Strikers Edge is the Newest Fast Paced Dodgeball Game

Strikers Edge is the Newest Fast Paced Dodgeball Game

Get ready to go head to head in the newest competitive game to come from Playdius and Fun Punch Games, Strikers Edge. The game combines dodgeball with a medieval theme resulting in an exhilarating experience. This is the first game that Fun Punch Games has developed, while Playdius has published numerous games such as Edge Of Eternity, Dead in Vinland, Post Human War and many others.

Read moreStrikers Edge is the Newest Fast Paced Dodgeball Game

First Fifteen: Battle Chef Brigade – Chapter 1

First Fifteen: Battle Chef Brigade - Chapter 1

Join CGM’s Cole Watson as he takes you through the first chapter of the epic culinary adventure, Battle Chef Brigade!

“In the fantasy realm of Victusia, the members of the elite Battle Chef Brigade are revered for their ability to skillfully take down monsters and transform their kills into delicious cuisine! But joining the brigade isn’t easy; chefs from across Victusia must vie for their spot in a high stakes competition. Play as two unique contestants, Mina and Thrash, as their journeys through the tournament unfold.

Battle Chef Brigade is equal parts old-school brawler and combo puzzler with light RPG elements. The game features completely hand-drawn characters and enemies, two playable chefs brought to life in a charming campaign through unique VO, daily challenges for leaderboard domination, and an original soundtrack.”

Battle Chef Brigade is available on November 20, for Nintendo Switch and PC. Check out Cole’s review of Battle Chef Brigade here!


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A Hat in Time (PC) Review – The Second Best 3D Platformer This Year

A Hat in Time (PC) Review - The Second Best 3D Platformer This Year

A Hat in Time is a crowdfunded 3D platformer and spiritual successor to Super Mario 64, a fact that it does not try to hide whatsoever, and why should it since it does such a good job?

Read moreA Hat in Time (PC) Review – The Second Best 3D Platformer This Year

Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch) Review – Action platformer of the year?

Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch) Review - Action platformer of the year?

On first glance, Tiny Barbarian DX appears like your typical indie action platformer with pixel art and chiptune music, only with a $30 USD price tag. Looks can be deceiving however, as Tiny Barbarian DX is the best platformer I’ve played this year.

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Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch) – gameplay image via StarQuail Games and Nicalis

Tiny Barbarian DX is spread out over four episodes, with each feeling nearly like its own entire game. Each episode has its own theme, gameplay gimmicks, and self-contained story; although all the stories are connected, the story isn’t all that deep as it is told visually. Without spoiling too much, episode two has a few moments where you ride a giant bumblebee while music reminiscent of Kirby plays, while episode three is straight up the best linear Castlevania I’ve played in a decade, just without the series title attached. The fourth and final episode pays homage to both Mad Max and Metroid in a very surprising but welcomed way which you’ll want to see.

Episodes last about an hour or so each depending on your skill level, which admittedly is a bit brief for a game that costs as much as this one. That said there are extra unlockable hidden modes, which I won’t spoil here, as well as the ability to play with two players simultaneously.

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Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch) – gameplay image via StarQuail Games and Nicalis

While Tiny Barbarian DX isn’t the longest game, what is here is quality. The platforming is tight and deeper than you may imagine. The barbarian has a single jump, the ability to grab onto and climb up ledges, a sword attack, an elbow drop, and the ability to flex at will which serves no purpose other than comical purposes as far as I can tell. There are also a few advanced combos to be discovered that include a high jumping slice, and jumping with your sword spinning around you.

While the controls are simple, the platforming found here demands skill and precision. Jumping from chains to ledges and avoiding endless bats while simultaneously dropping elbows on snakes is something you may very well have to do. I can’t stress enough just how great traversing these levels feel.

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Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch) – gameplay image via StarQuail Games and Nicalis

Even better than making the way through levels is fighting the various bosses found throughout the game. You’ll fight a barrel-throwing gorilla (which includes a soundtrack reminiscent of Donkey Kong), a flying wizard that shoots electricity, and even a planet-eating god. Each boss is wholly unique from the last, with each testing that players have perfected the lessons taught by the level that came before them. While that should be considered standard game design, many developers fail to do so, especially with the finesse delivered by the developers here. Many bosses had my heart pounding in my chest as many fights came down to ‘sudden death’ moments where the next person to land an attack that would win the fight.

Perhaps my favorite part of the game, however, is the amazing chiptune soundtrack by Jeff Ball, best known as a violinist for Steven Universe. Don’t take my word for it, give it a listen here and see if you agree. As someone with a fondness in my heart for chiptune, having gone out of my way to see it performed live after having grown up playing and completing nearly every major NES game, I can say without a shadow of a doubt this is one of the best chiptune soundtracks I’ve ever heard in my life—a real achievement.

If you (and possibly a friend) have a hankering for some retro-inspired platforming action with challenging bosses, awesome parallax pixel graphics, and a soundtrack that will have you humming along, you don’t want to miss out on Tiny Barbarian DX. While the price might be a little steep, I certainly came away more than satisfied and quite impressed as the game had me hooked from start to finish. I, for one, can’t wait to see what StarQuail games cooks up next!

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Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch) – gameplay image via StarQuail Games and Nicalis

Tiny Barbarian DX was reviewed using “retail” Nintendo Switch download codes provided by the publisher. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Jed’s take on Marvel vs. Capcom: InfinitySpelunker Party!, and Golf Story

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High Hell (PC) Review: A Hell of a Ride

High Hell (PC) Review: A Hell of a Ride

Something that always catches my eye when I watch TV shows or movies is when people are shown playing video games that obviously don’t exist. Two people sitting together on a couch, playing an untitled first-person shooter and talking about getting the highest score. These always sounded cool to me as a kid but as I got older, I began to question why anybody would play these awful looking made up titles. High Hell is a game that instantly reminded me of those non-existent games, except it actually manages to work most of the time.

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High Hell (PC) – gameplay image via Devolver Digital

High Hell is an action shooter that has players fighting through the criminal underworld in a series of fast-paced missions. I would speak more on the game’s plot but there is none. Even that one line of information I just gave was something I had to find on Devolver Digital’s website because the game offers nothing, aside from the goals of individual missions. High Hell’s lack of a story works in its favour though when you’re taking on random missions like stealing artwork or rescuing chimps.

From a visual standpoint, High Hell uses a retro polygon look similar to something you’d find on the Sega Dreamcast. Alongside its almost entirely nonexistent HUD, these graphics add a lot of charm to High Hell’s old school gameplay. One problem with this style, however, is its overuse of the same colours, specifically grey. After a few missions, everything starts to look the same.

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High Hell (PC) – gameplay image via Devolver Digital

In the spirit of the games that High Hell is trying to emulate, it has extremely simple controls. You can move around, shoot, crouch and perform a kick or interact with certain objects. There’s no weapon cycling to think about or even reloading. High Hell’s simple controls makes it easy to pick up and play which works well with the game’s bite-sized missions, never taking more than about ten minutes.

The style infused into High Hell is one of its most obvious strong suits. Being able to do things like burn stacks of money or having to jump off the map and parachuting away at the end of every mission. Every action you can perform feels like it’s straight out of an 80’s action movie or an early 90’s video game. One of the actions that is most important to the gameplay is being able to bust doors down. Now, I get how important an action like this is to simulate being a badass but this action is where most of my problems stem from with High Hell. In each mission, you’re breaking into a criminal hideout with rooms full of enemies. The problem is that the second you open that door, there’s usually already at least two enemies already prepared to get their shot in. It can result in cheap deaths, forcing you to memorize the enemy layout just to get through certain areas. This problem led to me coming up with equally cheap and ultimately boring strategy of opening a door, standing next to it and shooting continuously while the enemies blindly walked out to look for me.

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High Hell (PC) – gameplay image via Devolver Digital

High Hell is a great game to play in short bursts. It’s quirky, fast-paced, and plays well aside from a few oversights. Though there’s a variety of different mission objectives, things always end with eliminating all the enemies on the map, resulting in the gameplay getting a bit stale after too long. You can easily load High Hell up, play a couple of missions and then return for more later.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Find out why Remington thinks Fire Emblem Warriors exceeds all expectations, or why Sonic Mania earns its spot next to the titles released during Sonic’s golden era!

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Necrobarista Will Likely Invite Some VA-11 HALL-A Comparisons

Necrobarista Will Likely Invite Some VA-11 HALL-A Comparisons

You’re going to hear many comparisons between Necrobarista and VA-11 HALL-A: A Cyberpunk Bartending Simulator in the coming days, weeks, and months. As Necrobarista inevitably gains traction, the concept of a genre story told exclusively inside a drink-slinging establishment may start to feel a bit familiar.

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Necrobarista – gameplay images via Route 59.

For me, there’s one crucial difference between the games: whereas VA-11 HALL-A chose to engage the player with a bartending mechanic and a money management side objective, Necrobarista (at least in the very, very, very short demo I saw) seems to be more of an interactive story. The game takes place in an underground speakeasy where the spirits of the dead get 24 final hours in our world before having to move on to whatever’s next. That’s about as much as I could glean from the demo and a short conversation with one of the developers.

My demo felt more like a vignette than anything else: a sequence where a spirit plays five-finger-fillet against one of the speakeasy’s employees, betting two whole hours of his afterlife on this game. The demo took place in two parts: visual novel scenes where the events of the duel played out, and a couple moments where the player moves the camera around a Police Squad-style frozen room, reading bits of flavour text about the characters’ past and getting some commentary from people in the crowd.

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Necrobarista – gameplay images via Route 59.

With so little to go on, it’s hard to me to form a cohesive, informed recommendation. At the very least, I feel comfortable saying that I found the core gimmick of Necrobarista very enticing, but the script feels overwritten. There’s plenty of verve in the writing, but there’s no honesty. The stuff in the demo feels like it was written for a short story contest, all flash and flavour but no texture. It’s like asking the waiter at the Outback Steakhouse to over-season your steak; at that point, why not just get something else, Ray?

And yeah, of course it feels like a short story, it’s a demo, but that’s why I said “contest.” Those stories don’t exist to fulfill an artistic need, they’re trying to be the most loquacious of the bunch. Maybe the full game will be more authentic, or maybe it’ll feel like somebody was trying to really impress their NaNoWriMo group.

That’s where the VA-11 HALL-A comparisons fall apart for me. VA-11 HALL-A worked for me because it felt real. The characters felt like they had a life outside the game, even if I didn’t see it. Yeah, some of the dialogue could be a little too clever, but the condescension inherent to the way people talk to service employees kept all those interactions grounded in some form of reality.

Necrobarista Will Likely Invite Some VA-11 HALL-A Comparisons
Necrobarista – gameplay images via Route 59.

The reason I’m actually still kind of looking forward to Necrobarista is because that kind of ethereal wordiness can really set a mood if you give it long enough. (See also: Kentucky Route Zero) But in short bursts, especially at a convention, that mood becomes something you might have to fight through rather than something to let wash over you. I’m disappointed to say I had to fight through it—I hope the rest of the game isn’t the same way.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out  Mike Cosimano’s interview with Suda51 about No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again or his preview of Total War: Warhammer!

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CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Hob (PC) Review – Beautiful, Boring, Zelda-like

Hob (PC) Review - Beautiful, Boring, Zelda-like

Runic Games has created something completely different in Hob than its previous games, the well-received Diablo-like Torchlight series. Hob is a Zelda-like adventure set in a beautiful shape-shifting overworld filled with tons of wildlife to see (and pet!), and a lot of platforming.

Also, I think it is one of the most boring games I’ve played all year.

Read moreHob (PC) Review – Beautiful, Boring, Zelda-like

Sunless Skies Preview – The Endless Black Nothing

Sunless Skies Preview - The Endless Black Nothing

Sunless Seas was an innovative adventure game from an indie developer that had been on my radar for years. Fallen London (Previously Echo Bazaar) and the follow-up nautical exploration made waves with their deep and intriguing narrative style. Sunless Sea is one of my favourite games from the past few years, so I am very excited to check out Sunless Skies, recently available as a playable beta.

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Sunless Skies (PC) – gameplay images via Failbetter Games.

Players eager to plumb the mysteries of London below, only in a much more astronomical setting, are welcome to pay to get into this madness, but I will warn you, Sunless Skies feels like it has a long way to go until it is complete. Hopefully, what is there will be enough to sate fans until the full game finally releases next May.

In Sunless Skies the player will explore the starry void in a strange space train, ferrying passengers here and there, delivering consignments of oddities, and generally exploring the great beyond. Sadly, at this stage in development, space seems to contain more void than the bizarre adventures I was expecting. Sure, the occasional city nestled in popping celestial mushrooms is around, and a collapsing space circus is nice to visit, but these discoveries are fairly limited, far from randomly coming across a civil war between rats, helping one side and ruling over them as a man-shaped god among rats (Sunless Sea was a really good game).

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Sunless Skies (PC) – gameplay images via Failbetter Games.

Apart from that, the game feels extremely easy at this point. My crew seems stalwart against the terrors of deep space, even as they’re having tea with a frigid space spectre, and seldom miss a meal themselves. The horrors of London above seem to have seen fit to spare my men the fear that they’re due.

Functionally, it plays similar to its sea-bound predecessor, save for a few tweaks. Your locomotive starship is far more agile than previous tugboats, now with the ability to make sharper turns and even strafe, simplifying ship to ship combat significantly. A little practice and deep space piracy will be second nature to you.

After exploring enough of the world and dealing with enough interested parties and you’ll surely level up, this is an RPG after all.  Rather than adding tallies to a character sheet or slotting spheres into some elaborate grid, Sunless Skies presents the player with several possible stories from your character’s past that improve a number of your loosely defined qualities.

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Sunless Skies (PC) – gameplay images via Failbetter Games.

All in all, Sunless Skies feels like a great empty void just begging to be populated by the impish fops and devilish ladies of Fallen London, but it seems like most of the colourful characters have not yet arrived. I can’t imagine that Failbetter Games will fail to deliver the bevvy of interesting content that has become their trademark. For now, I’ll have to continue to steam through these empty stars looking for more adventure until May.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more reviews by Lane Martain, such as Blood Bowl 2 – Legendary Edition for PC and Kingsway for PC!

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CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Hypercharged: Unboxed – More Than Just Toys

Hypercharged: Unboxed - More Than Just Toys

A fond memory from my childhood was hanging out with a few friends playing Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes for the Nintendo 64. As someone who owned a ton of action figures and other toys, I thought it was so cool to play a video game that even attempted to animate some of the Army Men toys that I used to play with. This is just one of the reasons I was happy to try out Hypercharged: Unboxed after Digital Cybercherries sent us some codes for an early build of their game.

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Hypercharged: Unboxed (PC) – early access gameplay images via Digital Cybercherries.

Hypercharged: Unboxed is a first-person tower defence shooter which supports up to four players online and locally. You take on the role of an action figure defending a power generator from waves of oncoming toys. The game’s visuals immediately reminded me of Toy Story and Small Soldiers. You’re able to customize your own action figure, selecting from a variety of skins and other cosmetic features that refer to brand name toys and even a few famous video game characters. Weapon layouts are also customizable along with deployable defensive traps. Being able to design my own figure was a really neat idea and I look forward to seeing just how many customization options Digital Cybercherries adds to the final release.

Though there isn’t much to comment on from an audio standpoint, Hypercharged: Unboxed is a great looking game. The first map starts you off on the shelf of a store in the toy aisle, surrounded by other packaged toys. Boxes and other empty packages are sprawled along the floor and can be used as cover. Every detail really works to make it look like the toy section you’d find in a store like Wal-Mart.

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Hypercharged: Unboxed (PC) – early access gameplay images via Digital Cybercherries.

Although it’s possible to play a solo game in Hypercharged: Unboxed, I wouldn’t recommend it. This is a title that really only works if you have at least one friend with you. Most enemies in the game will charge straight for the generator, which can overrun solo players. Fortunately, defensive constructs such as turrets and spike traps can help to pick up the slack but in order to operate they require AA batteries that highly resemble the Duracell brand. Still, the game can feel a bit shallow after a while.

Playing with friends does help to alleviate that problem to an extent. While playing through with a couple of friends, it was exciting to spot the nostalgic toys that would be attacking with each new wave of enemies. We were all taken back to our elementary school days when we saw a swarm of spinning tops that looked nearly identical to Beyblades. I would like even more references to popular toys turned into enemies.

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Hypercharged: Unboxed (PC) – early access gameplay images via Digital Cybercherries.

As it stands, Hypercharged: Unboxed is a fun title to play with friends. I do think that a game with such a fun premise would benefit from additional modes, possibly introducing more exploration rather than keeping you locked to such small areas. I’m looking forward to seeing how this game turns out as it’s developed further but for now, Hypercharged: Unboxed is a short but fun nostalgia trip to play with friends. The game is currently available on Steam for $16.99 CAD.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Find out why Remington thinks the Escapists 2 makes breaking out of prison fun, or why Sonic Mania earns its spot next to the titles released during Sonic’s golden era!

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CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!