The title of this article says it all. Rad custom art by @Alex_Connolly!
April Total: 24
1 – Marvel Puzzle Quest, Android
My one and only mobile jam. Playing Daily.
2 – Monster Hunter Rise, Switch my review
Best Monster Hunter ever? Seems pretty likely to be the case. I’m 120+ hours in and loving it. Full details in the review link above! Still playing. RECOMMENDED!
3 – Kosmokrats, Switch my review
This indie blends political satire, physics-based puzzles and a branching narrative… It is the complete package! I had a wonderful time with it and I’m quite excited to see what the team at Pixel Delusion does next. Finished. RECOMMENDED!
4 – I Saw Black Clouds, PS5 review by CJ Salcedo
Wales Interactive has singlehandedly revived the FMV genre, but this is not one of their stronger offerings. The script is a mess and it doesn’t feel like the choices really matter much of the time. The production is also not up to standard with zero-budget sets/costumes and some sound issues, as well. Did not finish. Deleted.
6 – Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, PS5 review by Mike Suskie
I absolutely love the art, writing and concepts here, but Disco Elysium is an incredibly dense experience. There’s a lot of dialogue to get through, and each decision must be weighed extremely carefully on all sides. It’s tough to get immersed and feel like anything was accomplished in short bursts, and finding two- or three-hour blocks of undisturbed time is a pretty tough ask with my schedule right now. I’m finding it impossible to focus and it deserves that focus, so I’m going to hit it again when time allows. Paused.
7 – Picross S2, Switch
Still working on the final multi-part puzzle. I’ll get there someday. Still Playing.
8 – It Takes Two, XBX
Can someone check on Josef Fares? He seems like he might be going through some stuff right now. This is the third multi-character focused title he’s made (Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons and A Way Out) and while he’s continuing to make strides in figuring out how to craft better co-op mechanics, the script in this game is atrocious. Two parents are getting a divorce and their daughter is caught in the middle. Neither one shows any concern for the child, and most of the dialogue is constant petty sniping at each other. These characters are selfish and thoughtless, and it was like nails on chalkboard playing as them. There’s also one scene (the elephant) which goes WILDLY over the top into are-you-fucking-crazy-who-thought-this-was-ok??? territory and my entire family was horrified. We had to take a break from the game after that and I am doubtful that the back half of the adventure will redeem what we’ve suffered through so far. But it plays great! If the script was entirely removed, I’d have nothing but good things to say. Paused.
9 – Leap of Fate, PS5
I rolled credits with the first character in this real-time action roguelike, and I’m working on the other three between the games I’m reviewing. I love this one, it’s just excellent in all regards. Finished… And Still Playing. RECOMMENDED!
10 – Godstrike, Switch review by Dan Weissenberger
This game was originally released under the name Profane, but it was delisted and it vanished for a while. It’s back, now called Godstrike. I like the concept of a boss-rush bullet-hell game, but the gameplay is rough and the balance is questionable. It still needs more polish even though this is its second turn at bat, and I honestly can’t recommend it even though I do think it’s a neat idea. Did not finish. Deleted.
11 – Itta, Switch
After being disappointed with Godstrike I was still in the mood for a bullet-hell boss-rush, and lucky for me, there are at least a few to choose from on the Switch! I went with Itta instead, and it was a better experience in every regard. Better writing, world design and balance, and it feels more polished overall. I like it a lot! Still Playing.
12 – Say No! More, Switch review by Damiano Gerli
The message of the game — self care and healthy boundaries — is excellent, and I love the positive energy. Unfortunately, this feels like a 20-minute experience stretched out into two hours or so, and it runs out of gas long before the end due to shallow gameplay that feels like it plays itself. (Player mostly optional.) I dig the vibes, but this one was ultimately a bore. Finished.
13 – The Longing, Switch
Such a bizarre title. This elf creature must spend 400 real-time days in an underground cavern system while waiting for its master to awaken. In the meantime, it explores and waits for things to happen while wandering around with the slowest walking speed I’ve ever seen. I love the aesthetics and the concept, but it feels like torture to play… still, I’m checking in for maybe 15 minutes every few days to see what happens but the walking speed is always what gets me to turn it off. T-O-O… S-L-O-W!!! The dev says it’s part of the experience, but with just a small tweak to make the elf step livelier, the entire thing would be much more pleasurable. That said, I’m in for the long haul. Still Playing.
14 – Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield (demo), Switch
This one got a lot of airtime at the last Nindies presentation but the demo did not impress — it seems like just another runner-type game. If there are twists or hooks, they weren’t in the demo. Deleted.
15 – Park Inc, Switch
This simple “remove the cars from the lot” puzzle title has ZERO bells and whistles, and doesn’t even support the Pro Controller. It’s your finger or nothing. Did not finish. Deleted.
16 – Hitchhiker, XBX
I thought this was going to be a murder mystery, but it’s actually a dreamy-weamy narrative game with long conversations about a person trying to regain their memories. It’s got abstract, surreal Lynchian vibes, but it wasn’t enough to keep my attention and I ultimately… didn’t care? Did not finish. Deleted.
17 – Smelter, Switch
It’s Actraiser‘s action/management design split mixed with Mega Man X‘s quick combat and mobility. So basically, it’s pretty great! Still Playing.
18 – Journey of the Broken Circle, Xbox X
A simple narrative indie about (wait for it…) a broken circle wanting to be whole. The platforming was simple and the dialogue was preachy and dull. Did not finish. Deleted.
19 – El Hijo, Xbox X
The colorful art and Old West setting drew me in, but I was not prepared for what an intense, one-note and hardcore stealth experience this is. It’s honestly exhausting to play and I didn’t get far after being constantly spotted and sent back to the most recent checkpoint over and over again. Did Not Finish. Deleted.
20 – VALA: Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse, Xbox X
I didn’t put much time into this one after it opened with some of the smallest subtitles I’ve ever seen. Their size was insulting, really — talk about performative bullshit. That nonsense put me off and I decided to shelve it for later. Paused.
21 – Breathedge, Xbox X
This is a first-person survival sim set in space, but frankly, I had no idea what kind of game it was supposed to be for a while after starting. The intro and tutorials are not clear, and the button mapping is frustratingly weird. Also there are few things more annoying than sitting through a game whose sense of humor doesn’t jibe with yours, and boy howdy, was that the case here. Basically Breathedge gave me the absolute worst possible first impressions and I bounced. Did Not Finish. Deleted.
22 – Devil Slayer Raksasi, PS5
This top-down indie roguelike is great. Excellent art, engaging combat, loads of options, a bunch of unlockables… The story is to be ignored, but the rest is tops. Still Playing. RECOMMENDED!
23 – Terminator: Resistance, XBX
I expected licensed crap, but my first session was giving me Telltale Walking Dead vibes with characters and conversations at the mission hub and dialogue/sidequests that factor into relationships. Super surprising and unexpected! Will be digging deeper here. Still Playing.
24 – Human Fall Flat, XBX Game Pass review by Rebekah Ocker
I played a few levels of this on PS4 and always meant to come back to it, but my 12-year-old son found it on Game Pass and we’re now doing 1-2 levels per night. Good motivation to revisit! Each level is an intricate physics puzzle that requires deft handling of the doughy, floppy avatars. There’s a lot of madcappery, but also a lot of skillful play and I adore how clever some of the areas are — when my son showed me the “zipline” secret in the Castle area, I was stunned. HFF requires a lot of patience and a certain mindset, but I think this one’s brilliant. Still Playing. Recommended!