Simulator fans who have been counting down the days until the June 13 2018 release of Bus Simulator 18 has been treated to a new multiplayer trailer. While there is obviously still a lot to keep solo players happy, it is the ability to drive around the 5.8mi² of routes with up to three friends that has piqued our interest
With tables based around Back to The Future, Jaws and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Universal Classics Pinball pack is a must have for fans of the genre. All three of the tables on offer look great and are a lot of fun to play. The table designers have done an admirable job with fusing these licenses with pinball instead of simply using images based on the films. Unfortunately, none of the tables feature licensed music, which is really a pity for films like these that has such iconic soundtracks. However, apart from the music there is very little to fault here and these tables offer a nice break from all the Marvel and Star Wars tables available for the platform.
Gameplay: Three tables with great designs that are a lot of fun to play.
Graphics: Each table features plenty of visual elements from the films as well as some great looking 3D models.
Sound: The sound effects and voice acting are decent enough, but the lack of licensed music is a bummer
Pinball FX 3 is not just a small update compared to Pinball FX 2, but feels like a brand new game. It comes with a range of new features that are aimed at drawing in newcomers as well as keeping veterans busy for longer. Not only does the older tables look better than ever before, but the brand new challenges and cross-platform features provide added incentives to return to them. It is a pity that not all the Pinball FX 2 tables could make the transition to the new game, it is a relief that the majority can be imported to the new game without having to pay for them again. Pinball FX 3 is without a doubt one of the best pinball games available on the market and definitely doesn’t disappoint if you are a fan of the genre.
Gameplay: Plenty of new features that make it worth moving over from Pinball FX 2.
Graphics: Thanks to real-time lighting and shadow projection the tables look better than ever.
Sound: The guide can become a little annoying, but fortunately the game features plenty of audio options to customize your experience
The third installment in the popular Princess Maker series is finally available, but unfortunately not in refined form like its predecessors. The game is a lot more streamlined, but with sixty different endings, it still has more than enough content to keep players busy for ages. It is a pity that the game has had such a rocky launch and issues with the translation along with other technical problems continue to plague it, but underneath it all there is still a very addictive game waiting to be played.
Gameplay: Schedule your daughter’s activities and raise her to become a princes.
Graphics: This game dates back to the nineties, so don’t expect too much, but the pixel art animations are really nice.
Sound: The music is decent enough, but can become repetitive, although the voice acting is still good
The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is an FMV game where you get to play as a psychiatrist questioning a host of patients about their problems and the murder of your predecessor. This is all done via a keyword based text input, but the high definition, full screen video responses will quickly draw you into the mystery. Add in some superb acting along with a genuinely fascinating story and you are looking at a surprisingly good title. It’s not perfect and the genre obviously has a lot of limitations, but overall this is one not to be missed.
Gameplay: The keyword based questioning obviously has some limitations, but makes for an engrossing experience.
Graphics: The quality of the full motion video responses are very good.
Sound: Features an atmospheric soundtrack and the quality of the acting is also of a very high standard
Trauma Center: Under the Knife is quite a unique game and might easily be overlooked. However, doing so would be a crime as this game has a lot to offer and really stands apart from other DS titles. You’ll need quick reflexes and the ability to work efficiently, but saving people’s lives has never been this much fun.
Gameplay: More of a arcade / puzzle game than a sim but very challenging.
Graphics: A nice blend of 2D story scenes and 3D operations.
Sound: Tense tunes that will keep you focused on the operations
Princess Maker Refine is not as complex or feature packed as its sequel, but this also makes it a little easier to get into for newcomers. In addition, the game is priced at half the cost of Princess Maker 2, which makes it a more lucrative impulse buy for players who are curious about the genre. Guiding your adopted daughter on a path to one of many endings is surprisingly addictive and while the game can become a little repetitive, it offers plenty of replay value. There are still some rough edges that will need to be smoothed out with future updates, but overall the game has lost none of its charm.
Gameplay: It looks a little complicated initially, but is easy to get into.
Graphics: Sadly no animations, but the overall visuals still look nice.
Sound: Features some nice tunes and full Japanese voice overs
It has been quite a long wait, but Princess Maker 2 Refine is finally available to western audiences. There is no denying that it is a very niche title and still has a couple of rough edges to smooth out, but it is still a very addictive title with plenty of replay value. Prepare to lose at least a couple of hours when you get hooked on this game.
Gameplay: Very stat heavy, but once you get the hang of how things work it becomes extremely addictive.
Graphics: The visuals have been spruced up, but still look a little dated compared to more modern titles.
Sound: Nice tunes and full Japanese voice overs
Cherry Tree High Girl’s Fight is a 2D, turn-based, girl raising simulator with a card battle system for combat, which makes it a pretty niche title. It features a varied selection of girls from which to assemble your team, but lack of animations and a rather lackluster storyline detracts from the experience. The fights are also based a lot around luck, which can further frustrate players. However, anyone who is willing to overlook these flaws will find an enjoyable game with a charming cast of characters.
Gameplay: Raise the stats of your girls and then send them into card based battles for victory.
Graphics: Great artwork, but not many animations.
Sound: The soundtrack is catchy, but the game has no voice acting
If you are a fan of the Alien license and enjoy pinball then this pack is a no-brainer. It features three tables that not only look great, but are a lot of fun to play as well. Zen Studios also made sure that the tables stay true to their source material in regards to audio and visuals. Even amongst all the other excellent titles already released for Pinball FX2, this pack stands out.
Gameplay: The Aliens vs. Pinball table is the most fun, but the other two are great as well.
Graphics: Great use of the source material.
Sound: Once again the source material is used to good effect