wot i think

sable-review:-a-beautiful-adventure-beset-by-troubling-bugs Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Sable review: a beautiful adventure beset by troubling bugs

As you might expect from a game set on a desert planet, Sable has a lot of sand. You traverse it on your floating motorbike as the titular character, a young woman who’s part of a nomadic culture where adolescents leave home to complete their Gliding. During this gap year of sorts, the Glider does odd jobs and explores the world until they figure out what they want to be for the rest of their life. Sand is a feature. But as they say, sand is coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere. Each individual grain of sand…

kena:-bridge-of-spirits-review:-a-beautiful-action-adventure-full-of-joy-and-wonder Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Kena: Bridge Of Spirits review: a beautiful action-adventure full of joy and wonder

Atmosphere can feel almost superfluous in video games at the moment. Despite its very obvious importance, there’s sometimes an assumption that if the more mechanical parts of a game serve their purpose – and do so reliably – then elements like immersion, environment and art style are merely contributors to a solid product. But my view is to the contrary; I think it’s usually those elements that turn a game into a phenomenon. This is very clearly proven by Kena: Bridge Of Spirits. Read more

the-amazing-american-circus-review:-i-hate-to-say-it,-but-there-are-better-shows-in-town Rock,Paper,Shotgun

The Amazing American Circus review: I hate to say it, but there are better shows in town

By the time Henry Ford rolled up to see my show, I was ready to pack my trunk and say goodbye to the circus. I’d been ready a long time ago, truth be told, some time between inciting industrial action amongst JP Morgan’s workers and nabbing an automaton from Tesla. My troupe spread delight wherever we roamed, but the crowds weren’t to know we’d been plying the same tricks for hour after hour – nor that it had hardly taken one to hone my act to the point where failure was inconceivable. Every meagre juggling trick brought whoops from the…

aragami-2-review:-a-breezy-ninja-stealth-’em-up Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Aragami 2 review: a breezy ninja stealth ’em up

‘Breezy’ seems like an odd word to slap on a stealth game – a measured, sometimes plodding genre – but it fits ninj-em-up Aragami 2 perfectly. Flow like water, it says; stabby water, with wings. Flow, then, like an irresponsibly sharp ice-sculpture of a hummingbird. Flow imperfectly and playfully, for the same tools that allow you to strike masterfully silent also let you mitigate sloppiness with improvisational glee. If Tenchu was an armoury to select from, and Shadow Tactics a map to study, Aragami 2 is a toybox. Let’s play ninjas, shall we? Read more

i-am-fish-review:-a-physics-platformer-with-sole Rock,Paper,Shotgun

I Am Fish review: a physics platformer with sole

Like a splash of cold water to the face, I Am Fish is a wonderfully refreshing physics platformer. This isn’t a grim tale wrapped in layers of metaphor, or a walking simulator that guides you slowly through a field of feelings. Here, you are simply a fish. The bowl is your prison. The ocean is your freedom. Now imagine Ian Mckellen with the same gravitas as he had playing Gandalf in Lord Of The Rings, except with a farmer’s cap on. He is peering into your googly, goldfish eyes. In a west country accent, he bellows, “Swim, you fool!” Read…

eastward-review:-a-stunning,-but-slow-burning-post-apocalypse-adventure Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Eastward review: a stunning, but slow burning post-apocalypse adventure

Wrangling flying pigs, saving a nerdy kid from the school bullies, cooking up exquisite dishes to appease a local casino boss whose slot machines you accidentally rinsed with your trusted lucky coin… These are the stories most adventure RPGs would stuff into their ever-growing sidequest menus – distractions meant to provide extra flavour to the world you’re meant to be saving, or which hold bountiful supplies of EXP to level up your skills and weapons. Not so in Eastward. In this impressive debut from Shanghai developers Pixpil, these humdrum slices of life are placed front and centre, forming much of…

toem-review:-a-modern,-yet-nostalgic-photography-adventure Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Toem review: a modern, yet nostalgic photography adventure

Remember that brief period in the 00s where everyone had a mobile phone, but none of them could take decent photos, so at least one girl per friendship group also had to have a small digital camera? Laboriously uploading and tagging. These are the photos that come up on your Facebook Memories, reminding you that for a brief period during your final year of school you started wearing 50s-ish neck scarves, for some reason. The little black-and-white puzzle adventure game Toem, in which all problems are solved with a camera, reminds me of that. Not because you are able to…

lost-in-random-review:-a-grand-adventure-with-few-surprises Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Lost In Random review: a grand adventure with few surprises

Given it’s called Lost In Random, you’d expect Zoink Games’ new game to be filled with all sorts of oddities and twists and turns and things. Well, it sort of is. And it sort of isn’t. I had hoped it would surprise me more, actually. This is a strategy-combat-meets-adventure game that’s solid fun and has some great personality, but it gets a little too comfortable to knock you for six. Read more

splitgate-review:-a-raucous-fps-that’s-much-more-than-halo-meets-portal Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Splitgate review: a raucous FPS that’s much more than Halo meets Portal

You might have heard Splitgate described as “Halo meets Portal“, a useful shorthand for those of us with brains too tired to describe it more colourfully as “a gun learns physics” or “Benny Hill gets a battle rifle”. However you describe it, Splitgate is a belter of a multiplayer arena shooter, born of gimmickry, yet graduating with honours, it’s a grin-delivering game of tight, gun gymnastics and wacky Loony Tunes doorways, and just the right amount of frustrating to make you sweat and launch into another scramble for the bazooka in the middle of the map. Read more

the-artful-escape-review:-musical-odyssey-is-a-one-hit-wonder Rock,Paper,Shotgun

The Artful Escape review: musical odyssey is a one hit wonder

They call me the Slippery Matthew Castle. Or at least they do aboard the Cosmic Lung, an intergalactic concert hall overseen by a brainstem in a cloak voiced by Jason Schwartzman. Impressively, this is one of the more rote happenings in The Artful Escape, a quest that also takes in astral highways, rock-powered butterflies and – steel yourself – a passive aggressive skiffle group. Its creator, the fabulously named Johnny Galvatron, describes it as what would happen if David Bowie had gone on a literal space trip to become Ziggy Stardust, and that seems about right. Read more

life-is-strange:-true-colors-review:-a-more-mature-lis,-but-one-still-beset-by-narrative-growing-pains Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Life Is Strange: True Colors review: a more mature LIS, but one still beset by narrative growing pains

Whenever a new Life Is Strange game comes out I sometimes wonder how my life would manifest as an ironic and metaphorical super power. I usually stop quite quickly, because I have a feeling the answer would be somewhat disappointing. In the first game, Max Caulfield discovered she could rewind time or travel back to the past via photographs. In Life Is Strange 2, we shaped the outlook of young Daniel Diaz and how he used his somewhat fraught telekinetic powers. Now, in Life Is Strange: True Colors, we step into the shoes of Alex Chen, who can step into…

golf-club-wasteland-review:-real-life-crazy-golf Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Golf Club Wasteland review: real life crazy golf

We aren’t short of grim, dystopian futures in games these days, but it’s refreshing to finally play one that doesn’t involve clubbing neon thugs into paste while raging against your big man megacorps. Instead, the only thing you’ll be whacking in Golf Club Wasteland is tiny orange space balls around the ruins of Earth. Having clearly failed to save our planet from all manner of looming crises, humanity’s now jumped ship to Mars while the rich and powerful jet back home on the weekends to indulge in a round of golf. Or maybe that should be extreme golf. Instead of…

kings-bounty-2-review:-good-strategy-packaged-with-a-baggy-rpg Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Kings Bounty 2 review: good strategy packaged with a baggy RPG

You know when you order, say, a single HDMI cable from Amazon and it comes in a cardboard box the size of a dog coffin? That’s King’s Bounty 2. Excessively over packaged. There’s a tight, varied, often-challenging Heroes Of Might And Magic-style tactical battler here, but you’ll have to tear through layers of baggy Dragon Age-style RPG to get to it. Don’t get me wrong. Some of that packaging is really quite nice. Wintery snowscapes. Marble courtrooms with intricate, stained glass murals. Opulently textured facial hair flowing from the chins of impeccably groomed pig farmers. It just feels like King’s…

hoa-review:-a-gorgeous-platformer-with-big-studio-ghibli-vibes Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Hoa review: a gorgeous platformer with big Studio Ghibli vibes

While Level-5’s pair of Ni No Kuni games lay the biggest claim to being interactive Studio Ghibli movies (the first having actually been made in collaboration with Hayao Miyazaki’s world famous animation studio and the second borrowing a former Ghibli character designer), the Vietnamese-made Hoa comes a very close second. Not only do Skrollcat Studio’s lush, hand-painted visuals look like they’ve been plucked straight from the dewy, sun-dappled forests of My Neighbour Totoro, but you can hear it in the music, too. Johannes Johansson’s sweeping, romantic piano score channels pure Joe Hisaishi goodness for the length of Hoa’s two hour…

garden-story-review:-a-cosy,-sweet-natured-rpg Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Garden Story review: a cosy, sweet-natured RPG

Have you ever seethed at the injustice of juicy, happy grapes being crushed underfoot? Probably not. I hadn’t either, but playing Zelda-like Garden Story has changed things. It stars Concord, a purple vineyard-venturer so stalwart and noble that my empathy for grapes is now at its apex. Sommeliers. Jam makers. Raisin(eers?). M&S Holiday advert charcuterie board arrangers. Watch your fucking backs. I’m ride or die for grapes now. Garden Story has radicalised me. Read more