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31 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Gravewood High (Early Access) - PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Before I start, as always with Early Access games, you must keep in mind that this is not the finished product. Game developers often will listen to feedback, update and change the game before a proper release, so any comments I give here are not on the finished game.

Gravewood High is a stealth horror game, set in a high school. Seemingly set in the 1980s/1990s.

The story goes that some students have gone missing at Gravewood High, but none of the teachers or parents have noticed. You are stuck within the school, and you need to escape, the problem is that the school is very much a maze that is constantly changing, and there is an evil teacher (Mr Hyde) looking for you.

Although this is a horror game, it is a game with very cartoony graphics, but the big twist is that every time you get caught by the teacher, when you replay, things have moved, locations of objects you need to solve puzzles have changed, the very puzzles themselves may need different ways to solve. Puzzles might include finding objects to open a gate, connecting or disconnecting electrical devices. Entering or exiting a certain area. Early on one puzzle you need to complete is to power up an elevator, the power coupling outside is damaged, so you need to find an alternative way. You find an electrostatic generator in the science room, and soon realize you need to find metal trophies and place them along a route to the elevator to give it power. Sounds simple, but when you have Mr Hyde (The Teacher) looking for you, that is where the stealth comes in, you need to watch him from afar, and if he sees you, run to safety. As panic sets in you will make mistakes, and before you know it you have to start again. Luckily you have a friend on the other end of a walkie talking who will help you as you play.


Each area of the school contains plenty of things you can pick up and move, things you might need to hold on to, spanners, bolt cutters, torches etc. And as you progress Mr Hyde gets smarter, transforms and develops new abilities as well as new ways to find you.

One of the ways to win is to outwit the teacher, set up traps for him, maybe connect a wire cable to a patch of water and lure him to you to electrify him. The game has a decent plot, and the story is worth following and paying attention to.

You will play for long periods without a checkpoint, so when you do get caught, the thought of playing a long area again, can be frustrating, more so because you know that the things you need will have changed location. Instead of this being a challenge, it just becomes an annoyance. Although you will lose things that were in your possession, you do keep hold of any keys picked up, so it is not all bad.

Finding secret paths and areas is also a big part of the game, they are a great way to avoid Mr Hyde, as well as progress further. The puzzles themselves are all pretty straight forward, so the hardest part of the game is staying away from the teacher, so as soon as you figure out what you need to do in a puzzle, you need to figure out how you will avoid Mr Hyde while you do it.


The Good
A nice-looking game, that does have some genuine moments of excitement as you rush to solve a puzzle while Mr Hyde is on the war path.

The Bad
Sometimes feels more like a game of chase than it does of a puzzle solving horror, the frustration felt sometimes overruns the challenge, meaning that when you do know exactly what you are supposed to do, but keep failing, you might just give up.

Overall
As an early access game, many issues can be forgiven, there is a lot of potential here. The various story elements need to be further investigated in the gameplay, and perhaps help lessen the frustration to challenge ratio.

For now, the game is worth checking out, won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it is decent.

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff




28 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Green Hell - PS4

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Green Hell is an open world survival game from developers Creepy Jar.

Played from a first-person perspective, you play as a researcher called Jake Higgins, you find yourself in the jungle in the amazon, your partner Mia left to visit a tribe in the jungle, she is a linguist and decided to make first contact with a tribe known as the Yabahuca. Now she is gone, you are alone, and you need to not only find her, but you need to survive.

And this is the main idea of the game, survival. You will start off by learning how to do simple things, like building and starting a camp fire. You will need to learn how to craft items by collecting the raw materials, and combining them. But of course, things are a bit more complicated than that, you need to keep an eye on your health, not just physical but mental. As the environment around you changes, so will your need to build camps, find places to sleep. Everything you do matters. Find yourself thirsty and you decide to drink some water from a river, great if the water is clean, not so great if it is dirty. You will only make yourself more ill.

Try and find and collect food, but what happens if you eat an unknown mushroom? Might be ok, might give you hallucinations, might make you sick. As you navigate through all of these problems, you will also need solutions, cut your arm and maybe use ants to close the wound, get an infection and use maggots to clean the wound. You see you will need to use such tricks, as bandages and medicine need to time to make. Luckily your notebook will help you keep track of things and you will slowly learn from your mistakes. And then there are the animals, think snakes, spiders and scorpions, as well as larger animals you can try to kill to eat. You might even find yourself in a fight with a native tribesman.

Your watch will be a major benefit to your survival, it helps you keep track of your vitals, as well as acting as a navigation tool, you will also make good use of a map that you will find.

As you do try to survive, trial and error really does become your friend. You will soon learn what does work and what doesn't. 

With all that, the question then remains, is the game any good?


As survival games go, Green Hell is very detailed, and very tough, there is no hand holding here. Don't waste your time with the tutorial, as it is the same as if you just start the story mode. Which seems very strange. There is also a major issue that you cannot easily save your progress. You can only save when in a camp. So, if you are playing and need to stop quickly, you can't, you have to build or find a camp, and then save. You will find yourself easily losing a lot of progress due to this.

There are 7 extra challenges you can attempt, these are away from the story mode, and are stand-alone challenges. When you have the main idea of how to play, it is worth playing the challenges to really help you figure out how to survive, the challenges include simple things like finding a camp and starting a fire, or building a raft, or killing and cooking an animal etc.

The difficulty is pretty high in the game, and you might find yourself putting the game on the easiest setting on a first playthrough, but as mentioned earlier there is no hand holding here, early help and instructions soon disappear, and you really do need to figure out much on your own, this will put off newbies to the genre. Finish the game on the easiest setting and you will want to replay on a harder setting using the knowledge you have gained.


The Good
The game is beautiful, and despite the odd graphical glitch, everything looks and plays wonderfully. Any experienced survival game fan should feel right at home.

The Bad
This is not a game for newbies to the genre, it is tough, the controls at time feel a bit clunky, especially navigating the backpack.

Overall
For experienced survival game players, you will find yourself enjoying this game, the story and the challenges are all very rewarding. For newbies, this game is tough, really tough, with the clunky controls, you might find yourself put off early on, which is a shame, because if you stick with it, the game has a lot to offer.

I score Green Hell on PS4 a fair 7/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff



26 Oct 2021

REVIEW: The Black Heart on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
The Black Heart is a gothic horror 1 vs 1 fighting game, think original Streetfighter 2 but with aesthetics from Mortal Kombat and you get the idea.

Originally released on the "M.U.G.E.N engine" which was a freeware 2D fighting game engine, whereby "authors" would port characters from other fighting games into the engine, AndrĂ©s Borghi took a different route, by creating totally original characters and stages for his game The Black Heart

Although moving on from that engine, it still plays in a similar way. And now gets an all-new official release on Steam with updated HD graphics and soundtrack.
 
The controls are as you would expect, directional control over your character and 4 buttons for punching and kicking.



Here is the story.
It's about another world in a parallel dimension where the king and ruler has been murdered. A vicious creature called Final has ripped his heart where he stored all the power, he used to create that world.

Six creatures, both from our world and the other one, chase this monster to steal the heart for their own purposes, since it's said that the bearer of the heart will wield an enormous power.

Although only 6 characters to choose from, this is a true Indie game, everything made by just one man.

The gameplay is similar in style to the classic Capcom fighting games of the 90s, you have combos, finishing moves and so on.



The Good
Simple graphics will take you back to the 1990s. A great soundtrack matches teh fun gameplay.

The Bad
Only 6 characters, and no online play.

Overall
The Black Heart is a true fighting game, made by one man, we should all try and support Independent Developers, for they are the real future of the Gaming Industry.

I score The Black Heart a fair 7/10
Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff

Out Now On Steam


25 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Ragtag Racing on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Ragtag Racing is a cheap, small file size, racing game on Steam, it is a super simple 3D Motorsport type game.

You can play in two separate views, in the driver's seat, or from above/behind. I have never liked playing games from the driver's perspective, so straight away I chose the above/behind viewpoint.

Race on a track, try to get from the back of the pack to the front and progress to the next track. Sounds simple! Well, it is and it isn't. The most important part of the game is your fuel level. Run out of fuel and you are done.
Races are short, so you can't refill. Everything is about keeping up your speed, and using your boost at just the right time to help you win the race. But overuse it, or use it in the wrong place, and you will just end up coming up short and running out of fuel.

And that is pretty much the gameplay.



The computer-controlled drivers can be a pain in the behind, they will try to ram you and generally make things as hard as possible.

One mistake and it really is it; you need to drive the almost perfect race to progress.

The Graphics are super retro and simple, (hence the small download size), the sound effects are so-so, and the theme music is annoyingly catchy to say the least.

The Good
Small download size, quick pick up and play gameplay, relatively easy to get used to. Graphics are simple but fun.

The Bad
Can be a bit buggy, the game did crash a few times for me, and there is a lack of longevity, but for an Indie game it is what you would expect.

Overall
The game was made by one man on his own, it only costs a pound. If you hate it, you have only lost a pound, but you have helped out an Indie Developer. And there is a free demo you can download anyway to see if you like it before you buy.
So, you really have no excuse, if you want a simple fun racer, give Ragtag Racing a look.

I score Ragtag Racing a simple 6/10




23 Oct 2021

REVIEW: RAYZE on PC (Steam)


Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
RAYZE is one of the first games I am familiar with that comes under the "Aim Racer" genre. Put simply an Aim Racer game is a simplified game when by you select points on the screen with your left mouse button, and upon clicking on a target point you will move towards that point, as you move towards that point you will need to click on another target to move towards that, the ultimate aim to reach an end point of the level.


In RAYZE things are complicated by the fact that a successful hit of a target accelerates you, and a miss slows you down, hit a wall due to you not clicking on a target quick enough, and you die, level over, you have to start again. Find yourself going too fast and you can right click the mouse button and that also slows you down. Look for yellow areas to left click on to accelerate. (First speed you will reach is 120, and adds 60 for each new target you click on) Right button to slow down, and pressing the scroll wheel will restart the level. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the mouse too, which you will need to do, to find a speed of movement you are comfortable with.


It is a simple, yet addictive concept.

You play in first person viewpoint, there are 6 sectors, and each sector has 5 levels. Complete levels in order to unlock the next sector.

The game itself attracts you completely the levels, but you will soon find that everything becomes a challenge to get the fastest score, there are leaderboards for friends only, or for global scores. Trying to get as close to the top is an attractive prospect, if only for your ego, and the more you play a level the better you will get, often there are multiple ways to find the end of the level, and keeping your speed up, and knowing where to click next becomes easier the more you play. So, you will want to replay levels over and over until you consider that you have done the best run possible.

There is a cool electronic soundtrack by names like Lukhash and Buffout Boy, and others. And you can change the music playing, loop tracks and so on. There is even a YouTube safe mode, so you can choose copyright free tracks should you wish to stream your gameplay.


The Good
Aim Racing games are a new concept (to me anyway) and RAYZE seems to get things right. The soundtrack is great, the game play is easy to pick up, and the more you play, the better you get. Meaning that although frustrating at times, you KNOW you can finish the level, you just need to learn where and when to click, and how fast you can go.

The Bad
The graphics although bright and colourful might give some players headaches. I would have loved this concept to exist but playing in recognisable areas, or even down streets or house estates, just something different.

Overall
As Aim Racers go, this one is the best I have ever played. It is also the only one I have ever played, so it has one hell of an advantage.

Enjoyable game, that I keep wanting to play to beat my own scores. I score RAYZE as solid 8/10

Out Now on PC (Steam)



22 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Energy Cycle Edge on Nintendo Switch

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Some years ago, a simple puzzle game was released called Energy Cycle, well Energy Cycle Edge is a sequel to that game, if you played the original, then this new version will feel instantly familiar. The concept is the same as the original. You have different coloured "cells", when you activate one it changes colour, along with all adjacent cells in the same line as the one you activated. The aim is to make all cells on the screen the same colour, sounds easy right? WRONG. Think of how you would solve a Rubiks Cube, now instead of just having 9 blocks on one side to worry about, you have many more. Just when you think you have Energy Cycle Edge mastered, you will face a more complicated puzzle.

Not only will you have a number of cells to activate on one side, things go fully three dimensional in Energy Cycle Edge, and you can change to a different side. Again, think of a Rubiks Cube and you get the idea.



There are 44 levels to master, and a few graphical tweaks you can make, so that the game looks more like Energy Cycle if you prefer that style.

The gameplay is simple, but also tough at the same time. It really will take some brain power. If you like puzzle games, then this might be one you should check out.

The Good
Great soundtrack, and easy to learn gameplay, that will leave you frustrated but also challenged.

The Bad
The concept is simple, and perhaps a few more modes could have been added. If you do master the technique, then there isn't much more to do.
Personally, I am a long way from mastering it, and this game remains a challenge to me.

Overall
This is a tough puzzle game, that fans of the original, and the genre in general will enjoy.

I score Energy Cycle Edge is tough 8/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff

18 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Happenlance on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk
Happenlance is a pole-vaulting, jousting, climbing, fighting game. 

When you first start to play Happenlance, your first thought will be that this is just another climbing game, using your jousting lance to pole vault yourself and get as high as possible, and yes that is a major part of the game, but as you complete levels you will realise that there is much more to the game than just reaching as high as possible.

As well as climbing mountains, and buildings, you will also face traps that need to be avoided, seemingly impossible climbs that will need you to pick up or throw objects like boxes or balls, which you can then use as a base to fling yourself up high. You will also come across enemies trying to shoot arrows at you, a nice firm stab with your pole will take care of them. You can even defend yourself from the flying arrows by using your pole to knock them out of the air.


To say this game is tough might be an understatement, the controls are hard to get used to, I used a gamepad as I found that the easiest way, you control your character with the left stick, a small jump with one button, and your pole with the right stick. Alternatively, you can use keyboard controls and the mouse will control the pole. When I used the words pole vaulting, that really is how you fling yourself around. Luckily the physics aren't too realistic, and you can stick to certain surfaces, and pull yourself to safety.

You will get frustrated if you play this game, you will shout at the screen, and you will give up out of sheer annoyance at the difficulty of a level, but you will come back, and you will keep trying.

The graphics are fine for what they are, the backgrounds all look nice, the character is ok. The sounds however are terrible, if you have the volume up, your neighbour might thing you are watching something dodgy with the grunts and groans.


The Good
If challenging, climbing type games are your thing, then this will give you one hell of a challenge.

The Bad
If challenging, climbing type games are NOT your thing, then the difficulty of this game, might well put you off for good. 

Overall
Ridiculously hard, and with tricky controls, leaves me feeling frustrated and not challenged. The game does have its moments, when you finally get past that seemingly impossible obstacle, you do feel great accomplishment, but the problem is that around the corner is another seemingly impossible obstacle, and unfortunately watching others play the game on YouTube to help you figure it out, will become way too common, and even when you know what you should do, that doesn't really help you.

If you like a challenge, then give it a shot, but for me, it is just not something I could get to grips with.

I score this game a frustrating 6/10

There is a free to play demo you can download before you pay for the full game, check that out and decide for yourself.




16 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Mermaid Adventures: The Frozen Time - PC (Steam)

 

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff

So there is an evil octopus, and he has minions, and they are playing cruel tricks on the creatures that live in the Undersea World.

You play as a brave and beautiful mermaid called Alice, oh I cant be bothered with the story. Look it is a simple "Match 3" type puzzle game.

You play through the puzzles, that "awakens" other characters, and you save the Undersea World from the Octopus.

Every 10 levels you unlock another page of the story.

There are 80 levels, which include your classic Match 3 type puzzles, for those unaware, you draw a line with your cursor connecting 3 or more objects of the same style and they disappear, your lines do not need to be in a straight line either, you can go diagonal, up, down, left and right, as long as the objects match, the more you get the higher the score. There also some other types of puzzles, jigsaw, and hidden objects, memory match stuff. But the main game is the Match 3 type puzzles.

The problem with the game is that it is just not very good. I like that they made the effort to have a storyline, but the menus are too busy. The graphics are nice enough and the music is ok. But why you would pay money for this game when you can play similar games for free is beyond me. Not to mention that there are quite a few bugs.


The Good

Pretty graphics.

The Bad

A lot of bugs, and that you have to pay for the game.

Overall

In its current state I cannot recommend the game, I score it a poor 4/10

https://store.steampowered.com/app/798610/Mermaid_Adventures_The_Frozen_Time/





12 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Journey - PS4

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Journey is a hard to describe game, but "Indie-Adventure" seems to be the common description used. Co-developed by Thatgamecompany and Santa Monica Studio, it was originally released on PS3 back in March 2012, and then re-released in July 2015 for the PS4. It has since been ported to Windows and iOS in 2019.

You play as a mysterious robed figure, you find yourself in a huge desert, the only thing you know to do is head towards a mountain in the distance. You will see other players also on their own journey, but you can't communicate with them. As you play you will soon figure out that you need to "activate" seemingly dull pieces of cloth, into vibrant colourful ones. You will collect things that will allow you to jump, and almost fly for short periods, you will run along desert landscapes, and then find yourself almost surfing down the other side of a hill. When I say it is hard to describe, it really is.

You will explore ancient caves, as well as activate those aforementioned pieces of cloth, that will allow you to reach high up ancient structures, which in turn allow you to activate relics, that allow you to progress through the area.

Although the game is relatively short (a few hours at most), there is a feeling of wonder as you traverse through the landscapes, if anything this feels more like an emotional experience than a game. When you finally reach the mountain, it truly does give off a feeling of wonder and accomplishment.

I won't spoil the ending, and I have been careful not to give away too much, as this really is a game that you should experience.


The Good
The graphics are stunning, the soundtrack is beautiful. And if you were lucky enough to add this game to your account during Sony's "Play at Home" promotion, then you really do have a classic on your hands. I say this, as I did just that, back in July of 2020, Sony made a couple of games available for people to download and keep for free. I added the game to my account and then forgot about it, and only now have I started playing it. And I am happy I finally did, but annoyed I never played it sooner.

The Bad
The game is quite short.

Overall
Not many games can be sold on the experience it gives you to play, the emotion it provides, this is one of those games.
It has won countless awards for being great, and I will also lavish praise on the game, a true classic I score 9/10

I uploaded a few minutes of gameplay, check it out below.

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff


9 Oct 2021

REVIEW: World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Back in 1983 we were introduced to a game called Track and Field. Fast forward to 2021 and we have World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon. A true homage to not only Track and Field, but all of the Olympic type sports arcade games of the 80s.

The graphics are full retro style, and the sounds are as if you were stood in an arcade in the 80s.
We are back to button bashing greatness.

There are ten events to choose from, which you can take part in one at a time, as well as all ten in succession in the Decathlon mode.

You have...100 metres, Long jump, Shot put, High jump, 400 metres, 110 metres hurdles, Discus throw, Pole vault, Javelin throw and 1500 metres.


You can play in single player mode, or person vs person mode, local and online, however when I tried online I couldn't find a match.

The controls are simple, you have two buttons for speed, and then one for an action, for example to jump. And that is it, everything is super simple and easy to play.

There are leader-boards and achievements to unlock. Each event will have at least 3 achievements to get. One will be to beat a certain score, then an elite achievement where you have to beat a better score, and of course an achievement if you get the world record. There are even a few bonus achievements you can get, for example, spot a UFO or complete the 110m Hurdles in a certain time, without jumping.

And I will say that the 1500 metre race is gruelling, tapping buttons as fast as you can, non stop for 3+ minutes sounds easy, but your fingers are gonna get a workout that's for sure.



The Good
A proper retro Track and Field style game, it really does have everything you could want.

The Bad
This is a small complaint, but I think that when you have two buttons you need to press to run, they should have to be pressed alternatively, where as in this you can press both together, this makes things much easier than it should be. I also think that a lack of control on the jumping events, again makes things too easy.

Overall
I was a huge fan of Olympic style games in the 1980s. I love a good button bashing game. I think there are a few tweaks that could be made to this game to make it a bit harder which in turn makes it more of a challenge. That said I thoroughly enjoyed playing, and it brought back some great memories of my youth.

I Score World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon a solid 8/10

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff



7 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Super Kickers League on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Super Kickers League is a fun, arcade style football game. This is about as far from FIFA as you can get, this is not in any way a simulation, this is an arcade game, there are no referees to give you a yellow card, there are virtually no rules, other than who scores the most goals wins. This is the kind of old-fashioned arcade football game you could imagine playing for 10 minutes in an airport, or in an arcade on the side street of your town, (when they still existed). These days you can download them off the internet in a few minutes.


The main gimmick of the game is that your "Captain" has a special power, that might be to a super jump, or stop time for opposing players, or cause a meteor strike. These special powers can be used for a set period of time, and can help make the difference between losing and winning.

There are ten teams to choose from, various modes to play, from the usual exhibition game, to cups and leagues. To play certain modes you need to have completed previous ones to unlock, and yes this can be a problem, as I will mention later.

"Kickers Mode : Play with 3 captains to get many powers while you play!
Team Mode : Play with your favourite team and use your captain's power to win the match!
Retro Mode : Pixel and Football are all together! Feel the 90's vibes in this retro mode!"


You can play alone and local or online multiplayer. There are a few different camera angles to play with.

The game itself can feel very frantic to play, you won't really be stringing together 20 passes before scoring a goal, and nor should you want to. This is an arcade game, so everything is quick and to the point. Whether that is sliding for the ball from kick-off and shooting and scoring within 3 seconds, or going on a mazey dribble and passing the ball into the goal.

The different modes are ok, although not really that different, and the special powers although fun, I actually didn't bother too much with them, preferring to play regular football the best I could.


Now I did mention a problem, that being that to play certain modes you need to unlock them by completing other modes, for example, to play the League you need to play and win the cup first, that is fine, however the game does not save your progress, so unless you want to sit down and play for a few hours to unlock everything, you are stuck with the basic modes if you just want to play for 10 or 15 minutes. This seems to be a problem that has existed for a while, and there is no sign of it being fixed unfortunately. Obviously, this mainly affects the single player mode. If you are playing against a friend, then this is less of an issue.


The Good
This is a fun game; graphics are bright and colourful, gameplay is easy to pick up, and does not take itself too seriously.

The Bad
The fact your progress is not saved is a big problem, fix that and the game is a pretty decent little arcade kick about. The play area is also a bit small, perhaps bigger pitches would improve things, but then we are going into a more standard footy game environment that is perhaps not what the game is about.

Overall
Despite the saving issue, I am enjoying the game, it is everything that you would expect from an arcade footy game, lots of fun arenas to play in, easy to pick up and play.

I score Super Kickers League on PC a solid 7/10

Available from the Steam store at




6 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Effie on Nintendo Switch

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Loading up Effie I suddenly felt transported back to the time of the Nintendo 64, and some of the classic 3D action-Adventure games of the day. The kind of game that you could just play without needing to think too much, just a fun easy playing experience.

Now despite the game being called Effie, she is in fact your daughter (or granddaughter, not sure), and you are telling her the story of what happened to you. How you were cursed by a witch when you were young, cursed with old age, and all because you never helped the witch out, mainly because you were lazy and then how you went off on a quest to recover your youth, by getting rid of all the black magic.
 

You will travel through an area called Oblena, a city that is full of said black magic, which the witch conveniently cast everywhere, you have your magic shield, (strangely called the Runestone) a shield that is literally your only way of attack and defence, but it can also be used to surf on, to travel on the over ground! Well, it is a magic shield so needs to do more than just defend you.

Effie is played in full 3D, you control your character with the left stick, and your view point with the right stick. You will fight foes, solve puzzles, and explore various locations. As you play your shield will grow in power, as you collect magic and you have a few different special attacks. 

The boss fights always involve the Witch, but each time the challenge will be a bit different.

The game itself can be completed in a few hours, and is relatively easy.


The Good
A good old fashioned 3D action-adventure game, that does not take too much thought to play. Nice easy gameplay, for a younger crowd.

The Bad
There are quite a few graphical glitches, which I put down to this being a port from a PC game. Hopefully these can be fixed over time.

Overall
A fun game, perhaps lacking in challenge for the more experienced gamer, but perfect for the younger gamer.

I score Effie a fair 7/10

There is also a great limited edition physical release of Effie.
Available at Amazon - https://amzn.to/3lcZKP8


Also, out now on the Nintendo Shop

3 Oct 2021

REVIEW: Lake on Xbox One

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Lake is what I would call a pallet cleanser game. It is a story driven game, whereby you play as Meredith Weiss, a graduate from MIT who has come back to her hometown of Providence Oaks, Oregon in 1986 to help out her father while he is on vacation. And how do you help out? well, you take over his job for a few weeks as postman (Mailman/Mailwoman) to the town that surrounds the lake.

From working in the big city at a software company, to a sleepy town, driving a mail truck, and talking to the locals. That is the game.

And this is why I call the game a pallet cleanser. This game is not so much about delivering mail, or even driving a mail truck, it is about talking to people, old friends you knew growing up, as well as new people. Helping people out, doing favours for people, you can even start a romantic relationship. As you meet people you are given choices of how to answer, no right or wrong answers. But since the whole point of the game is the story, if you just avoid conversations, meetings, or helping people, then the game will be very short and very boring. And at the end of the game, you have to make a decision, to return to the city, or stay in the sleepy town you grew up in.

Driving the truck is nice and easy, you can't kill anyone, or be killed, you can't even drive into the lake. (I tried) You can even put the auto pilot on and just sit back and enjoy the view.


This really is a game that is you, just taking part in the life of someone over a two week period.

In many ways the game is boring, and it is supposed to be boring, but the word boring does have a lot of negative connotations to it. Sometimes just driving around a beautiful lake, with stunning views, is just fun to do. From playing games where you constantly feel either frustrated, stressed or exhilarated, here is a game you can just sit back and relax playing.

It is the ultimate pallet cleansing game. Whether you sit and complete it in one go, or just play it for a few minutes here and there, it doesn't really matter.


The Good
The graphics are stunning, such a beautiful game to play. Easy to play, great soundtrack. 

The Bad
I imagine people wanting more of an "gameplay" experience will be disappointed.

Overall
This is a tough one to score. If you know and understand what the game is about, what it is trying to give you, and that is something you want, then it is really quite a relaxing and enjoyable game. But if you just play it expecting it to be more of a "game" than a story, then you will be disappointed.

Personally I enjoyed it, I liked the change in pace, and sometimes I don't need to shoot zombies, or drive off a cliff to have fun while gaming.

I score Lake a solid 8/10

Out now on Xbox One