Missile Cards is somewhat a deck building game, somewhat a missile commander-like, but overall is more of a game of chance and strategy where you place cards in order to prevent hazards from hitting your base. Armed with a deck full of weapons, powers and hazards, you must clear out the deck in a few maps in order to win. Objetives are to be completed as well if you want to progress to the next map, and you can upgrade your base and buy some cards with XP and collected resources during matches. I really, really enjoyed this game.
I was a big player of the original Maple Story, so when I learned that Maple Story 2 was coming to our shores, I thought I would take a break in my excellent Wolfenstein playthrough to take a look at this sequel long in the making. My verdict is that it’s a fine game released at the wrong time in my life. I don’t have the countless hours to sink into a MMO like this one, even if it seems real good for the time I’ve spent with it! I would ultimately like to spend more time with Maple Story 2 because it hits all the beats of a f2p game while having new ideas.
Pokemon Quest is an official free to play mobile Pokemon Company game where you explore an island using a pack of pokemons that run around and defeat enemies automatically. By doing so, they find items to equip and food to cook in order to attract more pokemons for your roster. You can customize your base camp, complete quests and achievements and more. I think it's well made but I got stopped by an energy timer the moment I started really getting into it, which soured my opinion a bit. Combine that with the extremely simple and borderline boring battle system, and you have an okay game that won't steal any mainline franchise pokemon fans.
Battle for Azeroth is a weird WoW expansion that continues the game’s spiral into conflicting design decisions; As with the previous two expansions, the content you had experienced before becomes quickly obsolete instead of being built upon and new mechanics are trusted at you whether you had time to experiment with previous systems or not. I’m not saying that I dislike the new setting and ideas they brought into BfA but at the same time they went really hard on making the previous systems that made Legion cool obsolete. I got to the end game of this expansion - something I usually don’t do - and found the content there to be fun, but ultimately too grindy and reliant on cooldown timers for my tastes.
Exception is a puzzle game based around programming where you control a fleet of robots and must accomplish certain objectives like defeating all enemies or moving a robot to a certain point. The type of puzzle programming in question here is all about setting triggers and actions in order to react to the condition of the level. I had a very limited time with it because I felt that the puzzles had a very small solution set (unlike programming) and I had to look at many answers on the internet and even then I couldn't figure out -why- they worked. A few interesting ideas bogged down by the lack of support and kinda bizarre engrish text, then.
Cuphead is a neat little platformer featuring creative and colorful boss fights that reminds me of Contra and other run-and-gun games of old. You go through a world map - that looks like the one in Commander Keen 4: Keen Dreams - and fight through stages and bosses, getting coins and buying powerups, getting new weapons and uncovering special moves in order to save your soul from the devil. I've played through most of the game in co-op, and even if it became a bit frustrating because of the difficulty, I would still recommend it. Just know what you're getting into!
Dawn Of Crafting is an interesting game where you craft your way through a tech tree by using various tools and combining elements to create different recipes. You need energy to do pretty much everything, so you have to gather food and craft it into better food items. It's a neat little game that I would've played way more than I did if it had been a full paid product and not a free to play game with hooks to make you spend money into figuring out what you need to do to progress through the main quest. It's a bit grindy but otherwise it was really fun!
FURI is an amazing boss rush game where you use a small but useful array of skills in order to defeat a varied array of bosses, each with their own gimmicks and patterns. The main drive of this game are the bosses themselves, with small tidbits of story being drip-fed between fights. I had a wonderful time with this game and I managed to beat most of it as intended - although I dropped the difficulty on the last boss after three hours of fighting seemed like too much.
Vignettes is a neat little puzzle experience where you rotate objects around and poke at them in order to find more objects, mainly by mimicking the shape of other things with them. Ultimately, the goal of the game is to find all objects and it doesn't wear out its welcome. I had a ton of fun going through the whole thing and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.
Else Heart.Break() is an adventure game where you... hack... stuff. I'm not sure. You play as a newcomer in a strange town, sent there on a job by a soda corporation, and you must... Do your job, I guess? If this intro couldn't convey it, I didn't get into the meat of EHB at all. After wandering for what seemed like hours in an interesting but aimless town, I managed to stumble into a very cool mechanic, then tried to see if I could get some manner of plot going on, without succeeding. I still think that the ideas in EHB are really cool and the style pretty nice, but I kinda wish it had been a puzzle game instead.
The Guides is an iOS puzzler that I haven't spent much time with. It was just too difficult and frustrating to use at times. While I appreciate the straightforwardness of the game's presentation and type of puzzle, I didn't have fun at all with it. Build around a series of logic puzzles, Vignettes has you try and decipher layer upon layer of mysteries in a series of screens that have only a vague link between them; Not letting you appreciate each mechanic of the puzzle long enough before moving on to something else.
Zombie Night Terror is a puzzle game somewhat alike to Lemmings where instead of harmless creatures stumbling around to their death you control a horde of zombies going through a rampage in a series of progressively more difficult missions. You start with a few zombie types and a lower number of actions you can do, but as things go forward you get more and more options that serve to solve puzzles - mostly getting zombies to some part of the map or killing a certain number of humans. I liked some of the ideas in ZNT but overall I found that the game was too difficult and didn't use it's own mechanics enough to create a feeling I would associate with leading a zombie apocalypse.
Splitter Critters is a neat puzzle game where you try to move aliens on a map so they get to their spaceships by avoiding hazards and moving around platforms. To do so, instead of controlling anything directly, you can just swipe around the screen to cut it and move the different pieces around, doing so makes characters follow various paths. It’s a really cool puzzler and it kept me engaged for most of the game.
Westerado: Double Barreled is an interesting game with a lot of style and charm but frustrating mechanic implemented weirdly. I wish I could've gotten into it more, but after about three hours I was ready to throw in the towel. You play a cowboy whose ranch was burned down and your family was murdered as you go along the west, helping people by doing various quests, shooting your way around and figuring out who did the horrible deed. I didn't manage to complete it, but I suppose I couldn't let it frustrate me any longer.
Taps To Riches is a neat little idle game where you buy businesses and tap on houses in order to generate money (in order to buy more businesses and upgrades in order to generate more money) filled with subsystems that make it interesting to come back to the game every day. Even without spending a single cent, I had fun with TTR and while all systems didn't work perfectly for me, I still wasted a few days tapping along.
Livelock is a neat Action RPG set in a destroyed world where you play one of three robots with a small range of skills and weapons in order to overthrow evil robots at the order of an AI overlord. I had fun with it, going through the whole thing almost with each class. I didn't try to go for high scores or find every collectible, but I still had a good time shooting tons of robots regardless.
Bounzy! is a neat iOS game where you shoot balls, breakout-style, at enemies coming toward your wall. If they make it, you lose health and eventually lose the map. In order to defeat increasingly powerful foes, you need to upgrade your projectiles and acquire new spells, like a poison effect or piercing shots. You also can use more powerful spells like meteors and electricity a few times per map. All of these systems are okay and the core gameplay of Bounzy! is actually really good, the problem is that you are drowned in ads, micro-transactions and gameplay balance obviously skewed towards taking forever if you don't spend money on the game.
Destiny 2 isn't a great game, I didn't have much hopes going into it - and the only reason I really did was because I got it for free and it was on PC - and I thought that at best it would get on some level similar to Borderlands. It's more like an MMORPG played in the first person view, with a sci-fi setting. The mission structure, lack of customization options and general gameplay loop turned me off from the game and I didn't put much time into it.
PUSH is a neat little puzzle game with a simple, clean aesthetic that follows a pattern I've seen with iOS puzzle games these days; Start with a very simple mechanic, get a few levels with that mechanic, then move on to another mechanic and repeat that pattern. Sometimes you overlap two mechanics together, but most of the time they are lost after you encounter them and go through what they mean. It's a nice way to make sure you don't repeat the same puzzles over and over, but at the same time you also need to come up with a bunch of puzzle mechanics. PUSH managed to do it pretty well!
Glittermitten Grove is a fairy forest management game where you accumulate food and other resources in other to maintain a thriving fairy population. You use these fairies to build more buildings and help you collect mana in order to cast spells to grow trees and do other things. It's a neat little game and I find that the act of managing how trees grow (if you stack too many buildings on one side, the tree will collapse) and the need for trees to get a lot of sun to be real interesting. It is not, however, the reason why I got Glittermitten Grove. I'm talking about Frog Fractions 2; Hidden inside this other game is a product following a classic misdirection entertainment product about a frog eating flies to teach kids about maths. It's pretty tough to do misdirection when people are expecting it, but Frog Fraction 2 manages it admirably.