Lost Horizon Review

Lost Horizon is a game that I agonized over for a long time before even buying, often looking up the game page and being tempted to buy it, but never actually pulling the trigger. For months the title randomly showed up in “recommended for you” emails from Amazon. It even went so far as to later show up in mobile form on an app store just to torment me further. Point-and-click games can go very right when done well, but they can also go terribly wrong and become unenjoyable slogs if the pieces don’t complement each other, and while the premise seemed interesting enough, the game’s relative obscurity struck me as a major red flag. After all, if it were the wonderful adventure it appeared to be, then surely it’d be more popular. Granted, that line of reasoning doesn’t hold up considering the many lesser-known games that I’ve enjoyed more than popular AAA titles, but doubt doesn’t have to be realistic to be effective. There was also the widely panned sequel that had to be factored in (because jumping into a series that resolves unsatisfactorily in later entries is never fun), a game that sold incredibly poorly if the internet’s near-complete absence of information on it is any indication. Eventually my curiosity snowballed, however, and I went into full “screw it” mode and bought the first game for PC on a whim. I often come to regret impulsive purchase decisions like that, but Lost Horizon is one of those rare gems that made me wish I had bought it even earlier. Read more →

Peter Moorhead’s Murder Review

I often like to give little games I’ve never heard of a shot. Occasionally I’ll end up stumbling onto an underappreciated gem, while other times I’m made to wade through the depths of annoying indie pretentiousness to the point where I question why I even bother. Peter Moorhead’s Murder is most definitely the latter, and it’s telling that it’ll take me longer to write this review than it took to finish the game three times. Shortness isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, of course, but when the writing is cringe-inducingly terrible throughout and culminates in a middle finger from the developer, there’s really no excuse for the game to also be unfinished. Read more →

Lara Croft GO Review

Square-Enix was recently experimenting with always-online DRM, so it’s not unfair to say that my opinion of them is at an all-time low. They removed said DRM in a couple cases (though it should also be mentioned that the Android versions of games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6 still have it intact) after a backlash, though, so I suppose it’s time to start to slowly forgive them. Very slowly. The very first thing I did after buying Lara Croft GO was make sure that it could be opened and played without an internet connection, which it can, and that’s a good thing because it’s actually a pretty enjoyable little puzzle game in the vein of Hitman GO. Read more →

Framed Review

Framed is standing right on the edge between a good review and a bad review, especially considering just how much it has in common with Monument Valley (which I gave a negative review to). Unique twist on the puzzle genre? Check. Silent protagonist/s and vague plot? Check. Around an hour long or shorter? Check. Minimal actual gameplay? Again, check. Where Monument Valley managed to lack any kind of internal consistency, however, Framed at least stays clear of its own feet and manages to be just barely worth recommending despite its aforementioned short length and vagueness. It’s only recommended on the Android platform, however, because it’s inexplicably more expensive on Apple’s app store, and 5 dollars is just way too much to ask for something so short. Read more →

Lifeline Review

This is going to be less a review than a murder, but know that Lifeline deserves every bit of it. Designed as a quirky little choose-your-own-adventure game, it popped up on mobile devices and was gobbled up by game reviewers whose train of thought went something along the lines of “this is something different, therefore 10/10.” Never mind that the game’s big innovation—stretching a 10-20 minute game out to where it lasts 3 days by forcing you to wait for hours whenever you make a decision—accomplishes nothing but guaranteeing that the game’s pace resembles a freemium game that you’re given access to piecemeal. Even that might not be fair; freemium games have the good sense to try and give you enough gameplay to hook you before making you wait. Lifeline, on the other hand, provides little more than a few sentences that wouldn’t be out of place on Twitter (and that are completely out of place given the in-game circumstances) before giving you a meaningless decision and leaving you hanging for an hour or longer. Yes, the game playing out at the main character’s pace is a novel inclusion, but it’s embarrassing that I’m the first person to point out that it’s not actually fun. This is just one problem on top of many others that ensure that Lifeline is undeserving of your time in addition to being a complete and utter waste of money. Read more →

Doom & Destiny Review

There was a reoccurring Chris Farley skit on Saturday Night Live where he’d interview celebrities, only to ask them if they remembered various things and follow it up by stating, “that was awesome.” If you removed the self-awareness from that skit, turned it into a game, and centered it around jRPGs, that game would be the comically inept (but not comically effective) Doom & Destiny, a game that indulges in the same brand of do-you-remember without a shred of irony. Put simply, this is a game that only works if you find lazy references to other games the most hilarious thing in the entire world and are willing to overlook a number of major game flaws regarding the writing and mechanics in order to get to them. Read more →

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