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.
Have you ever wanted to be on Hell’s Kitchen? Well, look no further than the couch cooperation (or competitive) cooking game Overcooked, as it has everything but Chef Gordon Ramsay. Heck, it even includes a button to swear—though no foul language is actually uttered but instead comes out in symbols much like the classic Q-bert.
If you’ve got friends that actually come over to your house, then Overcookedwill be a blast. However, playing alone is both dull and difficult. You see, when playing with multiple people you can easily split up the tasks, as the entire game revolves around chopping, frying, and serving food and washing plates. When playing by yourself you’ve got to control two characters that you can swap between, or if you’re a talented multitasker you can play as both at the same time by splitting your controller in half, with the each side controlling a different character. I could not manage to do this, and eventually had to get my boyfriend to come help me complete the levels.
I’m typically wary of any title that features any type of hacking or coding, as they tend to be monotonous, but I’m so very glad I didn’t pass up on Quadrilateral Cowboy. This adventure centers around a group of three women in the 1980s as they take various jobs hacking and stealing information.
The jobs start simple enough, only requiring connecting your devices to ports and pressing open, before quickly adding in coding, controlling robots, and even jump pads that launch you across the air. You’ll be hacking in apartments, skyscrapers, and even in space. No two levels feel alike, which kept the experience feeling fresh from start to finish, which took me about five hours total.
If you’ve ever played Blendo Games other adventure game, Thirty Flights of Loving, then you’ll quickly recognize the same boxy yet attractive art style, and hip Wes Anderson-like characters and color schemes, only this time mixed with lots of hacking. The hacking is done somewhat realistically via using various programs on a portable computer such as telnet and even remote control robots, though calling it hacking is a stretch as it is bit closer to basic coding, though that isn’t a bad thing.
If you haven’t yet heard of Overcooked, don’t worry — you will more than likely get an earful from friends, family, and coworkers once it releases. I can confirm the game is a blast to play, having spent some time with an early build of the game this week.
Overcooked is a zany cooking game for between one and four players that can be played either cooperatively or competitively. The story mode has players going back in time to learn to cook better under the supervision of an onion king and his pet dog, thus preventing the pending apocalypse caused by a giant spaghetti and meatballs monster. Yes, really.
As someone who only dabbled in Mega Man games in my childhood, I played both the originals and the X series before digging into the spiritual successor by original character designer Keiji Inafune. I feel like people look at the original series with rose-tinted glasses, as it isn’t that great, or at the very least hasn’t aged well. The X series, on the other hand, is still serviceable and worth picking up if you’re got a hankering for a great retro platformer. Mighty No. 9, on the other hand, you can skip.
This $3.8 million USD crowdfunded platformer falls somewhere in between retro Mega Man and the X series. The graphics and stage layouts are simple like the original games, while dashing makes the game feel a bit like Mega Man X minus the wall jumping.