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29 Oct 2022

REVIEW: One True Hero on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
I was sent a key for One True Hero on Nintendo Switch, by Rat Cliff Games, described as quirky 3D platforming adventure, One True Hero has you take on the role of a young farmer, who is thrust into being a hero who will save the town.

The game never takes itself too seriously, and offers lots of fun interactions and light-hearted content.

A 3D platformer at its core, the game looks and plays very much like something you would have played on a Nintendo 64, so you can see where a lot of the inspiration came from.

The town is sinking, and despite your lack of reputation in the town, you seem to be the only one capable or at least willing to actually save it, this will have you completing little tasks, locating things, collecting diamond like things, fighting the evil minions (no not those minions), solving puzzles, and general 3D platforming stuff.

There are dungeons and ancient ruins to explore, and once you have collected enough of the diamond things, you will go through a portal, and then try to pass over a ridiculously hard obstacle course, to get your reward.

The game works well on the Nintendo Switch, I played on the Switch Lite and I found the controls to be decent. The camera angles can be a pain sometimes, usually when you go inside a building, you see as you move around tight areas the camera will become fixed and swap to different viewpoints, the problem is that you might be moving in on direction in one camera shot, but when it changes you are now pressing the wrong way on the controller, so sometimes it can become confusing as well as frustrating.

Luckily in the outdoor areas this isn't a problem and you can run and jump to your hearts content. Every so often your path will be blocked and you will have to engage in combat to pass. This is your typical sword slashing fight. As you progress you will gain skill points that can be spent on increasing your attacks and health.

Whether it is moving blocks to reach higher places, hanging off ledges, or jumping off buildings to reach a diamond collectable, the game offers pretty much everything you would expect from a 3D platformer.

The Good
The voice acting is all pretty good, I liked the style of humour throughout. And for what is a one man development team, the graphics are acceptable, if a bit retro in nature.

The Bad
The camera angles when in tight locations are a pain, and some of the combat isn't as good as it could be.

Considering the small budget and one-man team behind the game, I am impressed with how much is on offer here.
This is a fun little 3D platformer, with good humour and a nice little story.

I score One True Hero on Nintendo Switch a strong 7.5/10

Out Now on Nintendo Switch at

28 Oct 2022

TRAILER: Live by the Sword: Tactics released October 28th, 2022


Live By The Sword: Tactics is an unashamedly old school tactical RPG with modern gameplay ideas. Set after the fall of the land, you control two brothers who must traverse the kingdom to stop it from falling back into the darkness of conflict. It’s a journey that will test their brotherly bond and the player’s tactical skills as they form a team and go on this heroic quest.

The game is a new take on Tactical / Strategy gameplay. Characters do not gain experience points and you cannot collect overpowered equipment to easily bypass difficult fights. You, the player, must become more skilled to achieve victory. Are you up for the challenge of becoming a true Tactician?

Check it out at

27 Oct 2022

REVIEW: The Pinball Wizard on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
What do you get if you cross an old-fashioned dungeon crawler, with a pinball game? You get The Pinball Wizard on Nintendo Switch.

You will use your character like a ball on a pinball table, each level acts like its own little table, and you will "dash, hurl, and flip your way to the top of the tower castle."

Along the way you can level up your characters skills, loot treasure and fight monsters, but all within the kind of confines of pinball mechanics. For example, you will use the paddles to hit your character, direct him to collect things, to hit enemies, and eventually once you find the key, hit him towards the door which takes you to the next level.

Once you reach the top of the tower, you will restore the power of The Eye and "bring peace to the lands".

The game mechanics are super simple to pick up, and as you progress you will unlock extra skills which can be used as you play, for example while mid dungeon you can stop and fire your character in a certain direction, or even fire a ball which can collect things for you.

This is a game that on paper shouldn't really work, but in practice it seems to work really well.

I played on a Nintendo Switch Lite, and the game looks and plays great, even on the small screen. The sound effects and music etc are all decent, the graphics are clear and easy to see. And the game itself has an addictive quality you really need in a game like this.

The Good
Bright clear graphics, and super easy to learn gameplay. 

The Bad
Nothing really.

Super simple pick up and play Pinball/Dungeon Crawler. Totally unique gameplay that I have no seen before.

I score The Pinball Wizard on Nintendo Switch a solid 8/10

Out Now £6.29(-10% off) at

22 Oct 2022

REVIEW: Serious Fun Football (Early Access) on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Although this game looks pretty polished, it is still in early access, and it has a long way to go before it is anywhere near ready for full release.

There aren't many indie football games that have done well, in fact I can't think of a single one off the top of my head. That doesn't mean it is impossible, it just means that in a world that is dominated by the FIFA franchise, and with PES a distance second, to even stand a chance you game has to be very good.

Serious Fun Football tries an interesting approach, games are played in a 3 vs 3 environment. With fences surrounding the pitch, there are no corners, throw ins or even penalties. The game is purely about passing and scoring.

As this game is Early Access, some of the modes are not available, and bizarrely you cannot even play as your whole team, you can only control one player at the moment. This is not all bad, but to expect someone to come to the game and have this as the only available option, you are risking alienating your players before you even begin. Obviously as the game develops and is updated these options become available, but disappointed to see this from the get go.

The characters all have detailed attributes which will help them seem unique on the pitch. Some players can shoot better, others are better passes, and some can run faster, pretty standard stuff.

As you play through the game you will earn in game currency that can be used to unlock new stadiums, upgrade your player and so on.

There are three separate viewpoints you can play with, horizontal view, which is your more classic viewpoint, a horizontal one and 

I am not going to talk too much more about the game, most of you know how a football game works. I want to concentrate purely on how the game is coming along.

The Good
The game looks great, the graphics are good, the pitch and stadiums all look very nice. No complaints there at all.
There looks to be a lot to come with teams, attributes of players, career mode, and so on, everything you would expect in such a game.

The Bad
The game plays very slow, the characters move very slow, I even put the graphics on the lowest mode to see if that was slowing things down, but nope, that is how it plays. This is a huge mistake. Arcade style footy games need to be fast and fun, and in this game, it is neither. Maybe less time spent on making things look pretty and more time spent on speeding up the game play, and making everything just play better.

The lack of ability to play as an entire team from the start is a huge mistake, a massive mistake, a monumental mistake, and one that the game makers should instantly work to fix, everything else put to the side. Let people play as the whole team, and speed up the play.

The game is early access so you can forgive a lot of the problems. It is being funded by private money, and is a truly indie project, but you really need to get the basics right. The game has been in development for 6 years and at some point, you have to ask why the basics aren't better. Forget the graphics, forget the fancy menus and stadiums. Get the basics right, get the gameplay right and everything else can be fixed later.

No score for now. And this game does have a lot of potential, a simple FIFA like 3 v 3 Footy game can work, but it has to be fun and it has to have quick gameplay.

Check out the game on Steam.

21 Oct 2022

REVIEW: A Winding Path on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
A Winding Path is a hand-drawn 2D platform game of sorts. With a totally unique monochrome look, you play as a character exploring a world, the rain has stopped, crops are dying, rivers are drying up. Your job is to explore and complete small tasks in the hope of uncovering the mystery, and restoring balance to the world.

You will explore ancient ruins, forests and settlements, you will speak to various people, and help them solve their troubles.

Although the graphics look super simple, you literally control a stick man, everything is actually really cleverly done. You could argue that it is actually harder to animate in this way, using hand drawn sketches etc, than it is to animate in a more classical way.

The controls are super easy to get used to, interact with people, solve their problems, find a flute, make it rain and so on.

This really is quite a sweet little game, that you can just tell when you play, that has had a lot of love and time spent on it.

The puzzles and tasks you have to complete do have enough of a challenge to keep you interested, but are never too hard to put you off.

A nice little touch is also the way you can adjust the colours on screen. If you don't like black on a white background, you can change it to white on a black background. As well as lots of other variations, all have nice names like "Nightfall" which is black on a kind of pink background, Slate and Crimson, which is red on a light blue, and so on, basically you can find the colour scheme you like, or whatever suits your eyes and play that way. It makes no difference to the gameplay, but is a nice touch.

The music is very relaxing, melodic, the kind of thing you can just listen to while doing something else.

The Good
A super chilled out, enchanting type of game. Offers enough of a challenge to keep you coming back, a nice storyline and easy but fun gameplay. Not to mention a unique hand drawn world that just shouts at you that it was drawn with love.

The Bad
Perhaps might not appeal to hardcore gamers, or platform gamers who are more interested in spectacle and fancy graphics.

Some games can just be described as being really nice. This is one of those games. It is just simple and fun to play.
What more can you want.

I score A Winding Path on Nintendo Switch a strong 8/10

Out on the 27th of October

20 Oct 2022

REVIEW: World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Score World CHAMPIONS: Decathlon a solid 8/10

Review by Staff

15 Oct 2022

REVIEW: Amberial Dreams on PC (steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
If there is one thing I like, it is 2D physics-based precision platformer, and what do we have here? Yes, it is a 2D physics-based precision platformer. 

You control a ball or as the game calls it a sphere, and you have to get from point A in a level to Point B, in as fast a time as possible. You can only move the ball left or right, so have to make use of the environment to cleverly move you around the level. For example, hit a ramp at speed, or move onto a bouncing platform, move through an antigravity area and so on. Apparently, this is the 5th game in the series, but as far as I know this is the first time, I have played any of them.

With 50 levels to beat, with varying difficulty, the game presents quite the challenge. Each level offers 3 achievable points. First to pass the level, second to pass the level in under a certain time, and thirdly to do that while also collecting a moon icon, that is usually positioned in a difficult to reach place. Do all three, and you have fully passed the level.

There is a story too, 

"Follow the story of Amber as she wakes up from her long slumber, alone, to find her former idyllic world transformed to the core. Incarnate her avatar and explore 4 different biomes, each with their own gameplay twists and narrative. Change the world as you progress and uncover hidden secrets. Where are your missing sisters and why did everything change so drastically?"

There are a few things that separate this game from other similar games. For example, there is not just a simple menu with the levels listed, instead levels are placed across an area, as you beat certain levels, others are unlocked. There is much variation between the levels too, for example a few of teh more unusual levels are like you are playing on an arcade machine, so offer slightly different mechanics. Some levels have areas with lower gravity, or even hit a button and gravity completely flips. Throw in all manner of traps, and obstacles, and completing this game is not an easy task at all.

There is also a handy statue thingy (sorry I cant recall the name) that when you approach will list all the available levels, your score and completion rate, and if you have discovered them, allows you to choose to play the level from that point.

And just when you think that is enough, there is even the option to create your own levels, and play levels created by other users, which in turns leads to a potentially never-ending number of levels to play.

Despite the game being listed as "Early Access" it is already very far along and has huge potential as more players join the game, more levels are created, and so on.

The gameplay itself may not be very original, but it is presented in a totally original format, with enough variety to keep you very busy, and an almost endless amount of user created levels to enjoy.

The graphics are as good as you would expect in a game like this. The sound effects and music are also decent.

The Good
Endless potential, already a very solid base, with enjoyable, addictive gameplay, and when I say addictive I mean it, when you miss the challenge time by a second, you WILL keep replaying a level until you get it, the hook is strong here, very strong.

The Bad
Perhaps the level layout might put off some people, especially those who are used to just seeing a long list of levels from the start and expect a linear approach. I personally liked having something different.

This is already a high-quality game, despite being in early access. It can only get better; I look forward to seeing user created levels explode once the game is fully released.

I don't usually score early access games, but I will make an exception here.
I score Amberial Dreams on PC (steam) a very strong 8.5/10. And I can guarantee that when the game exits early access, and gets the full final release, that score will automatically go to 9/10, purely because I know the amount of content available for the game will grow massively.

Released on October 18th at

12 Oct 2022

REVIEW: Pnevmo-Capsula on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Pnevmo-Capsula finally gets its console release on the 19th of October, after being out on Steam for a year or so.

Set in an alternate utopian atompunk world in what looks like anywhere between the 1930s to the 1960s, you control a small trolley that delivers mail, your job is to traverse a series of rails, tracks and pipes, and ultimately deliver the mail.

Of course, things are not as simple as they might seem, in your way are obstacles to get past, barriers to overcome, dead ends, and maze like structures to find your way through.

The various levels are laid out across interesting backdrops, "caretaker's booth" on a power pole, made of sleepers; "Air platform" with houses at a height; "The artist's hut", fixed directly on the power line, and so on.

Instructions are kept to a minimum, as soon as you start you will only get a quick notice on screen, press A to electrify and press Y to speed up. You move the cart using the joystick, and since the rails go in full 3D directions, you will need to push in the direction you want to go, something that can be a bit tricky when the computer-controlled camera decides to swing around to give you a different view. And the lack of instruction also had me stuck at the absolute first screen, one of the things you will quickly need to learn is the electrify button, this in turn will activate different things, for example, it may lift a platform up, to help you cross an area, it may move a rail on the track so you can go to different heights and areas. It also allows you to interact with the puzzles, and turn lights on or off. Once you figure out how to use that A button, you are quickly on your way.

The game runs in a linear fashion, and the puzzles tend to be based in an observational manner, for example you will need to carefully examine advertising boards and instruction manuals, to figure out the answers, which you will then need to input into a mail machine. There is no hint option, so it is very easy to get stuck which will lead to a huge problem with the game.

When you are playing a puzzle game, and you get stuck, you have two options, give up and stop playing the game, or go online and find a walkthrough.

The game itself is relatively short, a few hours at most. But if you were to get stuck early on, and find a walkthrough, the temptation to go back to that walkthrough every time you get stuck grows and grows, the problem being that you then just complete the game in super quick time, and once completed, there is no real replayability to the game. Since it is a linear game, you will not have missed anything.

I played this at first on a Nintendo Switch Lite, I quickly learned that this game is impossible to play on such a small screen, and I had to play on the large screen instead, the reason is that sometimes the camera is very far away from the trolley, and as such it is virtually impossible to see where it is, throw in the issue with having a very small activation zone for your trolley to be, and you can imagine the problem.

The Good
Beautiful graphics and sound effects really did grab my attention. The puzzles really do need you to have a keen eye for detail.

The Bad
The controls are poor and the camera angles hurt the gameplay. Some of the puzzles are ridiculously hard, and may put off someone not willing to stick with a tough game.

I am a puzzle fan and I have played similar games before, and I faced some of the same frustrations, with that said I did enjoy the game, I completed it relatively quick, and once I got the hang of it, I started to feel pretty confident throughout that even when I got stuck, I would be able to figure it out.

Poor controls and camera angle issues really do bring the score down, as does the lack of any kind of hint system, which will just mean people will run to online walkthroughs.

I score Pnevmo-Capsula on Nintendo Switch a fair 6/10
Better camera angle, simpler controls, a hint system, and more levels, would definitely improve the score.

Out on 19th October at

11 Oct 2022

REVIEW: Scarf - On PC

Review by Staff
Scarf is a puzzle/3D platforming, narrative driven game,

Not much of a storyline as such other than the taglines of "what it means to be a hero". The game's main gimmick is that your scarf is a living creature, when you first start it kinda looks like a dragon, then you collect an orb and make friends with it and it turns into a regular scarf that goes around your neck. Once you have merged with the scarf, you quickly learn that it is the child, and that the mother scarf, creature thingy, was ripped apart by bad souls, who then used her threads to make portals. Baby scarf tried searching for their mother to no avail. Finally, by merging with your character, the story can be told.

You are then off and running, on a search to trap the souls who have created their own worlds.

Look I was pretty confused too, so can we get past the nonsensical storyline?

Each area has its own unique qualities, and as you play you will learn new scarf-based abilities, and you will discover the secrets of each area while solving pretty standard puzzles, jumping to different parts, gliding and so on. Very generic stuff.

The Good
The game is quite pretty, everything looks and sounds fine.

The Bad
This is a short game, about 2 hours at most. The controls are clunky, and unfortunately a lot of the gameplay is quite tedious. At times it feels more like a walking simulator as opposed to a proper puzzle/platformer. And the fact you will complete it in one sitting and then have no need or want to play it again seems like not the best way to spend £12.

The game is not all bad, I just don't think any single element of the game is particularly good.
It has value more as walking simulator, something to pass the time instead of something to challenge.

I score Scarf on PC a 5/10. Could have been so much more. You could literally watch a 2 hour playthrough on Youtube for free and get the same out of it.

6 Oct 2022

REVIEW: XEL - Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
XEL is a top-down 3D action-adventure game, set in a futuristic world, where you play as Reid, you find yourself shipwrecked on XEL, a very strange world. Of course, it goes without saying that you have no memory of your previous life, because why would you? Your job in this game is to explore the world, find out about your past, why you are here and what your connection to XEL is.

"Ready your sword and shield as you explore the overworld of XEL and dive into imposing Zelda-like dungeons full of unforeseen threats and challenging puzzles. Throughout your journey you will make new friends and foes, learn new moves, find new gadgets as well as being able to jump through time and space. As Reid delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding XEL, she discovers an endless cycle of peril. Will she be able to break free from it and what will it take?"

As you play you will soon find a sword and a shield, which will be your main weapons for attack, as you explore you can find large pillars that allow you to save your progress, as well as treasure chests, all handily marked on the map. As you explore the area and try to progress to the next, you will of course be met by creatures/robot minions that want to kill you, battles are straight forward hack and slash affairs, some enemies can fire projectiles which is where your shield comes into good use. Boss fights are as expected, learn the attack pattern, avoid the attacks, and attack back when you can.

You will also meet and interact with people who will help you on your journey, trade with you, and lead you through various areas and tasks.

Throw in puzzles to be solved, new gadgets to unlock, as well as secret paths to find, (always look behind waterfalls), and there is enough here to keep you busy for a while. Collect cores to unlock new abilities, travel through time to access areas previously inaccessible, as well as meet and ultimately destroy younger weaker versions of enemies.

Some really nice camera shifts are also a highlight, taking away from just the standard top-down view.

The Good
XEL is a relatively easy game to get into, controls are simple and quick to learn, lots to collect and upgrade, decent graphics even on the Nintendo Switch Lite, a strong sound track, and you have a very good little game here.

Boss fights are also fun.

Also worth mentioning is the well written story.

The Bad
The camera angle can sometimes be a pain, because the camera is fixed, you will sometimes find that the environment is in the way of your character, meaning you can't see them, now in general this is not a problem, but usually in games with such a camera angle, when the environment does get in the way it becomes transparent, sadly not here. I feel this is an oversight from the game makers, and there is a feeling of maybe you have missed something, when most likely you haven't

Combat is hack and slash, so not much thought is needed outside of the boss fights.

I like XEL, it is a bit buggy in parts, but nothing that will spoil the gameplay too much, the camera angle is a bit poor, especially when playing on the small screen. But overall, I enjoyed the game, the levels are well laid out, the puzzles are decent, and the map is good enough that you shouldn't get too lost.

XEL is far from perfect, and could do with a bit of tidying up, which would improve it massively, and maybe in future updates they will do just that, but for now I score XEL a fair 7/10. A good little addition to your Switch collection.

Out Now at

2 Oct 2022

REVIEW: Pretty Girls Tile Match on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Zoo Corporation have just released the 18th "Pretty Girls" game in the series and they have sent me a key to check out the game.

I have reviewed a lot of the Pretty Girls titles now, and all of these games have one main thing in common, "Pretty Girls" (KAWAII -  the culture of cuteness in Japan) wrapped around either a classic game or a reimagining of a classic game, well Pretty Girls Tile Match is no different.

A simple concept is used here, you play with mah-jong tiles that are spread out randomly on the table, your job is to match 3 of them, when you do that they disappear from the playing area, once you have cleared the board, you have completed that level.

Each level you complete gets you points, and you can then use those points to unlock costumes and backgrounds for the "Pretty Girls", which you can then position on a diorama, when positioned how you like, you can then save that image, to use however you like, most likely use is for Wallpaper for your computer.

In total there are 120 levels to complete, 20 levels per characters, with 3 different difficulty settings.

The game itself is pretty simple to learn, you can only hold 7 tiles at a time, and once 3 of them match they disappear, obviously you need to be tactical, as some tiles are hidden beneath others, and you have to make sure you don't get stuck by loading up with too many unmatched tiles. Luckily there is a handy undo button, as well as a hold button, which allows you to move a tile to the side if you get stuck, along with a shuffle for when you run out of moves. Even on the hardest setting, with a bit of planning, and thought, you can complete all the levels.

The 6 girls have their own little bios and characters, although this is superficial and does not really have any effect on the game. For example, Riara is described as "A lightly flirtatious beauty. She is fashionable, dances and models, but she is also a mischievous troublemaker." or Rui, described as "A beautiful woman with a tall and outstanding model figure and beauty. Contrary to her appearance, she is strong-willed and has a caring personality."

The Good
A new twist on the class 3 piece puzzle game using Mah-jong tiles, it is much harder than it first looks as some tiles look very similar, it all adds to the challenge, and for people who like this kind of puzzle game, it will be a fun addition to your collections.

The Bad
You get the same number of "Points" to purchase things whether you play easy or hard, and you can complete any level on any difficulty once you have passed the previous one, taking away a challenge of needing to complete all levels on hard for example. A few more achievements would also be welcome, as it is you can complete everything on easy.

I am a fan of the "Pretty Girls" franchise, classic games given a new look, or reimagination, and more often than not Zoo Corporation improve on the original, or create a new version of a game that instantly becomes the best in it's genre, and this one is no different.

Pretty Girls Tile Match is the best 3 tile game available right now. For fans of this type of puzzle game, this is the best one you can get, it offers a large number of levels, and a very good challenge.

I score Pretty Girls Tile Match a solid 8.5/10

Out now on PC (Steam)