In my experience with puzzle platformers, they all tend to be tediously similar to one another, with only one or two extra gimmicks that usually flop miserably. Because of this, it’s always exciting and refreshing when I stumble upon a game that contains a new, innovative mechanic that both works and is actually fun. This is where Snapshot comes in. It is one of those rare games that relies heavily on a single idea, and is successfully upheld by it.
Lately there has been no shortage of simplistic indie strategy games. Tower Wars is developer SuperVillain Studio’s entrant into the already flooded market that is indie strategy games. Tower Wars, as a strategy game, is a cross between traditional top-down tower defence and a MOBA-style game (multiplayer online battle arena, Defence of the Ancients-like) with a heavy focus on micro management and careful tech-tree advancement. The main game mode is competitive online multiplayer but also includes a co-operative wave mode and a single player classic tower defence mode. Tower Wars has a lot going for it with a low price tag and polished game play, but is it enough to stand out among the countless indie strategy games available?
If you’re a fan of indie side-scrolling shooters, you’ve probably already heard of Intrusion 2, the project of one-man team Aleksey Abramenko, and you’d probably enjoy it as much as any other decent title of the genre. This game delivers some scrumptiously fun run-and-gun gameplay, for about 4 hours (provided you are playing on High difficulty), plus another hour of rage-inducing trial and error, though anyone holding out for any extras such as an interesting protagonist or innovative story may be disappointed. For me, the reliance on clichéd puzzles and challenges was the major disappointment that brought down the overall game experience.
Earlier in the year, I introduced you to the charming, trash-covered planet known as Deponia, along with its anti-hero Rufus and strangely named maiden-in-distress Goal. What I didn’t mention (I think–I haven’t read over that review to be honest) is that Deponia was the first installment in a planned trilogy of point-and-click adventure games. That, of course, would make Chaos on Deponia the second part of the trilogy–and it shows. Chaos on Deponia suffers from severe middle-child syndrome. As the central part of a trilogy, the plot in Chaos has no real beginning or end, and winds up floundering around, seemingly unsure as to where to head next. Additionally, there’s been essentially no change whatsoever since its predecessor, resulting in Chaos inheriting many of the issues that plagued Deponia.
Apparently, if you ask Frogwares, one Sherlock Holmes game a year isn’t enough to satiate the gaming public’s consulting detective desires. That’s why, despite their console release The Testament of Sherlock Holmes already having seen release, Frogwares (through their sub-studio Waterlily) have seen fit to introduce the eccentric investigator to Nintendo’s latest handheld, in Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Frozen City. Following in the vein of 2010’s Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House, Frozen City is a cross between a generic touch-based puzzle game and a point-and-click adventure, with a very Professor Layton-esque aesthetic and interface.
Since their introduction to the world way back in 1887, the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson have remained one of the few constants in the pop culture lexicon. Seldom a year has gone by without some sort of Holmes media seeing release. One contributor to this phenomenon is Frogwares, who, since 2002, have developed an almost-annual series of adventure games creatively titled Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Perhaps best known for 2006’s fantastic Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, the latest instalment in the franchise is also the first to have been specifically developed for consoles, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes.
Those of you familiar with racing games will know the name Criterion to be one of the most admired in the genre. It’s a word uttered with the utmost respect, as Criterion were the studio that brought us Burnout Paradise, and Burnout Paradise was good. Recently, though, they’ve been tiptoeing through the tulips with EA, trying their luck with possibly the world’s biggest racing franchise, Need For Speed. After the impressive Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Criterion have taken the reins on the reboot of 2005’s Most Wanted, which itself is wholly responsible for my love of racing games.