In need of deforestation
Paying homage to retro titles can be a tricky thing. Do you stick to an established formula, or do you stray and carve out your own path? Timothy and the Mysterious Forest does a bit of both. One glance at Kibou Entertainment’s top-down adventure, and it’s clear that this game owes an awful lot to The Legend of Zelda:...
Press 'X' to breach
Many modern FPS titles contain the obligatory ‘breach’ scene. You know the one; you blow a door off its hinges and suddenly everything goes into slow motion. You scan the room, and as luck would have it, all of your enemies are right in front of you, ready for the picking. It’s flashy, it’s cinematic, but it’s not...
Augment your Switch with this cracking cyberpunk chronicle
Gaming and cyberpunk go hand in cybernetically-augmented hand. Like dystopian peanut butter and electric jelly. Our beloved medium has always been well-served with the genre, from Megami Tensei to Shadowrun to Deus Ex all the way up to the forthcoming Cyberpunk 2077. While it's not
One small hop for mankind
Just in its name, Space Pioneer immediately conjures up an undeniable sense of awe and spectacle. There’s a feeling that you’re going to be embarking on an epic journey of discovery as you take your first steps on one of many exotic planets. Space Pioneer certainly has a whole bunch of planets to explore, but the only...
Big stunts with tiny cars on the cheap!
The eShop’s virtual shelves are getting ever more crowded with each passing week. Can the extremely inexpensive game REKT! possibly be anything other than another putrid attempt to break into the Switch Shovelware Hall of Shame? Get ready for a shocker: good things sometimes do come in cheap packages. There...
A gathering of magic
Once upon a time, there was a game that arrived on Kickstarter, and with added promise of a Wii U version to bolster its cause, it successfully funded itself – much to the happiness of its backers. Three years later, said game finally emerged from development, by which time it had assumed a slightly different name and...
Big trouble in Mega Tokyo
While it's impossible to look at Akane and not see the influences of some more obvious cultural touchstones – the body-augmentation of Ghost in the Shell; the motorbike-riding rebellion of Akira; the run-down futures of Blade Runner and 2000AD – when you start slashing your katana and unloading bullet death from your...
Clubbed to death
Super Hero Fight Club: Reloaded knows exactly what it is. With tongue ready to burst from cheek, it happily pastiches all manner of popular characters from games, TV and film while slathering it all in enough neon and ’80s-style synth to make Nicolas Winding Refn green with envy. But beneath the satirical exterior lies a solo and...
Love in the time of Koloro
With so many titles on eShop – from tiny mobile curios to triple-A epics – being ‘good’ simply isn’t be good enough anymore; you need something unique or dazzling to stand out in the crowd. Set in the subconscious dreamworld of a young girl named Kora, Koloro is a one-button (or touch) puzzle-platformer. Morphed...
The spark that lights the flame?
Mana Spark is a lovely little dungeon-crawling roguelike. The adventure takes place in a world where humanity is enslaved, its strength inferior to that of its captors due to the lack of Mana in human bodies. Mana is power itself, and whoever wields it grows stronger. But what if a band of rebels formed a hidden...
Live By The Pixel Sword, Die By The Pixel Sword
With such distinct historical richness it's no shock popular culture has embraced Japanese samurai mythos over the years, including, of course, video games. Samurai Shodown wasn't the first game to take on the subject, but it certainly was the most successful at bringing samurai duelling to the tip of...
An uphill battle
The floodgates have officially opened - bargain-bin games are now diluting the Switch eShop, and unless some serious action is taken to curate Nintendo’s newest digital library, it is unlikely there’ll be a resolution to this problem in the near future. With this in mind, Jumping Joe & Friends is another one to add to the...
Straight to Davy Jones’ Locker
Few game concepts are as timelessly cool as pirates. From the tongue-in-cheek mystery of The Secret of Monkey Island to the open-ocean warfare of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, a pirate’s life is definitely for us. It doesn’t, however, make you a great game by proxy. Slapping the word ‘pirate’ in your...
A puzzling great
Looks can be deceiving, and when it comes to Grid Mania, what appears to be an inherently simple puzzle game is actually anything but. With an incredibly reasonable price point to boot, developer QubicGames’ latest Nintendo Switch title deserves a place on your system. Played out on a 250x183 grid that can extend to 250x183 when things...
A bit of a tame road
It’s safe to say that Mad Max: Fury Road has become a bit of a modern classic in the years since its 2015 cinema launch. Praised for its exhilarating action, humour, and narrative focus, its influence can of course be felt the most in the film industry, but videogames are also looking for a piece of the action. Mad Carnage is...
A whiff in the dark
It’s not uncommon to see a video game take inspiration from others; making liberal use of another’s formula, tweaking it with their own unique ideas in the hopes of pushing some boundaries and changing the gaming landscape all the while. Whereas most games will zig where others have zagged, Bloober Team’s BRAWL takes a road...
Can you bear it?
The Nintendo Switch has got off to a promising start during its first year on the market. A number of third-party publishers and developers initially sceptical of the system’s ability to become a commercial success are now in on the action. As the impressive library of games on Nintendo’s latest device increases by the day, the...
Blast weird alien creatures into oblivion
In 1996 NASA started work on the “Robonaut” project. It was designed to resemble a human and created to aid astronauts in space – with the ability to perform the same tasks as a person. According to NASA, a Robonaut can help out on the International Space Station and explore other worlds. Robonauts by...
Run, run, Gnomey
As smartphone gaming has become so popular, the runner genre has seemingly reached the popularity levels of the 2D platformer and first-person shooter before it. The latest title of the genre to grace the 3DS eShop is Geki Yaba Runner Deluxe. It's apparently titled Deluxe due to its presence as a mobile game on Android and iOS; on...
Kicking it into Xenogear
The fourth entry in Warsaw studio QubicGames' downloadable AiRace series, AiRace Xeno is a natural progression of last year's AiRace Speed on the 3DS eShop – race three different futuristic aircraft at face-melting speeds through nine tough obstacle-filled tracks and try to beat your high score. It's a stripped-down racing...
Have you the need?
AiRace Tunnel was a neat little arcade flight obstacle course on DSiWare that felt as if it was a bonus mode ripped out of a larger racing game. A few months later, QubicGames dropped AiRace onto the service, which was that larger game, filled with actual race courses against opponents other than time. That same trajectory...
While the title might indicate that 2 Fast 4 Gnomz could be the marriage of Miami street racing and gnome culture we've all been waiting for, what we have instead is a much-improved eShop version of QubicGames' WiiWare runner of the same name. In fact, the title's silly, Prince-esque number usage and 90's-edgy "z" belie the fact that 2...
WiiWare first met the Gnomz four months ago with the release of the appropriately named Gnomz. This time they're back with a mission to rescue a princess — and bring back lots of socks. The game opens with the king blisteringly commanding you to do these seemingly disparate things, and it's a riot. The visuals and the soundtrack come...
Fun with a capital Z?
When we first started playing Gnomz, we were excited: here's a game that's joyously silly, bizarre and simple enough that anyone willing to pick up the controller could play it and have an absolute blast. The graphics are colourful. The soundtrack has a giddy urgency to it. It's got a good sense of humour. WiiWare's Angry...
Diner Dash meets... Diner Dash
There's really no point in beating around the bush about it: My Little Restaurant is Diner Dash in disguise. In fact, if it wasn't for the different sprites, the two would be virtually indistinguishable. But while it's hard to sing praises to something so unoriginal, the fact still remains that as of now there's no...