Minecraft: Story Mode

mc story mode

(Lucky you have a short name, Jess.)

When I first heard about Minecraft: Story Mode, I (like many others) had so, so many questions. Most of them were variations of “why” and “how”, with a whole bunch of “what” thrown in there, just for good measure. Telltale, however, are masters of what they do, and so I approached this new addition to their growing oeuvre with cautious optimism that they would make good use of Minecraft’s signature design and unique feel. As it turns out, the expansive and immersive world of Minecraft was just crying out for someone to throw a proper plot into it – and Telltale seem to have found the perfect one.

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Ninja Pizza Girl


‘Ninja Pizza Girl’ isn’t a title that immediately evokes the kind of image I would associate with a game that tackles serious issues. Well, unless you’re really serious about pizzas and their timely delivery (which, to be fair, we all are at heart). So when I heard that this was a game about ‘self-esteem, bullying and resilience’, I had to know how the hell that was possible – and the result was better than I expected.

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The Talos Principle (Deluxe Edition)


The Talos Principle is a fantastic presentation of art, thought and design. While the narrative is far-reaching and rather ambitious, it works because the delivery is straightforward and logical, and is a complementary fit for the logic-puzzle gameplay and exploration. There are no ground-breaking gameplay mechanics akin to Portal’s gun, but The Talos Principle perfectly utilises what mechanics are offered. Within the recent landscape of rather disappointing attempts at innovation and immersion in video games, I’m proud to claim that The Talos Principle is the best game I’ve played in recent memory, and it ticks all my boxes. There’s no jokes or jabs right here, it’s just straight-up good.

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Matt’s note: I loved Zombi U but haven’t played this one–that said, I did love lots that Nick didn’t about the game (characters, setting etc.) So if roguelike zombie killing in London piques your interest, I’d still 100% heartily recommend Zombi U; it’s one my top games of this gen. I can’t praise it enough–it was a beautiful way to start off the Wii U and flew under almost everyone’s radar. I’m looking forward to getting my own hands on the update. That said, Nick wasn’t quite as fond of it, and I want to play it myself and see if it was the Wii U -> everything else transition that didn’t do it any favours, or if it just wasn’t his cup of tea. There’s no such thing as an objective review!

After getting off on most certainly the wrong foot, I was relieved to enjoy Zombi for what fun it offered, even considering the array of disagreeable design decisions demonstrated from the onset. Zombi has successfully stuck the landing in the realm of PS4, Xbox One and PC after jumping from Wii U exclusivity, but the inherent process of shedding tablet-infused high jinks during that leap has taken away the only factors that made this title distinguishable from every other piece of zombie fiction. The name change captures this notion neatly – Zombi U minus the Wii U became Zombi, a generic name for a generic game.

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Ronin is an interesting revenge-fuelled(-ish) turn-based 2D action experience, with Polish indie dev Tomasz Wacławek taking smart steps to craft a much-needed opportunity to carry out the mission of a deadly, if not always stealthy, assassin. It isn’t a particularly long game (which goes well with this not particularly long review), but the simple-yet-satisfying turn-based action provides enough of a punchy experience to warrant a go, with wicked murder moments aplenty.

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Sometimes, a rare gem of a game comes along that just defies true explanation. On paper, Technobabylon is a cyperpunk noir mishmash that seems to take inspiration from Blade Runner, Ready Player One and point-and-click adventures of old, but in reality it’s so much more than that. Not that the combination of those things isn’t awesome already, of course, but Technobabylon’s strengths push it far beyond awesome and into very important and progressive territory.

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Blackguards 2


Daedalic Entertainment are known for their ability to provide gamers with interesting and immersive worlds, eccentric characters and lovingly crafted stories that whisk you away and force you to buy into their special brand of whimsy. These are all elements that make for an excellent adventure game, in which a good story can make an otherwise unremarkable game worth playing through to the end. However, when attempting a turn-based strategy game like the studio’s newest offering Blackguards 2 it’s a little harder for the story to act as a crutch, even when the game takes place inside the vast and already-established universe of ‘The Dark Eye’. So does Blackguards 2 prove that the developers can stray from what they’re best at?

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