Category Archives: Reviews

Metrico Finds Beauty In Bar Charts

As an idea, Metrico is antithetical to much of what has been accepted as conventional game design wisdom. With most games doing everything they can to minimize how conscious you are of the controller sitting in your hand, the deliberateness with which Metrico calls attention to every input performed by the player is both unorthodox and risky. In subordinating the significance of an input’s outcome to focus entirely on the input itself, developer Digital Dreams have created something that is refreshing in its lack of pretensions and ancillary diversions, but ultimately overburdened by the Vita’s plethora of extraneous features. Continue reading Metrico Finds Beauty In Bar Charts

Fran Bow Gets Lost In Its Own Madness

Horror as a genre requires a particularly elegant approach to be successful. It is certainly possible to scare someone through blunt manipulation of disturbing images and a reliance on proven tropes, but horror that lingers, sticking to its audience like the aftermath of a bad dream, that takes something more. To its credit, Fran Bow initially understands this to a level that is truly chilling. But as developer Killmonday Games takes on more and more plotlines, shuffling the player deeper into an incomprehensible madness, Fran Bow falls inside the depths of a convoluted narrative mess from which it is never able to crawl back out of. Continue reading Fran Bow Gets Lost In Its Own Madness

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures Won’t Let The Dead Rest

I have some things to say about Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. The sort of things you’d expect to be discussed about a 3D platformer, be that on the topic of level designs or how every 3D platformer is essentially Super Mario 64 redubbed. I promise we’ll get to those things, but first there is something more important I need to touch on, and that is: what the bloody hell is going on with Pac-Man’s lore? Continue reading Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures Won’t Let The Dead Rest

Imitation Isn’t Very Flattering In Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas

Videogames are in love with themselves. Or rather, they’re in love with the monoliths of gaming history, the games that for many form a mesh of absolutes and ideals which other games continually seek to emulate. Sometimes this leads to the betterment of an idea, a concept first imitated and then refined so that it then becomes synonymous with this new game that did it better. Other times though the ways games so constantly seek to recreate their predecessors never extends beyond rudimentary or reductive replication, seeking success by playing to familiarity and nostalgia. This is where we are met with Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas, a would be Zelda clone that is the gaming equivalent to that off-brand action figure your grandmother mistakenly bought you for Christmas, on the surface indistinguishable from the original but whose inadequacy becomes immediately known once the disingenuous packaging is breached. Continue reading Imitation Isn’t Very Flattering In Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas