Video Games

Reviews of both new release and older video games and computer games.

Help or Hinder a Murder Case with Your Friends in Hidden Agenda

Game developers have been experimenting with interactive drama on PlayStation for some time now, from the early days of Indigo Prophecy on PlayStation 2 to the very successful Heavy Rain and the polarizing Beyond: Two Souls of recent years. Hidden Agenda takes this one step further by adding in a group element, supporting up to six players working together to make decisions. In this crime thriller—developed by Supermassive Games, creators of another interactive drama game, 2015’s Until Dawn—players work...

Mechanically Satisfying but Often Frustrating, Wolfenstein II Feels Like Two Different Games

When I finish a game, I am very rarely at a loss for words. Almost never, in fact. But Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is the exception. During my entire playthrough and for a considerable time after, I’ve slowly been making peace with the fact that I don’t think I like this game a whole lot. Or not as much as I want to. And then I’ve spent even more time trying to put that feeling into words. Everything...

Adol’s Adventure Continues in Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

For many years my only connection to the Ys series was the music. The OST accompanying each release is always really, really, very, quite good. There were always so many barriers keeping me from actually playing any of the games, though. For starters, the series is 30 years old and packed with eight main releases as well as several reimaginings, spinoffs, and console ports of varying quality. Secondly, Ys would go on to find its home on portable systems, particularly...

Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! Serves Up Food and Frenzy

It’s the lunch rush at Teragon Supertower, and it’s up to you to feed the hungry masses as the orders pour in. The sequel to the original Cook, Serve, Delicious! places you in the role of a restaurant chef, racing to complete orders to appease customers. Note: I’ll be referring to Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! as CSD2 to save this article an outrageous number of exclamation points. In this game, cooking takes the form of quick-time events. A customer...

Cuphead Combines Eye Candy and Brutal Difficulty

Cuphead is one of the most unique games to grace us with its anticipated release recently. Despite delays and a complicated development processes, it delivered on its promises; a mix of unforgiving difficulty and eye candy, this game is both beautiful and frustrating. It is not for the faint of heart, and some gamers may end up curled up in a corner. Drawing inspiration from 1930s animation, Cuphead looks like a Saturday-morning cartoon you might watch . . . on...

In Distrust, Grapple with the Cold and Frustration in Equal Measure

“Our food lies ahead, and death stalks us from behind,” Ernest Shackleton wrote as he led an expedition in the Antarctic. In many ways, that quote perfectly describes Distrust—a difficult, unforgiving trek through a frozen wasteland. Developed by Russia-based indie developer Cheerdealers, and strongly influenced by John Carpenter’s 1982 horror film The Thing, Distrust sets you in control of a rescue team following the crash of your helicopter; struggling to survive in the brutal cold as you investigate what...

Sonic Mania Updates the Best of Classic Sonic Gameplay for Modern Sensibilities

Sonic Mania was first unveiled during Sonic’s 25th anniversary party at San Diego Comic-Con last year. The event was streamed live for all to see and it was the hottest stream of 2016 (NSFW language in linked video). Sandwiched in between various technical issues and awkward product placements was Sonic Mania’s debut trailer. Admittedly I wasn’t as excited about the project as I could have been—Sega had made previous attempts to bring Sonic back to its 2D glory, with...

Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death Brings Justice to the Low-Budget Streets of Mega-City One

It’s hard to believe that Judge Dredd turned 40 this year. That’s older than a lot of Twin Cities Geek readers and writers, myself included. The perpetually grumpy lawman’s comic first appeared in the March 1977 issue of British comic magazine 2000 AD, where it is still published to this day. In honor of the anniversary, it seemed like a good idea to look back at one of the few Judge Dredd video games ever made—Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death...

Viscera Cleanup Detail Lets You Live Out Your Gory Janitorial Dreams

Have you looked at all the wanton death and destruction in a game and asked yourself, “Who’s gonna clean up this mess?” If tidying up after the action sounds like a better idea, Viscera Cleanup Detail is the game for you. This 2015 game was made by South Africa–based RuneStorm, a three-man team that previously won several prizes in 2008’s Make Something Unreal mod competition before moving into making their own games. In it, you play as a janitor...

Switching On to Nintendo’s Newest Console

I’m not sure what it was exactly that flipped my internal “switch” about the Nintendo Switch console, but at some point between when they became available to preorder and the release date, the Switch went from a curiosity-piquing concept to something I needed to seek out and purchase. It might have been the parent in me thinking about how useful the parental controls may be, now that my geekling is showing an interest in video games. It may have...
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