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PixelJunk Shooter Review

Going with the Flows

PixelJunk Shooter Screenshot

HIGH Neutralizing a pool of lava with one well-placed shot

LOW The ship can take hardly any damage at all.

WTF Why is collecting diamonds so important on a rescue mission?

Machinarium Review

You Won't Even Notice that All the Humans are Gone

Machinarium Screenshot

HIGH: Overlooking the city from the game's high points.

LOW: The somewhat anti-climactic ending.

WTF: The oddly convenient series of pipes in one of the puzzles.

Taking pleasure in the unoriginal

Taking pleasure in the unoriginal

My favorite game to play on travel recently has been Chessmaster: The Art of Learning for the PlayStation Portable. It's not a great chess game by any means, but it was a digital download for my favorite portable system, and it's good for playing quick sessions just about anywhere.

The odd thing is, I've been playing chess almost rabidly as of late, and not just on the go or in the bathroom. I've enjoyed playing Chessmaster again so much—just sitting around on the couch or playing at my desk for hours on end—that I've encouraged my girlfriend to take part in a few real games of chess now and then, and it's quickly become one of the little joys of our living together.

Critter Crunch Review

Bland Name, Tasty Game

Critter Crunch Screenshot

HIGH A new, predatory twist on puzzling.

LOW The difficulty of the final third feels haphazard and unrefined.

WTF Rainbow-colored regurgitation.

Gardenscapes Review

Rummaging Through Stuff Is Fun. Really.

Gardenscapes Screenshot

HIGH The graphics are pleasant, and the game hides objects in very clever ways.

LOW The garden-renovation elements are much too simple.

WTF Live cats and fish. Hidden in rooms amid junk. For sale.

Scribblenauts is weak and Layton's done

Scribblenauts Art

I finally got my hands on Scribblenauts and I have to say, I'm quite divided on it.

On the one hand, it's an absolutely fantastic idea. Write any word and the game will produce that object to be placed at the player's discretion anywhere in the level. I mean, how brilliant is that? Need a flyswatter? Write FLYSWATTER and you've got one. Want to summon the dread god Cthulhu? You can do that too, and he actually shows up. Major brownie points there. The downside to the game is that I think the developers kind of bit off more than they can chew, especially in regard to the level of production that's possible on the DS.

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