Video Games

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

10 of the Best Video Games of 2017

Although 2017 was mostly a garbage year for those who those who care about things like decency, respect, representation, and the common good, it was a real good year for video games! So I guess it wasn’t all bad, right? I mean, Nintendo released a new system, the Switch, alongside a new Zelda game and, much later down the road, a new behind-the-back-style Mario game à la Super Mario 64. And we got a sort of sequel to Nier!...

Jalopy Is a Bumpy Virtual Road Trip across Eastern Europe

Somewhere in the backwoods of Bulgaria, my car sputters and dies. I’m out of gas. I’m not sure whether the nearest gas station is ahead of me or behind me, so I grab my wallet and start walking. Night has fallen by the time I make it, only to find the station doesn’t sell gas cans. With I sigh, I turn around for the long trek back to the other gas station. Jalopy, from developer Minskworks and publisher Excalibur...

Carry on Captain Ahab’s Legacy in Nantucket

Nantucket is a naval-strategy video game filled with combat and trading. Oh yeah, and it’s set in the Moby Dick universe. What an age we live in, huh? Truly there is room for anything in the video-game market. Set in the aftermath of Herman Melville’s classic novel, Nantucket places you in the role of Ishmael, intent on finishing what Captain Ahab started: hunting down the great beast, Moby Dick. That’s easier said than done, and you’ll have to start...

Tower 57 Adds Modern Flair to 16-Bit Shooters

The gaming community has a seemingly insatiable appetite for games that remind players of yesteryear, and Tower 57 is just one of the latest attempting to make its mark. This release is a top-down, twin-stick shooter set in a dieselpunk world, born of a successful Kickstarter project launched in August 2015. It’s the first game from two-man studio Pixwerk, heavily inspired by the 16-bit games of the Amiga personal computer (released in 1985)—so much so that they’re actually making...

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...
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