The title of this article says it all. Rad custom art by @Alex_Connolly!
January Total: 29
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 seeing Gangnam Style dance-offs between the Predator and the Terminator is a fervent fanfic come true. Playing daily.
2 – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, PS4 review by Steven Brown
Finished all of the main storyline and then went back for the DLCs. The Lost Tales of Greece was great since most of the quests were more interesting than much of the base game. Seems like the devs course-corrected and went in a more Witcher direction in terms of variety after so many of the mainline quests were straight up “go here and kill this dude.” Smart move. Unfortunately, the First Blade DLC was a pile of emotional manipulation horseshit that ignored how players like me RP’d Kassandra, and the Elysium section of the Fate of Atlantis is an incoherent mess — the script is like a bunch of disconnected story ideas that got scotch-taped together and kicked into production. Still playing. (But barely.)
3 – Marvel Puzzle Quest, Android
My one and only mobile jam. Playing daily.
4 – Calico, Switch
Points to this game for making it so easy to create a semi-chibi plus-sized lady character but otherwise, it was not a great experience. The semi-open world structure was not what I was after and the UI and interface were kinda terrible. It was a struggle to play and it got off on the wrong foot — didn’t want to have to fight to get into it. Deleted.
5 – Neoverse, Xbox One Game Pass
This title is a lot like Slay the Spire but with some gacha elements and three overly-endowed female characters. It doesn’t do a great job of explaining itself and I was confused on some of the finer points (is overheating good or bad? no idea!) but the overall gist was fine. Feels like something I’d rather play on the Switch than on the XBO tho. Didn’t finish.
6 – Monster Train, Xbox One Game Pass review by Eugene Sax
Heard a lot about this roguelike deckbuilder when it was on PC and was surprised to see it hit Game Pass. Unfortunately, it didn’t click with me. The art isn’t to my taste and I’m not a huge fan of the quasi-tower defense style. Seems like a great game, just not the right game for me. Deleted.
7 – Crawlco Block Knockers, Switch
This top-down block-manipulation puzzler is actually a pretty good time — the pace is hectic and the mechanics are solid. It also offers the most explicit adult content I’ve ever seen on a Nintendo platform and I was surprised AF. Plenty of topless pics are revealed when puzzles are solved and there’s even some softcore lesbian stuff towards the end. My only complaint is that the bosses are WAY too hard and I wasn’t able to finish the last level. Kinda weird since they seem to be selling it on skin, so why make it so tough to beat?? Didn’t finish.
8 – Linn: Path of Orchards, Xbox One
This indie puzzler offers fairly difficult platforming following the ‘earn three stars’ model which I don’t care for. The controls don’t feel 100% dialed in and it ramps up too fast, too soon. Deleted.
9 – Monster Hunter: Rise (demo), Switch
Only played a couple missions but I like what I’m seeing. The art style is more in line with the kind of oldshcool MH that I cut my teeth on, and I am 100% going to get in on this when it hits the Switch in March. Just a demo.
10 – Werewolf: the Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest, Switch review by Nikki Waln
This Visual Novel’s art style was striking but too abstract, and there just wasn’t enough art in general. The result is that it felt too much like reading a book with too few pictures, and it was hard to make a connection with the characters — and at times, hard to even tell which characters were which. Deleted.
11 – Waifu Uncovered, Switch
This ‘naughty’ switch game features terrible shmup action that slowly reveals still pictures of busty anime girls as each level is finished. Not even the promise of nudity was enough to keep me playing. Deleted.
12 – The Innsmouth Case, Switch
Much like #10 (see above) this felt too much like reading a book with not enough art or interaction. Deleted.
13 – Cultist Simulator, Switch
This roguelike card game does itself no favors by telling the player basically nothing at all about how to play or what it is. The idea of being a person who is slowly descending into insanity while starting a cult is great, but the actual experience is maddening — there’s very little art (almost none at all), the gameplay feels like an idle clicker, and it’s hard to understand why some things happen sometimes while others don’t. On top of this, the narrative is incredibly vague, offering brief glimpses rather than anything coherent. This is the sort of shrugs-at-you experience that doesn’t seem to care whether you get into it or not. Deleted.
14 – Phogs!, PS4 review by Damiano Gerli
This two player co-op title (although it can be played solo) is a marvelous little gem with great mechanics, a soothing tone and warm visuals. I absolutely love it. Still playing. RECOMMENDED!
15 – Arrog, Switch
This obscure, arty indie offers a story that’s too vague and puzzles that are too simple. I found it hard to care about any part of it. Deleted.
16 – Sentry, Switch
A super-simple top-down shooter that was fun for five minutes. Deleted.
17 – Null Drifter, Switch
Another top-down shooter, but one that’s annoyingly hard and difficult to look at thanks to harsh graphics. Deleted.
18 – Slay the Spire, Switch my review
I never got the “real ending” so I always meant to come back to it, and now that there’s a new, fourth character, it seemed like the perfect time. It’s still a great game in general but too hard overall and the new character is overly complicated. I doubt I’m ever gonna beat that super-secret final boss and I guess I’m okay with that. Did not finish.
19 – Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure, Switch review by Baabuska
This is the kind of point-and-click Adventure game where most of the experience is clicking on something to hear a joke. I do not have the patience for this sort of experience, but if you do, it’s a good one — the art and animation are great and the writing is clever. It’s not for me but it might very well be for you. Deleted.
20 – Drunken Fist, PS4
It’s impossible to watch a video of this and not laugh — it looks hilarious. Unfortunately, it feels like shit to play. I get that the character is “drunk” and hard to control, but the game goes way too far into making the player struggle with getting this hobo to do anything on purpose. If it was just a bit easier to control, I’d probably be recommending it for comedic value alone. In its current form, it’s just an exercise in frustration. Deleted.
21 – Nuts, Switch
A game about being a wildlife photographer catching squirrels doing decidedly un-squirrel-like things in the woods? I was sold on the premise immediately. Unfortunately, actually playing is tedious as all-get out. You basically set up a camera and hope that it’s pointed at a squirrel’s path when you leave the area. If successful, you set up another camera and track it further. If you miss the squirrel, go back and move the camera… and that’s about it. I guess I thought there’d be more to it? I got about halfway and couldn’t take any more. Deleted.
22 – Gods Will Fall, XBO
This realtime action roguelike is SO CLOSE to being amazing, but doesn’t quite get there. A group of randomly-generated vikings arrive on an island with ten bosses and try to take them down, but each viking has traits and fears that make them more/less effective, on top of relationships between them. Pretty rad! Sadly, the combat needs tuning, the levels are way too long and there’s just not enough to it… the actual fighting is too simple and ends up feeling repetitive and too punishing. With some tweaking and a bit more added to the gameplay, this one would be fantastic. Deleted.
23 – Picross S2, Switch
Working on the final multi-puzzle megapuzzle and maybe 1/3 done? I’ll get there eventually.
24 – Death’s Hangover, Switch
This is Breakout in a medieval dungeon with two dead guys who are reincarnated as girls. I’m not really sure what’s going on here — played it for 10 mins before bed, fell asleep, and I need to explore further. Still playing.
25 – Balancealot, Switch
I fall for Ratalaika’s bullshit every time. EVERY TIME! I know they put out games that are always way too hard, but their trailers always look so cool and fun. I get suckered! I always think their latest, whatever it is, will be the good one and it never, ever is. This physics/balancing game is absurdly difficult. If the devs just eased the fuck up, I’d really like to play more of this. But as it is? Deleted.
26 – Good Job!, Switch
This Nintendo title kinda came out of nowhere and I don’t see anyone talking about it. You play as the klutzy son of a business owner and he gives you a job as a technician in his building. You have to fix random things in the building, but every job is a puzzle that sometimes involves physics and sometimes not. It’s cute and feels fresh, but it stumbles by not explaining a single goddamn thing to the player. I had to look up walkthroughs on the very first level because I had no idea what the game wanted of me. Not a great start but I’m pushing on and seeing how it goes. Still playing.
27 – Disjunction, XBO
Not the cyberpunk game I thought I’d be playing, but it’s one I’m enjoying. It feels like oldschool MGS in that you’re top-down and avoiding enemy vision cones and sneaking around with characters who are cyber-augmented. The action is well-balanced and tight and the characters feel different, plus there are upgrades and story branches. I’m not very far in but I really like what I’m seeing so far. My only grumbles? The save points are too infrequent and I wish I had gotten it on the Switch instead of the XBO, but that’s on me. Still playing. RECOMMENDED!
28 – Maiden (RE VIII) demo, PS5
It’s a quick first-person “visual showcase” for the upcoming RE VIII/Village. It was maybe 10-15 minutes long and pretty enough, I guess? I’m usually too scared to play these so I’ll probably give the full game a pass but props to Capcom for bringing big ladies into the conversation! Just a demo.
29 – Olija, Switch
I played this at PAX a while ago and liked the look of it, but then it vanished for a while before popping up out of the blue. There’s a roughness to it (conceptually) that I’m not sure agrees with me, but the moment-to-moment gameplay using a homing spear/grappling hook is pretty tight. Still playing.
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