of photogrammetry technology means that the game looks phenomenally detailed.

Sound: The soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful although the voice acting has a few rough patches