Monster Loves You!

monster loves you

Monster Loves You! is a thing.

It’s… yeah, it’s a thing. People who grab this title and open it up will find themselves making decisions for a monster-thing (which to be honest, never actually shows affection towards the player) that will allegedly influence its future and somehow the development of its personality. They’ll choose “adventures” at random, some of which are as trivial as “this person is being bullied, you should help them”, and others as trivial as “you are fighting with this person over what to have for dinner”. Less uninteresting ventures can be easily found in the Steam Store page description, so I’d presume they’re in the game somewhere, though nothing anywhere near as exciting as “Devour[ing] Little Red Riding Hood” was ever found on my screen in the two and a half playthroughs I’ve given this… thing. Somehow fitting into the categories Adventure, RPG and Simulation, I’m left with an overwhelming wonderment as I ask myself how in the hell Monster Loves You! has been considered a game at all.

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The Bridge

the bridge header

The Bridge is a neat little puzzler that demands similar levels of mind-bending-ness as Portal and Antichamber, with the average player probably spending a lot of time staring at their screen struggling to work out how to progress at particular points. Hopefully, otherwise I’ve embarrassed myself. There’s at least five hours of gameplay to be worked from a single playthrough of the whole game and I doubt there is any room for replayability since the satisfaction of outsmarting a puzzle can hardly be replicated when you already know the answers. That’s not all The Bridge offers though, with an aesthetic appeal and aura of intrigue guaranteeing that this little title stands out from the crowd of indie-puzzlers.

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Shattered Haven

shattered haven

Shattered Haven (not to be confused with Shattered Horizon) is a zombie game, though a fresh take on what I’ll call the ‘genre’ of zombie games. Instead of facing against hordes of the infected undead with assorted firearms and blades, players of this title will be laying iron-laden traps to pick off Grays one at a time (by the way, Grays are zombies. They‘re deathly allergic to iron.). It’s been nine years since ‘That Day’ (as every NPC will tell you. Seriously, don’t they have anything else to talk about?), and Darrell and Mary’s surprisingly comfortable lives are shaken all up when their daughter Lela is lost and their home is overrun by Grays in an event that truly escalated quickly. Within ten minutes of starting the game their home is lost (or their haven is shattered, huh?) and they venture to save Lela, no matter what evil spirits they have to ignore along the way, although if you play single-player you’ll find that Darren does all the work and Mary just follows along in her invulnerable way, being of no use. Now that the story’s out of the way, let’s get to how the gameplay goes down.

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Dead Space 3

ds3 cover

Very few games have polarised gamers as much as the first Dead Space managed to when it was released back in 2008. Despite receiving mostly praise from critics, Dead Space had the unfortunate timing of being released in the middle of one of the most disappointing eras for horror gaming, as the genre mutated from orthodox survival horror into a more action-oriented jump-fest. The series’ first instalment managed to successfully retain the all-important atmosphere from golden age survival horror games while introducing a far more action-packed combat system than the genre was known for, however came under significant criticism for being mundane and repetitive in every aspect.

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Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2

sniper ghost

Sniper: Ghost Warrior, released in 2010, was a pretty bad game. I’ve heard it was fixed up a bit in post-release patches, but I only ever played the as-of-release game, and it was bad. Terrible voice acting (apart from the venerable Nolan North though, of course), unimpressive graphics, unconvincing AI, and an underwhelming storyline were shoved down players throats, with a hint of enjoyable sniping antics. Three years later we’re here with a sequel, supposedly a “ground-breaking follow up to the best-selling sniper game of all time”. Not that reviewers’ scores mean everything, but a quick Google search will show you that sales do not correlate with quality, and I wouldn’t be surprised if SGW2 also made a whole lot of money for City Interactive, even though their latest instalment is equally as “meh” as the last.

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