Curation - 2022

Important note: Although I only post positive reviews, that doesn't mean every game automatically gets one. My biggest layer of quality control is that I only review games I think I'm likely to enjoy. Even then, only around 75% of games reviewed (at the time of writing) have received my recommendation. Long story short? Just making it to this list is a mark of quality.

HEAL

19 May 2022

HEAL is a game full of all the logic puzzles you would expect from a point and click but without the adventure. There's still emotion and meaning though, conveyed atmospherically. It's a nice story.

Haiku

18 May 2022

Haiku is a bloody brilliant metroidvania, top shelf. It's a nice big world to explore, full of secrets, traps, lore, and a huge variety of enemies. Slightly on the easy side but not without challenge.

Into The Pit

16 May 2022

Into the Pit is a fast-paced, fluid, Doom-inspired FPS with glorious pixel graphics that screenshots don't do justice. Very fun but some odd design choices; starts feeling repetitive after 3-4 hours.

Rush for the Ages

12 May 2022

Rush for the Ages has nailed the "a fast game's a good game" ideology. As with any PUNKCAKE game, it's easy to learn, difficult to master, and even harder to put down. It's all about card synergy but you're playing with a shared pool of cards, slow-revealing objectives, and multiple layers of interaction. Addictive!​

Port Traventor

11 May 2022​

TwoFaceGames have an established knack for coming up with innovative ways to use the RPG Maker system. Port Traventor's their biggest game yet, and it's a unique hybrid concept that's first and foremost an idling kingdom manager that also incorporates JRPG-style quests and combat. It can get a little grindy but in a way that will seem normal to most JRPG fans. There's no downtime - always something to do and some new upgrade to strive for. Creative.

Rock'n'Roll Will Never Die

10 May 2022

RnRWND is a fun, light-hearted point and click that will appeal to anyone that enjoys their 90s rock nostalgia. Nice hires pixels. Good sense of humour - well-delivered satire and loaded with puns.

Distraint 2

04 May 2022

If you enjoyed the original Distraint, you'll love this. Same moody atmospheric point and click, great quality art, more puzzles. Caution: It's not stand-alone; you need to play the original first.

Age of Grit

03 May 2022

A damn fine RPG that really nails the wild west steampunk setting. It's full of interesting locations and characters, is exceptionally well written, and there's even trade and turn-based ship combat.

Kaiju Wars

01 May 2022

Read my First Impressions here.

An innovative turn-based tactical that brilliantly recreates the b-grade Godzilla movie experience. Full of attitude and humour. Plenty to see and do with 15hr campaign and mission editor. Brilliant.

Lawn Buster for Hire

28 April 2022

Lawn Buster for Hire's a short and sweet "puzzle" game that's conceptually very cool. All you need to do is move around the map, clearing all the grass. What makes it cool is the layers of difficulty involved; each level you gain extra rewards for leaving the flowers intact, for not re-treading, and for being quick about it. It's not always possible to do all of those things so you need to make choices and sacrifices. Only 10 minutes of gameplay but it's challenging and there's 5 endings so you'll get 30-60 minutes out of it. Would love to see a longer "deluxe" version.

Psycho Bathroom

27 April 2022

Wasn't sure what I was getting myself in for with this one but it's great! It's a platformer that's all boss fights and quirky toilet humour. My only complaint? Needs to be longer! Should not be free.

Distraint: Deluxe Edition

26 April 2022

Distraint's a sort of minimalist point and click; it's linear and there are only a few puzzles but its dark, emotional story is very nicely delivered through some gorgeous (if creepy) hand-drawn art.

Trapped

22 April 2022​

Trapped is a nicely-made retro dungeon crawler that brings back fond memories of an old gameboy game that I loved - Wizardry, maybe? In any case, Trapped sees you trying to work your way through a maze while facing some very challenging enemies that require strong resource management and some strategy to defeat. Nostalgic and enjoyable.

Time Keeper

21 April 2022

Time Keeper is a decent puzzle platformer. Could use a little more polish but the music, voice acting and graphics are mostly quite good and it's got a nice story. Would suit a younger audience.

Castle Warfare

​20 April 2022

Castle Warfare's an interesting concept, sort of a turn-based version of something like Warcraft. The gameplay is fundamentally kingdom/resource management through a JRPG-style interface and the combat's scenario-based. Features both offensive and defensive levels. There's 2-3 hours worth of game here; it's fun for what it is although it could benefit from some QoL upgrades and I'd love to see the dev take the concept further.

Move Dodge and Kill

19 April 2022

MDaK is a bloody brilliant arcade-style twinstick shooter. It's frantic but energy management adds a tactical element. Roguelite elements and level generator = infinite replayability. Tough as nails!

The Scorchfarer

15 April 2022

Scorchfarer is one of the higher quality VNs out there with hand-drawn and detailed artwork and a well-written story. This ep is very much an introduction; it really gets interesting toward the end.

Nuclear Blaze (Hold My Beer)

14 April 2022

Nuclear Blaze is a nifty reimagining of the 2d platform shooter where you fight the environment rather than monsters (mostly). Hold my beer update really enhances the difficulty and longevity. Fun!

B.I.O.T.A.

13 April 2022

Read my First Impressions here.

BIOTA is a top shelf retro platform shooter. Gorgeous pixels, sound's great, and it's packed with extras. 6-8 hours of action-packed fun not including the arcade mode (it's awesome too)! A must-have!

Perfect Tides

12 April 2022

Perfect Tides is an exceptional entry in the PnC genre. It's well-written, the pixel art is incredibly detailed, Mara's story is told authentically, and the island really comes to life. Impressive

Nix Umbra

11 April 2022

Nix Umbra is a unique experience. You'll die, often, but you'll learn a little more each time and maybe live slightly longer the next. "Terror" aesthetics are spot-on. Sound is the key to survival.

Dr Brown

07 April 2022

Yet another short, rage-inducing game from Skull Commando Labs. Absolutely brilliant. Love the 1-bit pixel graphics, love the bosses, love the brutality. Lock fire and profit!

Janitor Bleeds

07 April 2022

Janitor Bleeds has a lot going for it; the graphics are a bit dated but the arcade setting is fresh and the integrated "videogame come to life" is a nice feature. Younger generations would enjoy this.

Patrick's Parabox

04 April 2022

Patrick's Parabox might be minimalist in the graphics department but as puzzle games go, it's a real gem. The paradox mechanism makes for a unique experience. And it's huge, 350+ handcrafted levels!

The Dreadful Space

04 April 2022

Dreadful Space is a minimalist vertical scrolling shooter that captures the arcade feel well. It's very short and could use some more polish but what's there is fun. Challenging - one hit often kills.

Skeleton Scramble Deluxe

01 April 2022

Read my Beginner's Guide here.

Skeleton Scramble is a fast-paced small-scale RTS that sees you zerg rushing your enemy while managing resources and defending against their zerg rushes. Great variety in gameplay. It's hectic fun!

Sokobos

01 April 2022

Sokobos is a reimagining of the Sokoban puzzle genre with colour coding, lockable tiles, and other new mechanics. Like any Daisy game, it's huge (60 levels!), highly polished and tough as nails.

Demon's Tilt

31 March 2022

Demon's Tilt is a superb pinball experience that sees you dodging bullets and fighting bosses. Only features one table but it's multi-tiered and you can unlock "bonus game" tables (pinball bowling!).

FixFox

31 March 2022

Fixfox is a fun little no pressure game about exploring, trading, making friends and fixing things. It's got some cutesy retro graphics and a good sense of humour. Great for younger gamers.

Forward: Escape the Fold

29 March 2022

Forward is an excellent card-based dungeon crawler with tons of characters and abilities to unlock. Roguelike elements keep the game fresh every time you fire it up again for "just one more run!"

Minimal Crypt

29 March 2022

Minimal Crypt's graphics are minimalist but v. clean. The puzzles are complex, with multiple layers of logic required to solve. 60+ levels, good variety of mechanics, and a friendly level editor!

Limb Hunter

28 March 2022

Limb Hunter is an addictive little 2d run-and-gun. Upgrading yourself limb-by-limb's always a bit of fun and the levels are well-made for exploration. Very short but what's there is great.

Telepath Tactics

23 March 2022

Read my First Impressions here.

TTL is a turn-based tactics game heavily inspired by Fire Emblem. Features interactive environments, hand-crafted maps, a range of mission types and a campaign builder for infinite replayability!

Dungeons of Dreadrock

23 March 2022

Absolute loving Dungeons of Dreadrock. Graphics are great, controls are smooth, puzzles are inventive. Every level seems to introduce new mechanics, it’s never boring. And huge – 100 levels!

The Dark Prophecy

21 March 2022

The Dark Prophecy is a very short (~1 hour) point and click adventure. The writing and puzzles desperately need some polish but it still manages to be charming and the pixels are really lovely.

Telepath Tactics Liberated

19 March 2022

Read my First Impressions here.

TTL is a turn-based tactics game heavily inspired by Fire Emblem. Features interactive environments, hand-crafted maps, a range of mission types and a campaign builder for infinite replayability!

Beat Invaders

18 March 2022

Beat Invaders is an awesome blend of 2d shooter meets space invaders with a roguelike upgrade system thrown in. Fast-paced, great music, and very pretty, super-bloomy graphics. Very replayable.

Guntech 2

15 March 2022

A 2d space shooter with mission-based levels, highly interactive environments, loads of enemies variety, and some awesome bosses. Not as customisable as I'd like but very fun. Awesome 1-4 multiplayer.

The Splitting: Chapter 3

14 March 2022

The Splitting is a 2d isometric adventure game that carries itself like a point and click with similar inventory- and dialogue-based gameplay. This is the third chapter and the best yet. As befitting the theme, it features mirror mechanics, in which every room has a flipped version - and any actions in one world affect the other, making for some engaging puzzles.

Submerged: Hidden Depths

11 March 2022

The devs coined the term "relaxploration" for Submerged and I honestly can't think of a better way to describe it. Love the waterworld setting; the scenery is incredible. No pressure, just exploration.

Breaking Newton

8 March 2022

Breaking Newton is like a solo player version of G Switch but with traps. It starts challenging and gradually becomes more and more sadistic. It's all about fast reflexes and precision. Well-made!

Doomsday Hunters

7 March 2022

Doomsday Hunters is a roguelike twinstick shooter with a bizarre Van Helsing-esque theme. Use alien tech to kill demons and robots. Gorgeous stylised pixel art, tons of variety, highly replayable.

Battle for Esturia

4 March 2022

Top quality retro RPG with turn-based tactical combat. Overarching story's generic but Esturia is really about the journey and it's surprisingly packed with choice & consequence. Diamond in the rough.

Pants Quest

3 March 2022

A super short "slice of life" point and click. Only about an hour of gameplay but what's there is well-made. Features high quality pixel art and a good sense of humour. Would love to see more.

Shroomchitect

03 March 2022

Not your regular PUNKCAKE game! If you're looking for a "feels like," I got some Tamagotchi vibes from it. Keeping your little shroomies happy, fed, and busy, is the closest thing to a challenge in Shroomchitect. It's super chill. There are no bosses or goals, so you're left to kick around building cute little social spaces for them like little cottage tables suspended in the rooftops of your mushroom, surrounded by sparkling lanterns and overlooking your gardens.

Wratch's Den

2 March 2022

While obviously inspired by Dungeon Keeper, it's actually a time-based tactical game. And it's loads of fun. 4 difficulty settings and an endless loop survival mode give this game great mileage.

Ghost on the Shore

2 March 2022

What begins as a walking simulator where you explore the ruins of a small island community develops into a genuinely emotional journey as you uncover the island's dark secrets. Incredible voice acting

Undungeon

26 February 2022

Undungeon is a gorgeous top-down shooter with an innovative hybrid levelling system. The combat's intense and the story is rich. Gets repetitive but the world and outlandish characters are to die for.

No Place Like Home

25 February 2022

No Place Like Home is a simulator that sees you exploring a huge wasteland of a world, cleaning & rebuilding, crafting, farming. It's charming, relaxing, and has a good sense of humour.

The Sundew

22 February 2022

The Sundew is a decent modern point and click; it has the potential to be amazing but needs a little more TLC. The pixels are stunning, story's intriguing, writing's decent but puzzles need some work.

Bean and Nothingness

21 February 2022

B&N is a very creative synergy-based puzzle game that features dynamic levels and a huge range of mechanics. Also, it's massive - 180 levels! Friendly intro but lots of tricky puzzles to explore.

Solar Echoes: The Star Legation

15 February 2022

A lengthy and light-hearted jaunt into a sci fi RPG universe. While the story's largely cliche, it's filled with moral dilemmas and deep exploration into conflicting cultures, keeping it interesting.

Beastie Land

14 February 2022

Beastie Land is a terrific platformer with great retro art and feel. Comparitively short with 24 levels, it somehow still has tons of variety. The ghost chase at the end of each level is awesome.

Kingdom of the Dead

11 February 2022

Read the full review here.

Kingdom of the Dead is one of the best FPS games I've played recently - maybe ever! Plays like a cross between Nightmare Creatures and oldschool Doom. And I love sinister ink & pen aesthetic!

Wigmund

9 February 2022

Read my interview with the Scholastics here.

EA review: Wigmund is a gorgeous ARPG with some spectacular sound and visuals. Combat's real-time but unlike most ARPGS it requires that you dodge, parry, and alternate attack - much more interesting.

Dark Sheep

8 February 2022

Logic-based sequence puzzles with new mechanics introduced every few levels, adding to the complexity. Daisy Games just *gets* puzzles and Dark Sheep's a brilliant example. Great retro art and sound.

Deflector: Specimen Zero

5 February 2022

It's only a prologue so very short but the music's bangin', and the gameplay's fast-paced and intense. The baddies are only the start - the terrain plays a big part in this one. It's great!

Warshmallows

4 February 2022

Warshmallows is a fun and colourful brawler in the vein of SSB. Gameplay is fast and super intense with triple jumping, jetpacks and super powers, timed levels, and bullets going bloody everywhere.

Festival Tycoon

2 February 2022

Read my First Impressions here.

Festival Tycoon brings back memories of Theme Park but with the addition of band and sponsor contract negotiations. Has plan & live phases, each with their own trials. Interesting and challenging.

Broodstar

31 January 2022

Broodstar's a fantastic top-scrolling retro schmup. I love the aesthetic and the boss fights are awesome. Featuring seeding, variant levels, and tons of enemies and mods, it's infinitely replayable.

Brutal Orchestra

28 January 2022

Brutal Orchestra is a bloody work of art (pun intended). It is, though. A roguelike but features JRPG-style combat with some awesome & unique mechanics. Great artwork, great story, it's a real treat.

Mage Tower

28 January 2022

Mage Tower's gameplay is unique and is loaded with potential.. but some odd design choices hold it back. It's an odd one. It's repetitive but doesn't feel grindy. Interesting but lacks polish.

Pogo Girl

27 January 2022

Gameplay and aesthetic very similar to Sonic 2 except instead of spindashing you have a pogostick. Enjoy the chill play-your-own-way vibe but go for the achievements because the unlocks are worth it.

Jeebo and Jerbo vs. Life

25 January 2022

The graphics are hit and miss - the pixel art's nice but other aspects look..budget. The gameplay's similar - the combat's a little grindy and repetitive but the platformer aspect is really well done.

Kor

25 January 2022

Kor's like Pokemon red/blue except you're the Pokemon. Combat is combo-based, which is a neat twist. World movement utilises teleportation so exploring is like solving a puzzle. An innovative JRPG.

Kapia

24 January 2022

Kapia's a fantastic modern point and click. The graphics suggest a younger audience but the story and puzzles are great for all ages. Well-written and distinctive, the world really comes to life!

Operation Steel

18 January 2022

A hectic sidescrolling schmup that occasionally borders on bullet hell. Branching levels keeps this very replayable. Loads of variety, cool bosses, smooth gameplay. It's addictive!

Hyper-5

7 January 2022

Hyper-5's a great little sidescroller. Only 5 levels but they're decent length and the challenge-based upgrade system and variety make it very replayable. Good use of 3 dimensions, great art. Very fun.

Ambassador: Fractured Timelines

6 January 2022

Ambassador is a different take on the twinstick shooter genre. Features creative use of bullet time and some innovative weapon, enemy, and level designs to create a unique experience. Fresh and fun!

Flynn: Son of Crimson

2 January 2022

Brilliant platformer. A little on the easy side and could use more 'secrets' but loaded with character, interesting mechanics, absolutely gorgeous pixel art, and some very memorable boss fights.

Curation archives may be accessed here: 2021