Author: Chris Carter

Portal Knights (Switch) Review: Blocky, Tepid Survival

A lot of people haven’t opened up their hearts to survival games. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that a many of the games in that genre seem geared towards kids, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing plenty of cartoony titles enjoyed by people of all ages, from Skylanders and LEGO games to Minecraft. Portal Knights had that same allure, but after getting into it on the Switch, I found myself going back to other games that did it better. Portal Knights (Switch) – gameplay image via Keen games and 505 Games Portals ... Read more

Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack (Switch) Review – Two new classics

When I first saw the artwork for Azure Striker Gunvolt, I knew Inti Creates had something special on their hands. This veteran development house from Japan has been around for over two decades and is perhaps best known for the Mega Man Zero and ZX series—a feather in the cap of a once great franchise that had some ups and downs near the end. Through the years they worked with Capcom until they didn’t, and the series was unceremoniously killed off after Mega Man 10. From there they worked on various other licensed properties before really hitting it big with ... Read more

VVVVVV (Switch) Review: Save Your Crew

All the way back in 2010, VVVVVV was responsible for a pretty magical evening. Released in January, an odd month that most bigger games stay away from, Terry Cavanagh nonchalantly dropped his 20th major release—at 51, this guy keeps himself busy—and it wormed its way into my heart as one of my favourite platformers to date. Not much has changed in its move to the Switch, but it’s still worth playing all the same. VVVVVV (Switch) – gameplay image via NIcalis and Nintendo For those who haven’t partaken in the madness that is VVVVVV yet, the premise and the actual ... Read more

Lode Runner Legacy (PC) Review: A Legacy Secured

The Lode Runner series means a lot to me, for two very different reasons. My first go at it was with the Windows edition—you know, the one with the updated visual style and the terrifying death animation where the enemy character models would pull your runner to the ground and eat them, crunching sounds and all. I spent hours creating levels, even if I was the only one who would ever see them. There was a magical quality to it, especially since I could keep my files and revisit them even as each console generation passed me by. Lode Runner ... Read more

Darkside Detective (PC) Review – Lovecraft Peaks

I don’t know what it is about Detective Stories, but they have the potential to draw me in almost instantly. The intrigue of the “whodunnit” is one thing, but the “why” is often what grabs me the most. The former is a more Scooby Doo style, and the latter, popularized by Columbo, often deals with what a particular crime solver has to do to actually catch the perpetrator. Both formulas work well, especially when they’re blended—like they are in Darkside Detective. Darkside Detective (PC) – images via Spooky Doorway A few minutes in and you will probably start picking up ... Read more

Fortnite Preview: No Zombies Allowed

It’s hard to believe that Fortnite was revealed in 2011. Epic Games has changed a lot since then. A studio that was once synonymous with “FPS” is now branching out into competitive MOBAs, but they still have plenty of shooter DNA left. With Fortnite, the problem was that I was constantly forgetting that it existed. For many years it was kind of a distant thought, while other survival games popped up around it en masse. At one time it was poised to be a game-changer, but based on my Early Access tests it has some more work to do. For ... Read more

Preacher Season 2 First Five Episodes Review: What to Expect this Season

I was worried about Preacher at first. Even with no knowledge of the source material (something I’m rectifying due to the show), I didn’t trust Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen to handle the nuances of a bloody tale of with heavy religious themes. But halfway into the first season, I was hooked. Season 2 is poised to be an improvement in pretty much every sense. At this point, the trio of Jesse Custer (a Preacher who now has the supernatural gift of command), Tulip (Jesse’s on-again off-again lover who has been gaining some agency of her own in season 2), ... Read more

Formula Fusion (PC) Review

What Nintendo doesn’t create, indie developers will. We don’t have a recent F-Zero game but we do have a ton of other similar titles like Redout and Fast RMX, and even Sony is getting in on the action with a WipEout collection. It’s a brave new world, led by plucky indie entrepreneurs that experienced the classics as kids and are now grown enough to fund their dream follow-ups. Just look at the inspiriting story of how Stardew Valley was created in search of a new Harvest Moon. But as we know from many Kickstarter blunders, not everyone exceeds or even ... Read more

Master x Master Review – Re-Inventive MOBA

Popular MOBAs have remained stagnant for the most part. While the original DOTA mod set the stage, various genre staples like League of Legends have done little to rock the core three-lane formula—League basically just followed the DOTA system and took out denying before slowly starting to evolve facets like its jungle game and laning phase. Blizzard took a more cavalier approach with Heroes of the Storm, allowing for concessions like group XP instead of a focus on individual play, tower “ammo” that could be expended, and less of a focus on laning. Throughout the past decade or so a ... Read more

Antihero Review – Wonderfully Designed

Tabletop-tinted video games fascinate me, especially asynchronous ones. Does anyone remember the glory days of Advance Wars, passing around your Game Boy to a group of friends taking turns blowing each other up? It’s a unique experience, and one I wish we saw more of. Antihero could very easily be a tabletop game. It has a lot of slow-going sensibilities and rulesets that are reminiscent of the genre, but the beautiful artwork and animations help bring it to life. So how do you play? Well, victory points are the name of the game. Earned in several different ways, your job ... Read more

To the Top Review – An Odd VR Experience

The VR realm is so exciting and new for early adopters that developers are throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. It sounds weird calling modern VR “new” when the consumer grade technology has been out and about for over a year, but given that only a handful of developers are fully embracing it, there’s still plenty of room to grow. That mentality allows for some more out there ideas—for instance, imagine if the company responsible for American Gladiators made a low budget game about climbing “The Wall.” That’s basically the pitch session for To the Top, but ... Read more

Ovivo Review – Artistic Platformer

Most people would agree that there is beauty in simplicity. It’s not something you want all the time, but whether you’re turning your brain off for a Michael Bay action movie or just staring at an abstract painting without pondering the meaning behind it, life can be pretty swell. Ovivo‘s clean art style works so well because it’s crisp, clear, and doesn’t mess around. But by proxy, it also doesn’t really give you much to work with beyond the ability to interact with its metaphorical world. Filled with tons of symbolism (most notably famous imagery most people could identify offhand, ... Read more