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22 Sept 2021

REVIEW: Golf Club: Wasteland on Xbox

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
We are in a post-apocalyptic world. The elites have run away to Mars, and only return to Earth to play a round of golf. And you are one of those people, so what do you get if you mix a 2D golf game with a narrative driven adventure game? Well, you get Golf Club Wasteland.

You play across 35 holes, each one has its own little story and puzzle to complete to make the perfect shot.

As you play you will see some familiar landmarks, and some not so familiar ones, all crumbling in this post-apocalyptic world. While playing if you see a pipe, send the ball down it for a nice shortcut.

Now I did mention that this is more than just a golf game, it is a narrative driven adventure, so each hole does tell a story, this is done not just through the visual aspect of the hole, but also through diary entries that you unlock, comics that you will read after finishing the hole, but also through the radio station that plays in the background. Everything is nicely connected to tell you the story of what is going on, and what has happened in the past. I am not gonna talk too much about the plot, the story, as a lot of the enjoyment of the game is unlocking it all, and opening your mind to everything that has happened.

There are plenty of pop culture moments that are instantly recognisable, and some adult humour thrown in too.

The soundtrack is really good, and after completing the story you can even download the songs through a helpfully provided QR code! A very nice touch.


There are 3 modes of golf that you can play, think of them as Easy, Medium and Hard. Easy mode is all about the story, and is not concerned with how many shots you take, Medium gives you a Par score to try to beat, and Hard or Iron Mode is simply put, no room for error.

The game is incredibly easy to pick up and play and has a nice learning curve, but there are harder levels that are followed by easier ones and then back to harder, so you do have some nice variance on the difficulty, the way you play the golf shots is also very simple, aim and press power. It takes a bit of getting used to, but soon enough you will be playing the perfect shot to progress through each level.


The Good
The visuals and story are great, everything is very well put together.

The Bad
I can't imagine that golf fans will be impressed by the golfing aspect, and neither will the narrative driven adventure fans, the irony being that the golf part of the game is perhaps the weakest element, but saying that, for casual gamers, it is all perfectly fine.

Overall
A fun game that I enjoyed. Plenty to see and enjoy. With a satisfying ending too. I score Golf Club: Wasteland a strong 8/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff



17 Sept 2021

REVIEW: Arcade Action Wrestling on Xbox One

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Arcade Action Wrestling is an old fashioned, over the top (literally) arcade wrestling game. Think the old Wrestlefest game and you get the idea.

Originally known as Chikara Action Arcade Wrestling, but since Chikara closed down, it is no longer associated with the game.

AAW has all your classic moves, Clotheslines, Piledrivers, Body Slams, Shoot Lasers, Wield Lightsabers, yes, all those classic wrestling moves you are fond of.


The game does not take itself too seriously as you might have already guessed, and the controls are super simple, with just a couple of buttons needed to perform the moves. A nice touch is that you can't just repeatedly use the same move over and over, as your opponent will learn and start blocking the moves if you over use them.

There are 30+ wrestlers you can choose from, and you can also create your own wrestler, which we all know means you are either creating yourself, or your favourite current Superstar.

All the usual game modes are there including One vs. One, Tag Team, Three-way match, Four-way match, 4-10 Person Elimination matches, Tornado Tag, Battle Royal, Trios. No career mode at the moment, and no cage matches, which is a shame.

As you play, you will upgrade your character's level, you can perform "spots" in the match which gives you extra points and so on. And of course, all of your favourite "foreign objects" are there to, ready to be used, tables, chairs, bats and so on.


The Good
This is a fun, old school arcade wrestling game, and I absolutely loved it. I hope that the game makers will continue to support and update the game, as it could quickly reach cult status, especially as you can download other wrestlers created by others. Meaning an endless supply of wrestlers, and whether you are a WWE fan, an Impact Wrestling fan or an AEW fan, you will soon have all your favourite wrestlers in place.

The Bad
The various game modes are a bit too similar, and a career/campaign mode needs to be added. There are a few bugs here and there but nothing too bad.

Overall
If you like wrestling games, but want something a bit more fun, then this is the game for you.
I score Arcade Action Wrestling a solid 8/10



14 Sept 2021

PREVIEW: Fling to the Finish on PC (Steam)

Preview by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
As always let me start by stating this game is Early Access, so it is not finished, so my opinions are based on that, and not any finished article.

Fling to the Finish is a co-op game, whereby you and a friend race through obstacle courses, the gimmick here is that you are connected to each other via a stretchy rope. Use the rope to your advantage and you will zoom through courses, but whereas the rope can be your greatest advantage, it can also be your biggest hinderance. 

There are over a dozen characters to choose from that fit your mood, lots of levels to complete.

So, the question is, in its early state, is it any good? Well, the answer to that is yes. Ok there are problems, the graphics can be a bit glitchy at times, the online matchmaking isn't the best, and the single player mode can be tricky to get the hang of. But the general idea is a good one, and hopefully as the game makers further develop the game and fix the bugs, the game can only improve.


The game has a frantic feel, which is great, the ball shaped characters are fun, if a tad bland looking at the moment. The leader board is a nice touch, and there is a feeling that you can pass a level quicker, or beat other people's times, so the replay ability is also there.

The Good
I like the cartoonish graphics and soundtrack, the game just feels fun to play, although can be tricky at times.

The Bad
The game is early access, so there will always be bugs and things that can be approved, so keep that in mind if you decide to play it.

Overall
The game is fun, even at this early stage, and that can only be a good thing, the potential is there is the game makers listen to the opinions of those who have played it, and try to address issues and improve things.

Preview by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff



10 Sept 2021

REVIEW: Orbibot on Xbox One

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Recently we seem to have been spoiled with the release of various ball-rolling physics puzzle type games.

The latest to make its way to the mainstream is Orbibot, you control a ball shaped robot, and you have to reach a certain point to complete a level.

Sounds simple right? Wrong! As you play you will have to hit buttons, switch on or off lazers, move barrels or metal balls and open doors to reach the end of the level, which is a teleportation device.

Reach the teleportation device, and you are unsurprisingly teleported to the next level.

So how does the game itself play, well here is the problem, for a physics-based ball rolling game, the physics seem a bit off at times, and the control system can be frustrating to say the least, when precision is needed, this is where the game can fall down. Now maybe this was built into the game on purpose, or maybe not. If the game worked as you would expect it to, then you would fly through the 15 or so levels pretty quickly, a few hours if that and you would be done. Instead, you will find yourself taking much longer to complete the game.


The Good
Everything looks really good. The game is very simple at the start, not a lot of direction needed, it is pretty clear what you need to do, and you just jump straight into it.

The Bad
The control of the ball, and the camera angle, sadly the two main parts of a game like this, and both just let the game down. A few tweaks to both of these would improve the game massively, but it would also perhaps make the game too easy. And 15 levels is not a lot.

Overall
A game full of potential, but just missed the mark on some of the most important aspects of what makes a good physics-based ball rolling game.

I score the game a fair 6/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff


Orbibot will be priced for 4.99 $ / € for all platforms, and it will launch on:
SONY America: August 20th
SONY Europe: August 20th
XBOX: August 20th
Nintendo Switch (NA & EU): August 26th
* PS4 and PS5 version will be cross-buy.
* Xbox One and Xbox Series X version will have Smart Delivery.

3 Sept 2021

REVIEW: Rolling Adventure on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Rolling Adventure is a game that has been out on Mobile for a while, although a more simplified version. Well now a full-fledged version of the game has been released on Steam. So, what is the game about, well you drive a monster truck, and you have to pass through tracks, sounds pretty simple, well here is the twist, the course is set on a procedurally generated conveyor belt. In other words, if you go to fast you will simply drive off the end and die, go to slow, and you will fall off the end and die.

You play on 30 levels, each level harder than the last. You must drive over obstacles, while collecting the all-important gold Stars, get 3 to "perfect" the level.

The part of the game that really grabs you, is the timing everything takes, you can't just floor it and hope your monster truck will clear everything, you need to time your movements, jumps and turbos, otherwise you might get stuck on an obstacle, which will then eventually leave you falling off the end of the conveyor belt.

As well as stars, you will collect "nuts" to help you unlock achievements.

Rolling Adventure although starting as a simple mobile game, on Steam it really is quite the challenging game. 

The Good
Graphically it is very sharp, the courses are well made, and there is a high level of re-playability, to get all the stars and nuts.

The Bad
Poorly optimized for older computers, which is just laziness, since the game is a small file size, and graphically not that much different to the mobile version. The controls are also not the best. And at roughly £10 it is way overpriced.

Overall
A fun idea for a game, it plays well and offers a challenge. There is a demo you can play first; I would advise checking that out first before purchasing. Also you can get the simpler mobile version for free, just search your app store.

I score Rolling Adventure a fair 6/10, Room for improvement.

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff




31 Aug 2021

REVIEW: Hell Architect on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Today we are here to review the very interesting "Hell Architect" by Woodland Games, I will say, that wouldn't Hell's Architect be a better name? Just seems more grammatically correct. Oh well.

When I started playing Hell Architect, the first thing I noticed was the similarities to Hammerting, a game I reviewed back in October 2020, same viewpoint, same general gameplay, but luckily as I started playing through the tutorial of Hell Architect, I realised that Hell Architect was an infinitely better game. So, if you had a bad experience with Hammerting, then give Hell Architect a play, as it gets right, almost everything that Hammerting got wrong.

You play as the "Architect of Hell", you play from a 2D vertical side on view point, and like other vertical mining colony sim type games, your job is to dig, craft and build, but with the twist being that you are running hell. Instead of dwarves, you have sinners and lost souls, you need to make these evildoers suffer, you can build prisons and torture devices, all while keeping your hell running smoothly. 

You have 9 levels of hell to complete in single player mode, or you can just go to work creating your own perfect hell in sandbox mode. In single player mode you will try to gain the approval of demons and even the devil himself. But running hell is not an easy task, unfortunately there is more to hell than just punishing sinners, you have to build power stations, places for your sinners to eat food, and more and more intricate torture devices. You will need to harvest resources, the usual dirt, stone, coal and so on, but also if you dig far enough you can find ancient artifacts that will give you special powers.

At its core Hell Architect is a vertical 2D management sim, but with such a nice twist, that being you are running hell.



The Good
The graphics are crisp, well animated, and I need to give a special mention to how well this game is optimized, it ran perfectly on an old laptop of mine, as well as perfectly on my fancy desktop. This is so important, since many games are released that are so poorly optimized that unless you have a £2000 setup, you can't play them, but Hell Architect really is so well made, I was pleasantly surprised by the relatively low download size, and just how smooth everything is. 

The tutorial is perfect, really helps you learn the basics of the game, everything is easy to find and navigate, you can tell that the game makers have really spent time making sure the basics of the game are perfect, and I really appreciate that, especially considering the frustrations I had with similar games I have played in this genre.

The Bad
If you like Vertical 2D management sim type games, then there is no bad. This game is almost the perfect representation of the genre.

Overall
Can you tell I like this game yet? The true greatness of any game, especially for someone like me who is in general only playing it to review it, is if after I have finished my review, if I will keep playing it, it is that simple, if I never play it again, then the game is perhaps not that great, but with Hell Architect I will definitely keep playing it. It is just so damn good.

I score the game a near perfect 9/10 Absolutely loved it.

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff.



28 Aug 2021

REVIEW: Mask of Mists - Nintendo Switch

Mask of Mists is the latest game released by Sometimes You on Nintendo Switch.
A first-person perspective game whereby you play as a mercenary, your job is a simple one, to find one of the Archmages of the Academy who has gone missing, while researching in the Infected Territory!

The Infected Territory is an interesting place, after being exposed to "monstrous amounts of magic", it has become overwhelmed with evil creatures from the abyss, as the barrier between the normal world and the world of evil and chaos has broken down.

You start the game looking at a book, that explains to you the story, and gives you the context of what you are about to do, and see.

As you play you will need to find notes left by the missing Archmage to help you progress, explaining to you things he did, what he failed at, as well as where he succeeded, his notes go into your notebook for future reference. You will face puzzles that need to be solved, as you solve them, they have a direct effect on the world, new parts of the map will be revealed, areas that were previously deadly, become harmless.

But it is not just exploration and puzzles, there is an action element to the game, you will have to fight the monsters from the abyss, you have a gun and a sword, and as you play, and inevitably lose health, you can drink potions to help you recover. Potions which you can create from various magic plants you will find.

Although the game is relatively short and you will most likely complete it in about 4 hours, it is a fun experience, and despite the ending feeling a bit flat since it goes back to the same book to explain things, as a whole the game is a rewarding experience. And there is definitely a feeling of wanting to replay the game, explore more, collect everything, and try to find every single secret.

The Good
Graphically the game is very good, everything plays smoothly and the controls are easy enough to learn.

The Bad
The beginning and end and the use of simple book to explain things, seems a bit lazy, and perhaps rushed to avoid spending time creating an animated open and close.

Overall
A fun, engaging game, that despite its flaws will definitely have me making another playthrough.

I score Mask of Mists a solid 7/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff

Out now on Nintendo Switch



24 Aug 2021

REVIEW: Deadly Days - Xbox

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Deadly Days is the latest rogue-lite game from Pixel Split Games. You play within a zombie apocalypse, because, well, why not. You are in charge of a group of survivors and you have to try to stop the catastrophe, survive and play through procedurally generated cities and missions.

The basic gameplay consists of controlling your characters around the map, looking for loot, while at the same time fighting off waves of zombies. Once you collect everything an area has to give, you return to your base to drop off everything you found.

To loot a building, a character will by targeting to enter, while other characters will remain outside to defend against the zombies. The defending and fighting of the zombies is done automatically, think of the game more as you managing a group of characters, as opposed to you actively controlling their actions. 

Did I mention apples? These are of upmost importance, you will use apples to level up your characters, keep them well fed, and so on.



As you play through the maps, you will be able to better equip your characters, this is important as the zombies get consistently harder the more you play, including kamikaze zombies and spitter zombies. Time to call in an airstrike to clear the way! The maps can be a bit small, but there is still plenty to explore and collect.

There is a nice learning curve in the game, so early on everything is quite easy as you get to grips with everything. 

The Good
Deadly Days is a nice simple, easy to play game, lots of weapons to collect, characters to meet, and even the story is probably more than what you would expect in such a game.

The Bad
As I already mentioned, the maps are a little small, and the game plays more like a management game than a classic rogue-lite, and perhaps the game is lacking in a few areas that will keep you coming back.

Overall
A fun, interesting game, with some unique and original ideas.

I score Deadly Days a strong 7/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff

Deadly Days is out now on Xbox



22 Aug 2021

PREVIEW: Glitchpunk Early Access

By GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Before I start let me make it clear that the game is Early Access, for those who do not know, that means it is not finished, and often nowhere near finished, it means the game is barebones, something that the developers can release that lets people play the game, and in turn help them find bugs, get ideas, improve gameplay and so on.

It is a bit like releasing the first chapter draft of a book you are writing, so please keep all of this in mind any time you play an Early Access title.

Onto the game itself, Glitchpunk is a top-down action game, think the original GTA games but in a dystopian future. I really hate the word dystopian; everything has to be dystopian these days! come on guys, be original!

In Glitchpunk you shoot, steal and drive your way around as you maim your victims, you are an android bounter hunter. You have a "glitch" in your programming which allows you to break your programming, yes, I know, not the most original idea, but we are in a dystopian future after all. Anyway, since you have broken your programming, you have decided that you want to "destabilize the tyrannical governments of the post-nuclear world", and as such you just want to cause havoc. There are gangs to kill, police to take on, and generally trouble to cause.

As you play, you will accept contracts, earn money to make upgrades, buy cybernetic modules which give you new abilities, for example the ability to hack into others and control their behaviour, make alliances, lose alliances and more.

As of writing there is only one city to play in, eventually there will be 4.

In general, this game is GTA but with modern graphics.

The Good
As with all Early Access games, the question always has to be "does this game have potential?" And Glitchpunk has all the potential in the world. Is it very cliché and full of unoriginal ideas? Yes, but still that is not always a bad thing if done well.

The Bad
I hate to say this, but as of right now, the game is pretty bad, numerous graphical errors, poor optimisation, frame drops, freezing, never ending loading screens, poor physics, I could go on, but I keep reminding myself that this is an early access game.

Overall
The game has potential, but I wonder if the game is cursed by the "punk" part of the title. We all know the disaster of the Cyberpunk release, perhaps Glitchpunk should have a name rethink?

A long, long way to go, but the potential is there. Either change the graphical style to be much simpler, or work on that optimisation, even on a decent PC the game really struggled.

By GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff


19 Aug 2021

REVIEW: Seed of Life on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Seed Of Life is the latest action-adventure game from MadLight, You play as Cora, the last survivor of a dying world called Lumia, your world was ravaged by aliens who are stealing the planet's life force. Your job is to activate "The Seed" a device that will save your planet and regenerate the very life force of the planet.

You play in a 3rd person viewpoint, from just behind the character, as you explore, you will come across Talisman Capsules that help you learn new abilities that will help you on your way, collect Lumium to upgrade yourself, and collect various items. You have an alien assistant called Nar. As you play you will have to solve puzzles and generally get from one waypoint to the next.

The game plays in a semi open world environment, there is plenty to explore, and you need to watch out for toxic environments that will slowly drain your health, the game does not hold your hand too much, and you will need to figure things out for yourself, that will be good for some people, and for others you may miss being told exactly what to do.


You will have a compass that will help you decide which way to go, colour coded as to tell you which waypoint will give you which power. As it is a semi open world, when you are away from the Waypoints you may find yourself losing health in the toxic environments, so before you go off exploring too much, make sure you know your way back to the previous waypoint, or find the next one first. This is especially important to make sure you do not lose your progress.

Once you get to grips with the controls and the gameplay, the game is relatively easy and you should complete it in under 10 hours, quicker on the easiest setting.


The Good
The graphics are very pretty and the soundtrack is very relaxing, the gameplay is fun, and although the game is relatively short, it is an enjoyable experience.

The Bad
The voice acting for Cora is terrible, sorry but I have to say that. There is also some issues with precision jumping, there are a few other bugs, but the developers are ironing these out and putting out updates, so these will all get fixed.

Overall
The game is fun, and despite the short play time, I enjoyed the experience. I score the game a solid 7.5/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff



12 Aug 2021

REVIEW: Glyph on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Back in the mid 1980s a game called Marble Madness was released, you controlled a marble through an isometric course. It was pretty unique. Fast forward nearly 40 years and you have Glyph, a beautiful 3D platform game whereby you control a ball, or to be more precise a mechanical scarab, as you make your way through a course and try not to die. Clearly this game pays homage to the great Marble Madness and similar games of that time. But it does so in a truly up to date manner, plus it throws in a load of unique new abilities.

"A mechanical monster has devastated the nation and poisoned the land.
In Glyph, you snatch a fractured civilization from the jaws of doom after runaway technology has destroyed everything.
But safe ground is rare in this dying world.
The desert sands are toxic and destruction has left few places to rest...
So the last shred of hope is for you to collect the resources that will restore life to your home."

That is your basic story.

With over 80 courses to complete, lots of collectables, and insane jumps and manoeuvres to make, Glyph is instantly going to appeal to speed runner gamers, as well as fans of precise 3D platform games. You can dive, climb, roll, twist, crash, edge, skid, glide, sneak, scale, and corkscrew your way to success.

With a beautiful soundtrack and glorious locations to play, the game does feel pretty special. And with any game whereby precision is needed, you will be shouting at the screen one moment, and then revelling in your greatness the next, as you finally complete the level you have been stuck on.

Starting out as a VR game, and then finding its feet as a Nintendo Switch game, the game is now on Steam, so the question remains, is the game any good?


The Good
Firstly the game looks great, the soundtrack is awesome, the levels are well thought out, and there are always multiple ways to complete a level, add in time trial events and boss fights and the game does have all the ingredients to keep you coming back, and since you can come back to a hard level any time you like, you may find yourself waiting until you have really grasped the game mechanics before going back and mastering that tough level you struggled on before.

The Bad
I used the mouse and keyboard to play, and I have to say I HATED playing it in this way, no matter how much I fiddled with the camera sensitivity, I just couldn't quite get it to a level whereby I felt comfortable playing like this. Don't get me wrong, I still played the game and enjoyed it, but this is a console game ported to a PC, and playing with a mouse and keyboard just feels awkward, I tried it with a controller and it played much better. But the camera system to me just doesn't quite work.

Overall
This is one of those games whereby the more you play it, the more you get used to its flaws and eventually stop noticing them. The game is beautiful but tough, not as tough as the Switch version I hear, and the learning curve has been improved for the PC release.

If you like precision, ball rolling platformers, then this is probably the best of its genre out there right now.
The game is tough but fair, and I score Glyph a fair 7/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff



5 Aug 2021

REVIEW: The Long Gate - Nintendo Switch

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
The Long Gate is an exploration game, whereby you solve puzzles to progress. Nice and simple right? Not quite, this is a challenging game.

The game itself lets you play how you want, there is no fixed order for the puzzles, for example you do not need to complete one to get to the next, so you really can choose which puzzles you want to take on and in which order, if one is too hard, come back to it later. And more than that the puzzles do not have a one solution outcome, many puzzles have multiples way to be solved.

There are three classes of puzzle, Digital, Analog and Quantum, there are helpful hints if you get stuck. All circuit board based. So basically, you need to solve a puzzle to get power from one part to another.

Apparently, the puzzles are based on real world technologies, and everything is very accurate, we know this as everything has been verified by D-Wave Systems, the world's first commercial quantum computer company.


Although the puzzles are tricky, you do not necessarily need a background in the STEM fields, but if you do, then you might find things even more enjoyable.

Along with an original soundtrack by Nick Newman, you will find yourself exploring beautiful ancient caverns, and glorious scenes of nature.

As you solve the puzzles you will solve the mystery of what happens to the people who created them.

With all that said, is the game any good?

The Good
The soundtrack is wonderful, the puzzles although very challenging are well thought out.

The Bad
Performance on the Switch is poor, it really should be better, but this game has been ported from the PC, and such it is a PC game, and you should probably go play it on a PC instead of the Switch. There is also a lot of assumption by the game makers, they assume too much of the player, and I fear that younger gamers, or people just trying this game out might be disappointed by the lack of help the game gives you at the start.

Overall
Good game, but not on the Nintendo Switch, such a shame as the concept is good, but needs tweaking, especially in the performance department. If you like hard, logic-based puzzle games, then this is for you, but go get it on PC instead.

I Score The Long Gate - Nintendo Switch as sad 5/10




 

4 Aug 2021

Patron Release Trailer

Overseer Games have finally released a full trailer for their "survival city builder" game.

--

Patron is a survival city builder with a unique social dynamics system. Gather and produce resources, build your fledgling village into a prosperous city and navigate the intricate social tensions before they reach boiling point.


Key features:
A survival city builder with a unique social dynamics system
Gather and produce resources
Establish sustainable production chains
Build your fledgling village into a prosperous city as you construct and upgrade buildings
Manage your people and steer your citizens towards needed professions
Balance social issues: Class strife, Immigration, Religion, Health, Safety, Loyalty...
Plan growth through an extensive Research Tree and unlock technology, policies and upgrades
Plan production and overseas trade to support your economy through difficult times



Genre: Survival city builder
Platform: PC Windows
Release data: 10th August
Developer: Overseer Games

For more information check out https://www.patronnewworld.com
and Wishlist the game on Steam - https://store.steampowered.com/app/1538570/Patron/


26 Jul 2021

REVIEW: The Innsmouth Case on Nintendo Switch

Review by GamingCouchPotato Staff
In 2021 you don't really get many text-based adventure games, especially not on a console like the Nintendo Switch, but with The Innsmouth Case that is exactly what you are getting. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, The Innsmouth Case is a horror/comedy adventure.

The gameplay itself is literally reading and following a book on screen, there are 35 chapters, and 27 different endings, so for those of you old enough, this is basically the same as those old 'choose your own adventure' books, where you would skip back and forth to different pages to follow the story, dependent on the choices you make.

On a console though, there is no cheating.

Here is a brief breakdown of the story:

"A desperate mother, a missing girl and a mystical place - a case could hardly be more challenging. To solve the enigmatic disappearance of little Tabitha Marsh, however, the toughest and cleverest detective of all is wanted... but he does not have the time - and so the job goes to you. This mysterious assignment takes you to the remote fishing village of Innsmouth, where nothing is what it seems…

Save the girl, solve the case, survive Innsmouth!"

As you play you will be given options, so for example, on the top half of the page might be an image of something, you are then asked a question about the image, and you will select an option from beneath, each time you choose such an option the story branches, meaning that each play through will be different.



You can even see one of the endings of the game within the first few minutes of the game, if you choose to simply decline to take on the job.

You will find yourself heading down a few dead ends as you play, but it is easy enough to retrace your steps, or use the chapter selection option, to allow you to get back to where you need to be, so you can choose a different story path to take. Every decision you make, really does affect the story.

Although the game is horror based, it does have a lot of humour, and the writing is well done throughout, there are a few grammatical errors here and there, the odd typo, but nothing that is too distracting.

The Good
For what is essentially a book, the graphics are very nice, there are some good animations, and the game will have you coming back to try new paths to find out the different endings. It is a well written book.

The Bad
For a console that is predominantly aimed towards the younger gamer, I am unsure that anyone under 30 will really want to read a game like this, on the big screen there is no chance, on the hand held I am not so sure.

Overall
If you enjoy visual novels, choose your own adventure type books/games, then you will enjoy this.  If you are a newbie to this genre, then perhaps this is not the game for you.

I score The Innsmouth Case on Nintendo Switch a fair 7/10



22 Jul 2021

REVIEW: King of Seas - Xbox One

Review by Jon Donnis
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a preview copy of King of Seas for PC last year, and I enjoyed what little I did get to play, so fast forward to now, and we have the full console release, so I was interested to see how the game had progressed, and if it fit well on consoles.

Let's remind ourselves of the story. In King of Seas, you find yourself in a time of pirates, sea battles, treasure, Islands and even sea monsters.

Your father has been killed, and you have decided to avenge that death by fighting your way from the bottom of the pirating world, trying to reach the very top and becoming The King of the Pirates! (I have not changed my opinion on this one point, The King of the Pirates is an infinitely better name for this game than King of Seas, which not only seems to be grammatically incorrect, but does little to explain what the game actually is.)


Once you get into the actual game you will find yourself with a basic ship, to start your adventure you will complete tasks, that might be to accompany another ship and to keep it safe, or perhaps to just got out and attack other ships and steal their resources. Of course, there are things that will get in your way, whether that is much bigger and more powerful ships, changing weather conditions, or a sea monster trying to sink you. 

As you progress you will find new places to trade, upgrade your ship, you might even stop by a seemingly empty island and find yourself some treasure. Basically, there is plenty to do whether you want to follow the missions strictly, or just sail about attacking people and looking for treasure. 

There are different ships to own, different weapons and upgrades, as well as skills to help you along the way.

The graphics are simple but detailed, the sounds are perfectly fine, and control of the ship is intuitive.



The Good
The game plays well on Xbox, no complaint there, you will soon get used to the controls, the graphics are detailed, the sound effects are decent. 


The Bad
Going from playing this game on a PC screen to a large TV one major issue I have noticed is that the writing on the screen, in menus etc, is rather small. In general people play consoles games while sat on a sofa, they are not 5 inches from the TV like you are when you play PC games, unfortunately this is a common problem when porting a game from PC to console, the game developers never consider the different way gamers will play games on different formats. 


Overall
This is a fun game, I enjoyed the PC preview I played a while back, and I am enjoying the Xbox release too. There is enough depth to the game that will keep you coming back. As I mentioned earlier, my only real complaint is the small writing, I really do hate getting up and moving closer to the TV to read something, I am not getting any younger.

Also worth noting that the Xbox release allows you to download a free trial before you decide whether to buy it or not, so you have nothing to lose. Get it now!

I score King of Seas on Xbox One a solid 7/10

Review By Jon Donnis

Out Now - https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/p/king-of-seas/9pm0r43hpss7


 

21 Jul 2021

Freddie Spaghetti 2


Freddy 2.0 is here! Freddy is spaghetti. Oh, and conscious.

Freddy 2.0 has got a job! The story starts as you plunge headfirst into the workplace. Overcome the environment, master your spaghetti and run to the coffee machine!

Don’t be late on your first day!

Freddy Spaghetti uses rope physics to simulate a squishy, stretchy, ropey character.

Features:
Fun and Easy Controls
Physics all over the place
Unique Levels
Hilarious and Captivating Story
Professional Narration
Heaps of Personality

Freddy Spaghetti 2 will be priced for 4.99 $ / € for all platforms, and it will launch on:
SONY America: July 23rd
SONY Europe: July 23rd
XBOX: July 23rd
Nintendo Switch (NA & EU): July 23rd

10 Jul 2021

REVIEW: Yakuza: Like a Dragon on Xbox One

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the 8th in what seems like a never-ending series of games.

But this is a new start in the series, unlike the previous games that followed Kazuma Kiryu, Like A Dragon follows Ichiban Kasuga.

"Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking grunt of a low-ranking yakuza family in Tokyo, faces an 18-year prison sentence after taking the fall for a crime he didn't commit. Never losing faith, he loyally serves his time and returns to society to discover that no one was waiting for him on the outside, and his clan has been destroyed by the man he respected most.

Ichiban sets out to discover the truth behind his family's betrayal and take his life back, drawing a ragtag group of society's outcasts to his side: Adachi, a rogue cop, Nanba, a homeless ex-nurse, and Saeko, a hostess on a mission. Together, they are drawn into a conflict brewing beneath the surface in Yokohama and must rise to become the heroes they never expected to be."

Using the same "Dragon Engine" from Yakuza 6 and Yakuza Kiwami 2, Like a Dragon will instantly feel familiar if you have played those two games, however there is one big change outside of the storyline elements. The real-time beat 'em up is gone and replaced by a turn-based RPG combat system.

This is a HUGE change, and if you are unaware of this change when you first start to play, that first battle feels weird as hell. Now I will admit I hated it at first, I really enjoyed the freedom of the real-time beat em up system of the previous games, the turn-based RPG system for the fights does feel constrained, especially early on, but you will soon get used to it, and as you unlock new special moves etc, then it does become enjoyable, if a bit tedious in a boss fight.

There is an auto mode when fighting, that enables the characters to do pretty much everything and you can just sit back, you still need to hit the odd button here and there to max out the power of certain moves, but it does make the fights easier.


Onto the game itself, like previous games there are endless sub-stories to complete, see a person on the street, speak to them, do a job for them, report back, collect a reward. You will also slowly build up a team, they can even join you in battles, and although you control them in the fights, outside of the fights, you will only control Kasuga. Another interesting element of the game is the jobs system, you can change jobs for your characters, and that in turn may change the way they fight in battle, upgrade their ranks and you will find you get stronger, faster and so on. Each job has a different look when you fight, different clothes to wear and more.

There is also the huge selection of mini games to play, whether that is heading into a SEGA arcade and playing Virtua Fighter 5, cart racing, collecting cans on a course, and the biggest one of all the management mini game, where you buy properties, assign employees, and try to raise the stock price of the business, hoping to eventually get to number one. If that doesn't sound like something you would like, well tough, because later in the game you will need to collect large sums of money, and one of the best ways to do that is the management mini game. It is a bit complicated at first, but you will figure it out, and there are plenty of guides online to help you out.

Although you can save your game at almost any time, there are some sections whereby you cant, usually it will be a scene where you need to battle through to an enemy boss, or the battle arena, or even under the city. In these situations a save before you start, and hope you are well prepared to get through it.

If you struggle in a fight and seem to be endlessly fighting and healing yourself, you are probably not strong enough and need to go away, grind a bit and raise your stats, or buy better weapons.

Regarding the weapons, you can buy them in shops, find them after battles, and even craft them.

There really does seem to be so much to do in this game, and you can get side tracked for hours doing things that have nothing to do with the main story. But that is fun. You will even fight a chimp, a tiger and a mechanical digger during this game!


The Good
The game looks and plays great, everything is smooth, the cut scenes although rather long at times, are all fun to watch.

The Bad
Although I have got used to the RPG elements of battle, I still prefer the beat em up style of previous games.

Overall
This is an epic game, if you went at it hard you can probably complete it in 12 hours, but then you won't enjoy it, sometimes the best parts of the game are the side stories, the silly things like growing pine seeds to then turn into a bonsai tree, to give to a girl to impress them. Silly but fun.

I score the game a solid 8/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff

Out now on