Princess Maker 3: Fairy Tales Come True

Princess Maker 3: Fairy Tales Come True

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

The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker

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

Trauma Center: Under The Knife

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

Princess Maker Refine

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

Princess Maker 2 Refine

Princess Maker 2 Refine

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 Girls’ Fight

Cherry Tree High Girls’ Fight

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

Pinball FX2 – Aliens vs. Pinball

Pinball FX2 – Aliens vs. Pinball

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

Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon

Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon

Innocent Life is somewhat of a departure for the Harvest Moon series and also has a new art style that sets it apart from the other games in the series. It can be a very relaxing game to play, but is definitely not for impatient gamers. Check it out if farming is your thing.

Gameplay: Somewhat different from previous Harvest Moon games, but still fun.

Graphics: A new art direction for the series.

Sound: Catchy and annoying in equal measures

Beat Blades Haruka

Beat Blades Haruka

Nukige titles are not really known for their story or gameplay, but Beat Blades Haruka definitely bucks this trend. As implausible as it is the story is actually quite neat and training the girls to fight in battle is very addictive. Of course, seeing as it is a nukige title there is an enormous amount of H-content as well and fans will be happy to hear that it is all completely uncensored. It is not a game for the easily offended or sensitive, but fans of the genre should definitely add it to their collection.

Gameplay: The stat raising and battles make it a lot more engrossing than a typical nukige title.

Graphics: Excellent character designs and a ton of CGs.

Sound: Good voice acting and lots of music

Plantera

Plantera

Plantera is a very straightforward game with simple, but addictive mechanics. You simply grow your garden, harvest crops and sell them to repeat the cycle. It is a casual clicker title with plenty of things to click, but you can also kick back and leave it to its own devices. If you are not a fan of clicker titles it can become repetitive, but considering its price it is hard to fault.

Gameplay: Very straightforward to play and features a bit more variety than typical clicker games.

Graphics: Bright, colorful and quite charming.

Sound: Nice, but could have benefited from a few more tunes