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30 Mar 2022

REVIEW: Dead Man´s Diary on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Dead Man´s Diary is a simple survival game,

You find yourself in a post apocalyptic world, a crazy man built some nukes, and when his life ended he designed a chain reaction that would cause the worlds Nukes to go off as well.

Some humans were put in bunkers to survive, but with resources running out, you are chosen to leave the bunker to find new resources. You are blindfolded and flown to an unknown location, no way to find your way back to the bunker, you are on your own, with only what you find to help you survive.

Ignoring the glaring holes in the ridiculous storyline, you start the game in the middle of a forest, at night. With just a crappy torch to light the way. With just the voice in your head, and the bare basics, you gotta figure the rest out on your own.

Look how lovely this looks! I never got this far.

As you start walking the game gives you little help, but does give you objectives, and help guide you in what you need and where to go etc.

Follow arrows conveniently painted in the area, and make your way to an industrial site, from there gather tools, screwdriver, lockpick, as well as food items and so on, oh and not forgetting the geiger counter, well this is a post-apocalyptic world, so you need a way to find out if the food or drink you are about to consume is radioactive.

All the while your metrics are going down, so you need to find water to drink, food to eat, iodine tablets to stave off radiation sickness and so on.

Underground car park I guess. No idea as I never got that far.

The first real task you will need to do to progress further into the game and into Day 2, is to build a fire and a campsite. And this is where the game screws up.

You see the problem here is that I could not find enough materials to complete the campsite, so although I had built a fire, I found myself 2 hours into the game and stuck. We are talking 2 hours of searching every corner, or every alley way, every bin, under vehicles. You name it I looked, but I just couldn't find everything I needed. Throw in the fact that the battery on your torch soon runs out, I am now in the dark, so can barely see. Funnily enough you get some light from your geiger counter, so I ended up using that as a very weak torch of sorts. Regardless, the game at this point is a chore.

So, at this point, with major motion sickness hitting me in real life, from going round in circles, and straining to see what was going on, on the screen, I gave up.

The next day I had a revelation. Clearly, I had gotten to the Industrial site way too quick, and I should have searched the forest first, despite the game not telling me to do that in any way, I thought I would try, so I started a brand-new game, and I did just that.

Now, considering that there are a few jump scares in the game, by this point I knew that other than the character thinking he heard a noise in the distance, or a metal pipe rolling, there is not actually anything that will kill me outside of my own health running too low.

So, for an hour I searched every inch of the forest, and yes, I found items I needed, I found batteries for my torch, I found paper, fabric, metal rods and so on.

By the time I reached the industrial site, I suddenly felt extra prepared and ahead of the game. And then I spent another hour, built my fire, searched all the places I had previously, but with a familiarity that helped.

And I cant, find enough items to build the camp site. Yep, I had wasted another 2 hours for nothing.

I turned the game off in disgust and that is the last I will ever play it.

I will not look for any of the walkthroughs which I am sure will appear soon, I am not going to contact the developers. I give up.

I gave this game my time, and a lot of time at that, and it let me down. It also made me feel quite sick. Like being sat in the back of a car when you are a kid, and you end up having to vomit at the side of the road. The motion sickness this game creates is terrible.

The controls are tough to get used to, for some reason you have to tap A on a controller twice to jump. Not once, but Twice. The menu system is overly complicated, and you have to disable the torch every time you want to use the geiger counter, which you need to use if you want to pick up canned food or water. Beyond frustrating that apparently your character can't use two hands at once.

The Good
The game on a visual aspect, from what you can see on Day One, looks great, the sound effects are decent, and the first time you play, it does a good job building up tension.

The Bad
Terrible design, terrible level layout, literally made me ill playing the game.

Overall
I am angry with myself for giving this game so much of my time, because I was so desperate to just get to Day Two and see the game in the light.

And if the only way for me to proceed is to watch someone else play, and then copy their movements, then what is the point.

Perhaps the most frustrating game I have ever played in my life. What an utter waste of my time and effort.

I score Dead Man´s Diary a 0/10.

29 Mar 2022

REVIEW: A Memoir Blue - Playstation 5


Review by Jon Donnis
A Memoir Blue is the latest release on Playstation 5, a Visual Novel (don't roll your eyes, some people like them), about a superstar athlete, and the love between a mother and daughter.

Strangely for a visual novel, A Memoir Blue features no actual dialog, everything is told through visual cues. There are consequences to your decisions as you play, so choose wisely.


Completable in roughly an hour, this is a shortish experience, but worth it I would say. You start the game playing as Miriam, the daughter.

The opening scene of the game shows your character winning a medal at the Olympics, but not looking particularly happy for some reason, and flinching as the camera flashes go off, clearly not a fan of attention it seems.

The camera then retracts and we realise that Miriam is watching herself on the TV screen. The camera pans to her bag, and you get your first bit of interactivity with the game, you can click on a pair of goggles, press the top of some deodorant to make it spray out, but clearly you need to click on the mobile phone. Upen clicking around on the phone, straight away you realise there are no words, try to send a message and there is only a question mark and some dots to click on. Before you know it the phone rings, and next you have your first puzzle of sorts, which are ice cubes in a glass, and suddenly a fish appears. Already I am slightly lost at this point. Since there is no dialog, no real instruction of what to do.


From that point on you seem to go from one memory or dream to the next. Exploring the past, your relationship with your mother, as you move through childhood into adulthood.

The game plays very much as a tactile experience, and by that, I mean that everything revolves around you tapping on things on the screen, or moving through water, memory scenes play in 2D whereas current scenes play in 3D. Simple puzzles like stamping a ticket after adjusting the stamp. Nothing too tricky.


The whole game is a strange one, some odd interactions, especially in the first 30 minutes of play, can take you out of the experience, as the clickable area might be quite small, so you find yourself randomly clicking around with no real direction.

There is a nice story here, and told in a unique way, with beautiful music.

Everything looks and sounds great, but there is a missing element I feel.

I often ask the question, if a game is as enjoyable if you just watched someone else play it, as compared to if you play it, then what is the point?

And unfortunately, this becomes an issue in this game.

The Good
A short experience that will leave an impression on you.

The Bad
Can you justify spending £7.20 on something you will finish in under an hour and probably never play again?

Overall
A seemingly tactile type game, that doesn't translate to the screen that well for the people who perhaps would benefit from it the most.

I just need more to do. 

I score A Memoir Blue on Playstation 5 a 6/10

Out now at the Playstation Store for £7.20 - https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/concept/10003796

25 Mar 2022

REVIEW: Bush Hockey League (Nintendo Switch)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Bush Hockey League is an ice hockey game set in the 1970s, Bush Hockey League is the name of the fictional league you will play.

There are two modes of play, an Exhibition Mode, which is your classic, jump into the action type game. And the Story Mode.


You can choose to play with Retro Controls or Advanced controls. The lack of any kind of instant tutorial mode, will really leave you trying to figure out the controls yourself, which is so frustrating, as when you first play, you will have no idea what button does what and end up losing your first game by a huge margin. Way to go developers, make a game that instantly puts off the player! Not like you didn't have 5 years to figure out the basics for porting this game to Switch.

Now there are tutorials, they are just not instantly available, bizarrely you have to play through the season, lose loads of games, and then you will randomly have one, which then unlocks more abilities for you to use. I do not understand such a ridiculous system. Look it is simple. Tutorial Mode, Exhibition mode, and Story Mode. Everything unlocked from the start, so you can enjoy the game, and the more you play the better you get. Anyway, I feel like I am getting angry now, so let's move on.


Once you do start to play, things that instantly stand out are often the little things, the look of the characters, the coaches, the music, the commentary, all look and sound great, and that was the first thing that started to pull me in, if only a bit.

If you have friends with a Switch Lite, or others to play with, I would highly recommend playing some exhibition games first, so you can get a hang of the gameplay, once you do that, you can try the story mode, which has you take over the Schuykill Hinto Brews, a minor league team in the middle of its season, your job is to help them reach the playoff. 

Loading times seem endless, I half expected to hear that old sound of a ZX Spectrum loading up, whatever happened to Solid State Memory being the thing of the future? Anyway, the loading screens are fun though, with newspaper stories popping up chronicling the stories of the team. 


The story mode does have some good points, but by the time you find them, you will probably have had a hockey fight with your Switch.

Exhibition mode is the way to go, with friends. It is fun, and once you get the hang of it, there is plenty of gameplay to have, but as a single player game, the story mode is terrible.

The Good
In general, the game looks good, the sound effects and music are all of high quality.

The Bad
Nearly impossible to see the puck on a Switch lite, the goal keepers are beyond useless, and the game crashed multiple times for me, which is a serious no-no, for what is a new release on the console. And when I see that the PS4 release from 5 years ago has the same issues, then that points to a lazy port from the developers.

The controls are terrible, you never really feel in control when you are defending, and lining up a solid hit is way too hard, keep in mind I played in novice mode. And it takes forever to unlock more control options, which you have to endure endless losses in the story mode to ever reach. Not a fun experience.

Overall
A game that was broken 5 years ago, that has not been fixed in the port to Switch.

I was looking forward to playing an old-fashioned arcade Hockey Game, instead I got a broken port. 
I score Bush Hockey League a very disappointing 3 out of 10.
Genuinely gutted the game is so bad, I really thought it would be better.

Released 14th April


24 Mar 2022

REVIEW: Paradise Killer (PS5)



Review by Jon Donnis
Paradise Killer is an open world adventure game made by British studio Kaizen Game Works.

Your job is to investigate a murder and explore Paradise Island, (wasn't Paradise Island the name of the Island in the classic racing game Burnout Paradise?) Paradise Island is a pocket universe created by aliens canned The Syndicate, they want to create the perfect society, as that will awaken their ancient Gods. The Island is an experiment but unfortunately as with all utopias, things fail fast, the Syndicate kidnap humans from earth and let them live on Paradise Island, but as things fall apart, the humans are all killed, and their souls harvested to rebuild the Island. This game exists on the 24th rebuild of the Island.


When the humans are about to all be killed, so that everything can be transferred to Island 25, the alien Syndicate Council are found murdered. The Syndicate Judge sends for Detective Lady Love Dies, who was previously in exile, and is given the task of solving who was behind the killings, with everyone on the Island a potential killer.

The game is a murder mystery, a "whodunnit" if you will. The game is played in the first-person perspective, and when the game starts you find yourself on an island, you have to solve a mass murder. But how exactly you do it is up to you. As this is an open world game, there is little instruction, you will have to explore, look for clues, find evidence, and talk to people.

The game can be a bit confusing at first, as I said there is not much instruction, and at times it feels like you are playing a game that has some rich history to it that you are unaware of. So much of the first part of the game is you trying to understand what is going on.


Once you do kind of figure things out, the island is a pretty big place, and there is a lot to explore, this can mean a lot of walking, but along the way you will talk to a lot of people, as you try to solve the mystery. There are plenty of people to talk to, items to collect, and clues to find. Luckily there is a fast travel option, however it is not free, and you will use in game currency to use it.

One interesting part of the game is the ability to bring a suspect to trial at any time, but of course if you want to get the all-important conviction you better have enough evidence.

This really is an unusual game, something very different.


The Good
A wonderful soundtrack, and interesting gameplay really bring to live what is a pretty unique game.

The Bad
It can be confusing at first, with a lot thrown at you, but if you stick with it, it is worth it. And for a PS5 game I was ratehr underwhelmed by the graphics in some parts of the game.

Overall
A decent addition to your PS5 collection, a game that stands alone in its genre. Pretty unique in every way.

I score Paradise Killer on Playstation 5 a solid 7/10


20 Mar 2022

REVIEW: Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 5 (PS5)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk writer
The latest Supercross game is here, and this one has a ridiculously long name, just like previous games. Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 5 will from this point on be known as Supercross.


For those who don't know, Supercross is a fancy name for Dirt Bikes, in other words, powerful motorbikes that race on dirt. This game takes the official 2021 championship, and allows you to play in it. All the official tracks, bikes and stars are here. It is about as complete as you can get.


The control system might seem a bit strange to new players to the franchise, it offers a twin stick experience, which although tough to get used to at first, quickly becomes second nature. You need to use both analog sticks to precisely control the rider, this is most important when it comes to the smaller jumps, but also while sailing through the air on a big jump, trying to get that extra bit of flight.


The tracks can feel tight at times, meaning there is not much room for error, this is where the technical aspects of the game come before what you might consider a more arcade type feel. Luckily the game allows you rewind bars, so if you land on top of another rider, you can rewind and try to get it right. And as your ability to rewind drops, you can land tricks etc to refill the rewind bar.

There is a pretty detailed career mode, that has everything you could need across 3 classes.


The Good
The graphics are decent if not outstanding, which you would expect on a PS5. People new to the genre should enjoy the game, as it offers enough to keep you interested.

The Bad
The tracks can feel a bit repetitive, and the game really isn't that much of an improvement over previous games in the series. The difficulty settings too are not weighted very well. Easy is way too easy for a start, moving up to medium, and medium is way too hard.

There is an injury system, whereby you can spend credits you earn, to heal up, but it becomes pointless as you always have plenty of credits.

There are some graphic glitches/bugs I noticed too, which simply should not be there on such a big release.

Overall
The physics of the game feel authentic, and if you have not played any of the previous games in the franchise, then this is the one to get if you enjoy a bit of Supercross. However, can you justify paying £40+ for this, when you can get last year's version for half that? Probably not. (Available here https://amzn.to/3uf7nro)

I score Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 5 on PS5 a 6/10. (8/10 if you have never played a previous version)

Out now on PS5 at https://amzn.to/3N1lb1z

17 Mar 2022

REVIEW: Beyond A Steel Sky on Xbox

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk
Beyond A Steel Sky is the sequel to classic cyberpunk science fiction point-and-click adventure game Beneath a Steel Sky, released on the Amiga in 1994.
It has only taken 27 years to be made! So, it better be good.

You play as Robert Foster, you live in a community in the desert wastelands, a child had been taken after a brutal attack, and it is your job to tracking them down and bring them home. You find yourself travelling to Union City, one of the last mega cities on the planet, a planet that has been ravaged from war and political strife.

Union City is a seemingly perfect utopia, controlled by AI, everyone seems happy, everything seems wonderful, but with anything that seems so perfect, when you scratch beneath the surface, you find out that things are not at all what they seem.


Instead of a 2-dimensional world, that the previous game lived in, the modern point and click adventures takes on a much more 3-dimensional appearance, and a feeling of more freedom with that. Beyond a Steel Sky is very much a cyberpunk thriller, but within the point and click genre, whereby you will have to solve puzzles, speak to people, find out what is really going on, and try to solve the abduction of a child. And while that is a very serious subject, the game does have a humorous side within its Cyberpunk world. One of the achievements you will want to get is to make a robotic butler fall over, to do this you need to hack into the laundry machine, and change some settings so that the water over flows. You then return to the butler, and ask him to do the laundry, follow him downstairs, stand back and enjoy the hilarity. Many of the puzzles will need you to hack machines, but often you will need to engage in a lot of dialog with people, to find out the information you need, sadly this can sometimes feel a bit tedious, when you just want to get on with the game, and not just listen to seemingly endless dialog.


Early puzzles include helping people, who in turn reward you with things that will help you to solve the next puzzle. Similar in game mechanics to the Telltale games like Batman: The Enemy Within and Tales from the Borderlands, if you have played those games, you will instantly feel comfortable playing Beyond A Steel Sky. Although Beyond A Steel Sky does feel much grander in scale than those games.

The Good
The graphics are superb, everything looks and sounds great, and despite a few dodgy voice acting, overall, the acting and graphics are top quality. The game is easy to play, the puzzles are logical, and never too difficult. 

The Bad
A relatively short game, and as mentioned earlier, some of the dialog can be a bit tedious.

Overall
If you are a fan of point and click adventures, or the Telltale series of games, then you will instantly fall in love with Beyond A Steel Sky, and feel right at home as you play, it is far from perfect, and a little short, but even so, it is a game you should consider adding to your collection.

I score Beyond A Steel Sky a very strong 8/10

Out now on PC
Release date 07/12/2021 on Xbox


15 Mar 2022

REVIEW: Intruder on the bridge on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk
Intruder on the bridge is an adult, visual novel, but it does go a bit further than the usual visual novel in that it actually has a few mini games, the main one of interest being a Galaga like minigame.

Let's start with the story.
"Intruder on the Bridge tells the story of Captain Dyce, a Galactic Union officer in command of the largest spaceship ever built: the Ventura. He will have to face a mysterious conspiracy that caused his brother's death. Unfortunately, all leaders of the Union seem to be involved in the conspiracy. "


As with all visual novels, there will be a lot of reading and watching, so the story often needs to be very good to keep your attention, the advantage that adult visual novels have, is that they are adult in nature, so you will have nudity and sex scenes, and that adds an element of interest, since you will want to unlock all the scenes you can.

Now the game is not just about sex, in fact that is not even the main interest of the main character. So if you think you will just start up the game and see "action" straight away, you will be disappointed, you need to play through the story to get to the good bits!


You play as Captain Dyce, his twin brother has been killed, and you take his place, to try and solve the murder, you will need to talk to all the crew of The Ventura as well as cover up the fact you have switched places with your deceased brother. Along the way you will be faced with choices to make, different questions to ask, each in themselves will affect the story moving forward, this instantly gives the game that all important replayability factor. Especially if you want to unlock all the animations and scenes.

The game as a whole is very "Star Trek" like, the look of the aliens, the characters, the machinery, the space ship's interior. You can tell that there is a lot of inspiration from Star Trek from almost the first moment you start playing. You could argue that Captain Dyce even looks a bit like William Riker! As well as having his interest in the ladies!


There are a few minigames, the previously mentioned Galaga like shoot-em-up, this comes into play when your ship encounters an enemy, the mini game loads up, and you control the ship with your mouse, while shooting at waves of enemies, and eventually a boss. There are various weapon upgrades to collect as well as special weapons that last for a short period of time, rockets, lasers etc. You can of course skip the mini game, but where is the fun in that. Complete the level and you go back to the main game and the story continues. There is also a mini game which is literally a first person shooter, run around an alien planet, kill the aliens, rescue some crew. 



There is also a very simple combat mini game, whereby you are face to face with someone, and have to choose basic moves to fight with, this mini game is not the best, and you will get through it very quickly.

The game boasts 3000 HD images, that really are incredibly rendered, full HD, and very impressive. There are also 50 separate animations, these are mainly part of the story, but also include various scenes that are adult in nature.

I did read some complaints about the dialog from people saying the translations were poor. And as far as I can figure out, the developers "Space Samurai Studio" are Italian, however I thought the dialog although far from perfect, was fine, and nothing seemed particularly off for me. If you are playing an adult visual novel, and you are moaning about the grammar used, then you really are taking life too seriously.


The Good
The rendered images and animations are of a very high quality, everything looks incredible. The story is decent, and the mini game is a lot of fun.

The Bad
There is no voice acting as such, other than a few groans, so everything needs to be read, the sounds in general across the game are quite poor, and although I understand the reasons for not having voice acting, (Keeps the costs down), it can make a big difference in a game of this nature.

Overall
If adult visual novels are your thing, then I honestly don't think you can go far wrong with this game, the story is decent, the graphics, animations etc all look great, perhaps a little expensive at just under £12, but I am sure there will be a sale at some point.

I score Intruder on the bridge a solid 7.5/10 with the total understanding of the context and genre that this game sits in.


Out now on Steam (Over 18s only please)

13 Mar 2022

REVIEW: Pretty Girls Four Kings Solitaire on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
I never thought I would be reviewing a Solitaire game, but here we are.

I recently reviewed another "Pretty Girls" release called Speed which you can see here, I gave that game a strong 9/10. Well, the good people at Zoo Corporation have asked me to take a look at their newest "Pretty Girls" release, this time it is Solitaire. Yes Solitaire, that game everyone gets free with their PC running Windows. So, what is different about this game that sets it apart from the Windows version?

Well, it is the "Pretty Girls" of course. But that aside the gameplay still needs to work for the game to be good.


There are a few different versions of Solitaire going around, slightly different rules. Since this game is from Japan, the rules are a little different to what I was familiar with, but in many ways, this is a superior version.

They also use more clear terms for the various parts of the game, in the classic version you have "Stock, Waste, Tableau and Foundation", in this you have "Deck, Hand, Field and Table". Much easier to understand if you are a newbie to this game.

The main difference I can see is that in the 4 Foundation lines or Table lines of cards that you need to complete to finish the game, is that each line has to be completed differently.

In the classic game, you start with the Ace, and have to follow the order of the cards all the way to King. In this version that is only the case with one line. The others start with a 2, a 3 and a 4. And of those, each card has to be followed not by the direct next card in order, but in one line a gap of two, the next a gap of 3 and the last a gap of 4. This photo should help you understand what I mean.


You still have to end on a King, but getting there now needs a bit more thought. 

The cards you place in the field, can then only be moved to the table, unlike classic rules you can't move field cards around. So, when taking cards from the hand, it now becomes all the more important, where you place them on the field, because you may inadvertently block yourself in a future move.

I know this sounds confusing, but when you get the hang of it, this really does make this a superior game.

Throw in leader boards, with the fastest to complete at the top. Differing difficulty settings, which work as the harder the setting, the less space you can use in the field, and you suddenly have a really challenging game.


There are limited shuffles allowed for when the deck has been emptied, and a couple of cheat moves allowed, to take a card from any position in the field and automatically place on the table, all depending on the difficulty settings. Your usual achievements can be gained too, giving you something to aim for.

The beautifully drawn "Pretty Girls" can all be positioned with different backgrounds once you have unlocked them, great for creating wallpaper images for your PC. There is no nudity, just busty Japanese style girls to amuse you. Plus, the classic Japanese voices which always make me chuckle. 


The Good
This is the best version of a Solitaire game that I have ever played. The bells and whistles of the Pretty Girls are fine, but the game itself is well designed, and once I got use to the rules which were a little different to what I was used to, I am happy to say this is a superior rule set.

The Bad
There is a menu regarding the rules, which I found a little confusing, perhaps could have been explained a little better, but I think some of it was due to me being convinced I already knew how to play, and not really noticing that the game literally tells you what card you need "Next" and I didn't notice it.

Overall
Zoo Corporation have done it again, they have taken a simple card game and made it better. 

I score Pretty Girls Four Kings Solitaire on PC a super strong 8/10

Released 18th March on Steam at


10 Mar 2022

REVIEW: Dyna Bomb on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Dyna Bomb is an arcade style linear platformer, run or fly (using your jetpack, that conveniently has unlimited fuel) around a level, collect diamonds, bombs and a key, then exit the level. Do this before the time runs out, and avoiding enemies. There are 8 worlds with 8 levels in each world. So, plenty of levels to complete. Throw in portals to move around a level too, and you have a decent little arcade platformer.


Your character will start a level with 3 bombs that he or she can throw at enemies, you can collect more as well, but use your bombs carefully as they are strictly limited. And if you touch an enemy, level over. 

Dyna Bomb plays as a true arcade game, pick up and play, the game is not about exploration, it is purely about completing the goals, and getting to the exit as soon as you can without dying. And for an arcade game, isn't that what you expect?


The Good
Bright colourful graphics. Cool music. Easy to play. Plenty of levels.

The Bad
It is sometimes hard to see enemies due to the way the screen scrolls, and there is no way to manually look around a level. 

Overall
As simple arcade games go, Dyna Bomb hits all the targets you would want, is it perfect? no, there are a few things that are frustrating, like as I mentioned above, not being able to see things as the screen scrolls, the hit mechanics when you come in contact with an enemy are very harsh. And it could be argued that the developers should have given more options, to play without time limits, to have the jet pack with limited fuel and so on. However, the game is pushed as an arcade game, it is a game you will pick up, play for 10 minutes, put down. And then the next day pick it up, play and so on. It can be challenging at times, there are plenty of levels and despite the problems, I do think that Dyna Bomb is a good addition to your Switch Library.

Review by Jon Donnis

Out Now on Nintendo Switch


8 Mar 2022

REVIEW: Never Alone: Arctic Collection - Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Never Alone is a platform/puzzle game, developed in full collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people. 40 members of the Iñupiat contributed to the game. And includes the Foxtales DLC that was originally released on PC.

You play as Nuna and a friendly Fox, you are in search of the source of the blizzard that threatens the very survival of everything they know. Set in the Arctic, the world around you is very harsh, and it will take smarts to survive and progress.


Switch between controlling Nuna or the Fox, to help you navigate through the landscape, solve puzzles, and evade various creatures. The further your make your way across the frozen landscapes, and underground passages, the more you will find out. At its base the game is a platforming game, but you will find yourself running from Polar Bears, swimming under ice cold water in underground caves, climbing, jumping and running. You can play with a friend controlling one character and you the other, but in single player mode, you can simply switch between Nuna or the Fox, depending on the challenge ahead. The fox for example can crawl through small gaps, run faster and jump higher. You might need the Fox to reach an area and then let down a rope for Nuna to use to climb up.

Nuna has their own benefits, they can move heavy objects, swim under water, and throw a "bola" at targets to help you solve puzzles, The bola is a kind of slingshot. Maybe use it to break some ice blocking the way, or to distract a polar bear.


You will also come across Helping Spirits, which in communication with the fox, can also help you navigate around a level and reach a higher platform.

One of the interesting parts of the game is that as you play you will unlock video clips. These clips feature the Alaskan Native people and historians as they share stories about their culture, beliefs, as well as the Arctic surroundings. With over 30 minutes of interviews and clips to unlock, this is a welcome addition to the game, that really allows you to learn about a culture as well as just play a game.


Although the game is relatively short, the fact you are learning as you play, it really gives you a fulfilling feeling, it's just more than a platform game.

The graphics are beautiful, the sound effects are spot on, and when you are involved in a moment of action, or tension, the music kicks in and really helps you feel part of the game.


With all this said, there are a few problems with the game itself. The platforming elements can be a bit hit and miss at times. There are a few moments where I found myself in something of a death loop. For example when you die you respawn, but because two characters are respawning instead of one, I found one point where every time I respawned, the fox would instantly die due to the location he was respawning, and it was only after countless attempts to quickly take control of the fox, and with a bit of luck was I able to escape the loop.


The Good
The graphics and storytelling aspects of the game are of the highest quality. And if you have any interest in Native peoples, then the Iñupiat are a fascinating group to learn about.

The Bad
Some of the platforming elements are lacking, and really should be better.

Overall
Despite the few problems, I enjoyed this game a lot, and really felt like I learned something while playing.

I score Never Alone on Nintendo Switch a solid 7/10

Out Now On Nintendo Switch

REVIEW: Demetrios The Big Cynical Adventure REPLASTERED for PS5



Synopsis:
Demetrios is a quirky adventure game packed with tons of humour!

Bjorn Thonen, a slob of an antique dealer living in Paris, is robbed one night after coming home drunk. Forced to conduct his own investigation with the help of his neighbour Sandra, he ends up involved in a murky, mysterious affair. Will these unlikely heroes be able to rise up and discover ancient secrets?


Review: By Jon Donnis
Originally released on Steam, PS Vita, Xbox One, now the game gets a "REPLASTERED" 4K release on PS5.
 
Demetrios is a self proclaimed "Quirky" adventure game created by Fabrice Breton, and one look at the credits and you realise that Fabrice pretty much made the entire game himself, which is really impressive in this day and age. Well now the game is back once again on PS5 in stunning 4K, and I got my hands on it a week before release, because, you know, I am special. As a man in my early 40s, this is the kind of point and click adventure game I grew up on, back in the days of the Atari ST and Amiga. Where as kids of this generation will always prefer the instant gratification of blowing someones head off, I much prefer a little bit of work in a game before I get such gratification, well that or making my character put his fingers in an electrical outlet.

Unlike many other games, dying in this game is actually something you want to do every so often, as collecting the "game over" screens is very much part of the game, as is collecting cookies. Starting to sound quirky enough for you yet?

When you first start the game you get to choose your level of "toilet humour", of course I chose the highest setting. Although the game does have a fair amount of toilet humour, it also has quite a decent story, and although the game won't take you very long to complete, (8-12 Hours) there is an instant urge to play it again to see if you can find all the hidden cookies (3 hidden in every different screen/location) as well as find out all the different ways you can die. But that is only one part of the game, at the heart of it you are trying to solve a crime.

Bjorn is the main character you control, and it is him who has been robbed, he teams up with his neighbour Sandra, and they end up travelling to various locations looking for clues, and seemingly Bjorn gets into more trouble the more he investigates.

You will examine the screen and click on various items to learn more, you have an inventory whereby you can use and combine items you have collected to hopefully solve a puzzle. There are countless people to talk to, mini games to play, and more. So if you want to get through this game quick you can just quickly click through conversations, and get to the next puzzle, but by doing that you are really missing the hard work put in. This is a funny game, if you rush through it, then you are wasting the experience. And if you get stuck, then you can eat a cookie and you get a hint, bit like the coin system in the Professor Layton games.

And once you do finish the game, there is a nice little "extras" link on the main page, whereby you can unlock songs from the game, as well as exclusive artwork.

I understand this game wont be for everyone, but very few games ever fill that requirement. This is a classic point and click adventure game, an "old school" type game, that me and my friends loved in the late 80's/early 90's. If you are old enough to remember those games and you like the odd vomit joke, then you will love this game. Maybe this game wont appeal to younger gamers, but to people my age I think it is perfectly placed.

I give this game a solid 8/10

I will be going back and trying to find all the cookies and game over screens. In fact I am going to do that right now!

Available now for $9.99 on PS5 (or $1.99 for PS4/Vita version owners)
£7.99 for UK PS5 Owners.
https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP1762-PPSA06666_00-DEMETRIOSPS50000

You can also purchase other versions of the games from Amazon using the following links.
PC/Mac - Amazon UK
PS Vita - Amazon US