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30 Apr 2022

PREVIEW: Turbo Golf Racing on PC (Steam)

Preview by Jon Donnis
I was asked to join the Beta playtest of Turbo Golf Racing on PC and give my thoughts. Although the game is still in Beta testing, it is very polished.

Now I am sure you have heard of Rocket League, the game where you basically play football with cars and a giant ball. Well Turbo Golf Racing is that but with golf. The comparisons are inevitable, and Turbo Golf Racing has a lot to live up to if it wants to be spoken about in the same breath as that other game. (which I wont mention again).

For people new to the genre, take the quiet, thoughtful, slow game of golf, add a massive ball, and Turbo Powered cars and you have something very interesting and a lot of fun.

Single player mode plays very much like you would expect. Drive as fast as you can at the ball, to hit it to go as far as you can in the direction of the hole. But unlike in golf where each shot takes time to set up, aim etc, here once you have teed off you can chase after the ball, hit it again while it is still moving, all in a mad cap race to sink the ball as quickly as possible.

Time is the issue here, not how many times you hit the ball. Your car has the ability to jump and then dash, slide, drift, boost etc you can control the rotation of your car in the air, you can even glide if you want. When hitting the ball, how you position your car matters, if you hit it while you jump you can get more lift on the ball and so on. As you approach the ball, you will see a directional arrow telling you roughly where the ball will go, which will help you aim the next hit, there are sand pits to avoid, rough grass, and so on.

Your car has a turbo too, which you use in bursts to get more speed, you can collect turbo upgrades to fill your meter, as well as driving on certain areas will recharge your turbo. Watch out also for floating circular boost points, fire your ball through them and it will fly high and fast towards the hole.

Finish the level in a set amount of time to get up to 3 stars, gaining stars unlocks more levels.

The single player mode is fun, and a great way to get to grips with the controls and the courses, but the fun really starts in multiplayer mode.

Up to 8 players can play online at once, each player has their own ball, and you all need to get your ball in the hole the fastest, you are given points depending on your time. Now although you can't hit other people's balls, or ram other players, you can collect rockets and fire them at the enemy. But you will probably be concentrating on your own ball to spend much time doing that, you will most likely pick up a rocket and fire it blindly as you try not to lose your ball.

The courses available so far are all decent, if a bit samey. You will get a zoomed in map of the course as well as a flyover before each race, but a full map would make things easier, so you know where to go, some of the courses are quite long, and although you won't get lost, figuring out where the hole is, can be confusing on a first playthrough. Of course, a relaxing drive around the course to familiarise yourself first is probably worth doing. There are also secret routes to look out for which will help you massively in both single player and multiplayer modes.

You will be able to upgrade our car as you go along, collect in game currency by winning trophies. Each upgrade will improve your car allowing you to hit the ball further, fly fast, and so on. Lots of car customisation available, to give your car its own unique look.

The Good
The game looks and feels very polished, I found no bugs during my time playing. It looks like the game will be regularly updated, with new courses and options. So, there is a long future to this game, as opposed to a limited one.

The Bad
I'd like some better animations when you fly off the track, maybe the car gets destroyed when it hits something etc. Otherwise, the game already feels really good.

At this point the game is already pretty damned decent, and I have high hopes that it can and will only get better as more content is released for it.

I look forward to the full release, and future updates, when the game is finished, I will give it a score. For now, if you can, try to get on the Beta playtest, you won't be disappointed.

Wishlist it on Steam at

REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes Chapter One on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is an open-world detective mystery with you playing a young Sherlock Holmes.

You find yourself returning to your childhood home of Cordona, a 19th century, British occupied Mediterranean island, that I assume is made up. You return there as you learn that they may be more to the death of your mother, than originally thought.

Since you are playing a young Sherlock, you have to accept that the game developers have to try something different, so Sherlock is a fresh faced, slightly brooding type character, and Sherlock even has an imaginary friend type deal, with a person called Jon, a pre-cursor to Watson I would assume. Seems strange that a man of logic would need an imaginary friend to throw ideas at, but like I said, this is a young Sherlock, so I suppose this could be akin to the older Sherlock having a mind palace.

The main idea of the game is to solve crimes, and if you want, get into slightly pointless fights, all of which can be skipped if you want. However, the fights, if poorly implemented, do help break up the gameplay. While fighting someone you can use your observation skills to help you win the fight, see vulnerabilities, use the surroundings to help you win. It is a nice change to the usual punch, punch, kick, kick style of fightings we sometimes get in open world games.

The graphics are amazing, and straight away you will be reminded of some of the Assassin's Creed games, sadly the freedom of those games is not available here, and although the game is "open world", you simply cant interact with as much as you might want to. You will however get the expected side quests, (30+), which are always a fun distraction from a main story of which there are 5 main parts.

There are lots of people to talk to, stories to learn, and locations to explore. And there is plenty of variety in these, that means that things are never too reptitive in nature.

We do need to talk about a few of the problems with the game, the investigations themselves, it almost seems like you cant really get anything very wrong, there is no real confirmation that you have made a right conclusion, in your case files, you have the documents and recaps, and a nudge in the right direction, but it does seem to be a strange way of doing things in what is a detective game, that you don't properly make wrong decisions.

And as already mentioned the fight scenes are poorly implemented, they feel like an afterthought, and although they do break up the action, the fact you can completely turn them off, and skip them, kinda makes them a bit pointless in the game.

The dialog is good, the story is also well written, the side quests are fun, and help give the game some longevity, as if you stick to the main story, the game can be completed pretty quickly. There are hidden coins to collect, which also add an extra element to the game.

The Good
The graphics and general presentation of the game is of an exceptional standard, really is glorious to see.

The Bad
The fights with bandits are terrible and pointless, and the game pales in comparison to similar open world games with investigative gameplay mechanics, think Batman or any Assassins Creed game.

A decent game in it's own right, but does have a few problems that game testers should have spotted early on.
The sheer beauty of the game, and the decent storyline carries it further than it should.

I score Sherlock Holmes Chapter One on Xbox a generous 7/10

Out now on Xbox

27 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is a 3D puzzle platformer from Luminawesome Games and published by the great people at Wired Productions.

Now I am a fan of puzzle platform games, so I was excited to try this game out.

You play as Lumote, a kind of bioluminescent blob character, and you find yourself on a quest to overthrow the Mastermote.

You can move your character, jump (and double jump), and possess. As you start the game you find yourself in an area, the red areas are controlled by the evil Mastermote, (is he/it evil? I don't know, but for the sake of this review I am calling him/it evil!) and the blue areas are controlled by you, to progress to the next area, you need to turn everything blue, and unlock the door (a big flower thing).

You can possess Motes (creatures that inhabit this weird world), which will help to allow you to turn areas blue, when you are in control of them, they help you, when you are not in control of them, they can hinder your progress.

The game is one big area, with six towers that need to be taken over, and fifty puzzles that need to be solved along the way.

Right from the start you are thrown into the action, there is little to tell you what to do, or even where to go, you need to figure things out for yourself, as you first start exploring, you will get on screen prompts of how to control your character as well as the interactive areas, but that is it.

Despite the lack of a level select, or much instruction, the game is pretty easy to figure out, and before you know it you will be solving some pretty complicated puzzles. For example, you might need to control Motes to position in a different area to change things to blue, but the Motes are hidden behind hard to reach areas, or you need to position multiple motes in a certain order, to reach another Mote that is needed to progress. Various obstacles will make your journey trickier, and all need to be overcome using good old-fashioned logic.

There is a steep learning curve here, there is no easy first 10 puzzles, pretty much from the get go you need to get your thinking cap on.

You can control the camera in a fully 3D manner, from side, around and above viewpoints, this does help you figure out what you need to do, and although sometimes you might prefer a fixed camera, I didn't find the 3D camera too much of a bother. It also helps you to have a good look around for any secret collectables.

Solve all the Puzzles, takeover the 6 towers, turn the world blue, and extinguish the red light of the Master Mote to complete the game. Sounds easy, but is much harder in reality.

The Good
Super colourful game, perhaps a bit too colourful, but that is part of the story of the game. The puzzles are tricky but all solvable with a bit of thinking.
A good challenge awaits anyone who wants to take on the Mastermote.

The Bad
The camera can be a bit of an annoyance at times, when you have to keep re-positioning it to see what you need to do next, I do wonder if a fixed AI controlled camera view that moved as you do, to show you the best view would have been a better choice? 

And yes, the puzzles get tricky, pretty fast, so if you are a Gamerpoint collector, those achievements are going to take some hard work. No easy 1000 points here!

Lumote is a proper challenging 3D puzzle platforming game. The challenge betrays it's fun graphics.
I really enjoyed playing Lumote, and am still playing it. Tough but fun game that I can highly recommend for any Puzzle fans wanting a new challenge.

I score Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles a solid 8/10

Out now on Xbox

25 Apr 2022

REVIEW: LIT: Bend the Light - Xbox One

Review by Staff
LIT: Bend the Light is a simple puzzle game, set in a time before electricity had been harnessed, and the world was taken forward by great inventors, you find yourself moving mirrors, prisms and glass shapes to reflect light from point a to point b. 

Each level has multiple ways to be completed, and with relaxing music, this is a game that should satisfy your average puzzle fan.

There are only about 30 odd levels, and you will complete the lot in about 2 hours, they have tried to counter this by awarding achievements for solving the levels in different ways, but still the game is very short and doesn't offer much more than a few hours of chill out music, and basic puzzle play.

The controls aren't the best either, and some levels need an almost pixel perfect lines, and some levels you will find you will complete almost by accident, and here is where the biggest problem lies, because of the lack of levels and the need for more than one way to complete a level, you can find yourself just completing levels by randomly moving things, thus taking away the skill, and unless you are the kind of gamer that wants to play properly even when a shortcut is glaring you in the face, you will find yourself doing this the moment you figure out it is possible. Not to mention that some of the multiple solutions to a level are near identical, and it is hard to remember which ones you have already used. 

The Good
Presentation is very good, everything looks great, and the soundtrack is very relaxing.

The Bad
Frustratingly short game, hampered by poor control mechanics. The game is unoriginal, and despite the best attempts to give it some kind of background in a time before electricity, at its base it is a laser reflection game which we have seen a million times before. And with only about 30 levels which you will complete pretty fast, you will be left feeling like you may have wasted money on this.

Fun idea, nice graphics, but spoiled by poor game mechanics, and limited levels.

I score LIT: Bend the Light on Xbox One a frustrating 4/10

23 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Ganryu 2 on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Ganryu 2 is a retro style, 2D arcade platform game, instantly reminded me of Shinobi. 

Let's take a look at the storyline.
"After his victory against Kojiro, Musashi decided to meditate and try his hand at art, in the north of Japan, in the province of Hokkaido. During one of his meditations, a spirit contacted him : "Miyamoto Musashi, our fight is not over, I am waiting for you to finish our fight once and for all! All of Japan will pay for your insult! I'm waiting for you Miyamoto Musashi!"

There is no doubt for Musashi that the voice was the Sasaki Kojirō's one. His body was defeated, but his spirit remains, and his intentions were destructive. Miyamoto Musashi then understood that he would have to travel across Japan from north to south and go to the island of Ganryû-jima, where he firstly defeated Sasaki Kojirō, to fight again and liberate the spirit of Kojiro forever."

You might guess by the name, but Ganryu 2 is a sequel, now you will be forgiven for not hearing of Ganryu, since it was a late 1990s NeoGeo game.

You play as Miyamoto Musashi and travel through a 17th century fantasy Japan. The levels are split up, which as a whole become a Stage, and there are various Stages to complete.

Some levels will have you playing your classic side scrolling type arcade action, which is throwing ninja stars, or performing Ninja style attacks. Each level will have a boss, which you need to beat to progress. Some levels do change, for example the second level in the game has you riding on train tracks, where you have to time jumps from one trailer to the next, all the while fighting off the enemies. 

You will see some of the same types of enemies over and over, and the bosses although tough at first follow a routine that as soon as you learn, are quite straight forward to beat.

There are your usual collectables, 1ups, and health boosts and so on.

This is predominantly an arcade game, and in that sense, when you die, that's it, there is no playing from a level you reached previously, it is back to the start. This isn't a massive problem but might be frustrating to younger gamers who have never stood in front of an arcade machine putting in 10p after 10p.

The game is quite tough and unforgiving, and the controls can be a bit frustrating, the wall jumping can be tricky to master, and one little mistake with an enemy is costly.

The Good
I am a fan of the old school arcade side scrollers, this is what I grew up on, and playing this on a Switch Lite was fun. This is the kind of game you will pick up, play for 20 minutes or longer, usually till you die, and then put down until the next day.

The graphics are exactly what they are supposed to be, the sounds are as dodgy as they were in the 90s, so fit in well.

The Bad
The controls could be better, there seems to be options for the character that don't make much difference, and special attacks that are too rare to be used tactically. I also think you need to have a regular arcade mode, and a separate story mode that keeps your progress. Getting far in the game and dying, and knowing that you have to start from the beginning again feels more frustrating than it does challenging.

A game that reminded me of the countless hours spent in the arcade. 
More of a nostalgia game for people over 35 I suspect, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing.
I score Ganryu 2 a solid 8/10

Out Now on Nintendo Switch

21 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Chernobylite on PS4

Review by Jon Donnis
I have played a few Survival games recently, with mixed results, I still feel that I have not found a truly great survival game yet, so I come to Chernobylite with an open mind.

Chernobylite is a science fiction survival horror game. It somewhat mixes the classic survival type games with something more akin to a first-person RPG/Adventure game.

The game features a somewhat non linear story, although the start of the game is very linear until you get to the missions.

You play as a physicist Igor, an ex-employee of the famous Chernobyl Power Plant. You have lost your beloved Tatiana, and want to find them, hopefully alive. Although you play for yourself, you do have AI team mates, who you can send on missions, but you also need to make sure they stay healthy, have food, medicine, weapons and so on.

Once past the initial parts of the game, where you see ghostly images of Tatiana, you will settle down with your crew in a deserted building, each day you need to complete missions, as you complete the missions you will meet people, how you treat them and interact with them, will decide whether they become friends or enemies. You will also need to build up your base, craft beds, work stations and even mushroom gardens.

There is combat in the game, but stealth is your friend. There are also supernatural entities to worry about. Once a mission is complete you can use a portal machine to return to base, but sometimes it is worth searching around before going back, as there are often collectables around you will need to survive. Machine parts to craft items, gear, weapons etc, food, and more. The better prepared you are, the more chance of success you will have.

Making choices is a big part of this game, and those choices may or may not affect how things go later on. Now a great part of this game is that when you die, and you will die, you find yourself in a dreamscape of sorts, where you can see the results of your choices, and you can choose to go back in time and make a different choice, which of course then will change the future, change allies or enemies, even parts of the area itself, if you avoid destroying something you did previously.

The main object of the game is to reach the Heist mission. Now you can actually attempt this pretty much straight away, however without a team built up, weapons and full preparation, you will fail, so you might as well complete the daily missions, and make yourself and your crew as strong as possible.

The Good
The game looks great, the area the game takes place in was actually 3D scanned, so about as realistic as can be.
The gameplay is good, the mission concept works well, along with the crafting of items. The fact that choices really can make a difference is very much welcome.

The Bad
Controls at time can feel a bit clunky, and combat itself is not great, so you might find yourself playing in more of a stealth way, simply because that is easier and more fun. There are a few bugs in the game, especially early on. Things like a character getting stuck behind a door with no way to free them, so there only way to continue is to restart the checkpoint.

Chernobylite finds itself sat in many genres, without ever quite mastering one. Not fully survival game, not fully FPS, not fully RPG.
With that said, Chernobylite is an enjoyable game. And although the PS4 version is decent, the PS5 version is graphically a big difference.

I Score Chernobylite a solid 7/10

Out now on PS4 and PS5 at

18 Apr 2022

REVIEW: The First Tree on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
From the mind of David Wehle comes The First Tree. A 3rd person exploration / walking (galloping??) sim, that has you playing the part of a fox trying to find her missing cubs, which itself is part of a retelling of a dream that the narrator is talking to his wife about, but that also becomes a story of a son reconnecting with his estranged father in Alaska.

That might sound slightly complicated, but it isn't really. You play as the fox, but as you progress through the game, you will hear the conversation of the narrator. The story he tells of reconnecting to his father, becomes a parallel story to that of a fox trying to find their missing cubs.

As this is an exploration game /walking sim, this is more about the story, than the gameplay itself, you will explore areas, collect artifacts, dig up things that expand the story being told. And if you play with commentators' mode on, you can also find audio clips that further tell the story from the game makers perspective, and give insight into how the game was made, the thought processes and so on. I would highly recommend playing with the commentator's mode turned on.

You will play through various landscapes, each one as beautiful as the last.

The First Tree really is a game created by one man, and although his real-life wife is part of the narration, and a beautiful musical score, you can really feel that this is a creation by one man, and his love for the game shines through.

The stunning cell-shaded graphics are gorgeous to look at, the music is great, and although a relatively short game, about 2 hours to complete, the meditative nature of the game will leave you feeling quite fulfilled. I was slightly reminded of Journey on the PS4. If you were a fan of that, then you will like this.

There are puzzles to solve, and platforming elements, but nothing too difficult, mainly how to reach areas, powering up your jumps with butterflies, but in general this is more a game that you should play to really lower your heart rate, to relax to. 

The Good
This is more of an experience than a game, and it's a good experience, a deep and meaningful story, mixed with beautiful music and stunning graphics. A truly meditative game.

The Bad
There are sometimes long periods of you just going in one direction without much else going on, but if you have headphones on, and are relaxed in the moment you won't notice. And also, the game is quite short.

The First Tree is a meditative experience, that is the best way to explain it. No enemies to kill or avoid, just a chill out experience.

I score The First Tree a fair 8/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch

The First Tree will be available for Nintendo Switch, as a Limited Edition and Special Limited Edition, with pre-orders launching on Sunday, 5th of December at 12 AM CET (midnight), only at Strictly Limited Games.

16 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Road 96 on PlayStation 5

Review by Jon Donnis
You know what gamers have been clamouring for? A political game! Yay. (Said no one ever.)

Road 96 has you playing as a teenage trying to cross the border in the summer of 1996, playing in a similar way to the Telltale Games, adventure/point and click narrative driven adventure that is told from a first-person perspective etc, you need to basically take a journey, a road trip, as you make the journey you encounter various characters along the way, each character has a set of problems you need to follow their story, you have a completion percentage, so repeat plays will allow you to experience all parts of their story to reach 100%.

The game takes play in Petria, (which you are trying to escape) an authoritarian regime on the brink of real political change, and decisions you make will affect the outcome of the game, and with your ultimate aim to reach the border, your decisions will affect how or if you get there.

There are seven main characters to encounter, and the "events" that take place might just be a simple conversation, to breaking in to a building or searching a hotel for terrorists. The game itself is short, but by completing events you will unlock abilities which you can then use in new playthroughs by choosing "New Game +" should you decide to start again. So that might be new dialog choices, or things you can interact with. It does help the replayability factor, which is a necessity because the game is so short.

The first event that you find in the first episode is to help a stranded cop, they have lost a relative in the war, speak to them, and then decide how you will proceed, will you hitchhike but risk getting into a car of a stranger, whose motives you do not know, but will save you money, will you get on a bus, which costs a lot, but gives you the safety that hitchhiking does not? Whichever you choose, your choice will decide what you see next, who you will meet, what skills and abilities you might develop, as you get closer to the border. For example, the lockpick skill. Skills become permanent, so on your next playthrough, you might be able to use that lockpick skill to get inside a truck that is going to the border.

Think of the game as a short tree but with a lot of branches, and each time you play, you can access more of the branches.

The Good
The game plays well, it is easy to control, and if you are a fan of the Telltale style games, then you should find enjoyment in this.

The Bad
The voice acting is pretty naff in parts, and the political aspects of the game, are clearly coming from a left-wing perspective. Basically, Left Wing Good, Right Wing Bad. Do we really need this in video games, and considering the disaster Presidency of LEFT-WING authoritarians in Canada and the US right now, the game seems to be yet more propaganda, to get people to think a certain way, instead of just letting people see both sides in a fair manner, and then making their own minds up.

As a basic Telltale style game, it is decent enough, the political aspects are a bit hit and miss, and the voice acting is poor.
If you are a lefty liberal type, you will probably enjoy the game more than if you are an independent or more right wing.

I score Road 96 a 6/10

Out now on PS5

11 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Rawr-Off on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Rawr-Off is a game which seems to be much better suited to the Switch Lite, than on the big screen.
A party style multiplayer game, you hold the Switch Lite long ways, with one person at each end of the console.
The aim of the game is to destroy your opponent by shooting "waves of power" at them.

You have limited amounts of shots, so need to also collect the correct coloured "ammo" from the sides of the screen, along with power-ups, this tests your speed, and accuracy, and the person who is fastest and most accurate, will win.

You can also take your opponent's ammo, and freeze them, giving you the ultimate advantage.

There are various characters to choose from, each one has their own special ability, characters include such names as Sushi-senpai, Cosmic Dog Unicorn, Spaghetti Monster, Baby Cthulhu, Schrodinger's Cat and Zombie Laika. Just those names alone suggest to me the game's makers are staunch atheists!

Rawr-Off is the kind of game you will sit down with a friend and have a quick bash at. You can practice in a solo mode, but this game really needs to be played face to face with a friend. And if you are of drinking age, why not set up a few shots and make it much more fun.

The Good
A simple to play, colourful game, that can only add to a night in with friends.

The Bad
After the initial excitement, there is not much more to the game.

Short bursts of fun, maybe even use the game to settle an argument, who knows, who cares, it is a fun little game that doesn't take up much space on your Switch

I score Rawr-Off a simple 7/10

Out Now on Nintendo Switch

9 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Dexter Stardust on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Dexter Stardust is to be released on March 3rd on Nintendo Switch, and I was given a copy to review from the very good people at Flynn's Arcade.

"Space! Dexter Stardust barely escaped when the Vreesians, inhabitants of the menacing Planet X, sent a fleet of robots to destroy all life on Earth. Now, twenty years later, a mechanical man from the 10th planet seeks to communicate to Dexter a very important message - he is the key to saving both humans and Vreesians. Play the taco-loving Dexter Stardust as he, and his good friend Aurora, go on the greatest adventure of their lives and discover the mystery of the Robot from the Planet X!"

Dexter Stardust is your classic point and click adventure game, whereby you need to interact with your surroundings, solve puzzles, and move from scene to scene.

There are over 100 scenes in the game, and the game on Switch consists of all 5 episodes. Each episode acts as a new story that all connects to the main overriding story.

The game starts off with really well animated cartoon scenes, you play as Taco loving Dexter, a delivery driver in space who keeps getting himself into trouble, and once you get into the game proper, the first task will have you trying to get back to Aurora, and meet her at the house after you somehow end up in a ditch, you will then need to use your surroundings to help you navigate, and solve the puzzles, for example in the first area you find yourself in, you will notice some clay on the floor, so pick it up, in the next scene put the clay in a mould, to create the mould of a gun, then put clay mould in the sun to dry it, then fetch some wood for a handle, put mould in 3D printing type machine, switch machine on, and now you have a working gun, which will allow you to shoot a giant tentacle, and progress further.

As you can see, the puzzles are very logical, and nothing is too obscure, a bit of common sense, and straightforward thinking and you will find yourself able to solve the various problems.

The game itself is family friendly, and the controls are simple enough on a Nintendo Switch. The voice acting however is a bit rubbish. I hate to be harsh here, but at times it does feel like you have people whose English is their second language, are just sat in a small room, reading from a script. With that said, you will get used to it, and it is not really a big deal, nor will it stop you from enjoying the game. Plus, I tend to play with the sound off and read subtitles anyway, as I like to listen to music while i play video games. So, for me it wasn't a big deal.

The Good
The graphics, the animation is all brilliant, top quality, the puzzles are straightforward, which means that frustration is kept to a minimum. There will be no moments of throwing your Switch across the room as nothing makes sense, which has happened to me before in other point and click games, not mentioning any names, but Larry, I hate you.

The Bad
Some of the voice acting is a bit naff, but on a smaller budget I totally understand, and it really is the only complaint I have about the whole game.

This really is one of the better point and click adventures released in recent times. Very impressed.

I score Dexter Stardust on Nintendo Switch a strong 8/10

Release date: 03/03/2022 - £9.99

7 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Guntech 2 on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
Guntech 2 is a retro style twin stick top-down view shooter. Reminiscent of classic games Thrust, Oids, Geometry Wars, and Asteroids.

Utopos Space Station was the new hope for humans. It failed. Never underestimate human greed.

Your job is to clean up the mess. Fight alien life forms, rescue scientists, deliver vaccines to combat a deadly pandemic. The asteroid belt is filled with wild space aliens, many of them results of failed human experiments to create life that survives in space. You will even find a dragon in space!

As is often the case in such games, you fly about, shoot the aliens, get to the end point and on you go. This game has that but also a nice little twist. There is a virus pandemic affecting the solar system, and giant viruses the same size as alien rockets are floating around, and you need to take them out.

In normal times such a twist in a game would seem silly or pointless, but in current times it fits in just about perfectly. The viruses can even attach to your ship and drain your power. Along with the giant viruses and aliens, there are also demons, dragons and all sorts to fight.

Designed mainly a single player game, control of the ship is with the left stick, this includes the engine thrust, something I am not keen on, I prefer engine thrust to be controlled with a separate button, this does make control at first a bit trick and hard to get used to, but stick with it and you will get there. And the right stick controls the rail gun. You also have two additional weapons, fired using the bumpers. Unfortunately, because of the control system, these additional weapons only fire in the direction that the ship is facing, so if you are using the rail gun to fire behind you or to the side, the extra weapons become pointless. 

5 worlds, Tutorial, Virus, The Dark Worlds, Space Jungle, and Cargo Hauler each with 8 levels to beat, so there is plenty to keep you going. Plus, the addition of some fun themed levels which I won't spoil for you now.
Each level has up to 3 stars to achieve for passing. Various things to achieve in a level to get the maximum stars. There is an arcade and adventure mode. Plenty of weapons to collect.

I imagine the levels with the giant virus will trigger some people, especially the boss fight with a giant virus that has a name similar to Dr Birx, one of the scientists in America who "controlled the narrative", and you need to destroy a lab from which the virus escaped. Disclaimer: Any similarities to real life events are purely coincidental. 

The Good
Super colourful graphics, excellent design, and well thought out levels, plus the whole virus angle is really fun. Trying to destroy the boss virus and watching it multiply and keep coming back did amuse me.

The Bad
Not a fan of this form of control, but it is what it is. If anything, it is close to the classic Asteroids game in control method, I just never liked it.

If you are a fan of top-down space shooters, this is another to add to your collection. Hardly ground breaking, but does have unique features that give it a level of interest.

Out now on Xbox