Games that use a cutesy, simple, and relatively innocent aesthetic but deal with far more mature themes are an interesting breed of game to me. Balancing the aesthetic and mood against the mature themes is a fascinating phenomena to witness and seeing the ‘cracks’ in the facade, whether intentional or not always brings a ‘Ah-ha!’ type moment that’s very satisfying. Bugsnax rides that line extremely well, the mystery is omnipresent and interesting. It’s a fun little monster catching game in an interesting scenario with engaging characters and fun puzzles.
When I put “The Riftbreaker” on my Steam wishlist, I thought it would be similar to Exor’s prior game, X-Morph Defense. I am pleased to say that I’m happy it wasn’t. “The Riftbreaker” is a great game, that combined the fun parts of “They Are Billions” with parts of Factorio’s base and resource management systems mashed together in a very satisfying combination.
I didn’t expect to like Hades, truly. I have tried other roguelites and other roguelikes and they have failed to pull me in and keep my attention long enough. Hades was different, because it was made by SuperGiant Games the same studio that made Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre. Hades was overflowing with the best aspects of all their prior games, and combined it all into a truly fantastic experience.
I have a deep fondness for tactical role-playing games that comes from my childhood on the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP, where I spent many many hours maximizing character levels and equipment and outwitting the AI in a battle as quickly as I could. My favorite game from back then was “Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis”, and “Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark” strongly reminds me of it in the best of ways. This is a review of sorts and will contain spoilers in some respects though I’ll try to avoid large story spoilers.
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