The title of this article says it all. Rad custom art by @Alex_Connolly!
February Total: 36
1 – Fortnite, PS4
Been playing a ton of the new season with the wife and son and it’s become our morning routine to get our dailies in before we move on to other things. Good times all-around, and the skins have been RIDICULOUS!! The Terminator, the Predator, Ripley & the Alien, Ryu and Chun-Li and more… This has been hell on my wallet!! Playing daily.
2 – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, PS4 review by Steven Brown
Finished the miserable Elysium part of the Atlantis DLC. Woof, what a shitshow BUT I’m glad I suffered through it because the Hades area was great thanks to a great-looking locale, many returning characters from the main game and one really, really emotional quest ( I may have shed a tear). Great stuff. Atlantis was a dull collect-a-thon that could have been better, and then I went back to normal non-DLC Greece to wrap up a few character quests. I think that after 110 hours, I am done with it. It’s far from perfect and there are a lot of things I’d change, but I’m glad I played it and the journey Kassandra goes on is actually pretty incredible — calling it an odyssey is entirely appropriate. Finished.
3 – Marvel Puzzle Quest, Android
My one and only mobile jam. Playing daily.
4 – Werewolf: the Apocalypse – Earthblood, PS4 review by Dan Weissenberger
The idea of being a werewolf is rad, but this one started off on the wrong foot by fridging the protagonist’s wife in the first mission and offering a gruff, generic-looking white dude as the non-customizable option. Shooting for the lowest common denominator, anyone? The action is pretty janky and it looks and feels like it should be on PS3. Deleted.
5 – Disjunction, XBO
I was enjoying this one quite a bit and was almost done with it (I think?) but it started hitting a memory leak glitch on startup and I wasn’t able to load my save file. The devs couldn’t fix it for me and I was too far to restart — I’d have to basically replay the entire game — hard pass. Couldn’t finish.
6 – Olija, Switch
I’m a sucker for a good grappling hook and this game kinda has one, but the action is just… dull. You’d think making a game about a pirate guy being sucked into a weird alt-dimension would be a no-brainer, but it felt unfocused and too vague. Also, the protagonist started being creepy/stalkery for the Asian-themed lead female character and it gave me a weird vibe. Deleted.
7 – Car Demolition Clicker, XBO
Shoot a gun at cars that don’t have damage modeling. Blow up car, rinse and repeat. No idea why someone would create this, but it exists. Deleted.
8 – Debris, XBO
This is a small indie title about some divers who get trapped underwater in a cave system. The script and voiceovers are great, but the gameplay is a weird mix between a passive walking sim (swimsim?) and a light-action title where you shoot fish and dodge monsters. I got to a section where I was lost in a cave full of giant worms and couldn’t find my way out, so I just quit. It’s a shame, it would have been better off if they had foregone the action and just focused on telling a good story. Deleted.
9 – Darq, XBO
I love the look of this creepy 2D puzzler — the aesthetics are really appealing, and there’s also a neat use of gravity as the main character can walk up walls while the world goes topsy-turvy. However, I don’t have a lot of patience for “find item, use item” puzzles these days and that’s basically what was on display. I noped out pretty quick. Deleted.
10 – Wildfire, Switch
This is a strange one. From the name and trailers it looks like you’re going to be slinging fireballs and getting some pyro action AND YET this game is not about that at all. It’s actually a 2D stealth title! On top of that it’s got some deep sim elements — fire burns things it touches, things in the environment react to other things, chaos often ensues thanks to unpredicted outcomes, etc… There’s a lot going on here, but the end result is that it feels messy and confused. I think it would have benefited by focusing on fewer elements and enriching them, because in its current state it doesn’t seem like it knows what it wants to be. Deleted.
11 – Odysseus Kosmos and His Robot Quest, Switch
A classic point-and-click with silly puzzles and a lot of dialogue. Probably great if you’re a fan of this genre’s classic formula, but I am not. Deleted.
12 – Undermine, Switch review by AJ Small
This is a super-solid roguelike that feels polished and well-made. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but the runs don’t feel different enough to keep it feeling fresh over the long term. Instead, it ends up being about grinding as much money as possible on each run so that you can buy more unlocks before your next attempt. That’s not the kind of roguelike that captures my attention — I much prefer improvised tactics and random variety. This one wasn’t for me, but it’s a fine one. Deleted.
13 – Fights in Tight Spaces, XBX (Preview Program Demo)
This is basically what I was hoping John Wick: Hex would be, so I’m super glad someone was thinking along the same lines. Put a bunch of bad guys and one good guy in a small room, give the good guy attacks via deckbuilder mechanics and give the visuals a minimalist aesthetic. I’m all over this once it hits full release. Waiting for 1.0.
14 – Skyhill, Switch review by Eugene Sax
A man is trapped on the 100th floor of a skyscraper in a world now filled with monsters and has to work his way down to the ground. It’s a super-simple formula with super-simple gameplay (2D, turn-based) but for some reason, this thing grabbed me and I could not put it down. It might be because it’s so easy to play and requires so little brainpower (not a criticism!!) and it was the perfect thing to unwind in bed with. Three endings at least, so there’s a bit of replay for those who want it. Finished.
15 – Synthetik: Ultimate, Switch my review
The UI and tutorials are crap in this game, but once past them, there’s a really enjoyable core of a twin-stick roguelike here. It takes a while for the goodness to reveal itself but I’m glad I didn’t bail after the miserable first impressions. Still playing.
16 – West of Dead, XBX review by AJ Small
I’ve played this one several times since release in 2020, and it’s always felt like an Early Access title in various phases. GC staffer AJ Small was kind enough to let me know the game had received some substantial updates, so I jumped back in and he was right — it’s come a long way since the last time I dipped in. I’m glad, because I honestly though they’d stopped work on it and it just wasn’t finished. It still doesn’t feel ‘complete’ but there’s more content, a lot of details have been filled in and the difficulty curve has been filed down. I like this one a lot, I hope the devs keep chipping away at it. Still playing (occasionally).
17 – Little Nightmares II, XBX review by Dan Weissenberger
Stunning visuals, a great balance between danger and chill puzzling, and improved design that removes much of the ‘is that thing I need to jump to in the foreground or background‘ confusion that its predecessor had, this one is finely designed in all aspects. Had a wonderful time with it, and enjoyed it so much, it had inspired me to finally get around the the DLC for #1 that I forgot about. Finished. RECOMMENDED!
18 – CRSED: F.O.A.D., PS5
I didn’t realize this was the sequel to Cuisine Royale, which was a garbagey battle royale on PS4. It was gone as soon as I got five minutes into my first match. Deleted.
19 – Destruction AllStars, PS5
This is a destruction derby plus being able to jump out of cars to harass others before jumping back into a fresh car, plus the aesthetics are horrible. I played one round and figured out pretty soon that it wasn’t for me. Deleted.
20 – Poker Showdown, Android
A typical ‘phone game’ with loads of currencies and countdown timers. The Western theme was somewhat appealing, but I’m not gonna spend time on something like this when I already play the best mobile game every day. (See #3.) Deleted.
21 – Robophobik, XBX
This one looks like a turn-based tactics title, and it KIND OF is, but… not really? Nothing moves until the player does, but then other actions can be taken before the first action ends. Also, the levels are divided into grids, but you can be between squares to fudge the positioning. It’s just a really, really strange formula that feels like it can’t decide what kind of experience it wants to be. Deleted.
22 – Halloween Forever, Switch review by Brian Theisen
I had a blast with this 2D retro platformer. It’s charming AF and plays well thanks to the ability to turn on a ’99 lives’ mode and better checkpoints for those who want them. It’s a short experience, but a neat one. Finished.
23 – Night of the Full Moon, Android
MPQ (#3) rightfully gets almost all of my mobile time (which is honestly not much) but every once in a while I wanna play something else and the truth is that most mobile games are fucking garbage. However, there are some good ones, and this is one of them. It’s a deckbuilding roguelike that plays VERY quickly and has no gacha or F2P elements. You can try it for free but you buy the unlocks — an entirely fair and reasonable way to monetize. I popped for the full meal deal after a few rounds and have been enjoying this one greatly. Heads up, there’s no tutorial — ugh! — but just hang in there. Finished and still playing. RECOMMENDED!
24 – Summer Catchers, Switch
This one hooked me based on the cute pixel art, but the gameplay is pretty wretched. The player rides a snowmobile from left to right and has to use tools to avoid hazards. There’s not enough warning as the hazards pop onscreen too fast, and instead of being assigned to buttons, the tools are randomized. Worse, the interface for using them takes too long and the touchscreen isn’t responsive, so speedy fingers can’t help. I’m absolutely baffled by the decisions here — none of this makes any damn sense. Deleted.
25 – Glyph, Switch
This one came out of absolutely nowhere, but it deserves more attention. The player is a ball that can transform into a gliding bug, and they’re going through two kinds of levels — exploring some for coins/gems/pickups and racing through others for fast times. I’m not a fan of the speed levels at all, but the rest of the content makes up for it. It can be difficult, but it’s been a while since I’ve played a platforming/physics title like this one (Monkey Ball comes to mind) and it’s a welcome change of pace. I dig the minimalist art and vaguely techno-egyptian style as well. Apparently it started life as a VR title, but it works just fine flat. Still playing.
26 – Rodent Warriors, Switch
I’m a sucker for 2D pixel art and the idea of playing something chill and lightly grindy at bedtime was appealing, but this one’s a mess. Terrible tutorials and the UI is just a jumble of numbers and random visual noise. Actually playing is little better. Deleted.
27 – Rack N Ruin, XBX
Sort of a top-down shooter with a post-apocalyptic demon aesthetic. It feels sort of chonky and sloppy overall, and the lack of a map hurts it. Deleted.
28 – Curse of the Dead Gods, XBX
Top-down realtime action roguelike. You’re an adventurer in some sort of South American temple that’s full of monsters and angry gods. Advancing through each room adds to the curse carried by the player, with various penalties adding up over time. Random weapons, various unlocks, and so forth. I mean, let’s be real here — Hades has eaten the lunch of every game in this subgenre, and even putting that aside, it starts to feel repetitive way too soon. The unlocks come too slow and the actions is too samey — feels like I spend too much time dodging in each room rather than being decisive with the combat. Deleted.
29 – Goliath, XBX
I was expecting some simple mechsuit action but it’s actually a clunky survival sim where you have to collect a bunch of resources and craft random stuff. The combat is not great, the story is irritating and it needs another 15 layers of polish over everything. Deleted.
30 – Hitman 3, PS5
I absolutely love the Hitman series but this got released sooner than I thought it would, and I just wasn’t in the right headspace for something so methodical and dense. I tried the first level a few times and died in ridiculous ways, so I could tell it was not the right flavor for me at the moment. I’ll come back to it. Paused.
31 – Aground, Switch
This is a 2D Minecraft-alike that starts out like every other crafting game of this kind, but then I watched the trailer and my mind was blown. Once I saw this, I was in. Still playing.
32 – Days Gone, PS5
Wasn’t sure I was in the mood for another open-world title after finishing AC: Odyssey but it seemed like the right thing to start and… it was. I recall this game getting very little love at launch (folks tell me it was buggy and had issues) but now, almost two years after release, it’s in superb shape. It looks sharp on PS5, handles well, and the systems are all smooth. The open world is great — plenty big, but small enough to learn landmarks by sight — and building relationships with survivor camps is great. Reminds me more than a bit of Mad Max in that way, and that’s a good thing. The main character, Deacon St. John, is also a good one. He strikes me as a very realistic sort of dude and his motivations are pretty clear. Hell, I know real-life guys just like him. So far, I’m all in. Still playing. RECOMMENDED!
33 – Picross S2, Switch
Still chipping away at the final puzzle. I put it down for a while and have plenty to keep me busy at night but I’ll get there. Still playing.
34 – Outriders (demo), PS5
Third-person shooty action. It kinda gave me random Mass Effect vibes with its tale of humans colonizing a new world, but the similarities basically end there. Gameplay doesn’t feel ‘heavy’ enough and there were already a boring number of enemies in the demo section, which I didn’t finish. Seems like it’s gearing up to be a game-as-service online loot-shooter with several layers of difficulty for the instances and…. yeah. Not really my jam. Will prolly give this one a pass.
35 – PAKO Caravan, Switch
This is a cute little indie where you’re in a car that can’t stop and you need to collect more and more trailers — a top-down, Snakeybus, basically. Fun in short bursts. Did not finish.
36 – Half Past Fate: Romantic Distancing, Switch
We’ve been in COVID lockdown long enough for games to start coming out about being in COVID lockdown. This one’s a cute little tale of two people meeting and then being unable to meet IRL. The visual style in the overworld is really odd (can’t say I’m a fan) but the art (in general) is great and the writing is fine — I appreciated the dude being a slightly-dim himbo and the girl being the sharp techie. The experience is surprisingly brief… maybe an hour? I like what’s here, I just wish there was a bit more of it. Finished.
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody's looking, and his favorite game of all time is a toss-up between the first Mass Effect and The Witcher 3. You can catch his written work here at GameCritics and you can hear him weekly on the @SoVideogames Podcast. Follow Brad on Twitter and Instagram at @BradGallaway, or contact him via email:
bradgallaway a t gmail dot com
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