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29 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Destropolis on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Destropolis is one of those rare finds, you start playing, thinking it will just be one of your run of the mill top-down shooters, and instead it is an awesome, nonstop punch in the face of awesomeness!

The main idea of the game is simple, you control a blue diamond shape cube, that can also fire weapons, you are surrounded by a fully destructible environment, and wave after way of red cuboid enemies. And that is it.
After reaching a score threshold, you pass the level, the game pauses and you can choose from upgrades, that may be an increase of your help, weapon cool down time, increase rate of drops and so on.

As you play you can collect up to 15 different weapons designated in a blue light, you pick up by pressing A on the controller, you can hold 2 weapons at a time and switch between them.
You will also be able to collect different power ups. From speed ups, to bullet time (which slows down time, giving you more time to think), to my favourite the NUKE! Which is exactly what you think it is. Airstrikes, Vortexes and so on.

Eventually and perhaps inevitably, you will be overwhelmed, and you will die. But then you just restart, and off you go again.

Played from an isometric/top-down view, with 6 main types of cube like enemies,
"Obelisks shoot lasers at you. Bomb spheres explode on contact. Pyramids shoot at you from a distance with artillery rounds. Wrecking balls smash everything on their path. Big, hexagonal bosses wreak havoc with their massive machine guns."

Although a minimalist type structure to the game, it gets hectic very very quick. Throw in some synth-wave music by LukHash, and you have a true diamond in the rough when it comes to top-down shooters.

The Good
The minimalist approach to the graphics, just works, and actually looks beautiful. Each time you play, you will be a bit better, and find yourself slowly climbing up the leader boards.

The Bad
Maybe some different areas to play in would be a nice addition to the game.

Destropolis was supposed to be a quick throw away type game, one I would play for ten minutes, get bored and forget about, instead it has entered my psyche and I absolutely love it.
A real surprise find, and one I really recommend.

Awesome game I score a strong 9/10

Review by Jon Donnis

28 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Night Lights on Nintendo Switch

Review by Staff
I seem to be playing and reviewing a lot of innovative puzzle / platform games recently, and Night Lights from Ratalaika Games & Meridian4 is another platform game that you can firmly put in that "innovative" category.

You play as a tiny robot, your planet has been plunged into darkness, your job is to collect shards that will help resurrect a fallen star and restore light to the planet.

Night Lights' main mechanic is that of using light to manipulate the environment, mainly through the movement or activation of lamps. So, for example you need to get to an area that is blocked off, move a light source so that it lights up the area and a route will open up for you. Shadows and Lights have distinct effects on the environment, so you have to use both as a way to solve the puzzles of the level. You will also collect crystals that will activate various machines, tools and light sources.

There are 45 levels in total, which increase in difficulty, as you would expect.

The graphics are simple, but beautiful, and really put across the difference between the light and dark areas.

Gameplay is pretty straight forward once you understand the mechanics of the game, and although there isn't much help, or anything to guide you along if you get stuck, the puzzles are pretty straightforward, even if they take some thinking.

The Good
Really nice, simple graphics and engaging gameplay that never feels too hard, but still gives a challenge for any fan of the puzzle / platformer.
Just 91 mb download too which is great.

The Bad
I am not keen on the level select menu, it is a bit confusing as it uses stars in the sky, instead of a simple system of "Level 1, 2, 3, 4" etc.

An innovative concept, fun gameplay, and looks and plays great on a Nintendo Switch Lite.

I score Night Lights on Nintendo Switch a solid 8/10

Night Lights is out now on all formats and is priced for 4.99$ / € for all platforms.

Review by Staff

27 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Minimalism on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Imagine a game that is less than 10mb to download in 2021, it can't exist surely?

Well, it does, and it is called Minimalism, and that truly is the perfect name for this game. At its base it is a platformer. 30 levels which get harder and harder.

You control a square, and your job is to collect keys and reach the end point of the level which is a door. Sounds easy right? But it is anything but easy.

The levels are maze like, with spikes to avoid, walls to bounce up, or slide down, there are weird letter things to collect as well, (giving lots of achievements), and that's it.

For what sounds like a very simple and boring game, it is in fact incredibly addictive, and not at all simple.

The Good
A game like this proves that graphics really aren't the most important thing in a game, instead it is the gameplay, and this has that in spades.

The Bad
The music is a bit "meh"

A surprisingly addictive, fun platformer, that is very challenging, if a tad frustrating at times.

For just 39p currently on Steam, this game really is value for money. 

I score Minimalism a truly impressive 9/10

Out Now on Steam at

Review by Jon Donnis

25 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Mage Drops on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Mage Drops is a Golf/Platform/Puzzle game from the good people at Orchid of Redemption.
In recent times we have seen quite a few of these Golf/Platform/Puzzle type games, but how does Mage Drops stack up against some of the previous releases in this ever-expanding genre.

As always when reviewing an "Early Access" game, it is worth pointing out that the game is not the finished article yet, the developers are still tweaking the game, listening to player feedback, adding or removing features to try and get the game as good as possible.

When loading up the game, the first thing you will notice is how pretty everything looks. And when things look really good, you instantly know that the developers have spent a lot of time and love on crafting a game, and with Mage Drops that is very apparent from the start.

Each course/level has the basics of golf, you start at the tee, and you need to get the ball in the cup. Aiming is done with a simple dotted line, which you can lengthen, lower, and so on until you get the desired shot. The cup itself is quite large, this instantly tells you that the platforming or puzzle elements are going to be more important than a millimetre precision shot.

You can use magic to control the ball in some circumstances after you have hit it, this allows you to influence the ball mid-flight and make that seemingly impossible shot, possible. You will be able to set fire to obstacles to clear the way, use magic rings to help you fly further. Use airstreams and even set off bombs to get you to your desired location.

The courses have your usual mini golf type obstacles, but they also have magical elements, barriers that you can control, to lift or move, or a hedge you can make appear or disappear, all things you need to consider when playing your shot. There are fans to shoot you up high, there are weird magical creatures that will get in your way. And plenty of other surprises along the way. There are even some interesting collectables.

Currently there are 7 worlds with over 80 levels to complete, the final game should have 8 worlds.

There is an easy and not so easy mode, so you can just play to explore, or you can play to beat scores. On first play through it is more fun to play the easy mode and just explore and not worry too much about getting PAR etc. Each world is unique and has different challenges and obstacles, which does make the game challenging, but never too frustrating.

The Good
Beautiful graphics and engaging gameplay really does make this game stand out. The interactive element of the levels is such a nice touch and really well thought through, using magic to slow the ball down, while you clear a path, is a really nice to addition to the game, and helps it stand out.

The Bad
Sometimes it is hard to know where the end point of the level is, you can of course click a button and have a good look around, but lazy people like me, tend to just want to get on with it, perhaps the addition of a little arrow to give you the general idea of where you are going would be a good idea?

I also don't like the name. Your average person is not going to know what a Mage is, or what it means, and Drops? Eye drops? Dropping a ball? To be fair I can't think of a better name, so I won't moan too loudly about the name.

Mage Drops is screaming out to be a console game, although it works well on PC, I could see this playing so well on a Nintendo Switch.

A fun addition to the Golf/Puzzle/Platform genre which is challenging but never frustrating.
I don't usually score Early Access games, but I am happy to give Mage Drops as solid 8/10/

Review by Jon Donnis
Out now on Steam

23 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Valkyrie: Journey To Midgard on PC (Steam)

Review by Staff
Valkyrie: Journey To Midgard is a simple, old school RPG.

Here is the basic story

"A Dragon Orb has been stolen from Asgard. Valkyrie has been sent down to Midgard to retrieve the lost treasure. The goddess must not only overcome fierce monsters, but also to face a dark conspiracy that will affect all of nine realms."

For a start, it sounds way more exciting than it actually is. 

You play as "Valkyrie", and you find yourself in a dungeon, sadly a pretty basic looking dungeon. You will die a lot in this game, and when you do die, you have to start at the beginning, luckily you will come across Save Crystals, so if you do die, just exit the game, and continue from a save point. Because not to confuse the save crystals (clear in colour) with red ones, which are a boss fight.

Each room of the dungeon will contain multiple paths, and along the way you will find coffins that may contain helpful items, like armour or weapon upgrades. You will also find statues you can pray to; they may give you a positive benefit or a negative one. And you will also come across monsters. Battles are turn based, and pretty simple to figure out. There are boss fights that you can avoid for a while, and then when you think you are strong enough, the next time you come across one you can choose to take it on.

The graphics are simple but fine, most of the time you are in the dungeons which are dark.  The sound effects are ok for what they are.

The Good
Simple concept, easy to learn, fun to have a quick go on, and see if you can get further than you did previously.

The Bad
There's just not that much to the game. But for £1.69 what do you really expect.

Not the best RPG you will play, but also not the worst, perhaps a nice starter RPG for newbies to the genre.

I give Valkyrie: Journey To Midgard a fair 6/10
Out now at

Review by Staff

20 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Hyperball Tachyon on PC (Steam)

Review by Staff
From Rendah Games comes Hyperball Tachyon, a fast-moving 2D platform game, where you control a ball as you bounce and jump through increasingly difficult levels.

The basic idea of the game is to get from the start point to the finish line in as fast a time as possible.
At first things start out pretty simple, but soon you will face various obstacles including sand traps, water, spikes and so on.

Your ball can do a basic extra jump, but in the differing levels you will find things that help you and things that hinder you.
For example, a collectable that will allow you an extra jump, or columns of wind that will either push you along, or hold you down. This game is all about learning the physics of the ball, and using it to your advantage. 

There are lots of little hints while you play, and although the levels can be quite tricky, there is a strong feeling of accomplishment when you do finally get it right, and then the added interest of trying to beat not only your own score, but also trying to climb up that global leader-board and get as close to the top as you can. I notice that the game makers, Rendah Games, top every leader board. So, if you can manage to beat their time, then you know you have just completed a level in epic fashion.

You can change the appearance of your ball, and there are secrets to collect.

And with a small file size for a game, that will probably play on almost any computer or laptop, this is a simple platform game that you should seriously consider taking a look at.

The Good
Simple but fun graphics, easy control system, (much easier using a gamepad than the keyboard). Challenging levels with high replay-ability.

The Bad
I did notice a couple of graphics glitches, and the odd dodgy physics, but these are really small issues that will be fixed in future patches, I am sure.

A really fun, simple platform game, that is highly addictive. Definitely recommend this to your collection, if you are a fan of physics-based platform games.

I score Hyperball Tachyon on PC a solid 9/10. I really enjoyed playing, and I am going to keep playing to beat those high scores!

19 Nov 2021

REVIEW: The Legend of Tianding on PC (Steam)

Review by Staff
The Legend of Tianding is a hand drawn 2D side-scrolling platform/action game, you play as Liao Tianding, a legendary Taiwanese Folk Hero. Set in the early 1900s in Colonial Japanese Taiwan, this is the type of game that instantly grabs your attention. 

Let's take a quick look at the official story.

"Based on real events, real people and real situations, The Legend of Tianding is an exploration of a place and time often overlooked and presented in the style of Traditional Chinese Manga.

Battle the colonial authorities in style with a tanto, waist sash, and fast paced Kung Fu in tightly tuned technical combat. Execute advanced aerial combos, steal weapons from your enemies, use your waist sash and grappling hook to fly around the battlefield, and strike fear into the hearts of your oppressors.
Take on incredible bosses like deadly courtesans, greedy businessmen, and even military leaders, each one guaranteed to challenge you with their dynamic abilities and brutal attacks."

You play in the Dadaocheng area of Taipei city, as mentioned earlier, everything is seemingly hand drawn, and although in general you play in a 2D manner, moving from cut scenes and menus, you do get a 3D view for a few moments, which is so well done. Everything is colourful and highly detailed.

Although a platform game, fighting is a big part of the game, and you will quickly learn new styles and attacks as you play, as well as defensive techniques. You will explore underground as well as over ground, and even on moving trains, and not forgetting some pretty tough boss battles.

The first boss fight you have is against Wang, now I have to come clean here, it took me a while to figure out how to beat him, as I clearly had not been paying attention, and didn't realise that when your health bar goes low, you can gain some health simply by pressing up on the d-pad. You will find save points throughout the game which also allows you to recover health, and store 3 health teas, or soups, not sure which, but you will take a sip of those in battle, and that will give you a health boost.

Playing the game which is very much drawn in a "Retro Traditional Chinese Manga" style, at times it is like playing a comic book.

Find talismans (talismen??) and upgrade your character, which in turn can also change your playstyle. 

The game does have a Robin Hood type element to it, steal from the rich, give to the poor, etc.

The Good
The graphics are outstanding, not enough can be said about that, just glorious to see. The gameplay is easy to pick up, the character easy to control, and you never feel overwhelmed as you learn new things. 

The Bad
The text on screen you have to read through is a lot, conversations go on a bit, and sometimes you just want to actually play the game as opposed to reading a comic.

This is a really good action platformer, looks and plays brilliantly. Some great characters to interact and fight with. A good learning curve, and detailed story to be a part of.

I score The Legend of Tianding on PC (Steam) a solid 8/10

Out now on Steam

14 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Faraday Protocol on Nintendo Switch

Review by Staff
Faraday Protocol is a first-person perspective puzzle game and walking simulator. I am playing this on a Nintendo Switch Lite.

Let's take a look at the official story of the game.

"You are Raug Zeekon: interstellar archeologist from planet Cunor. You have been sent by your company to investigate the source of a mysterious signal coming from an unexplored star.

The Bia Tool, an ancient relic of an alien civilization, is the first mystery you uncover when arriving in OPIS. Unsure of its true purpose you start wielding it to solve the challenges on your path. With its ability to absorb energy and the option to redistribute it to different machinery, you start digging deeper and deeper into the temples, encountering even harder puzzles that will test your savvy and abilities in problem solving. Are you smart enough to solve every challenge thrown at you?"

You find yourself on a seemingly abandoned planet, you head towards a huge structure, you pick up what appears to be some kind of laser gun. But you won't be fighting anyone today, for this is a puzzle game. Pretty quickly you figure out that you can use your gun (the bio tool) to absorb energy from one location and fire it elsewhere, and this is the general mechnic that you will be using to solve the puzzles. Each puzzle has a purpose of allowing you to proceed further into the structure. As you progress, the puzzles get harder and harder. The whole structure is seemingly a training guard, and as you play you will hear the voice of IRIS, an Artificial Intelligence that is there to help guard this ancient structure. The puzzles are described by the A.I. as tests. Hence the idea this is some kind of tarining ground.

The main gameplay is about transfering energy around, connecting areas in the correct order, which in turn may open a door or portal, open a stair case, move walls, open new areas and so on.

The puzzles themselves are logic based, and as such every puzzle if taken in a slow methodical way, can be beaten.

That said, I found myself stuck pretty often, but not so much because of the game, but because I forgot to think in a logical way.

The clues to solving a puzzle are always there, sometimes staring you right in the face, your job is to see them, and then figure out what you are supposed to do.

For example in one room you might see 3 differently coloured lights, in a different room there may be 3 differently coloured pillars. Connect the pillars with energy collected from other areas, in the same order as in the first room, and voila, puzzle solved and next area unlocked. You will need a good memory at times, or take a quick photo of the screen with your phone, to remind you of what you are looking for.

Unfortunately there is no hint system in the game, and as such you will at some point get frustrated enough to either give up, or look online for a walkthrough, something I did a few times, and as is always the problem with walkthroughs, as soon as you need to go use one, you will quickly go back to it the moment you got a little stuck.

The game is relatively short, more so if you do use a walkthrough for regular help.

The Good
Despite playing this on a Nintendo Switch Lite, the graphics were all crisp and clear, I never once felt like it would be easier or better to play on a big screen. The puzzles are all well thought out, and although tough at times, they are all logical. There are also some secrets to collect along the way.

The Bad
The lack of a hint system, or any real kind of tutorial or help system, is a major issue for me, I get so frustrated when games are released without such things, for the moment someone gets stuck, they are either gonna just give up, or they are gonna go watch a walkthrough, and once you make that an option to the player, they are gonna use it, and as such that does spoil the game, because let's be realistic, if you get stuck, and you know you just watched a walkthrough on youtube 10 minutes earlier, you are going to go back to it. But a simple help system would keep the player in the gamer, nudge them in the right direction, and the eventual feeling of achievement would still be there.

Also the game is relatively short.

A good puzzle game, with a unique mechanic, that being the gun. The whole game works well on Nintendo Switch. 
Despite the lack of a hint system, this game will entertain any puzzle fan, if only for a few hours.

I score Faraday Protocol on Nintendo Switch a fair 7/10

Out Now

13 Nov 2021

REVIEW: BitMaster on Nintendo Switch

Review by
BitMaster seems like it should be a game made for Nintendo Switch, it is a twin stick shooter, you shoot at enemies while skating around on a hoverboard.

The game is described as being inspired by such classics as Geometry Wars, Crimson Land and Satellite Reign, but does it measure up?

There are 100 waves of enemies to face (20 different kinds of enemy), after 20 waves you will face a boss, and then another 20 waves and so on.

You can collect new guns and unlock new characters to play with, the environment changes colours, and different areas will benefit or harm your character.
For example, in one area your shield will regenerate faster, in another, your weapon may fire slower rounds.

As there are no levels as such, once you die, you die, you have to start from wave one again. With an average game time of anything between 5 minutes to half an hour, this is very much an arcade style, pick up and play type game, as opposed to one you will deliberately keep coming back to, to complete.

The graphics are colourful, and the changes in colours from wave to wave is nice. The soundtrack is ok. The gameplay does seem to fit the Nintendo Switch well. Playing on a Switch Lite, this is very much a game that I could spend 10 minutes on which waiting for something else.

Saying all that, the game does have some issues, the lack of proper levels means that you might get bored quick, and not see the point to start all over again. There is only one real game area to play in, and although it is relatively large, it is still the only one, and changing colours doesn't really make that much difference.

The Good
Bright colourful graphics and pick up and play gameplay, does mean that this game can have a place on your Switch.

The Bad
The game is limited, and perhaps overpriced on Switch, at around £5, it compares poorly pricewise to Steam, where it is under a pound currently on special offer.

This is a simple game, not one you will spend hours at a time playing, but if you want an addition to your Switch, that is good in short bursts then BitMaster is a game you should consider.

Out now on Nintendo Switch

11 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Too Many Humans on PC (Steam)

Review by
Too Many Humans is a Real Time Strategy game, but instead of controlling the army, or a private security force as is often the case in such games, this time you are controlling zombies! Sounds good right!

Let's take a quick look at the official story.

"You are Phthisis, the God of pestilence, decay and death. Humanity has degraded too far into greed and is causing irreversible damage to Gaia; your dear sister, and their planet. Something has to be done. But like every god, you have rules (omnipotence gets boring otherwise): you are not allowed to directly kill humans. But you *can* raise them back from the dead. And if the living ones die because of this... Eh *shrug*.

Rise, mutate and unleash your Zombies into frantic battles against the treacherous humans. Fight every battle to break one by one the chains of avarice humanity has binded itself with."

As mentioned above, you play as Phthisis, and no I don't have a lisp. Now because they are zombies, they don't take orders very well, so you need to be clever in how you control them. If you don't keep them under control, they will wander off.

Before I go on, I have to say that in general I am not a big fan of RTS games, I tend to find them over complicated, and I get bored quick. However, with Too Many Humans, I found myself in a situation where I had to pull myself away from playing, everything in this game is set up perfectly for someone like myself, someone who is not a huge fan of the RTS genre. So, if you are not a fan of RTS games, then please keep reading, as this game might be one to finally grab your attention.

How do you control zombies? Well, you have something called "Screamers" something like a scarecrow that screams, and where ever you move that, the horde will follow. If you plant it in a spot, te horde will stay there. Any stragglers can soon be summoned by setting the screamer to scream a little louder. A genius idea. You can use multiple screamers, and choose which zombies go where. I say "which zombies", as you soon learn that there are different types, that you yourself can create. Your regular boring zombie is what they start out as, you also have bomb zombies which surprise surprise, can explode, perfect for blowing up walls, you have smasher zombies that... erm... smash, and electrified zombies. Each type can be used in a horde, or for specific jobs.

There are 7 missions, you start out on a beach, which is mainly to help you figure out how to use the controls, what various buttons do, and pretty much how to play, I found this first mission just perfect for allowing you to get to grips with things, as I said earlier, usually RTS games are overcomplicated, whereas in this one, it just feels right.

If a Zombie is killed, you can resurrect them using the blood collected from killing people, at certain locations. Meaning that you can send in a horde to attack, knowing full well that they will probably lose, but that you can then unleash another wave. You will collect things like petrol, that in turn allows you to turn your zombies into the bomb zombies. Another neat touch. Of course, every time your horde kills a regular person, a cop, a military person etc, they then turn into zombies as well. Meaning your horde gets bigger and bigger.

But it is not just about blindly attacking and killing people, there are puzzles that need to be solved too, for example activating generators in different locations at the same time to unlock a path to continue.

I really can't say enough good things about this game, this truly is the first RTS game that I have genuinely enjoyed playing and want to keep playing after I have written a review.

The Good
The graphics are simple but detailed, the gameplay is just about perfect, everything is just done right.

The Bad
Could we have more missions please? Hopefully if the game does well, then the developers will release more missions, fingers crossed.

If you are an experienced RTS gamer, then perhaps this game will not offer the detailed, complicated gameplay you want, but for the rest of us normal gamers, I think that Too Many Humans gets everything just about perfect.

I score Too Many Humans a 9.5/10, Absolutely loved, and still loving it.

Out now on PC Steam

10 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Observer: System Redux on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
As part of their the Bloober Team's 13 Years of Development celebrations, I got my hands on Observer: System Redux, a first person, investigative horror game.

Let's start off with a look at the story.

"The year is 2084. The future has turned out much darker than anyone could imagine. First, there was the Nanophage. A digital plague that killed thousands upon thousands of those who chose to augment their minds and bodies.

Then came the War, leaving both the West and the East decimated and shattered. With no one left to seize power, corporations took over and forged their own crooked empires.

You are a tool of corporate oppression. Feared and despised, you hack into the darkest corners of your suspects' minds. You creep into their dreams, expose their fears, and extract whatever your investigation may require."

Your name is Daniel Lazarski, voiced by the late great legend that is Rutger Hauer. You are what is known as a "Neural Detective". You find yourself investigating crimes in a decrepit apartment building in Poland as well as looking for your lost son. Since this is a cyberpunk world, everything is technical, including how you investigate crimes. You can literally hack into someone's mind. This brings you to the scarier elements of the game, since physics go out the window if you are walking through someone's subconscious. But it does allow you to investigate a person's memories, look at things they interacted with, see what they saw.

Since we are looking for a killer, reliving someone's last moments can be a challenge, and often you will find yourself in maze like situations, whereby you can feel very stuck in someone's memory. The first example of this is where you hack into the mind of a dying man who has been brutally attacked, after exploring for a while, you will find yourself in something of a walking loop. Any door you go through you end up back at the start. The only clue as to what you are supposed to do are the TVs that have switched themselves on. Now this took me a while to figure out. I had just been walking around and around for a while, before I even noticed the TVs and when I did, I still didn't realise that the clue to escaping the loop was what was being shown on the TVs in the first place. The game does not hold your hand and you will find yourself in seemingly inescapable situations. But a mixture of trial and error, as well as a crafty look at a walkthrough guide and you will soon find yourself back on track.

Although hacking people's minds is a big part of the game, most of the time you will find yourself exploring the apartment building, you have two extra abilities that will help your investigations, "EM Vision" which allows you to analyse electronic equipment, and "Bio Vision" which allows you to identify biological materials, think blood and bodily fluids. This comes into use when investigating a crime scene, and trying to log everything, which in turn updates your systems which then gives guidance on what to do next.

As you play, your character's stress levels grow, and you will have to take a pill to help lower the stress, we are never really told why you need to do this, but since we are in the future, and people have chips implanted into their brains, it is hardly surprising it might have some mental health side effects.

There are no real combat situations, so no running away or hiding for most of the game, although towards the end there are some stealth elements needed to avoid a creature, sadly it feels like these segments of the game were thrown in, and kind of take away from what you have been doing for most of the game.

Also, a quick mention to a mini game you will play on the various computers you access in the game, it is a simple game, and you will unlock a few levels on each computer you find and access. It is called Fire and Sword, and you have to move around a 2D map trying to avoid spiders, collecting gold. It is a simple but addictive game.

The Good
The game looks and sounds incredible, the slow build of tension and fear is perfectly done, and if you play with headphones, it makes the experience even better. The story is good, the "dream" sequences when hacking someone's mind really are interesting and add a true horror element to the game.

The Bad
The stealth segments towards the end feel out of place and become annoying instead of challenging. There is also an issue where you can find yourself in an impossible situation, for example I dropped a power cable that I then figured out I needed to plug into a computer, the cable went through a grate in the ground and then became impossible to reach. Luckily the auto save system meant I could just restart the area again, but it was frustrating.

Also, EM Mode and Bio mode meant very different visual appearances on screen, and constantly switching between them as well as normal view, might cause eye strains to some people.

Although quite a linear game, I found myself getting very much into it, even after I had played for a while, I wanted to keep going. That is one of the most important things about a game, addictive to a point that is not destructive.

I score Observer: System Redux on PC a strong 8/10

Out now on PC

9 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Destructivator SE on Nintendo Switch

Review by Staff
Destructivator SE is a 1990s style arcade run and gun shooter. Playing this brings me back to playing similar games like Contra on the original NES.

Let's look at the story. 

"The year is 2145. Earth still burns. Zallagor and his army have been vanquished, but at great cost: the once great cities of Earth lie in ruin, its population hungry for revenge.

Zallagor's home planet of Zerkl has been located. Zallagor has gone, but somebody will rise to replace him. Maybe they already have. The Destructivator is ready – it is time to strike!

Take on the role of a tiny super-solider decked out in lime green spandex! Blast and melee your way through hordes of alien soldiers, robots, spaceships, traps, bosses – and more! Fight on foot or commandeer an enemy ship to take out Zerkl's defenses and ensure that the alien menace won't threaten Earth ever again."

Sounds fun right!?

Straight away for those of you old enough, you will think of Contra, and this game certainly pays homage to such great games from the past. But with clear graphics that despite being simple 2D, do really look great, everything is colourful without becoming overwhelming or blinding.

There are 6 missions with over 50 levels to complete.

The game starts off pretty simple, you have one gun, and you have to kill all your enemies, once you have killed everyone, you have "cleared" the level, and you move onto the next. As you move around the levels there are checkpoints that once passed, you will return to if you die, but you can return to a previous checkpoint, activate that, and then you will respawn there if you die. Of-course there are the obligatory boss and mini boss fights, and a decent learning curve. 

One nice touch is that you can steal mini flying ships, and use them to move about too, all the while watching out from fire from all angles.

There are 3 difficulty levels, but it is worth noting that the game doesn't just throw enemies at you for the sake of it, even on the Brutal skill level, if you take your time, and think about what you will do, then you can still pass the level.

I played this on the Nintendo Switch Lite, and at times the smaller screen wasn't the best to play the game on, however it did not become a hinderance, I do think perhaps playing on a bigger screen would be a benefit. Especially as the camera view point does feel quite far away, with a lot on screen.

This is a decent old school run and gun shooter, which would satisfy the older gamer like myself, as well as younger gamers, well if they don't mind retro graphics that is.

The Good
A challenging game, that never becomes too frustrating, brings back great memories from the 1990s arcade, while also being a decent 2021 game in its own right.

The Bad
Some enemy bullets are tiny and hard to see, even more so on the small screen.

I enjoy classic run and gun shooters, and I am happy to add this one to my collection.

I score Destructivator SE a healthy 8/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch

8 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Lone McLonegan: A Western Adventure on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
I was given a copy of Lone McLonegan on Nintendo Switch by the excellent PR team at Flynn's Arcade, and I do like me a 'point and click' adventure game, so I happily decided to check this one out. Now I have played plenty of these types of games over the decades, mainly on PC, and the odd one on Xbox, but I thought that I would see how such a game would work on Nintendo Switch, and a Switch Lite specifically.

Let's start out with the storyline.

"Lone McLonegan used to be "The Most Wanted Outlaw In The Wild West" but now he's a little rusty and out of shape. Bragg Badass, his arch nemesis, is now number one on the most wanted list and the new idol of the West.

When Lone learns of Badass' latest exploit, he finishes his mojito, jumps off his couch and decides to reclaim his spot back by robbing the Bank of Oldewell, which holds the most secure safe in the county. That will no doubt put the highest price on his head again and he will once again outdo Badass at last!

Halfway through the journey the stagecoach in which Lone is traveling is attacked by Badass' hitmen and Lone must walk to Oldewell to make history again."

The game plays like all Point and Click games, but with the Leisure Suit Larry games making a huge come back, and setting the bar very very high in this genre, does Lone McLonegan add anything to the genre?

Firstly the controls, for some reason, you have 5 different choices for the cursor, and these are switched by pressing a button on the controller, you have a pointy finger, which is pretty self-explanatory, a fist which picks things up, an eye which examines/looks at things, a mouth (I think???) that allows you to talk to people, and a cowboy boot that allows you to kick things. For a start this is too many options. In these types of games, you should have 3 options at most, examine, use, and move. Adding the extra options just makes play slightly more frustrating, as you scroll through the options to find the one you need.

Pretty early on in the game you will get hold of a map, now here is another big problem with the game, once you open the map, you have to choose a destination on the map, you cannot (as far as I can figure out) just exit out of the map. So, if you are in an area, where you speak to someone, and ultimately, they will add a location to your map, to do this you need to select the map and give it to them, the problem is that out of the 5 choices you may often find yourself accidentally opening the map, instead of selecting it, and unless you are in the opening area of the location on the map, you may find yourself back at the entrance of the area and not the place you just was, meaning you then have to go all the way back to find the person you was speaking to, to get them to add to the map. It is a small problem, but one I continually found myself doing. 

Also in nearly every modern P&C game I have ever played, there is always a button that allows you to highlight every interactive thing on the screen, this game does not have that, and especially using the small screen on a Switch lite, moving the little cursor around isn't the most accurate, so easy to miss things, and scanning the whole screen for things is a pain. And because you can't highlight everything you can interact with, you will sometimes completely miss locations, for example a side street, off screen. There is no indication of some locations at all, so unless you scan the whole screen with the cursor it is easy to miss things.

With those issues aside, there are plenty of things you need to do within the game, plenty of characters to interact with, conversation choices to have, which in turn will help you proceed in the game. As with most games like this, sometimes trial and error is needed to figure out what you are supposed to do next, and you will find yourself going back and forth a lot trying to figure things out. Luckily the NPC have poor memories, so if you go down the wrong route in a conversation you can just start again and choose a different reply, until you get the desired result.

The game makers are Spanish I believe, and as such some of the translated humour missed the mark slightly, but that is forgivable as this is their first game release. One thing to note is the graphics are all hand drawn and you can tell that a lot of care and time has been taken in making the game. Sadly, there are no voice acting, so all the dialog is via text on screen, but you can skip through dialog by pressing a button, which is great if you accidentally go down a conversation route you have already read.

There are also stars hidden in the game, in various locations, click on them to collect them, and try to collect them all.

There is no hint system in the game, so sadly when you become stuck, and you will, there is no way other than going to every location again and again, trying to combine inventory items over and over, and generally making yourself go mad with frustration. In the modern era you will find that you will either just give up, or find a walkthrough online, and the moment you do find that walkthrough you will find yourself repeatedly coming back to it the moment you get stuck.

The lack of a hint system is a major omission from the game makers.

The Good
Great graphics, some fun puzzles and mini games lift this game above some others in the genre.

The Bad
The controls, the lack of a hint system and no way to highlight interactive objects lets the game down hugely.

This game doesn't really work on a handheld system, and probably not on a console at all. It will work much better on a PC with a decent sized screen. You can find the game on Steam.

If you are a fan of point and click games, and want to add another to your collection, then Lone McLonegan is a perfectly decent one to add.

I score Lone McLonegan : A Western Adventure a generous 7/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch