Tiny & Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers is a quirky puzzler/platformer from the small German indie collective known as Black Pants Studio. The game demonstrates an abundance of creativity in everything from soundtrack to gameplay mechanics, as well as a striking technical mastery of physics. But despite its many compelling elements, Tiny & Big comes up just short of its great potential due to simple mistakes and a failure to follow its considerable strengths. Read the rest of this entry
Thomas Was Alone is an indie puzzle platformer created by one-man development team, Mike Bithell (with music by David Housden). In the game, the player controls a cast of colourful quadrilaterals as they venture through the computer program they were created for, seeking an escape, or at the very least, the definition of what “escape” means. As unassuming as their names – Thomas, Claire, and John for example – their simple character designs and innocent curiosity belie the fact these rectangles are in fact the first AI’s to gain consciousness, and whether they can realise it or not, their existence has forever changed the world.
Read our full Thomas Was Alone review after the break. Read the rest of this entry
The Night of the Rabbit is the latest release from Daedalic Entertainment, and is well worth looking into. Daedalic is a studio best known for their humour adventure series Deponia and also helps publish a variety of other titles for other small studios.
In The Night of the Rabbit, twelve year old Jerry wants more than anything to become a magician. As his final days of summer vacation come to a close, he receives a strange message that appears containing an incantation. As boys do (and who hasn’t dabbled in a bit of dark magic) Jerry’s ritual summons a tall, elegantly dressed rabbit, who claims he is the Marquis de Hoto, a magician in search of an apprentice.The Marquis brings Jerry to the world of Mousewood, a forest town that’s a little Redwall and a lot Wind in the Willows, where he’ll teach the boy to cast spells. Before his training can begin, Jerry will have to help some of the townsfolk with their problems.
Hit the jump for our full Night of the Rabbit review.
Over the past several years there has been an ongoing debate regarding art and video games. While most will acknowledge that painting, photography, books, music and movies can all come in forms that we call ‘art’, there have been very few video games that have been accepted into that category.
While one could draw a loose connection between Timecop, Clive Cussler novels, and Far Cry 3, games analogous to To Kill a Mockingbird or The Grapes of Wrath are few and far between. Developers thechineseroom’s Dear Esther, an Indie ‘interactive experience’ based on Valve’s Source engine, is attempt to elevate video games to the status of art.
Keep reading after the cut to see if it succeeds. Read the rest of this entry
Man alive! Just when I think Cognition’s openings have plateau’d, Phoenix Online Studios fires off another one. “Cognition – Episode 3: The Oracle” picks up immediately after “The Wise Monkey,” the previous episode. The opening to this installment isn’t as shockingly violent, but holy heck if it doesn’t throw a climax-worthy twist at you in the first ten minutes. Way to keep me on my toes.
In fact, I can say with confidence that “The Oracle” is the best entry yet in the series. It’s the most focused, surprising, and enjoyable. This series has always been good being unpredictable, but this entry tosses some Cliff Lee-curveballs. A few frustrations remain, but generally I’m happy to report Phoenix Online Studios seems to be getting darn good at this. Read the rest of this entry
The Bridge, developed by Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda, is an award winning 2D logic puzzle game that started life as a university project and has since become an Indie favorite.
If M.C. Escher was a game designer, The Bridge would have been his darling project. If you’re a fan of twisted images and perspective puzzles, this is a game for you. Read on for more.
Written By: Justin Koop
In Crystal Dynamics’ 2013 reboot of the fledgling Tomb Raider series, you take control of Lara Croft, a 21-year-old archaeologist who becomes stranded on the mystical island of Yamatai. Right from the outset the game establishes itself as completely separate from its predecessors. Crystal Dynamics pulled the franchise’s decaying body from a vat filled with 1990’s action movies and Barbie boob-physics, and plunged it deep into the grey-brown filtered “next-gen” bucket; this Tomb Raider is rust, dust, and a lot of fuss.
Read our full Tomb Raider review after the break. Read the rest of this entry
Well you gotta give it Phoenix Online Studios: they sure know how to open a story. The first episode of Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller began in medias res with Erica Reed and her partner bursting into a cemetery in order to take down a notorious serial killer who had kidnapped Erica’s younger brother. It does not end happily. Episode 2 begins with a seemingly innocuous conversation between Erica and her sorta-boyfriend/friendzoned-guy-with-benefits Sully. This innocent interaction takes a dark turn quickly, and Erica is on the trail of yet another brutal serial murderer.
I could pretty much copy-and-paste my Episode 1 review. On the positive side, the story is very engaging; the visuals are top notch for a downloadable title; and the voice acting is consistently great. On the negative, the point-and-click gameplay is very limiting and often frustrating, and the mechanics introduced in Episode 1 — Erica’s psychic powers — are improved here, but remain mostly undeveloped. There are a few addendums to the previous review, however. Most them, unfortunately, negative. Read the rest of this entry
It’s hard to recommend XSEED Games’ Corpse Party: Book of Shadows to anyone but the most devout fans of the franchise. It’s one of the scariest games available on the PSP or the PS Vita, however if you’ve not played the original game, then Book of Shadows will confuse you to no end. Not only does the game contain eight disjointed stories, it doesn’t have a straightforward beginning, middle, or end. Oh and it concludes in a way that left me with my jaw on the floor thinking “What the f*** just happened here?”
On the other hand if you’ve played the original Corpse Party, then by all means get Book of Shadows. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows consists of a series of lengthy vignettes that explore and expand the original game’s lore, characteres, and world. The core gameplay may have been different, but it still captivated me with it’s constant, pervasive, sense of dread, deep characters, and leave-it-to-your-imagination deaths. Since I played the original I knew what was coming, but oh boy did the buildup (and a few surprises) grab me by the throat and never let go.
Check out our full Corpse Party: Book of Shadows review after the break. Read the rest of this entry