Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed reminds me much of Mario Kart or Diddy Kong Racing in many ways. You race against other colorful characters - of dubious origins, seriously this is a weird roster - in tracks inspired by a bunch of SEGA games using randomly shuffling power-ups to hinder your opponents or get ahead yourself. At specific points in tracks, your kart will transform into a boat or a plane, changing the controls and physics a bit. I enjoyed my time with this game even if I found it way too hard on ‘normal’ difficulty and that some of the stuff around the core gameplay was clunky.
Pathfinder Adventures is a card and dice based RPG where you control a party of adventurers going through a few quests in order to find loot and improve their stats and skills. To complete challenges you use cards and skills that give bonuses to your checks in order to match specific challenges. You lose if you run out of time and characters can die if their decks run out. I had fun with it even if the dice-based aspects of the game made it very random at times and I had some difficulties wrapping my brain around the concept of losing cards forever in a card game where your rewards are cards. Oh and there are also a bunch of free-to-play mechanics snuck in there that rubbed me the wrong way.
Despite it’s extremely generic name, Crafting Idle Clicker is an okay idle game that caught my attention for an okay time. At its base, CIC is an idle game where you build nodes that produce resources which are then used to craft other resources or end products. You sell these things to buy more expensive nodes, which are in turn worth more money. You keep doing that while resetting your workshop to gain more levels, money multipliers and blueprints. It’s a fine idea for an idle game but after the luster of trying to optimize profits and production went off, there wasn’t much more in there to keep my attention.
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.
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!
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.
Cityglitch is a neat little puzzle game where you move around small grids of tiles in order to light up special panels while avoiding to lock yourself out of the puzzle or to be defeated by various enemies and bosses. It's pretty cool even if some of the later ones are quite fiendish and I couldn't finish the game. It's got style and its easy to control, so I'd recommend it to puzzle enthusiasts!
TIS-100 is a game where you program a fake computer using some kind of assembly language made of simple commands like MOV (to move things around), ADD (to add values to an accumulator), JMP (to jump to a label) and conditionals like JGZ (to jump to a label if the accumulator is greater than zero, for instance). The special thing about this TIS-100 computer is that you have a bunch of nodes physically located around each other and while they have a small space for you to write code, you can move values around and create complex programs. I had a really good time with it, even if I feel the game doesn't do enough to help non-programmers.
It was a weird surprise to see a new version of Titan Quest rise from the ashes of the series after all this time and the announcement of a new expansion sure was even more of a surprise to me. Titan Quest: Ragnarok continues the main story into the Nordic lands, adds a new class and probably reworks balance for a great number of skills and items. Is it the expansion I've been waiting for? Probably not. Is it a great reason to go back into Titan Quest? Absolutely.
Chroma Squad is a neat little strategy RPG where you move your characters on a grid to fight enemies, like Fire Emblem, Disgaea or Final Fantasy Tactics. Inspired strongly by the Power Rangers, it follows a team of actors as they progress doing their own show, growing their studio and equipment from nothing to having a ton of fans, great gear and even a giant robot they can fight with. I enjoyed the core gameplay of the game although I feel that there is too much stuff on the edges that ultimately prevented me from having a great time.
Squarespace doesn't auto-save and it ate my review of Blyss. Here is the short version; Blyss is a game where you draw lines over tiles to remove dots on them and you need to get rid of all tiles without creating a situation where you don't have any more room to draw 3 or 4-tiles lines. It's a neat game with very little mechanics so it didn't grab my attention too much, but it's still a solid puzzle game.
Euclidean Lands is a small puzzle game for iOS where yo move your character around while trying to defeat enemies in a set number of turns, the interesting hook comes from the fact that you can rotate and turn around all parts of the map and that action is happening in all dimensions. I enjoyed it, but completing all levels with a perfect rating was a bit too much for me, and I kind of wish that they had an undo function, since sometimes it's easy to mistakenly move somewhere.
I've always enjoyed my time with Path Of Exile, but I also always felt that it's a game better played in your mind; Figuring out builds, trying to create good characters using the skill tree planner, looking at gems on the wiki and thinking about what would work to get you to the end, and then some. Sometimes, you can also look at Builds Of The Week on their forum as well to get inspiration. In reality tho, I get bored kinda quickly, either my characters die all the time, or they can't do anything, or they're just not fun to play. Fall Of Oriath adds loads of content on top of the original PoE experience, but I couldn't see it more than once.
Crashlands is a neat little game almost in the vein of something like Don't Starve combined with Minecraft or Terraria. It's not entirely a survival game, it's not entirely a crafting/decoration game, but it has elements of both and it pits you against a large world where you must accomplish missions, mine resources, craft better gear, rinse, repeat. It's a fun and interesting idea, but I'm not sure it works 100% well on iOS, both because of control issues, and also because when I have hours to spend doing nothing but tight loops of crafting and fighting, it's rarely on my iPad.
Sonny was a game I had played on my browser ages ago; it was a turn-based RPG with a lot of depth, a good amount of skill effects and difficult challenges. When I saw it on the app store, I wondered if it was going to be the same as I once played. It's almost that, but not quite. Sonny on iOS is a cool RPG with enough customization and difficulty to keep you engaged. It does mostly one thing - fighting enemies - and it does it well. I didn't manage to get through it, but I've played enough to know that I liked it.
Super Star Path is an interesting arcade-like space shooter with a twist; Enemies you kill chain together with nearby same-colored enemies, and other enemies at the extremities of these chains get turned into indestructible crystallized versions of themselves. By defeating certain enemies on each level, you get power-ups and collectible to upgrade your ships and you constantly get gold to purchase new ones. At the end of each stage there are bosses that mix up the gameplay a bit by having you rapid-fire them down before they deplete your health. I loved Super Star Path enough to complete the game but I didn't think it was perfect.
Blueprint Tychoon is a simulation game, a bit of a factory management mixed with light sim city touches that focuses on you constructing buildings in order to produce resources, move them around, build things with them, sell these things and/or build more complex things while managing the needs of your worker, pollution and supply routes. I enjoyed it quite a bit, although even after hours of play, some core concepts were still opaque to me and I never got into the eponymous "Blueprint" part of the title.
Starward Rogue is a bullet hell action RPG roguelike where you move in procedurally generated levels, fighting enemies, gathering keys, power-ups, money and items all in service of getting to the final boss, defeating complex foes with hellish projectile patterns, and get stronger in the process. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I feel like the roguelike elements have been wasted for a game that feels completed when you finish it for the first time.