A young girl’s voice tells you, a seed, to possess a fox and explore a forest to find the guardians of the seasons. Finding them will grant players the power to swap between seasons on the fly.
That is the basic premise of Seasons after Fall‘s story, which as you can imagine makes little sense, as the reasoning behind everything is never fully explained—at least as far as character motivations are concerned. At least there’s a clear conclusion.
The story isn’t why you’ll want to play this though, the wonderful art style, animations, and calming gameplay is.
A young boy named Hue goes in search of his mother who has gone missing. Along the way, he discovers the ability to change the color of the world around him which makes objects of the same color disappear, and thus Hue can walk through where they were as if they don’t exist.
Swapping colors with a color wheel via the right stick, basic platforming, and moving around some boxes are the only interactions you’ll have playing Hue. While simplicity isn’t a bad thing, a majority of the game’s puzzles are far too easy as they consist of just being able to recognize colors, swapping to the intended color, and then proceeding. Only around the last 10% of the game’s puzzles required any thought or skill on my part, and I don’t exactly consider myself a brainiac. As it only took me around three hours to finish this, I was left disappointed with the lack of challenge.
What if Transformers were really just humans that transferred their consciousnesses into robots, actually couldn’t transform, and did lots of shooting with guns in a twin-stick shooter? Well, then you’d have Livelock, a game not to be confused with the identity-theft protection service LifeLock.
I’ve played plenty of twin-stick shooters, and Livelock is a pretty enjoyable one. You play as one of three robots, each with unique weapons and abilities. One robot punches has shields and plays the role of a tank, another heals, and another is a ranged shooter. As the game supports three players simultaneously, playing with one of each character is ideal but not necessary.
Rarely, if ever, have I played a game that asked hard hitting existential and ethical questions like The Turing Test. What is human? What is free will and does free will actually exist? Is immortality good or bad? Can computers do wrong?
Cyan, the developers of Myst and Riven, are back with Obduction, an adventure game that takes place on an alien world after being abducted. While that sounds like a winning combination, this somehow managed to be one of the worst games I’ve played this year for a multitude of reasons.
First and foremost, this is supposed to be a puzzle game, but the puzzles rarely consist of little more than finding a hidden button or lever to press to be able to advance. Half of the puzzles involve using teleports that also change the world around you, something that isn’t made obvious as sometimes the changes are subtle.
Thing is, every time you use one of these puzzles you’re greeted with a loading screen, which admittedly looks great, but seeing loading screens hundreds of times in modern games is frankly unacceptable. I’d wager that a good third of my playthrough was spent loading, and that is with the game installed on a top of the line solid-state drive; for those with standard hard drives, I’ve seen evidence of upwards of two-minute load times per loading screen.