Justin Last

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Borderlands is a quick-moving game. You’re always running around, shooting spider ants in the butt and then hopping into a car and taking it off a ramp. Contrast that to something like The Wolf Among Us, where you are, for the most part, traveling to a location and having a conversation. Telltale is best known, at least lately, for slower-paced games, and Borderlands really doesn’t fit that mold. If you liked Telltale’s Jurassic Park, however, then Tales from the Borderlands will be right up your alley. READ MORE

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Steal some rubies, lose them and then spend the whole game collecting them again. Sound fun? In Sneaky Sneaky, you’ll use daggers, bows and rock hammers to defeat and evade slime monsters, skeletons and the sultan’s army. READ MORE

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I found myself constantly surprised by Rollers of the Realm. Phantom Compass has managed to blend pinball gameplay with RPG mechanics in the absolute best way. There’s no denying that Rollers is a digital game, and there is no effort put into making it a simulacrum of a real pinball table. Physical pinball is great, but sometimes it’s nice to use electronic platforms for more, and that’s exactly what Phantom Compass has done here. READ MORE

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There’s no denying that The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a huge package offering lots of replay value. With over 200 items, randomly-generated maps and enemy placements and rewards for completing the game multiple times, Rebirth is a completionist’s dream. READ MORE

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Clerks is the very definition of a movie with a distinct writing style. If you’ve seen it, then you know to expect copious amounts of sarcasm and memorable characters. Thankfully, the return of Jeff Anderson as Randal and Jason Mewes as Jay mean that the characters you remember feel right. This isn’t a Clerks sequel and Kevin Smith isn’t involved, and that just makes it all the more impressive that it feels like it could be. READ MORE

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Borderlands doesn’t step tenderly around anything, and the developers’ devotion to a joke or a theme is to be applauded. Dogged determination doesn’t always work out, though. Not every moon is our moon, and recreating the sense of slowness seen in footage from ours does not translate well to Pandora’s moon, Elpis. Some other additions and changes are good, however. I don’t ever want to play another Borderlands game in which my only option is to sell trash guns back to Marcus. Throwing them into the Grinder — and admittedly often receiving more valuable trash guns — is too enticing to empty my backpack every time I pass a vending machine. READ MORE

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Crafting spells is fun, and it is solely that on which Magicmaker hinges. Between the wand, the mana spell and the cloak, each mage has three opportunities to combine magical elements. Some elements cause enemies to catch fire, others cause your spell to ricochet from one target to the next and still others can make your spells pass through walls or split into multiple projectiles. With over 2,000,000 combinations available, you won’t be hurting for customization. READ MORE

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The best games are simple to understand and quick to start. Within five minutes of downloading Cannon Brawl you’ll understand the basic concepts of building mines to bolster your economy, deploying territory balloons to expand your territory and dropping cannons to ensure military superiority over your opponent. New concepts are introduced throughout the campaign, but the core concept is immediately available and understandable. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing solo or with others: those three base units are going to be integral to victory. READ MORE

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I never knew that I needed roguelikes and puzzle games to team up, but Road Not Taken is great enough to prove how wrong I was. It rewards careful gameplay, features procedurally generated puzzles and lifts the crafting mechanics from match-three games like developer Spry Fox’s previous release, Triple Town. READ MORE

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We all have one (or more): a game that we know isn’t very good, but we love it anyway. Maybe it evokes memories of a happy summer with friends, maybe there’s one shining jewel that overshadows the surrounding desert, or maybe all of the bad comes together in an amazing, swirling maelstrom and manages to make something better than the sum of all its substandard parts. These are a few of our games that aren’t great, but we love them all the same.

Justin Last: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Why it’s not great: The story is all over the place, characters are only fleshed out immediately before a “powerful” moment and numerous things are left unexplained. Why is there not a push to get more people chunky power bracelets like Carter’s? How does everybody know to call the aliens by the species name upon first contact? Where do all of those turrets come from, and why is my engineer only smart enough to make them after I’ve unlocked the skill to yell “build a laser turret over there!” at him? READ MORE