Sakura Angels

Sakura Angels

Sakura Angels is a definite improvement over Sakura Spirit, but still falls short of greatness. Players who like plenty of fan service and don’t mind a story that is a bit clichéd will enjoy the game though and the artwork is beautiful. It is also a more risqué game compared to Sakura Spirit, but once again the title is more ecchi than hentai, so will be tame to people used to nukige titles.

Gameplay: The story is a bit more involved this time round and there are much more choices.

Graphics: Beautiful art work with plenty of detail.

Sound: Once again, no voice acting, but the music isn’t too bad

Sakura Spirit

Sakura Spirit

Sakura Spirit features some very nice visuals, but despite an interesting setup the plot never really goes anywhere. The lack of animations or poses are also very noticeable, although the CGs are very good. The nudity that is included in the game definitely leans more towards the ecchi side of the scale and not hentai, which might be a letdown for fans of the genre. There are better visual novels available, but hopefully Winged Cloud learns from their mistakes, as there are not many Western developers who bother making these titles.

Gameplay: The story is rather short and not very engaging.

Graphics: Very detailed and features nice character designs, but the amount of outfits and poses are lacking.

Sound: The soundtrack is nice, but the game features no speech

To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not to Be is a faithful recreation of the original book by Ryan North, only enhanced by the Gamebook Adventures Engine from Tin Man Games. This means that there isn’t much here that’s new for people already familiar with the book. Anyone that hasn’t yet experienced the over the top interpretation of the famous tale should have lots of fun with To Be or Not To Be. The story is humorous and the artwork contributed by some very well-known artists are great.

Gameplay: The story is great and with so many different endings to discover there is plenty of replay value.

Graphics: Great presentation and brilliant artwork.

Sound: The music is good as is the narration, although the latter can become repetitive

NeXus – One Core

NeXus – One Core

It is tough and unforgiving, but NeXus: One Core is also addictive and very rewarding. The solo mode has enough randomized elements and difficulty settings to keep you busy for a while, but it is the local co-op mode where this game truly shines. If you are a fan of the genre you should definitely check out the game, but for players who regularly play local co-op titles this is a must.
Gameplay: Very challenging, but improving your best times through practice is very rewarding.

Graphics: The game looks good, but visual distractions are kept to a minimum.

Gameplay: Some great tunes that really complement the gameplay nicely.

Ubinota

Ubinota

Ubinota is a game that appears to be deceptively easy at first, but it definitely delivers a challenging experience as you progress. Levels not only come in all shapes and sizes, but thanks to the different paint colors, all with their own unique properties, the game never becomes repetitive. Anyone looking for a unique puzzle experience should definitely add Ubinota to their collection.

Gameplay: Very addictive and very challenging.

Graphics: Simple, but very colorful.

Sound: Very relaxing.

Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty

Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty

Abe is back in a game that goes above and beyond the typical “high definition” upgrade other classic titles have received. The game stays true to Abe’s Oddysee, on which it is based, but enhances and improves on the original formula in virtually every area. The result is a game that not only looks great, but plays great as well. It is also a game that will appeal to fans of the original as well as new players.

Gameplay: Easier than the original, but still as unique and addictive.

Graphics: The new visuals look incredible and enhances the atmosphere of the game.

Sound: A new (but still fitting) voice for Abe and plenty of great tunes as well as sound effects

The Deer God

The Deer God

The Deer God challenges you to live life as a deer while atoning for the sins you committed as a human hunter. Don’t expect to spend your days peacefully grazing though, the game is a puzzle platformer at heart and you will have to fight hostile creatures while performing quests. The 3D pixel art visuals are a definite highlight and despite the combat the game has quite a relaxing atmosphere. It might fall short of living up to its full potential, but The Deer God is still well worth checking out.

Gameplay: Gallop and double jump through different environments while solving puzzles and performing fetch quests.

Graphics: The 3D pixel art visuals really make this game stand out from the crowd.

Sound: Nice sound effects and a very fitting soundtrack

Panmorphia

Panmorphia

Panmorphia is highly recommended for players interested in a slower paced, cerebral challenge. It features some beautiful visuals and plenty of very interesting puzzles. The ability of the main character to transform into different animals, changing the perspective, is also a rather cool touch. It offers plenty of value for money and a single purchase is all you need to gain access to the whole game.

Gameplay: The game offers plenty of unique puzzles to solve.

Graphics: The photos used for the scenes in the game are packed with detail.

Sound: Relaxing tunes that never become obtrusive and is perfect for exploring the gameworld

Contrast

Contrast

The visual style is what drew me to Contrast but the clever puzzles and wonderful atmosphere is what kept me playing. Each new location was genuinely interesting to explore and the concept of switching between 3D and 2D planes mean you have to think out of the box sometimes. The latest patch fixed most of the launch issues and the result is an entertaining and memorable experience.

Gameplay: Switching between 3D and 2D to solve puzzles is a unique and interesting twist.

Graphics: The locations are larger than life and very memorable.

Sound: Great voice acting and a stellar soundtrack.

Oscura: Lost Light

Oscura: Lost Light

Oscura: Lost Light is a nice, solid platformer with eye-catching visuals and challenging gameplay. The level designs in particular are very good and the puzzles never become tedious. The abundance of checkpoints and unlimited lives at your disposal also cuts down on the frustration. Overall Oscura is a great game for fans of the genre, but doesn’t have anything unique to really draw players who would not normally try out platformers.

Gameplay: Entertaining and challenging without becoming frustrating or tedious.

Graphics: The silhouette visual style might not be a fresh as it used to be, but still looks good in Oscura.

Sound: The background music remains firmly in the background without really standing out