South Park: The Stick of Truth is meant as an earnest effort by South Park Digital Studios and Obsidian Entertainment to make a game that truly embraces the license of the show. This has certainly been a problem in the past, as the South Park name has been slapped on all manner of horrible things since the series began its run. In this aspect, Stick of Truth is a resounding success: it doesn’t just feel like it’s faithful to the South Park name, it feels like an interactive, especially-long episode of South Park.
The long-dormant Thief franchise is considered by many to be a pioneer of the stealth genre. Eidos Montreal, the team behind the successful revival of the Deus Ex series, is back with their take on this classic. This new game, simply titled Thief, brings the genre back to its roots by attempting to focus on what made the original games so compelling, while also making it more approachable for newcomers.
Card City Nights is exactly what I never knew I wanted: Pokemon crossed with Triple Triad from Final Fantasy VIII, wrapped up in a cute, hand-drawn visual style. You start out as the new kid in town, taking part in card battles until you get the eight legendary cards and challenge the Card King for a huge cash prize. READ MORE
Capcom’s Strider series began its life as an arcade action-platformer before slowly making its way to home consoles. Soon enough, however, Strider simply disappeared, relegating its lead character, Hiryu, to guest appearances in crossover titles such as the Marvel vs. Capcom series. Rumors of the return of this iconic franchise circled for years before a new game, developed by Double Helix, was announced. While this new Strider may not be a perfect recreation of the earlier titles, it differentiates itself by adding a new twist to a well-worn formula.
Successful comedy in games isn’t as rare as some make it out to be, but consistently-funny titles we almost never see. Jazzpunk, the new adventure from Necrophone Games, is a combination of the best Leslie Nielsen comedies and spoof films from a particular era jam-packed into one tiny game. Its brand of humor may not appeal to everyone, but it’s undeniably clever, charming and consistent in its approach to comedy, even when it seems nonsensical at times.
Echo Prime is what I’m going to call a good “installation game.” On the iPhone it would be a good “toilet game,” but I very seldom take my PC to the bathroom. I do, however, install things on it regularly, and while I’m doing that, running a few missions in Echo Prime is a fun experience that doesn’t overstay its welcome. READ MORE
Some games rely on compelling stories to drive your way through challenges and adventures. Others let you make interesting decisions, be them strategic or narrative, and let that process shape the surrounding elements. There’s a third group, though: games that pile all their hopes and dreams onto one fresh element, one mechanical hook. Games that live and die by the assumption that you’ll like that one thing as much as the developers thought you would.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch may be the most distilled version of that third type of game, and that’s okay, because it’s the best kind of silly. READ MORE
Daedalic is great at telling a story. Its impressive adventure game catalog contains entries like Deponia and Edna & Harvey, so you should come into Blackguards expecting a well-written tale. What you might not expect is challenging tactical combat, deep character creation and customization, and and a 40-hour campaign in which player choice changes quest completion and narrative flow. READ MORE
The Banner Saga is astoundingly beautiful. The art evokes classic animation like Don Bluth’s An American Tail and Disney’s Sleeping Beauty in a way that I’ve never seen in a game. The battlegrounds look amazing, and characters look alive in a way that can only be attained through hand-drawn animation. Final Fantasy Tactics looks nice, but The Banner Saga is simply breathtaking. READ MORE
Puzzle games are some of the most satisfying to play. Why? Because when you successfully complete a level, you know that it isn’t because you were just fast enough, or that your opponent’s connection isn’t great, or that you found the right power-ups. You won because you examined the situation, formed a plan and carried it out. It doesn’t hurt that Tiny Thief is easy to play and oozing charm. READ MORE